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Beyond - Legends The New Empire 4: A Powerful Ally (NJO AU, COMPLETED AT LAST 030704.)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Sebulba2179, Nov 11, 2002.

  1. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    "Pod racing?Greed can be a powerful ally."
    --Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace

    WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE?
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=13289433]Where It Counts:[/link] Jacen embarks on his pod racing career, and is promptly marked for death by an old enemy of the Solo clan.
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=10950059]The New Empire:[/link] During a two-pronged mission to Tatooine, Jacen meets a comely pod racer who finds herself in very deep trouble with the Hutts.
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=11223871]Credit to the Race:[/link] Jacen is once again in hot water with the Hutts when they make him an offer he can't refuse, and he refuses it anyway.
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=11609850]Scum and Villainy:[/link] While vacationing on a backwater planet, the Solo kids and company find themselves at it again with a pretentious character from Jerrica's past. (as yet incomplete)

    ***

    The Force was flowing, and it felt wonderful.

    It felt almost like his own blood flowing through his veins, eliminating whatever hostile bacteria resided in his body, just as it eliminated hostile bacteria in outer space such as the Yuuzhan Vong. Then again, he thought to himself, it was flowing through his veins in the form of whispering midichlorians. The quieter his mind became, the louder their voices in his mind, showing him what lay ahead, what lay behind, and what was happening right now for parsecs around. Sitting on a tree limb in the middle of nowhere on Yavin 4, he rested against the bole and closed his eyes, opening his mind and his ears to the living Force that permeated the area.

    With so much life energy on the premises--stemming from vegetation, insects, wildlife, even rays from the sun--there was an awful lot to listen to. One of the things he enjoyed the most about meditation was that even if he normally couldn't understand a life form, it came across as clear as a bell upon the wings of the Force. Somewhere off in the distance, he could sense a small measure of anxiety and anticipation from one of his fellow students as her training took a new step. It was funny, he thought to himself, that she should feel such anxiety after constantly living on the edge for the better part of a month. However, even along the path of the Jedi, a little anxiety or even fear couldn't be avoided--as he himself was very soon to find out.

    As the Force streamed through his mind like the deep, hasty river nearby, it brought with it a sudden image of disaster. Strife, hardship, suffering. It wasn't particularly new; his ascension to adulthood had been lined with such grief, but it had never been disastrous. He had never witnessed such utter destruction as he saw in his mind's eye; he had never felt the pain, the distress, the fury of so many others. Then he knew that he wasn't seeing the past. He was seeing the future, and he didn't like the looks of it one bit.

    He knew, however, that the future could be changed, no matter what he saw in the Force. Ultimately, he felt, that was why the Force could show a person what lay ahead--so that it could be prevented if necessary.

    First things first. Find out what in blazes was going on and let Master Skywalker know about it.

    He sat up, dropped off his limb, and grabbed onto another one below it, swinging and somersaulting down onto the ground. Then he set off the way he had come, fairly confident that he wasn't going to get run over by a wayward land vehicle at this particular moment. He started off at a brisk stride, but as the vision of the future assaulted his senses yet again, he broke into a run. Something was horridly wrong, and its correction rested on the shoulders of the Jedi.

    The Force was flowing, and it felt terrible.
     
  2. Darth_Tim

    Darth_Tim Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Nothing like a great introspective scene to start us off...wohoo!! I got the first post!

    Let's hope this story doesn't suffer the fate of its predecessor... :D

    -Tim
     
  3. Captain_Tych

    Captain_Tych Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Sounds as though there's a fair amount of trouble afoot. I'd agree with Tim on this one, great beginning. Though I'd like to know just who this is thinking.

    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
     
  4. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
  5. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    Good stuff, Seb. I love getting into the heads of characters, even if I don't know who it is. I have a guess it's Jacen since he seems to be the main focus of your stories. But I could be wrong.

    :)
     
  6. Sache8

    Sache8 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2000
    **applause**


    I love those delve-into-the-Force moments, and that one was exceptional.

    Who could that "fellow student" be, eh? ;)
     
  7. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Tim: You da man! ;) Thanks, that was probably my first major shot at such introspection. And have no fear--I have this baby all mapped out. If I can help it, it won't turn out to be as cheesy as...um...whoops, gotta consider my audience... ;)

    Tych: A fair amount? I have not yet begun to write, my friend. :D You'll see who the thinker is within the next two posts.

    RebelMom: Yes, you could. ;) This'll have more of a character-driven edge to it than any of my previous fics, as I'm warming up for a story down the pike that's equal parts plot and character.

    Sache: Thankyouthankyouthankyou! :D Geeeeeeee, hmmmmmmmm, I can't POSSIBLY imagine who THAT could be. [face_mischief] Guess we'll just have to wait till the next post to find out! ;)
     
  8. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 11, 2002
    I know it has got to be Jacen.
     
  9. padawan lunetta

    padawan lunetta Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 15, 1999
    Sounds like Jacen to me... excellent work Sebulby!
     
  10. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Oh, you do, huh, jacen? ;) We'll see. We shall see.

    Thank you, Luney, thank you. :) I think you'll like the, ah, Content of this story. ;)
     
  11. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Jacen Solo advanced from the tree line and entered the clearing, stretching out with his feelings. Aside from the obvious, there was one individual not too far off and approaching fleetly, as if he was a man with a mission. Jacen knew who it was, and he half-closed his eyes as he walked into the clearing in front of the Jedi Temple. He would have to make sure he was well-prepared when the presence made itself known. And his wasn't the only preparedness he had to worry about.

    "Ready?" he asked, stepping to the middle of the clearing and putting one hand on his hip.

    Opening her eyes, Jerrica Sulvecto rose from her knees and stood before Jacen, eyeing him and taking a deep breath. "I guess I've done just about all the meditating I can," she said matter-of-factly.

    "Then let's get it going," Jacen said, flashing her the Solo grin. Wiggling his fingers, he abruptly flexed them, yanking on the Force. Turning end over end, his lightsaber almost instantaneously appeared in his hand, and he whipped it upward, flipping it on. The bright green blade leaped forth with a flash that caused Jerrica to blink, but she recovered instantly, reaching for the back of her belt. Withdrawing an object from it, she tossed it upward behind her back, sending it over her head and into her outstretched right hand. It was nearly identical to Jacen's, and when she thumbed a spot on the handgrip, she answered Jacen's action with a throbbing blade of bluish white.

    "You know, my dad used to say that being good against remotes was one thing," Jacen said philosophically. "But good against the living was something entirely different. I learned that the hard way when Jaina and I first built our lightsabers." With that, he suddenly angled his saber down, swinging it at Jerrica's midriff. She immediately caught his move and blocked--he was starting her off slowly, allowing her to learn the art of swordplay a little bit at a time.

    The two blades hissed and crackled together for a few seconds, until Jacen swung his saber outward and came in for a downward slash. Again Jerrica blocked, bringing the practise saber horizontal and neatly ending the swing. Jacen's next move aimed to cut her off at the knees, but she arced her blade from right to left and swatted his blade safely away.

    "How'd you learn it, if you don't mind me asking?" she queried, parrying an upward slash from Jacen.

    "I was fourteen, sparring with the Non-Existent She-Jedi not too far from here. Her lightsaber crapped out at a critical moment, and mine sliced right through her blade, and subsequently her arm. I blamed myself horribly at first. But the killer is, when it happened and she heard us yelling like maniacs, she was hoping she hadn't hurt me. Then when I realised that it was her overconfidence rather than my negligence that caused the mishap, it was that much easier to live with."

    "Then you might say she learned that lesson a helluva lot harder than you did."

    "Yes, indeed." Jacen was making more rapid motions with his lightsaber now, giving Jerrica less time to anticipate his moves and block them. But he still gave her enough reaction time to avoid losing part or all of a limb.

    Jerrica held the practise lightsaber tightly in both hands, holding her breath as she tried to guess where Jacen would be coming from next. Guessing, in fact, did no good whatsoever. Only the profound use of the Force would prevent her from being cut down, either in practise or in actual combat. Jacen understood her nervousness, inasmuch as this was the first time she had ever laid her hands on a lightsaber. He continued to inflict rapid chopping motions on her from either side, arcing his blade upward, downward, delicately pacing his moves. All in the same course of action, he had to teach her swordplay, sharpen her concentration on the Force, and build her confidence in the use of a lightsaber.

    He began to speak his advice, even as he felt the oncoming presence making itself known. "Relax your grip a little bit," he said, seeing his uncle appear in his peripheral vision. "At ma
     
  12. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    Nice duel. I was kind of surprised Jerrica picked it up so easily - I'm sure you'll have some reason in a future post.

    Still don't know who was in the first post - I don't think it was Jacen after that post. Sure, I'm sticking my neck out but why not.*shrugs*

    :)
     
  13. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Thanks, RM. Yes, I'll explain it later in the story, and again later in the series. But seeing as she's coming dangerously close to Mary Sue territory, I did plan for a few slip-ups and rookie mistakes here and there.

    Nice to know that at least you're still reading this.

    **********
    Luke could hear the excited, constant chatter wafting up from the mess hall as he walked into his quarters and secured the door, providing some added silence. He made a beeline for his holoprojector and switched it on, punching up a hypercomm frequency. Presently a staticky image zigzagged onto the holoprojector, and Luke waited patiently for it to solidify into the likeness of Han Solo, whose back was to him.

    Han turned around at the beep of the holoprojector in his and Leia's quarters on Coruscant. Seeing the wavering hologram before him, he stepped forward, grinning. "Hi, kid," he greeted Luke cheerfully. "What's up?"

    "Well, my age, for one thing," Luke reminded him, matching the grin. "I'm forty-six years old, and if you keep calling me 'kid,' I'll start calling you 'pirate.' Whaddya say?"

    "It's better than 'old man,'" Han ribbed him. "Sorry, Luke, old habits die hard. What's on your mind?"

    "Well, it's about Jacen's Padawan."

    "What about her?"

    "Jacen was just initiating her lightsaber training outside the temple, and I was there to see it. He's trained several initiates with lightsabers now, and I've seen him fake enough moves to throw his trainee off balance quite effectively. He almost always emerges victorious."

    "But not this time," Han guessed.

    Luke was silent for a few seconds, and Han knew he'd better be prepared for some startling news. "He broke off the duel without a clear-cut victory," Luke said seriously. "I don't know where that girl picked up her lightsaber abilities, but this is the first time I've seen her using one. If she's been practising, Jacen hasn't told me about it. I've been trying to think where and how people come by above-average lightsaber skills, and I remember that it's often hereditary."

    "I see where you're going," Han said. "She's the only person in her immediate family who's Force-sensitive, and one of the few people from Corellia. What do you make of it?"

    "I was hoping you'd have the answer," Luke said. "Considering that she's Corellian, it occurred to me that her last name sounds vaguely Selonian. I know your Selonian's a little rusty, but?"

    "But you'd like to know why a human would have a Selonian name, and you'd especially like to know what it means," Han presumed with a cagey expression. "I'll sure see what I can dig up, kid. But as you pointed out, my Selonian's so rusty that it'll disintegrate in salt water. So no promises."

    "I understand," Luke nodded. "Thanks a heap, Han."

    As Han was nodding his welcomes, Leia's voice echoed in from the next room shortly before she appeared in the doorway. "Is that Luke?" she asked, motioning at the holoprojector.

    "Yeah," Han said.

    "Keep him on the line for a minute, I need to talk to him."

    "Sure." Turning his attention back to the hologram, Han arched his eyebrows. "Leia wants to talk to you for a second. But I'll look into that for you."

    "Great," Luke smiled. "Thanks again." Shifting his feet a little, he folded his arms and waited for Leia to come into view for whatever sisterly discussion she wanted with him.

    Meanwhile, in the mess hall, the lunch line had died down and the students were seated at the two dozen long tables, gnawing hungrily at their afternoon repast. Amongst the student body of the academy, Force meditation was an excellent catalyst for an appetite. As usual, Jacen, Jaina, Anakin and Jerrica sat together at the table in the right front corner of the mess hall. A few students and their tutors were seated near them, but there was an empty space at the end of the table that was not to be unoccupied for long.

    At length, Sebrona weaved his way around the larger beings and headed for the empty spot. He planted his tray on the table and hopped onto the bench, standing there so he could see
     
  14. Darth_Tim

    Darth_Tim Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Hmm...am seeing a squall brewing on the horizon, methinks....hehe.

    Impressive. Most impressive, as always.

    -Tim
     
  15. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    Sebrona better care about his feelings. He's such a nice Dug. I never expected it to be him in the prologue, but now that I think about it it makes sense. You've been developing him with each story and it will be nice to see him develop some more.
     
  16. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
  17. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    Moving this up so others can see its been updated.
     
  18. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    I guess I'll just have to live with bare-bones feedback on this one.

    Wouldn't call it a squall, Tim--think "ion storm."

    RebelMom, as it happens, Sebby is essentially the main character in this fic. Need I say more about development? ;)
     
  19. sith_lord21

    sith_lord21 Jedi Youngling star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2002
    awesome chirs!!!!!!!
    edit: dont get carried away. dont have a fanfic thats 27 pages.
     
  20. Tych_sel

    Tych_sel Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Sorry that I haven't gotten back to you before now, Seb, but this is looking really good. I mean, we've already had a little bit of humor reagrding table manners, and now we've got news of a problem that's close to the heart of one of the characters. Plus, I presume that we will get to meet Sebrona's family. That is unless they're (and I hope this isn't true) on another plane by now. Keep this thing going!

    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
     
  21. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Thanks, Arthur--and I'm not too worried about this thing going much further than seven pages right now...

    Yeah, Tych, I got the table-manners idea from camp this past summer. ;) And we'll see about family matters within the next couple of posts.

    **********

    Not surprisingly, Sebrona passed by the mess hall without entering, and continued down the corridor to the hangar. He spent the rest of the hour meandering through the woods around the temple, waiting until he knew that Luke would have given Jacen the word and dispatched him and the others. The more Sebrona thought about what was going on, the uglier his mood became, and it scared him half to death. He had neither the time nor the desire to get caught falling into the stereotypical Dug attitude of bullying and territory, not when he had the chance to set things straight. It was a fine time for Master Gristel to be nowhere near Yavin 4--under Snivvian custom, a family emergency called for no interruptions whatsoever.

    Meanwhile, Luke had followed in Sebrona's handsteps to the mess hall. When he poked his head in this time, there was a noticeable drop in the volume of hallwide conversation when he beckoned to Jacen. "Jacen, it's your turn," he announced.

    Glancing at his companions with a cocked eyebrow, Jacen swung himself off the bench and got out, marching to the door of the mess hall. While he and Luke slipped into the corridor and conversed, both of them shielding themselves with the Force, Jerrica stared at the empty doorway for a long moment. Suddenly she realised that she hadn't swallowed her last bite of banthaburger for almost a full minute. Gulping it down, she looked across the table at Jaina and Anakin.

    "You know what's going on?" she asked, gesturing toward the doorway.

    "I don't know," Jaina said with an apprehensive shake of her head. "I have a bad feeling about this."

    Jaina's bad feeling set the mood for the rest of the meal, which passed without a return or a word from either Jacen or Sebrona. Something was afoot--even Jerrica could tell. When she and the others had finished eating, they deposited their trays and skipped the mess hall, headed for the clearing before the temple. Indeed, there stood Jacen, gazing statuesquely at the treetops with his arms folded. Sensing and hearing the approach of the other three, he turned around and stepped toward them.

    "Can I see that lightsaber?" he said to Jerrica, reaching out.

    "Sure." Almost hesitantly, Jerrica removed the practise lightsaber from her belt and handed it over. Jacen's mouth was set in a thin line as he dropped it into his cargo pocket.

    "I'm afraid we'll have to continue the training on the go," he told her. "There's trouble on Malastare, gang. And we're up for it. Sebrona's coming with us anyway, so he already knows what's going on. I'll give it to the rest of you when we're under way. But suffice it to say that the Gran have pushed too hard and too far this time."

    That was all the explanation that was necessary--to Jerrica and Anakin, at least.

    Jaina was a different story. As she and Jacen were preparing to load the latter's racing pod aboard her ship, she gazed skeptically at him across the bole of the port engine nacelle. "Okay, you want to tell me what kind of trouble this is?" she said. "I mean, do you really think that we're not going to wind up siding with the Gran before this is over? Sebrona's a nice guy and all, but he's the oddball. You can't ignore what most other Dugs are like. He's probably the only one who hasn't gotten off Malastare and straight into trouble."

    "You also can't generalise," Jacen said. "Malastare is the epitome of the proverbial vicious circle. Recorded history tells us of the corrupt bureaucracy that was already in power by the time it sided with the Gran. Their mistreatment of the Dugs is what's led to this inward, territorial attitude, which only eggs them on to maintain such treatment. Now they've drawn the last straw by forcibly removing sentient beings from their homes."

    "I don't know, Jacen," Jaina said doubtfully. "Yo
     
  22. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Uh, guys?

    I'd hate to think that my locking CPGS is the reason why nobody's feeding back...
     
  23. Aunecah_Skywalker

    Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Sorry, I've been lurking in here. Can't explain why. *Shrugs* Anyway, well if I were to tell you the first thing that came into my mind when I read this story, ten it has to be: Seb finally learned how to post less than twenty pages at a time. 8-} Honestly, when I read your first part, I was so sure somebody hacked into your computer.

    *Clears her throat*

    About the story, itself. It's great, which isn't really a surprise since it's coming form you. I'm surprised that Jerrica was so good with a lightsaber, considering that she's never trained with one before, but I guess some people are just naturals with the weapon (like Anakin, I suppose).

    You know, I've been meaning to say something since I started reading your stories, but haven't scrounged up enough courage to actually say it until now: I've never heard someone say "bro" for brother :confused: Err. okay.

    Okay, now I replied, haven't I? I want to see a pod race, and refuse to reply again until I see one posted. [face_plain] 8-}

    Aunecah
     
  24. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000

    Darth real life is in control. I'm reading. :)
     
  25. Sache8

    Sache8 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2000
    I call my brother "bro" sometimes. ;)

    I also call him Pedro and hermanito. The latter really gets on his nerves, because it's Spanish for "little brother" and he's younger, but bigger than me. He says "I'm not little!" :p


    I can already tell I'm gonna love this story Seb! :) The conflict is shaping up to be so.... intense and focused.

    The part about the elbows on the table.... how hilarious! Where on earth did that come from!? :p


    Well..... off I go again. Only four more weeks of evil torture! :)