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chapter 22:


It is an uncomfortable trip down to Nam Chorios for Han and Admiral Daala. SeePO explains to Han how this whole situation appears to have been orchestrated by Gnifmak Dymurra, the CEO of Loronar, so he could obtain Nam Chorios’ crystals for the synthroids and CCIR Needles.


The droid can’t really explain why these vessels attacked the small ship out there, as well as an Imperial shuttle approaching it. Apparently Admiral Larm was aboard the latter. That hadn’t stopped the battle, as Imperial ships outnumbered the New Republic’s. Then Daala’s people arrived and went on the warpath.


She muses that the Imperial fleet has been her life since age 16. She gave up everything else in pursuit of order in the galaxy. Han tells her he understands. Betrayal is not something only she has experienced. She acknowledges that quietly.


What she does want to know is if Leia is going to leave the Chorios system alone. Han admits he can’t speak for the whole Council, but, considering how Leia won’t interfere in a system unless the there is a majority vote to do so, he would guess that Pedducis is probably safe. He doesn’t think much of this planet, though. Daala points out that a planet with little to no human life on it seems very pleasant to her.


While the residents clean up after the Force storm, Leia runs to Han. He assures her that Larm is gone, but the plague has spread through most of the sector with little chance of stopping it. Luke confirms that it’s the Death Seed. The tsils have agreed to send some of them off-planet so that they can be installed in medical apparatuses to destroy the drochs. In exchange, every Spook crystal that has been removed from the planet must be returned.


The tsils realized the danger of the drochs when the Grissmath Dynasty seeded the planet with them. They’ve done what they could over the centuries to protect the sector. They infiltrated the dreams of the Therans, using images the people would understand, to keep large ships from leaving the world. Smaller ships don’t have enough shielding to protect the drochs from the radiation.


Han tells Leia there’s someone who wants to meet with her. Luke says good-bye to his new friends. Liegeus explains that he’s got the run station back up, but that there’s nothing left for Luke here. For now, Luke knows he will have to leave, returning to bring back the remains of the crystals.


Liegeus was right. Whatever road Callista is on is her own. Over the wall, Luke spots a familiar figure with a lightsaber hanging from her belt. He holds himself back from running to her. Instead, he raises his hand in farewell. She raises hers back.


When he and Liegeus step into the shuttle, Daala is addressing Leia. Then she stops and Luke sees her face change. She recognizes Liegeus. And he knows her. She takes his hand. They admit it’s been a long road for them. She confesses it’s been hard not having someone to talk to. Luke can tell that she had been stronger one and so Liegeus had let her go.


They throw themselves into each others’ arms, kissing, then wordlessly leave the shuttle together.


Luke looks out the viewport and considers that the time will be right one day, when Callista has found her way back to the Force.

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  • Well...that was somewhat anticlimactic.

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