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"Jedi Under Siege": Book 6 in the Young Jedi Knights series


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chapter 1:

It’s been only two days since the Second Imperium attacked the world of Kashyyyk. Jacen, Jaina and their friends have returned to Yavin IV to prepare for an attack there that Zekk had warned Jaina about. She is sure this means that Zekk still cares about them.

Jacen reminds her that their uncle has been through many Imperial attacks. He tries to lighten the mood by telling them that it’s time to get a new chronometer when an Imperial walker steps on yours. When that doesn’t go over well, he goes to greet Luke and Lowie who are landing the Shadow Chaser.

Luke sends Lowie out to retrieve Tionne and Raynar who are in the middle of a training session, Tenel Ka to gather the other students and give them a crash course in ground combat and has Jacen and Jaina install the new shield generators.

Luke tells them that their mother is trying to come up with a way to station permanent troops here as protection for the academy. For now, they’ll have to do what they can.

The Lightning Rod signals them that it’s coming in. Peckhum is surprised that he will have to deal with shields now when he didn’t before. They explain that they are anticipating an attack by Zekk and the Shadow Academy.
He points to the sky and tells them it appears to have arrived already.
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  • Permanent troops to protect the academy? That’s not something Luke has ever asked or even wanted in the past.
  • I assume that there are also still adult Jedi on the moon? Thus far, we’ve only encountered Luke, Tionne and a bunch of kids.
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chapter 2:

At the Shadow Academy, Brakiss looks forward to defeating Luke Skywalker once and for all. The cowled, holographic head of the Emperor appears to remind him of their goal here. He warns Brakiss not to underestimate the Jedi.
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chapter 3:

Two pilots, Orvak and Dareb, fly specially-equipped TIEs down to Yavin IV and find a small opening in the shield near the treeline. Dareb is killed by cutting it too close, but Orvak makes it and lands in the jungle.

He pulls explosives out of his TIE fighter and sets them around the shield generator station, then heads off for his next target.
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  • You know, those are pretty bad shields if there’s an opening big enough for a TIE Fighter to get through.
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chapter 4:

Raynar is convinced that he could have handled the attack alone, if one even comes. After all, they have only the word of Zekk who could have been lying.

He is less vocal when Tionne points out the attack has started. She tells Lowie to land near the Temple , but not at it. She has a feeling the docking bays and landing fields will not be safe.

When the generator goes, the shields come down. Luke tells the twins to contact their mother and explain they need the reinforcements right now. They will need to evacuate the school and fight in the jungle where they have a better chance of survival.

Jacen realizes his animals will live longer outdoors, too. He goes to set them free when Jaina offers to contact their mother. She finds, however, that the communications are jammed.

In the Great Hall, Luke tells the students that reinforcements may not be coming if they cannot send out a distress signal. He tells them to leave the temple and fight one-on-one in the jungle.
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  • I’m not sure what good it would do for Leia to get a panicked call from her daughter telling her that they are under attack and their defenses are down. I’m sure Leia is trying to get those reinforcements there asap.
  • Communications are jammed? What a surprise! Isn’t there some way to prevent that?
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chapter 5:

On the Shadow Academy station, Zekk gives his final words of encouragement to his Force-trained warriors before they leave on their mission.

Qorl hasn’t flown much in the last twenty years, so it will be good to be in a TIE fighter again. Norys approaches him and thinks he should be leading the wing owing to his skills in the simulation.

Qorl turns him down for the time being. Norys accuses him of wanting to hold them back due his diminished capacities. Qorl tells him he can serve his Emperor now as backup or he can be grounded for this mission.

He tells the others that this is a two-pronged attack. Tamith Kai will lead the military side of it, while Zekk will be commanding the ground forces. The energy shield is already down. The TIEs are to provide support only, not be the major attacking force.

On board the battle platform, Tamith Kai tells the Dark Jedi that the doors will open in one minute. Zekk and the others are wearing repulsorpacks, but he urges them to use the Force to slow their descent.

He knows that Tamith Kai is right in that he still feels friendship with Jacen and Jaina. He hopes that Jaina heeded his warning about staying away from the academy, but he knows that she would never abandoned her friends.

The doors open and they all begin jumping out.
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chapter 6:

The other students feel natural emotions of alarm, but none of them panic. Luke tells Jacen to take the Shadow Chaser up into orbit and see if he can get a message off to his mother, Jaina to go to the shield generator and see what she can cobble together and is about to give other instructions when Artoo signals that the bombing has caused a cave-in by the docking bay. The Shadow Chaser cannot leave.

The Lightning Rod isn’t trapped, however, so Jacen and Peckhum head to that, Jaina goes to the generator and, after she senses Tamith Kai aboard the battle platform, Tenel Ka and Lowie head to his skyhopper to handle that. Luke is going to do a last sweep of the temple to make sure no one is left inside.
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chapter 7:

While the Lightning Rod evades fire, the skyhopper bearing Tenel Ka and Lowie heads to the battle platform. They spot figures dropping from the platform toward the ground.

A moment of distraction is all it takes for the skyhopper to get hit and crash land. Em Teedee does his best to wake up Tenel Ka. She and Lowie push on the canopy of the ship and climb out. Em Teedee is certain they will be captured by woolamanders.

They are about 200 meters from the platform and make their way slowly toward it, stopping when TIEs fly over looking for survivors.

Tenel Ka uses her rope and grappling hook to help their ascent up the platform where she knows stormtroopers and at least one Nightsister awaits them.
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chapter 8:

In the jungle, the Dark Jedi wonder why their enemies are hiding. They get their answer soon when several Jedi trainees use the Force to douse their opponents with water while several Avian Jedi students attack from above. Their lightsabers are tossed into the river and the Force is used to convince the Dark Jedi to sleep for a long time.

Tionne and her students lead a group of Dark Jedi to a crumbling Massassi temple. The students join together in concentration, pulling the lightsabers from the others. When the leader says they will crush the Jedi with the power of the Dark Side, Tionne cautions them about disrupting her students’ concentration. A huge slab from the temple is hovering, unsupported by anything but the Force, above them.

They might have enough power to kill all the Jedi and stop the slab from crushing them. Then again, maybe not.

In the meantime, a tree-like Jedi soaks up the sun and moisture from the ground. An aging Massassi tree is rotting next to her. When two Dark Jedi appear, she ignites her lightsaber and cuts down the Massassi tree which falls on them.

Her energy reserves spent, she shuts down her saber and begins to store up more nutrients.
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chapter 9:

Jaina finds the shield generator irreparable; however, is surprised to see an intact unmanned TIE fighter sitting there.

Having some familiarity with the controls due to her work on Qorl’s fighter, she boards it and takes off. Soon, she joins up with a group of six TIEs. She destroys three of them before the others turn on her.
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chapter 10:

During the battle, Luke uses the Force to bolster the confidence of his students and warn them of unexpected dangers. This battle is less clearcut than the one in which he participated years ago that resulted in the destruction of the Death Star.

Now, with communications jammed, the shield generator down and his students fighting on the ground, it’s as if Brakiss wants to do this the hard way.

In fact, he’s sure he does. Brakiss contacts Luke and thinks they should finish the conversation they started when he came to rescue his students. They agree to meet alone at the Temple of the Blue Leaf Cluster.
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chapter 11:

While Peckhum flies the ship, Jacen transmits a distress call to the New Republic. The TIE fighter on their tail is piloted by Norys who comms the The Lightning Rod. He tells Jacen that, at least, Zekk was smart enough to join the Second Imperium.

With no more evasive capabilities left and it being pointless to send out another distress signal, Jacen asks if Peckhum wants to hear a joke.
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chapter 12:

On the ground, Zekk laments the loss of his friendship with Jaina. Brakiss had shown him how she had dismissed his skills in the Force. He tells the others to conjure up a storm in the Force to lay waste to the Jedi.

As they concentrate, he spots a TIE fighter in the air chasing a battered ship that he recognizes as the Lightning Rod. He remembers that Peckhum makes occasional supply runs here. Distracted, he loses concentration on the storm. The others do, too, when they spot a young trainee in colorful robes nearby.

The young man is unable to escape so he stands his ground, tells them his name is Raynar and they have to surrender to him. He tries a Force shove that doesn’t work at all well. Zekk, concerned about Peckhum and losing the taste for indiscriminate killing, uses the Force to toss the boy into the muddy river. He tells his comrades that humiliation is sometimes better than killing. This young Jedi has learned a lesson he won’t forget.

By this time, the Lightning Rod is nowhere in sight.
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  • How could Zekk forget about the supply runs? He’s been on at least one that we know of, according to Anakin’s Quest.
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chapter 13:

Qorl is growing increasingly frustrated with Norys.

Qorl believes in the orderliness of the Empire. It is that orderliness that requires discipline. Norys had accepted that when he joined the Second Imperium, but has grown more insubordinate as time has gone on.

It’s not that Qorl doesn’t understand the need to fight the Jedi. He himself had rejected the Solo twins when they tried to keep from returning to the Empire. He had been disgusted with the brutal training Brakiss and Tamith Kai had unleashed on their young students at the Shadow Academy, so had helped engineer the twins’ escape.

Since then, he’s tried to make amends, but now, watching Norys chasing a disabled spacecraft, he is disgusted. He comms Norys and reminds him that his primary objective is the battle, not chasing a doomed ship.

When a distress call comes in from Jacen Solo, Qorl decides to act. That boy may be misguided, but he’s got a good heart and, besides, he’s the Chief of State’s son. It makes sense that he would choose the side his mother is on.

When Norys refuses to back down, Qorl decides he doesn’t sacrifice his honor by taking down someone who has none. He fires on Norys’ reactor and the ship blows up.

Then he changes course and lets the Lightning Rod continue to falter.
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chapter 14:

Meanwhile, Orvak runs across the courtyard of the Great Temple and heads inside, hoping to find something of value to destroy. He finds the hangar bay with only one sleep ship inside. He’s attacked by an astromech droid wielding an arm generating electrical charges.

Then he moves through the building before finding the Grand Audience Chamber. He decides to set the explosives here. When he’s finished, he notices a sliver of movement. He fires, but the bolts ricochet around him.

He drops to the floor and then feels a sting in his hand. Two bite marks appear and he has to shake a nearly-invisible snake off of him. Fatigue overtakes him and he falls asleep as the minutes to detonation count down.
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  • Doubtlessly, Jacen’s snake didn’t make it outside.
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chapter 15:

Jumping up on the platform, Tenel Ka and Lowie cut down stormtroopers with their lightsabers before confronting Tamith Kai.

Tenel Ka leaves Lowie to handle the remaining stormtroopers which he does well combining his brute strength with his Jedi skills.

Tamith Kai doesn’t fear defeat by a one-armed weaking girl. Tenel Ka uses her lightsaber to deflect the energy fired by the Nightsister who gathers her strength again.

Tenel Ka uses the Force to shove her over the edge where she lands in the middle of a group of stormtroopers Lowie is battling. Tamith Kai blasts them all out of her way.

Tenel Ka has to toss her lightsaber at an incoming TIE bomber which damages it, but her saber falls into the jungle below. When Tamith Kai returns, she finds her opponent without a weapon. Tenel Ka reminds her that she is never without a weapon and kicks the Nightsister behind the heel, tripping her.

The damaged TIE fighter returns, with no maneuverability, apparently trying to land on the platform. Tenel Ka jumps over Tamith Kai toward Lowie and the stormtroopers who already see what’s about to happen.

Clearing the deck, the troopers do not take time to hear Tamith Kai scream to ignite the repulsors to avoid the crash. Lowie and Tenel Ka jump over the platform right before the bomber crashes into it.
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chapter 16:

It was too much to hope the TIE pilots would make a mistake and crash into a tree. Jaina manages to flip her fighter around so she’s approaching them and fires.

Then she switches the high-powered engines on so that it’s no longer in the stealth mode that the original pilot had used to land and the ship speeds up.

She heads out into space as they close the gap. She fears she’s doomed until a fleet of ships appears. Their reinforcements have arrived and are shooting at her. She toggles the comm. and announces who she is.

Some of the ships bear the insignia of GemDiver station. Lando answers her and she explains which ship she’s flying.

Ackbar tells her to board his ship while they take care of the Second Imperium. The fleet fires upon the Shadow Academy, demanding its surrender. Then a fleet of Star Destroyers appears.
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  • Boy, that fleet got there fast considering Jacen’s distress call wasn’t sent all that long ago. Remember when Admiral Pellaeon’s ship got shoved a gazillion light years away in Darksaber and it took forever for him to return? Were the Rebel fleet and Lando’s ships not that far away then?
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chapter 17:

Luke meets Brakiss at the Temple of the Blue Leaf Cluster. Luke urges his former student to return to the academy, but Brakiss is not interested in bantering.

Brakiss tells him that Luke had taught him that his journey was one of self-discovery. That’s exactly what he’s done. Luke himself is limited by his partial training and by the doors he refuses to open. Brakiss was willing to look behind those doors.

As they duel, Luke urges Brakiss to feel the peace of the Force. He knows Brakiss was tempted to rejoin him when they were on Telti at his droid factory.

He destroys Brakiss’s lightsaber and the man begs for his life, knowing Luke would never kill an unarmed person. He uses the distraction to ignite his repulsor pack and lift into the sky.
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  • We keep being told that not having a weapon doesn’t mean a Force user is unarmed. Just sayin’
  • Also, the incident on Telti occurred during The New Rebellion.
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chapter 18:

The New Republic ships find they cannot fire upon the Star Destroyers. The guidance and targeting systems stolen from Kashyyyk have been installed in the ships to make the New Republic ships think they are firing on friendlies.

Jaina says they are going to have to disable the targeting lock or else the friend-or-foe targeting systems will prevent firing. Since Lando’s ships use different computers, his fleet continues to battle.

Jaina suggests that they use the Imperials’ computers against them. After all, as Supreme Commander of the New Republic fleet, Ackbar must have some override authority built into the computers.

Qorl is torn. He has killed one of his own pilots. Flying into space toward the Shadow Academy, he knows he must face Brakiss. He finds a battle going on instead. The Imperial fleet looks impressive, but these fighters lack the presence of the old fleet.

Then the shields on the Star Destroyers go down. The New Republic turbolasers fire upon them. Qorl decides that he will do his duty as a TIE fighter pilot and fires upon the rebels.

Return fire causes him to lose control of his ship and he falls into the atmosphere of Yavin IV once again.
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chapter 19:

With Tamith Kai’s battle platform destroyed, the Dark Jedi on the ground being routed, the Imperial fleet abruptly losing its shields in the middle of a battle, this day is not going well for Brakiss.

He returns to the Shadow Academy knowing that the Emperor will not be happy about this. But he needs the Emperor now. Having managed to defeat death, Palpatine must have the power to turn the tide of battle.

The Royal Guardsmen will still not let him in. Tired of the obstacles, he cuts them down and enters the chambers, begging the Emperor to help. He finds no one there. He bangs on the isolation chamber and then cuts it open.

Inside, however, he finds no Emperor, but a lone Royal Guardsman operating a holographic display with monitors and sound systems. The Guard explains that he and three others came up with the idea of restoring the Empire. They knew no one would follow them so they concocted the plan of making people believe the Emperor still lived.

Brakiss believed it because he wanted to believe it. Brakiss is furious. This Second Imperium is doomed because there is no dark heart behind it. He kills the Guardsman, then pursues the fourth, and last, conspirator.

The man gets aboard a shuttle and flies off. Brakiss remembers the explosives mining the station. Since there is no Emperor, it follows that the four Guardsmen must have had the self-destruct codes.

Sure enough, the lone surviving Guardsmen, from the safety of his ship, detonates the explosives.
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chapter 20:

Alone in the jungle, Zekk fights off predators and considers that he may be the only one left. He doesn’t know how the plan could have gone so badly. Looking up into the sky at the Shadow Academy, he calls out to Brakiss.

Then is stunned to see the whole station explode. Through the Force, he knows Brakiss is dead. The man who had given him purpose, taught him to access his power and had believed in him.

Zekk reminds himself that Peckhum believed in him, too. He is angry at how foolish he was to turn on his friends and fight against them. He had made his choice and is responsible for many deaths today. He doubts his friends, if they even survived, would be able to forgive him.

He has one card left to play and decides to head to the Great Temple.
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chapter 21:

Lando brings Jaina down to the rendezvous point where she greets her uncle. The students at the academy are not doing well. Most of them have injuries. She is surprised to see Raynar moving slowly among the injured, helping where he can. He is tending to Tenel Ka right now.

Em Teedee explains that she and Lowie were forced to dive from the battle platform. Lowie caught himself, but she hit her head on a branch. Lowie jumped down to grab her and felt stomach first on the ground.

Jacen is nowhere to be found. Raynar says he saw a TIE fighter shoot at the ship hours ago, but doesn’t know what became of it. Jaina knows that Jacen is still alive.

They start moving the injured toward the Temple when a shadowy figure emerges and tells them no one enters it.
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chapter 22:

Jaina asks Luke to let her try to talk to Zekk. She doesn’t know if he’ll listen, but she does know he won’t listen to anyone else.

She tells him to let them in the Temple. They have wounded and the battle is over. Zekk tells her that letting go of the darkness isn’t like washing mud off one’s skin. His teacher is dead, his comrades are dead and he’s sure Peckhum is dead because he saw the Lightning Rod go down.

He cannot go back to the streets of Coruscant, to the life he led before. He knows too much and has done too much.

When she insists he let them inside, he ignites his lightsaber. They spar for a bit until she shuts hers down and tells him she won’t fight him anymore. He raises his above his head.
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chapter 23:

When Orvak wakes up, he has trouble remembering where he is and what he is doing. He slowly remembers infiltrating the Great Temple and being bitten by that snake. He hears a clicking device and remembers the timer he’d set for the detonator.

As it counts down, he heaves himself up, but dizziness overtakes him and he passes out.
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chapter 24:

Zekk brings the blade down to Jaina’s neck and tells her how the Dark Side is a scar on the inside. You can cover it up, but it’s never gone.

Then, Jaina’s comlink cracks and Old Peckhum’s voice comes through. He needs a place cleared to land right now. The ship is not doing well, his arm is broken and Jacen is flying.

Recognizing the voice of his friend, Zekk tells Jaina he’s sorry. Then the explosions start.

From inside the Great Temple, rocks begin to fall. Everyone runs for cover, but a large stone knocks Zekk out. Jaina realizes he knew it was going to explode and didn’t let them in. He had saved them all.
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chapter 25:

Having crash landed again on Yavin IV, Qorl assesses the damage to his TIE fighter and realizes that the Empire just isn’t what it once was.

He doesn’t have what it takes to operate in this scary new galaxy, so he decides that, since he enjoyed the years of isolation here, he will make a new home for himself once more and stay here.
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chapter 26:

The lower levels of the Great Temple are deemed structurally sound. R2 has been retrieved from the hangar bay. The seriously injured are removed to the ships above while the minor injuries are treated below.

Luke thinks he looked worse after his wampa attack than the Temple does now. He thinks they can heal their wounds by helping to repair the temple.

Jacen asks what they are going to do with the Dark Jedi they captured. Luke and Tionne will try to convince them of the error of the Dark Side. Otherwise, it’s up to Leia.

Peckhum will have to work on his ship, but he thinks he and Zekk can handle it while the young man is recuperating.

Lando lands his shuttle with Lowie’s skyhopper in tow. Tenel Ka disembarks, having found her lightsaber where it had dropped in the jungle. Lando offers the use of his bacta tanks at GemDiver station for those who need it.

Tenel Ka warns that they shouldn’t take all of the injured off the moon. After all, a Jedi must have patients.

Jacen stops, then says he doesn’t believe it. Tenel Ka has told her first joke.
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  • So Luke is still seriously considering converting those who helped the Second Imperium? Fair enough. Those who don’t convert get handed over to the New Republic government then, eh? Yeah, that’s typical Skywalker….forget about the damage they caused and the lives they may have taken so long as they promise to be good in the future.

 

End of Book 6

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