main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Beyond - Legends What Good May Come?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Darth Invictus, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Note: This will be a grim story at times, and I hope I will treat characters fairly, I do not promise happy endings for most of them, only that no one is treated without sincerity, if not kindness. If you are unfamiliar with these characters, the setting, and the context of the story I will do my best to elucidate it for you as the story progresses, I have decided not to do a title crawl or some pretentious, deep(TM) introduction. This is an Invincible AU, with a point of divergence during the Second Battle of Roche. Criticism is welcome as are comments, and without further adiu I present, For What Good May Come.










    For What Good May Come?

    A Star Wars Invincible AU.

    And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”? —as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just. Romans 3:8


    “Uncle Luke says a Jedi must never attack, only defend” “But Jacen, to be a good defender you must be willing to go on the attack” He blocked her strike again, and then countered, nearly splitting her shoulder in two. The cool breeze of Yavin IV circled around them, almost as palpable as the connection between the twins in the force. They may have had different interests, Jaina her piloting and machinery, and Jacen his love of animals, ecoystems, and truth be told all life, but they held an inseparable connection, where one was weak, the other reinforced, where one doubted, the other gave courage, where one was hurt, the other lent power to heal. The twin siblings spun around, in a dance of blades-one purple and one green…the bond they shared could never be destroyed.

    The conference room was strewn with bodies, as the sound of residual blaster fire echoed throughout the complex, but for Jaina Solo, vision was not the most reliable of senses. Limbs, heads, and strung out burned bone was all she could see, all the blaster fire being indistinct lights whizzing above her head, as she tried to hold her head, split open with a gaping wound. Her brother was cutting down the remaining Mandalorians who attempted to flee ineffectually from the chamber,

    “Sergeant Kevu, order your men to cut them off at the end of the tunnel, and seal off the ventilation hatches and waste disposal, I want all these Mandalorians dead and their bodies tagged.” “Yes sir”, and the senior stormtrooper moved his squadron down the dark halls to fulfill his commander’s order.

    Blaster fire, erupted once again in the room, with Caedus’ men firing somewhere in the corner, “Its Luke Skywalker, fire!, fire!, fire!”, an officer bellowed at the top of his lungs, as several of the Moffs crouched on the other side of the room, firing with their hold out blasters and picked up rifles.

    Jaina could sense her brother’s fear, his panic. As he turned side to side, and leapt to the corner, and she heard the clashing of blades, as she began to force herself to her feet, and ran hard to the extraction point, as she began to take her stride, her heart beat suddenly stopped.

    “Kill her, my uncle isn’t here, it’s a force projection”, as dozens of stormtroopers turned their blasters on her back and let loose a torrent of super-heated red tinted plasma.

    Jaina Solo now could only feel brother striding toward her, a malevolent snarl on his face, “Corporal Taran, clean this up and process all KIAs here”.

    “The rest of you, out now”. The stormtroopers either carried off the dead and wounded or filed out of the bloodied wreck of a conference hall

    Stepping over her, Caedus know knelt in front of her, and held his hand over her back, while lifting her chin on his knee.

    “Cunning plan, you had me fooled for a moment, making me think I was fighting Luke, I do regret this sister but I have a war to win”, “We, I, loved you Jacen”. Life was fading, she would have been dead already, if Caedus was not keeping her alive, “I love you too, and I grieve your death, I wish, truly I wish it didn’t have to be this way, I don’t hate you, or mom or dad, or even Uncle Luke, fools and traitors that they are, but what I am doing is necessary. “Necessary!”, “For who!”, “Don’t you see, you’ve become a monster”, Jaina coughed as her lungs struggled to take in their last bursts of air.

    “No sister, I am building a new galaxy, a garden where children will grow and play without war, without all this suffering and strife, and I intend to bring it into being, I am pruning all the weeds, so that flowers will bloom”, this Caedus said with absolute sincerity, and a small touch of tenderness, he kissed her split open forehead, tasting her blood on his mouth, “Your loss is a necessary loss, a sacrifice, on top of all the sacrifices I have made”.

    “I’m so sorry, mom and dad, I am so so sorry, I failed, I wasn’t the Sword of the Jedi”, all her training, all her preparations, it had all been for not, and all the proclaimed Sword of the Jedi could see was darkness, except for a small light at the end, and with that, Jaina Solo breathed her last and died.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    “Keep the controls steady, and don’t let those Imperials get a lock on us”, Han shouted, as if Leia was on the other side of the ship, but in reality she was less than five feet away from him, sitting on her swivel chair trying desperately to keep the Millennium Falcon’s speed and torque constant, as they flew above the asteroids that made up the Roche system.

    Han thrashed his hands on the trigger, blowing up one updated Tie Defender and blasting another Starhunter to atoms. Imperial Star Destroyers and Galactic Alliance fighter craft exchanged volleys with Daala’s Chimeara and her Maw Star Destroyers, with the flurry of turbolaser batteries, and screaming star fighters. Even as reinforcements of the anti Caedus coalition kept on coming, Leia felt no relief, no rise of hope or exhilaration one might normally expect when a battle seemed to be turning in one’s favor. All Leia could feel was the pounding of her own heart, and the low roar of the Falcon’s engine.

    “Han, we need you here!”. A voice hammered from the comm, it was Corran Horn piloting his StealthX Fighter alongside a squadron of ten other Jedi Knights and Masters, “We need the Falcon’s firepower to get through the Relentless’ turret screen, “right on the way”, Han responded, his voice a mixture of chipper battle giddiness and deep seated anxiety. The Falcon began to turn and accelerate as Leia focused the Falcon’s side blasters on another GA X-Wing, destroying it with the press of a button. “Han!” Leia shouted, having gone to man the dorsal cannons on the port side of the Falcon, the ship shaking and turning with blaster fire, “keep them off of me!”, Han shouted as he moved to regroup with the Jedi squadron.

    “Mom, Dad I failed”, like a bolder dropping on her chest, Leia could feel it, the weight crushing her alive. Jaina was dead. Her last child was dead. She had failed. Leia had failed, Han had failed, Luke had failed, they had all failed, and her children were dead! They were all dead! Leia began to cry, it was a battle her life was at risk, and she was crying! Tears turned to sobs, and she drove her head into the console, crying, “Leia!, Leia!” Han yelled, as he rushed from the pilot’s chair, “the battle has turned, Caedus’ forces are winning, we have to get out of here”. Leia turned her head to see her husband, and he knew. “Jaina is dead Han, Jace..Caedus killed her”.

    At an earlier time, Han would have doubted, he would have asked, if she was sure, but having been married to and around Jedi for most of his life now, he understood not to question the inklings, insights, and information his family of Jedi gained from the force. “We uh, we uh uh we need to go, new base, new hide out” His face turned red as he held back the tears, and she threw herself into his shoulder, as the universe seemed to shatter all around them, as they carried each other back to the pilot’s chamber, their tears overflowing, Han pressed the lever, and the Falcon entered Hyperspace, as their universe had been utterly irrevocably shattered.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
    Anedon likes this.
  2. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    A very dark, well written and promising start that makes curious as to where this story will go.

    I like this use of a flashback to recall easier times, reminding us just how close the twins where and how things really should have gone the way they went. Also builds up the tension and drama for what is about to come.

    Think this really well demonstrates just how much the Legacy of Luke Skywalker has grown up to this point, that people are just flat out terrified at even the prospect of fighting him, even when they vastly outnumber him.

    And here it is, the point of divergence, the moment where the plan fails and Caedus realizes whats going on. And now the emperor has no clothes, now its just Jaina outnumbered and outgunned, alone.

    This is kinda ironic to see how the in the event of the "evil" twin triumphing over the "good" one their final exchange is more, at least in its attempts, appologetic than the same scene with their fates reveresed.

    Defenetly a dark moment, in a sense makes Jaina even more of tragic figure in this, that in her final moments she is haunted by faliure, believing that her fate was in the end about her killing her brother. Shows just what that damned title did to her.


    And here it all comes crashing down on the Solo parents, their daughter, their, in their minds, last child has fallen, in that sense they have utterly failed as parents. And so there is little left for them but to cry, also again kind of ironic that this relativley brief scene has them show more grief than they ever did for Jacen in the OTL.

    A great and intresting AU idea, curious where this is going. :)
     
  3. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Thanks! Next Chapter will be out sometime this week.

    Basically Caedus doesn't lose his nerve over Luke projecting an illusion, and focuses on eliminating Jaina. Being the AU.

    And yeah Han and Leia are devastated. Which will have effects later on.

    Thanks for the comment! And yes this will be a dark story.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
    Anedon likes this.
  4. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Chapter 2

    His arm lay across from him on the table, cleaned of the spilled blood and disinfected thoroughly. It had been only a few days, by his last count since the Battle of Nickel One. Darth Caedus sat up, on his bed as the medical droid, named too-onebee-three, examined his stump. The wardroom in which he sat had only one patient, him. Across the hall of the Anakin Solo's Medical floor, other prisoners lay in their beds, some from the recent battle of Nickel One, GAG soldiers and stormtroopers, as well as a few prisoners-Mandalorians and Verpine, who were of course kept in more confined conditions and whose medical treatment, was both prelude, and part of the interrogation procedure. The droid had informed him his arm could be re-attached if he so desired, and not wishing a prosthetic Caedus had considered the option and had, with some internal debate agreed. However, he had decided, to forego the procedure for the moment, and return to Coruscant, Tahiri had informed him of Ben’s capture, both through a short signal in the force, and through a recorded holo transmission.


    I doubt Tahiri, has the necessary patience and ruthlessness to get what I need out of the boy, and to prevent any kriff ups, I will go and deal with the problem myself.”


    More concerning and demanding of reflection, was his sister’s attempt on his life, and her death. So much for the Sword of the Jedi prophecy, Caedus had chided to himself.


    He had been there, fourteen years ago when Luke Skywalker had apparently in some sort of induced trance, had declared her the Sword of the Jedi, a weapon against darkness, and protector of the weak.


    You will know no rest, but you will bring rest to others”, Caedus recalled his uncle proclaiming. Didn’t Yoda always say, in motion the future was?” Strange, Caedus thought. I was fooled. Luke Skywalker cast his form over her, and his illusion trick in the auditorium nearly allowed her to escape. How much else, had Luke Skywalker done? Can I trust my visions? Has my mind been twisted to his purpose? I need to get to Coruscant now, I will be able to reassess the situation safely there and recover without risk of Jedi attack…at least for a while anyway. I miss her, Caedus thought. I grieve for her. She was my sister; we shared a great bond through the force. I need to grieve, I need to mourn her, so as not to lose touch, to lose sight again. I loved her, and I will suffer the pain of her loss, her sacrifice, my sacrifice.


    Getting up from his contemplation, Darth Caedus walked slowly and methodically to the door, more than a little disturbed by his previous line of thought. “My Lord, I highly recommend you don’t leave the medical ward, I need to check for any risk of infections or dead tissue."


    “Overridden” Caedus said sternly and impatiently, “I can take care of myself.” The medical droid backed away and bent its mechanical head, “As you command, my Lord”.


    The automatic door opened for him, and Caedus walked down the corridor, taking time to note the wounded men and women around him, on his left was an injured stormtrooper moaning constantly as medical droids tended to his burned and bleeding organs, to the poor man’s left was a GAG private, who was under sedation, Private Max Akiran, the young man had fought ably and valiantly during the Battle of Nickel One, out of the corner of his eye, Caedus recalled him killing at least three Mandalorians with his blaster rifle, and slaying another in a brawling melee with the Mandalorian’s own beskar knife. He had apparently sustained serious injuries in the process, peering through the curtain, Caedus observed cloth over his left eye, and a multiplicity of needles in his neck, torso, and all his limbs. His face was so purple, as to be almost black, and his stomach was cut wide open, with his sides thrashed terribly.


    I will have to give him a commendation, and a promotion I think, once this is all over. His bravery and self-sacrifice will serve as an example in my new empire. Walking further through the corridor, Caedus heard the cries of men and women, as medical droids rushed from room to room, many carrying medicines, or dispensing prescriptions, clanking on the hard-smooth floor as they did.


    Making his way at last to the elevator, Caedus hit the button and the door opened promptly, and on the side of the door, Caedus typed in the code for the bridge level, and the elevator shot upwards, The moffs will no doubt, hew and cry like children, given not a few of them are in body bags now. Cowardly men, for all their bluster and bravado, the Moffs were always keen to have someone else do the dying for them, they desired power, prestige, a revived empire, but they as a whole were not willing to fight for it themselves. Still…they were dangerous, and I can not risk any unexpected defections or last moment battle betrayals.


    The elevator stopped, with a sudden thud, and he was on the bridge. The automatic durasteel enforced doors opened, and he stepped out with a reserved urgency, noticing the mods standing around the command consoles, and barking insults at the pilots sitting in their chairs.


    Moffs Lecersen, Jowar, Rosset, and Rezer turned around, and approached him as a unified front. Stepping in front of his colleagues, Lecerscen spoke, “Lord Caedus, the fleet has sustained heavy damage, but repairs are nearly finished, Admiral Bwua’tu pulled off a master stroke, with his quick thinking and of course his firepower.” The implication of the praise was obvious, Lecerscen was implying Admiral Nek Bwua’tu not him, was responsible for the victory over the enemy at Nickel One. Caedus curled his lips and smiled,


    “Admiral Bwua’tu has done a great service for the Galactic Alliance, his patriotism even in the face of homeworld’s treason is most commendable.”


    “As it stands, we have to focus on the future, the Jedi and their allies will strike again, and since we do not know their current location, we remain vulnerable so long as we remain here.”


    The moffs remained still, but for small flexing of their fingers and twirling eye lids, their gaze straight but arcing downward. “Lost your nerve?” Moff Rezer snarled. The contempt in the man’s voice obvious.


    Ignoring the provocation, Caedus continued “Coruscant is well fortified, we will lick our wounds there and assess the situation from a position of strength.”


    The Moffs seemed to dither momentarily, unsure whether to suck up to his word, or challenge his mettle. Finally, Lecerscen spoke. “I concur, my Lord we need to return to safer territory.” Again, the implication obvious, and again, Caedus ignored the provocation. “The fleet will be ready to jump to hyperspace in less than five standard hours.”



    The trip back to the Jedi caravan at Shedu Maad was a silent one. Leia had cried all her tears for a week, into Han’s shoulder, into the dashboard. Into her bunk.


    I lost her, I failed her. Why did I agree to let Luke send her on this damned mission? She had been so…confident, so willing to do what had been unthinkable, but what needed to be done. Han vacillated between a white-hot rage, having crushed at least three buttons on the Falcon’s board, marginal controls thankfully, and a deep silent sadness. His face red with impotent anger and wet with tears. It had been a silent trip, barring a few words, “please”, “thank you”, “Han”, “Leia”.


    And now they were docked on the Loyal Dragon. A Hapan battle dragon with the Jedi coalition, loaned from Queen Mother Tenel Ka. The door of the falcon opened, with its characteristic sound of steam and pistons. Leia and Han walked off the falcon, holding each other. Hapan soldiers, Jedi knights, and other personnel looked in their direction, their expressions a mixture of curiosity and concern.


    In the distance of the hangar, a figure ran in their direction…hard.


    “Han, Leia!” Corran shouted, his face and beard flush with concern.


    “Jaina, I felt her passing…” Corran said, Leia nodded, “I felt it, Caedus killed her” “She failed, Corran”. “I don’t know what will happen now.”


    Han turned to her, and said, “I know what’s going to happen, Luke is going to hunt down Jacen, he’s going to hunt him down and he’s going to make him pay, he’s going to send him to the nine hells, I should have sent him there myself the day he was born.”


    Leia turned and whimpered a bit, she had heard similar harsh remarks from Han regarding their son before, but she could not bring up the will to say anything, even in agreement.


    “The rest of the council sensed it as well, Grandmaster Skywalker has not left his meditation, he refuses food, or sleep.” “Do you want to see him?” “Yes.” Leia replied, firmly and simply. The three of them, then went to the elevator on the Loyal Dragon and hit the code to go to the bottom of the ship.


    It was a quick trip, and the lower floor was more dimly lit, spacious with rooms separated by wide areas. And a communal area in the center.


    Kyp Durron greeted the trio when they left, “his expression was one of immense sadness, his hair was greying all the faster” Leia seemed to notice. He didn’t speak, but Leia could sense through the force he was barely holding himself together, he had forged a bond with her daughter in the darkest days of the Vong War, and had forestalled her descent into the dark side, “He must hurting deeply”,


    “Master Skywalker has been informed of your arrival; he will be here soon”. Kyp left the three, and then Corran spoke, “I’m sorry I need to speak to Cilghal”, and excused himself, heading back to the elevator.


    At the end of the hall, a figure in dark robes approached “Han, Leia I’m so sorry.” Luke said, he looked like he had aged a decade, and while he was hiding his emotions in the force, Leia could sense a maelstrom, deep despair, an iron resolve, and frighteningly, a nigh implacable hate, that made her very being chill.


    “Jaina died, Luke.” “She died on your orders”. “I know Leia, I know.” “I felt her death in the force, her pain, and her confusion.” “You sent all my children to die”, Han said, his fists stiffening, “you killed them all”, “Jacen and Anakin died above Myrkr, and Jaina died fighting the monster in Jacen’s body”.


    “All this Jedi business, what has it brought but disaster for my family!” Han was red hot furious now, and Leia had reacted quickly before he said something he regretted, “Han, you’re not thinking straight, go rest now”.


    Leia said, infusing her voice with force enhanced persuasion. Stuttering for a moment, Han complied and left, turning chairs over in anger as he did. She didn’t like doing that, using the force to overpower her husband, but it had to be done, it had to be done.


    “Thank you, Leia”. Luke said relieved he did not have to face down an angry Han Solo. “Jaina fought him, I projected an illusion of myself over her, and it broke, Caedus knew he was fighting her, so I had to cast an illusion of myself elsewhere, so as to distract him”.


    “I hoped his fear of me, would allow her to escape…or strike a killing blow.” “Apparently Darth Caedus did not lose his nerve, like I had foreseen he would.” Luke gritted his teeth, and held back his obvious tears, “the fault lies with me, not Jaina”. “Was, was, she does not ready for this?”


    Luke remained silent for a moment, and then responded, “No I think was, Caedus proved less predictable than I had hoped.” “As you know, she had no hope of fighting him on her own, I couldn’t fool Caedus when it was most needed”. “I failed, not her.” Leia breathed in slowly and wiped her face “What will you do now”, she asked her voice forced with to be strong and not to quiver. “I will destroy Darth Caedus, one way or another”.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
    Anedon likes this.
  5. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    This is actually a thing I recently noticed gets often forgotten in the EU, that the option of reattachment exsists, the reason Tenel Ka couldn´t go for it was that her saber blew up with her severed hand, yet outside of that people still get a prostetic even if the body part was recovered.

    That defently makes sense, Ben is invaluable as a prisoner so its the smartest thing for Jacen to do to deal with him himself.

    Kinda ironic Jacen considers this given it was a vision of the future that convinced him to go evil, instead of seeking another way to prevent it. ;)

    Intresting thought, he has realized he has been fooled so he wondered if this was the only instance.

    Very dark moment, kinda ironic when one considers just how little his family grieved for him when the fates where reversed.

    This is another thing SW often tends to ignore, violence in the movies and EU is often kind of "clean" people die directly so we rarely see the injured, wounded or crippled. This entire side of war is rarely brought up. Also kinda shows that Jacen is still somewhere there, as Caedus still shows empathy to his wounded soldiers, just like Jacen would.

    Oh the irony here...

    This is actually pretty rare to see Han self reflective as this, he tends to be a person seeking blame by anyone but him. Like blaming Anakin for Chewie´s death.

    And here we see a pretty natural turn of events, after blaming himself Han is now firmly back to seeking the blame with others to escape the pain. Will say I just find it disgusting how he talks about Jacen here, but also wonder: If Han(and Leia) had been just a bit more intrested in their older son, if they had at least attempted to understand him, instead of brushing of his thoughts with snark, would this have prevent the distance that grew between him and them and with that Caedus from ever coming into exsistance?

    First it was himself, then Jacen, now Luke, Han is pretty good at shifting blame isn´t he?

    That´s probably true even in the OTL kinda sad if one considers where they came from.

    And so its on now, Luke finally resolving to do what he should have done weeks earlier, going himself instead of sending his niece as a patsy.

    Great chapter :)
     
  6. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Thanks!

    Yeah, I get the impression its more time intensive than prosthetics. Given the nerves and what not have to be re-attached where they were. In canon, the option was presented to him but Caedus declined due to time concerns.

    Caedus' pov shouldn't be taken as objectively true-he's convinced himself utterly he's in the right. The fact he mourns his sister just serve to reinforce the circle of self righteous denial of doubt. (which it one thing I find interesting in LOTF-jacen's mindset seems to be, "I'm doubting, I'm hurting, therefore I haven't lost my way")

    He's definitely concerned, you could say that's the true POD. Caedus catching on Luke was playing mental chess with him.

    In Invincible Ben apparently escapes with great ease, I found that stupid, that aside-I think Caedus would want to be there, and not leave the interrogation to someone as unreliable and "soft" as Tahiri.

    Its' Leia's POV. But yeah she's embraced a utilitarianism totally here.

    Han is angry and grieving, he needs someone to focus his emotion on.

    Luke won't go after him just yet, both due to fear of the "taint", he may wait, or he may send another strike team of masters. Luke for fear of falling absolutely wants to forestall a direct confrontation with Caedus, as long as possible.
     
    Anedon likes this.
  7. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    I agree with Anedon, this is a painful reminder of what battles cost us in terms of casualties. Wounded far outnumber the KIA.

    I do not think Han is wrong. Luke approved Anakin's suicide mission to Myrkr, and told Jaina that she had to be the one to kill her brother.

    One stylistic note: it makes it easier to read if you make each character's 'conversation' a new line.

    Thanks for writing!
     
    Anedon likes this.
  8. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    I should hopefully have the next chapter out soon. No action, just people talking and going places-which is apparently a lot harder to write than action and more intensive stuff.

    True, and I wanted to show case that for being a Sith Lord Jacen is not indifferent to life or suffering. That part of him is still there. He cares very much about the men and women under his authority, and that is why they respect him. Also come to think of it-SW weapons means injuries are going to be lots of burns and tissue destruction so wounded soldiers are going to be either really numb or in terrible agony.

    Han at this stage kind of rolls with Jedi stuff. Thus earlier he didn't question Leia's sensation of Jaina's death in the force. But now two of his children are dead, and the other is dead to him metaphorically. Its easy for him to blame Luke. While that position is definitely understandable-Jedi are often in situations where dying is a real possibility if sometimes not a certainty. The Jedi life is one with great inherent risk, Anakin and Jaina understood that, and Han does too-he's just lost all his children and looking for someone to express his anger on.

    Thanks for commenting!
     
  9. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Chapter 3 Part One

    Snarling blue eyes stared deep into his soul, as a green lightsaber ignited vibrating as its owner stroked the handle, he was afraid. There was no escape this time, no aid. His own lightsaber sprung to life and the room was filled with sparks and light. Then…silence. The snarling monster stepped on and kicked over his corpse, his eyes a golden yellow, burning hotter than a red star. He saw the monster sitting on a throne, with a woman and a man to his left and right. The monster’s eyes again looked at him. Two bodies lay sprawled on the ground, as security personnel stormed the ruined chamber, and worlds burned and burned and burned. He now stood triumphant over the snarling wild beast; its head cleanly sliced off as an unseen crowd roared somewhere outside. He saw eyes like his own, sad and righteous and then he saw no more.


    “My Lord we are about to enter orbit over Coruscant.” A GAG corporal sounded over the Anakin Solo’s intercom system.

    “Thank you for informing me.” Darth Caedus responded somewhat groggily.

    As Caedus awoke from his light sleep. Looking at his sparse quarters, he pulled over the sheets and inhaled as he engaged in some routine stretches by the bed. Straightening his back while contorting his arms around his torso, and moving his legs behind his shoulders, he sighed audibly as the muscled popped and squeezed. There was a little pain, pain in his joints, pain in his severed arm, his legs tottered, and his body howled, howling for sleep, for more rest. Yet Darth Caedus had no intention of returning to bed, not today anyway.

    Finishing his morning exercise routine, he put on his standard GAG uniform. Looking into the mirror, Caedus could see his own face, his eyes were sunken ever deeper into his head, and dark purple blotches had formed beneath them. He was not sleeping well. The visions of the past hours were only one example of how fate seemed to torment him in his sleep. One of the many burdens he had chosen to bear and comforts he had rejected and given up. He was so very tired, and had not recovered from the Battle of Roche, despite medical assistance and even a brief healing trance.

    Clipping his lightsaber to his belt, and making himself presentable, he left his sparse quarters and walked across the dimly lit hallway to the hangar bay. He passed by GA soldiers and Galactic Alliance Guardsmen, who were on morning duty shift, the men bowing to him in silent deference.

    Entering the hangar, Caedus observed a Lambda class shuttlecraft had been prepared for his arrival to Coruscant, the entry rampart flanked by two stormtroopers.

    The pilot was silent, addressing him with a brief bow of his head, which was helmeted in Imperial fashion.

    Soon I might be leading an army of stormtroopers alone. Caedus thought.

    I must take care to ensure the Moffs do not become too entrenched in the Galactic Alliance, edging out GA soldiers, pilots, bureaucrats, and intelligence personnel. If they managed to insert their forces into my government, I would not be able to trust these men not to put a blaster bolt in my back as soon as the Moffs felt they could pull it off. With that said, I have resolved to treat them respectfully, not threaten them, not attack them, not overawe them.


    As the shuttle descended into the Coruscanti atmosphere, Darth Caedus observed the passing traffic, countless beings going about their business most of them oblivious to the war that was being waged for their future, their children’s future.

    “Colonel Solo, you are cleared to land”.

    A monotone voice sounded on the shuttle’s com frequency.

    “Roger that.” Caedus responded.

    The shuttle landed on the tarmac only a few moments later. With an audible squeak, the shuttle’s doors opened automatically as the Sith Lord walked down the ramp. To find Tahiri Veila in her GAG uniform waiting for him.

    “I was wondering where you were, I heard you lost a leg.”.

    Tahiri looked at his arm, and then at him, appraising, with an expression on her face somewhere between clinical curiosity and genuine concern.

    “I did lose an appendage, so the rumors were not entirely false”. Caedus responded.

    “Your sister?” Tahiri inquired.

    “I was surprised when you told me Jaina had been sent after you, you had stated you felt with certainty, you had foreseen it was Luke who was coming for you.”

    She seems perplexed. Caedus thought.

    “It has come to my attention that my visions may have been…interfered with.” Caedus responded. Tahiri looked uncomfortable, and then noticeably less relaxed than she had only a second before.

    “But we should not discuss this here, let’s go to my office.” Tahiri nodded and flanked by at least fifteen GAG guards, with regular coruscanti police speeders circling the sky above them, both Sith master and Sith apprentice went into the Galactic Alliance Senate building.

    Reaching his office, Caedus dismissed the squad of guards behind him with a quick gesture, that was understood to mean “out now”.

    The door closed behind them, as they entered his sparse office chambers, Caedus went over to the caf dispenser and with one hand, poured himself a small cup.

    “What do you mean, interfered with?” Tahiri asked. “Is everything, you have foreseen a lie?”. Now she looked genuinely concerned, and her lip started to quiver. Her lack of resoluteness was…most troubling, now even after all the work he had put into making her a Sith Lady.

    “No, I do not believe that.” Caedus responded. “Luke Skywalker has sought to distract, deflect and misdirect.” “He is afraid of me; he is afraid of the future I have foreseen.”

    Tahiri still looked unconvinced, “But how can you be sure?” “How do you know; he hasn’t played you from the beginning?” She looked for reassurance, anything to not worsen her nagging doubts.

    “To tell you the truth, I do not know”. Caedus said. A sober undertone in his voice.

    “I believe he sought to distract from me from realizing it was Jaina, not him who had been sent to kill me.” Caedus walked over to his desk, and leaned against it, not without a casual stride.

    “He cast an illusion over Jaina, he sought to convince me, I was fighting my uncle, not my sister.”

    “You did not know your sister was coming after you?” Tahiri inquired. “How will you plan to not be fooled the next time?” If you would only listen, I would teach you.

    “Luke has seen the same visions, I have.” Caedus put a hand on her shoulder “We fight, and regardless of who wins. The galaxy is transformed.” He wondered if he should be stern, or reassuring, with Tahiri it was almost impossible to know which method worked when.

    “You don’t always win?” Tahiri asked again. “What happens when Luke wins?”

    “Darkness”, “eternal darkness”. Jacen replied. “My uncle is powerful, in fact he is the most powerful Jedi who has ever lived, and perhaps will ever live. I do not have a guarantee of victory over Luke Skywalker, the force doesn’t make guarantees. Nor does the future.”

    “I can sense his presence, I can feel him, even now a massive shadow, a blade hovering the neck of the galaxy.” Jacen put his hand on her face, and cupped her chin, “Tahiri, we will win, Luke Skywalker will not stand in the way of the galaxy we are making. He will not destroy my work. Our work.”

    He looked deep into her eyes, and she melted completely into his confidence.

    “One other thing my Lord” Tahiri spoke up, “Ben is in our custody, he is in a high security cell in the Galactic Alliance Justice building.” Tahiri spoke proudly, “I have not broken him yet, but he is wavering.”

    “Excellent” Darth Caedus said, his voice soft and cold. “He will give us the current whereabouts of the Jedi caravan, and he has other intelligence that might be of value.” She was learning, and growing perhaps his concerns were not so founded?

    “Do you wish to speak to him today?” Tahiri questioned. “Perhaps you might have better luck getting what we need out of him than I did.” Tahiri looked rather flabbergasted. ‘He is an unfortunately stubborn and strong-willed boy.”

    “Even the strongest will break, Ben has yet to learn what pain, true pain, can teach him.” Caedus turned and glanced out the duraglass window, “I will visit our guest tomorrow.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
    Anedon likes this.
  10. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    So we start with another vision, guess at this point Jacen has become so convincved of this that he believes it without thining.

    Think this is an intresting little detail. Despite being in such a powerfull position he still keps his personal quarters sparse, he is clearly not intrested in riches or luxury like many other Sith would.

    Oh know that feeling all to well from work. ;) Think defenetly shows Jacens comittment that he ignores the pain and goes and, can´t be good for either his pysical nor mental health in the long run.

    And here we have it, the impact all of this has on him. Makes one kinda wish, despite all he has done, to place a hand on his shoulder and tell him he doesn´t have to bare this burden all on his own, that he should stop destroying himself. Makes it kind of an intresting parallel to his brother Anakin, who also pressed on, instead to rest and heal as Jacen suggested back then.

    This is kind of a thing I really don´t like in LotF makeing the empire Jacen´s main followers. Just puts him once again too close to the Sith that came before. Think maybe having Hapes as his main supporters could have been more intresting and different.

    Here we clearly see just how deep Jacen has gotten into his messiahs complex at this point, believing himself the sole protector of these people, while at the same time having no problems killing people from the populace of the galaxy if he has too.

    This makes me question Jacen´s thoughts a bit. Wasn´t it clear to him that Tahiri was in the end a broken lovesick womanchild, not really the material for a Sith in the first place?

    Certianly a valid point, could probably apply to many SW characters. ;)

    Think he sums it up pretty well here, in the end its just about who can make the choices for the galaxies future, him or Luke. And seeing how Luke put people like Daala and Saba in charge one wonders if Jacen´s endgame is really that much worse.

    Actually he has, well he will have just a few sentences further. ;)

    Makes one wonder if its truly Luke he feels here but instead someone else who is standing of the background of all of this, who considers Jacen nothing but a lighting rod....

    And here we have it, the ultimate trump card. The one being in the galaxy Luke Skywalker would do everything for, the one being he would die for without a blink.

    That is certianly an aspect tough I find a bit suprising using him against Luke isn´t brought up at all.

    Kind of ironic, now Ben who has always been so much 'holier than you' towards Jacen will have to go trough the same Jacen went trough. Maybe then he will understand.
     
  11. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Can’t say much about this because spoilers.

    The interesting thing about this, at least as Invincible shows it, the empire is his allies. Not his powerbase. Caedus is allied with the Moffs, and he doesn’t trust them, and they don’t trust him. It’s an alliance of convenience.

    Jacen has completely embraced an ethics of consequentialism. He considers himself the gardener and everyone else is either a flower to be protected or a weed to be pruned.

    Tahiri was always a second option. Ben would have been the one to corrupt. Caedus never it enough time with Ben to break him, without interference. Jaina or Leia would have made better apprentices in terms of power but would have been far harder to convince or break. Tahiri is basically the best of a bad hand as far as apprentices go-and so Caedus has to work with the material he has, to his chagrin.

    Indeed. Though for Tahiri it’s anxiety and doubt, not lack of humility that prevents her here.

    A Luke-Caedus duel will be transformative one way or another. And Caedus simply saying that. If Luke wins-all of his work goes away. If Caedus wins...

    Caedus may have not considered the idea. Remember this is from his POV.

    Ben will come up next chapter. :)

    Thanks for reading!
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
    Anedon likes this.
  12. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    But that is what Jacen is too, right? Not totally resolute in his 'sith-ness'? I think that is what could have made an interesting story for both of them...sacrificing themselves for the common good.

    Is this Tahiri's thought...or Jacen's? It makes more sense it it's Tahiri...she's saying that she can teach Jacen as well. Something makes their 'relationship' more than just master-apprentice. Other than a bargaining tool, I've never really understood why Jacen bothered with Ben at all...Tahiri is probably just as strong, and certainly more 'morally flexible'...why not just focus on her?

    Thanks for writing!
     
    Anedon likes this.
  13. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Yeah that´s something I´ve been wondering as well. Guess Denning wanted to put his new and improved young generation lead character in the spotlight. Thing is he would have been good for one thing, to get Luke killed. But instead he Jacen tries to make him his apprentice when he already has one.
     
  14. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Remember Tahiri is not the apprentice Jacen wanted. That was Ben. Ben didn’t pan out. So Jacen is concerned he has an apprentice less than fully committed. That was why he had to use promises that he knew to be false(which wasn’t a very good way of making her an apprentice in the long run). As it is, Tahiri doesn’t strike me as overly concerned with the common good.

    Tahiri is anxious and a bit on edge over Luke intervening in Jacen’s visions, she’s doubting and concerned-especially if Jacen were to die. It’s jacen’s thought here. Frustration really.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
  15. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Then why bother with an apprentice at all? I know you're just working with what Denning gave us, so that is really directed at profic. I mean, if you cannot have the apprentice you want, don't settle for one that you don't think will work.

    I don't know that I agree...she was a Jedi, so I think she was still concerned about doing the right thing. I do think, however, that she really wanted a sense of belonging...and Jacen gave her that. I will forever wish that their relationship had been better written.
     
  16. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Oh I agree, and to write an Invincible AU-you have to work with profic flaws and all. I would say Jacen wanted to emulate the Rule of Two, so he felt he needed an apprentice.

    One very important thing to bring up, and I have before-Tahiri is not the strongest of characters.

    -Kidnapped and raised by tuskens
    -brainwashed by the Vong
    -lost her boyfriend, who she would have spent her life with otherwise
    -got sent to Dagobah
    -by LOTF was lacking in direction and still hurting over Anakin's death.

    I think Jacen does feel some degree of empathy for her, in Invincible he considers giving her that kiss Anakin asked him too. I do agree the relationship should have been written better-two lonely broken people finding solace, as much as was possible in their circumstance.
     
  17. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    It was cold. So very cold. Either the heating system wasn’t working deep in the Galactic Alliance Justice Department’s headquarters, or the government was intentionally pumping cold air through the ventilation system. Ben suspected the latter was more likely. He had been in here now for over a week, or well at least he thought so. It does not help I do not have a blanket, or any sort of bedding at all.

    Ben thought as he sat on his cot. He could hardly see anything, as there was not even a single light in his cell, and the small opening in the door was bereft of any entering light at all.

    The guards (or more likely a security droid) slipped small morsels of food and a cup of water through the door. He had not seen Tahiri in days, she had attempted to seduce him, to use his adolescent hormones against him in exchange for information. Ben had been so tempted, so willing to give in, and he found himself feeling pity for Tahiri, and desire.

    She had lost a lot in the war, and Jacen had promised her something, anything to give her life direction again. Something to live for, after his cousin died.

    Tahiri after failing to use his hormones against him, had instead tortured a friend instead, Lon Shevu to get him to give up the location of the Jedi Coalition’s current headquarters. Shevu had died, as Tahiri had used too much force lightening, a concentrated blast and killed him in front of Ben. Ben had attempted to escape but was himself blasted with the lightning and Tahiri had left enraged closing the door behind her.

    The walls were made of solid duracrete reinforced with durasteel inside. At this level, no doubt there were sensors and electrical relays to detect any attempt at tunneling through the walls, ceiling, or floor. There was no doubt Tahiri had also placed Ysamiliri lizards somewhere in the halls. to prevent him using the force. Not that it mattered anyway, even if he did force blast his way out, hundreds of security personnel would be on top of him in seconds and he wouldn’t be able to fight them all and even if he did-Caedus no doubt had some protocol for blowing the building sky high or the GAG itself did.

    How much longer am I going to be in here? If Jaina was to succeed and kill him, I would be let out surely? Caedus’s government would surrender and all political prisoners or espionage agents would be released. But wouldn’t there be some time in between? Days at least? I just do not know. Ben fretted to himself. Deep breaths, concentrate. Do not worry about what is out of your power.

    Ben breathed in and took purposeful meditative breaths.

    But what if Jaina had failed? What if she had been forced to flee? Or worse…killed or captured? No, Ben thought she had prepared for this, if the worst happened and she failed to kill him she would simply retreat and wait for another opportunity. After all, she only needed to succeed once.

    Luke would come surely; his father had always been there. Always coming to save the day when he had been unable to save himself. Maybe now, Luke was on his way to Coruscant, and no amount of security measures or expert guards would stop him.

    Ben could almost see his father blasting down the door, with that smile he always had and them leaving together cutting down Jacen’s foot soldiers as they went.

    He has not come though. He will. He will.

    Ben assured himself.

    The holographic map of the galaxy was as large as a state dinner table, with the projector being 45 meters in length and 65 meters in width and rectangular in shape. Around the holoprojector stood Moffs, Senators, Galactic Alliance Admirals, as well as Director Girdun of GA intelligence.

    “As you can see, Colonel Solo the Confederates are losing everywhere. The destruction of much of their fleet at Centerpoint and Roche has left them teetering. We hope some of the less steadfast members will start sending out peace feelers. With the loss of Centerpoint and our recent victories-the Corellians can no longer pretend to be heroically defying us and standing up against tyranny.”

    Girdun paused before continuing.

    “Of course, we believe the Corellians and Bothans will fight to the bitter end and have no intention of surrender. But with Hutt support, limited as it is, wavering, and the surrender of Fondor, other members of the Confederation will have to decide if they want to go down with the Corellians or get the best terms now while they still can.”

    “Thank You Director Girdun”.

    Caedus responded, his eyes lingering over the man who wilted back at his gaze. “Your welcome, sir”.

    “As you can see, my friends we are well on the road to victory with the support of our friends in the Empire and propelled by the momentum of our victories, we will break the Confederation and we will break its allies.” Caedus propounded, “the force is with us”.

    Appealing to the Moffs’ vanity and vainglory was always a good way of keeping them subdued, as well as distracted, though over praising them was just as dangerous.

    “With my sister’s failed assassination, we have more reason to believe my uncle is increasingly desperate, I know my former colleagues in the order will not wish to remain hostile to their government forever. And I believe we will achieve some results in neutralizing the Jedi coalition soon.”

    Moff Lecerscen looked skeptical, “Do you mean there will be a split in the order’s ranks, or that we will be able to hunt them down and destroy them in one blow, Lord Caedus?” Turning his eyes to the man, Caedus responded,

    “As it so happens, just both the defection and surrender of some of the order’s more…sensible members will allow us to destroy the remainder. Of course, any Jedi that surrenders who is not an apprentice will have to face a treason trial, and the consequences of their insurgency.”

    “What of the Hapans? Do we have any news of their current disposition?”

    Senator Maralan of Alsakan asked. “With the recent losses, we believe the Hapans will be less able to contribute to future military action against the Galactic Alliance.” Girdun responded,

    “We do not believe the Hapan nobility is willing or able to execute a coup against the Queen Mother at this time, and our sources corroborate that Queen Mother Tenel Ka has solidified her position, with the failure of the pro Confederate plot last year, any nobles opposed to her or her stance likely are unwilling to risk punitive action for conspiring now, in a time of war, and we have had no success at contacting anyone of note on Hapes who might be interested in working with us.” That was an open wound, she had left me utterly alone. If I must kill her, I will. I don’t want to though, I... Regaining his immediate concentration,

    “I know Tenel Ka, she is a warrior and a canny politician in her own right, she has likely disposed of any serious opposition in the court or bureaucracy.”

    Sensing her presence in the force as she stepped into the chamber, Caedus looked around and announced,

    “I believe this meeting is adjourned; we will reconvene in sixty standard hours.”

    The throng of generals, senators, intelligence officers and Moffs exited through the two doors leading to the Galactic Alliance Senate building.

    “Meeting go well.” Tahiri crossed her arms, her eyes dead set on him. “Well enough.” “There has been another disturbance in one of the camps.” Tahiri said.

    “More, angry Corellians and Bothans attacking guards, nothing that couldn’t be handled by some electrostaffs and wild blaster fire in the air.”

    “It doesn’t matter, we have the facility closed off and heavily guarded, there is no risk of the prisoners escaping.”

    She needs to stop over concerning himself with these small situations. It isn’t good for her development into a proper Sith Lady”.

    “If you say so…Lord Caedus”.

    Tahiri responded. Walking beside her, they left the situation room and walked through the halls, outside and watched the Coruscanti skylines, as they got into Caedus’ personal speeder craft and headed for his apartment just a few blocs away. Today has been productive.

    Caedus mused, with a full day of speaking to Senators, analyzing the strategic situation, and sparring with Tahiri. Who had herself spent the day, studying Sith holocrons and dusty tomes, practicing her Huttese with a protocol droid, sparring with him, and monitoring public events on Coruscant and its star system?

    “What do you plan on doing with Ben tomorrow?” Tahiri asked,

    “I plan on getting the location of the secret Jedi base. I plan on teaching him, teaching him to embrace the hopeless void.” “Do you me to be there, after I failed my Lord.”

    Tahiri asked, her tone clearly docile and whimpering.

    “Yes, I do. Its clear your training in interrogation needs more live experience. I am displeased with your failure, Tahiri, but I am not angry with you, we learn from our mistakes, that is why the force lets us make them.”

    Going to his apartment, they entered the sparse living room, and went to take showers. Two hours later, Tahiri lay asleep next to him. An hour had been spent showering and eating dinner, and another hour had been in bed, before Tahiri dozed off tired. Jacen himself began to sleep, only to see what appeared to be hateful eyes looking at him on the other side of the room before they vanished.

    Not today.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
    Anedon likes this.
  18. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Seems he is having it pretty rough, but then again, its a paradise compared to what Jacen went through when he was captured by the Vong.

    This is really an intresting nod to Ben´s later relationship with Vestara. Kinda makes one think that a pretty girl is enough to have him throw away his morals and loyalities.

    Oh right that guy, kinda forget "poor innocent little Tahiri" fried him alive. Tough to be fair so did everyone else as well in FotJ.

    That´s certianly quite the precautions taken to keep him captive, will say I tought about similiar concepts for Jacen´s cell in my main story.

    That´s actually pretty naive, even tough it kinda did happen in the OTL. But if one things how the empire continued to go for many years after the emperor had died its kind of silly to just assume Jacen´s goverment will fall appart without him. Especially as we see clear loylists to his side.

    This utter admiration Ben has for his father, makes one wonder how things would have gone if Ben had become older and more rebellious against his old man.

    The rats are leaving the sinking ship, the Confederation really is just a bunch of opportunistic nationalists so it makes sense seeing them turn upon each other when things turn sour.

    Still think the best way to break the JC is simply kill Luke via using Ben, without him the order and its allies will shatter.

    So Moff "I am evil" is here as well, guess he would be one of the first weeds on his own side Jacen will get rid of once the war is won.

    Not sure if this is actually very smart, I mean officially that could be his policy but I think it would make more sense for Jacen to hand out pardons to several memebers who surrender. Cause if he puts them all on trial many will rather go down fighting than that.

    Really makes one wonder how the Hapan with 63 worlds can really be a galatic player in the first place. Especially as other minors like say the CSA are said to have hundrets if not thousands of settled worlds.

    I mean he could simply try to leak the information about Allana´s true parentage to the Hapan nobitlity to take Hapes out of the war. Tough that could also endanger Allana.

    Intresting how he still cares for her, despite her basically using him in the past and then turning her back on him when he needed her the most. Shows there is still something of Jacen left.

    Oh I get that reference. ;)

    Well ignoring the small issues can cause a lot of trouble even to Sith, Jacen. You should remember that.

    At least one thinge he has learned over his grandfather.

    So you are including this part? Not sure if I´m happy about it, but its your choice. Would like to see this continue, actually lead somewhere.

    Nice chapter. :)
     
  19. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    I imagine its fairly standard for prisoners especially high profile ones.

    He's a teenager, and very much has the desires of a teenager. In fairness to him, his discipline is well beyond what most teenagers could do.

    Yeah, Tahiri isn't doing good things.

    Remember this is from a fourteen year old's perspective. Naivety is part of the package. Ben's assumption seems to be-Jacen is defeated, he goes free. Which isn't true.

    For all of Luke's flaws-he is an inspiring dad.

    The Confederates best hope is Jacen dies and somehow the Jedi's plans to bring peace fail, and thus they'd turn the tide. Maybe flip the Hapans. But with Centerpoint gone-a total confederate victory isn't really possible at this stage.

    Depends-if someone like Saba took charge, the Jedi would continue as a menace.

    The Hapans have likely suffered high losses especially in ships and even with their wealth-they can't recover those losses immediately.

    That would definitely endanger Allana's life which isn't what Jacen wants.

    He does love her still. And it hurts him to have to fight her.

    Well I didn't, what was it? It may have been subconscious on my part. And I'll recognize it when you tell me :)

    Don't take Jacen's attitude at face value here-that's all I can say.

    Part of his reset in being a new mature Sith Lord. At the very least Tahiri didn't allow Ben to escape and as Ben surmises used Ysalamiri in the chamber to prevent him trying again.

    TBH-I imagine its something they do for comfort, they likely avoid even talking about it. Jacen obviously does care for Tahiri, and Tahiri wants Jacen to feel she matters. If they don't even think about it, or talk about it then they can pretend there is no issue to be resolved and its just to pass time or not feel as alone.

    Thank you!
     
  20. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Man, being a prisoner in the GAG is even worse than Alcatraz! At least they had blankets and pillows.

    Which is why I don't think he would ever kill Tenel Ka. If the whole point is to keep his daughter safe, than he needs a stable Hapes.

    I'm confused by this: Corelia is a 'galactic player', right? And it's only 7 worlds? I think that the amount of resources Hapes could generate would make them a pretty potent ally...or adversary.

    This still doesn't bother me, actually. I would just prefer if he didn't think about her so derogatory!

    Thanks for writing!
     
  21. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    He'd do it. But it would affect him greatly. He doesn't want to, but that's all I'll say on that.

    Hapes is rich. Its wealth allows it to punch above its weight class. The Hapan military is professional and capable, though given their recent losses they can contribute a lot less.

    Caedus' attitude towards Tahiri is a mixture of hope, trepidation, and concern. There's also the consideration of ensuring she doesn't have any leverage over him.

    Your welcome!
     
  22. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Chapter 4

    “The faint sun of Coruscant shone through the apartment window, he looked outside to see all the passing speeders, countless beings going about their mundane business, to work, to school, to home.

    “Farm boy is finally up.”

    Luke rubbed his hand over his forehead, as he looked his wife in the eye.

    Her eyes were emerald green, and her lips perfectly smooth, as she smirked, “I made a pitcher of caf”.

    For both of us, pouring him a glass. “You usually don’t cook.” “I didn’t.” Mara replied, sitting down with him on the couch.

    “No trouble though.” Mara said.

    “Just thought you’d like the stimulant, after last night.” Luke sighed, then chucked a little.

    “Thought your heart was going to burst”.

    “Almost”.

    “I knew it would be worth your while.”

    Luke laughed, as he put his hand on her knee, and she put her arm around his shoulder. “So, when do you want to go the temple today.”

    Luke looked at the chromometer, “Maybe in an hour or so, as Grandmaster I don’t have to show up on time. Just you.”

    Mara bit his ear in response and did not respond. “You going to wake Ben up?” Luke asked, his senses coming to him with a little bit of the force and a lot of the caf to thank.

    “No, I’ll let him sleep in another hour, boys his age need their morning sleep.”

    “I didn’t get to sleep in, I had to be up straight at dawn, checking on the moisture vaparotor.” “You were in the middle of nowhere, he is in an oversized, undersupplied apartment.”

    Mara said. “True.” “Training with Jacen was very hard on him.”.

    “I hope Jacen kept in mind that Ben is thirteen.” “Were you any less hard on him, and besides Jacen is an excellent judge of limitation. I know Ben is in good hands with him.”

    Luke looked away, he had not liked Jacen as Ben’s tutor, it wasn’t that he didn’t see Jacen as capable, it was just…Luke couldn’t be sure Jacen wasn’t keeping them in the dark in some way, or that Jacen’s…different ideas on things might be influencing Ben.

    “At the moment, Jacen is with that new trainee, isn’t he?” Mara asked. “Nelani Dinn, she’s from Lorrd, I’ve observed a few times, she has the making of a fine swordswoman one day. An Ataru natural.”

    “I think she is taken a liking to him, I only observed them sparring once or twice, but I see the look in her eyes.” She has a crush on him, I can sense it.” Yet Jacen does not seem to notice at all.”

    “Or he’s just pretending not to.” He has become quite good at concealing what he thinks, and what he feels in the past few years.”

    “Who knows, maybe he’ll replace you as Grand Master one day.” Mara said cavalierly.

    “I wouldn’t mind, we may disagree on things, but if he did, I know he would be an excellent Grand Master.” Luke said in response.

    “I didn’t see Jaina though yesterday, she said she would stop by.” Mara looked at him, as if he were the biggest idiot in the galaxy, while smiling at the same time, “She’s probably out with another boyfriend, some celebrity, partier and playboy.”

    “The whole day?”.

    “Oh Luke, she’s a grown woman, let her have her fun. She isn’t abrogating her responsibilities.” Luke sighed in response, “I know, I know.”.

    Looking down at his chromometer, “Oh its ten hundred hours already. I need to get ready to head to the temple.”

    Giving his wife a quick kiss, he got up from their sofa and headed to the turboshower down the hall out from the living room.

    “I’ll be right behind you farmboy”.

    His wife shouted, as he turned around, and saw her frozen on the sofa, her smile, as warm and mischievous as ever. Then the room shook, and he heard a large buzzing noise, and the universe faded into mist…

    The bed he was sleeping in was empty, no Mara just a small pillow and a blanket. The ship’s buzzer was going off. It was 0700 hours. He had not slept in nearly a month, spending hours and hours in meditation, followed by countless council sessions, and plotting. Endless plotting. He had come so close to getting the advantage over Jacen to ending his worthless life on that asteroid.

    Another failure, they seem to be piling on my record now.”

    “Today, though was another day”.

    He got dressed quickly and did not bother with washing up, having taken a quick shower the previous night, before getting in six hours of sleep.

    Pressing the button, the door slid open on its own and facing him was a woman in a dark blue uniform, with red and white pips on her collar.

    “Master Skywalker, the Jedi council is already in session, and they sent me to get you.”

    Luke’s eyes narrowed as he observed her uniform, her black hair neatly cropped and presentable in her hat. She outstretched a hand, and he took it.

    “Lieutenant Serra Gedrell, military intelligence of the Queen Mother’s Royal Navy.” “Pleased to meet you sir.”

    “I wasn’t aware Tenel Ka had Hapan intelligence attaches with the council.”

    Walking down the hall and up to the elevator, with the woman a pace behind him. Gedrell responded, “I’m a liaison between the Hapan military and the Jedi coalition, I report directly to the Queen mother on what the Jedi Council has decided.” She responded with a neutral tone.

    “The queen felt that greater coordination between the Jedi and the Hapan military would serve to prevent further mistakes in the current conflict”.

    Sighing softly, Luke repressed his irritation, “Why didn’t Tenel Ka just ask, we would have told her anything she needed to know.”

    Turning back to her, “Thank you, and I hope that we can coordinate our efforts further to bring a quick end to the war.” She perked up a bit in response, just a slight wink in the eye.

    “Good then.”

    The elevator stopped, and on the first door ahead, was the small lounge area that was normally used for Hapan officers on break. The door opened automatically, and there in a rough circle stood the Jedi masters, his long-time colleagues, and friends. Gedrell moved over to a corner of the room, with what appeared to be a datapad in her hands.

    “I apologize for being late this morning, as you know I haven’t been sleeping very well, truth be told I haven’t been sleeping much at all.” The masters nodded their heads. Kyp gave a slight nod, Corran muttered something under his breath, Kyle was unreactive, and Saba hissed something unintelligible.

    Corran Horn spoke up, “No worries, Master Skywalker we had not even started.”

    “Thank you Corran”.

    Luke brushed aside a strand of his hair, deepened his voice, and then spoke,

    “Jacen has returned to Coruscant, and Ben is still in captivity.”

    The masters murmured amongst each other, Gedrell was absorbed in her datapad, likely recording every expression in the room, and Han clinched and unclinched his fists, as Leia now a fully fledged Jedi knight herself, looked at Han, Saba, him, and then back to Han.

    “Jacen is holed up in the Galactic Alliance Senate building, and at least three fleets, two alliance and one imperial are in the Coruscant system.”

    “You all know I had not planned for this to happen, but I was wrong. I thought I could deceive him long enough, for Jaina to end him.” The assembled masters did not flinch, nor complain, or shout, they had far too much respect for him to hold mistakes, even grave mistakes against him. Through the force, Luke sensed they were not even angry, merely dejected and despairing.

    “As the one who sent her, Jaina’s death is on my hands.”

    Luke said solemnly, it felt as if a heavy weight bore on his chest and shoulders, a burden that could not be lifted, or even ignored.

    “She was ready, I know she was, there was no doubt. I had seen her victorious.”

    “So, what’s our next move?” Corran asked, his arms crossed around his chest and his tone sour.

    “The Galactic Alliance, Jacen they are winning the war.” “We can’t win every battle; we can’t support our allies everywhere they are.” “We need to act now before the Confederation is defeated, if the Corellians and their partners sue for peace, if the Confederation breaks down, it will just be us, the Hapans, and Niathal’s fleet of renegades.” Corran concluded, his expression burning with barely concealed frustration.

    Hamner spoke up in response.

    “Master Horn, in war not every operation succeeds, sometimes they fail the first time.” “Master Skywalker’s strategy was and is fundamentally sound, cut off the head of the Dianoga and the body dies.” “Killing Jacen will bring the Galactic Alliance to terms.”

    “Master Hamner izzz rightsss, cuts of the head and the prey dropsss dead.” Saba intoned, “We will jusst have to continue the huntss”.

    Luke considered it for a moment,

    “The strategy is sound, its just a lot harder.”

    “Thank you, Master Sabatyne, and thank you Master Hamner, yes that is still our primary objective, deal with Jacen and we can end the war.” Sighing, Luke sat on the main couch, while the rest of the council remained standing.

    “The problem is, we cannot reach Jacen as easily now, he has thousands of soldiers and ships surrounding him, and more than that, he has my son.”

    “Master Skywalker, surely it would be no issue for a small team to infiltrate the planet and kill him.”

    Kyp said, his old youthful energy shining through, even as the man’s hair got greyer every year.

    “Master Katarn and I, as well as perhaps Master Sabatyne could infiltrate Coruscant in a matter of days and engage Caedus by the end of this week, probably sooner.” Kyp said earnestly, with burning eyes.

    “No”.

    Luke responded quietly.

    “You aren’t strong enough, none of you are.”

    “I will have to kill Jacen Solo.” “But not, not right now.” “I have seen the future, I know he has seen it too, if I kill him, I will fall.” “I know if I meet him, I will succumb to my anger.” “I won’t be able to say true to the code.”

    The masters were silent, and none of them gave an objection.

    “Other than that, Ben will likely die if Caedus senses me coming.”

    He whispered.

    “I have lost a wife, and a niece, I can not bare to lose a son.”

    “But I promise, I will not let Jacen win, we will harass his fleets, assassinate his lieutenants, and rally the galaxy against him.”

    Luke’s voice was now surging like the roaring waves in the Kaminoan ocean.

    “I will see him defeated, and I will see him dead, even if I must spend the rest of my life trying.”
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  23. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Really underlines that Ben is actually quite spoiled, especially when compared to the Solo kids. Defenetly one of the reasons I really don´t like him.

    Well I would guess at thirteen the Solo kids had been going through perils much more dangerous and testing than Ben ever did in his life.

    If it only came to that.

    Not sure if Mara would really be that positivley about Jacen and this negativley about Jaina, Jaina was her apprentice and is clearly her favourite Solo child.

    And here we get a bit of Luke´s messiahs complex, Jaina is his niece, a grown woman and yet he disaproves, acts as if her life choices should be his to make.

    And so this oh so noble and freedom loving Jedi order, a bastion of peace and tolerance is openly working with an oppressive, ultraconservative and corrupt regime. Honestly why isn´t Jacen milking this for propaganda?

    Good illustration just on how Luke dependant this council is, tough when the majority of members are his yes men that´s hardly suprising.

    Again their all yes men, no wonder Luke developed as Messiahs complex. Wonder why Kenth isn´t saying something at least, he´s had more backbone than the rest combined.

    And he is just as obessed with visions than Jacen is. Seriously why is everyone trusting visions 100 percent in the Denningverse?

    That´s probably the smartest thing someone said so far, they have the means to kill Jacen, just do it right this time.

    Funny to see these two get along for once. Even tough their entire mindset is the oppositte. Hamner wants to end the war and prevent any more deaths, Saba is more intrested in the thirll of the hunt.

    Again why is nobody questioning that vision? Its such a silly plot device.

    Yes especially considering how well that worked against the empire. Oh well no it didn´t what worked was killing the emperor himself.

    He is such a coward. He should just do it himself, did Kain need someone else to do his killing? No he lead his brother to fields and did it himself.

    Nice chapter, you really get Denningverse Luke and what makes him so unlikable, at least to me.
     
  24. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    He's the son of the Grandmaster, the defeater of the Emperor. Yeah he is living a privileged life.

    Luke doesn't trust Jacen. His concern about Jacen pushing Ben too far comes through on that regard.

    I think you misread it, Mara is pretty much blasé about Jaina's dating life. Luke is concerned.

    That, and they are extremely deferential to him. To the point of lacking initiative and any gumption of their own.

    Kenth has some sense.

    Here the two goals are aligned in fact.

    Welcome to Star Wars Invincible by Troy Denning.

    In fairness, a fallen Luke is a terrifying prospect. Luke should however take that risk, its on him now. Instead of kicking down the can.

    Yeah, Denning Luke in all his glory and detestableness.
     
  25. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Man, someone really needs to expand on Jacen's time at the academy as an instructor.

    Apparently, your head-cannon matches mine....Jaina's a bit of a party girl.

    I must be the only one who thinks that Tenel Ka's Hapes is much improved over the Ta'a Chume regime. Also, they've sided in this war with the Corellians, Commenorians and others who do not have a great track record with either peace or tolerance.

    Is that what the Jedi are now? Nothing but a group of assassins? Isn't this what the larger galaxy is afraid of -- a bunch of well-armed, well-trained monks who have special powers running amok? And who's to say that killing Jacen will make the GA sue for peace? From my reading, the GA still isn't driven by a cult-of-personality like the Empire (or Nazi Germany), they are a potent military force, and they are FAR from beaten. This doesn't make any sense...nor did it make any sense in LotF.

    So long as somebody else does the dirty work?

    I think you've really explored why Dennig's Luke is so hard to like...or even understand.
    Thanks for the udpate!
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2020