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"Showdown at Centerpoint": Book 3 of The Corellian Trilogy


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chapter 1: Approach:


Han should have gone down with Leia in Jade’s Fire but he owes Dracmus and her people who will not give up even this old spacecraft. He does his best to fix the multiple problems with the failed coneship.


Dracmus is a member of the Hunchuzuc Den of Selonians who live on Corellia. They are part of a faction called the Republicists. This would make Han feel better if he knew what they actually want. As it is, he is either a fellow escapee or prisoner of Dracmus. He’s not sure that he isn’t both.


It seems that the Republicists are fighting the Absolutists who want complete independence and are supported by the Overden which governs Selonia.


The Jade’s Fire provides escort toward the planet which goes as smoothly as possible in a damaged ship until Leia sends an attack warning.

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  • In the last book, Salculd’s faction was called the Republicanists. Here it says they are the Republicists.

  • If Han had the choice to go with Leia and Mara, I would say he’s not a prisoner, wouldn’t you?

  • And Dracmus explained what the Republicanist/Republicists wanted in the last book: sovereignty within the New Republic and within the Corellian sector.

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chapter 2: Landing:


Mara is unhappy at how that Selonian pilot keeps nearly running into the Fire. When Light Attack Fighters head toward them, she refuses to get close enough to the coneship to extend her shields and will only offer cover fire. She allows Leia a few seconds to warn Han.


Han has trouble getting the whole message during this mess but gets the picture. He decides they are going to test their defense plan now. He’s reminded he’d said it was a one-time only attempt.


Han has them go into a spin, disable the intertial dampers, confirm all airlocks are sealed and maintain thrust. All the while, he’s hoping that this whole experience in the Corellian system is a bad dream.


Mara suspects the LAFs are after the coneship. This works to their advantage as she can pick them off more easily. Leia tries to protest but Mara insists her ship fights her way. It’s clear Han got the message when the ship begins to spin up. Mara quips that she hopes the plan works better than it should.


When the ships come in, Han orders all engines throttled down, all thrust ended and the airlock doors to be opened. They are now in zero-g which makes Han’s stomach spin. When the ship is fired upon, he tells them it will be alright.


While firing on the LAFs, Leia notices the engines cut out on the coneship and it start to drop. A couple of LAFs go after it but bounce out and wobble off as they get near it. Leia calls to Mara that the plan worked.


Han had put as much junk as he could into the airlocks. With the LAFs sending power to their shields, they had minimal protection for their forwards. As a result, running into debris flying out of the airlock doesn’t help them.


Neither is crashing into a planet. Han calls for the inertial dampers to be restarted. Salculd reports that she cannot turn off the lateral attitude control. Frustrated, Han trips the breaker by hand, but warns them they will be spinning for awhile.


Then the initiator fails to work to restart the sublight engines. Han goes down and yanks life support cables, replacing the burned out initiator cables with them and attaching them to the repulsor feedback dispersal unit.


Mara tells Leia the tractor beam isn’t powerful enough to grab a ship nearly the same size. Leia insists they go alongside the coneship just in case they get enough control to transfer to the Jade’s Fire. Mara agrees but warns it won’t be for long.


Han insists on taking over the controls. His Selonian hosts believe his using the replusors will just blow them up, but he points out that they will crash into Selonia anyway if they don’t try this.


As they move closer to the atmosphere, Han uses his jury-rigging to jumpstart the sublights, but only three of the four engines come on. Hoping that will be enough, he moves the ship laterally to control speed, but they need more power. He manages to route a small amount of power from one engine to the fourth one and gets it online.


Then they fall into the atmosphere of Selonia before crashing in the mud. Han gets the other two out and they encounter an older Selonian who advises them that Selonians do not belong in space. Han agrees with her.

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chapter 3: At the Source:


Tendra had given Lando everything she knew about the fleet headed to Corellia. Now she has nothing to do and the thought of being stuck out here on this ship for longer is unbearable. The Bakurans had asked her for more information so she prepares to send some to them.


Luke is uncomfortable when Admiral Ossilege takes conservative tactics because it means he’s planning something audacious. The Admiral is not too concerned when the fighters break off. He explains to Luke that Centerpoint Station is powerful enough to create the interdiction field so it’s probably got other tricks, too. It’s pointless for the fighters to defend something that can probably defend itself.


They get a message that Kalenda has heard from Tendra and needs to see them.


Luke and Lando find, however, that Kalenda is more irritated than anything. She’s upset that Tendra can’t tell them how many ships are coming despite multiple messages sent to her. The only responses she gets include disclaimers that don’t tell her much.


Lando explains that Tendra knows what she knows and that’s it. She spotted the ships with her macrobinoculars and got off Sacorria to warn them, which is more than the NRI agents there were able to do. He insists they stop harassing Tendra.


Luke points out to Kalenda that repeatedly using the Intruder’s more powerful electromagnetic sender put Tendra in danger as whoever controls the interdiction field might stumble across the broadcasts and triangulate to Tendra’s location.


She admits that she’s just frustrated at how long it takes to speak with Tendra. With the jamming, it takes hours for her to get a message and to respond to it.


Lando tells her that they are going to have to accept the information they have. Besides, they are coming up on Centerpoint and will likely be too busy from here on out to worry.


The slow approach to Centerpoint proves one thing: the place is enormous. There are no large ships anywhere and no way to tell from the exterior what is inside. They will have to send in a team.


Lando had to volunteer once Luke did. Luke is ahead in his X-Wing as the Lady Luck departs with Lando, Kalenda, C-3PO and Gaeriel Captison aboard. Kalenda expresses her reservations about Gaeriel coming along but the ex-Prime Minister says she may be able to provide services the others can’t. By speaking for the Bakuran government, she could make any negotiations go smoother.


Luke can only marvel at how large the spinning station is. Lando contacts him and points out the blinking light next to an outer airlock door that keeps opening and closing. They decide to accept the invitation.

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chapter 4: Child’s Play:


Q9 both watches and records Anakin’s fiddling with the machine. He is there to make sure the fiddling doesn’t cause too much damage. When Anakin hits a button and a low chime emits. Q9 tells him to stop.


He’s heard of the concept of absent-mindedness but hadn’t believed it until he’d met Anakin. The boy jumps at remembering the droid that has been here for hours is still here. He thinks he’s almost got it working, though he doesn’t know what it does.


Q9 reminds him what happened the last time he got that chime. A trapdoor opened up under Q9 and dropped him into a waste disposal unit. His repulsors got him out and Chewbacca figured out what had happened. He thinks Anakin should work with the Wookiee.


They have all been cooped up here for some time, studying the cone-shaped room with seven metal cones all of alien design. They know the repulsor is of a planetary scale and had been used to move Drall to its current position long ago. Each of the planets in the Corellian system has one and there are searches on to find the others.


The hovercar is down here and Chewbacca has moved the Falcon here, too. They have chairs and tables outside in the chamber and the children have moved their sleeping pallets under the ship for more space. The two Drall, Ebrihim and his Aunt Marcha, are trying to study the repulsor.


Jacen and Jaina see Anakin and the droid coming down. They are tired of survival rations but they all know that this way of life will not last forever. Eventually, the war outside will affect them here.


At dinner, Marcha tells Anakin to stop banging his feet. Anakin says he’s thinking about things and agrees not to bang his feet while he does. Inside, he’s glad they didn’t pursue what he was thinking about. That control panel Q9 wouldn’t let him touch anymore is just beckoning to him. It’s as if it’s begging him to set it free.


That night, Ebrihim and Marcha compare notes over the panels they’ve seen and try to determine if the color-coded buttons mean anything. Ebrihim suggests they just find the main control panel and let Anakin loose on it. Marcha warns him not to joke about such a thing.


Anakin wakes up abruptly. The others are asleep; the twins on their pallets, Chewie in the ship, the Drall in the hovercar. Q9 is partially standing by, but on the other side of the ship. Keeping the ship between them will interfere with his sensors. Anakin pads off in his underwear to the machine. He takes the right corridor, finds the panel and begins pushing buttons.


A strange console opens up with a seat. He sits down and it molds to his form. He begins pushing buttons and pulling levers, knowing what he has to do. This machine wants to wake up. He manipulates a joystick until it disappears and reveals one button which he pushes.


Lightning erupts from the tallest cone to the lower ones which answer back. The chamber begins to rumble and shakes the ship which dumps Chewie out of his bunk. He runs down the ramp to see the hovercar flipping over. Summoning Jacen and Jaina, he helps Ebrihim with Aunt Marcha before dragging the inert form of Q9 into the ship. With both Drall, the droid and the twins here, Chewie suddenly realizes Anakin isn’t with them.


Jacen explains Anakin is in a side chamber and he’s perfectly fine. Through the Force, Jacen can tell that Anakin is more afraid of being in trouble than in what he’s doing now. The lightning transfers resume. Chewie activates the shield but the propulsion system will not engage.


Another lightning burst envelopes the Falcon, but the shields hold, while the hovercar and the charging station are incinerated. An opening appears at the top of the conical chamber and daylight shines through. Chewie realizes that it’s giving the repulsor a clear shot at the sky.


He’s past worrying about that as Anakin is clearly controlling this. Jacen comes to the cockpit and tells him that Aunt Marcha is awake but Q9 is still dead. Chewie will work on him later if he can. Anakin is still out there, alright, but afraid. It’s too soon, as another lightning round erupts, to talk about this ending.

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chapter 5: Down the Hatch:


Things haven’t gone well for Thrackan Sal-Solo. Han Solo and Dracmus have escaped. Leia Organa Solo has escaped. The Bakurans have broken through the interdiction field and may control Centerpoint by now. He’d been forced to abandon their headquarters and is now holed up in the headquarters of the dig site on Corellia.


Governor-General Micamberlecto is dead. Those who are controlling the weapon seem content to let him continue to claim that he does. They seem to think he will keep his end of the bargain. He lets them keep thinking it. He has no intention of turning the planetary repulsor over to them in exchange for a free reign on Corellia. They’d be happy to sit on the thing and never let it work, but Thrackan knows the value of a weapon that can be aimed even if it’s never fired.


He knows the starbuster’s controllers are double-crossing him and all the rebel leaders, but he is planning the perfect triple-cross. General Yarar rushes to him with the news that they don’t have much intel because of the jamming but that the Dralls have gotten their repulsor working.


Sal-Solo cannot believe it. The Selonians are one thing, but the Dralls have never been anything. His Human League may not be the cream of the crop in terms of technicians but they can do better than the Dralls. He begins to wonder if the Dralls were the ones who activated it in the first place and has an idea. It’s time they paid Drall a visit.


Luke asks Lando if they might enter the station an alternate way. Lando thinks they could but they might spend weeks exploring it. There’s something that feels wrong about this. The station is too big to do anything he can think it might have been designed to do. They don’t really have weeks and since it appears they have at least one friend aboard, they might as well go in the easy way.


Ossilege isn’t happy to see the Drall repulsor has been activated. Clearly, someone is sending a signal to the Selonians about their own. He’s been cautious to this point, but he’s tired of that. He orders the other two ships to stay at Centerpoint while the Intruder goes to Drall to investigate.


The X-Wing and Lady Luck land on the deck which is strewn with clothing and other detrius. The party disembarks and Luke is using the Force to bring R2 down when a woman arrives and introduces herself. She is Administrative Officer Jenica Sonsen. Centerpoint was evacuated when the first flare up occurred, so the staff left along with most of the civilians. She was officer on duty at the time and was left to act as caretaker.


She wants to know what they are doing here.


Gaeriel steps in and introduces herself, Luke, Lando and Kalenda. She explains that they are taking over the station on behalf of the Republic and Bakura. Relieved, Sonsen tells them to follow her.


She starts to take them on a quick and brief tour of the station starting with Hollowtown, an open area between the two cylinders. She explains that they will be moving into heavier gravity areas, where there’s a bigger spin.


Kalenda asks if they cannot just shift to standard antigravity rather than having the station spin. Sonsen explains that it is too expensive and no one knows what it will do to the station. Since they are taking over, they can do what they want.


She has been eager to get out since the first flare up. They tell her they aren’t sure what she means. They’ve been here only a short time since breaking through the interdiction field. Sonsen doesn’t know anything about that. It’s explained that both the field and the communications jamming is coming from here.

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chapter 6: The View from the Inside:
Sonsen explains that no one really knows how Centerpoint worked, only what it did. At least until these terrorist attacks started. No one’s really sure who’s behind those either. With communications being jammed, she has no idea how far the investigation has gone.
She can show them the result of the attacks. Hollowtown used to be a city unto itself in the center of the station. It had its own light source, Glowpoint, that acted as a type of sun which fed a lovely living area with homes, streams and greenery. Then someone or something tampered with Glowpoint. She shows them the burned and scorched landscape with no green areas, no water and no oxygen. They’ve got Glowpoint back to normal, but they don’t know when they will get oxygen back inside.
Farmers used shields to simulate seasons and nightfall. The first flare up was 30-40 days ago. The Double Worlds kept it quiet for fear of rebellions. The Federation which governs Tralus and Talus isn’t very strong. The other worlds didn’t learn of it, but the refugees from Centerpoint ended up on the Double Worlds and the news spread there. Before long, the rebellions erupted.
The second flare up came a day or so before the jamming started. Lando asks some questions. Glowpoint is probably in the exact center of Hollowtown which is in the exact center of the station which is in the exact center of the Double Worlds. He asks about the conical structures on the North and South Poles of the rotation axis.
He thinks he knows what’s going on here. Sonsen isn’t convinced he can know everything he needs to know in about five minutes but R2 interjects with his own question. C-3PO explains that they need to know if the flare ups happened gradually or suddenly. Sonsen says they were gradual over about half an hour.

 

Jacen does his best to persuade Anakin to come back and get some food, assuring him he can come back and hide if he wants to. Anakin doesn’t want to be in trouble, but Jacen tells him it’s really not so important what he intended to do than what actually happened. It’s something their father would say. Anakin says he misses their parents. So does Jacen.
They hold hands back to the ship which Anakin notices isn’t working. Jacen confirms the propulsion systems are damaged. Chewie is working on it but they can’t go anywhere until it’s fixed.
Aunt Marcha is nursing a headache. Q9 is still dead. They have water for six days, food for ten. The rumbling probably brought down the tunnels and any Drallists inside them, but it’s still a huge possibility that someone noticed what was going on and will investigate. It’s not likely to be anyone pleasant.
By activating the repulsor, Anakin might have handed this over to the enemy. The boys come in and Anakin apologizes for causing trouble. Jacen tells him it will be alright. Marcha isn’t so certain as Chewie will have to get this ship fixed. But she echoes Jacen’s words and Anakin runs to her arms, crying.
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chapter 7: Seeing the Light:


The lift won’t take them all the way and there is no oxygen outside. Lando and Sonsen decide to open the other airlock door. He rips his shirt into strips and they cover their mouths and noses. The two walk through the toxic air, trying not to breathe before collapsing into the increasingly hot airlock.


They find a couple of oxygen tanks which they set on to allow pure air to filter into the chamber. He throws an oxygen mask on the floor, too, for greater effect and then he and Sonsen get to work on the inner door.


After a few minutes, Luke sends the droids out then insists that Gaeriel and Kalenda go before him so he can watch them. They struggle across the walkway, Luke’s lungs ready to burst. The droids make it there first and they get into the chamber. He sees Gaeriel’s dress on fire and she doesn’t seem to know it. He knocks into her and uses his flightsuit to put out the fire.


Spotting an oxygen mask on the floor, he realizes Lando must have left it here for them and that’s what caused the fire to burn. They each take breaths from the mask when the inner door opens.


Treating their wounds, they listen as C-3PO tells them R2’s assessment of the increasing heat in Hollowtown. Sonsen doesn’t think any of this makes sense. Why launch a terrorist attack now?


Lando doesn’t think it is one, or at least, one that was ever intended to affect Hollowtown. The people here were innocent bystanders. He realized that Centerpoint was in the midst of this entire crisis. The jamming is coming from here. The interdiction field is coming from here, too. Neither is that impressive beyond the size of the field, but he expects that the station is pulling on the gravity of the Double Worlds and someone is manipulating that to create the field. Centerpoint is also the weapon. Glowpoint has flared up twice before and now it’s doing so again. That’s the starbuster.

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chapter 8: Meeting in Progress:


Mara, Han and Leia have been treated as guests in a villa on Selonia but have not spoken to anyone in authority. Dracmus puts them off, explaining the need for patience, and that the traditions of her people require it be done this way.


The diplomat Leia understands this and is willing to wait. Mara and Han not so much. In fact, Mara is tired of being told by Selonians about their traditions. She thinks it’s an excuse to put off acting. They don’t have time to wait for whatever traditions need to be respected.


She is leaving in one hour on her ship. Leia and Han are welcome to come with her or stay behind, but she is leaving. The Selonians do not seem to have the resources to stop her. Dracmus begs her to reconsider. Han and Leia announce they will leave, too, unless Mara’s demand of someone in authority who can provide answers and make decisions arrives within the hour.


Dracmus hurries off. Leia only went along so that they would have a united front, but thinks Mara should have been more patient. Mara gives them some insight into the Selonian mindset. Humans talk about consensus but they don’t really believe in it, not in the way they say they do. Humans are competitive. But the Selonians really do things by consensus. If they’d been patient, as Leia suggested, it could have taken months or even years to find out what they want. At least now, they may get something.


And they don’t have that amount of time. The repulsors haven’t all been found but there’s a mad scramble to do so. They may be able to crush a ship but there are far easier ways to destroys ships than that. She thinks that the rebellions on the five worlds are being funded by an outside source in order to cover up the search for the repulsors.


The groups were probably given money and support in exchange for their helping to dig up the repulsors and cause problems when required to do so. They may have been promised control of their worlds when it was all over while the outside source took control of the repulsors. That works if none of the rebels decides the repulsors are worth something which seems to have already happened with the Human League. The starbuster is controlled by the outside source, despite Thrackan’s claim that he controls it.


Which means they have to find out who the external source is. This is a political problem, not a military one, which is good because they really don’t have a lot of military resources out here.


The new problem Mara believes exists now is that they don’t know why they’re being delayed. Selonians don’t handle lost causes well. They tend to give in when it appears they’ve lost. For that matter, there doesn’t appear to be any fighting going on right now on Selonia between the two factions Dracmus described. For all they know, the Hunchuzuc have capitulated to the Overden who now controls the repulsor.


Newly arrived, a Selonian calling herself Kleyvits confirms that Mara is right. They have won the Hunchuzuc over to their side and this small group of humans with them.


Tendra Risant is tired of waiting and is ready to do what it takes to get off this ship.


Q9 starts up babbling. Anakin plugs in the cable correctly and the droid resumes normal programming. It had only taken an hour or two for Anakin to fix it. Ebrihim suspects Chewbacca left it to him as a way to make amends.


Ebrihim explains to Q9 about the activation of the repulsor that caused damage to the ship and to the droid. He suggests Anakin be more careful about playing around with machines.


In the cockpit, Ebrihim prepares to take over his aunt’s watch. Marcha notes the arrival of a ship coming down. She’s not so interested in knowing what the ship is rather than who’s on it.

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chapter 9: If and When:


After looking at the log files, Lando begins to understand that a lot of strange events were overlooked on Centerpoint recently. Sonsen explains Centerpoint had often used self-correcting systems that no one was alarmed about.


Lando explains that the conical structures he’d seen in Hollowtown were a type of old style repsulsor. No one makes them that big because they don’t have anything that large to move. He understands why someone would move a planet but he doesn’t know why this is here.


But he has a guess. Centerpoint is a hyperspace repulsor. It opens a gate in hyperspace and pulls planets through. It’s really more of a tractor beam. Sonsen doesn’t understand why someone would put a tractor beam on a space station, but Lando tells her the question is why her people turned the tractor beam into a space station.


He thinks the builders put this machine together and left it alone. Her people came along and assumed Hollowtown was a place to live because of Glowpoint and the heat and light it provided. He thinks it was intended as a power containment facility. Glowpoint is essentially a pilot light.


If the power of the repsulor/tractor beam were aimed at a star, it could cause a concentrated burst that would result in the star exploding. He refers to the logs about unexplained power surges and the spin reorienting itself on its axis. All of these were things the bureaucrats didn’t understand, but they were steps that caused Glowpoint to increase its output so it could destroy stars.


He points to the log files which show the stars that exploded. Both were on the list that was sent with the message. The station is currently pointing at the third on the list. In a little over 123 hours, the timetable for the third detonation will be reached and the station will be in position to send a burst to destroy the planet.


The repulsor search on the planets could be misdirection, but they are big enough to be able to disrupt the workings of this one. Worse, though, they could be used to amplify this repulsor. If the ones on the five worlds can be used in concert with Centerpoint’s, the controllers could theoretically pull any planet from anywhere in the galaxy here or push it into a black hole or destroy it.


There has to be a control room here but it’s probably shielded, well-hidden and automated. Turning the thing off may not be simple even if they do find it. Destroying the station may be impossible. The only thing they can do at this point is to let their people know what’s going on.


It’s possible Han and Leia might be able to get to a planetary repulsor and use it to jam this one.


Ebrihim and Marcha recognize Human League symbols on the incoming ship. They get the children on board and Chewie raises the shields but they are unhappy to discover human soldiers standing inside the shield perimeter. They’ve obviously put some shield jamming procedures into effect. A bearded human male walks toward the ship and the children are told that this is their father’s cousin.


Ebrihim comes up with an idea that he has only a few seconds to put into motion and that depends on Q9.


Thrackan is thrilled to have the Drall repulsor under his authority. Further, to have captured the Millennium Falcon with the Wookiee and the children aboard is a bonus. The Chief of State will have to come to the bargaining table now and will leave it with nothing. Of course, the New Republic will lose heart when the next planet goes.


The Solos will have to know about this so he will send a signal to the control room on Centerpoint station to end the jamming. The builders of the room probably don’t like his controlling it but their operatives are easily bribed.


His technicians will learn how to operate the repulsor so, for now, pretending to be able to control it is enough.


Ossilege is frustrated when the Human League assault ship lands at the exposed repulsor. Certainly their agents were the ones who found and activated the repulsor. Still, he can’t help but notice only one ship making a hard, fast landing rather than a slow one that would be expected for a secure base. He thinks there’s more going on down there.


The Intruder may not be able to make an assault but he’s going to prepare for ground operations and has the ship moved into synchronous orbit away from the repulsor.

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chapter 10: Casting the Stone:


On the Centerpoint, the group gets to the ships. Luke can sense Han, Leia and Mara on Selonia, the children and Chewbacca on Drall. They are all prisoners of some sort. Lando tells Luke to take R2 and get to Leia. She’s on a world with a working repulsor and may be able to talk her captors into using it to jam Centerpoint’s.


Lando will take Gaeriel and Kalenda back to the Intruder and then will go looking for Chewie and the kids on Drall.


Kleyvits speaks on behalf of the Overden. She wants Leia to acknowledge the complete sovereignty of Selonia from the New Republic. The world wishes to be isolated from the rest of the galaxy under the authority of the Overden. Leia will not make agreements under duress.


Kleyvits threatens they will be killed if they don’t agree. Leia challenges her to kill them then.


Thrackan knows that cutting off the jamming would give the system back to the original controllers of the starburst weapon. They will turn off the interdiction field and come into the Corellian system where they will likely hammer it out with the Bakuran fleet. Whoever wins will be too weak to overcome Thrackan’s forces so it doesn’t really matter.


However, it also means Thrackan’s enemies will be able to communicate with each other again and compare notes. But it’s really too late for them to do anything. He’s sure there must be some things he’s overlooking, but can’t really predict what they could be. Besides, unjamming communications means that Han Solo will know his children have been captured.


Lando is irritated when he finds that the Intruder is gone, so they make course for the nearest ship.


They are all being held inside a force field that is set up to keep them separate from the equipment the Human League technicians are setting up. Anakin is upset at seeing the machinery but not being able to touch it.


Thrackan appears and wants the three children to move closer to the force field and has holos taken of all three of them and then a wide shot of him with them. He has the field darkened to show that they are prisoners and has another field separate them from the two Drall and Chewbacca.


Anakin watches the entire field manipulating process. He knows how it works but the technician used a key and he doesn’t have that. Chewbacca reveals a comlink hidden in his fur – because no one wants to frisk a Wookiee.


And, of course, no one bothered to detain Q9.


The droid had powered down and sat as Ebrihim had told him, but hadn’t stayed that way. He analyzed the situation, scanned himself and then started getting bored.


On board the Sentinel, Gaeriel suggests they follow Intruder to Drall in Lady Luck. Sonsen is staying here but has a feeling Lando is going to make a play for her. Lando admits he might have at one time but he has said similar words to a lady recently and finds he means them. She’s surprised and tells him his lady is lucky and she doesn’t mean his ship.


On board, he finds that Gaeriel and Kalenda had a bet as to whether or not he was going to hit on Sonsen.


Luke heads toward Selonia where he’s greeted by LAFs. Some of them he scares off after sensing their unsure minds. Others he has to fight before getting past them. R2 tells him the jamming is down. Unfortunately, it comes down with a symbol of the Human League displayed and the image of Thrackan Sal-Solo appears.

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chapter 11: The Ripples Spread:
The Selonians are concluding the latest of their multiple daily visits to see if Leia has changed her mind when the jamming stops and a broadcast begins. Thrackan Sal-Solo announces to the Corellian system that his Human League is in control of the Drall repulsor which the New Republic had hidden from them. He has also rescued Leia Organa Solo’s three children from the aliens who were holding them.
The images show the Falcon in a huge chamber and the repulsor itself. It shows the two Drall and Chewbacca contained in a force field and then focuses on each of the three children looking afraid.
He demands that the Chief of State come out of hiding and recognize an independent Corellian system.
This is something that Leia and Han know she can’t do. If the Corellian system leaves the New Republic, the government could collapse. Civil War could break out and cause the deaths of many children. But they cannot allow Thrackan to keep theirs.
Dracmus is infuriated by the way Sal-Solo turns against his own clan. She explains to Kleyvits, who didn’t know, that Sal-Solo is Han’s cousin. Kleyvits is astounded that he would hold his own blood hostage.
Mara demands they leave now and let the Solos grieve, but Han tells Kleyvits that he and Dracmus were allies together. Now, Kleyvits and her clan are holding Dracmus’s spirit hostage by forcing her to harass them into supporting the Absolutists’ control over Selonia. He thinks it’s time for truth and asks who controls the Selonian repulsor.
Kleyvits will not answer, but Dracmus perceives the truth. Her clan had capitulated because they thought the others controlled the power, but she now understands that they don’t. Kleyvits is forced to admit that the Selonians on the Sacorrian Triad control the repulsor.
Dracmus forces Kleyvits to leave with her to confront the Overden with this information. Han and Leia aren’t sure what just happened, but Mara tells them she’ll explain later. Leia nearly breaks down over the loss of her children, then senses Luke’s arrival through the Force.
His X-Wing buzzes the villa and they go outside. The guards around the Jade’s Fire run off and Mara is pretty sure they can remove the force field the Selonian government put on it.
Luke thinks it’s alright to free the ship but they need to stay where they are. They are going to need some help from the Selonians.
Q9 gets the signal to come out. He grouses about having to wait so long, but Ebrihim explains that they had to wait until the Human League guards were asleep. As it is, they are fairly secure behind a force field and the guards probably think there’s no chance of escape.
The droid comes out and Anakin explains that there should be a slot on the console for a key. They don’t have the key, but he hopes that Q9 can use his manipulator arm to pick the lock. Q9 can’t. So Anakin has him turn dials on the console until the field is at the lowest setting it will go to without the key. Then he slowly steps through the field, followed by his siblings. They used the Force to stretch the low-powered field so they could get through, but they cannot bring the two Drall and Chewie through.
Anakin says the lock is too big for him to use the Force to influence. He can manipulate smaller parts on broken items, but the lock is working just fine. Ebrihim suggests the children get into the Falcon, communicate with Chewie via comlink regarding any minor repairs that still need to be made and fly off with Q9’s help.
He explains that he and the others are less valuable hostages and that the children are much safer away from here. It’s unlikely that their mother will concede to Thrackan’s demands, but, if she does, he doesn’t think Thrackan will let them go. Once he’s realized he can get her cooperation by holding the children, he will keep them in order to demand more.
The children know that giving into Thrackan will cause the deaths of many others.
However, it is more likely that Leia will refuse and, if she does, Thrackan will eventually grow angry enough that he will take it out on the children in order to convince her to change her mind.
They all understand, without vocalizing it, that it’s better for them to risk dying in a spaceship crash rather than stay in Thrackan’s hands for much longer.
Admiral Ossilege greets the Lady Luck at the hangar deck and brings the group, minusPO, into his spartan office. They explain that they believe that Centerpoint Station is the starbuster and that they can use the planetary repulsors to shut it down. Ossilege calmly asks them to provide more details.
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  • At one point, Ebrihim refers to Thrackan as the children’s uncle. He’s actually their second cousin.
  • Is the Corellian system so important to the New Republic that the whole thing will collapse if the system leaves? From what we’ve been told, they’ve always been fairly independent and provided only minimal help to the Empire. The idea seems to be that this secession will cause others to leave, too. I can understand that, I guess, but part of me thinks that the concept of a planet or planetary system leaving the galaxy-state in charge has been burned into the collective consciousness of the New Republic leaders as bad because a secession movement was responsible for the Clone Wars which, apparently, were so traumatic that no one wants to risk a similar event happening again and, thus, will not tolerate even a hint of secession.

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chapter 12: Incoming:


The alarms on the Gentleman Caller wake up Tendra who realizes the interdiction field is coming down. It could go back up at any time so she has to move quickly. She plots a jump to Centerpoint Station, not knowing what she’s going to do when she gets there.


Ossilege looks out over the planet and sums up what they’ve told him. But he doesn’t believe Lando’s claim that the children probably started up the Drall repulsor, not Thrackan’s group. Lando believes the start-up alerted Thrackan’s people and brought them there.


Ossilege would prefer to believe that Thrackan had a crew down that that caused the start up and captured the children. He has a ground assault being planned for sunset and is frustrated when Kalenda can’t provide more answers than questions. They simply don’t know if Thrackan can control the weapon or if the other planets’ repulsors have been found yet.


He turns to Gaeriel for her opinion. She says that all of this has been an attempt to confuse and distract them and it has worked. Someone that haven’t met yet is in charge of this plot and has been funding small fringe groups to create the appearance of rebellion that doesn’t really exist. While the New Republic struggles to make sense of all this contradictory information, the outside controller comes in and seizes the Corellian Sector. However, it appears that Thrackan Sal-Solo is rebelling against his benefactor and wants to take Corellia for himself. The ending of the jamming indicates to her that they are about to find out who’s behind all of this.


Ossilege receives word that the interdiction field is coming down. This would indicate that someone somewhere is planning to do some hyperspace travel. Then he gets another communication from a private source that he explains needs to stay that way. He dismisses them until later while he speaks to this unnamed source.


Lando has an idea who the source might be, but doesn’t say anything. They really wish they could go up to the bridge and see what’s going on. Gaeriel has to be told that, during military operations, it’s really not considered appropriate for non-military personnel or visitors to be present. Gaeriel tells him that she’s tired of being coddled. The only reason this fleet is here is because Luke Skywalker asked her for help. She’s an official negotiator for Bakura and, yet, she feels she’s done nothing on this trip. It was almost a relief to nearly die on Centerpoint Station because it meant she was doing something.


She’s going up to the bridge to find out what’s going on, regardless of what’s considered appropriate, and orders them to come with her.


Tendra isn’t sure jumping to Centerpoint was a good idea. She ends up being hailed by the Sentinel which warns her not to approach the station. She doesn’t know where else to go if she can’t go to Centerpoint. But her problem becomes moot when they suddenly have a lot of company and she realizes she needs to get out of here.


Ossilege tells the others that it’s the Sacorrian fleet. The Triad has been behind this the whole time. They control the starbuster and started propping up small rebel groups to create distractions, dig up the repulsors and overthrow governments as soon as trouble started on Corellia.


They hadn’t counted on Thrackan Sal-Solo figuring out how important the repulsors were and getting ahold of one. He probably captured the techcnicians, threatened or bribed them, that the Triad sent and put up the interdiction field and the communications jamming. Then he claimed credit for everything without mentioning the Triad.


The huge number of ships entering the Corellian system now are ignoring the Bakurans because they’re going after Sal-Solo. In fact, there are fewer ships than Ossilege thought there’d be. He’d wondered why the rebels were only throwing light fighters at every engagement.


It turns out that’s all the planets have. In the Corellian system, everything is for sale. The Sacorrians have probably been amassing ships via their rebel puppets for awhile now. The fact that the bulk of their ships are former Imperial vessels with a large number of ex-Imperial crewers manning them doesn’t help.


They have only three ships so they can’t take on a fleet that large. It’s not important anyway as the Sacorrians are not firing on them right now. What will win this war is to get control of one of the repulsors, so Ossilege is proceeding with his plan.

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chapter 13: Evasive Maneuvers:


Luke wants Dracmus to explain why they have to wait. Dracmus tells them that Selonians live by their Dens, their honor and their consensus. All else is secondary. The ancestors of the Selonian Triad had been kicked off the planet because of their dishonorable behavior. That the Overden worked with them is a huge disgrace and will cause her to lose face. It’s even worse that she is linked to them and, as a result, is linked to the dishonorable Thrackan Sal-Solo who kidnaps and threatens his own family.


It also means that she won the most recent conflict by trickery. She does not control the repulsor which means Dracmus’s clan capitulated under false pretenses. Soon, the Hunchuzuc clan will run everything, including the repulsor. Right now, her people are talking to the Selonian Triad representatives, bringing peer pressure on them to give up.


It will happen but she doesn’t know if it will be an hour, a day or a year. Luke explains they may be able to handle an hour or a day, but the next supernova is scheduled within the next 84 hours. They need results soon.


The children fix the ship’s minor problems before heading to the cockpit. Jaina tells Jacen to take the controls and they decide to slow down Thrackan first. They fire at the force field generator and free Chewie and the Drall.


Hitting the assault ship is harder. One shot hits the back of the ship, the other two miss.


Thrackan is knocked out of bed by the blast. When he realizes the Millennium Falcon is lifting off, he demands they go after it regardless of any damage to this ship.


Ebrihim watches the ship take off from his hiding place with Chewie and Aunt Marcha. He doesn’t know if they will make it, but even if the shiop crashes with all hands lost, Thrackan has lost his ability to manipulate the Chief of State by holding her children.


Jacen struggles to control the ship as it lifts out of the cavern and remembers to engage the sublight engines. They are soon pursued by the damaged assault ship and Anakin pushes the buttons to activate the shields.


The assault ship fires on them. Jacen hopes Thrackan is just trying to disable them rather than kill them. Either way, he needs to get out of here.


Thrackan orders his underling to shoot. The man never thought he’d meet a man who’d be willing to shoot at his own family members and refuses to do his dirty work for him.


Ossilege is told two ships, flying badly, are coming up from Selonia. Lando recognizes the Falcon as one and the Human League Assault ship as the other. Chewie cannot be flying the Falcon as it’s upside-down. He thinks one of the children is doing it.


Ossilege orders a tractor beam on both ships. If they play this right, they might get Sal-Solo and the repulsor.


Jaina thinks they should try to fire at the ship. Jacen thinks that will make it worse. She points out they’re already being fired upon, they couldn’t possibly make it worse. Jacen assures her they’ll find a way.


Thrackan is furious when the clean shot hits his ship. He orders the main guns brought up. His underling, Thrag, reminds him he needs the children alive. Thrackan knows that but he wants them dead. Jaina spots the main gun turrets coming about and she fires two more shots at the assault ship.


Before he can get off a shot, the Intruder’s tractor beam locks onto both ships.


Lando comms the Falcon and confirms he’s speaking with Jacen who tells him his brother and sister are with him. Chewie and the Drall are on the planet in the repulsor chamber. Lando has them power down the Falcon and let the tractor beam bring them in.


Thrag thinks it’s hilarious that Sal-Solo, the presumed Diktat of Corellia, has been brought in by children probably too small to see over the controls of the ship they were flying.


He’s still laughing when they depart the ship in the hangar of the Intruder and are taken into custody. Thrackan sees the children and makes a move toward them but the guards grab him. Anakin can only say that their cousin is a very bad man.


Dracmus explains that the negotiators are going as fast as they can but they can’t put so much pressure on the Sacorrian Selonians or they might not concede or they might commit suicide.


Mara gets a beeping noise and almost forgets what it’s like to hear a comlink chirp. She says there’s a high priority message coming in. R2 is receiving it, too. They go to Jade’s Fire to view it.


The message is a holo from Lando who tells them that the Sacorrian Triad’s fleet has arrived and is moving slowly toward Centerpoint Station. It seems they are timing their arrival to coincide with the next scheduled supernova.


So the situation is bad, but he also has good news. The children have managed to escape by flying the Falcon and, since they were pursued by Thrackan, all are in custody now. A ship is being sent to the surface to retrieve Chewie and their Drall hosts.


Gaeriel Captison has called a council of war for 18 hours from now. She wants to have a Selonian representative there and it’s important that they bring their ships as the more firepower they have, the better.

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chapter 14: The Last Good-bye:


Leia runs down the ramp and grabs her children. Han follows and the family is reunited with Lando and Luke is the mix. Mara and the Selonian representative, Dracmus, bring up the rear.


Ossilege doesn’t think this emotional display is appropriate for the Chief of State, but Gaeriel thinks it’s beautiful. She pities a man who doesn’t know the joy of having a noisy child about.


The council of war consists of Ossilege, Kalenda, Gaeriel Capitson, the two Solos, Chewbacca, Luke, Mara and the droids. Kalenda explains that the Sacorrian ships are far more numerous but they are older ships with possible jury-rigged repairs and ill-prepared crew. They cannot assume that of all the ships, but they don’t know which ones are better than others. Ossilege has a plan in mind for dealing with the overwhelming numbers against them.


However, they do not know if the Sacorrians control any of the repulsors. They could have the ones on Corellia, Tralus or Talus by now. The admiral doesn’t think their slow movements are consistent with a fleet in control. He thinks if they controlled one or more of the repulsors, the battle would already be over.


They discuss the hidden control room and the slim chances of destroying the station. Ossilege is concerned that the Sacorrian fleet will take over one or more of the repulsors if they do nothing. Dracmus explains that the negotiations over the Selonian repulsor are still moving slowly. She thinks it’s possible that the Triad Selonians were conditioned to resist attempts to sway them.


Mara suggests a bribe or a consulting fee or whatever they want to call it to pursuade them to change their minds.


The work on the Drall repulsor is going slowly. Ossilege assures them they have everyone with pertinent technical experience on the ground working on it. Marcha points out that he doesn’t have Anakin there.


Ossilege doesn’t think three children who made a few lucky moves can be of any help. Kalenda reminds him that they’ve done several things they shouldn’t have been able to do, not the least of which is turning on the repulsor and escaping from Sal-Solo who is now in custody. This may be their only chance to get this thing working.


Ossilege agrees to let Anakin and his siblings go down if their parents will allow it. The Solos agree. The final goal then is to prevent the Sacorrian fleet from remaining in the Corellian system indefinitely and preventing the next burst of energy from Centerpoint Station. That leaves Ossilege with his mystery plan from his unnamed source. The admiral tells them that the mystery source is actually known to a few of them.


Leia embraces her children before they return to the planet and remind them to listen to what Ebrihim and Marcha tell them. She can’t get past the ludricous scenario of her giving her children instructions before they go handle a huge, mysterious machine as if they were just brushing their teeth. She, Han and Chewie are going to be flying the Falcon.


Before they leave, however, Han heads to Thrackan’s cell. He doesn’t understand why he’s here at all, but he wanted to see his cousin. He knew that Thrackan had sneered at words the Corellians hold dear about protecting the innocent and not harming one’s family. But they had just been words to Thrackan.


His cousin points out that he had the children so easily, it was foolish not to keep them. Han tells him it was wrong. Thrackan points out he’s likely to be tried, found guilty and locked away forever so it’s pointless to try to change him now.


His only consolation is that the Triad fleet is here and Han hasn’t won yet. Han turns around and leaves, still not knowing why he came.

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chapter 15: Showdown at Centerpoint:


Many had tried to talk Leia out of manning the Falcon’s gun turret, but she is tired of having potshots taken at her. The ship, accompanied by Lady Luck, Jade’s Fire and Luke’s X-Wing join the Bakuran fleet.


Anakin asks the technician, Antone, how far they’ve gotten. After being assured that Anakin knows what he’s doing, Antone admits they’ve gotten nowhere. They can’t make any of these controls work. Anakin knows he can and pushes a few buttons, releasing the joystick. Antone realizes the machine must have imprinted itself on Anakin when he activated it. He’s the only one who can use the controls.


Jacen says there has to be a way to get others to make it work, too. Antone doesn’t think they have time. For right now, Anakin is the only one who can make this work and even he doesn’t know what it does. C-3PO admits that’s a good summary of the situation.


Gaeriel watches Ossilege pace as the fighters are launched. She knows it can’t be easy to send people out who may die based on his orders. He confesses it’s true. At least they know what to do because they have orders. No one tells him what to do so he has to figure out the right course of action himself.


He asks her if she thinks the plan will work.


In the meantime, Tendra really hopes she goes nowhere, despite weeks of being cooped up in the Gentleman Caller. Right now, she’s floating, powered down between the two Bakuran ships stationed at Centerpoint and the Sacorrian fleet. Both are likely monitoring her, but won’t fire while she’s doing nothing. They have probably guessed that she’s a civilian non-combatant caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Lando notices the ship sitting square in the middle of the two sides. He signals the Intruder that he’s going in after it.


It’s hard to label the controls when they change constantly. The twins are already asleep, but Anakin keeps going. Eventually, he will have to rest, too. Dracmus runs in with good news. Mara’s idea of the bribe worked. Only the Sacorrian Selonians are not turning the repulsor over to them. They’ve actually pushed that back further. However, they are willing to sell the instruction manual.


Antone looks at the datapad and determines between this and what Anakin has taught them, they should be able to make this work. Unfortunately, Anakin has fallen asleep at the console.


The Lady Luck docks with Gentleman Caller and Lando steps into the airlock. He says he can’t pass up the chance to rescue a damsel in distress.


The Intruder leads the small group of ships toward the Triad fleet slowly. They don’t know if Calrissian’s figures are correct, but they seem to be. Ossilege orders operations commenced in 35 minutes. An hour after that will the job of his source.


Leia jumps into the Falcon’s gun turret. Luke waits in his X-Wing. Mara mourns the absence of her pilot and navigator who are probably dead. Lando tells Tendra he’s not sure he did her a favor. She tells him, whatever happens, she doesn’t want to die alone.


After Gaeriel and Kalenda strap themselves in on the deck, Ossilege points out there won’t be much relaxation time soon. They come out at the fleet and begin firing. The Intruder takes on an ex-Imperial Destroyer.


Luke flies through the battle scene, telling Lando he’s tracking a slow-moving Destroyer at the end. The plan was to get the Triad fleet to chase them, but that’s rather difficult to do with so many ships.


Antone goes down the checklist and asks Anakin if he’s ready. Anakin isn’t because something doesn’t feel right. They explain he does everything by intuition, not by the manual. Even Antone should know by now that Anakin doesn’t know how it works.


Anakin yells that he does and Jaina asks if he truly does or is just showing off. Anakin storms off in a fit.PO admits Anakin is often cranky when he first wakes up. Antone reminds them all that 12 million people are about to be killed in an hour when the starbuster is fired, including some of Antone’s relatives. This cannot be delayed because Anakin is cranky.


Jacen is sent to convince Anakin to come back and everyone is cautioned to be nice to him. Jaina agrees…but only for the hour.


The Falcon and Jade’s Fire work together against a group of Uglies. They have twenty minutes before this is all over.


Ossilege is told that four large ships are coordinating an attack. He was wondering when this would happen. The lasers hitting the Intruder really aren’t doing any harm. He gets a close enough look to realize that windows are painted on. These are robot ramships trying to get in close enough to hit the Intruder.


One hits its accelerator and crashes just forward of the bridge.


They are relieved when Anakin comes back, but he refuses to start the initiator. Antone tries to remind him of the lives at risk. He understands that but he says it’s too heavy. Jacen realizes he means the gravity. They are working from a Selonian instruction manual. Gravity is different on Drall. Antone quickly works to recalibrate.


The first three ramships crash into the Intruder. The fourth one misses, but it doesn’t matter as the ship is dead. The bridge crew is, too. Ossilege pulls himself up and looks around. Kalenda is up, but Gaeriel is down. She cannot feel her legs though she knows they are bleeding. He signals an abandon ship.


Ossilege orders Kalenda to get out of here. He has a severe injury to his gut and Gaeriel cannot walk. Neither of them could make it to an escape pod and they would not survive even if they did. Kalenda salutes him and leaves.


Gaeriel tells him they have to destroy the ship. He agrees, but they must give Kalenda and the others time to escape. He also wants to wait for his unnamed source: Admiral Ackbar.


The hour up, Luke and Lando prepare to get out of here. Lando explains to Tendra that Ossilege has been getting coded hyperwave messages from Admiral Ackbar ever since the jamming ceased. He’s put together a fleet of 25 modern ships with modern weaponry. They are due to jump out on top of this area right about now.


It’s time for them to get out of the way.


Ossilege sits next to Gaeriel. They watch the New Republic ships coming out of hyperspace. They know the time is now. Gaeriel hopes the galaxy compensates her young daughter for her sad childhood years by giving her a happy life. Ossilege cannot move his arm to push the button, so she reaches out and hits it as three Triad ships draw near.


Tendra is upset to see the Intruder explode. Lando explains it’s not over yet. But it will be for a lot of people very soon.


Jaina yells that they have to do it now, but Antone has five minutes of recalibration to do. They suggest Anakin use the Force to reach out and adjust it now. Anakin closes his eyes and makes the change, then he grabs the joystick and pulls it down. Lightning bursts from the chamber.


Everyone sees the lightning converge on Centerpoint’s South Pole just as the starburst erupts. The hole in hyperspace doesn’t get very far as the light brightens all the Corellian worlds and then fades.


Lando tells Tendra that it’s over now.

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Epilogue:


Admiral Ackbar admits he doesn’t know why he was called in here. By the time he arrived, Ossilege and the children had taken care of everything important.


Luke thinks of Gaeriel’s daughter and wonders how they can ever repay the sacrifice her mother made. The children are running and playing. Ebrihim and Marcha are speaking softly to each other, possibly more than family on their minds as Leia has appointed the latter Governor-General of the Corellian Sector.


Luke points out that the beings here, human, Selonian and Drall, had been the ones to win the war. Ackbar has already brought the news of the arrest of Pharnis Gleasry and the other Human League agents on Coruscant.


The Sacorrian Selonians have caved in, so the first task is to start making sure others besides a seven-year old can use the repulsor. They are planning to get the shutdown codes for the starbuster weapon from the Triad. There are rumors the station is going to be aimed at Sacorria until they cooperate.


Centerpoint will also have to be studied.


Ackbar points out that there are two essential players missing from this scene. Luke thinks they can work things out alone.


And, indeed, Lando and Tendra talk together. She tells him that there’s a nice legal technicality regarding a woman being forced to have her father’s consent to marry. It doesn’t seem to apply outside Sacorria. Lando invites her to have dinner with him; it just so happens he loves legal technicalities.

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The End


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