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"Ambush at Corellia": book 1 of The Corellian Trilogy


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chapter 1: Visible Secrets:
Han Solo and Chewbacca work on the Millennium Falcon when they are approached by a woman calling herself Kalenda who wishes to speak with Solo alone. He won’t listen to anything Chewbacca can’t hear. She agrees and he invites her aboard the ship.
A probe droid monitors the exchange from a distance.
On board, Kalenda explains that Leia’s being part of a delegation headed to Corellia next week has prompted New Republic Intelligence to ask for Han’s help. The entire family is going to Han’s homeworld to give him a chance to show them a rare look inside the Corellian sector which has been inwardly-focused since before the Imperial era.
She explains that there is something big going on and the NRI doesn’t know what it is. However, half a dozen NRI agents haven’t returned. They want to insert more, with the Solo family as cover. Han doesn’t have a reputation for being a subtle person. The Corellian government probably already suspects he is coming there to spy on them. All NRI wants him to do is act as suspiciously as he can while other agents do the dirty work.
Han isn’t sure that bringing his children on this trip is such a good idea anymore. Kalenda admits Corellia is more dangerous than Coruscant, but she doesn’t think they are in any more danger now than they normally would be. In the end, he can’t protect his children from danger forever. Han knows this and, he suspects, Leia probably already knows that there are issues on Corellia and about the missing agents. If she hasn’t already decided to leave the children home, she must think it’ll be alright.
After she leaves, Chewie spots movement and they realizes there’s a probe droid out there. Making up conversation to distract it, they move into its line of sight. It spots them and tries to fire. Han destroys it. They find it’s an old-style Imperial probe droid that normally self-destructs if it can’t get away. Someone has obviously reprogrammed it. Han decides to clean up the mess and not mention it to anyone. It’s better not to upset his family and, if someone out there thought to dissuade him from going to Corellia, they don’t know him very well.
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  • The time is 18 years ABY according to this chapter. Han is 48, Luke and Leia are 38, Jacen & Jaina are 9, Anakin is 7 ½.
  • Kalenda refers to Han as “Captain” Solo, not General. Is Han off or on in terms of his commission right now? Or is what he’s called vary depending on the person addressing him?

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chapter 2: Breakage and Repairs:
After scrounging for parts, Jacen and Jaina have recruited Anakin into helping them build their own droid which will be kept secret so the grown-ups can’t take it away from them. Though Jacen is good with living creatures, it’s Jaina who is adept with machines. Anakin, however, seems to use the Force in different ways. He can fix machines that are broken from the inside, seeing through non-visible circuitry and compelling them to repair themselves. This shouldn’t be possible, but, until the adults convince him that he can’t do it, he’s useful.
He uses the Force to repair an actuator the best he can before putting it inside the droid. They push the button and the droid comes to life, with a few flaws. They set it to work cleaning the playroom. It doesn’t take long, however, before it burns out and melts.
The twins consider blaming Anakin for it, but they cannot tell the adults about his unusual powers or they may find some way to control it. Besides, it wasn’t really Anakin’s fault. Still, they really have no way to explain a melted droid and the mess it’s left behind.
And their uncle, Luke Skywalker, is interested in hearing them try.
He confronts them about trying to get around their parents’ rules, reminding them that they need to be able to work without droids, learning to do things for themselves, because there are places in the galaxy where they may not have access to one. Jacen points out that R2 goes with him everywhere. Luke tells his nephew that R2 does work he’s designed to do and helps Luke do his work better, not for him.
He knows they got Anakin involved in this. Anakin insists he did most of it. This worries the twins as Luke is more likely than anyone to figure out what Anakin can do. But Luke holds his seven-year old nephew and asks him how he thinks the mess should be handled. Anakin thinks they should clean it up, leading the twins to wonder whether or not Anakin isn’t just as sneaky as they are.
Chief of State Leia Organa Solo had insisted her family have dinner together every night. She misses quite a few of them anyway, but she’s irritated that she appears to be the only one ready tonight.
When Han and Chewie come in, however, she can tell something is wrong, despite their attempts to pretend otherwise. Leia has the same potential to use the Force as her brother, but she knows she will never be as powerful as Luke because she does not have the time to focus on her training. Still, it doesn’t take the Force to tell something is afoot.
She lets them go clean up without asking any questions.
Han hopes she didn’t notice the smell of blasterfire on him as he changes. When he emerges, Chewie pokes at him for liking a comfortable old chair as Leia frets over the children. Luke arrives with them in tow shortly, though. He explains they got into a little bit of trouble but he’s sorted that out.
Han privately smiles that his children, though strong in the Force like their mother and uncle, clearly get their troublesome side from him. Though Jacen and Jaina are the instigators, the deceptively dreaming Anakin is capable of causing just as much trouble as they do.
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  • Weren’t we told a couple of books ago that the Force cannot be used on droids? Well, Anakin used it on droid parts, so I still have a hard time believing that it doesn’t work on droids themselves.
  • And Anakin’s skills remind me greatly of the skills his grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, had, as well.
  • I am, however, surprised that Luke hasn’t discovered his nephew’s odd abilities at this point.

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chapter 3: Family:
Pharnis Gleasry is unnerved when he cannot contact the probe droid. The Hidden Leader will be unhappy at the loss of equipment but its role was really only secondary anyway. The primary step here is to get to Skywalker. The timing of the message is important as it has to happen after the Solos leave Coruscant for Corellia and before the demonstration.
Jaina can tell there’s something in the air as the family eats dinner. No one is talking about it, so she decides to let the grown-ups pretend there is nothing wrong if they want to. She is more concerned right now about the droid situation. It’s true that the children built the droid to get out of things they are supposed to do themselves. In fact, if there are no droids around, she and her brothers might get stuck doing more work.
So she asks if R2-D2 and C-3PO are coming on the trip. Her father already knows where this is going. Han tells her that they have to learn not to depend on droids. There’s no room on the Falcon for them with the rest of the family aboard and he’s never really cared for droids anyway, especially aboard his ship.
Luke brings up the fact that the children should not be fixating on droids considering their antics this afternoon. Embarrassed at being caught, Jaina grumbles that there’d be room for the droids if they weren’t taking the dumb old Falcon.
Leia chastises her daughter, who knows how important the ship is to her father and how it’s saved many lives over the years. Since Jaina clearly said such a spiteful thing to be disrespectful, she is sent to her room.
The other two soon follow in the style most children commiserating with each other tend to do. The adults usually try to have pleasant conversation after that. It’s more difficult this time with Han and Chewie still on edge. Luke awkwardly brings up the Corellian trip.
Han is tight-lipped about it. Luke himself is going to be helping Lando with some mystery favor for him for a couple of weeks. Mon Mothma also has something she wants from him.
Leia abruptly excuses herself from the table, unable to handle the blatant awkwardness. She doesn’t know why this small incident at dinner has upset her. Growing up on Alderaan, she had her share of nannies and droids forcing table manners on her. She’d had more meals with them than her father, Bail Organa, who was gone more often than not.
Han doesn’t talk much about his childhood. Luke, raised by people posing as his aunt and uncle, had the most normal childhood of them all, but it had to have been lonely on the moisture farm. Neither he nor Leia had ever been adopted by those who raised them.
She wanted more for her children. The warm family experience that the adults lacked while they were growing up is important for her to give them. This is especially necessary considering who they are. This family knows danger like few others. Bail Organa and the Larses died because of who they were.
Someday, her children will be grown and the fame of their family may follow them. She’s seen the temptations available to children of famous and wealthy families. Siblings are often manipulated to cheat or dominate each other. The fact that her children are strong in the Force makes it that much worse.
Still, she cannot worry that every natural childish outburst is a reflection of the Dark Side. It’s true that they are capable of doing things other Force-sensitive children shouldn’t be able to do yet, but she will not change their family life out of fear.
A nice vacation may be just what they all need.
In the bedroom, the twins compare notes. They both know the adults were upset about something, but weren’t talking about it. The only one who didn’t seem to notice was Anakin and it’s not clear if he was just pretending, too. That one is a mystery.
Still, it’s likely to be something concerning them. After all, the adults rarely get upset unless it has to do with the three little darlings. Jaina jokes that, if they were their parents, they’d probably worry, too!
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  • This issue of the amount of space on the Falcon intrigues me. I know the ship isn’t huge, but it packed about a hundred injured smugglers in The New Rebellion. Granted, they were laying down, probably not moving, and likely packed uncomfortably in the ship. But, let;s look at the passenger list: Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Jaina, Jacen and Anakin. That’s six people. Two droids probably won’t be too much more trouble. It’s not like they need to sleep or eat, after all.
  • Additionally, Han says he doesn’t like droids and doesn’t want them on his ship. Grand Admiral Thrawn mentioned this in Heir to the Empire, too. I took exception to this then as I do now, pointing out that Han has let many droids on his ship in the past and seems to have no outward hostility toward them unless they are shooting at him or making a general nuisance of themselves, as is the case with C-3PO every so often. Besides R2 and 3PO, Bollux and Blue Max, as well as Leebo, have traveled on the Falcon with virtually no problem from Han. I suppose one could argue that he just tolerates the presence of necessary droids, but I’m not really buying that.
  • Leia’s musings on her childhood and that of Luke and Han are interesting. First of all, Han has definitely told her about Shryke, so it’s understandable that he would avoid talking much about his childhood. However, when it comes to her and Luke, the chapter makes a number of unusual statements. I do believe that Bail Organa would be a busy man and may have missed some dinners, but the more recent books that have been written, some of them detailing more of Leia’s childhood did not indicate to me a man who left the raising of his daughter to nannies and droids. There were those three aunts of hers, after all…. . Further, I was under the impression that the Organas did, indeed, adopt her. There’s never been anything to indicate they didn’t and, if I recall correctly, some of the books may have referred to her specifically as an adopted daughter. It’s possible they may not have publicized an adoption and many people may have assumed she was their biological daughter. In Return of the Jedi, Obi-Wan told Luke as much – that no one knew she’d been adopted. Of course, that was the novelization of the film which took a lot of liberties and later became contradictory information. Which is probably why the chapter also refers to Owen and Beru posing as Luke’s relatives when we know that they were, in fact, family by virtue of his grandmother’s marriage to Owen’s father. At least, in this book, Leia considers that Owen and Beru had been kind to Luke. I was troubled by the last few books which didn’t paint a flattering picture of Owen as an angry man who resented being saddled with a child that wasn’t his.
  • Of course, the children of Anakin Skywalker would be powerful and it appears that his grandchildren are, too. The fact that the children are being described as capable of feats normal Jedi children wouldn’t be able to do certainly implies their heritage has to do with it. This flies in the face of Bardan Jusik stating that Force-sensitivity isn’t inherited. It obviously is and, further, there’s no indication that the power diminishes from generation to generation.

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chapter 4: The Dangers of Peace:
In the Corellian system, a group of technicians are working in secret.
Mon Mothma invites Luke into her simple home. She asks what he’s been doing. He explains the Jedi Academy is well-established. The first class is at the point where they should be learning themselves and are often teaching the second and third class anyway. He visits from time to time, but doesn’t involve himself in the everyday instruction.
She speculates that he doesn’t want to interfere.
Mon Mothma explains that the peace in which the galaxy finds itself is unnerving to those accustomed to conflict. She welcomes it because she’s old and has no more battles to fight. She can’t imagine how Luke feels, still a young man, to find that the galaxy doesn’t need warriors anymore.
And, even if it doesn’t, what can either of them do during peacetime that would top what they did during the war. She notes that another member of his family has faced the same problem, but seems to be dealing with it.
Luke thinks she’s talking about Han, but she isn’t. She is referring to Leia who is doing the same thing she did during wartime. She’s very good at it, but she doesn’t enjoy it. Mon Mothma wonders what type of Jedi Leia is.
She knows that Leia has sacrificed her Jedi training to lead the New Republic. It bothers Mon Mothma that, when people talk about the Skywalker twins, one of whom developed their potential while the other did not, it is always Leia, the Chief of State of the New Republic, about whom the sorry whispers surround.
Mon Mothma thinks that, while Leia has certainly neglected her potential in the Force, which they know she must have because of Luke, Luke has neglected some of his other talents, which he must have because of Leia. In other words, as a hero of the Rebellion, it is inevitable he will be drawn into politics and she’d like to know what role he sees the Jedi having in that arena.
Elaborating, she asks if the Jedi will become an isolated priesthood or a body in service to the public. Will they live among the people or outside it? She points out that an isolated body that never interacts with the people can learn to forget how ordinary beings live. She thinks that’s dangerous and that they need only look at the Dark Jedi who isolated themselves as an example of why.
The Jedi must become involved in everyday life, becoming doctors, pilots and politicians. And, since the Jedi follow Luke’s example, he must be the first to take that step. If he chooses to isolate himself, they will, too.
Eventually, someone will come to him and ask him to be a leader. Even if he doesn’t want the power, his sense of duty will require him to accept. If he has no training in the political arena, he will be little more than a figurehead. Peacetime requires building which is much more difficult than the destruction that war involves. It’s hard for those trained as warriors to build and this is where the challenges arrive as there are some who cause destruction just to get back the excitement they lost when peace arrived.
Luke debates that he isn’t sure he’s addicted to excitement and would actually be happy if no one ever tries to kill him again. She’s sure of that. But she wants him to be prepared for the day when someone comes to him asking him to lead more than just a battle.
In the meantime, she is aware he is leaving on a trip with Lando Calrissian. She suspects Lando didn’t tell Luke what the trip is about, but she happens to know. She encourages him to go on the trip because she thinks he will do himself a lot of good.
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  • Mon Mothma leaned on Leia a lot long before she was poisoned by Ambassador Furgan in Jedi Search. That she’s talking about Leia’s neglect of her training is entertaining in light of the fact that she was responsible, in part, for not making sure Leia had the time.
  • Of course, we know Mon Mothma, as an Old Republic Senator, lived during the time of the original Jedi Order. She would remember the Jedi living in their Temple, apart from the people they served, living not as they lived. So, her point to Luke about not allowing the Jedi to isolate themselves and forget how normal people live is a good one. The Jedi were seen as being out-of-touch with the rest of the galaxy. However, the idea that the so-called Dark Jedi isolated themselves is valid only in that the Sith did so to hide their existence. Living apart from the rest of the galaxy was dangerous for the Jedi, it didn’t make them a danger to others.
  • And, have you noticed, in these post-Jedi books, that the word “Sith”, thus far, has been used very rarely or not at all. They are referred to as Dark Jedi. There’s debate, of course, over the difference. I believe the intent was that the terms be synonymous, even though we know that doesn’t appear to be the case in light of what we learned about the Sith during the prequel era.
  • And, since Mon Mothma surely remembers the Old Republic Jedi, don’t you think she might be able to give insight into the way they were prior to their elimination? Has she ever spoken to Luke about her memories of the Jedi or what she knew of Anakin Skywalker?
  • Luke refers to his first class as having reached the point where they should be learning on their own. I would hope so considering he let three of them finish their training about a year after taking them on as students. If they aren’t learning themselves by now, a good six years later, they’re not very good Jedi. However, this is an example of what is so difficult about reading Luke’s style of training. It is very different from the training the Jedi of old had.

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chapter 5: Rough Welcome:


Belindi Kalenda arranges to pose as a cargo pilot with a run of bad luck in the Corellian system. She hadn’t cleared this approach to Solo with her superiors. There’ve been too many things gone wrong lately to not realize someone in the Corellian system has infiltrated NRI.


At the very least, she had warned Han Solo so that he could watch his children. The NRI will be jumpy until Leia’s security contingent takes over for the diplomatic part of the mission. Until then, she had insisted her family travel alone.


She approaches the system and the ship shudders. There had been arragements made for her to have a mechanical failure here, but she realizes that she’s being shot at. She tries to make an emergency uncalibrated jump to hyperspace.


During that process, the buffer heat sink, which had been supposed to fail as part of her cover, overloads and the hyperdrive coils melt. She is forced out into real space at the planet Corellia and hopes her attackers think her dead.


She spends time examining her ship and thinking where she can land. Corellia is obvious, but she could also land on Selonia, Drall, or Talus and Tralus, the double worlds.


Of course, she doesn’t know who attacked her. That’s a risky move, attacking a New Republic operative. In the end, heading to Corellia is her best bet as it is closest.


She arranges for a quiet landing at night on the water near the east coast of the continent while she ponders who the players are in this game and how they knew she was coming.


Her landing is far more difficult than she’d expected but she has the cover of night and the number of derelict ships in orbit may convince anyone who saw the falling ship think that one of them lost orbit and crashed into the sea.

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chapter 6: Farewell and Hail:
Luke wrangles the children while Han handles departure procedures and Leia takes care of the numerous dignitaries and hangers-on who want one last moment with her before she leaves.
He approaches her last and gives her a present: a new lightsaber. He knows she has one but she doesn’t really wear it. Leia says she never felt she had the right. Besides, Jedi are supposed to build their own as a final test. Luke answers that it’s not really a hard, fast rule, just a tradition. It’s not like Luke built the first lightsaber he used anyway.
He wants her to know that she is a Jedi. Her training is complete. Her skills are just different from his.
Leia protests that there’s so much she doesn’t know yet. Luke says Mon Mothma showed him that he has much to learn from her as well. No one learns all they need to know. If Leia doesn’t know every lightsaber move or a few mind tricks, it doesn’t change her zeal to fight for justice.
She ignites it and the red blade glows. Luke challenges her to a quick duel and intends to easy on her. She knocks his lightsaber from his hand. Leia admits she’s been practicing in her spare time when no one’s been looking. She didn’t think she’d gotten so much.
Han deals with all of the bureaucrats protesting the Falcon’s violation of regulations by showing clearance paperwork forged by Lando who arrives for his journey with Luke.
Pharnis Greasly watches the Falcon leave, notes that Skywalker and Calrissian stay behind and decides to go after Skywalker well after the ship has time to leave the system.
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  • And Leia has had less formal Jedi training than even Luke’s students at the academy have had! He even brushes off a couple of mind tricks and lightsaber moves she doesn’t know. Can you imagine the Jedi of old promoting a student that had deficiencies in their training. That nonsense about fighting for justice making up for it….so why does Luke reject students that don’t have a lot of Force potential? Can’t he just train them sufficient to their skill and let their strong morals make up for the rest?
  • Leia is right. The Jedi of old built their own lightsabers, but it wasn’t a final test. If anything, building their first lightsabers on Ilum was a first test of their commitment to the Order. I don’t know that it was a requirement more than it was tradition, but, even if it was a requirement, Luke seems to be playing fast and loose with requirements anyway. It just seemed to me that the red-bladed lightsaber was a consolation gift to make up for Leia not really feeling like a Jedi. The idea that she could beat him is faintly ridiculous.

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chapter 7: Proposal Accepted:


Lando takes Luke to his new home underground. Only the poorest of beings lives underground on Coruscant so this worries Luke, especially when Lando mentions an investment opportunity.


After being reassured that Lando is not looking for Luke to provide either funds or persuade others to fund, Luke steps into the underground environment to find a beautifully created living space for multiple beings. Lando calls it Dometown. He’s invested with several other partners. Beings can live in a more spacious home here for much less than they would pay for the smallest dwellings above ground.


In his home, Lando explains that this was so easy to develop, he found himself sticking around after the job was done. This is a new experience for him. Normal people do the same job day after day. Not him.


But he needs to have deep pockets. He could have funded Bespin or Nkllon better if he had the money, but he doesn’t. He’s found a way to get it, though. Marry it.


He has a number of candidates in mind, but needs Luke to vouch for his respectability. He has a reputation that is both deserved and undeserved. Some rumors may preceed him and he would like the potential brides to think of him as a more solid individual than he was in the past. With Jedi Master Luke Skywalker around, that will help.


Luke asks him about the women themselves. Lando acts as if he’s never thought about commitment or children or how they would feel being married for their money. He has a list of about 250 but visiting all of them isn’t necessary. There are 5-10 desirable ones and he lists the first three and the details surrounding their wealth.


Luke tells him he makes this sound like he’s buying a landspeeder. Lando reminds him that marriage is a business proposition in many cultures. They bargain the number of visits down to five which is really what Lando wanted in the first place. It will give Luke a chance to get off Coruscant and, after all, Mon Mothma had urged him to go in the first place.


On his way back to the surface, Luke marvels at how Lando was able to manipulate him into doing this, even without the Force.

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chapter 8: Homeward Bound:
On the Falcon, the family enjoys a peaceful moment. Jaina climbs on her father’s lap and asks him about Corellia. The others listen while Leia chimes in at moments.
The Corellian Sector includes the star Corell and five planets, known as the Five Brothers, that are so close to each other that scientists have postulated the system was built artificially thousands of generations ago.
The main planet is Corellia where Han is from. The capital is Coronet. The other planets are Selonia, Drall and the Double Worlds of Talus and Tralus. He describes the Drall and Selonian species to them. The three species live in different mixtures on all three planets.
It’s difficult to know what the Corellian system is like these days because not much information gets out. The system became very isolationist during the war. The Imperials propped up the Diktat who ruled for many years until after the fall of the Empire. Over time, the people stopped listening to him. They think he fled to the Outlier regions with all the other Imperials.
The Republic has installed sector governor here by the name of Micamberlecto but his subordinate offices are held by Imperials who gained their positions when the local elections were held.
Part of Leia’s trip here is to attend a trade summit that they hope will improve relations between the Corellian Sector and the New Republic .
Han goes on to describe the world of Corellia and its open spaces. He tells them they will visit all the worlds, including the Double Worlds which are the same size and have Centerpoint Station as its barycenter.
They will swim in a real ocean and see all kinds of things they can’t see at home. After they are tucked into bed, Anakin asks when they’ll get there.
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  • Just FYI: Jaina calls Han Daddy in this chapter. This is consistent with her in the last book. However, Anakin also calls him Daddy. A year ago, in The New Rebellion, he was still calling him Papa.

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chapter 9: Courting Disaster:


Pharnis Gleasry is unhappy to note that Luke Skywalker hasn’t been seen in more than a day. Lando Calrissian’s not-so-hidden home underground is empty and, as the Lady Luck is gone it’s a good bet they’re off together. So the backup plan needs to be taken instead and he must hope the Jade’s Fire is on the same shipping schedule. Otherwise, the Hidden Leader will be displeased.


Lando is unhappy that the droids are coming along. Luke points out he’s always been happy he’s taken them in the past. C-3PO reminds Lando that, besides the languages he speaks, he is also familiar with hundreds of mating rituals across the species.


They will be approaching the world of Leria Kerlsil soon. Lando locks the droids out of the cockpit for good measure. It’s an unfortunate move because of what C-3PO uncovers about the planet while they are locked out.


Luke and Lando walk through the pleasant city streets while C-3PO implores R2 to burn through the door. He laments that neither human took a comlink with him. They have to find an information port to confirm his information.


Luke has a vague notion of something not being quite right here, but he has no evidence on their quiet stroll. Even a Jedi Master needs more than an odd feeling.


At the public city dataport, C-3PO has R2 plug in and get as much data as they can as they may have to convince Captain Calrissian.


Karia Ver Seryan’s home is a virtual fortress. Luke wonders why she needs to keep people out. With his mind, he probes the home and finds only one sentient being. Nothing malevolent here, but she clearly believes she is good. Doubtless, even Palpatine thought he was good. He’s still uneasy and tells Lando to be careful.


A strikingly beautiful woman invites them in. Luke had been expecting a frumpy older woman. She is charming and discusses how they might develop a beneficial relationship.


Meanwhile, C-3PO urges the driver to go faster.


Lando and Karia hit it off immediately. She is impressed by his work on Dometown, notes that he is growing wealth and has steady income, as well as being young and healthy. She would like to make the arrangement with him if he is also willing.


The marriage is until death and is irrevocable. She will support him in all things for five years. Understanding that, after five years, he will have to support himself instead of having his wife do it, Lando agrees to take part in the marriage ceremony.


Luke urges his friend to take some time to think about this and not rush into marriage. She points out that another suitor could replace him or she might not care as much for Lando if he waits too long.


The marriage ceremony is brief and involves a prick on the forefinger and a kiss involving the blood-letting. Lando insists Luke honor his promise to help him.


The driver had made one wrong turn and has to be nagged to help R2 out of the cab. He clearly doesn’t want to be here for very long.


They are in the middle of the ceremony when the door bangs. Luke insists they go no further until he finds out who it is. C-3PO barges in and insists the ceremony stop. He’s learned that the woman is a life-witch. Karia says they prefer the term life-bearer. She’s confused because she was certain that Lando had to know this already.


It appears that life-bearers are exclusive to this world and rare at that. Karia’s had 49 husbands in her lifetime. Generally, the old and sick come to her and are sustained with a happy, healthy life for a short period of time before they die and all their wealth becomes hers.


She is still willing to marry him and make him husband number 50, though.

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  • C-3PO calls Lando Captain Calrissian. Last I heard Lando was still using "General" or, sometimes, "Baron". I would think someone who is trying to legitimize or his ties to the New Republic would want to be called "General" to remind his hosts of his heroic efforts.



  • I have to be surprised that Lando didn’t do some research into the culturally-specific data of the worlds his potential brides come from. Luke had noted that he was approaching this like a business deal. Wouldn’t it behoove Lando to make sure the women he was thinking of approaching for marriage were biologically-compatible, didn’t have odd physical requirements or strange marriage customs that might not be suitable for him?






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chapter 10: Showtime:


An automated probe droid watches a star explode and then heads to the Corellian system.


Han goes to sleep happy, but has nightmares about his family being pursued. He wakes up and finds Chewie awake and disturbed, too. Neither of them are feeling secure about this trip.


Han wonders what the danger could be. Generally, NRI doesn’t get involved with species that were oppressed under the Empire, so it’s unlikely the culprits are Selonian or Drall. Most agents are human, too. He expects something on Corellia is brewing and, if they’ve lost several agents, it’s a good indicator that NRI has been infiltrated.


He wants Chewie to go over all the systems and make sure they’re working. But Chewie isn’t to fix anything minor unless he’s sure they can fight if they have to. He decides to go talk to Leia but finds that both she and the children are up.


Over breakfast, he tells them they will be coming out of hyperspace shortly and will have to strap themselves in. Privately, he warns Leia that an NRI agent approached him with news that some of her colleagues have vanished in the Corellian system. She wanted him to draw attention to himself so that she and those with her can work more safely.


He doesn’t know that they are specifically in danger, but she seemed to want to warn him that the situation may be tense. Besides, he and Chewie destroyed a probe droid snooping around after she left.


He’s wanted to cancel the trip ever since then, but they both have a job to do. This trade summit is important.


Still, he decides to come out of hyperspace twenty seconds early and let them deal with it. It gives them some margin to escape if they encounter a problem.


Several ships approach them and Han thinks it might be an honor guard but can’t be sure. He’s less sure when a group of Uglies – ships cobbled together from scraps of other ships – approach them. This is a preprogrammed course right toward them, even though the Falcon isn’t where she was expected to be upon lightspeed exit.


Han fires on one, but the others flies right past him. He worries he’s shot on a ship that meant them no harm, until they fly nearly on top of the original patrol ships, presumably the honor guard and then begin firing.


Han marvels at the poor shots they are. The patrol ships help dispatch them, losing one. Han speaks with Captain Talpron of the Corellian Defense Force, expressing his thanks and his condolences to the family of the lost pilot. Talpron starts for a moment and then accepts.


Han knows what’s gone on here. He knows Talpron tipped his hand without meaning too. He just doesn’t know what rules he’s flying by now.


Later, he explains to Leia that the Uglies were robot piloted. They flew past the Falcon because she wasn’t supposed to be there. When they got to the honor guard, they began firing, assuming the ship was in the midst of them. They also shot quite poorly. Talpron’s lost ship was robot piloted, too, which is why he wasn’t too concerned about it.


Which means, this could be a government set-up or they may know nothing is about it. Everything’s a secret on Corellia and everything is for sale. Han doesn’t know why it’s happening, though. At least, they have the advantage in that whoever was behind this doesn’t know that they’ve figured out it was a charade.

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chapter 11: Message Intercepted:


Mara Jade stared at the message cube in irritation. It’s been hard to adjust to life after the Empire. After spending a few years working with Talon Karrde, she’s left to run her own trading company and is doing reasonably well with it.


She wishes the New Republic no harm, but isn’t it’s biggest fan. Now, she’s got a message that instructs it to be opened in front of Leia Organa Solo, Han Solo and the governor-general of the Corellian sector. It also uses an outdated Imperial code.


Mara doesn’t know why she has it if it’s to be opened by the Soloes. The beacon had honed in on Jade’s Fire and has her name on it. Presumably, Leia knows how to open it and read the contents.


She orders her navigator to change course for Corellia and her communications officer to notify their next stop that they will be delayed. The messenger must be monitoring her so they will know she’s taking the bait. This doesn’t make her comfortable as she could be walking into an ambush.


Belindi Kalenda sits in stolen coveralls watching the Coronet City Spaceport for signs of the Millennium Falcon, wondering what’s taking it so long. There could be any number of reasons why it’s late and she’s fretting that they allowed the Chief of State to travel in such a small ship.


There are a lot of problems in the Corellian system that Governor-General Micamberlecto has not been able to fix. Not the least of them are militias, such as the Human League whose Hidden Leader has to be helped by someone in power.


And the Chief of State is about to walk into something big. For all she knows, Kalenda is the only NRI agent here, though she’s been told others were going to be inserted, too.


Hours later, she is relieved to the see the Millennium Falcon land with several escort ships. The children rush off the ship, followed by their mother. Han Solo and Chewbacca stay behind and talk to each other by the ship and have a conversation that Kalenda realizes is describing a space fight.


Leia Organa Solo stops and stares in Kalenda’s direction. For a moment, she fears she’s been spotted, but the Chief of State shrugs and moves on.


It appears an attempt on her life has already occurred. Kalenda knows something is going to blow up on this planet and she may not be able to do anything about it.

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chapter 12: Learning Curve:


Lando lands the Lady Luck on Azbrian, having learned his lesson with the life-witch. He and Luke are approached at the pasture by a small group of people, including the woman he’s come to see, who informs him that she just assumed he wasn’t coming. She’s already gotten married and returned from her honeymoon last night.


They depart, Lando embarrassed at his second attempt to marry. Luke suggests that he could save himself the embarrassment if he is willing to spend some money. He’d struck out twice because he had bad or out-of-date information. If he calls ahead and lets them know he’s coming, they might be impressed that he’s gone to the expense and he would get the chance to find out anything significant before he gets there.


Lando decides that he’ll do just that for his next stop. The planet Saccoria and the woman named Tendra Risant.


Kalenda sets herself up in a villa not far from where the Chief of State is being housed, guarded by Corellian Defense Forces which aren’t doing a good job since they didn’t check out her comfortable watching post here. It’s possible they were told to do a a poor job or they just aren’t very good at it.


Attacks are likey to come at night, so she will sleep during the mid-day.


Jaina and Jacen are unhappy that their parents are looking into a tutor for them. They are supposed to be on vacation. However, as the future leaders of the New Republic , they know that their mother won’t miss a chance to teach them something they need to know.


They are glad to be planetside now, which is less cramped than the Falcon, even though most of their day had been spent unloading and getting moved into this place. And there was that business at the end of the trip that no one will talk about. Jacen is sure someone was firing at them, but Jaina doesn’t know why anyone would want to shoot at their mother.


Han isn’t comfortable here after what’s happened. Further, Leia has told him that she felt she was being watched at the spaceport. He asks if she can take the tutor interviews herself so he can refamiliarize himself with the city.


Leia has trouble finding a qualified tutor who is able to handle three rowdy children and not spend most of his time flattering her. An older Drall named Ebriham impresses her, though.


He is accompanied by an astromech named Q9-X2 which is independent enough to have added a voice modulator to himself and insists on speaking for himself as a result. Ebriham points out to Leia that he has experience teaching the children of well-to-do persons, he is about the children’s height so he won’t be excessively intimidating and he is a non-human which he suspects will be in his favor as Leia’s history indicates she will want her children to learn from a unique point of view.


He is aware that she is Force-sensitive and her children are, too. While he believe the Force exists and can help them do extraordinary things, he cautions her that it has little bearing on the lives of ordinary people. He recommends that her children learn to do things as every one else does before learning to rely on the Force too much.


Since Ebriham is exactly the type of tutor she needs and she appreciates his bluntness, she hires him.


Han is stunned to find the colorful, vibrant and mysterious Treasure Ship Row abandoned. The city isn’t much better. There are a few businesses, even a couple of prosperous ones, but the streets are nearly empty. There are loiters standing around, largely human.


Even in the more busy center of the city, people are standing outside stores in lines, looking bored. In the prosperous neighborhoods, security is tight, forcing him to give up and move on.


Finally, he notices people moving off the streets when a marching, shouting sound is heard. He starts to move himself but runs right into the marching people, holding banners for the Human League. They demand to know who he is and he says he’s Han Solo. They don’t believe him.


Two of the marchers, Barnley and Flautis, grab him and knock him out.


Ebriham starts off by telling the children they are going to learn about the system they are visiting before exploring in it. He’s going to teach them some of the history of the Corellian system. Tomorrow, they will be visiting the archeological site of a recent dig that is uncovering Corellian, Drall and Selonian history of two thousand years ago.


Anakin, intrigued by Q9, says the droid reminds him of R2. But Q9 has such a poor opinion of the R2 series that it upsets Anakin who runs off.


Han wakes up in a makeshift cell in a basement. Barnley, Flautis and a third man appear. The man tells them it could have been a trick, but it wasn’t. They have to let him go. Han is knocked out again.


Leia is fuming that Han is going to be late for their dinner with the Governor-General when she spots a hovercar speeding toward their villa and reaches for the panic button. From her observation point, Kalenda watches the lights flash on at the villa, the guards move into position and the speeding hovercar stop, drop off a shadowy shape and leave as quickly as it came.


The shape is Han Solo. Clearly, someone is sending a message.

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  • It seems more and more that we are encountering droids with unique and/or independent personalities. C-3PO and R2-D2 are, of course, well known to the SW readers and we are used to them. It can be amusing to find a droid like this, but it seems to happen a lot. I5 was somewhat of an anamoly when we first encountered him. Now we’ve met Bollus, Blue Max, Vuffi Raa, Leebo, Squeaky, Emtrey and the modified Q9. Do our heroes just naturally run into droids of unusual design or are there more of them that the galaxy likes to admit. If that’s the case, I wonder why people treat droids as they do?

  • I believe, in I, Jedi, that Corran Horn found Treasure Ship Row was doing more in the way of family entertainment. Now, it appears that the place is abandoned. I, Jedi was about 11 years ABY so a lot has changed in about 7 years.

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chapter 13: Conversation by Torchlight:


Dinner isn’t comfortable with human demonstrators outside, marching, signing, and holding signs with anti-Drall and anti-Selonian sentiments on them. Micamberlecto explains there’s nothing he can do about it. Calling the security forces won’t make the situation better because they’ll likely join in.


Han doesn’t understand why it is this way. This sector should be rich, but isn’t. Micamberlecto explains that the Old Republic had been able to keep the peace here. The Empire certainly enforced it under the pain of discipline. But the war taxed resources and the Corellian system, largely left to itself, collapsed when Imperial rule did.


Micamberlecto was sent here by the New Republic with no resources to rule. He has no trained security forces of his own, the people know the peacekeepers do not listen to him, there are armed militia groups that are better equipped and the factories are run by former Imperials who’d set themselves up here while ruling and simply retained those legitimate businesses even after they’d been removed from governmental power.


The external governments forced the three species to get along. Now, no one does and they like it that way.


There are independent groups colonizing the Outlier Worlds but they cause trouble just like the ones demonstrating tonight. They are rabble rousers and have no Empire to fight against, so they’ll fight each other. The Human League is just one of the problem groups out here and no one knows who the Hidden Leader is.


Leia does not want to have to send peace-keeping forces here to prevent a problem, especially as the New Republic ’s peace-time forces are small and needed elsewhere.


Micamberlecto suggests that Han’s abduction may have been random or it could have been a message. He thinks the Millennium Falcon will be safer on the landing pad here at Corona House. His hand-picked personal guards and technicians are all veterans of the war against the Empire and he trusts them to examine the ship and make sure nothing is amiss with it.


In the meantime, Leia suggests they continue to play tourists.


With Leia working with Ebrihim, Chewie moving the ship and Han stuck in the villa during a rainstorm with a pounding headache and three noisy kids, he goes to the library to get some peace and quiet. He doesn’t understand why he was kidnapped and then released with no further problems.


Q9 appears and tells him he updated his systems with advanced surveillance equipment when he learned he was going to be working for the Solos. He wants Han to know that a lone human female has been watching them from the top floor of a nearby villa. He displays a photo of her that Han recognizes instantly as Belindi Kalenda.


He doesn’t know if she’s watching the Corellian Defense Force, but he assures Q9 that she’s on their side. He orders the droid not to tell anyone, even Ebrihim or Leia, about this.

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chapter 14: Sightseer:


The rain continues the next day, but the family is tired of being cooped up so they borrow the Governor-General’s hovercar and head out. Kalenda watches them, knowing she can’t follow them, so sets up her macrobinoculars to record while she catches some sleep.


Ebrihim guides them to the archeological site where he’s never been but is excited to see. He explains that, though the Corellians have never been interested in examining their sector’s history, the recent increase in species-ist pride has prompted this dig as well as others in the system.


The Corellians, Drall and Selonians are now very interested in determining who was here first and who brought what to the world. There are underground caverns that are being excavated now that may be quite ancient.


At the site, they are approached by General Brimon Yarar who admits that his title is honorific, part of his membership in the Human League which is funding this dig as part of an effort to uncover the past.


The tour starts off kind of neat in the underground caverns, but Jacen soon grows bored. There are some old machines Yarar talks excitedly about but the lettering, from an alphabet no one has deciphered, is faded. Further, Jacen just doesn’t think this looks like an archeological site. He’s learned from his studies that a dig must be careful not to leave anything behind or damage the site. These rooms are largely half dug out, some with skeletons still partially uncovered. It seems to him that they are looking for something that they couldn’t find and then moved on to another room. To make it worse, some of the skeletons are damaged.


He and Jaina stop when Anakin starts mumbling to himself while looking at the floor.


When he starts going in the opposite direction of the tour, they follow him. He tells them there is a strong power running underneath the floor. Jacen points out this is more fun than listening to the General. Besides, he has a feeling that the dig is actually meant to uncover something important and he thinks Anakin has just found it.


Q9 can’t help but notice the General barely acknowledges Master Ebrihim or the Wookiee. He also notices the children are missing, so he turns and follows their footsteps in the dirt.


The twins follow Anakin as he traces a line across a wall and finds a small panel with buttons on it. He pushes them and a door opens. He tells them he only knew the power was there, not what it does.


They follow the corrider down to a walkway with no guardrails. Q9 follows them and tells them he’s come looking for them. They realize that others may come soon and they do not want the General to find what they’ve discovered. Anakin takes them back out and tells Jacen which buttons to push to close the door and hide it from sight. Then they use the Force to cover their footsteps in the dirt before returning to their mother.

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  • At one point, Anakin tells Jacen to hold down the buttons for an amount of time that he doesn’t know how to interpret. He knows the time designation but not how long it constitutes. This is an example of some extraordinary power that the early books have been indicating Anakin Solo has. He has a clear understanding of machines and how to influence them. Here, he even seems to have a grasp of an ancient species time-keeping system.

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chapter 15: In Transit:


Luke pressures Lando to make the call to Tendra Risant. Lando is nervous but is relieved when the lady receives his call warmly.


Jade’s Fire arrives in the Corellian System where Mara is told there is much less traffic than there should be, even for an economic downturn. It tells them not many are going to show up for the trade summit. Mara points out that something is about to happen here and people are smart enough not to put in port.


After several days of sightseeing, the Solos return on the last night of their vacation to the Corona House. Han is eager to return to normal working days since the next day marks the beginning of the trade summit. The children had told them what they’d found and, after viewing the footage Q9 had taken of it, they are sure this is what Yarar and his diggers are searching for. Corellian Security Forces follow them everywhere they go, but, while Han isn’t sure he trusts the space patrol, the ground forces are too careful to be doing anything other than protecting the family.


Han is going to drop the others off at Corona House while he returns to the villa to spend the night and bring the remainder of the family’s things with him the next day. Leia thinks he wants a night of peace and quiet. He’s happy to let her think that, too, because he’s got something he has to do without prying eyes around.


After getting the kids in bed, Leia tells him to be careful. He says he won’t be in any real danger. This is just an insurance policy that he’s not sure they’ll need anyway.


He takes a moment to tell Chewie to focus on keeping the kids safe and don’t do anything that will get himself injured or killed that will leave them without protection. Then he lets the CDF guard outside know he’s taking the Falcon to the villa.


The guards are packing up and moving out of the vicinity of the villa since the summit begins tomorrow and no one will be living there anyway. Han intends to give them enough time to do that while wondering if Kalenda is still in her perch nearby.


She is unhappy that she’s done nothing for the New Republic on this mission. Obviously, the villa is being abandoned because the Chief of State is not returning. Kalenda feels that all this surveillance has been for nothing.


Then Han Solo returns. After the CDF leaves, he flashes a red light from the window and uses Mon Calamari blink code to arrange for her to meet him at her front door at midnight.


She takes him down into the basement where he gives her a bag with money, extra rations, clothing, a comlink and blaster. He explains that he wants her to get some rest. He couldn’t have held out as long as she had with little food or sleep.


She should check into a hotel and relax, but keep the comlink on her in case he needs an ace in the hole. He doesn’t know what’s going on here but there are too many people itching for a fight. A conflict is brewing and no one knows how big it will be.


She tells him that she was under a high-level covert mission here and was shot down as soon as she got here. Someone high up is involved. Han guesses that someone out here wants to separate Corellia from the New Republic. If that’s the case, they have to figure out what move they are going to make next.

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chapter 16: Hail and Farewell:


Lando is stunned at the beautiful Tendra Risant who brushes off any titles. He avoids kissing her hand and even introduces Luke as a friend rather than try to impress by calling him a Jedi Master.


She warmly welcomes them in to talk.


They eat at a public restaurant and talk about politics. Saccoria is in the Corellian sector and is one of the Outlier worlds. Tendra explains that there is a conflict about to erupt with the number of speciesist groups demanding supremacy.


Saccoria is ruled by the Triad, a council of a human, Drall and Selonian, so this species stuff hasn’t really taken hold here. However, the tension in the Corellian sector is felt here and the Triad has been cracking down. She expects they won’t be allowed to stay here for long.


In fact, Selonian police officers arrive and tells Luke their visas have been canceled. They have six hours to leave the planet. Luke heads back to the ship so Lando and Tendra can spend some time alone first.


She tells him she knows he’s looking for a rich wife. That he hasn’t hidden that motive is appreciated. She, in fact, is looking for an off-world husband. But he needs to know a few things. First of all, an archaic law will not allow a woman to marry without her father’s consent. She’s not too concerned about that as she can talk her father into approving of Lando, assuming she wants him. Marrying an off-worlder is about the only way she can leave the planet and it’s becoming quite commonplace with things being as they are.


So commonplace, in fact, that, as of yesterday, it became illegal to marry an off-worlder. She didn’t have time to warn him before he landed.


He finds he’s not interested in moving to the next system and the next rich woman. He’s not quite prepared to commit to Tendra quickly, but it’s too soon to move on. There are rumors Saccoria will be cut off from the main communications grid. Lando gives her a set of senders and receivers that will allow them to communicate with low-level electromagnet radiation. He will stay in the sector for the trade summit, park the Lady Luck at some point on the moon Sarcophagus which is mainly used as a burial site and they will communicate. Somehow, he will find a way back on world.

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chapter 17: News Travels Slowly:
The trade summit cannot exactly be called a success. Few delegates were willing to risk the unsettle atmosphere and, of those who did come, Han is sure they include a few NRI agents. The rest are traders, one of whom, they are surprised to see, is Mara Jade.
Mara waits her turn in the receiving line and tells them she has a message cube that instructs it to be opened by them and Governor-General Micamberlecto. Leia arranges for her to meet them all in the Solo family quarters in 20 minutes.
The children are supposed to be asleep. But, as is usually the case when their parents are out, they took advantage of the free time to stay up late while listening for the signs of an early return. Even so, they’d not expected this early a return.
They jump into bed and turn the lights off when the foosteps inside are clearly only that of one person and neither is their mother or father. They sneak out of bed, creep down the stairway to the landing and spot the red-haired woman waiting.
Jaina recognizes her as Mara Jade. She’s come to speak with their parents and the first thing they’ll do when they return is to make sure the children are asleep. They head back up to bed, planning to do the best job ever of pretending to be asleep.
When the Solos and the Governor-General return, Leia checks on the children and returns to the main room. Mara shows them the message cube which addresses Leia’s position in unflattering terms and includes a phrase that Leia recognizes as her private diplomatic cipher. Someone wants her to know they can read her mail.
Han notes the markings on the cube look like an Imperial code he used to crack. The numbering system is New Republic and came from the most secret files.
The markings on the other side are a mystery. Mara doesn’t understand why the cube was given to her. Even if they know she knows them, the sender has to know she’s not particularly close to them. Leia tells her that the cube was intended to be given to Luke first. The mystery markings are in Jawa, a language most wouldn’t recognize but that Luke would.
They determine that Luke probably left with Lando after they departed Coruscant and the senders had to give up handing him the cube, so went to Mara as a backup.
They open it and a male voice that sounds like Han’s, but isn’t quite accurate, warns them that they are to view this message only and that they are not to call for help. They must wait for further instructions. Plans will be accelerated if they don’t comply.
The screen shows the Corellian system with points marked on it with dates and times. One is 16 days in the past and shows an exploding star. Micamberlecto remembers a probot falling to the planet and the CDF returning a message for him from it which referred to burning skies. This was 16 days ago. Mara was given the cube 14 days ago. Leia thinks the message might have been for Luke to coincide with the event 16 days ago and he didn’t get it. Mara did, but two days later.
Han thinks it’s a con by someone who saw the explosion and rigged a message to make them think they were responsible. The Governor-General, however, explains that scientists have assured him this was no natural supernova. He ditched a mission to find out more because of the expense, but is told he ought to fund it now just to be sure.
The screen shows the first is an uninhabited world. The next has a small outpost, but the third world is inhabited. This shows a plan of escalating violence with the star Corell for last.
Leia understands they are being warned to do what they are told or millions will die. She doesn’t know the children have sneaked out and are listening on the landing.
The Hidden Leader reads reports in his underground bunker and tells his underlings to begin.
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  • At one point, Leia identifies the language as Jawa and has to explain to Mara what a Jawa is. Does this seem right? Wasn’t Mara on Tatooine at Jabba’s Palace? Didn’t she see Jawas there?

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chapter 18: Uprising:
Leia wakes Han up that night to show him smoke rising from the city. Han tells her it’s coming from the Selonian Enclave. He thinks it’s started already. They waited until Mara delivered the message and then set this fire.
They leave the children with Chewie, Ebrihim and Q9 to go see Micamberlecto.
Micamberlecto tells them that it began eight hours ago and is happening here, on Selonia, on Drall and on Tralus and Talus. Species are fighting each other. The CDF ground forces contact the governor and confirm the space services have cut off the shipyards.
Han surmises the the CDF groundside forces are loyal, but the space patrol is not. The shipyards used to be Imperial and there are some ex-Imperial Navy members in the Republic fleet. Many of them are stationed here on Corellia. It appears they know why now.
They don’t know what’s happening at the civilian spaceport. Communications are limited and so is his staff.
After a few hours, it becomes clear what happened. The Human League had started the fighting, but had been surprised at how quickly the Selonians and Drall had responded. Now, the five Corellian worlds are chaotic with members of all three species bustling for whatever they can grab.
Chewie is frustrated at being stuck here when he wants to fight. The children know he’d rather not be baby-sitting them. They ask Ebrihim if he knows what the fighting is about.
The teacher tells them that he both understands and doesn’t understand. He knows it’s species against species now, but the vast majority of all citizens just want to live in peace. Those fighting are rabble rousers who want to blame others for their problems. Eventually, though, there will be deaths and those deaths will be avenged to the point where the species will have to start separately due to blood loyalties.
The building rocks and the window blows out, causing Q9 to knock his master out of the way to shield him. When it happens again, Chewie grabs two of them and prepares to leave. Q9 lifts up Ebrihim in its retractable arms and uses his repulsors to float faster. Chewie brings the children to the turbolift, intending to protect them all aboard the Falcon.
Han had tried to comm. Chewie since the first explosion. The Governor-General’s chambers are in disarray, with lights out and furniture damaged. Jacen finally answers his father’s frantic calls and explains they are on the roof, headed to the Falcon.
Han tells him that they are to go with Chewie and do what he says. Their parents have to stay here for right now.
Chewie starts the engines and lifts off the roof.
Access to the upper levels has been blocked. Getting down level isn’t as hard as they thought, but Han isn’t foolish enough to think there aren’t snipers down there waiting. They all seem to be political hostages here at Corona House, for the time being.
Han heads to a private room and contacts Kalenda. He arranges to meet her at an intersection in three hours so he can give small package to her. She needs to steal a ship at the spaceport and deliver the package personally to Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar or Luke Skywalker.
Chewie would ordinarily worry about the patrol ships pursuing them, but he has to fly and fight at the same time. The droid, the teacher and the children cannot man the guns and cannot help him at all.
One of the patrols gets off a lucky shot that disables the hyperdrive. He shoots down the ship in response, but the damage has been done.
Not long before sunset, the communications systems go live with a Human League symbol. A bearded man who looks very much like Han and even sounds a bit like him addresses the people. He explains that he is Thrackan Sal-Solo, the Hidden Leader of the Human League.
Han tells Leia that Thrackan is his cousin, a man he thought dead many years ago when he dropped out of sight. It explains why the Human Leaguers grabbed him and let him go. It was also Thrackan’s voice on the message cube.
Thrackan explains that he was a high-level official in the Imperial government and was the designated successor the Diktat. He does not recognize the New Republic government and declares himself the Diktat of the Corellia.
He demands that all Selonians, Drall and other non-human species be transported off-world within thirty days by the New Republic . If they do not, the supernova explosion they caused 16 days ago will be repeated in the system again.
The communications are then jammed. They cannot contact the New Republic without communications and, even then, they couldn’t possible get enough ships here in time to evacuate all non-humans in the time allotted.
Han tells Leia he’s getting a message out through Kalenda and will have to create a diversion so she can steal a ship. The guy creating the diversion is usually the one captured and he’s not sure that he’ll be let go this time because he looks like the boss.
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  • Thrackan Sal-Solo was introduced in the book The Paradise Snare as Han’s cousin with whom young Han sought refuge after escaping from Garris Shryke. Thrackan was a few years older than Han and somewhat of a bully even then. He turned Han back over to Shryke. We’ve not seen Thrackan since or even read mention of him, so I’m not sure why Han thought the man was dead.
  • The book says that Thrackan is the son of Han’s father’s sister. This would make his mother Han’s aunt. In The Paradise Snare, the widow is described as a cousin of Han’s but Thrackan speculates that Han might be the son of his mother’s twin brother. There was never any confirmation of that, though. Perhaps, Han found out more later on to verify?

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chapter 19: Circle Unbroken:
Anakin tries to explain to Chewie that he knows what’s wrong with the hyperdrive and that it can only be fixed from the outside. Q9 concurs and suggests Chewie land the Falcon on Drall where Ebrihim’s people are.
Han meets Kalenda and drives her to the spaceport with the message cube. She apologizes for getting his family into this mess. He tells her she did her best to warn them but they came anyway. They probably would have, regardless of what she’d said.
He returns her to the spot where she watched them landing and says he gets to attract attention now just as she’d wanted him to. She picks out an Ugly to steal.
He floors the accelerator and drives in, blaster firing and miniature detonators to toss. When the Ugly takes off, he stops the groundcar, tosses down his weapon and raises his hands.
Kalenda flies out into space, noting the gravimetric readings getting stronger closer to the planet. It’s not strong enough to keep her from jumping, but it might be soon. She wonders if they have an interdiction ship out there somewhere. Then she jumps to hyperspace.
The strange readings are noticed by communications technician in Corona House who approaches Leia and warns her the field is getting large enough that it will eventually cover the Corellian system, blocking anyone from getting out. They will be cut off from the rest of the galaxy.
Leia is cut off from her family on a world that seems intent on cutting itself off from everyone else. This secession idea will only fragment the New Republic . She has no idea where the Human League got hold of sensitive New Republic data, where Mara Jade is or what kind of technology will cause stars to explode on command.
Further, everyone is looking to her for answers.
The Lady Luck heads toward the Corellian system when it is pulled out of hyperspace by an interdiction field. Luke points out that it is stretching across the star system and tells Lando to back out of it quickly. They have to get to Coruscant.
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End of book 1

 

  • The story itself isn’t nearly as bad as some of the others we’ve done recently. The return of Thrackan Sal-Solo after an extended period is intriguing, even if we don’t know what he’s been up to beyond working for the Empire.
  • There seems to be some attempt to give Anakin Solo extraordinary abilities in the Force. He seems a bit underdeveloped, described as small and stocky with intense blue eyes. His vocabularly is a combination of both some technological savvy but also some very young childish worlds. His sentence structure is sometimes what one would expect from a young child.
  • This whole Corellian system being isolated for decades seems rather complicated, right? We know there were people who lived on Corellia during the days of the Old Republic and the Empire, we know there were people who left Corellia. The New Republic has a Corellian senator, for Heaven’s sake. How is information that limited?
  • While a bit nitpicking, I am reading the original released version of the book and it contains a number of typographical errors.

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