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"Survivor's Quest"

Jedi Cool

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chapter 1:
The bright-red Star Destroyer Errant Venture is not quite as intimidating as it might have been at the height of the Empire’s power. In fact, Booster Terrik doesn’t have enough crewers to keep it maintained and functioning properly most of the time. For this reason, Talon Karrde has to wait to send his transmission until the comm. system works.
He’d expanded his information gathering operation from the leaders of the New Republic and Empire to various planetary and sector governments. This required expanding the number of employees which, in this specific case, has resulted in an unfortunate error in judgment. Karrde holds himself responsible, but Booster assures him that he cannot know everything about everyone who works for him. Besides, Luke and Mara can take care of themselves.
In the Outer Rim, Mara Jade Skywalker informs a smuggler named Jerf Huxley that Karrde thanks him for his business over the last ten years but that he’s no longer needed. Huxley protests that Karrde cannot just cut him off. No one had ever believed he would go straight, so most smugglers who threw their lot in with him years ago don’t have any more options.
He demands an excessive number of credits to get back on his feet. Mara notes that he has a large group of associates waiting to confront her if she refuses. Further, Huxley produces a pre-Clone Wars droideka to handle anything his men can’t.
He has one of his underlings take her lightsaber, but it only takes a use of the Force to operate the saber in the young man’s hands. Then Luke arrives. Between the two of them, the smugglers are really no match. When Huxley stands down and orders his men to do the same, she offers him a small amount of credits to thank him for his years of service.
She asks Luke if he didn’t see the droideka before. He did but wanted to see if it worked still.
A message comes in for Mara from Talon Karrde who wants her to meet him in the Domgrin system. Luke already received the message earlier, but can’t help making the smugglers believe he is omniscient. It puts a healthy respect for justice in their minds.
They prepare to head to the Jade Sabre so they can meet Karrde.
  • The time is 22 years ABY. It is three years after Vision of the Future. Luke and Leia are 41. Han should be about 51. The twins are 13; Anakin is 11 ½. Mara is probably about 39 or so.
  • Luke and Mara were married in Dark Horse Comics’ Union series taking place 19 years ABY.
  • Booster Terrik, it seems, finally got his red Star Destroyer. At the end of Vision of the Future, he demanded Bel Iblis let him paint his ship something other than white.
  • This is one of the first books taking place after ROTJ but written after the prequels started being released. In this case, Survivor’s Quest was published after the release of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.
  • Obviously, Mara replaced her destroyed Jade’s Fire with the Jade Sabre.

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This is one of the first books taking place after ROTJ but written after the prequels started being released. In this case, Survivor’s Quest was published after the release of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.




Did you mean to add another qualifier or two? I assume you didn't just forget the entire New Jedi Order series.

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chapter 2:
Jade Sabre meets the Errant Venture as Luke considers his three-year marriage. He and Mara have responsibilities that keep them apart almost as much as they are together. While Han and Leia have faced multiple crises, they at least faced them together.
This is why Luke is with her on this trip. He and Mara have a bond that most couples will never achieve in a lifetime. They have barely scratched the surface of their relationship together and he’s looking forward to the journey. The marriage feels right to him, but he cannot help but remember what Yoda told him about the old Jedi Order keeping themselves out of love relationships.
He’d had a lot more important things to worry about at the time, so really hadn’t fixated on it. Leia married Han but she could hardly be called a Jedi. However, Luke was a Jedi when he married Mara. He wonders if Yoda was wrong about Jedi relationship. The entire Jedi Order might have been wrong about it, especially if they were unable to hear the Force clearly. He wonders if the old way of doing things died with the old Order. Yoda told him the Force had been brought back into balance but he’d been vague about it.
So, Luke still doesn’t have all the answers.
Karrde appears on the comm. and tells them that he’s lost a message. His sector relay post at Comra picked up an urgent transmission directed to Luke. This was about four days ago, but the message vanished before it could be passed along. He asks if Luke has ever heard the name Dean Jinzler.
Luke and Mara don’t recognize it and Karrde is forced to admit he obviously doesn’t know as much about his employees as he’d like. The planet of origin was Nirauan and the sender was Admiral Voss Parck.
Though Luke and Mara had kept the details of their journey to Thrawn’s private base, Karrde has already guessed that Parck was an associate of Thrawn’s. Mara explains Parck was the captain of a Star Destroyer who ran into Thrawn in the Unknown Regions and brought him to Palpatine. He returned there with Thrawn after his exile.
Karrde describes Jinzler as a man in his 60s who’s never really made a name for himself, but traveled extensively during the Clone Wars and joined Karrde’s organization about a year ago with specializations in comm. tech, droid maintenance and hyperdrive tech. He asked for the transfer to the relay post about eight weeks ago.
That coincides with the time that Karrde finished pulling together material on Nirauan, Thrawn and related topics.
Luke and Mara will have to investigate, but aren’t excited about it considering the challenges they faced on Nirauan last time. However, they agree they must go. Karrde offers them the ship they escaped. Only Shada knows about it. Mara thinks they should keep that under wraps.
Both of them are thinking the same thing. Parck may want to tell them about the unidentified enemy heading in their direction.
They reach Nirauan two days later. There are no fighter patrols or anything else in the area. Luke transmits a signal to the planet which is answered by a Chiss named Kres’ten’tarthi who identifies himself as being part of the phalanx for the Empire of the Hand.
Mara recognizes the core name of Stent as being one of the Chiss who’d held her captive last time. She also notes that the Hand of Thrawn has gone to Empire of the Hand. They wonder if there’s something else going on out here. Some of the highest-ranking Imperials have had some contact with Parck and his people. But neither they nor the New Republic know how extensive this operation is.
Parck comes on the line and asks if they are headed to Crustai, the rendezvous point in his message. Mara explains that the message was stolen before they could read it. Parck thinks it could be very valuable in the proper hands.
He asks if Luke has ever heard of Outbound Flight.
Luke remembers coming across a reference to it while researching Jorus C’baoth years ago. It was a large project designed to take explorers into another galaxy, perhaps setting up colonies along the way in the Unknown Regions. Mara reveals that Thrawn intercepted it and destroyed it.
But that was 50 years ago.
Parck reveals that the Chiss have found the remains of the expedition and want to give it back.
Mara thinks this is a trick. Parck tells her the Chiss are sincere and their description matches the design of a Dreadnought. He wants to know what they’re going to do about it. Luke advises this is an issue for the New Republic to work out, not him. Parck tells him Outbound Flight was the brainchild of the Jedi, not the Old Republic Senate. Besides, Aristocra Chaf’orm’bintrano asked that Luke personally be contacted. He reads Luke the whole message, explaining that Formbi, for short, will meet them within 15 days to travel with them to the site.
Luke thinks that this is a good opportunity to find out about an era that the Clone Wars and the purges of Palpatine did a thorough job of hiding. He’d like to know more about the Jedi of that time. Mara reminds him that’s when Palpatine came to power and she really doesn’t want to know about that.
They debate on whether or not this is worth it, how they can know whether or not Parck is lying, what the Chiss want from this and other related issues. In the end, they decide to take a chance.
  • This is the first post-Jedi book in which it is stated that Luke is aware that the Jedi of the Old Republic did not form romantic attachments. We’ve discussed in the past how shockingly little information Luke seems to have about the Jedi. It’s mentioned here that the Empire’s propaganda campaign and destructive tendencies were likely responsible for that lack of information. However, it’s also mentioned that Yoda himself told Luke about the non-attachment rule while in training on Dagobah. This means Luke has known this for about 19 years and still formed romantic attachments even when he was struggling with how to be a real Jedi and guessing about what Ben and Yoda would do.
  • And I’m curious about Yoda’s statement of the Force being balanced while still training Luke on Dagobah. What did he mean about that? If the Force was already balanced, can we determine that Anakin bringing balance to the Force was accomplished by him falling to the Dark Side and killing all the other Jedi?
  • Dean Jinzler was introduced in Outbound Flight which described the flight of the Dreadnoughts and their encounter with young Commander Thrawn.
  • There’s a brief mention here of Jaina taking flight training. Jaina is 13 years old. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Children in the SW universe grow up quickly.
  • The timeline for Outbound Flight is notated as 50 years ago which is exactly right.
  • We met Parck and Stent on Nirauan in Vision of the Future.

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This is one of the first books taking place after ROTJ but written after the prequels started being released. In this case, Survivor’s Quest was published after the release of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.




Did you mean to add another qualifier or two? I assume you didn't just forget the entire New Jedi Order series.


How about..this was among the wave of books that take place after ROTJ but written after the prequels started being released?

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chapter 3:
Luke and Mara find alien fighters at Crustai when they arrive. They are escorted to the diplomatic courier vessel where a Chiss aide named Chaf’ees’aklaio meets them. They are surprised she speaks Basic. She claims the Visitors introduced it many years ago and a few of her people decided to learn it.
Mara thinks she means the people aboard Outbound Flight, but Feesa, as she prefers to be called, says the Visitors came before. There is a brief incident where a cable falls loose and nearly hits Luke before they are greeted by the Aristocra and his military commander, General Prard’ras’kleoni. All speak Basic due to either contact with the Visitors or with the Imperials on Nirauan. He has instructed his crewers to speak it while in the humans’ presence. He also offers to allow them to call him Formbi and the officer as General Drask to make communication easier.
They are going to be given a tour which starts at the command center when an incoming ship approaches the vessel. The Chiss are not able to identify the vessel, but point out that they stay within their borders and there are a great many species out here.
The ship greets them in a local trade language called Minnisait. Bearsh, first steward of the Geroon Remnant introduces himself. He explains that they had been enslaved by the Vagaari and that the people who traveled in Outbound Flight sacrificed their lives so that the Geroon could be free.
They have come to honor those people.
Formbi offers that he arrived after the battle had taken place, that Syndic Mitth’raw’nuruodo was not forthcoming about the details and that only Luke can say whether or not the Jedi aboard Outbound Flight might have joined in the fight against the Vagaari.
In the meantime, he introduces Luke and Mara to the New Republic Ambassador Dean Jinzler.
--------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------
  • Minnisiat was a language Thrawn offered to teach Jorj Car’das in Outbound Flight.

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chapter 4:

Alone with Luke and Mara, Jinzler can tell by their expressions that they know who he is. He assures them he is not here for any financial gain, power or influence. He’s also not here to cause any problems with their negotiations.

He has to see Outbound Flight. Posing as a New Republic official was the only way he could get aboard this ship. He’d hoped the Jedi wouldn’t get the message and miss the appointment. If not, he’d hoped they’d understand.

Formbi returns and elaborates on the Geroon situation. They’d been freed due to the actions of Outbound Flight but it was too late to help their homeworld. Their entire surviving population is aboard that ship. A delegation has been invited aboard to look at Chiss star charts and find a world outside this territory to settle.

Their vessel will be allowed to accompany the Chiss to the edge of the cluster where the remains of the Flight are sitting. Apparently, the Geroon want to pay their final respects and farewells to those who saved them.

Mara gets a sense of emotional distress from Jinzler and vows to find out more about him before they reach their destination.

Inside their quarters, Luke asks Mara about her impressions. She doesn’t think he’s a con man. There’s some emotional basis behind his visit. For that reason, she doesn’t think he’s an agent of anyone else.

She also gets the idea that there’s some tension between Formbi and General Drask about this set-up. It appears Formbi is higher-ranking but that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t take the general’s advice.

They are suspicious of the cable falling which wouldn’t have nececessarily killed Luke but might have required extensive healing. Mara decides to have a closer look at it.

In the reception room, she climbs up and finds the cable but cannot determine how or why it fell. There is a small hole that seems to be put up here for no reason. Then she hears footsteps approaching with the sound of a military cadence. She tries to hide and looks down not to find Chiss, but an Imperial officer with four stormtroopers.


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chapter 5:

The young officer calls up to Mara, having heard her lightsaber ignite to provide her light, and thinking there was trouble. She tosses him the hilt and jumps down before taking it back.

He is Chak Fel, the son of Baron Soontir Fel. He was sent here by Admiral Parck who didn’t know if Master Skywalker would be able to come. His men are a small unit of the 501st.

She takes him back to her quarters and Luke lets them in. Fel explains he doesn’t know why he’s actually here except, perhaps, to make sure someone showed up for Formbi. Mara gets the idea that he does know but doesn’t give any hint that she knows this.

He asks what she was doing climbing all over the reception hall. She admits there was an incident with a loose cable that she was investigating. There was no reason for the cable to fall, but she thinks it might have been originally held by a clip that could be released at the right time.

Fel suggests it was an attack that was supposed to look like an accident. Then he admits he was sent by Parck to help protect Luke and Mara. Mara is vocal in her rejection of that protection, but they do not follow her orders so she realizes that she cannot force them to leave the ship.

Luke and Mara, once they are alone, debate who could have caused the cable to fall. It’s obvious General Drask doesn’t want them here, Feesa was in a good position to time the fall and Formbi seemed genuinely pleased to have them, though there is some tension he is trying to hide.

Luke also points out how easily Mara slipped into the role of Imperial commander by ordering Fel and his troopers around. She doesn’t like that implication, but has to admit to herself that it was refreshing to talk to people who obey orders rather than a diverse group of aliens that each have their own way of interpreting them.


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chapter 6:
At dinner, Jinzler expresses his concern that the Geroon were unable to find a world on the Chiss star charts in the short time they were able to view them. Steward Bearsh approaches Luke about the situation and asks if he might be able to view star charts for the New Republic. He assures Luke that he and his people would pay for whatever world is selected out of their meager resources.
Luke invites them aboard his ship, but they feel that is too much. He is willing to go to theirs with datacards and a datapad. The shuttle is near the Jade Sabre, so he ducks inside, grabs the information and heads to the Geroon shuttle. He had first wondered how the Millennium Falcon could fly, but he certainly had never had to compare it to this shuttle. It’s cobbled together in a way that a safety inspector would have cut off power at once.
The Geroon are exicted to see him and tell him all about a world they would like to have for their families and, especially, their children. The search is interrupted by an explosion. Mara tells him there’s a fire near the Imperial shuttle.
Fel and his men are already on the scene and working on it, by virtue of their breath masks. Mara and Luke go to help. Luke is surprised to see an alien with green and orange skin in stormtrooper armor.
General Drask thanks both parties for their help, but asks them not to overstep their bounds on his ship again.
Mara quips at how gracious he is on the way out with Luke and Fel. Fel explains that the man is following orders, but he certainly doesn’t like humans or the Empire of the Hand.
Luke asks if this was an accident or sabotage. Fel thinks it was sloppy if it was sabotage. There wasn’t anything over on that section that would have caused a major mechanical issue with the ship or killed everyone aboard. Mara suggests that this might have just been a ruse to delay the mission.
If that’s the case, someone may want to get to the crash site themselves before anyone else does. Luke points out that the Chiss have already been there. Fel admits that they only did a fly-by, realized what they found and informed the Nine Ruling Families who declared the area off-limits and assigned Formbi to handle the rest.
Luke asks if anyone knows what Outbound Flight might have had that someone would want. The technology is several decades out of date, but that may not be a deterrent to some of the species out here.
Fel reveals that Parck looked through Thrawn’s records and found that the Grand Admiral had a complete copy of the operational manual on the project. He offers the Jedi a look at it.
Inside the Imperial transport, Luke admits he’s never seen unhelmeted stormtroopers except when they are unconscious. Fel explains that Thrawn sent several legions out here to deal with troublemakers. Once those enemies learned to recognize the threat stormtroopers posed, the psychological factor of keeping the armor helped. Luke points out that not all of them are men.
Fel refers to Su-mil who is also known as Grappler. Mara is surprised that they have names and no operating numbers. Fel tells her even some of Palpatine’s stormtroopers had names. Here, names are what they use. This unit is comprised of Grappler, Watchman, Shadow and Cloud.
Grappler joined after the Empire of the Hand liberated his tribal people from a warlord. The Empire of the Hand is not Palpatine’s Empire. They are a confederation of allies that uses the symbolism of the Empire to their advantage.
He has, however, figured out what the fire was about. He realizes the operational manual is gone.
  • Stormtrooper history time. Stormtroopers were originally clones that were assigned numbers. While we know that there were some clones who took names, the majority of them were only known by their operating numbers. The Empire continued this procedure in an effort to stamp out individuality, yet their non-clone recruits and conscripts obviously had names. We saw in Death Star, Allegiance and Choices of One that stormtrooper names were regularly used off-duty and among each other. So the fact that stormtroopers have names shouldn’t surprise Mara as she knew several of them by name.
  • It does, however, seem like these particular stormtrooper names are just codenames, doesn’t it?

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chapter 7:

Fel hates when he messes up. They decide to figure out who could have taken the data cards. It could have been any of the Chiss, the stormtroopers, the Geroon or anyone else on this ship. Fel admits he spoke to Jinzler about it at the dinner,so Mara tries to search her memory to see if anyone else might have been listening in.

There are too many suspects to narrow down. However, there is a datapad missing, too, which means Jinzler didn’t take it. He wouldn’t need a datapad to read them. Luke left his datapad on the Geroon ship when the fire started, so they wouldn’t need to take Fel’s either.

Luke asks if there’s a hyperspace-capable ship on board. Fel believes a commander’s glider would be on a ship this size. Luke thinks that someone really could be delaying them so they can get a head start. If they have the operational manual, they could just steal a ship and head out. If not the glider, then Jade’s Saber, the Imperial transport or the Geroon shuttle. Luke dismisses the Geroon ship and they are surprised to learn Jinzler didn’t bring one but got a ride out here.

They should talk to Jinzler but not right now. On the way back to their quarters, Luke suggests to Mara that Fel could have faked the datacard theft. They really have no way of knowing for certain.

That night, Mara lays awake and thinks about the feeling of guilt over all the things she’d done as the Emperor’s Hand. She thought she’d put all that behind her, but it’s possible the presence of Fel and his men are bringing it back. After all, everyone else responsible is dead. She wonders if this is survivor’s guilt.

It’s also possible that Luke is right and that there are some things she’s not ready to let go of.

Luke cannot help but think there is something murky going on here. He can’t really judge other people’s motives for going to Outbound Flight when he has an ulterior reason for his own. He’s really hoping to find records there that will fill in the gaps of not only the last days of the Old Republic, but also the Jedi of that time. It might help him decide what he’s doing right or wrong.

He’s done his best to live up to Yoda’s command to pass on what he’s learned but it’s not been enough. His training on Dagobah, the holocron, the advice he’s gotten from others have helped but hasn’t been nearly enough to help him. There might be something aboard the Flight that will help, maybe even something to lay his fears to rest about marriage.

After half a century, Dean Jinzler is finally going to see the mysterious project that had taken Lorana away and where her life ended. He has lines and wrinkles, but can still see the young face that had sneered at her, sending her away without a proper good-bye.

He recognizes the same quiet bitterness in Mara Skywalker. He also knows she’s the one who decided not to expose him to Formbi. Compassion makes him nervous and compassion from a Jedi is even worse.


  • Dean Jinzler’s sister, Lorana, was a Jedi recently knighted when she encountered her brother shortly before Outbound Flight launched. Dean confronted her about their parents’ favoritism and about their dismal lives after giving their daughter to the Jedi, about his resentment toward her because of that. This confrontation helped Lorana make the final decision to join Outbound Flight so she wouldn’t have to see him again for a long time.

  • I would say that, if there was something important Yoda wanted Luke to know about the Clone Wars period, he would have said something. The fact that he told Luke that the Jedi did not form romantic attachments is surprising to me.

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chapter 8:

Luke spends two days going over New Republic planetary listings with the Geroon. Mara is doing a better job with Feesa studying this ship and its crew.

She’s confirmed numbers of Chiss aboard, though only a small number of Formbi’s family. They speculate that the Ruling Families did not want Formbi’s family getting all the credit for this.

Formbi welcomes them all to Brask Oto Command Station where they are urged to consider the dangers they will be facing before they make the decision to continue. A global cluster with close stars that will make navigation tricky will be their route. This serves as the Chiss Redoubt in case they are ever overwhelmed in battle.

The principal danger lies there. They will need to make their way slowly, making stops along the way, because the whole area hasn’t been mapped yet. They will be using the data provided from the ships that had already found the crash site, but the area inside the Redoubt is unstable. There is radiation, along with planetoids that travel along unpredictable paths.

The Geroon, the Imperials, Jinzler and the Jedi all agree to face the hazards.

Bearsh contacts his ship to let them know he and his group will be proceeding without them. Meanwhile, Luke is approaches Formbi who thanks him for agreeing to come. Luke reveals there are Jedi techniques for assisting navigation.

Formbi admits the Jedi might have been helpeful when the Chiss first started studying the cluster two hundred years ago. It’s only been within the last fifty that the building of the Redoubt has become more urgent.

Luke notes the time period as being around the time Outbound Flight appeared in the area. He wonders if they were the enemy that worried the Chiss. However, he can see why the Chiss don’t engage in preemptive strikes when they are well-prepared to defend themselves here. Formbi angrily tells Luke that has nothing to do with it. The Chiss never attack unless they are attacked first.

Luke heads over to Mara who can’t help feeling there is something wrong. Not dangerous yet, but not right.

Jinzler sits in the lounge and offers a silent toast to Lorana when the door chimes. One of the Goreen introduces himself as Etosh. Jinzler admits he was just thinking about Outbound Flight. Etosh notes they were a great people which makes Dean a great person, too, though he may not feel that way.

Etosh wasn’t alive at the time but he’s been told about it. The Vagaari came to his world and took everything of value, using the people as slaves. When Outbound Flight came, they shattered the oppressor’s vessels and destroyed them.

Jinzler stops him, feeling the engines sputter.

Mara and Luke feel it, too. Mara contacts the command center to ask about it. She’s told there’s a problem with the control lines to the aft end of the vessel. They’ll take care of it. Mara and Luke decide to check it out anyway, only the forward end.

She’s already learned the commander’s glider is there. Luke sends her to the bow while he goes down the portside. They will check out all of the vehicles to be safe. Along the way, Mara senses two or three people nearby. She also hears a barely audible noise and ignites her lightsaber before swinging around and finding a stormtrooper jumping out at the same time.

The trooper lowers his weapon and tells her that Fel sent him to investigate the problem with the engines. He has not found anything wrong in the glider area and was going to check the shield generators.

They go together and spots a reflection from the shell. Someone may be inside the room. She sends out a call to Luke. Sending the stormtrooper straight ahead, Mara goes back to a corridor to try to cut off whoever is in there. After a few steps, the sound of running feet is heard. She sees a flash of a Chiss charric weapon and hears Luke’s lightsaber ignite.

She deflects a shot and yells back. A Chiss voice tells her to identify herself and she asks how many people they have aboard with lightsabers. The Chiss step out, accompanied by the stormtrooper. Luke appears at the other end and, between them, Dean Jinzler.


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chapter 9:

Jinzler insists that he was in the lounge when the engines started acting up and went to investigate after Etosh left. He heard someone moving around and just didn’t think about the danger to him.

He didn’t see anyone and thinks whoever it was heard him coming. Luke and Mara don’t detect any lying, but, after the Chiss and stormtrooper leave, they insist he tell them who he is and what he’s doing here.

Jinzler explains that an old man named Jorj Car’das visited him eight weeks ago. He’d never met the man before that day, but he strongly suggested that Jinzler put in a transfer to the sector relay post because there would be a message coming through of great personal interest to him.

After he transferred, the message showed up, he grabbed it and headed for the rendezvous point. His ship’s hyperdrive gave out on the way. Fortunately, Car’das arrived and offered a ride.

He also told Jinzler that he was trying to fulfill a promise that he’d neglected to keep. When they arrived in the Crustai system, Formbi came out in the glider to meet them. He had a long conversation with Car’das before departing with Jinzler who introduced himself as an Ambassador.

One of the Jedi aboard Outbound Flight was Dean’s sister, Lorana. They did not depart on good terms.

Luke wonders if Car’das is the same man Karrde asked Mara and Lando to track down. She thinks it probably is, but she was never able to get a whole lot out of Karrde. Shada, on the other hand, told her that Car’das started the smuggling operation that Karrde inherited.

No one heard from him after he disappeared until Luke found the beckon call on Dagobah. Karrde sent Mara and Lando to find him. It wasn’t until the Caamas Document crisis that Karrde himself went searching. She believes they may have found him because she has suspected Car’das had something to do with exposing the Thrawn impersonator.

Shada indicated that they’d found a huge datacard library. It might’ve been Car’das’s. Nevertheless, they have no idea what the connection is between him and Jinzler’s sister. And any evidence for that is now missing since Fel’s operational manual has been stolen.

They wonder if Jinzler really did spot someone down here. They also wonder if he stole the manual. If he did, there’s no reason to fiddle with the engines to distract people. He may have secret instructions from Car’das. Just about everything they know has come from Jinzler himself, assuming that’s who he really is.

It all goes back to Car’das. They need to find out more about him and the best place to start would be Formbi. Luke remembers the defenses in this area. They note outside the viewport an asteroid with dark spots on it. Mara thinks there are missle clusters or launching tubes. An unfriendly ship stopping in this dangerous area would be in for a surprise.

An enemy would need to find out where these defenses are. This could be Fel and the Imperials or even the Geroon.

Formbi is in a service corridor where he tells the Jedi that they are dealing with line creepers which are small animals that chew their way into the power and control systems.

Luke and Mara explain that they have reason to believe someone aboard this ship doesn’t want the mission to succeed. Formbi disagrees, but Mara suggests that not everyone may have the same mission.

She asks what he and Jorj Car’das talked about. He offers that they only greeted each other and that he’s never met the man before in his life.

A container is opened revealing line creepers inside. Formbia states all ships will have to be checked, but it’s fairly simple and they needed worry about their ship being damaged. In the meantime, he relates that General Drask has asked they not casually wave their weapons around on this ship anymore.

Luke is conciliatory and pulls Mara off before she says something undiplomatic. He tells her that he doesn’t think this was Drask’s doing. Formbi may be playing politics to keep the general from complaining further. On the other hand, Mara is certain Formbi is lying about his contact with Car’das.

There’s something devious being plotted here. He asks if she wants to leave and she says she doesn’t. They’re the only ones who can stop trouble when it starts.

Grappler reports to Fel that he tapped into the navigational repeater lines. The Chiss won’t find it with a casual search. The Jedi suspect but cannot prove anything. Fel warns him not to underestimate either one. They’re quick and deadly.

Grappler looks forward to finding out and Fel promises he’ll get the chance.


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chapter 10:

The Jade Sabre, the Imperial transport and the Geroon ship are all searched for line creepers with no results. Luke thinks a single group got in and went straight to the center of the ship or someone deliberately introduced them to that spot.

She can’t help but think that the saboteur got what he wanted last night. That bothers her because she can’t figure out what it is. Drask can find nothing wrong with any piece of equipment in the first third of the ship. Luke suggests that something was done in another part instead.

An emergency alert is sounded. Formbi asks Luke to come to the Geroon vessel as one of them has been shot.

In the hangar, they find that Etosh was apparently shot with a charric weapon while leaving the ship. The other Geroon are hiding inside and no one out here can tell if the injury is life-threatening. Mara goes inside the Geroon ship and brings out Bearsh and the others. Bearsh says Etosh is in pain but he will not die.

There is a brief argument about whether the Geroon will let the Chiss near them, but Formbi asserts his authority over this ship and everyone on it. He tells Luke that Etosh told Feesa the shooter fired as he entered the corridor. He doesn’t know where it came from.

Luke and Mara walk away. Luke thinks that whoever caused the disturbance last night went looking for a weapon, but didn’t take it. The search today would have revealed one missing, so the saboteur grabbed it tonight. It’s probably back on its rack now.

He doesn’t know why someone would shoot a Geroon unless it’s to cause problems between them and the Chiss. He wishes he knew what was aboard Outbound Flight that is so important.

The weapon is found in a ventilation intake not far from where Etosh was shot. It had been stolen from an arms locker near the main engines. Mara tries to talk to people on the ship for the next couple of days. The Chiss are unhelpful, the Imperials all claim to have been aboard their ship and the Geroon are friendly but can’t tell her anything. Etosh was facing away from the shooter and can’t tell her anything.

She was trained for this kind of thing, though, by Palpatine. This is better, though, because people don’t look at her with fear here or try to flatter her for some kind of favor. Still, though the Emperor had been destructive, the efficiency and order of the Empire was certainly favorable to the bloated, corrupt-filled Old Republic . She wonders what the Empire would have been like with reasonable people at the head. And what it would have been like to serve such an Empire.

She and Luke are awakened that night by Formbi who tells them they’ve arrived.

They look down on what appeas to be an intact Dreadnought with damaged weapons. The rest may be underground. There is a lot of deep loose stone with metal inside. The ship will be landed on top of a hill beside the upper Dreadnought. They will run a tunnel to the docking port and board.

They run into a snag when the docking port can’t be opened normally. After cutting open an access, they enter the shiop. Drask, Formbi, Feesa, a Chiss warrior, Fel, the four stormtroopers, Luke, Mara, Jinzler and the four Geroon.

Jinzler is surprised to see how dust-free the place is and they wonder if cleaning and repair droids are still functioning. The Flight was well-automated. Formbi has to stop Fel when he starts gushing to the Geroon about the weapons systems.

Formbi gives a short benediction, expressing regret over the Chiss involvement in this crash. The Geroon are talking among themselves. Luke suddenly feels something touch his mind. Mara, too. They tell Formbi that there are survivors aboard.


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chapter 11:

They think at least a hundred survivors are down below. Jinzler insists this ship died half a century ago. Hearing the emotion in his voice and sensing the hope combined with dread, Mara knows he wasn’t lying about his sister.

Drask wants to get squads from the ship to bring down, but Luke reminds him that the survivors may panic at seeing Chiss soldiers considering how their ship was destroyed. It will be better for them to see humans first. Bearsh doesn’t want to be left with the Chiss either.

Luke finally acquiesces to allowing three more Chiss warriors to protect the Aristocra and they will all go together.

The first leg of the trip shows large empty rooms with abandoned equipment and boxes. They find the damaged weapons blister that the maintenance droids could probably not maintain and that the survivors probably left as it was. Considering the amount of radiation, the survivors moved to the lower Dreadnought for safety.

It’s suggested they head up to the command level to see if there are any records left. Fel confirms Thrawn only destroyed what he had to. Jinzler questions why Thrawn had to destroy this whole thing at all. He demands of the Chiss to explain why innocent civilians were killed.

Luke and Mara point out that arguing at this point is counterproductive, besides the mootness of criticizing someone’s past choices.

After the arrival of a housekeeping droid that leads to a brief discussion of the merits of automation, Luke and Mara come across what appears to be a too-neatly stacked set of boxes that may be rigged to go off.

Luke suggests they go down another corridor instead to avoid a trap. Bearsh doesn’t understand why people who aren’t expecting them would jump to the wrong conclusions. Luke argues they should avoid trouble until the opportunity arrives to explain to the survivors who they are and why they’ve come.

Drask decides to call for an escort, but Fel argues his men will be able to handle things. Luke would rather the survivors not assume that the arrival of more troopers constitutes a threat.

The alternate route isn’t much easier. There are clear signs of destruction that probably occurred during the battle.

They find what may be a tactical command center, but it’s still intact, leading them to question whether Thrawn didn’t target it or if this was not the lead dreadnought. Mara catches a hint of a female presence nearby. Luke takes her aside to confirm that he felt it, too. It’s not Lorana, however. It’s a young girl.

Drask approaches them to lecture them about separating from the group. Chiss are not used to letting their subordinate head into danger for them. Luke diplomatically tries to explain they’d wanted to protect Formbi, which Drask accepts, but warns them not to proceed ahead without them.

As Luke and Drask move forward, leaving Mara behind, she hears a young girl ask if she’s a Jedi. Mara turns and finds the girl behind her. She confirms that she and Luke are Jedi and that neither they nor Drask will harm her. The girl’s name is Evlyn and she asks them to follow her. Drask would rather alert the remainder of the group in the command center first. Evlyn promises they will be fine and will be brought through behind them.

A door opens. Mara notices there doesn’t seem to be much there, fearing the girl is leading them into a trap. Hoping,however, that the other survivors will not sacrifice a child, she and Luke decide to go. Then Luke suggests that he go ahead while she and the general stay behind. Drask will not think of Luke going on alone.

As they move forward, Evlyn pushes a button that brings a door down, separating Luke and Mara from Drask. Then a section of the floor drops underneath them.


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chapter 12:
Too late, Luke realizes they’ve been lured into a disguised turbolift car. A disembodied voice identifying himself as Jorad Pressor explains he’s not going to deal with them right now. He is aware of their abilities to use the Force and lightsabers. Their car is being held by two equal and opposite repulsor beams. They are going to have to be patient.
Luke mentions that this is a well-thought-out plan and asks if they’ve have Jedi visitors. Pressor tells him they’ve had no visitors at all, but always thought that the Republic would eventually hunt them down.
Drask mentions that Formbi told him that Jedi were respected everywhere. Luke and Mara admit that’s not always true. Since Jedi are intended to keep the peace, anyone with an interest in disturbing it would naturally hate them.
While chatting, they get into their backpacks, pull out some synthflesh and and liquid cable, seal the cracks in the wall and cover the control panel viewer so Pressor can’t spy on them.
The remainder of the party are alarmed when the Skywalkers and Drask disappear. Fel has the stormtroopers form up. A young girl appears and asks if they want to see the Guardian. Formbi explains that they are here to see the survivors of Outbound Flight.
They introduce themselves and she tells them her name is Evlyn. She leads them off and then the Imperials are caught in the same trap as the Jedi, stuck in a turbolift suspended between two opposing repulsor beams. Pressor contacts them, too, telling them they are being held there until a decision is made as to what to do with them.
Fel’s first action is to arrange for some privacy by covering the monitor.
The Chiss, cut off in their own car, get the same message.
Jorad Pressor had only been 4 when Outbound Flight took off, but he remembers the Jedi who had been aboard it. His niece, Evlyn, appears and asks if they have all of the visitors.
Her uncle assures her they do and can’t help but think about her innocent eyes that hide her unusual qualities. Qualities that he noticed a long time ago and that others will soon notice, too.
He is unhappy to see that some of the monitors have been covered. He will have to speak to someone so he decides to talk to the Chiss group first. The name Jinzler of the New Republic ambassador concerns him. For one, the New Republic may be similar to the Republic his family had left behind. For another, he remembers a Jedi named Lorana Jinzler on the Flight.
When the turbolift is released, Jinzler comforts a surprised Feesa. Pressor addresses the ambassador and would like to speak with him alone. Jinzler expresses that the Chiss and the Geroon are not comfortable being left alone. Pressor reluctantly agrees to allow everyone in that turbolift out, so long as they remain silent and Jinzler can guarantee their cooperation.
Both Luke and Mara and Fel’s group continue to work on their turbolifts.
The small group is ushered into a small conference room where Presser explains to Jinzler that he doesn’t trust a group of people who appear with no warning and board his ship. Jinzler advises that the boarding party thought they were paying respects to the crew and passengers. They had no idea that there were survivors until the Jedi realized it. He admits that he doesn’t know how they survived or what they’ve been through, but they now hope to rescue those trapped here. The Republic they left is not the Republic that exists now. He debates Pressor’s accusations of political factions and cumbersome bureaucracies by pointing out that those exist everywhere. However, the Republic tried its hand at a monolithic single ruler and it didn’t work out well.
He explains how the man they knew as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine had spent years gathering power to himself and formed the Empire with him at its head. Pressor should trust them because he is all alone out here in a globular cluster full of radiation controlled by others.
He reminds Pressor that he cannot speak for all his people and deny them rescue. He cannot decide that Evlyn does not deserve better than living on a derelict ship.
He would like to meet the rest of Pressor’s people and does ask that, at least, the Aristocra be released as he represents the Chiss on this mission. Pressor agrees, then asks if Jinzler was related to Lorana. The latter replies that she was his sister.
  • Jorad Pressor was a child in Outbound Flight. Lorana Jinzler had him tested for Force-sensitivity but found that he was not strong enough to qualify for Jedi training. If he was four years old then and fifty years have passed, he would be about 54 now.

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chapter 13:
Jamming prevents those in the turbolifts from communicating with each other, so Luke, Mara and Drask are concerned when they perceive Jinzler’s car moving. It could be a threat to the Aristocra.
Luke and Mara work to determine which wires control which repulsors and begin to cut through the ones that could release them. Drask warns them that they could be wrong someday and it will destroy them. The lift begins to move. When they exit, they find themselves in a storage area.
The original Flight was to sustain 50000 people for several years. Not many could have survived this. Their comlinks suddenly burst status. Drask thinks that it’s like a full-spectrum burst. None of the Chiss party have comlinks that can be set to that range; however, there are some on the ship.
Mara is unhappy to find that someone here is able to communicate with their ship.
Jinzler notes they shouldn’t have been surprised as humans have an ability to survive many things. He hopes to find out how they did survive.
They meet up with the Aristocra and the others in the turbolift. Jinzler explains they will be meeting the rest of the survivors and discuss the possibility of returning them to the New Republic. Formbi notes the word choice. Pressor admits he’s not convinced yet that they will be going anywhere.
Formbi explains that they are in a high-security defensive position of the Chiss Ascendancy and they cannot stay here. They are happy to provie assistance relocating the survivors someplace else.
Pressor explains they’ll have to present the case to Director Uliar and the Managing Council. He is only the Guardian. He runs the Peacekeepers that keep order within the colony.
Along the way, they pass Peacekeepers, then reach Director Uliar and two other members of the Managing Council and Instructor Rosemari Tabory. She is Pressor’s sister and Evlyn’s mother.
Pressor greets Uliar, Councilor Tarkosa and Councilor Keely. Uliar mentions the other members of the Council will meet shortly. He thought that those who actually survived the destruction should face their destroyers first.
He demands to know where the Jedi are. When told that they are being held in another turbolift, he expresses some disbelief and then some feigned surprise when Instructor Tabory’s daughter happens to be here. Pressor insists she was just helping him.
Uliar notes how helpful Evlyn is to her uncle during difficult times, as if she has special talents. Pressor and his sister try to deflect his obvious suspicion about Evlyn, but Pressor knows they’ve only put it off.
They introduce the members of the boarding party that are present. Jinzler does indicate he would like the ones being held released at some point. As they head toward the Council chambers, Pressor and Rosemari quickly discuss the problem with Evlyn.
His Peacekeepers notice that their comlinks just buzzed with static. They also notice that Jinzler and Formbi made movements to theirs. They aren’t sure what’s going on, but Pressor has his men go check the jamming to be safe.
He also has the forward turbolifts locked just in case Uliar decides to handle the Jedi and the soldiers his way.
In the meantime, the Imperials work on getting out of their own lift when their comlinks buzz with static. They aren’t sure where it’s coming from but they are more motivated than ever to get out of here.
  • Chas Uliar was introduced in Outbound Flight. The other two Councilors may be Brace Tarkosa and Jobe Keely who we also met in that book.
  • Jorad Pressor’s sister was named Katarin in Outbound Flight. I suppose this could be another sister.

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chapter 14:

Luke and Mara find another storage room. She admits she started feeing uncomfortable as soon as they met Fel. This new Empire of the Hand is so different from the one she served that she almost felt like it was something she could serve now.

He knows she’s been disappointed with the New Republic. She had thought that the in-fighting would stop after the Caamas Document was found, but the Senate has done nothing to help. Luke reminds her that playing what-if scenarios doesn’t help. They will never know what would have happened if someone other than Palpatine had been in charge.

Mara knows that, too. It’s just that she started feeling nostalgic for the order that the Empire provided. Now, she’s looking at storage crates that were loaded aboard a ship that was doomed. Luke realizes she didn’t always see the results of Palpatine’s policies. She dealt with individuals who embezzled or committed treason.

Drask calls them over and points out that some of the crates here have been moved from other areas. They look around and find that the doors do not open as the others do. The two Jedi lift a girder off and use the Force to open the doors. The find the remains of what were living quarters. There is no reason for someone to live down here if the sections above are intact.

Mara suggests that this was a prison. There are no bodies in here which means they could have been removed after death or that the prisoners got out on their own. Luke thinks only violent or psychotic people would be held so far away from the rest of the Flight.

Each of the Dreadnoughts was equipped with a brig for regular troublemakers.

They find the Imperials and Drask demands to know why they are not protecting the Aristocra. Fel explains he’s sure Formbi is fine and they wanted to come around from another direction. He thinks the tubes head up to D-Five and has found ways to get there.

He thinks they boarded the Flight at D-Four. Drask points out he must’ve used his data cards to review the layout. Fel admits the cards were stolen during the fire in the hangar. He didn’t report it, hoping there might be some advantage to the culprit thinking the theft hadn’t been noticed.

Luke asks if D-One would be the command Dreadnought and wonders why it’s the furthest underground. It would certainly indicate a serious problem toward the end of the mission. Drask wonders if the criminals held in the makeshift prison had something to do with it.

He wants to get to D-Five anyway and protect the Aristocra. Luke thinks it would be a better idea to check out D-One. Fel offers to escort Drask to D-Five but via a lift that will take them past D-Six. This could help them feel out any surprises Pressor has for them.


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chapter 15:
Uliar points to the main control area and indicate a university of a kind that is located further up. Tabory is asked to provide details. She explains that most of the records were lost, but the Survivors had a lot of knowledge and skill among them so they set up a school to teach the children.
The university is actually for advanced mathematics, maintenance, astrogation and operations, as well as for things they will need when they get out of here. The central storage core only suffered minor damage and they were able to bring the generators of two of the Dreadnoughts online. The radiation can be a danger, so they put the pregnant women and children under three years old down in D-Six. Uliar was 22 when this ship was attacked.
He wonders why the Chiss waited so long to come help them if they didn’t order the attack. He thinks they didn’t expect to find someone alive who remembered what happened. In fact, he asks if Dean Jinzler is related to the Jedi Lorana Jinzler who abandoned them when they needed help. He suspects the ambassador has come to honor the memory of his beloved relative. Jinzler admits he actually hated his sister.
Uncomfortable with Uliar, Jinzler asks to see the school so Tabory and Pressor are sent with him. Pressor asks if he just wanted to get away from Uliar. Jinzler admits the man’s anger is potent. There were 57 survivors of the attack. Ten of the adults are still living from that time, but the other seven are too old and frail to do much.
Those who were children at the time, like Pressor, didn’t exactly know what had happened. Evlyn asks if Jinzler hated his sister. He admits he did. He’s concerned that she may think he hates all Jedi or maybe hates her. Upset with this conversation, Pressor jumps in to tell him to leave it alone. There’s nothing special about Evlyn.
Jinzler realizes this isn’t true and tries to assure him that Jedi abilities are nothing to worry about. Pressor refuses to let him talk about it anymore and forbids him from mentioning it to anyone.
Evlyn asks him why he hated his sister. Jinzler admits that she was his older sister. He was the youngest of four in a family that lived on Coruscant in the shadow of the Jedi Temple . In fact, his parents worked there as maintenance engineers. They loved the Jedi, the self-appointed guardians of the galaxy, who had more important things to do than to worry about a couple of lowly employees. At ten months old, Lorana made her parents dreams come true when she was accepted to Jedi training. It cost his parents their jobs because families were not allowed contact with relatives who became Jedi. They hung around the Temple, though, to get a look at her every now and then. He was four the first time he saw her.
Pressor remembers he was four when he met her, too. She was a nice enough person, though he didn’t know any of the Jedi well. Jinzler supposes she probably became a nice person later, then corrects himself. She probably was a nice person but he was never able to know her well enough to be sure.
Pressor guesses correctly that young Dean was not strong in the Force. Jinzler confirms that he was rejected and always knew his parents were disappointed. One day, he was taken to the Temple for some kind of public holiday the Jedi were participating in and that’s when they saw Lorana. The Jedi with her saw them, mentioned something to her and she looked in their direction before being hustled off. His parents were thrilled.
He knows his parents probably loved him, but he always felt deficient in comparison to the high standard his sister had set. He worked in his father’s field in electronics, learning as much as he could. Evlyn points out that he also went into politics, as well. Jinzler gets the idea she may realize the truth. He goes on to tell them he tried to make himself into someone his parents could be proud of, but he could see in their eyes that they were not nearly as proud of him as of her.
He saw her a couple of more times at a distance. They met briefly before she left on Outbound Flight. Pressor thinks they should get back before Uliar thinks they’re conspiring against him.
Pressor isn’t sure what to make of this visitor. Evlyn’s questioning though makes him realize that Jinzler isn’t really an ambassador. He doesn’t seem like a dangerous man, so he may have finagled himself aboard under false pretenses.
They are approached by one of the Peacekeepers who tells Pressor that the two trap cars are in the tubes anymore. They would have heard a crash which means the prisoners have gotten away.
He wants access from D-Four locked down. If they are down in the supply core, they will have access to Five and Six. They may not have found Quarantine yet but they cannot be allowed to spring those people.
  • Jinzler met with Lorana in the book Outbound Flight where he confronted her with the same issues related here. It was this ugly confrontation that motivated Lorana to accept the posting on the mission so she wouldn’t have to see him for a long time.

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chapter 16:

On D-One, they find the remains of bodies. Luke and Mara sift through it, trying to find out how much damage was done in the crash versus what Thrawn or even the Vagaari did during the battle.

Luke was hoping to find records about the Jedi here, but it doesn’t look like much is left. He keeps thinking about the prisoners. They had to have escaped. There were also 18 Jedi aboard the mission. Since Thrawn somehow beat them with just a picket force, he wonders if there’s a connection.

Mara suggests Formbi may have been evasive about the size of the attacking force. They find a couple of interesting objects. One is a lightsaber. The other is an old-style Chiss charric weapon.

The bones are humanoid at least but they cannot be certain if they are human or Chiss. Luke asks Mara if the Chiss ever mentioned whether or not they have ever seen a Vagaari or know what one looks like. She doesn’t believe they did. He adds that Bearsh told him none of the Geroon of his generation had seen one either.

Both the Chiss and the Geroon say the Vaagari were at the battle. They know for a fact the Chiss were. What if they are the same species? What if Thrawn created a fictious race to use for his own purposes?

He’s not sure why he would do it, but Luke finds it odd that, when Outbound Flight disappeared, so did the Vagaari.

Mara thinks they need to speak to Formbi about this. After making sure the charric is dead, they test the lightsaber which ignites. It might have been C’baoth’s. Since there’s no way of knowing, they head back to the other Dreadnoughts.

On D-Six, they hear voices that sound like females and infants. They take a look and find a nursery with women showing a group of older children how to care for babies. . When they are spotted, the stormtroopers are suddenly fired upon. When return fire bursts out, Fel yells for them to case. Drask insists they lay down protective fire and retreat to the tactical room they’ve found further down.

They check for injuries, noting the low power the blasterfire was using. Drask insists they go back to see what the warriors were protecting. Fel insists it was the females and children. Drask doesn’t think so.

Heading back, they stun the two attackers and move their weapons to where an errant child might stumble across them and move on.

In the Council Meeting Room, Jinzler, Rosemari Tobary and Evlyn enter to find the confrontation already going. Aristocri Formbi explains that he can offer some monetary compensation from his own family but he cannot make an agreement that will bind the other Ruling Families.

Jinzler adds that they had agreed to return the Flight to the New Republic and that should include all colonists. Uliar reminds him that he is still assuming the colonists want to return to Republic space. What he really wants is the slow death of everyone who caused this trouble in the first place but Aristocri Formbi has already mentioned that they are all dead.

They demand a Dreadnought twice as big as the ones they have with the best and most modern equipment, including defenses, available so they can complete their journey through the Unknown Regions to the edge of the galaxy so they can make a new life.

Formbi asks him if all of his people wish to go with him. He answers that, if the Council leads them, they will follow. Jinzler explains they will need to consult with their governments. Uliar orders the jamming stopped, but Formbi explains that communications within the Redoubt are impossible. To contact their governments, both he and Jinzler will need to leave.

Uliar considers this too convenient. He is interrupted briefly by a message for Pressor that calls him away. Jinzler realizes something has happened and it must involve either the Jedi or the Imperials.


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chapter 17:

Examining the remains of the bridge, she gets a feeling of fear and anger and violence. She knows someone died here violently. Luke sensed it, too. There were several quick deaths as if someone had been ambushed. It wasn’t years ago either. This is something happening now.

The deaths didn’t seem human. It could be Chiss or Geroon. Luke thinks they should take the lift Fel and his men were taking to D-Six. They decide to go to D-Five from there, but the car doesn’t move.

They will have to climb the shaft. Mara hopes the repulsor beams don’t reactivate. Suddenly, she gets a revelation. Thinking back on the Geroon ship, something that’s bothered her the whole time has finally formed. She tells him they have to hurry.

Pressor doesn’t understand how the generators are at full power but that the energy is being lost somewhere. They started at the turbolifts where the Jedi and the Imperials were at, but the power was fine after they first escaped.

They could have imported a new batch of conduit worms somehow. They’d gotten rid of a bunch thirty years ago.

The Imperials stumble upon the makeshift prison Luke had described. Through one of the door, a female voice calls out to someone. Fel peaks through a slit in the door and sees two women and four children. The children are playing while an older woman and a young one watch them. The young woman realizes Fel is not the Peacekeeper.

Fel explains who he is and asks who they are. She says they are the remnant of Outbound Flight. He knows that but doesn’t understand why they are locked in here. The young woman explains that the children are being quarantined because Director Uliar is paranoid that they will grow up to be pure evil. That they’ll be Jedi.


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chapter 18:

Fel doesn’t understand. The women explain that the Jedi betrayed them and helped destroy the Flight. Drask stops Fel from asking them any further questions. Their first priority is to make sure that the Aristocri is safe.

Grappler tells Fel that the warlord on his homeworld locked innocents who were not threatening at all in places like this. Fel thinks they should let the diplomats try their hand at this first. Grappler asks what happens if the diplomats refuse to help. Fel says soldiers take over from there. He tells them to move out.

As they climb the lift shaft, Luke asks Mara what is bothering her. She tells him that, when they first saw the Geroon ship, there were children playing in the background. When the Geroon ship left Bearsh and his contingent behind, the same scene was playing in the background. It was a recording. There were no children aboard the Geroon ship.

The Geroons are frauds. She doesn’t know anything else besides that. They compare notes on what kind of they were actually using and Luke remembers dark holes on the hull that remind him of the ejection ports on the asteroids they past on the way into the Redoubt.

Another burst of comlink chirps occur. She thinks it’s the Geroon.

Jinzler is struggling to come up with an acceptable ship for the Survivors when he gets distracted by the comlink noise. He asks why the Survivors keep doing that. They accuse him of doing so. Bearsh explains that they were once victims but now are victors. He rattles off words in his language, drops his wolvkil attachment, clicks its collar and the animal comes to life.

The animals drop off of all the Geroon and attack. The Chiss and Peacekeepers try to fight them off. Feesa pulls one off of Formbia while Jinzler insists that Bearsh call them off. The Geroon pulls his sleeve and unleases a hundred insects. The swarm moves with Bearsh. Jinzler moves quietly toward the weapon of a fallen Peacekeeper, but is called over by Formbi. The Chiss warriors are dead.

The rest are all trapped and the Geroon explain they will all die. The Jedi and the Imperials have been taken care of by sabotage to their turbolifts. He then releases line creepers to damage the ship systems. Jinzler realizes it was Bearsh who was responsible for the ones found on Chaf Envoy.

Formbi explains they should not threaten the innocent people aboard this ship who’ve already been through so much. They can have the Chaf Envoy if they wish. Bearsh says they want more than just one ship. He leaves them behind, trapped by the wolvkils, until the line creepers can cut all power to the Flight.

Rosemari doesn’t understand what they want. Uliar tells her they want vengeance for real and imagined crimes. He’s realized what no one else has. Their captors are not Geroons; they are Vagaari.


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chapter 19:

Jinzler asks how he knows. Uliar says he heard a Vagaari voice once 50 years ago and recognized Bearsh’s words before the attack. He’s surprised Jinzler didn’t know. The latter explains they would never have been brought aboard had he known this. Uliar isn’t convinced the Chiss didn’t.

Feesa has noted that the wolvkils only attacked those with weapons. She thinks that they may be able to leave if they make no threatening move and abandon their blasters.

None wants to take that chance and Evlyn is convinced that one of the Vaagari told the wolvkils not to let them leave. Jinzler thinks they need to wait for the Jedi or the Imperials. He doesn’t believe they’re dead. Noticing one of the Peacekeeper’s comlinks nearby, he asks if the jamming can be stopped from one. Uliar says it can. The comlink is too far away to risk moving in front of the animals, but Jinzler thinks Evlyn can get it without taking a step.

Her mother insists she cannot, but Jinzler tells her that he knows there’s something special about her. She’s their only chance. Uliar realizes he was right. Rosemari insists he will not take her child away to die in D-Three. She hasn’t done anything. Uliar reminds her that being a Jedi is in defiance of the law.

Jinzler intercedes and reprimands Uliar for blaming children for what happened before they were even born. He cannot deny them their heritage. Evlyn assures him she doesn’t want to be a Jedi. He tells her that she cannot ignore her talents. None of them can choose what they were born to do. The choice they have is how they are going to use them. Do they grow and serve or do they bury their talents? She cannot throw away this gift.

Looking at Evlyn, he almost sees Lorana through the eyes of a four-year old brother questioning his parents’ love. It had always seemed so clear to him. Thinking back, he remembers his father complimenting him and how his parents loved him. He’d created a lie and had believed it because he was jealous of the sister he barely knew.

He tells Uliar and the other Council Members that she has the Force and always will. Her family needs to support her. Rosemari urges Evlyn to use what she has. Jinzler wants her to pull the comlink to them so they can have the jamming turned off and contact the Jedi or the Imperials or the other Chiss.

She concentrates and slowly brings the comlink to their position. The wolvkils do not like the movement and begin slamming into the trap of chairs and tables they are behind. Uliar orders the jamming turned off and Jinzler calls for help.

Luke and Mara are confronted by Pressor who holds a weapon on them. He wants them to put down theirs. They tell him something has gone wrong and he accuses them of tampering with the power.

The jamming abruptly stops and Jinzler’s message comes through. He tells them that the Geroon are really Vagaari. Their wolvkils were really in some kind of suspended animation and are now trapping several of them in the council room.

He warns them about the swarming insects that seem to be used for personal protection and that line creepers have been let loose, too. Fel can pick up the transmission, too, and acknowledges. Drask tried calling the Chaf Envoy for the rest of his warriors, but gets no response.

Luke, Mara and Pressor head off run straight into the Vagaari who seem to have added a few members to the group. Mara asks where the others came from. She also wants to know the real reason why they came on this mission. Bearsh explains they want to avenge 50 years of humiliation.

He lets the wolvkils on them, but Mara cuts two of the animals down. The aliens open fire on her. She and Luke deflect the bolts with their lightsabers. Luke uses the Force to put the remaining wolvkils to sleep.

That’s what Mara appreciates about Luke. His moral high ground. Mara, however, throws her saber so that it cuts through the weapons and armor of their attackers. She does find that Bearsh has taken off.

She has Pressor show her where the meeting room is and coms Fel to keep sharp. When she doesn’t get a response, Pressor suggests he’s already run into trouble.


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chapter 20:

When a turbolift door explodes open, Fel and his troopers duck back. The Vagaari charge out with their living breathing wolvkils. It doesn’t take long to realize that the animals handle charric shots fairly well. One jumps on Fel and clamps down on his arm.

He tries to poke its eyes, but it lunges for his neck and Shadow shoves his armored arm into the jaws. The others were taken care of with the more direct blasters. Drask is unhurt. The Jedi tried to reach them during the battle to warn them about the Vagaari.

They decide to head to D-Five. Along the way, Fel asks Drask to take command of his men. He is a flight officer; wheras Drask is a ground one. He is better equipped to lead than Fel is. Drask agrees but insists on joint command.

Mara cuts down the three wolvkils in the council meeting room quickly. Feesa quickly urges her to get Formbi medical care. Mara contacts Fel. He tells her they had a brief struggle with the Vagaari.

Luke has finished where he is and she tells him to keep going forward and drive the Vagaari back toward the 501st troopers.

She looks over Formbi and finds that a medpac won’t do it. She asks Pressor where the medical facilities are. He and the others are reluctant to help an alien who represents those that attacked this ship. Mara explains to them that they all have to work together. If they don’t, then the other innocent people on this ship will die. If they won’t assist, she can leave.

The men complain that nothing has changed about the Jedi. But they will agree to help on the condition that the Jedi leave when this is over. Jinzler stops her and asks if she will take Evlyn with her. Mara doesn’t want to take this child into a war zone, but Jinzler urges her to do so. Evlyn has sensitivity with the Force. Considering how Uliar and the others feel about Jedi, she may be better off.

She agrees so long as Evlyn stays behind her. Pressor hands her some comlinks that will connect her to him and the Peacekepers.

The Imperials take care of the Vagaari manning the turbolift. Fel stations Shadow and Watchman to the storage core tube that runs between D-Four and D-Five. The rest of them will try to drive the Vagaari back into the turbolift cars so the two troopers can destroy them in transit. He picks up the Vagaari weapons from the dead and starts handing them out.

Mara and Evlyn run into Luke. They’ve got a message from Fel about his plan. Pressor’s also heard that the colonists are not being shot at so long as they stay out of the Vagaari’s way. It also doesn’t help that the line creepers are being scattered all over the place.

When they hear a lot of blastefire, they decide it’s time to charge.

Fel keeps firing into a wall. Drask holds a Vagaari helmet to his ear and hears what he believes is the tone of someone giving a command. Hopefully, it’s the one they want.

Grappler reports they are coming. Five armored Vagaari appear and are cut down right away. The Imperials move to the fluid systems service corridor. Fel isn’t sure where all the Vagaari are coming from. Surely their ship couldn’t have followed.

Drask points out that there were sealed rooms on board their ship that were marked open to vacuum. He thinks the Vagaari used their suspended animation technology to keep warriors in there. They likely shot Jorad themselves so that he could stay behind.

They open the doors without a problem, but are fired upon by Vagaari who seem to be increasing their fire. A large number of the Vagaari seem to be here. Even the 501st can’t handle all of them. Drask shuts the door and they prepare to retreat, only to see a line of warriors approaching them.


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chapter 21:

Exchanging fire with the Vagaari, Mara asks if Luke has noticed that the aliens have their own jamming. It was put up during the last few minutes when she tried to call Fel. She does still have the old comlinks Pressor gave her.

They head back to find Fel and the others. The troopers are doing the best they can. Drask and Fel are unscathed, but one good shot would take either down. Grenades would help, but they cannot toss them in these corridors among all this fluid and gas.

The medic does all she can for Formbi for now. He’s lost a lot of blood and it cannot be replaced until they get back to the Chiss ship. Jinzler asks about bacta but is told much of it was lost in the battle and the rest used up over time.

Councilor Keely thinks that they only want to get Formbi off the ship so that they can all leave. Jinzler points out that Chiss on the other ship can help remove the line creepers. Keely accuses him of lying. Uliar tells Keely to sit down.

Feesa frets over Formbi. Jinzler asks if he’s a relative of hers. She tells him this wasn’t supposed to happen. Formbi tells her to not to say anything else. Jinzler remembers Uliar being surprised that he hasn’t know who the Vagaari were and suggesting that some of the Chiss might have known.

Drask opens the access door and Fel orders a stun grenade. Grappler tosses it and they hit the door’s release, reversing the direction. The grenade goes off, the door slides open and they jump inside. The concussion had thrown Vagaari down.

The Imperials get to the storage core but cannot get the door open because it’s been locked down. The turbolift comes down, Fel prepares his weapon and the front part explodes. Watchman and Shadow come through.

They take out the remaining Vagaari in the lobby.

Luke and Mara fight off their own attackers before finding the 501st troopers. Two of them and Fel don’t look well. Most of the Vagaari are taken care of but no one knows where Bearsh is.

Unfortunately, they estimate the Vagaari may number about 300 now. One of the stormtroopers heard them working in the turbolift pylon. Evlyn asks what they were doing there.

They decide to find out. Mara pulls a Vaagari helmet, calls for Bearsh and gets Estosh instead.

He explains that they aren’t here for the few ragged humans left, but for revenge against the entire Chiss race. Luke notices some of the colonists coming out of their hiding places. Evlyn asks to come with him because she wants to help.

Mara reminds Estosh they are in the middle of the Redoubt and won’t get far. Luke’s instincts kick in and he tells Evlyn to get ready to stop the turbolift. He jumps through the opening, he finds this one was rigged for a trap. He keys the switch to go down. Over the comm., Fel reveals that he knows about the recorder put into the navigational lines during the line creeper distraction on board the Chaf Envoy.

Mara realizes they made a recording of the route back to the Brask Oto Command Station. Luke reminds Estosh that they were half an hour into the flight before that happened.

Luke uses a glow rod to peer into the pylon and sees a large number of boxes. They are explosives mining the pylon.


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