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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. Darth_Tim

    Darth_Tim Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Hehe. probably so, when they figured out you were just likely to burn through your ammo without hitting anything....

    -Tim
     
  2. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    *RM looks at all the bullet holes in the thread* Looks like you need a bit of spackle here, Seb.
     
  3. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    For those of you wondering, I've been going through a really bad time in my personal life as of late. See how short this post is (comparatively speaking)? Took me the better part of a week to write the whole thing. It ain't fun, but it'll pass. Till it does, it might be some time between posts (both here and on WWH).

    **********

    Where would he go? Who would he hook up with?

    It had been six years. A lot could happen in that amount of time--for instance, Sebolla could have made and abandoned dozens of friends. Unable and unwilling to second-guess himself as to a starting point, Sebrona had a mind to start at the northwest part of town, where many high-powered Gran were known to live.

    Including, perhaps, Arks Piroe himself.

    For Sebolla and his gang, there would be no better target. Long had Sebrona dreaded the day when his brother would start acting like a terrorist, and this was that day. He'd been out of touch with his family for so long that he had absolutely no idea who to talk to, how he could infiltrate the activists. Still, a stray memory was knocking about in the back of his mind--a memory of his childhood, one of his last memories of Malastare before he departed. He swung rapidly on through the middle level of the tree crowns in the northern forest, subconsciously prying that memory out of his brain as he concentrated on travelling to the city.

    He had not been travelling for long when it occurred to him that on this part of the planet, one couldn't open oneself much further to the Force. And this he did, hoping that it would help him recall this memory. He swung from one branch and levitated almost a dozen meters across empty space to grab a dangling kremassen branch, using it to swing toward a long, thick vine. This he caught in his feet, swinging another lengthy distance to a thick branch that jutted from a very old grey bougenna. Making a four-point landing on the branch, Sebrona startled a large brown garter snake, and he instantly sensed its surprise. As it hastily wound itself around the branch and slithered away from him, he reached out through the Force to calm it down. The ease with which he did so reminded him of another incident, an incident from a familiar time at a familiar place from his--

    The racetrack.

    Of course--the Pixelito Speedway. At no other place could he possibly find out what lay beneath.

    Sebrona paused on top of the branch to catch his breath, peering through the tree canopy to take his bearings. If he wasn't mistaken, he was actually right above the racetrack itself--he could see a definite path through the forest below him, dotted with boulders, enormous trees and protrusive roots. He picked out the track's path toward Pixelito, launched himself off the branch and continued swinging, higher and lower, longer and faster. He reached into the recesses of his mind, grabbed that memory, and stuffed it into his cerebral cortex, reliving it by the second.

    ***

    "The Malastare One-Hundred is at its end with Hane Teegins in the lead and Koril Wark runnin' right up!" The Gran announcing the Malastare 100 was exuberant, gesturing frenetically toward the final stretch of the race, indicating the two leading pods. Turbines screaming, the lead pod blasted across the finish line to an overly warm reception from the crowds on both sides of the arena. The runner-up received only slightly less approval, but the twelve-year-old Dug waiting on the gamblers had little time to care. It wasn't for lack of trying; he wished he could pay more attention to the race, and imagine that he was out there, that he was part of the cutthroat racing elite that roamed the galaxy on countless circuits. He knew--somehow, he knew that his place was elsewhere, far away from Malastare. Unfortunately, it was not to be. As soon as his age reached double digits, he had been pressed into service at the Pixelito Speedway in the betting parlours, and he had to maintain his focus there.

    By this point, if there was one thing he hated, it was maintaining his focus on bickering gam
     
  4. Tych_sel

    Tych_sel Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Great post, Sebby. That flashback was excellent, especially the way that Kam and Sebrona first met. The fact that Sebrona's ideals have been present since his childhood leads me to believe that he won't let his brother ruin their people's future.

    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
     
  5. Aunecah_Skywalker

    Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Wonderful post Sebby . I loved the flashback, and I agree with Tych here. I hope whatever bad is going on in your life will pass soon and you'll become all right. Make sure you play the Dug part correctly against DRL. :D

    Aunecah
     
  6. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    Loved the flashback of Kam and Sebrona's meeting.

    *hugs* Hope things improve for you. :)
     
  7. Sache8

    Sache8 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2000
    Oooh, good point Tych.

    **what he said**

    "He knew--somehow, he knew that his place was elsewhere, far away from Malastare."

    This line, for whatever reason, just seemed to jump out and grab me. A great way to paint insight deeper into Sebrona's character, even (as Tych pointed out) at such a young age. Also a good way to give more detail on the Gran mistreatment of the Dugs. :(


    I'm cheering for Sebrona! He'll find a way.

    You cannot escape your destiny....


    And Kam Salusar was pretty spiffy wonderful! :) I liked his mannerisms.
     
  8. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Tych - Well, admittedly, I'm going on a note that you used with Maaizeh--having a feeling that he belonged elsewhere. Told you you deserved half the credit for creating the character. ;)

    Aunecah - By the end of this story, I should be able to see my way much clearer to resisting the assaults of DRL. :p

    RebelMom - Thanks. It's almost past.

    Saché - The Force has most definitely been at work throughout his life, hence his youthful beliefs. At some point, I'll drop a hint as to who I'd like to portray Kam, were he ever to hit the big screen. ;)
     
  9. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    "Are they coming?" Sorveli asked, peering around the hangar at the edge of the Pixelito Speedway.

    "They'd better be," Jaina said testily as she and Anakin positioned the gargantuan port nacelle of their brother's Collor Pondrat Plug-F Mammoth. "And when they get here, they can haul Jerrica's pod in here all by themselves."

    Anakin showed her the palm of his hand, bidding her to calm down. "Yeah, they're coming," he said. "Be here any minute, but where they're coming from, it'd be nice to know."

    "Yeah, well, I can't stick around much longer," Sorveli said, his tone taut. "Those Hutts show up whenever they damn well please, but if she shows up in the next few minutes, you guys'll have to compare notes all by yourselves."

    "Suits me fine," Anakin shrugged. He clearly wasn't bothered by Jacen and Jerrica's absence--either his faith was next door to blind, or the Force had given him a flash of insight that it hadn't bestowed on Jaina. He turned and meandered halfway down the nacelle, just aft of the split-X intakes, tightening up and securing the fluid lines.

    "What's got him in such lofty spirits?" Sorveli muttered to Jaina.

    At first, Jaina hesitated to answer; she opted instead to shoot a quick glance toward the entrance to the hangar. "That, maybe?" she suggested, pointing.

    Eyebrows on the rise, Sorveli followed Jaina's gaze. His reaction to seeing Jacen and Jerrica entering the hangar was an odd combination of relief, annoyance, and anticipation. Upon catching his look, Jacen waved, but his hand froze in midair and then fell to his side as he saw the detective's expression. For her part, Jerrica couldn't suppress an amused smile as she envisioned how badly Jacen was going to catch it from him.

    "Talk about your hours of fun," she muttered.

    "Oh, trust me, I've been looking forward to this all day," Jacen answered nonchalantly.

    "You have, huh? He's gonna drag you off to the interview room and handcuff you to the table till you tell him everything we've uncovered."

    "Oh, be quiet," Jacen mumbled out the corner of his mouth as they made their final approach to their compadres.

    "Well, nice of you guys to show up so bright and early," Sorveli said, his voice louder than usual but no less sarcastic. "The race officials were just getting worried that the champ himself wouldn't even show up."

    "Sorry about that, Ray," Jacen said, tossing his hands up. "We got a little sidetracked, if you take my meaning."

    "What'd you find?"

    Jacen glanced around, biting his lip, hoping not to spot any familiar faces such as the ones he and Jerrica hadn't gunned down. Even Chool and Piroe were nowhere to be seen, though. Most likely they were intending to make their appearance right before the race started, to save both time and face. At any rate, these walls had ears, and Jacen wanted no word to reach them. As he approached Sorveli, he lowered his voice drastically.

    "A nice little underground hideaway where Arks Piroe and Al-Rees Chool were having words," he murmured. "Apparently we've bigger fish to fry than those two."

    "Gardulla the Hutt?" Sorveli guessed.

    Jacen looked stunned at the query. "How did you know that?" he asked in surprise.

    "Jaina and Anakin traced a lead on the thug you talked to when you first landed. He was in deep to the Besadii family, and since Gardulla's the most prominent Hutt in the clan, I knew she figured into this. You said they were having words, I don't suppose those words were 'Gardulla the Hutt is perpetrating a federal crime'?"

    "Not exactly, no," Jacen said as he and Sorveli turned, walking toward the hangar entrance. "But from what we picked up, their options are pretty limited now that we're onto them. Gardulla can't squeeze the transit authority anymore, so she's going to have to gamble for her funds now. If I win this race and she's betting against me, she'll no longer be able to finance the development, but if I win and she's betting on me, do the math."

    "I hated math," Sorveli growled. "Still do. But if you're getting that close, I'll have to keep
     
  10. Sache8

    Sache8 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2000
    **pulls out Naboo Royal Slingshot and aims it right at Gardulla's head**

    Bring your pretty face to my slingshot! Mwuahahaha!!!

    **puts Naboo Royal Slingshot away when she realizes that, despite its merits, a Pod will probably be much more effective** :p



    Sebby! This post was just awesome, and I feel so honored that Jacen and Co. are kicking this Hutt's butt. And you summarized the story so well. Kudos :)

    Right now I'm feeling just about like Luke... I wonder how he would feel if he knew that Garudulla had also owned Anakin and Shmi. I don't think even Beru knew the story that far back.

    Speaking of Luke, his words at the end of the post gave me shivers. He seemed so, I dunno... nice and human for a change. :) (And I'm speaking in general terms here). It's refreshing to see him take such a personal rather than general interest in something. And so vehemently too!



    Funniest line: Anakin and the toolbox. **ROTFL** [face_laugh]



    Interesting twist with Jacen having to decide if his knowledge about Gardulla will effect his performance. I guess it's better for him that they know for sure how she's betting, but still that kind of question is a serious kind of ethical thing, with no clear lines. If I were Gardulla I would bet on Jacen, but considering that she might be tipped off that there are Jedi after her, and knowing Jacen & Co's history, she might assume he will throw the race and therefore bet against him.

    **scratches head** Is this one of those things where you can chase yourself in circles trying to logic it out? ;)

    **would quote the Princess Bride but Seb hasn't seen it so it won't be as fun** ;) :p

    (Although I must confess that it'll be awesome to see Jerrica win a race one of these days, if not this one. Fair and square of course. It would be know fun if Jacen let her. Which of course he would never do and she would never stand for :p)

    Whew! Is that good enough feedback? :) My fingers are tired. Well, maybe not that tired....



    **goes off to write a version of Trade Federation attacking Naboo**
     
  11. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    Nice tip of the hat to Sache's wonderful fic. You incorporated it very well. Nice to see LUke again, too. I think Jerrica should just beat Jacen. He needs his ego taken down a notch. ;)
     
  12. Sache8

    Sache8 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2000
    Well, the slingshot's not good for Hutt's, but it helps with upping fics. ;)

    **up**
     
  13. Aunecah_Skywalker

    Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Yes, I'm late, I know. ;)


    "Damn," Anakin murmured in awe. "If I knew he'd gotten this ambitious, I never would have let him borrow my toolbox."


    [face_laugh] Now, if I can only remember what acronym they use for ... ROTFWL I think that's right - ugh. I still haven't gotten the hang with the acronyms. Give me a break, I've never used them in my life before.

    I loved that line Sebby .

    Awesome post. Maybe I should just turn on the Active Topic Notification for this story - so I don't miss the posts. [face_mischief]

    It's nice to see Luke again.

    Aunecah
     
  14. Tych_sel

    Tych_sel Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Well, seeing as I'm the late arrival this time around, it seems that just about every good point has been brought up. However, I have a feeling Gardulla's going to have more to deal with than she thinks, especially if Luke ever finds out about her selling Shmi and Anakin to pay her gambling debts.

    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
     
  15. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Saché - Well, once again, I thank you for green-lighting me to incorporate that bit. :) I, too, tried to reason out Jacen's will to win or lose. Looks like all he'll be able to do is just race the way he normally would, and see what happens.

    RebelMom - Oh, I dunno about Jacen's ego...he is a Solo, after all. ;) I reserve commentary on Jerrica winning a race at some point, however...

    Aunecah - Yes, maybe you should. [face_mischief] Enjoy that line, though, cuz there won't be much dialogue for the next several posts, unless Jacen starts swapping insults with his opponents again.

    Tych - Trust me, Gardulla has NO IDEA just how MUCH she'll have to deal with, come the end of the race. [face_devil]

    I'm thinking about posting a Valentine's viggie some time this afternoon, gang. If I pull it off, it'll probably get smashed flat by Jaina/Jag valentine viggies, so I'll link it from here.
     
  16. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
  17. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Infiltrating the betting parlours had been easy enough, since there were already enough disgruntled Dugs around for him to go unnoticed. The hard part was finding Gardulla. She hadn't even shown up yet, and it was anybody's guess what viewing box she would choose. Exerting mind power over the Gran in the immediate area, Sebrona meandered back and forth through the hallway that accessed the boxes, peering into each compartment for a sign of the Hutt or her lackeys. So far, they seemed to be populated by little other than the usual suspects?Gran, Toydarians, Xexto, Neimoidians, and humans. Trust Gardulla to sneak in the back door unnoticed, he thought cynically to himself.

    As he passed the third viewing box from the north end of the grandstand, he idly strolled into it, hoping to snatch a peek down onto the starting arena and see how his friends were faring by now. He took three steps into the box and then stopped short as he saw the lone form by the window.

    "El!" he called, keeping his voice to a low hiss as he hastened to the window.

    Elakie whirled around, and her heart might have leaped clear outside if it was but a little higher than her feet. As it was, it returned to its normal height?she knew that he wasn't going to be pleased to find out what she was doing here. It was enough of a pain not to be able to display the unconditional love that she felt for him, lest he be found out by the Gran who were running the place.

    "Seb, am I glad to see you!" she exclaimed. "It'll make this a little more bearable."

    "They've got you working in this filthy place, too, huh?" Sebrona guessed, casting a short and reviling look around the betting parlour.

    "Yeah. But don't worry, I'll be fine. Old man Piroe is going to be watching from across the grid, where I can keep from throwing him down on the arena just as Jacen is coming along. I just lie low, though, and they don't try anything."

    "If they do, tell me. My lightsaber is nice and safe on Jaina's ship and it's just a hop, skip and a jump away."

    "No," Elakie said firmly, putting her foot on his shoulder. "Seb, I told you, don't worry. Worry about your brother instead. He's nowhere to be found and he's supposed to be just down the avenue."

    "I'll worry about him when the time comes. Listen, you haven't seen any Hutts floating around, have you?"

    "Hutts can't even float on the methane geysers around here," Elakie scoffed. "I did see one across the arena, though?a female by the look. She just pulled back from the window before you came in, but she's over there somewhere." She pointed, indicating to Sebrona the viewing box in question. He covered her foot with his, nodding slowly.

    "Okay," he said. "I'll stick here till the race is over, try and pick up something I can use." He paused, shooting Elakie a quizzical glance. "Al-Rees Chool isn't on the premises as well, is he?"

    "Haven't seen him yet, but it seems likely he'll be here. He and Piroe are pretty chummy, and they've shown up at races together a couple of times that I know of."

    "They're like the suns of Tatooine, those two," Sebrona muttered. "Should be easy enough to eclipse 'em."

    ***

    Jerrica couldn't suppress a feeling of perplexity as she looked down the starting line. She and Jacen were separated by one other pod, but she could still see his face. Every time she looked in his direction, he would give her a strange, piquant stare and then quickly avert his eyes, poring over the dashboard in his cockpit. He'd already gone over that dashboard about four times, and there wasn't much more he could do with it. Certainly something was on his mind, and it concerned her, but damned if she knew how.

    What Jerrica found the most unsettling was that Luke seemed to be acting the same way. Standing near Jaina and Anakin in the pit, he was eyeing her as well, and turning hastily away every time she looked at him. She took a deep breath and swallowed, trying to push this puzzle aside long enough to concentrate on the racetrack ahead. The elderly Troig announcing the race was already entrenched in th
     
  18. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    You know, sometimes I wonder why I even fool myself into thinking that anybody's going to care when this thing is updated. [face_plain]
     
  19. Tych_sel

    Tych_sel Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Great post, Seb. You seem to have found the time to get a glimpse of each character, just before kicking off what I have a feeling will be one of the best races yet. I'll be very interested to see just where you take this.

    Loved the bit where Luke though Gardulla won't be treating herself to any races soon.

    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
     
  20. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    I've been out of town otherwise I would have posted sooner.

    I'm cheering for Jerrica to win. You go girl!
     
  21. Sache8

    Sache8 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2000
    I'm sorry about DRL, Seb. :( We'll miss you. But I shan't give up hope of your eventual return. Circumstances in DRL can shift back for the better as well as the busier.


    At least I finally got to read the start of a pod-race in progress. :)


    And sorry I was a week late again. DRL has been hounding me too. Not to mention I'm reading an actual book with real pages and all. Tis quite distracting. Weird, huh?


    We'll miss ya buddy.
     
  22. Sebulba2179

    Sebulba2179 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Tych - Gah, I better get this race written up to expected standards, then. :p

    RebelMom - Oh, Jerrica will get her chance, worry not. If not in this race, then in some race--she'll get her due. ;)

    Saché - I guess you're right about DRL or we wouldn't be having this conversation. ;) It'll be a while before I can throw him down from Zarak-Zigil and smite his ruin upon the mountainside, but there'll be a little time to post here and there until then.

    **********

    Jacen circumvented a low knoll in less than a heartbeat--a considerable rate of speed, since his heart sounded like a repeating blaster to him. He held his breath and tried to focus the Force to his insides, willing his circulatory system to slow down, but his effort was in vain. He immediately had to jerk left and avoid smashing head-on into a huge tree that lay just around the knoll, after which he was able to pick out the traces of the path ahead. He leaped over a dead log that had half-decomposed into the ground, and his repulsors barely supported his landing, bringing him within centimeters of hitting solid ground.

    Sensing Jacen's encounter with the tree, Jerrica was prepared for it; she eased to the right after she had passed around the knoll, smoothly avoiding the huge trunk. Then she struck out across the trail, able to look over her shoulder long enough to see that the next two pods had also avoided the tree at the last possible dwindling second. They were still uncomfortably close, and between their proximity and Jacen's lead, Jerrica was more than motivated to boost. Three seconds later, she shot over the decaying log, and the Pedrovia sped through empty air for nearly half a minute before landing. Jerrica rode herd on it, ramming the throttles forward just in time to see Jacen a short distance ahead, skewing the Pondrat into a hairpin turn around a clump of coppice stems. Clenching her teeth, Jerrica hauled back on the starboard throttle and hotly pursued Jacen into a sharp S curve. Here, the forest was so dense that the light from above was significantly dimmed.

    Jacen could see more than enough to follow the trail, which meandered around massive trees, over small humps in the ground, and through dips that seldom affected his repulsor field. The worst he had to worry about was the underbrush. There was plenty of it sprouting from the trail, and as the first in line, he was mowing plenty of it down as he flashed past. Up ahead, he spied a cluster of long, dangling vines, and instinct told him that this was the edge of a tree thorp. Indeed, seconds later, he could see the huts and platforms high overhead, bristling with enthusiastic Dugs. They seemed to be in good cheer, gyrating their limbs, hooting and hollering their support as the old Pondrat chugged beneath them.

    Passing clear of the tree thorp, Jacen found that the track ahead of him that was well-defined due to the density of the surrounding forest. However, it was none too easy to navigate. Clenching his teeth nearly to the point of dislocating his jaw, he blasted along the trail, ducking his head to avoid a leaning snag that could have decapitated him. As the Pondrat roared along the undulating terrain, occasionally washed in split-second patches of sunlight, it passed into a less defined area--the forest was thinned and encroaching further and further upon the trail.

    Maneuvering from side to side to keep the two hostiles at bay, Jerrica watched Jacen swing to the right, steering around a tree trunk that lay horizontally on the ground. This, she perceived, was her golden opportunity. Edging left, her first order of business was to cut Vona off, preventing him from passing. Then she accelerated, leaning forward in an unconscious effort to increase the Pedrovia's speed, before she slammed on the boosters and rocketed up the tree trunk. She was two meters above ground by the time she sailed off the opposite end, but she had a softer landing than usual, thanks to the bed of leaves that covered the forest floor. She raced on, hurtling around a sharp bend and sliding cleanly
     
  23. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    And they're off! *Pulls out pom poms* Go Jerrica. :)
     
  24. Sache8

    Sache8 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2000
    I'm with mom on this one. Go Jerrica! :D

    Love this description: "Another few minutes, he estimated, and he'd be maneuvering through those trees, weaving in and out like a darning needle."

    Oooh, that bridge sounds deliciously dangerous! Single file, people! **claps hands like a strict first grade teacher** ;)
     
  25. padawan lunetta

    padawan lunetta Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 15, 1999
    Ohh nice post Sebby :) I'll third the "Go Jerrica!"