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Without Honor, There is Nothing. Update March 14, 2003

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Booster-1986, Aug 26, 2001.

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  1. Booster-1986

    Booster-1986 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    May 9, 2001
    This is a story revolving around two of my favorite supporting characters. It is not AU and it takes place in the period between the unmasking of the Thrawn imitator in Vision of the Future and events in Conquest. That is, roughly the period 19 years to 25 years after the death of Palpatine and Vader.

    The story itself is more or less an ensemble piece in that it will include all my favorite adult characters from the books preceding the NJO. It is presented in a sort of "the beginning is the end" and then we go back to the time which precipitates the beginning. I admit at the outset my great debt to Tim Zahn and Greg Keyes. The former for creating these wonderful characters and the latter for continuing to use them. I have used blue text to indicate direct quotes from the books, lest anyone feel I failed to attribute sources.

    As with all works here, I acknowledge the genius of GL in creating SW and the fact that these are his characters, not mine.

    ************


    ?Direct hit on the Idiot?s Array, sir,? H?sishi reported.

    ?Shada, are you there?? Kardde asked, over the comm.

    ?Still here, boss. They tickled us, but we can still keep up.?

    ?One more hit like that and you?re ions,? Kardde disagreed. ?Peel off. You?ve done enough.?

    ?Sorry boss. Can?t hear you. Something wrong with my comm unit. Hang tight, we?ll get you there.?

    The power on the Wilde Kardde suddenly dimmed and reasserted itself, and a distant vibration shivered the hull. ? He saw the Idiot?s Array take her final hit, right through the engines. Plumes of plasma streamed from her, and atomic devils danced in the ruined aft section.

    ?Get out of there, Shada!? he shouted into the comm.

    No answer came.

    ?What?s she doing, sir??

    ?She?s got a tractor lock on them. She must have diverted all her power to that. Everything.?

    An instant later the Idiot?s Array vanished in a sphere of pure white light, taking most of the Yuuzhan Vong destroyer with it.

    ?Shada,? Kardde murmured again, feeling very tired.


    *** The next day ***

    ?Captain. Message for you, sir? H?sishi said. ?

    ?Put it on, H?sishi,? he said. ?

    ?Corran Horn,? Kardde said. ?It?s good to see you. I assume you were on your father-in-law?s Star Destroyer??

    ?When Jacen and Jaina found us, yes? ? Kardde, I want to thank you for saving my son and the other children. I know what it cost you.?

    No, you don?t, Kardde thought. ?You?re welcome,? he told Horn. ?When I make promises, I do my best to keep them.?

    ?We?re alike in that,? Horn replied. ?And I also pay my debts. I owe you a big one.?

    Kardde received the sentiment with a nod of his head ? ?I?m sorry to be so short, but I?m not much in the mood for conversation right now.?

    ?I?ll let you go in a second. This doesn?t even come close to squaring us up, but I do have something for you.?

    ?What?s that??

    ?Someone, I should say.? Horn moved aside and was replaced by Shada D?ukal?s wry features.

    ?Shada!?

    ?Come on, Kardde,? Shada said. ?You didn?t think I was stupid enough to stay on a flaming ship, did you?? ? She squinted at the screen. ?Hey boss, what?s wrong with your eye??



    Talon Kardde relaxed for the first time in what seemed like weeks. Shada is safe he wanted to scream at he top of his lungs. Instead, he faced Corran again, with no hint of what he was feeling showing on his face. ?Please convey my regards to Booster. Perhaps when things settle down, I?ll come over and personally extend my appreciation for his help in driving the Vong away from the Yavin IV. Say hello to Mirax for me also. And if it?s not too much trouble, perhaps one of your crew could arrange to ferry Shada over to my ship. Kardde out.?

    Kardde turned to the Togorian, silently sitting by the comm board.

    ?Well, H?sishi, we seem to have annoyed just about everyone in this sector. The Peace Brigade will be after my hide, and you can bet the Yuuzhan Vong will add me to their list of Jeedai supporters
     
  2. Mayo_Solo

    Mayo_Solo Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2001
    Cool. I like it! @ @
    *
     
  3. ChildOfWinds

    ChildOfWinds Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 7, 2001
    Good start, Booster! Keep writing! :)
     
  4. Sticks

    Sticks Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2001
    Very nice beginning.
     
  5. sith_lady17

    sith_lady17 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 22, 2001
    More please! This story looks great! ;)
    Keep up the good work!
     
  6. Booster-1986

    Booster-1986 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    May 9, 2001
    The first few posts are intended to lay out the background for those readers not familar with either Talon and Shada, or the circumstances described by Zahn and Keyes.

    **************

    Shada D?ukal stood just out of range of the comm unit as Talon Kardde accepted the signal from H?sishi. She wondered what Corran Horn was up to, although she had a pretty good idea. She let her mind wander as she reflected on the past few days. Kardde hates surprises, she smiled to herself, unless he?s the one springing them.

    ?I?ll let you go in a second? she heard Horn say. ?This doesn?t even come close to squaring us up, but I do have something for you.?

    ?What?s that?? Kardde replied.

    ?Someone, I should say.? Horn moved aside and Shada moved into range.

    ?Shada!?

    ?Come on, Kardde,? Shada said. ?You didn?t think I was stupid enough to stay on a flaming ship, did you?? ? She squinted at the screen. ?Hey boss, what?s wrong with your eye??

    ?The air unit has been blowing dust in from somewhere ? get your tail back over here, so we can discuss how long it will take you to pay me back for the Idiot?s Array.?

    Shada rolled her eyes. ?See you soon, boss?.


    She then stepped back and out of range as Horn faced Kardde again. That was too close, Kardde. Stars, but I?d miss you, Shada thought to herself as a shiver ran down her spine. Shada D?ukal ? what are you thinking? You promised you would never get involved with anyone! Even Kardde! He?s your employer, your boss ? nothing more! Your honor has always meant more to you than personal relationships. Do you want to go through again what you did when you were forced away from Mazzic? Without realizing it, Shada found herself drifting back to events from more than six years before. Those twelve years with Mazzic ? gone in the snap of a finger ? and for what? Shada surpressed another shiver. For what? I?ll tell you for what, she shouted to herself. For honor!

    Six year earlier ?


    ? Kardde crossed to where Shada and the other young Mistryl were helping the older woman to a sitting position. ?How is she?? he asked.

    ?Not as bad as we thought,? Shada said ? ?She was able to twist almost out of the way of the shot.? ?

    Kardde crossed his arms and waited ? and after a few seconds the older woman grimaced. ?What is it you want??

    ?I want the Mistryl hunter teams called off Shada,? he said. ?Whatever her alleged crime against you, it?s to be forgiven and the death mark lifted.?

    The woman?s mouth twisted. ?You ask much.?

    ?We?ve given much,? Kardde reminded her. ?Is it a deal??

    She hesitated, then nodded reluctantly. ?Very well. But she will not be reinstated into the Mistryl; not now, not ever. And Emberlene will forever be closed to her.?

    She turned burning eyes up at Shada. ?From now on she is a woman without a home.?

    Kardde looked at Shada. Her face was tight, her lips pressed tightly together. But she returned his look steadily and nodded. ?Fine,? he said. ?We?ll just have to see about finding her a new home.?

    ?With you?? The woman snorted. ?With a smuggler and a seller of information? Tell me again how low a Mistryl can sink.?


    Not as low as you did when you ordered Karoly to murder Mazzic; when you expected me to throw away twelve years of my life and just walk away without a backward glance. Like a player in a holovid, discarded when its usefulness is no longer obvious. Why did I care? It was for honor, and for an Emberlene that no longer exists. Even now, Shada found herself wondering at the change in her life. It was just like when Jorj Car?das offered her the choice of datacards. As it was then, she found to her surprise that the choice was surprisingly easy. Kardde may not be Mazzic, and he may be nothing more than a smuggler and a ?seller of information? although Shada was certain such was not the case. But he is honorable, Shada concluded, and if my life is to mean anything at all, even in exile, honor must guide me.[
     
  7. sith_lady17

    sith_lady17 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Good post!
     
  8. Booster-1986

    Booster-1986 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    May 9, 2001
    We are just about done with the background ... although I am taking the opportunity to expand the story regarding Kardde's proposal. In VotF, it is just a cut from the idea to the plan being implemented. Here we'll see the struggle that took place before the proposal became reality.

    *********

    Kardde watched the emotions play across the Shada?s face. He was saddened at the intransigence of Karoly?s superior. Foolish, he thought. And yet, he mused, if all of The Eleven were so blinded by their desire for vengeance, then Shada has made the right decision.

    Again he glanced at Shada. She was watching the medics help the older woman onto a stretcher. Drawing her exile around her like a cloak, an expression of pain filled her face. Like someone who has lost her best friend in the universe, Kardde thought. And then it came to him. What was it she had said to Car?das? The words came back to him in a flash: I need something larger than myself to hold onto and believe in. Something that could make a difference.

    Well Shada, he promised. I?ll find you that something. You will make a difference. Kardde slowly surveyed the Chimaera?s wardroom. The medics had taken the Mistryl leader to sickbay and Karoly had gone with her. Tierce?s body had also disappeared. Kardde wondered what the Empire would do with the clone?s body. Thoughts of dissection ran through his mind, but he dismissed those immediately. Admiral Pellaeon is too cultured and honorable to stoop to that level, Kardde murmured to himself. Pellaeon! That was it. Kardde quickly roused himself and approach the Grand Admiral.

    ?Admiral Pellaeon,? Kardde said. ?May I have a word with you??

    ?You?ll have to be quick,? Pellaeon replied. ?I?m on my way to meet with General Bel Iblis. I do not intend to be late for this meeting?.

    ?I have an idea I?d like to bounce off of you, if I may. Depending on your response, I will, well, ahh, maybe I should wait till you and I have had a chance to discuss this notion of mine.?

    Pellaeon regarded Kardde thoughtfully. What was it that Grand Admiral Thrawn had said about Kardde? It came to him at once. Our need for such vermin has certainly been reduced ? Karrde has already proven he can be a great deal of trouble. Yet, Thrawn had clearly underestimated the smuggler ? Thrawn was dead, Disra and Flim notwithstanding, and Kardde was still here. Pellaeon grimaced, then chided himself for such thoughts. It was a war back then, and in war, one did what one needed to do to win. Pellaeon sighed. And the war is now over, once and for all. Or was it? Pellaeon could not help but wonder if there were any more surprises waiting for him. Are there any more Disras or Flims? Or even Tierces, he wondered. The Moffs will not be happy about this, no matter what they agreed to three months ago. It would be nice to know what was going on without making it obvious.

    ?Certainly?, Pellaeon replied, ?but I wonder if your, ah, notion ? will it get you into trouble with the New Republic??

    ?Admiral,? Kardde responded, ?I have been in and out of trouble with the New Republic for more years than I care to remember. Recent events will undoubtedly gain me some credits on the positive side of the ledger, but as with all things, it will be forgotten when it is politically expedient to do so?. Kardde looked like he had tasted something sour.

    Pellaeon smiled. ?Well, perhaps I can help you add to those credits. What do I owe you for that data card you brought me??

    ?Nothing Admiral, since the data was given to me in circumstances that did not require payment, and it would be unethical to seek payment from you for something that was given to me in good faith.?

    Again Pellaeon smiled, but this time to himself. I was right. There?s far more to Kardde than meets the eye. Smuggler, indeed. ?I notice that you have not asked what the meeting is about. Perhaps I should hold off our discussions until I ha
     
  9. Albion

    Albion Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 18, 2000
    I really do like this... Talon Karrde is such a cool, but underused character, I feel. I can't wait to see you expand his relationship with Shada. I love it when people can take secondary and tertiary characters from the novels, and build them into real characters.

    Are you going to be using any of her Mistryl background in this?
     
  10. Booster-1986

    Booster-1986 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    May 9, 2001
    I hope to ... I am laying this out for those not familar with this story arc ... and I want to make it believable ... so I am planning on adding detail. I especially plan to use the adults that are badly mistreated in the NJO.

    So to answer <g> ... yes, but I haven't quite figured out whether she will run across other Mistryl after her exile from Emberlene.
     
  11. MariahJade2

    MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2001
    Really good start Booster. I always enjoyed Karrde.
     
  12. Booster-1986

    Booster-1986 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    May 9, 2001
    A short post to start the really original material <g>

    **********

    For what seemed like the hundredth time, Talon Kardde stifled a groan, fighting to keep his thoughts to himself. He glanced at Luke Skywalker, sitting to his right; the Jedi Master was struggling to keep the amusement off his face. ?Am I that transparent, Skywalker?? he quietly growled.

    ?No? was the reply. ?It?s just that when someone is mentally shouting as loud as you were, it?s hard to keep from listening in.?

    Kardde sighed to himself. It seemed that his boast to Admiral Pellaeon that ?the New Republic leadership will wonder how they ever got along without it? was going to come back to haunt him. It wasn?t that they were opposed to the notion; far from it. But like all bureaucracies, the need for speed, initiative and the ability to grasp ideas that were ?outside the box? was something that eluded their collective consciousness. Master Skywalker had understood the significance of his plan immediately. Kardde wondered how much of a role Mara had played in that decision. He suspected very little. Kardde was beginning to realize that Skywalker was far more perceptive than he had been prepared to give him credit for. That?s what comes of relying on stereotypes and Mara?s view of the universe. Again, he noticed a smile playing across Luke?s face.

    ?Still shouting??

    ?Yup,? Luke answered quietly, ?although I must admit that I share your frustration?.

    Kardde reflected on the past few days? discussions. In particular, he considered Skywalker?s role. Kardde was certain that Luke had not influenced the proceedings in any way, except with his words. He wondered where the Jedi had learned to be so successful as a diplomat. The answer came to him immediately. Having Leia for a sister didn?t hurt. Having to run the Jedi Academy and satisfy the ?powers that be? on Coruscant didn?t hurt, either. And learning from Mara was the best lesson of all.

    Kardde looked around to see if anyone else had heard Luke?s admission. The rest of the participants continued their conversations as if nothing had been said. Once again, Luke smiled. I guess if I?m learning from him, he is also learning from me. Kardde was certain that in that regard, Mara had played, and would continue to play, a major role. There seemed to be a grudging acknowledgement that Luke?s pre-conceived views of him and his ?associates? was also undergoing change.

    Kardde turned his attention back to the discussions. If his confrontations with the authorities in both the New Republic and the Empire had taught him anything, it was to pay attention to detail. But his run-ins with Thrawn had also taught him the wisdom of not losing sight of the overall objective; of knowing when to continue the fight, but also knowing when to cut his losses and run. In other words, know when to go for the straight sabbac but also know when to fold the hand.

    Unfortunately, it seemed that all that was being considered was detail. Talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees. Kardde felt as if he was walking in quicksand. Something needed to be done to rouse the New Republic leaders from their fascination with administrivia. But just what that could be eluded Kardde. He glanced at Luke, but the Jedi Master seemed to be lost in his own thoughts. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw Mara Jade rise from her seat at the end of the table. Oh oh, Kardde thought, this could be interesting.
     
  13. JediKnight-Obi-Wan

    JediKnight-Obi-Wan Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 13, 2000
    I liked that post! :D
     
  14. sith_lady17

    sith_lady17 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 22, 2001
  15. sith_lady17

    sith_lady17 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 22, 2001
  16. Dewlanna Solo

    Dewlanna Solo Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 31, 1999
    Let's try to keep this near the top for the long weekend.
     
  17. Naboo Queen

    Naboo Queen Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 1999
    Very nice! This is the kind of fanfiction I like--well written and exploring areas the books don't. This was a 'page-turner' for me, so please keep 'em coming (and submit it to the archives!)
     
  18. MariahJade2

    MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2001
    Up. You've reeled me in Booster.
     
  19. Naboo Queen

    Naboo Queen Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 1999
    Um, trying to to be scary here . . .but please give us some more!
     
  20. Booster-1986

    Booster-1986 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    May 9, 2001
    Your wish is my command <g>

    **************

    For most of the past two days, Mara Jade had kept to herself. Talon Kardde knew that Mara was not one to, how did she put it, ?suffer fools gladly?, and he was certain that she would have been suffering considerably if she had been present since the meetings had begun. Kardde also knew that Mara and Luke had been seen in deep conversation the previous evening, and he suspected that it was only Luke?s influence that had led her to attend the afternoon session.

    Mara had already provided Kardde with a report on her encounter with Voss Parck and the Thrawn loyalists, and further, the news that she and Luke would be getting married. Surprisingly, or maybe not, Kardde told himself, he found that he missed her already. Yes, Mara had been a valuable and cherished member of his crew, but it was more than that. She had been his second for more than a decade, and they had settled into a comfortable, if somewhat challenging relationship. Mara had never been one to pull her punches and he had come to rely on her Force-honed instincts and her straightforward manner. More than friends, they respected and trusted each other. Mara?s ?danger sense? had saved them all on more than one occasion and Kardde was not one to forget where his loyalty lay. I Hope you know how lucky you are, Skywalker, Kardde thought to himself.

    Kardde glanced at Luke. The Jedi Master appeared to be deep in thought. But Kardde was convinced the faintest hint of a smile played at the corners of Luke?s lips, and with a confidence born of certainty, he knew. They had planned this out last night. Silently laughing to himself, he didn?t know whether he should feel grateful to Luke and Mara, or sorry for the New Republic leadership.

    All eyes followed Mara Jade as she approached General Garm Bel Iblis. All conversation had died by the time Mara reached the general. Kardde stole a look at Luke. It was almost as if they were mentally communicating with each other, Karrde considered. Of course. Through the Force!

    ?General Bel Iblis, may I address this meeting?? Mara asked.

    Bel Iblis looked at the other members of the New Republic leadership. Ponc Gavrissom was officially President of the New Republic, but all who knew, knew that former High Councillor Leia Organa Solo was still the one to whom all eyes turned. And so did his. There was barely the slightest nod.

    ?Certainly, Mara,? Bel Iblis responded. ?We would be pleased to hear from you.?


    **************


    Mara heard Luke?s amused snort through their Force-link. His presence comforted her in a way she didn?t quite understand. But she needed all her concentration if they were to pull this off. Stay out of my mind, farmboy, she sent back along the link. It won?t do for me to suddenly break out laughing.

    I love you, was the response, as Luke broke the link.

    I love you, too.

    ?General.? she said. ?I have been listening to this debate for most of the afternoon, and all I can say is, if these are the kinds of things that need to be answered before you proceed with Kardde?s proposal, how did the New Republic ever win the Rebellion??

    Bel Iblis was taken aback at Mara?s statement. On the other hand, Mara seemed unperturbed by his reaction.Oh Force, Bel Iblis, Karrde thought to himself, she hasn?t even begun to let you know what she thinks.

    Mara continued her attack. ?Who would be the contact? Would this person or persons also be in contact with the Empire? How would intelligence be provided to the New Republic? How would the proper authorities verify the accuracy of the information provided? How would the Empire react if information were not provided simultaneously? How can we be sure that the Empire will not use any intelligence against the New Republic??

    ?Sithspawn!?

    The room exploded in sound. ?Who does she think she is?? ?She can?t talk to us like that.? ?She?s nothing but a smuggler. Who gave her the right ??

    ?I gave her that right.?

    As suddenly as i
     
  21. MariahJade2

    MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2001
    Thanks Booster. It is so nice to be able to get into their minds again. Can't wait to see where this is going. :)
     
  22. sith_lady17

    sith_lady17 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Very good post Booster! It's great to be able to know Karrde's thoughts! He's a very interesting character!
     
  23. Naboo Queen

    Naboo Queen Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 1999
    Again, very nice!
     
  24. Aralna

    Aralna Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Good story. I'm glad to see Shada and Talon back in important roles. :)
     
  25. sith_lady17

    sith_lady17 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 22, 2001
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