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chapter 29:

The Taurill have managed to correct their work and Lemelisk hopes they won’t make another mistake. However, Durga contacts him to explain that the computer cores Sulamar arranged for have arrived and he wants Lemelisk to come to Nar Shadaa and inspect them.

He is stuck on a tedious state visit by the New Republic’s Chief of State who is flagrantly flaunting her power by pretending to have her ships engage in wargames. The faster the Darksaber is done, the sooner he can stop pretending to be nice to her.

Lemelisk hates leaving his work as he doesn’t know what will happen in his absence.

Darth Vader had shown up to inspect the work and motivate the workers, executing two of the least productive foremen as an example. Lemelisk had been appalled but he couldn’t deny the affect it had on the others.

Now, he wishes he were out of this mess. He wants to be alone with his dreams, but there have to be sacrifices made even if he has to die…again.


chapter 30:

With not much happening and Leia sending word that the Hutts aren’t causing any trouble, Wedge takes Qwi down to Nar Shadaa for a visit. They pass by vendors whose merchandise is probably not real and hucksters whose games are impossible to win.

She is sorry that some of her memories are gone, but appreciates the new ones Wedge is helping her create. Things were different in Maw Installation, less free, but she never knew that while working there.

Then she starts, gasps and tells Wedge she just saw Bevel Lemelisk. Wedge reminds her she was just remembering some of her past. Lemelisk can’t possibly be here and, even if he is, he is of no use to the Empire. Qwi doesn’t want to stay here anymore.

After inspecting the computer cores, Lemelisk determines they are ancient but can be modified to do the work. Durga appears, having temporarily ended the meeting, to ask if they will be sufficient. Lemelisk thinks they can be made to work and looks forward to getting back to his task.


  • Does Wedge not know that the Hutts have gotten hold of the Death Star plans? I mean, he’s a general, right? He knows they’re out here to distract the Hutts while Leia snoops around, but does he not know about the plans? If he did, I cannot imagine why Qwi sighting one of the designers of the thing wouldn’t be significant.

  • And Nar Shadda is hardly a tourist trap. Isn’t Qwi still being pursued by both vigilantes and possibly Imperial forces? Some of them may not believe that her memory is wiped so this really isn’t a safe place to take her.

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chapter 31:

In the meantime, the Falcon, piloted by Chewbacca, lands on Nar Shadda. R2 jacks into an information kiosk. None of Orko SkyMine’s representatives are helpful, so the Wookiee pays a slicer on the street funds to slice into the systems. The slicer finds a major Imperial customer of Durga’s who has sold the Hutt some old, but powerful,

computer cores.

He comes up with the name of General Sulamar who comes up on a list of Imperial deserters, but promotes his former activities loudly.

Chewie isn’t happy to find that the Hutts are working with representatives of the Empire.


chapter 32:

Madine’s commando, Trandia, reports that the ship hasn’t moved yet. Druga departed from Nal Hutta several hours ago and landed on Nar Shadaa. They could contact General Antilles who is there anyway.

Madine thinks it’s too risky. Leia says their meeting ended pretty quickly so Durga may be on his way back to his secret hiding place. They have to be patient.

It’s hard for him, too, as Madine is a driven man, needing action. He’d once sworn an oath to the Empire and had meant it. His future had been bright. Then he had been part of a storm commando operation to plant the seeds of the Candorian Plague on the world of Dentaal.

That had been enough. He had vanished into a series of caves before stealing an Imperial shuttle and defecting to the Rebel Alliance. He had left his career and his fiancé behind, hoping she would find a new life. After the retaking of Coruscant, he’d looked her up and found she had died in the attack.

Trandia reports the ship is departing and being tracked. He has her and Korenn prep as they are taking three A-Wing scoutships to follow it, implanting emergency transmitters. They must take any chance they have to sabotage the work.


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chapter 33:

Luke and Callista cut a path back to the base. The Wampas kill Nonak as the remainder rush back, using up their precious blaster charges along the way. Burrk fashions some spears inside, while Luke searches for equipment that might be used to recharge the blaster. The wampas bang impotently on the durasteel door, howling. Guldi sends Sinidic to search for any rations still here.

One of the wampas must have gotten in during the fight, because a scream comes from the storeroom and they rush over as a bloodied wampa comes out. Guldi kills it with his spear.

The lights go out and they realize the generator has been taken down. Then the walls start falling in. The wampas at the door were a distraction as the others were digging through the snow that makes up the walls of the base.

The creatures fall upon them, killing Nodon, then Burrk, then, after he uses his remaining charges to take down one each, Gulda, while he’s wielding a spear.

Luke and Callista rush out the doors, cutting down Wampas with their lightsabers, getting into their ship, sealing themselves in and doing everything they can to fire the ship up despite the mess it was left in.

It fires up and they get off the ground with no comm. system, no navicomputer and five percent life support.


  • Why didn’t the wampas dig through the snow before when the Rebels were there? Maybe because of the shields? And how did they get so smart?

chapter 34:

Leia had gotten nothing from Durga, likely due to his lack of desire to give her any, so is relieved when he cut shorts their meeting. However, he was true to his word in giving her access to one of his information sources who notes that starship construction has increased tenfold, new soldiers are appearing and the forces are gathering around a single female commander which is unusual for the Empire. Her name is Daala. That’s all he knows.

So far as Han and Leia knew, Daala was dead. If not, that certainly makes things more difficult.


  • At one point, Leia wonders if they are being given accurate information and it turns out they are. Surprising, considering how little Durga wanted her to know himself.

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chapter 35:

Under Daala’s command, the remnant becomes an efficient machine again. She gathers forces, inspires the labor forces and surveys the future. Privately, she confesses to Pellaeon that she does not want to lead. When the battle is won, she will give up command to him or whoever else wants the job.

He doesn’t think he’s an Emperor either. Pellaeon gives her a rundown of their forces. Daala doesn’t want to make the same mistakes she did before. With his decades of experiences, he needs to advise her.

He points out that Coruscant is a very visible target, but they both agree that it would be a long and bloody one to try to take it. However, they could strike at the morale of the New Republic and, to do that, it makes sense to hit Yavin IV where, not only was the first Death Star destroyed, but the new Jedi training center is located.

He suggests letting Colonel Cronus attack several minor targets and add to the confusion that their ultimate target will exacerbate.


  • I have to chuckle whenever talk about destroying Coruscant starts. From our readings, we know that Coruscant was not just the capital world of the Empire, but has been the capital world of this galaxy for millennia. Symbolically, there really is no other place from which the peoples of the galaxy would accept governance as those in possession of the planet are invariably considered the legitimate government.

chapter 36:

Dorsk 81 and Kyp Durron are flying a stolen Imperial ship while surveying the massive fleet in the Core Systems. They are hailed by a female voice and told to hurry up for the rally or the Admiral will be displeased.

They notice, upon landing, that there are not only females, but some aliens among the troopers and personnel here. Wearing simple technician’s uniforms, they head out. Vice-Admiral Pellaeon is already speaking about a planned attack on the Jedi base at Yavin IV.

When Admiral Daala appears, however, Kyp unwittingly attracts the attention of stormtroopers nearby. They demand his papers and he pulls his lightsaber. Dorsk 81 is forced to join him as stormtroopers start firing.

They run back to the ship and launch at full power before preparing to jump quickly to hyperspace. Before they can, the sublight engines are damaged by enemy fire. Then they make the jump.


  • This was a huge rally of Imperial personnel as described in the chapter. How did Kyp and Dorsk even get back to their ship alive?

  • I do also realize that Kyp was surprised to see someone he thought dead alive and well, but does it speak well of his Jedi training that he was not able to control his emotions enough to keep his mouth shut and not attract the attention of the huge number of Imperials around him, endangering himself and his companion? This guy is a Jedi Knight???

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chapter 37:

Madine and his two comrades head out with their A-Wings. He has generally overseen these types of missions since Endor, but not this time. Sometimes, he feels like the fighting will never end. He remembers how Mon Mothma had objected to targeting the Emperor personally when it was learned that he was going to be inspecting the second Death Star.

She didn’t believe that the Rebel Alliance should stoop to political assassinations. Madine had warned her that the costs of not acting were worse. Ultimately, she had agreed to support the plan.

They emerge from hyperspace in a debris field that offers no navigational hints. He lets Trandia take the lead but Korenn is killed when a small piece of debris causing significant damage that result in him crashing into an asteroid. Still necessary is the completion of the mission. Madine and Trandia land on a large asteroid and consider what type of expertise the Hutts would need to have built this.


chapter 38:

In space, with minimal life support, Luke insists Callista wear a cobbled-together environmental suit while he goes into a Jedi trance. While he is out, she knows that she can use the dark side to help them out of this situation but does not want to get into that temptation.

Meanwhile, Luke uses the Force to call for Leia.


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chapter 39:

In their diplomatic shuttle, Leia and Han depart Nal Hutta and head for Ackbar’s ship. She starts to doze while C-3PO rattles off a list of her obligations and hears Luke calling for her.

Spotting the Falcon docked at the Yavaris, Han suggests they get aboard, warn them about the Hutts and take off to get Luke.

They quickly meet with Wedge and Ackbar to explain that the Hutts are building their own superwaeapon with the assistance of Imperials. Admiral Daala is unifying the fleet against the New Republic. In the meantime, she and Han have to go rescue Luke. The warships here are not to tip off the Hutts that anything is wrong and wait until Madine’s mission is done to act, even if she has not returned.

Using the Force, she finds him in the Hoth system. The ship is nearly dead with no life support and freezing. They pull Luke and Callista off.

She revives first and laments having to watch him fade, unable to do anything to help him. When Luke wakes up, Leia tells him they are on their way back to Yavin.


chapter 40:

From his offices, Lemelisk works on a puzzle and thinks he sees a ship out there among the asteroids. He dismisses it as another diversion by the Taurill. Still, he has to go check to make sure they aren’t messing up again.

Inside a small inspection scooter, he remembers doing a similar thing with Tarkin. They had departed from Eriadu where Tarkin had his base of operations. They ended up in the middle of a rebel attack which Ackbar used the opportunity to shut down the ship’s engines.

Lemelisk and Tarkin had taken the escape pod only to watch the ship explode. Lemelisk doesn’t understand the Rebel mentality as it looked like the Y-Wings were trying to rescue the Mon Calamari.

They were saved by the arrival of one of Admiral Motti’s Star Destroyers. In the medbay, they learned that a group of commandos had stolen a copy of the Death Star’s blueprints and smuggled them to Toprawa. Vader was already tracking the Rebels.

Tarkin wasn’t too concerned. His battle station was flawless.

Looking along the hull of the weapon, Lemelisk knows that the Taurill aren’t the only problem. The antique computer cores keep crashing, some of the metal sheeting has holes in it and now the front-end girders do not match up with the aft girders.

And there are more problems.


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chapter 41:

Madine and Trandia lock down their fighters but leave them on standby. Wearing environmental suits, they leap from the asteroid and fly across to the superweapon. This doesn’t look like the Death Star, but just the superlaser and it might almost be ready.

She suggests they hurry about getting their detonators inside.

Inside, they find atmosphere, remove their suits for easier movement and find that much of this thing may not work after all. Dead computer screens are everywhere. There are beings guarding the place, but Madine and Trandia evade them.

When he tries to cut open a part, alarms go off. Hoping they will think it’s a false alarm, Madine lays quiet. But Trandia jumps out to divert them from him and they head off after her. She detonates several explosives, taking both them and her out.

Wishing she hadn’t been so impulsive, Madine remembers that the mission is paramount and looks around. Unfortunately, her sacrifice didn’t do the damage she’d probably hoped it would. More guards arrive and drag him off.


chapter 42:

Lemelisk cannot guarantee the quality of this project, but Durga and Sulamar are determined to work it. When the alarms go off, Durga demands to know the meaning.

He finds out that a bomb has gone off in the engine levels of the project. Furious, Durga hits a button that electrocutes his security head. At least, he’d intended to but hit the wrong button and a hapless crewer got it instead.

Lemelisk has a hard time forgetting his experiences being executed. Seven times, he went through it. He got pushed out an airlock for a mercifully quick death, lowered into molten copper (because, as the Emperor explained later, it’s what the smelters used that day), trapped in an acid mist and other horrific experiences. If Palpatine hadn’t died on the second Death Star, it would’ve happened again.

Crix Madine is brought before Durga. He has already triggered the emergency transmitter, sending his location to Ackbar’s fleet. He’d known that capture was always a possibility, but he might be able to hold on until a rescue.

An Imperial general marches up to him and they both recognize the other.


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chapter 43:

Kyp and Dorsk 81 approach Khomm again and transmit an emergency message. The people are calm as they explain that Daala is going to attack and they have to get to the Jedi academy.

Kaell 116 hears them out and isn’t worried because they’ve always remained neutral in the past. Dorsk know they won’t listen. But Dorsk 82 explains that they don’t know how to make defenses. He can show them, though. If the attack happens, he can help defend them; if not, he can stay here and help with his original duties until it comes.

Dorsk 81 wonders if this is a ploy and says he cannot because he has important work to do.

Daala and Pellaeon consider the need to evaluate their security. Cronos reports that the ship entered hyperspace, but they’ve matched trajectory and believe they were headed to Khomm. The world was neutral during the conflict with the Rebels but one of the Jedi was a native of that world so that may have changed.

Daala decides that, since the Jedi have heard about the attack, she will have to move at once. They will hit their targets now, adding Khomm to the top of the list.

Vice-Admiral Pellaeon will take his ships to Yavin IV. They leave within the hour.

Cronos watches the taking down of Khomm’s satellites before beginning the planetary bombardment.

Young Dorsk 82 was considering why the Empire would want to attack here for anyway when the city starts to explode. His people have no defenses or plans to resist this. When the cloning facilities are hit, he doesn’t know how they will survive.

Cronos notes the lack of damage to Imperial forces and moves on to his next target.


  • I still have no idea how Khomm stayed neutral during the Imperial era.

chapter 44:

The quiet is unnevering Wedge and he admits to Qwi that he almost wishes something would happen. That's when Madine’s distress signal arrives. They are about to move out to retrieve him when Kyp Durron reports in. He explains that they’ve learned Admiral Daala is alive and preparing to attack Yavin IV.

Ackbar will take his ship and go to Yavin IV. He has Wedge take Yavaris and go to help Madine.

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chapter 45:

Pellaeon’s seventeen Destroyers arrive at Yavin IV. There are no signs of defenses anywhere. He orders a jamming net in place and strike teams prepared, not expecting much from a few Jedi students.

Daala prepares to launch Night Hammer for her own assault. She knows Pellaeon must be at Yavin IV now, while Cronos is engaging in hit-and-run action. She looks forward to arriving above the moon herself to revel in the despair of anyone left alive on the surface that rescue will not happen.

She takes a moment to rechristen the ship Knight Hammer to prove she has a sense of humor.


chapter 46:

Dorsk 81 and Kyp arrive back on the moon, land their shuttle at the Great Temple and call the students to arms about an hour before the attack begins.

There are about 30 of them here but Luke is not among them. Kyp reminds the new students that Master Skywalker will not always be here to help them. New Republic forces should be on the way but they’ll have to defend themselves until they arrive.

When the TIEs come down, Kirana Ti uses the Force to toss a huge boulder at one. Kam picks up there and starts tossing them, too. Streen creates a wall of wind that buffets the fighters. Kyp sends concussion missles right back into their bays where they explode inside the ship.

Dorsk 81 smashes an AT-ST walker with the Force. Kyp runs back to the ship which has some weapons. He finds five blasers and a laser cutter.

They cannot fight seventeen Star Destroyers individually, but Dorsk suggests they work together to defeat all of them. They can pool their strength as they did when they fought Exar Kun. They can move all of the ships away.

Even Kam thinks that’s too many but Dorsk reminds them that size doesn’t matter. He offers to be their focal point at the top of the temple. Drawing energy from the newest to the most experienced, he can feel the bottomless well of the Force.

He puts aside the censure of his people and the loss of his culture. He reaches down and orders the ships to move. They are flung outside the Yavin system as he rides the storm himself.

He drops to the flagstones. Kyp grabs him, sees the steam coming from his body and the smoldering sockets of his eyes. Dorsk tells him they are gone and dies.


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chapter 47:

Daala had expected to find Pellaeon’s attack nearly done, but she finds no sign of them in orbit over the jungle moon. The jammer net is still here and there is evidence of weapons fire and ground troop deployment. But the Star Destroyers are not in the Yavin system.

She orders a full scan and demands to know if Pellaeon retreated. She fumes, remembering a time when she had known peace. She had been young and in love once before she went to Carida. Now she only knows anger which she has used in the past for the benefit of the Empire.

She orders all turbolaser batteries to fire on the jungle at full strength.


chapter 48:

Colonel Cronus moves from target to target, sending down destruction. Right now, he’s at the Chardaan Shipyards. He orders everything hit at top speed as they move through the system and that no Rebel forces be engaged.

The Rebel ships have other ideas and several starfighters focus on one SD, destroying it. He orders his fleet out of the system. He then hits the cultural museums on Porus Vida which were centuries old until they melt under his firepower. Stumbling across a diplomatic convoy, he annihilates them despite their surrender offer before proceeding to join Admiral Daala at Yavin IV.


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chapter 49:

It appears that there is some history between Sulamar and Madine. Sulamar called Madine a traitor whereas Madine points out that Sulamar is far from a general. He was a junior technician who kept being transferred for incompetence.

Sulamar protests to Durga who is amused to note he actually believes the saboteur. He asks for Sulamar’s blaster and has him sit down in the rigged pilot’s chair.

The Alliance fleet tracks Madine’s signal to the Hoth Asteroid Belt.

Durga confronts Sulamar about the record he keeps boasting about. Madine is able to provide some background information to those stories resulting in a brief bonding moment. Sulamar interrupts to urge they kill Madine quickly and provides some suggestions that cause Lemelisk to quip that the Emperor would have been more creative.

Durga points the blaster at Madine and asks for any last words. Spotting the Republic fleet arriving in his peripheral vision, he says he doesn’t and is shot.


chapter 50:

The Millennium Falcon heads to Yavin IV. Callista knows this won’t work and she’ll never get her powers back. He mentions her touching it at Dagobah and that it might be the key. Callista argues that the dark side is never the key to the light and that he would never teach his students that.

He wants to be part of her life and she does, too, but only after she finds a way to make it happen.

C-3PO comes to bring them to the cockpit where they watch the return to realspace and nearly run into the SSD Knight Hammer.

Admiral Daala orders their surrender. She is jamming on distress signals and TIEs are launched. Luke and Leia head to the gunwales. Luke urges Han to find a way to land on the moon, if he can.

He flies through the melee as the guns punch holes in the line of fighters until they cruise over the jungle, a couple of TIEs in pursuit.

One is taken out by a missle, the other zooms away. Han wonders if they can get everyone aboard the Falcon. Luke thinks it would be more practical to have the students split up and hide in the jungles. One lucky shot at the Falcon could kill every Jedi in a single strike.

At the temple, they find the students, Kyp carrying Dorsk’s body. They explain what they were able to do. Han tells the others to break out the Falcon’s weapons for support.


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chapter 51:

Luke has his trainees spread out through the jungle and hit the Imperials with surprise attacks. Luke thinks Callista should go back to the Falcon, but she wants to stand by him.

He promises to protect her. Irritated, she is reminded of her loss of the Force. She has her lightsaber, though. Kirana Ti has Gantoris’s and some of the newer ones take blasters.

Kirani Ti and Streen work together to bring down scout walkers in the jungle. Kam uses the Force to break a weapon on a Juggernaut down toward itself and manipulate the gunner to shoot.

R2 brings a hydraulic door at the Great Temple down on an AT-ST.

Luke, Callista and Tionne are behind the temple. Callista knows Luke meant well, but she wants to protect herself. The dark side lures her. She knows it’s a lie. He and Tionne, lock hands, sharing power.

Callista ponders that being too close to Luke could be inhibiting her powers. She doesn’t want to be a burden to him. When the other two go to meet an Imperial Flying Fortress, she forms her own plan.

Luke and Tionne use the Force to propel a broken tree trunk into the lower hull of the Fortress. They celebrate, turn around and Callista is gone.


  • If Tionne has enough Force power that she and Luke can combine theirs to force a tree trunk through metal, she must have a decent amount then. The JA books implied that Tionne was not strong in the Force at all, yet we’ve not seen any examples of her not being able to do anything the other students generally can’t.

chapter 52:

Wedge and Qwi look at the cylindrical structure in space.

On the asteroid base, Lemelisk watches Madine’s body dragged off and considers that, at least, the man doesn’t have to worry about dying repeatedly. Durga orders Sulamar to pilot them out of here. He wants to use this weapon now.

Lemelisk would really rather test it first, but Durga is insistent. Secretly, the scientist is not confident in this weapon. There have been too many mishaps and, to be honest, Durga tries to get the best bargain too often for his materials.

He decides to excuse himself to check on the superlaser, but heads to the launching bay instead and jumps board the inspection scooter.


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I remember reading an interview with Kevin Anderson shortly after this book came out--he seemed more excited about getting to kill off a movie character more than anything else in this book, just because it hadn't been done in any of the previous EU novels. And he was really excited about killing off a character that nobody was attached to... unlike, say, Chewbacca in Vector Prime (thank you TFA for undoing that one!).

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Yeah, having a Hutt shoot General Madine....if it had been a better story.


chapter 53:
Qwi thinks she understands how this weapon is designed. It’s more maneuverable than the Death Star and the laser can be recharged more easily and fire more often.
Wedge is told that the signal from General Madine’s transmitter has been lost. He explains to Qwi that it was keyed to Madine’s life monitor and orders his ships not to let that thing get away.
Durga doesn’t know how the Rebels found them, but orders the superlaser powered up.
Maneuvering through the asteroid field itself is breaking them up into chunks that create problems for Alliance ships. Wedge flies through a debris cloud created when the Dodonna opens fire on one of the asteroids and then fires on the superweapon as soon they are in range.
Sulamar is clearly not a good pilot as he is increasingly nervous about flying through the densest part of the asteroid field. Durga is wrong when he thinks the Rebels won’t follow them. The largest of the rocks are upon them. Durga orders the superlaser to break them apart. Sulamar hits the button and a fizzle of sparks comes out of the front end only.
Two large planetoids collide with the Darksaber in between them, crushing it.
chapter 54:
Luke calls for Callista but she does not answer him. She knows Kyp told them that Dorsk 81 had propelled 17 Star Destroyers away. They would be safe if the SSD was not in orbit.
She comes across a crashed TIE fighter and sees the pilot working on the ship. She kills the pilot and jumps into the cockpit. The Empire hadn’t bothered to change the way TIEs worked in all the years since she’d first seen them. She flies up into the atmosphere toward the Knight Hammer.
She’s surprised to hear a woman’s voice on the ship. Clearly the Empire has changed some things. She reports severe battle damage and advises an isolated bay to be sealed in order to affect repairs on the ship safely.
She is sent to an empty hangar with unused TIE bombers sitting there, all loaded with concussion missles.
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chapter 55:

Kyp jumps into the Falcon and they take off. He heads to one of the gunwales; Leia to the other. The Knight Hammer continues to pummel the planet. Kyp explains that reinforcements should be on the way but he doesn’t know when.

Han speeds toward the SSD and opens the comm., announcing to Daala that he and Kyp are aboard. That takes her attention off the moon for a few moments as he takes off again.

They are outnumbered by a huge amount. Fortunately, the New Republic reinforcements arrive. Ackbar is angry to find Daala in orbit here after what she did to his world. He explains that the rest of the fleet is on its way. There have been various attacks all over the galaxy by Imperial forces. General Madine found the Hutt secret weapon, but sent a distress signal that Antilles is checking out.

He tries to take on the Knight Hammer, but then Daala’s reinforcements arrive.

Cronos had not expected to find a battle here. Pellaeon is nowhere to be found and the Rebels have a fleet here for some reason.

He has his ships begin to pick apart the Rebel forces. Two Corellian corvettes are destroyed and one is severely damaged. But its engines are intact and it is moving toward the 13X before colliding.

The Alliance is down to one Corellian Corvette and Ackbar’s Galactic Voyager. Imperial ships close in on that as its shields fail.


chapter 56:

Admiral Pellaeon has no idea what happened. He’s fortunate he didn’t snap his spine after being thrown across the bridge of the Firestorm. Alarms go off and he orders that their position be ascertained. He is told that they have been thrown outside the Yavin system.

Their hyperdrive has been damaged and the navicomputer has been wiped.

He orders repairs on the hyperdrives as soon as possible and a course at sublight for Yavin taken. They will make microjumps if they have to in order to get back to the battle.

He can only imagine Daala’s fury to find his ships not there. The battle will probably be over by the time he arrives.


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chapter 57:

Inside the Hammer’s bomber bay, Callista checks a battle display and sees that the New Republic forces have arrived. Daala’s reinforcements soon follow.

Callista locks the bay doors, opens the reserve on her damaged bomber and checks the missles. She points the missles to the armored wall at the end of the bay and sets the timers for a launch.

She wishes she and Luke could be together but it’s more important to stop Daala now and save the new Jedi. She sets the other bombers’ missles to strike at fuel tanks of the others.Then she heads through an access door and runs away from the explosions.

If successful, the ship will be destroyed. At the very least, she can face Admiral Daala and strike her down with her lightsaber.

The explosions go off, one after the other. The SSD is too large to be destroyed completely but she gets what she wants. The ship is dead in space.


chapter 58:

Daala watches the battle and is told that Pellaeon’s fleet is coming. Communication with them reveals that the Jedi pushed them out of the system with the Force. They are coming as fast as they can, but Daala is glad that they didn’t lose all those ships.

She orders everyone to redouble their efforts so they can celebrate when he arrives.

That’s when the rear portion of the ship explodes, taking the engine systems with it. The inner engine walls were breached and the propulsion chambers are wrecked. They’re on fire with the a third of the ship sealed off and life support failing.

She knows this is sabotage. But they have no engines and cannot hope to repair them. The ship is starting to list toward the planet. Cronus is dead. Then the Rebel reinforcements arrive.

She orders the ship evacuated; Pellaeon’s ships will pick up the escape pods. She remains on the bridge, looking ready to go down with it.

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chapter 59:

When the bridge is emptied, Daala goes to the wall by her command station and enters her ready room. When she keys to enter the command-level escape pod, she is confronted by a female Jedi.

Daala pulls a blaster and fires. Callista draws on the dark side and deflects the bolts. Daala changes the setting to a stun spray; Callista tries to deflect but the spray wraps around her and her saber shorts out.

Daala kicks the weapon aside and enters her pod.


chapter 60:

Luke watches the battle from below while searching for Callista. It doesn’t matter to him if she has Jedi powers. He will continue to train Jedi here even if his own children have them or not. He needs to make it clear to her that he wants her for herself.

He feels a flicker of the Force and looks up to see the escape pods dropping from the Knight Hammer. He knows she’s up there. It’s just like Callista to take a problem and handle it head on.

As the mighty ship dies, he feels the flicker go out and watches it plunge into Yavin.


chapter 61:

Wedge is glad they got rid of the weapon without it ever firing a shot, but is saddened at the loss of his friend. A lifepod is noticed and pulled aboard.

Wedge takes a security detail down and finds a round construction scooter coming in. an old man pulls himself out. Qwi pronounces that it’s Bevel Lemelisk.

He knows her, too. She confronts him about lying to her about the true nature of their designs. Lemelisk points out that she is brilliant, but very naïve. Wedge asks if he was aboard the Darksaber.

Lemelisk claims to have designed it but he didn’t really expect it to work. He is able to verify that the saboteurs were killed. Angry, Wedge orders him locked up and taken back to Coruscant for trial.

Considering what he’s responsible for, Lemelisk might be executed. The scientist shrugs it off and tells them to make sure it’s done right this time.


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chapter 62:

Pellaeon’s forces wait at the edge of the Yavin system under orders to stay where they are. They pick up escape pods as they arrive and Pellaeon is excited to find one of them is a command-level one.

In the forward landing bay, the pod pops open and a weary, bloodied Daala steps out. She tells Pellaeon that her failure is forcing her to hand over all Imperial forces to him. He protests, but she explains to him that the soldiers of the Empire cannot be expected to lay down their lives for someone who keeps being beaten as she has.

They need him to help rebuild the Empire.


chapter 63:

The memorial service on Coruscant commemorates Crix Madine and the others who died in the recent battles. Luke is with Leia and Han, but his mind is elsewhere.

He is not jealous of Leia’s family, but he feels like the galaxy is repeatedly denying him part of his humanity. He had wanted to share that part of his life with Callista.

Leia addresses the assembly, telling them of the loss of Dorsk 81 and Callista who sacrificed so much to defend the New Republic. Daala is presumed dead and the Hutt superweapon has been scuttled. They have also lost the low-key General Crix Madine who helped them find the weapon before it could be used.

On Yavin IV, Luke returns to his life’s purpose. Kyp reports that a grave had been made for Dorsk 81, knowing he’d rather rest here. His own world has too many dead already. Tionne tells him that a supply ship has come and gone. It brought a private message for him that they left in his quarters.

He finds it on his bed and opens it to see Callista’s face. She tells him she’s not dead. She escaped on one of the last pods before the ship crashed into Yavin. Once she was out of danger, she realized that she couldn’t come back

The dark side blocks her from using the powers that are so close to her. She’s afraid that she will be tempted by it when she’s with him because she wants so much to have her powers back.

Callista needs to find them herself so she can be worthy of him. He steps outside to join his students. There is a lot of time in the universe and he will be with Callista some day.


  • Didn’t Dorsk 81’s body fade away? That’s what they were thinking in previous books, though we know that the Jedi of the Old Republic really didn’t do that. At the time this book was written, though, it was widely thought that’s what happened.

The End

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