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chapter 1:
On Munto Codru, Leia runs from her receiving room to the meadow to find a pressure bomb has gone off and Chewbacca is seriously injured. Jacen, Jaina and Anakin are gone.
The doctor arrives to treat the Wookiee while Leia insists measures be taken to prevent the kidnappers from leaving the planet. The Chamberlain, Mr. Iyon, is certain that will not happen. Munto Codru has a tradition of ritualistic kidnappings that all amount to nothing.
Leia insists they close the port anyway.
She had never really worried about her children’s safety. It had been planned for, but with her perceptions, Luke’s power, Winter’s oversight and Chewbacca’s strength, it was not something that caused her to be overly cautious. But Luke and Han are on an adventure together, Winter is at a conference and only Chewie accompanied them here.
At the medcenter, she waits for Chewie to get out of surgery. Mr. Iyon says they must wait until the ransom demand comes. The doctor advises that the Wookiee must rest now and he really can’t tell them anything yet.
A message has been sent to Han and Luke but they are too close to Crseih Station where the black hole and the quantum crystal companion blocks communication. Leia orders a ship sent for them but he explains that they had to use a pretext to close the port. If they launch a ship, the ransomers will be insulted.
They persuade her to carry out her afternoon appointments as if nothing’s wrong.
At her quarters, R2-Detoo herds a Codru-Ji into the room, protesting that she remembers nothing. Leia recognizes the page who had come to report the missing children. She doesn’t know what happened and the pressure bomb has damaged her hearing. She begs Leia’s forgiveness.
Leia meets with the Kirlian ambassador, Ambassador Kirl, and the normally charming man has no affect on her throughout the long afternoon. Mr. Iyon closes the door to her waiting room when it’s all over, leaving several people outside. He explains there are those who make up small matters in the hopes of having an excuse to meet the Princess.
They will return tomorrow which is when the ransom demand will come in and she can negotiate for the return of her children. Leia returns to the medcenter, wanting to speak with Chewbacca. The doctor says it’s an unnecessary risk. The Wookiee needs rest. Leia knows that the pressure bomb was detonated to hide the use of the Dark Side.
Mr. Iyon returns much later and confirms there’s nothing yet. He warns her about trying to circumvent these rituals, as the kidnappers may make a sacrifice. His pet wyrwulf had been taken in the abduction, too. Leia insists she knows they are not here and that no one from Munto Codru is involved. He insists she have some tea and drinks it with her. It makes her drowsy and he takes his leave.
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  • The time is 14 years ABY. Leia and Luke are about 33, Han is 43. Jacen and Jaina are 5. Anakin is 3 ½.
  • I’m sure that the New Republic provided material on these abductions prior to Leia’s visit. I know the chapter discussed her feelings about security but she still brought her children to a place where kidnapping is considered honorable and there are rules about how to get the kidnapped person back?
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Wow, I didn't realize that Planet of Twilight and The Crystal Star sandwiched Starfighter of Adumar in the timeline. And looking at the timeline, The Black Fleet Crisis and The New Rebellion are next.

 

Ouch. Didn't realize what a dark pit this whole section of the Star Wars timeline turned out to be.

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The book never really painted a clear picture of what Waru actually looked like in my mind, nor did any visual materials. Was he, like, a wall of slimy . . . things?

[Edit]Okay, Nightly, clean up what ever is preventing me from linking an image.

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I liked it at first, but I kinda got tired of the precocious Solo kids. They have the Force, I get it, but they are also very, very young.


chapter 2:


On the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and C-3PO fly toward Crseih Research Station where Luke is following up on rumors of lost Jedi and Han is taking a vacation. Han and Luke kid each other about the concept of flirting, while Han recommends Luke do some himself with someone. After all, Jedi Knights have to come from somewhere.


He feels badly that Luke has no one to share his life with. Luke spends a lot of time at his school, feeling like he’s floundering because so many records have been destroyed and he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Han suggest that he just make up his own rules. It’s even possible that a few Jedi from the old days will pop up.


When the ship comes out of hyperspace, the alarms shriek and radiation shields snap around the Falcon. C-3PO suggests they get under the spaceport’s shielding as soon as possible since he can feel X-rays penetrating his outer shell.


The star is a dying white dwarf which orbits a black hole in a wild elliptical path. Luke gazes into it and admits he hates leaving his students, but it will be worth it to find other trained Jedi. Han will not admit that he thinks Jedi are more trouble than they are worth. He has nightmares about his children being tempted to the Dark Side.


The research station had been an Imperial endeavor to adapt the power of the black hole to the Emperor’s destructive tendencies. After they land, they pay a crawler driver to transport them. C-3PO’s contact is nowhere in sight.


Inside the station, Luke had expected to be able to sense the lost Jedi, but he cannot find anything. He has C-3PO stop vocalizing his concerns as it reveals their identities and their plans. The droid walks off and they get distracted by beggars, merchants and artisans clamoring for credits.


One hairy being is persistent enough that Luke asks him to help them with lodging and other necessaries. He takes them far off to where suitable lodging is found. Luke had been reminded of Yoda when encountering him, but is now not so sure the being was a Jedi. Still, they make arrangements at this lodge which takes most of Han’s ready cash. They had been sent with a Letter of Resources which was to have taken care of their funding needs, but Han is starting to get the feeling that this place is too far out to bother with such things, which means he’s going to have to find more cash. Since Luke will doubtlessly not approve of the plan, he sneaks out.


After confirming the Letter of Resources is worthless, he is approached by a ghostling who asks for a minute of his time. She tries to persuade him of the joys of communing with Waru. Han turns her down.


Then heads into a bar where he gets into a card game.

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Han will not admit that he thinks Jedi are more trouble than they are worth. He has nightmares about his children being tempted to the Dark Side.

Whether it's EU or canon, Han was really never destined to catch a break there.

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I mainly remember this book for the people from Munto Codru and their strange metamorphosis from wolves as kids to humanoid adults. That and I really liked the cover art for the book.

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The cover art was cool, wasn't it?

 

chapter 3:
Jaina struggles with her little brother, Anakin, as he cries for his father. The children are on a circular patch of grass from the meadow and Mr. Iyon’s wyrwulf is with them. She woke up first and it had hurt. They wake up Jacen and she uses the Force to keep the pain away. They aren’t supposed to use it without Uncle Luke being with them, but it’s hard not to do it sometimes.
They remember that they were playing with Chewie before he fell down and they all went to sleep. Anakin insists he saw a skiff but the twins don’t. They don’t know where they are now.
The brothers jump off the patch of grass to explore where they are. Jaina finds the multitool she’d taken with her to the meadow and feels safer. They try to burrow through the wall with the tool but it’s not designed to work on metal.
A door opens and a man with striped hair, pale skin and black eyes appears. He kneels in front of the children and tries to comfort them. He explains that he is their “hold-father” Hethrir. The children have many hold-fathers and mothers, but they’ve never heard of him.
Jacen asks if he knows the password.
Hethrir tells them that there was an earthquake that destroyed the castle where their mother was. Their father and uncle were there, too. He tried to save their friend, Chewbacca, but it was too late. They had not had the opportunity to give him the password, but he assures the children that they were all friends. Jacen is still not sure, but Jaina nudges him with the Force.
Somehow, Hethrir knows she did it and cautions her not to do that anymore. He has been asked to take care of them. They point out that Winter is supposed to do that. He assures them that a servant cannot watch them with no one to pay for them.
Jaina doesn’t want to believe this is true, but she has no place to go. It is also possible that their father and uncle returned while they were playing. However, Jaina also thinks that Hethrir may not know that her father and Uncle Luke were on a secret mission with Mr.PO. This means that they may be alive, but telling Hethrir this may put them in danger.
If that’s true, then he could be lying about everything. She tells Jacen to decide if they believe him or not because Jacen is oldest. Hethrir confirms this, telling them how he was told by their parents about their birth. Of course, now the children know he is lying because Jaina is the oldest. They decide to tell him that they believe him.
He calls for a boy named Tigris who is about 13 and has differently striped hair, pale skin and black eyes. He is told to carry Anakin, but the twins don’t want him taking their brother. They put up a Force barrier that Hethrir takes down.
He chastises them and tells them he will teach them to use the Force but they can only use it under his supervision. The wyrwulf growls and runs toward the wall, crashing into it.
He removes them all from the room, leaving the creature behind.
They do not want to be separated from their brother and try to fight him off. Anakin uses the Force to push Tigris away which impresses Hethrir greatly. He then uses his own Force abilities to dampen the childrens’ so that he can control them more easily and takes Anakin.
Tigris pushes each of them into a separate room far apart. Jaina tells him she wants to go home. He knows this, but he tells her she can’t. Jaina imagines they are on a camping trip and reaches out to touch Jacen’s fingers in her mind.
Tigris returns to Hethrir’s door where he is forced to wait until admitted. He took longer than he should have and confesses that he spoke to the children. Hethrir chastises him and asks what he thinks of the little boy.
Anakin’s energy seems diminished but he seems to be shining again. Tigris thinks he could be very strong. Obviously, Hethrir has put a veil around him. Tigris is shocked, however, when his master tells him the child will be taken to be purified. In Tigris’ mind, this child can’t be an Empire Youth. He’s not been trained and he’s not even a helper, much less a proctor.
Nevertheless, Hethrir insists. Tigris longs to do more than just deliver messages. However, children who cannot touch the Force do not deserve to remain in Hethrir’s presence and, once again, Tigris is unable to activate his master’s lightsaber with the Force.
Jaina wakes up and tries to use the Force to open the door, but the veil of the Force comes down over her. She pulls out her multitool and starts to work on the wooden door. Tigris opens it and tells her to come out.
She, Jacen and many other children are standing outside their doors. They are all tired, frightened and wearing ragged clothes. Older children are already standing in line. Tigris explains that they wait for permission from the Proctor to move. The Proctor is a young man with a blue jumpsuit. The helpers show them how to line up.
Jaina refuses to march in step and argues with Tigris. Then Hethrir appears and cancels breakfast for everyone because she is being disruptive. They proceed to the study hall. She finds the questions pointless. Most of those things she knows like her letters and times tables. The other questions are completely silly and no one needs to know them.
Tigris lectures her about needing to learn things that Hethrir wants them to know. She still thinks the questions are dumb.
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  • Jacen and Jaina were speaking in short, complete sentences at the age of two. In this chapter, Anakin speaks but more like a small child of three and a half, with incomplete sentences. Additionally, five year old Jaina knows her times tables? These are smart children, of course, and, certainly the Force is probably responsible for that, but they’ve also developed some very keen insight, such as the way they tricked Hethrir into giving them information that proved he was lying to them.
  • Children will sometimes vary what they call their parents or change what they call them as time goes on. Just a note, but Han and Leia referred to themselves as mommy and daddy in previous books. In this one, the children refer to their parents as Mama and Papa. It is also the only book in which they will ever do that.

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Han will not admit that he thinks Jedi are more trouble than they are worth. He has nightmares about his children being tempted to the Dark Side.

Whether it's EU or canon, Han was really never destined to catch a break there.

 

To me that's like saying, "Whether it's a mammal or an animal." ;)

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chapter 4:
Leia wakes up, realizes that the nightmare is real and asks R2 if there’s news. She realizes that Mr. Iyon had drugged her so she would sleep. She is angry, but, under the circumstances, knows why he did so.
R2 is insistent that she follow him into the night. He takes her to the landing field and to her ship, Alderaan, where she thinks he’s alerting her to an intruder. The takeoff procedure had begun, but there’s no one aboard. She heads to the cockpit for a look around. When the droid returns, R2 powers up the drive over her protests. He shows her the display of Munto Codru’s traffic. No ship had arrived or departed for several days, except one.
This could be the trace of the ship on which her children could be aboard. R2 tells her the spaceport records were altered but he routinely tracks spaceship traffic since he might have to navigate through local space at any time.
They risk a great deal if they are wrong and this really is a coup abduction typical of Munto Codru, but she knows that it wasn’t. Someone penetrated her security, wounded Chewbacca, made them oblivious to two hours of time passing and escaped with the children and Mr. Iyon’s wyrwulf.
She activates the ship and lifts off. Over the protests of the spaceport which tries to stop her with a tractor beam, she breaks free and gets to hyperspace. When she goes back to the cabin, she finds Chewbacca in the bunk. R2 brought him aboard while she was searching the rest of the ship.
She has medicine aboard but his wound is serious. She may not be able to treat him as well as he needs to be, but he feels guilty for what happened to the children. She’s also worried that he will be recognized. On the other hand, it might not be so bad since he’s with her and not Han.
Still, she’s angry with R2 and locks him out of the cockpit, screaming in frustration and fear for her children and everything that has happened. Through the Force, though, she knows she on the right trail.
Han returns to the rooms and falls on his bed. Luke is practicing with his lightsaber. They get in an argument about Han just leaving to go gamble. Han points out they needed funds and that’s what he’s got for them. He’s going to sleep and then have breakfast in bed and maybe lunch in bed. Luke thinks there’s something wrong here at Crseih Station.
Han suggests he go look for C-3PO or their contact. Luke has already found both. C-3PO is here and painted purple. Their contact is a woman from Han’s past named Xaverri who had been adventurous to the point where Han thought she was just reckless. He’d learned, instead, that she didn’t care about her life because she risked against high officers of the Empire.
She had sent the message but would not tell them the source of the strange phenomena through it. She offers to show them now.
Lunch is rotten. Jaina had tried one bite, then given hers to a red-gold centauriform girl. But a boy named Vram threw it on the floor, told on them and was rewarded by a helper.
They are walked to a playyard afterwards where they are told they can walk and talk quietly, but they cannot run, dig in the sand or pick the leaves. They cannot go near the fence or a dragon will eat them.
She finds Mr. Iyon’s wyrwulf in the yard, chained up. She sees the Proctors high above, practicing with lightsabers, though she doesn’t know why such bad people have them. She sees the horizon laying very close. This isn’t Munto Codru and it’s not even a real world. Jaina thinks it’s a built one.
The little centaur child introduces herself as Lusa. The groupings of children are mixed up everyday so she will likely be in a group with her brothers tomorrow. Jaina heads toward the fence, not believing there’s a dragon. After all, she doesn’t believe anything else she’s being told here. But a large lizard pops out of the sand and roars at the children.
They debate what it actually eats besides children. Three ships streak overhead. The helpers and Proctors are nowhere to be found and the children in the yard are frightened. Vram tells Jaina that,when ships come, the bad children are taken away. Lusa is afraid her horns will be sawed off. She’s still young enough that hers haven’t come through the velvet yet and, if they cut through that, she’ll die.
Jaina holds her hand. Then the Proctors and helpers arrive, followed by Hethrir. Tigris appears on the stairwell, holding Anakin who is sleeping. Hethrir promotes one of the Proctors to be an Empire Youth, to be purified in service to the Empire Reborn. Then he promotes Vram to helper.
He brings along a lightsaber with a bulb in place of a lens and tells Lusa to turn it on. The idea is to use the Force to activate a lightsaber, the way his own is. Lusa has the talent, but he blocks it and she cannot turn the light on. Jaina yells at him that what he did was not fair. He dampens her Force ability again and has Lusa taken away.
He tests all the students and divides them into two groups. Jaina notices that only human children are left and that Lusa’s group is largely alien with a few humans mixed in. The Proctors and helpers are all human, too. Hethrir explains they are being taken away because they aren’t as good as the ones left. Those children and Mr. Iyon’s wyrwulf are dragged off.
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  • Xaverri appeared in The Hutt Gambit and was mentioned in Rebel Dawn.
  • I would assume the division between the ones staying and the ones leaving were based on talent, but, since Hethrir deliberately kept Lusa’s light from coming on and her group was largely made up of aliens, this could be some human-centrism the Empire is known for. However, why abduct alien children if he has no intention of keeping them?
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I've read this book at least a couple times, but I keep putting it out of my mind, and I forget everything about it. The only problem is, I then read it again.

 

Thanks for posting these if for no other reason than reminding me that this is the worst thing to ever happen to Star Wars. This makes the Holiday Special look like Shakespeare.

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chapter 5:
Alderaan comes out of hyperspace as Leia gets hit with a burst of pain and despair. She knows it’s not death and it’s not her children. Finding a ship, she gets excited, but R2 points out that it’s not the same ship as the one that left Munto Codru.
This is a passenger freighter that used to be used by the Empire to transport unwilling colonists in suspended animation, largely political prisoners and criminals.
The New Republic had been trying to find those ships. There are two dozen of them in a graveyard of abandoned ships. Chewie appears despite her urging him to stay resting. They look at the reports. The ships contain passengers but many of them have died. Some are barely alive.
Xaverri takes the two men and the droid through a trail. She tells him that Luke was hiding himself in the Force but revealed himself to her. She’s heard rumors that he was never formally finished with his training which is said to be dangerous. Han says that information has been kept under wraps, but Xaverri points out that there’s not much that doesn’t get out eventually. Besides, he’s not a smuggler anymore, but a General in the New Republic. Fewer people are going to talk to him about these things.
She doesn’t want to work for them, but she’s found a phenomenon that is strange and dangerous to the Republic. Through an opening in a dome, they enter another dome and she points them to a crater where many people are headed.
Luke looks pale and tense. C-3PO notes his temperature is very low. Luke admits there’s something here but doesn’t know what.
Tigris carries the sleeping child to Hethrir’s receiving chamber, wondering when he will be allowed to do something more important. There are several guests there: Lord Qaqquqqu, Lady Ucce and Lord Cnorec.
They think the child is too young. Hethrir admits they will have to let him grow or send him back for a time. However, he is going to keep him. They don’t have to worry about him revealing their existence to the New Republic.
They had all saved themselves and their resources from the fall of the Empire and pledged their allegiance to Lord Hethrir. When he vanquishes the New Republic, Hethrir will become Emperor. Tigris wants to be there when it happens, wearing at least the uniform of a helper. He wants Hethrir to acknowledge him.
Hethrir tells his guests that they will travel soon to the Crseih Station to secure his alliance with Waru. The followers are gathering now and each will wish to choose from among the children displayed here. They may bid amongst each other. The black wyrwulf is not sentient so he will give it free to whomever wins the license to distribute.
Lord Cnorec balks at the huge sum at which bidding would start. Hethrir uses the Force to kill him. Lady Ucce wins the auction, the group of children, the right to offer them to Imperial loyalists at Hethrir’s gathering or sell them through the trade.
The children remaining still have the chance to be promoted and purified. The newly appointed Empire Youth enters and Hethrir gives him to her to secure a position for him within the Republic. They toast to the Empire Reborn.
Leia wears a pressure suit to board the freighter. She finds sleep coffins aboard, with transparent doors. A striped-haired humanoid sleeps in one. Leia recognizes him as being from Firrerre, a world where the population was wiped out by the Empire using a biological weapon. She thought they were all extinct.
She sets it to the wake cycle. She asks if Chewie can get the power back on. He walks around until he finds a room with displays. He studies them then the ship comes alive. Leia thanks him and prepares to go back to the Firrerreo until she finds a female of the species hanging from webbing. She is alive, her eyes open and staring.
Leia tries to cut her down but the male she’d freed earlier appears and tells her that she’ll only get tangled in the webbing herself. Leia introduces herself as Lelila and her companion as Geyyahab. The male will not tell her his name but the female is called Rillao. She is not his clan and he owes her nothing.
She assures him she is not an Imperial and that she will release him if he helps her. He maneuvers the controls on a console nearby and lowers the webbing.
Jaina cries in her study cubicle. Vram approaches her and tells her that Hethrir wants her to answer history questions. The greatest leader in their history is one of them. Jaina claims that it’s her mother, but Vram corrects that it’s the Emperor. She refuses to listen to these lies until she’s dragged off to her room and locked in.
She has to find some way to let her mother know about this Empire Reborn. She uses her multitool on the door again, wondering what would happen once she was out of here. How she is going to get past the dragon or even get off this world. She might try to send a message instead.
She images molecules of air around her, doubling and redoubling as she goes. Slowly, she regains her ability to control the Force.
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chapter 6:
A huge crowd gathers around Han and his friends and heads toward a building. Luke notices there’s someone in almost every group of beings who is sick or injured. Han looks at Luke and considers that he doesn’t look so great himself.
Inside, the groups pass through an archway where they beg for Waru to heal their loved ones. Luke watches the altar move. Xaverri explains that this is Waru. The being rises up and tells Xaverri to approach him.
Waru is covered with golden shields but, beneath, is a slab of uncovered tissue like meat. Waru asks her if her friends wish to be healed. She explains she has brought them to study his truth. He notes that a new creature has been brought. Xaverri brings C-3PO forward who engages in conversation with Waru.
Han sees that Luke seems hypnotized by this. He himself is pretty sure this is a scam. He can’t believe how Xaverri seems taken by all of this. She used to be the taker in the old days. When Waru dismisses them, Han moves to grab Luke and his friend turns on him, snarling.
Han tells him to pull himself together. Xaverri is so overwhelmed when out of Waru’s presence, she nearly drops. Han insists they all leave now, but she and Luke want to see the ceremony. Knowing this is a fraud, Han still realizes frauds can be dangerous and it might be worth checking out.
Han sees beings bring their sick loved ones for treatment and is surprised when they are healed with no requests for compensation. Luke is entranced by this. He doesn’t think Waru is a lost Jedi but he really doesn’t know what it is.
Han doesn’t believe this. If it’s not a manifestation of the Force, it has to be a fraud. There are any number of ways to pull off a deception even if the supplicants are not in on it. Luke insists this is real. Tired of wasting his time, Han points out there’s nothing to be done then as the Republic does not interfere in other beings’ worship. He storms off to enjoy his vacation.
C-3PO catches up with him and urges him to leave some of his winnings in the droid’s care in case he is considering doing more gambling.
Leia and Chewie do what they can for Rillao aboard the Alderaan, but she does not wake up. The Firrerreo says she’ll either live or die; she’s not his clan anyway. After getting food, she asks why he hates Rillao.
He says that she was in the chamber so she must be the one who caused their exile. The Empire would not have sentenced her to a trip of torture otherwise. Leia tells him the Empire is gone. All of his people are free.
She tells him his world is still under quarantine. She knows what it’s like to lose a home. He assumes she’s from Alderaan. His people will take their chances with a new world the Empire was sending them too. Leia argues that they are traveling at sublight and will be traveling for years.
He does not care. If they wake up years from now and the Empire is still gone, it’s better. If the Republic is gone, they will not care anyway. He wishes Lelila the best, explaining his people only use names to hold power over others, but he knows she is really Princess Leia. Her disguise isn’t very good.
Han runs into one of his fellow card players from the night before, an enhanced human who is rather insistent that they have a rematch.
Jaina finishes her breakfast despite its bad taste. The Proctors and helpers eat their food at their own tables and it’s much better than what the others get. Jaina spots Jacen on the other side of the cafeteria. Then she looks under the table and sees a small bug, a myrmin, and gives it a small bit of her food. She gets an idea to pretend she’s a bug that no one will notice.
She uses the Force to knock a grain of sand over, expecting Hethrir’s dampening to hit her. Nothing happens. A few sand grains on the platform at the Proctors’ feet spirals up. She drops sand on some of their food and is satisfied to see them eat it. Even more satisfied when they start to spit it out. The head proctor yells for Grake, the cook from Gbu, a high gravity world.
Grake is unimpressed with the proctors’ bad manners and chastises them for accusing her food of being tampered with. She kicks their feet off of the table and starts tossing food to the younger children who scamper for it.
Grake stomps out and the head proctor restores order, but his fellows will not finish their sand-ridden dinner and he seems unwilling to dismiss them. Jaina notices a line of myrmins moving toward the proctors’ table. They move up the pant legs. She catches Jacen’s eye and he grins at her.
The proctors start jumping up as the myrmins bite them. Jacen cries because some of the bugs are being stomped on. Jaina gets up and runs to hug her brother. The Head Proctor, with his comrades itching, dismisses dinner.
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  • Since the Firrerreo knows who Leia is and that Alderaan has been destroyed, then his homeworld must have been poisoned within the last 13 years.

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chapter 7:


The children decide to go outside. Jacen and Jaina compare notes. Neither knows where Anakin is. Jacen doesn’t believe there’s a dragon until he gets too close to the fence, but then he considers he might be able to tame her and ride away.


Jaina pulls out her multitool and Jacen uses it to flash a little light that distracts the dragon. It chases the light around and the other children laugh to see it play. Jacen tells her that the dragon is just a little one and is lonely.


The Head Proctor comes back and orders them back inside for their boring studies about how great it will be when Hethrir is Emperor. Then they are put back in the rooms where Jaina begins to work on the door again.


Leia considers that their disguises aren’t good at all. She pulls her hair down and then mixes black and silver dye together for Chewie’s fur. She dyes her hair and considers dressing as a male, but that only works in stories. She cannot draw attention as a woman disguised as a man. Then she adds make-up.


She thinks the kidnappers may be related to whoever abandoned these people out here. She will try to talk to Rillao or one of the other passengers out here to find out what happened to her children.


Back in the room, Luke tries to convince Han that what they saw was real. Han really wants some sleep and brushes C-3PO off when the droid asks for credits to shop for their food. It turns out Han’s evening wasn’t so good, but he didn’t lose all of his money, though.


Luke insists Han listen to him. He knows Waru isn’t a Jedi but he has some Force connection that is beyond what Luke understands. If they can bring him back to the New Republic, they can make a huge difference.


Han reminds Luke that Xaverri said Waru was dangerous to the Republic. Bringing him back there isn’t a good idea. He’s particularly upset when he finds Luke left Xaverri at the compound and heads out after her.


Rillao awakens but thinks Leia is a slaver. This upsets Chewie. Though slavery had existed under the Empire, the Republic ended the practice Rillao explains that she was brought here five years ago. There are some who are content to steal people privately.


Leia said she followed a ship here but the trail was interrupted. Rillao knows that the ship may have gone where slavers hide and wait for the Empire Reborn. They are a group of powerful and wealthy adherents who have sworn an oath of secrecy. She names several worlds where they hold power; many of which surprise Leia.


But Munto Codru is not one of them.


Rillao feared that Leia had killed the slaver ship because her son is aboard it. Leia asks to tell her as much as she can so they can find this ship.


At the dome, Han finds Xaverri sitting at Waru’s base. Waru is beginning the process of healing a young Ithorian and encases him in a pod of ichor. This time, though, Waru shudders violently and shrieks. To Han, it sounds like a growling cat as the pod pushes in on the child.


When the pod opens, however, the young Ithorian is dead. Waru laments that they may have waited too long to ask for his help. Waru needs to rest now so beings begin to leave.


Han approaches Xaverri and walks her out. Luke runs toward them and asks what happened. He felt a disturbance. Han explains that a kid died and that they need to get back to the lodge.


Xaverri asks if he understands why Waru is dangerous. He knows that Waru killed that young Ithorian and pretended that it had exerted him to try to save him.

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chapter 8:
Rillao asks Leia if she found a small hand-held machine near her body when she found her. Leia didn’t and Rillao brushes it off. The Firrerreo ship begins to move away slowly. Leia knows that Rillao and her son should be aboard that ship.
Rillao doesn’t think far enough ahead to know if they will return to the ship when she finds him. Leia wants to wake the others, but Rillao tells her it’s pointless. They have nothing of value anyway.
Rillao tells her that an evil man seized the ships here because he was responsible for their existence anyway. He had helped build them, arrested and convicted those in them and condemned any world that defied the Emperor. He believed the Empire would live a thousand years and so would he. He believed he would be worshipped as a god by the descendents of the people he condemned.
He was Procurator of Justice for the Empire. Leia knew that was a mysterious figure who was never named or pictured during the Emperor’s reign. When the Empire fell, he vanished. Rillao goes on to say that he fled with his resources to his own small planet which is a worldcraft that he uses to travel between stars.
He decided to chase down the freighters he’d dispatched out in the void and plunder them now. He could have freed the people but chose not to. He visits and sometimes chooses children to sell into slavery. Sometimes he wakes the parents and tells them he’s taking their children.
He plans to lead an Empire Reborn. His name is Hethrir.
Her relationship with him is complicated. Her son is the only child of their people still alive. Hethrir took the people from Firrerre and left their children behind as he destroyed their world.
He’s run out of children on the freighters, possibly. She asks if Leia is searching for a kidnapped child. Leia admits she was hired by parents to find a child for which no ransom was demanded. Rillao surmises Leia is new to this type of work and offers to help. They will have to go to Chalcedon.
Tigris carries Anakin to the landing field, following Hethrir and eleven Proctors. The newest one calls Tigris a nursemaid. Tigris secretly hopes he fails the purification ritual; sometimes new Proctors do and the others are sworn to secrecy about the death.
He tries to put Anakin down but the child clings to him. Tigris is never touched. Hethrir doesn’t. The last person to do so was his mother and she was a traitor who claimed to love him but was secretly stealing his ability to touch the Force.
On board the ship, he is told to leave Anakin alone and come to the pilot’s chamber. Tigris is torn between comforting the child and going to the chamber which he has never been invited to do before. He finally leaves the crying boy behind to sit with his master.
In his room at the lodge, Han wants to be home. Xaverri had been angry that he had come alone. She has spent time alone with Waru every day for a hundred days and he trusts her. If Han doesn’t stop behaving suspiciously, Waru won’t trust her.
He asks her if she knew that kid would die. Xaverri explains she knows that another person will die but she never knows who or when. If he’d waited, like she’d asked, she could have warned him of the possibility. Luke points out that no healer is going to be successful all the time.
Han reiterates that he saw Waru crush that child and he strongly suspects he enjoyed it. He knows that Waru is evil which starts an argument with Luke over how he can know. Xaverri tells that Crseih Station belonged to the Empire and the Procurator of Justice used it as his headquarters, a prison for enemies and a place to perform savage rites, sacrificing people to Waru.
It is said that Waru promised to reward the Procurator with absolute power. Han says the Procurator is dead, but Xaverri says he’s one of the ones she’s been tracking. She knows that he comes here.
Luke still insists Waru is a healer. Xaverri reminds him that a healer has the knowledge of how to kill. Han thinks it’s the Dark Side, but Luke is adamant he knows what that feels like.
Xaverri asks Luke to leave them alone for a bit, then she assures Han they will stop Waru, embraces him and tells him to sleep.
After the ship emerges from hyperspace, Hethrir comments that he will be glad to travel in comfort using his worldcraft. He is going to meditate before the child’s purification and tells Tigris he can sleep outside his door. To Tigris, this is an honor.
Leia brings the Alderaan to light and sends an SOS from the passenger ships to Han before jumping to hyperspace.
Han dreams that Anakin is being approached by a snake that turns into Boba Fett and then to Waru. Xaverri shakes him awake, having taken off his boots and jacket earlier and covered him when he fell asleep.
He asks her if she has a family. She reminds him the Empire killed hers. He knew that but he wants to know if she’s found anyone since then. Xaverri made a vow that she would always be alone. She will not experience his nightmare for real again.
Han heads into Luke’s room and finds him sitting on the balcony. Luke confronts him over staying with Xaverri all night. Han is offended that Luke would even think him capable of betraying Leia. Luke is edgy, fingering his lightsaber and decides that he will not talk to Han right now. He leaves.
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  • If the Procurator of Justice was someone whose name was never known and image never seen, why did Han think he was dead? How could that possibly be verified?

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chapter 9:


At Chalcedon, Rillao and Leia depart the ship in time for a small earthquake. They are followed by R2. Rillao leads them through town to the home of bureaucrats where a pool is waiting. They sit at the pool and a fountain soaks Leia.


The being emerging from the pool is called Indexer. The creature searches his sources and finds no public record of another Firrerreo, but has a private transaction record.


He also has heard rumors that the Asylum station thinks it can compete with Chalcedon. Rillao thought the Republic would have shut down such a place. Indexer ponders that the Republic may find it useful. Leia asks about this place. Rillao explains that the Empire tested its methods of coercion on sentient subjects there.


Han takes a walk, wondering how to solve this problem with Luke on top of the problem with Waru.


Jaina leaves her room, creeps past the sleeping Proctor and opens Jacen’s door. When it creeps, the Proctor wakes up. He comes over and Jaina pushes the door against him and locks him inside. They race out of the room and assure each other that their parents are not dead. They open all the doors and Jaina is surprised to see that even Vram is locked in his room at night. When he yells for help, she shuts the door on him.


The children run into the playground where Jacen uses the Force to bring up a swirl of light brighter than the multitool. The dragon rises up and smells Jacen. The alarms start ringing and the children don’t have a choice. They all climb over the fence and onto the dragon.


They talk about how to escape. Jacen uses the opportunity to release a bat he’d hidden in his shirt on Munto Codru. The creature flies to and fro. The Proctors are searching for them. Jaina fears that a skiff will show up bearing Master Hethrir and the Proctors who will make them go back. But it doesn’t happen.


They ride throughout the day, stopping at a stream for water and Jaina expresses her concern when Jacen stuffs berries in his mouth. Jacen argues that someone who built this planet would certainly make sure the food is edible.


The children decide to hide in the bushes. Since they are small, they might be concealed there until dark when they can go out again. Jacen tells the dragon that he doesn’t want her to be caught. He wants her to hide in the desert for now. The dragon doesn’t seem to want to go. Jaina suggests that their pursuers might think the dragon ate the children anyway.


The bat flies off to find where they should go. Then the sound of engines. Jaina is fearful that they had almost waited too long to go to the bushes. Then she fears that Hethrir will kill the dragon.


The Proctors are shouting, so the children begin to crawl through the bushes. The ground is muddy and the thorns are prickly. The Proctors don’t want to crawl through them, but are ordered to do so. The bat leads them to a dark wallow where a tree stands with a large dark place between the roots. Jacen believes it might be like a tree on Kashyyyk.


He takes a step into the mud and sinks into it to his knees. Jaina grabs him, almost reaching for him through the Force which would have alerted Hethrir. Jacen keeps sinking. The other children help and pull him free.


Jaina uses the Force to slowly freeze small molecules of water until the swampy water forms ice. The children quickly move over it one at a time. It finally breaks as Jacen is near the end, falling face forward into it. She grabs his hand. Inside the dark space, they climb into the tree.


By this time, the Head Proctor has emerged from the other side of the thorn bushes, disheveled and angry. The others are scratched and bleeding. When they step across onto the ice, Jaina releases the water molecules and the rest of the ice disappears. Jaina can hear the splashes and screams as she crawls up the inside of the tree.

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  • On page 158, the name Munto Codru is misspelled Mundo Codru.

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chapter 10:


Leia senses something calling from far away. She pulls the controls of the ship which comes out of hyperspace. Rillao is surprised, demanding to know what’s going on. They must get to Asylum Station. Leia points to a small planetoid near a tiny star. Rillao realizes it’s a worldcraft.


She’d hoped never to see one of these vehicles which are thought to be mythical. The Emperor had a few made which he presented to some of his most loyal officers. Hethrir was one of them.


As they fly over the worldcraft, they are concerned not to be challenged. Coming near to a stream toward a large tree, they spot a group of people walking, then struggling. Rillao knows these people will try to stop the quest.


Leia argues that the people are drowning. Rillao points out that they won’t if they help each other rather than fight. She knows, however, that these people will try to kill her and Leia if help is offered.


Chewbacca roars and points to another group. Children stand on a large branch waving at the ship. Leia lowers the ship and rushes out to grab her children.


With Rillao’s help, the others are pulled into the ship, too. Jaina and Jacen explain that they’d been told their parents and uncle were dead, that Anakin is not with them and that the other children are in danger.


They also warn her that the older children in the swamp aren’t very nice. Jaina notices that Rillao looks like Tigris. Rillao quickly asks if he is on this world and if Hethrir is here, too. The children are able to tell her that Tigris wasn’t a proctor but he mostly just followed Hethrir around.


The deck of the ship is hard and cold. Enough to make Tigris miss his insufficient bunk on the worldcraft. He tries to ignore Anakin’s crying, but the child will need to be strong when he is purified. He takes Anakin to the galley to find some food, refusing any for himself. Anakin demands his parents. Tigris tells him they don’t want him anymore. All of his attempts to make Anakin understand how Lord Hethrir has adopted him are in vain. When Hethrir appears, demanding to know what’s going on, he doesn’t let Tigris explain. He revokes the boy’s permission to attend to him, sending him back to the passenger compartment with Anakin.


Tigris can’t really blame the child for this. When Anakin offers him food, he eats it. Meanwhile, Hethrir lands at Crseih Station which is also known as Asylum.


When they land, Leia decides to handle the Proctors. Having been chased back to the compound by the dragon, they are in bad shape and beg for her help. She forces them to promise not to treat anyone else the way they’ve treated the children and to remove their insignia. Though initially evasive about Hethrir’s whereabouts, they admit he took a group of children to sell, along with Tigris and Anakin to Crseih Station.


Jaina thinks they should be held in the same dark cells the other children had to live in. Leia reminds her daughter that revenge isn’t just. Rillao appears, stating she’s found another group of children. Jaina reveals they are the helpers who are just as mean.


Rillao has also found out where Hethrir is going. Leia is tempted to go after him right now, but they can’t leave all of these children to fend for themselves. It’s decided to send the worldcraft to safety. It can move through hyperspace like any other ship.


In the meantime, Leia goes to find food for the children. She encounters Grake who is in the process of setting out the children’s food for the Proctors and vice versa. Grake explains that she’s a slave and had to do what Hethrir told her or he could kill her. Leia tells her she’s free. They both agree to make real food for all the children.


Tigris loves Crseih Station. He walks without pausing, lest he be tempted by the many things in the marketplace he wants.


Having eaten well for the first time in a long while, the children want to go home. Leia wants to send them home, too, but she fears some of them will be disappointed. Hethrir might have killed the families, they might have been taken off of passenger freighters or they might be the children Winter was meeting with parents about: the ones who thought the children had run away.


Rillao tells her they will enter hyperspace soon en route to Crseih Station.


The host greets Hethrir and assures him his guests have arrived. They are interrupted by the arrival of C-3PO complaining to the landlord that they are not late with the rent by much and that his companions will return to pay soon. Anakin recognizes the droid and runs to him. C-3PO demands to know what they are doing with Anakin.


Both droid and Anakin resist attempts to deflect attention. Hethrir finally cuts through the head and torso of the droid with his lightsaber.


Leia pushes all the beds together for the children. Jaina and Jacen want to stay with her. She lets them all know the ship will be moving soon and leaves Chewbacca behind to help them.


Jaina tells her mother that they tried using the Force, but that Hethrir stopped them. They were able to do small things, though. What really bothers them is that they cannot sense each other in the Force. Hethrir has taken that away from them. Leia reaches out and explains that he’s not even here. As far as she can tell, her senses find nothing. She assures them that he cannot hurt them.


Rillao races to the cabin and insists on knowing who they are. She accuses Leia of being a Jedi. Leia explains she’s untrained and the children only know a little. Still, their use of the Force gave her a headache. The children are so fearful of Hethrir that they refuse to believe he cannot hurt them from far away.


Rillao helps them. She strokes their hair, telling them their mother is right. He has no power to harm them. Suddenly, their brightness returns as the Force flows back.


Leia asks if she’s a Jedi. Rillao admits that she was, but a student of Lord Vader’s. Even though her people were considered sub-human and destroyed, Vader kept her and one other, training them in secret. The two fell in love. Vader thought they would produce a talented child that he could use to serve the Emperor. By the time the child was born, Rillao was considered a disappointing student as she did not fall to the dark side. She has the gift to soothe and heal; his drive for more power didn’t speak to her.


But her lover, Hethrir, ceased loving her. He was appointed Procurator of Justice and charged with the destruction of his world and people in order to prove his loyalty. He thought that the Emperor might declare him human if he did this.


She fled before the child was born. Tigris, a beautiful, normal baby with no Force talent at all. She was relieved. They hid on small worlds. She thought the Empire’s fall meant the end of all the suffering. But Hethrir had survived, tracked them down, imprisoned her about the ship and took their child. It’s been five years.


Hethrir brings Tigris back to the ship to call her names. She knows the boy will be a disappointment to him; he cannot be what his father wants him to be. She must find him soon before all his innocence is gone.


Leia reveals her identity and promises that they will find both children, return to Coruscant and Luke will be so excited to meet her.

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chapter 11:


Chewbacca boards the Alderaan while the worldcraft flies off to Munto Codru with Grake and the children.


Han, filled with ale and the thrill of winning at cards, knows what to do about Waru. Inside the lodge, though, he can’t get into his room. Bouncer droids take him to the host who will not accept the back rent and does not know where Han’s friends are.


He heads to the Falcon, noticing that the star has moved past Crseih Station and the black hole rises. This causes interference with his comlink and he cannot contact Luke or C-3PO. When the interference fades, he only gets the Falcon’s automated systems. He wonders if Luke has gone back to see Waru.


Leia is surprised to find that Asylum is Crseih Station. She explains to Rillao that her husband and brother are here. If Anakin is, too, Luke will know. Leia hopes that she might land to find everyone safe and sound already.


The same interference that disrupts Han’s comlink keeps Alderaan from communicating with the surface, too. R2 tells Leia that the star is so old and so dense that it’s freezing into a huge quantum crystal.


Jacen and Jaina wake up with headaches, fearful that they may encounter Hethrir again.


In the meeting hall, Tigris recognizes Lady Ucce and Lord Qaqquqqu. Some of the youth have been promoted from Proctor to Empire Youth. Such a large gathering had never taken place in Tigris’ experience. He is proud to be involved. Each guest has one of the non-human children.


One of them, Brashaa, has the fanged creature that had been taken with the Solo children. He remains standing when Hethrir asks his guests to sit. Brashaa explains that they are growing tired of having to hide from the New Republic.

Hethrir takes that as a sign of doubt. He excuses Brashaa from the assembly, not trusting him to hear his plan now. Brashaa argues that he meant nothing disrespectful, but, when his nose begins to bleed, he implores Hethrir’s forgiveness. The others do nothing to help him, even Tigris has to look away.


But, something happens. Brashaa is able to leave the room alive. Tigris looks at Hethrir and sees him straining. He realizes that Hethrir intended to kill Brashaa, but couldn’t.


Exhausted and irritated, Han makes his way toward Waru’s temple, hoping he will meet Luke coming out so that he won’t have to see the creature again. When he enters the courtyard, he sees Luke slumped in front of Waru who tells him that he’s tired. Waru is a living being who needs rest. He wonders why Luke won’t leave when the others did.


Luke admits he’s afraid that he will die if he doesn’t get help. Waru resignedly agrees. Han steps in at this moment and yells for his friend. He has to physically pull Luke away from Waru, the Jedi struggling all the way.


While Lord Hethrir speaks, Tigris listens, enraptured. He doesn’t understand how Anakin can sleep through this. Tigris wonders what it would be like to have a little brother, why his mother was a traitor and who his father was.


When the speech is over, Hethrir orders them to come. Tigris follows the group with Anakin on his hip.


When Alderaan lands, Leia muses at what a landing party they make. Jaina recognizes one of the ships that took her friend away. The group knocks on the door and a droid answers. The ship belongs to Lady Ucce who is in Crater Lodge. Jacen tells his mother that Anakin isn’t on this ship. At least, he doesn’t think so. It’s difficult for him to tell what’s going on here.


Leia realizes that they will have to look elsewhere.

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chapter 12:


When they arrive at the lodge, they find that Hethrir is gone. Rillao finds out from the host that they need to ask for Waru to find their party. While being directed by the nearest being to Waru, Leia notes that R2 has vanished.


Han continues to drag Luke with his friend struggling all the way. Luke explains that he can’t sense the Force. Han believes that Waru isn’t the answer to this problem. There could be any number of reasons why Luke isn’t connecting and they can find out why from a safe distance. Clearly, there are no lost Jedi here…just Waru.


Han plans to grab Xaverri and C-3PO so they can leave. Mention of Xaverri arouses Luke’s anger again. Han explains that she once meant something to him. He has no idea what would have happened if things had worked out, but that was in the past and is not connected to his feelings for Leia.


Xaverri appears, but they don’t know where to find the droid. She also doesn’t think she can fit into the law and order of the New Republic. It’s at this moment that Han spots a group of young people marching alongside a man in robes, with a larger mob behind them. And with them is Anakin.


When the group disappears into Waru’s lair, Han goes after them.


Leia is frustrated that she can get no sense of Anakin. Rillao has to explain that she cannot either. The Force is warped here. She cannot use it, but neither can Hethrir. Their lightsabers would be useless if they had them because both are designed to be empowered only by the Force.


Leia struggles to convince Chewbacca to stay with the children when Han and Luke appear. When she learns her son is with the group of people that just entered Waru’s domain, she grabs Han’s hand and races with him inside.


Hethrir is in the midst of consummating his deal with Waru. He will be opened to the limits of the Force in return for giving Waru what he wants. He presents the grandchild of Darth Vader. Tigris understands now why Anakin was given special treatment, but clearly the little boy wants nothing to do with this. Neither do the other children. Tigris would gladly be purified himself, however the others didn’t choose this at all.


When Anakin is forced into Waru, screeching, Tigris races forward and pulls the little boy loose, taking off with him. Waru roars in rage.


Leia and Han find Anakin being held in the arms of a boy who can only be Rillao’s son. Leia takes her youngest and both parents squeeze Anakin hard while Hethrir shakes Tigris roughly.


Luke arrives, greeting Waru. The being tells him he is too weary to give gifts right now. Hethrir, realizing who this is, urges Waru to take the Jedi instead as he’s Vader’s son. Luke agrees and disappears between Waru’s folds. Leia runs after her brother and dives in, too.


Jaina and Jacen beg Chewie to let them go. They can hear Lusa’s screaming and are sure she’s being hurt. The Wookiee finally picks both children up and carries them into the assembly where they find Han with Anakin. Rillao launches herself at Hethrir. Their father gives Anakin to Chewie and tells the children he loves them before jumping into the gold mass on the platform.


Lusa is having fun kicking the proctors. She tells Jaina she was going to be fed to that monster. Jaina realizes that’s where her father went and it’s probably where her mother and Uncle Luke are, too.


Tigris thought his mother was dead. He’d been glad because she was a traitor who refused to help Hethrir build the Empire Reborn. But now she’s here, attacking his lord, whom he knows he should help.


Instead, he pulls at Hethrir’s robes, imploring him not to hurt his mother. Hethrir growls that she is a traitor. Rillao wonders that Tigris was never told the truth. She turns to her son and explains that Hethrir is the traitor. He is Tigris’ father.


As Han swims deeper and deeper into Waru, he sees that there is something like looks like a black hole. Perhaps Waru came from another universe. Luke and Leia are fighting knife-shaped creatures. Han bursts through them while they’re not concentrating on him.


Leia grabs his hand. He yells at her to swim, fearing what would happen if they touch the darkness. He kicks away from the center with her. Waru urges Luke to give himself to him in return for the greatest imaginable power. Leia accuses it of lying. Waru’s soothing voice causes Luke to slip away. She lets go of Han and heads after him. Then she cannot see anything but the golden light.

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chapter 13:
It doesn’t take long for Chewie, Lusa and the wyrwulf to intimidate the proctors, especially with the help of Xaverri. For some reasons, the guests were being herded into a corner, though most have escaped, leaving the enslaved children behind.
Then Chewie and the children yell into the molten sphere of Waru, calling for their family.
Hethrir tells Tigris that Rillao is a traitor and a liar, but when he tries to argue her statement about betraying her, Tigris knows she’s telling the truth. She wonders why he refused to acknowledge their son. Hethrir points out that he doesn’t deserve it for being so ordinary.
He demands that Waru give him what was promised.
Tigris tries to go after him, but Rillao holds him back. Hethrir does not deserve such loyalty.
Han shouts to Leia to swim. She is unable to do so. He dives after her.
Held by Waru’s promises, Leia floats toward Luke. Then she hears her children calling her. She wakes up and calls to Luke. Waru explains that he’s homesick and just wants to return there. Her brother can help him.
Luke’s eyes are dead. He shakes off the affect when he hears Jaina calling him. He kicks, while Han and Leia pull him. They climb all the way to the top and launch themselves out onto the dais.
Angry that Hethrir has given him nothing, Waru swallows him whole.
For a moment, the Force disappears from the universe. Tigris takes the moment to break free of his mother to jump after Hethrir. She grabs his ankle, helped by Xaverri, before he takes off again, only to bounce off the golden shell of Waru which begins to retract.
By this time, most of the proctors have escaped, along with the guests. The recently promoted proctor, however, is left, tied up, having been abandoned by his peers. Xaverri doubts the escaped proctors will be much trouble. The New Republic will have to deal with Hethrir’s people in their government, though.
Xaverri promises to track down the guests who had been willing to enslave the kidnapped children, but, for now, the Solos should return home with their own children.
They are all ready to go home. Rillao does not like this place that is so separated from the Force. Luke looks tired and weak. He explains that Waru was stranded, but could only gain energy by using his power as an anti-Force to destroy the Force of this universe. He reached that Force by feeding on people, especially Force-sensitives. He didn’t always kill his victim, however. Sometimes, they would be fed back with power that healed or strengthened them. The survivors among Hethrir’s proctors were considered reborn if that happened. That’s what Hethrir had wanted for himself, but he had to make sure Waru had a suitable sacrifice before he tried it. He needed someone stronger in the Force than himself, but someone he could control. That’s why the children were kidnapped.
Waru is gone now and taken Hethrir with him.
The other children are gathered together. Tigris will not accept his mother’s arm. A small sphere is left of Waru, but it’s too heavy for him to lift. He runs out of the theatre, leaving them behind.
Leia suggests that Luke could probably help. Rillao doesn’t think so. Tigris has spent too long under the influence of someone else. He needs to find his own way back to her.
Leia offers a peaceful place for them both to rest and re-connect. She owes Rillao so much for her help and wants to repay that.
R2 and C-3PO come down a trail. Anakin runs to the protocol droid. C-3PO explains that he was attacked and disabled. R2 found him. However, of more importance is that R2 has determined that the dwarf star above has cooled into a quantum crystal. It’s resonating and will fall into the black hole soon.
It’s time for them to leave.
Everyone is happy to do so but Tigris who’d rather die here. Anakin urges him to come. Tigris asks if his mother stole the Force from him. She assures him she didn’t. He wasn’t born with the Force at all. Han points out that it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t have the Force either.
Tigris assumes they won’t give him a choice. Han confirms it.
He stomps off toward the other children. Leia rebukes Han for laughing. He tells her that he doesn’t know what Tigris really thinks, but he doubts the kid wants to die.
Luke realizes that it’s the resonance of the crystal star that’s disrupting the Force. He is surprised to find out that Rillao is a Jedi. There is a moment of tension before they agree to spar together sometime.
Crseih Station being a research facility should have people who realize what’s happening to the star. Leia realizes that they will have to warn the population anyway so they can evacuate. She is upset for not knowing this slave trade was going on.
She spent so much time on Munto Codru talking to VIPs and let the officials convince her that ordinary people had superfluous requests that she didn’t need to worry about. Han thinks she’s too hard on herself. This was a well-organized group Hethrir ran that was careful and very well-funded.
On board their ships, they watch vessels leave the landing field. Anakin notices that the wyrwulf looks odd. Leia believes that she knows why the creature was so important to Mr. Chamberlain. The wyrwulf is metamorphosing into a Codru-Ji child.
Then Luke faints.
Knowing that this will happen to all the Force-sensitives soon, they know they need to leave. R2 has vanished. C-3PO explains the droid went to find the engine controls of the station. Han jumps up and runs down the exit ramp before finding R2 on the way up.
R2 has manipulated the controls of the station so that it will follow the ships out. Many of Hethrir’s guests are still there and can be easily dealt with.
Watching Xaverri’s ship leave, Leia ponders how she’d always wanted to talk to her and learn more about the past Han doesn’t like to talk about. But she’s not jealous. She’d never thought Xaverri would be good enough for Han. It turns out she was.
They reach hyperspace before the star hits the event horizon of the black hole, shattering.
At Munto Codru, the work begins to sort all the captured children. Rillao sits by Luke and urges him to wake up. A mere fabric tear in space-time shouldn’t keep him down. He opens his eyes.
Lusa rushes around the corner and wonders if they’re home yet.
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The End

 

  • This was another book I liked when I first read, but hasn't aged well. Precocious kids, a heretofore unknown villain with a formerly important title and a Force-draining entity that makes Luke well...un-Luke-like.


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