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"Crisis at Crystal Reef": Book 13 in the Young Jedi Knights series

chapter discussion thread

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#1
Jedi Cool

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chapter 1:
 
Jaina teases Zekk about how he’s always working on the Lightning Rod.  He tells her that the ship means a lot to him.  It was with him when he was learning how to trust the Force again. Besides, everytime he works on it, she shows up.  So it reminds him of good times with his friends, too.
 
Jacen, Tenel Ka and Lowie appear.  Zekk wonders what caused all this and asks if they’re planning a trip.  He also asks where Anja Gallandro is.
 
Jacen checked in on her this morning, but she wasn’t feeling well.  Because she was shaking all over, they guess she’s going through spice withdrawal.  She tried to blow it off as unimportant.
 
Anyway, it’s not really a trip they have planned.  Jaina points up to the Thunderbolt landing.  Old Peckhum disembarks and embraces Zekk.  He asks where the young lady Zekk has been talking about is.  Zekk admits Anja isn’t feeling well.
 
Meanwhile, Anja has checked every inch of her quarters and every bit of her few possessions.  There is no more andris.
 
She’d told her friends she wasn’t addicted.  But that doesn’t explain why her hands are trembling and why she is panicking at the thought of not getting another dose.  She doesn’t even know why she’s here anyway.
 
Czethros had tried to kill the young Jedi on Cloud City and had failed.  Now, he’s disappeared and she has no way to get ahold of him. He’d been the one to introduce her to spice, telling her that only weaklings got addicted and she’d believed him.
 
He’d lied to her about so many things.  He might be lying about how Solo killed her father, too.  That’s what so hard to accept.  She’d had a purpose in life hating Han Solo.  He was the blame for all of her problems.  Giving up that hate is going to be hard.
 
That’s why she keeps snapping at her new friends, even though they’ve done nothing to earn it.  Determined she’s under control, she tries to convince herself that she’s not lying to herself either.

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#2
Jedi Cool

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chapter 2:
 
Zekk picks up the components in a workroom and begins putting together his own lightsber.  He’d had one given to him at the Shadow Academy.  It was cheap and mass-manufactured like the others there.  He’d been trained to use one, but he’d not built one himself.
 
Jaina had hovered over him, Lowie had tried speaking to him in the Wookiee language, Jacen had told jokes.  He needs to be alone.
 
When he finishes, the blade is his own.  It felt right in his hand.
 
Anja tosses and turns in her room and slams her fist against the wall.  She cannot stand it.  She has to find Czethros and get more andris.
 
Getting up, she dresses quietly, gathers supplies and sneaks out her door.  Anja makes her way to the hangar and gets aboard the Lightning Rod.  Security is lax here.  The New Republic fleet in orbit won’t be able to stop her.  Luke Skywalker seems to think that there are enough Jedi here to protect them from the ground.
 
She powers up the ship and hears the alarms sound over the fleet comm..  She gets away before the ships can intercept her.  She heads for Kessel where the spice is.
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#3
Jedi Cool

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chapter 3:
 
Zekk has a perfect morning, meeting Peckhum and Jaina, showing them his lightsaber.
 
At breakfast, Jacen tells a joke about two Gamorreans trying to outrun a rancor until one puts on running shoes because he only has to outrun the other Gamorrean.
 
They enjoy the time with Peckhum before he has to leave.  Zekk is sorry he couldn’t meet Anja who wasn’t answering her door. Peckhum mentioned that Zekk hadn’t brought up building a lightsaber when they spoke last week.
 
Zekk explains that he didn’t want to reveal the news and then fail at it.  Peckhum reminds him that he’s always willing to share an important occasion with Zekk, regardless of how it turns out.
 
On approach to the Thunderbolt, however, Zekk notices the empty spot on the landing field where the Lightning Rod should be. Jaina assures him she didn’t move it.  They look around for a bit until Master Skywalker approaches and tells Zekk that Anja has stolen the ship.
 
After Peckhum leaves, Zekk fumes over the loss of the Rod.  Luke states that Anja is an adult and not even really a Jedi.  She can leave the academy if she wants.  However, taking his ship is another story.  He wants to know if they consider her a criminal or a friend.
 
They all know that Anja must have been desperate to get spice and tell Luke that she was going through withdrawal.  Luke asks if they think she’s going to keep the ship or sell it to get credits to buy more spice.  They aren’t sure she will sell it, but she’s certainly in more trouble than they know.  Luke suggests that, if that’s the case, New Republic security can probably be left out of it if her friends want to pursue it.
 
The New Republic forces in orbit, however, may have plotted a vector.  They can use that to try to find out where she might have gone.
 
The shift officer couldn’t get a scan of the navicomputer, but they were able to determine the system it was headed to.  After confirming that Kessel is in that system, they decide that’s where she probably went.
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  • I hope Zekk didn’t spend just a week on his lightsaber!  We’ve been told that this is a time-consuming process that can take months.
  • It would also appear that no one told Luke he had a spice addict staying at his school until after she stole a ship and left.  Does this seem right?  Does it also seem right that, apparently, Luke did not sense something terribly wrong with her and that none of the other Jedi at the academy sensed her withdrawal pains?


#4
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chapter 4:
 
Chief Administrator Nien Nunb has been running the spice mines of Kessel for years and now thinks of it like home.
 
He and Calrissian joke that this place is one of the few ventures that actually turn a profit for the former smuggler.
 
Spice is vital for medical treatments, restoring memories and enhancing communication with impaired individuals.  However, it is also desired by those who want a thrill or a burst of energy.  For that reason, spice is a valuable Black Market commodity.
 
Nunb has taken time to crack down on the traders. His workers had rewarded him by finding a new vein of andris on the far side.  It’s a rare form which brings in excellent financial returns.
 
Today, he heads on a weekly inspection tour with his second administrator, Torvon.  They view the carbon-freezing chamber where Nunb notes a problem.  Assuming Torvon has seen the same thing, he doesn’t think much when the second administrator begins working controls.  The readings start going higher.
 
Torvon grabs Ninb and pulls him toward the coolant pipes which burst too soon.  The cold hits Torvon’s legs, freezing his joins and sending him toppling over into the chamber.  Nunb backs up as the alarms sound.
 
It doesn’t make any sense why Torvon would try to kill him.
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  • I'm sure we remember Calrissian and Nien Nunb returning to Kessel to invest in its mines after the Jedi Academy trilogy.


#5
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chapter 5:
 
Anja feels like the independent pilot she used to be.  In the Kessel system, she steers clear of the Maw Cluster and lands at Kessel’s spaceport.   There’s spice here.  She just needs to track down a tiny sample.  She had meant it when she told Jacen and Jaina that she took andris because she liked it.  But sometimes she does need it and they’d made her see how much she did.
 
She doesn’t like to depend on anyone on anything.  Knowing she has to kick this habit, Anja decides she will come up with a plan after she gets this one dose.
 
She is furious when she spots the Rude Awakening there.  It is captained by Lilmit, a contraband runner whom she’d learned had been arming both sides of the civil war on her homeworld of Anobis.
 
She demands to know what he’s doing here.  He assures her that he’s got nothing in his cargo that would be of interest to her and that Czethros would be angry if he loses this shipment.
 
He knows who she is and that she works for Czethros.  She was with Han Solo when the latter forced him to jettison the weapons he was carrying.  Czethros wasn’t happy to hear that or that she was, in part, responsible for ending the war on Anobis.  However, he blamed Lilmit for it.  She is stunned to learn that he works for Czethros, too.  The man who’d taken her in and given her a job had lied to her.  He’d lied about the affects of andris.  He’d known how her wartorn world haunted her and had sold weapons to perpetuate the conflict.
 
She asks where Lilmit is headed.  He tells her he’s taking a shipment of spice to Mon Calamari.  There’s a spice stash being built up for Black Sun near Crystal Reef, the resort city.
 
She tells him that she will take over the spice run to Mon Calamari and he can do the one to Coruscant.  She claims this is her new territory.  He reluctantly gives her the information and warns her that Czethros is about to take over the operations here.  The administration doesn’t know anything about it.  He wants off this planet before it all goes down.
 
She asks for two samples of spice and then takes over the shipment.  Czethros will find out how unwise it was to betray her.  Inside the ship, she severs the coolant lines to strand Lilmit here.  He’s much safer here anyway.
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#6
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chapter 6:
 
The Rock Dragon takes off for Kessel.  Jacen is excited, but he feels responsible for what happened to Anja.  After all, their father killed hers.  If she’d had parents to teach her right from wrong, she might not have gotten hooked on andris in the first place.
 
Jaina argues that she doesn’t believe their father shot Gallandro in the back.  Anja wasn’t even there so she may not be right.
 
Jacen points out that they weren’t either.  However, he’s also getting a bad feeling about Kessel.  It’s not so much through the Force, just remembering how his dad and Chewie had a hard time when they crashed there years ago.
 
Jaina reminds him that Lando owns the mines now, so they won’t have to worry about anything.
 
At Kessel, Second Administrator Kymn meets them.  He acknowledges Master Skywalker’s message and takes them directly to Nien Nunb.
 
Inside the office, Nunb excuses Kymn and locks the door behind him.  He turns to the young Jedi who tell him they are looking for a friend who might have come here in the Lightning Rod.
 
Nunb doesn’t know anything about that.  Security is very tight here, but he can’t be so certain that a ship couldn’t have gotten past the screens.  There have been small incidents in recent months that have caused him some concern.  He puts the computer records at their disposal.  They may also search for their friend if they wish, but he urges them to be cautious.
 
He tells them the story of how he was nearly killed by his previous second administrator.  He’s ordered inspections and implemented new safety systems, but he doesn’t want anyone to know that he really thinks there’s a traitor here.  He just doesn’t know which of his employees can be trusted.  He hopes they will keep an eye out for any suspicious activity while searching for Anja.
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#7
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chapter 7:
 
With no record of the Lightning Rod found in Kessel’s records, they turn to other sources.  Tenel Ka notes that she has found a record of the Rude Awakening having been here recently.
 
It appears Lilmit was given authorization to land by the previous second administrator.  It’s docked near the new andris-mining operations. They decide to pay Lilmit a visit.
 
Lilmit is distraught to see Solo’s children again.  He laments why people can’t leave him alone and begs them to just let him leave.  Jain gets a look at the ship and tells him it’s not in a condition to allow him to leave.
 
He insists he has to leave today.  They assure him they are not after him at all, but looking for their friend who was supposed to meet them here.  Lilmit denies seeing anything, but he’s such a poor liar that he identifies the gender of the friend.
 
Jacen tells him that Anja desperately needs their help.  If he cooperates, they have some influence with the Chief Administrator who might be able to get the parts he needs to repair the ship.  Tenel Ka finally emphasizes that they are here to help Anja with the spice.
 
Lilmit seems to think something of this comment.  When Jaina mentions rendezvousing with her on Ord Mantell or Coruscant, he jumps in and says Coruscant is his assignment.  Anja is going to Mon Calamari.
 
They promise to get the parts he needs.
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#8
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chapter 8:
 
Once Jaina secures the promise of parts with Nien Nunb, the administrator is concerned about Lilmit’s urgent desire to leave Kessel.  It would seem that there is some kind of conspiracy.
 
They cannot leave him here undefended.  Zekk will not stay here while they go after his ship and Jacen believes he is trusted by Anja. Lowbacca and Jaina end up staying instead.
 
Zekk kisses Jaina on one cheek, then another.
 
Jacen believes that Ambassador Cilghal can help them on Mon Calamari.  She greets them at the landing pad on Foamwander City and takes them to Crystal Reef, a luxury resort at the Arctic.
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  • Is Cilghal just showing them around?  Lilmit did not specify Anja was going to Crystal Reef, just Mon Calamari.  However, we do know the spice is stored at Crystal Reef.
 


#9
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chapter 9:
 
While Jaina and Lowbacca search for clues, Nien Nunb busies himself with another day of work.  Kymn tells him a large cargo transport is arriving from Ord Mantell on schedule.  Nunb doesn’t remember such a schedule, but Kymn reminds him it was set up weeks ago.  Nunb still doesn’t know anything about it.
 
Kymn thinks it would be better to bring the ship to the main docking bays.  He mentions the captain is a fan of Rebel history and wants to meet Nunb, shake his hand and get his autograph.
 
The pilot bounds down the ramp and enthusiastically greets Nunb before introducing his team.  Armed mercenaries appear, one shoots a guard by the communications console.  Kymn pulls out a blaster and several of Nunb’s own guards join the mercenaries.
 
In the tunnels, Jaina gets the feeling something is wrong.  At the edge of a shaft, they spot blasterfire.  They watch in hiding as a takeover of Kessel is enforced by mercenaries.
 
Administrator Kymn greets Czethros who tells him that Kessel will become the new base of operations.  They have infiltrators in key positions all over the New Republic who will strike as soon as the signal is given.
 
Jaina notes to her friend that at least Czethros doesn’t know they’re here.
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#10
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chapter 10:
 
Cilghal explains that Crystal Reef is one of the most popular casino-resorts on Mon Calamari.  It is very exclusive.  Even as an ambassador, she had to pull strings to get docking privileges here.
 
Tenel Ka wonders how Anja managed to get here.  Doubtless, she’s found a way, but Cilghal has access to the resort’s records.  Anja wouldn’t have come here for gambling.  She could have done that on Cloud City, but didn’t.  She has a specific reason to be here.
 
Tenel Ka reminds him that, if she’s connected to Black Sun, it’s not so unreasonable to think that gambling is the reason she’s here.  Black Sun may wish to control the casino.
 
A data-hunter advises that Anja has not visited any of the casinos yet and has run up only a small bill.  He finds that she’s at the vehicle-rental docks attempting to get an underwater vessel.  She doesn’t have a reservation or credit.  Since there’s a waiting list, but he offers to book one for Cilghal.
 
She decines and they head down to the water level where Anja is arguing with the water-vehicle attendant.  Cilghal suggests she might be helpful in procuring one if Anja will tell them why she needs it.
 
Anja assures Zekk his ship is fine.  She would have returned it, but needed transportation quickly.  Jacen asks her to give them a break. They are her friends, after all.
 
Anja moves away from the rental dock and sits down.  She tells them that Lando was right.  She is a spice addict.  She thought she could quit, but she’s tried and failed.  She went to Kessel to get more and found out there how badly she’s been betrayed.
 
She’s been working for Czethros.  He was the one who gave her training and supplies when she was young and desperate.  He also got her addicted to andris.
 
She found out that he’s the one responsible for selling weapons to the factions on Anobis.  Anja explains that he’s also involved in spice smuggling and many other activities.  He’s engineering a takeover.  His operatives are in important positions within the government.  She doesn’t think the New Republic can stop him, but she can hurt him.
 
Czethros has a large stash of spice here under the Calamarian ice caps.  It was delivered in small shipments from Kessel.  The intent is to sell it to the high-rolling gamblers who patronize the casino.
 
She wants to destroy it first.  That’s why she needs to rent a minisub. Tenel Ka asks why they shouldn’t make sure the spice is sent to medical facilities where it is needed.  Anja believes Czethros already has people coming to stop her.  Besides, he is likely to get his hands on it again if they only remove instead of destroy.
 
She admits he was behind the attacks on Cloud City , but she hasn’t said anything because she didn’t think she could trust them.  She was waiting for the Solo kids to show cowardice like their father.
 
Cilghal offers to help her if she is telling the truth about the spice.  Anja protests she’s not a liar, but they point out the number of things she hasn’t been honest about.  She tells them that things have changed and asks if they will help her.
 
When they agree, she wishes she could be there when Czethros finds out.
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  • The position of New Republic ambassador for your planet must not be very important if Cilghal had to pull strings to get to an exclusive resort.  However, once here, she has been accommodated very well.
 
 


#11
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chapter 11:
 
Jaina wishes the others were here to help them, but she and Lowie can probably find a way to disrupt these takeover plans.  Fortunately, Em Teedee is helpful in providing maps of the area and breaking into the security systems.
 
He slices into the administrative offices where Czethros is giving instructions to his henchmen.  He tells them that there will be a thousand takeovers in key industries across the galaxy.
 
He has the right people in the right places.  He only has to give the signal, but only when the time is right.  Any disruption in the plans could ruin them.
 
Em Teedee cannot get authorization to access any primary security systems, but does have access to the janitorial subroutines.  They use it to spray fire-retardant in the office.
 
While the henchmen try turning it off, Kymn approaches Czethros, gives him some information and is pushed out of the room with several others.  The excused henchmen enter the maintenance turbolift and Em Teeee freezes it in place for cleaning.
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#12
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chapter 12:
 
Cilghal takes the students and Anja back to the vehicle-rental and tells the attendant how important it is that Jacen Solo, son of the Chief of State and nephew to Luke Skywalker, see the beauties of their world.  His friends are students from the academy and include the princess of the Hapes Cluster.  If Jacen passes the word on, the resort may be privileged to host the Chief of State herself.
 
The attendant has none to rent, but he has his own submersible that he would be happy to loan them for the trip.  He assesses Zekk to have the look of a pilot and is pleased when he’s asked if his craft has a name.  He tells them it is Elfa.
 
Below the polar ice, the view is incredible.  Jacen spots the spice containers and Cilghal uses the extendable claw arms to crash two of them together.  There are two left and they set to work on those. 
 
A large sea creature approaches them and even Cilghal doesn’t know what it is.  It gives them a preemptory look that damages the craft and leaves the last container of spice floating away.  The creature goes after it and crushes it in its jaw.
 
Then, loaded on spice, it returns to the submersible.
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  • A data-hunter had previously offered to get Cilghal a submersible vehicle but she turned him down.  Unless he only meant putting her on the long waiting list, I don’t know why she would decline the offer and then go name-dropping to try to get one from the attendant.


#13
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chapter 13:
 
Luke Skywalker considers the students who’ve come and gone over the years.  His first twelve students are Jedi Knights, traveling the galaxy to maintain order.  With the next generation of Jedi, Luke feels the Order has been reborn.
 
He wishes Obi-Wan Kenobi were here to see this.  The man had changed his life more than he could ever know.  The aunt and uncle who’d protected him had not been able to see what Luke accomplished.  There will be troubles ahead, but Luke knows his Jedi Order will face them.  The oppression will not return if he can help it.
 
His new Jedi are even now facing trouble, but he has made difficult choices in the past and will again in the future.  The Force is with him as it is with them all.
 ------------------------------------------------
 
chapter 14:
 
Jacen cannot reach out to the mind of the creature because it’s so addled with spice.  They try to maneuver away from it into a fissure beneath an underwater cliff face.
 
With no weapons, they use the towing beam to bring an iceburg close enough to them to block the creature’s path as it tries to reach them.  Cut off from it’s prey, it loses interest and goes away.  However, the Elfa is trapped beneath the polar ice cap with limited air and damaged engines.
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#14
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chapter 15:
 
In the meantime, Jaina and Lowi, with the help of Em Teedee, continue to wreck havoc with the janitorial systems.  Lowie thinks they should try to damge the transmitter Czethros is going to use to launch his attacks.  Since Kessel is an excavation area, it’s not hard to find explosives in storage lockers.  The tunnels are empty.  Nien Nunb and the workers are being held in the old slave quarters, the few cargo pilots are trapped by force fields on the landing area.
 
They’ll have to hit the transmitter first.
 
As they sneak through the area, Jaina recognizes one of the ships trapped here.  Lilmit is still working on the Rude Awakening.  He panics when he sees them, believing they’d already left.  He insists there’s nothing more he can tell them, then runs to his ship and seals himself inside.
 
Hopefully, he’ll stay there while they deal with the transmitter, but Jaina worries that he might also be so afraid of Czethros that he reports the presence of the two Jedi.
 
Em Teedee is sent with his repulsors across the landscape to lay down the already-clicking charges.  He is spotted on his way out but the guards don’t seem to know what to do with the silvery droid floating across the planet and the transmitting station blows up before they can figure it out.
 
Knowing they will be hunted now, the two Jedi head back into the tunnels.
 
Czethros demands that all prisoners be accounted for and that the tunnels be combed for anyone they may have missed.
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#15
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chapter 16:
 
Trapped in the claustrophobic, hot submersible, Anja can barely hear the others work on the problems.  She gasps for breath and says she just needs one more dose of spice.  Zekk tells her he knows what it’s like to be addicted to something.
 
It took the support of his friends to move past his need to use the Dark Side of the Force. Cilghal offers to use the Force to remove the toxins from her body, but only she can remove them from her mind.
 
Anja offers to let her if she just gets one more dose, then understands that she cannot keep going like this.  After half-an-hour, she collapses into sleep.
 
When she wakes up several hours later, she thinks first of andris.  Cilghal tells her the body has been cleansed but her craving will still remain.  She will have to want to stay clean.
----------------------------------------------


#16
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chapter 17:
 
Jaina and Lowie use the Force to affect the mind of a guard at the old slave quarters, then break the lock on the doors, freeing Nunb and the other workers.
 
They go to the armory first and arm themselves, then Nunb access the control computer and cuts off access to Czethros.  Jaina wants to use the control center as their base of operations for now.
 
The security holocam images show figures moving down the corridor.  Kymn and the treacherous cargo pilot are in one.  Angry at being tricked, Nunb rushes out, gets spotted and leads them on a merry chase to the control center where the mercenaries, Kymn and the captain are confronted by the armed escaped prisoners.
 
Kymn and several others escape back down into the tunnels, the prisoners take care of the rest and Nunb uses the computer to seal the escaped ones away from everything else.  This leaves only Czethros.
------------------------------------------------
 
 



#17
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chapter 18:
 
After hours of repairs with inadequate tools, Jacen wishes Jaina were here.  He’s reminded that she’s safe on Kessel and, here, she would just be taking up more air.  The engines should be fixed now, but they can’t go anywhere with the iceburg trapping them.
 
They have five lightsabers among them if they are willing to go outside to use them.
 
Wearing slicksuits and membranes that will help them breathe, they prepare to exit the ship.  Zekk worries the water will be safe for lightsabers.  Cilghal tells him it will if he’s constructed it properly.
 
They work together on the iceburg.  Anja is closer to the ship, feeling tired.  The andris had given her energy and the ability to wield the old lightsaber she had better.  Unfortunately, she knows it’s not hers.  Zekk’s was built by himself.  He earned the right to wield one.
 
The lightsaber is just another crutch she’s used for herself.  Spotting something in the ice, she realizes a vial of andris is caught there.  She instantly reaches for it to give herself one last dose.  Then remembers that she does not want to be a prisoner again and lets it drift from her hand.  She uses the lightsaber to slice it open before letting the weapon float free, too.
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  • So that’s what Obi-Wan’s problem was…his lightsaber wasn’t constructed properly!  We all remember how his lightsaber shorted out in The Phantom Menace because he’d left it on.  That’s the only time, so far as I know, that a lightsaber has done that while underwater.  We’ve seen multiple examples of Jedi swimming with their sabers, even ignited, with no ill effects.
  • I wonder why the several Jedi in the ship didn’t try using the Force to move the iceberg?
  • Oh, yeah, and wouldn’t Luke have wanted that old lightsaber for the academy?  Just asking.


#18
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chapter 19:
 
Czethros doesn’t know how he’ll explain this to his superiors in Black Sun.  Right now, he’s headed to the docking bay to steal a ship. He’s delighted to find Lilmit there with his ship. Telling the pilot that they are leaving together, he doesn’t get far when the two Jedi and several guards appear, having tracked Czethros’s voice through the audio system.
 
Lilmit jumps up the boarding ramp of the Rude Awakening and shuts the hatch.  Czethros bangs on it before taking off for an open turbolift door.  He evades blasterfire before jumping into the lift, closing the doors and dropping several floor down into the tunnels.
 
The lift leads to the new andris spice-processing plant.  They follow Czethros down as he runs through the assembly, shooting one of the beetle workers as he goes.  They tell him he cannot escape imprisonment.
 
Czethros tells them that Black Sun will kill him regardless of what prison he’s in and that, even if his signal cannot be sent, there are a thousand operatives in important positions.  Someone will pick up the plan eventually.  The Jedi believe they will be ferreted out over time.
 
They offer to protect him from Black Sun and he slowly emerges, looking cautious.  He walks past the carbonite freezing chamber and pulls his weapon to fire quickly as soon as the guards lower theirs.  Unfortunately, he slips on the blood of the beetle he shot and falls backward into the carbonite vat.
 
He emerges soon, fully encased.  Lowie quips that it’s one way to capture him.
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#19
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chapter 20:
 
The Elfa returns, battered, to the dock where the attendant assures them he’ll get medical attention for them immediately.  He apologizes their trip was not what they hoped, but Cilghal assures him they were at fault for not taking into account the deep water’s lifeforms.
 
They describe their encounter and he is thrilled to realize they survived an attack by a Great Arctic Skra’akan.  He rushes to check the log for any recordings.
 
He refuses payment for the damage as any images of the beast would be valuable and may be turned into a permanent exhibit.  Besides, he’s been promised two new minisubmersables of his choice if an official visit here is made by Master Skywalker, the Chief of State and her husband or the Hapan Royal Family.
 
While Zekk retrieves his ship, Tenel Ka asks Jacen to be her co-pilot on the way back to Kessel.  He tells her to remind him to give her something when they get back.  When the Rock Dragon lands next to Lightning Rod, Zekk tells Jacen he apologized to Jaina for not being here to rescue her.  Jacen quips that she only needed to be rescued from boredom.
 
Jaina argues that she and Lowie prevented a Black Sun takeover while he was on his pleasure cruise.  They truly have a lot to tell each other.
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#20
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chapter 21:
 
Luke confronts them on Yavin IV about a message from Cilghal asking him, Han and Leia to take an all-expenses paid trip to Crystal Reef.   He then tells them that Nien Nunb also sends his thanks for their help, as well as for Luke allowing them to stay long enough to fix his transmitter.
 
He thought he was sending them out to find a friend, not save the New Republic from Black Sun.
 
The New Republic is putting together a celebration here in a few days.  Their first guests will be arriving soon.  He wants the chance to speak to each of them alone.
 
Anja asks to be first.
 
The Millennium Falcon arrives that evening with Jacen and Jaina’s parents, Anakin, See-Threepio and Chewbacca.  Jacen admits to his father that he had believed Anja’s story about how her father had died.  Han is disappointed, but Jacen goes on to say that he knows he’s never lied to him.  He should have known Han was telling the truth.  Han admits it’s hard to see the truth when dealing with a pretty girl with sad eyes.
 
Leia needs a solution to finding the other Black Sun operatives and thawing out Czethros.  Anakin has an idea.  Since they haven’t announced the capture of Czethros yet, they should pick a planet and use his frequency to to alert the operatives that something big is about to happen.
 
Then they should send a message via direct beam to that planet only, sit back and wait to see what happens.
 
They’ll probably have to do it a lot, but it might be easier to fight the little takeovers than the big one.
 
More dignitaries, friends and family arrive later.  During that time, Anja takes Han aside and thanks him for taking him in, helping her planet and putting in a good word with Master Skywalker.
 
She had wanted to hurt Han for what she thought he’d done to her father.  She chose the wrong person to trust.  She doesn’t want to hurt anyone anymore.  Her father was responsible for his own life and probably for his own death.  She’s responsible for her life, too.
 
Han assures her that one can put a shady past behind them and make a new life.  She has to find a new purpose in life.  Since she’s obviously not cut out to be a Jedi, she wonders if he knows someone who needs a good pilot.
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#21
Jedi Cool

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chapter 22:
 
Peckhum returns to see Zekk, Isolder, Teneniel Djo, Ta’a Chume and Augwynne Djo to see Tenel Ka, Lowie’s parents and sister, Sirra, arrive, Aryn Thul and Uncle Tyko come for Raynar.  Han and Leia spend time with all their children, Tionne works with Anakni’s best friend, Tahiri.  See-Threepio, Artoo-Detoo and Em Teedee discuss droid issues.
 
On the day of the ceremony, the students gather on the top platform of the temple for some time alone.  Anakin and Tahiri sit with Master Ikrit.  Raynar and Lusa spar with stunsticks, Lowie, Jaina, Zekk and Andra watch the field, Jacen walks in with his pet gort on his shoulder and Tenel Ka finishes her calisthenics.
 
Anja tells them she’s leaving.  She doesn’t belong here.  They do and they belong together.  Tenel Ka notes they won’t always be together.  Jaina admits they were each given a talk by Master Skywalker about their being full Jedi know who must decide how they are going to serve.
 
Anja admits she didn’t have the same talk with him.  Lando Calrissian appears and thanks them for helping him restore Cloud City to normal.  He’s also here because Han told him Anja is looking for a new job.  He might be able to use her as a pilot.
 
She accepts and they walk off together as she tells him about a pilot named Lilmit who might also need a job.
 
Tenel Ka asks if Jacen is ready to give her what he wanted.  He hands a necklace to her that he made out of the shards of Nicta’s gort egg.  She asks him to help her put it on and assures him she will treasure it more than all the gems of Gallinore.
 
The Grand Audience Chamber showcases the new heroes of the New Republic being honored by the heroes of the previous generation. Jacen, Jaina, Tenel Ka, Lowie, Zekk, Anakin and Anja are given medals for their work.  Raynar and Lusa are recognized for their help against the Diversity Alliance.
 
The new fully-trained Jedi Knights draw their lightsabers and ignite them.  When the crowd’s applause dies down, Tionne pulls out her instrument and plays a ballad detailing the fall of the Shadow Academy, the defeat of the Diversity Alliance and the foiling of Czethros.
 
There are now new legends for the Jedi.
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  • The Junior Jedi Knights series has to take place sometime within the Young Jedi Knights series.  This chapter acknowledges both Tahiri and Ikrit.
  • So, Jacen, Jaina, Tenel Ka, Lowie, Zekk, Anakin, Raynar and Lusa are all fully-trained Jedi?  That is what this chapter seems to indicate.  Yet Zekk and Lusa have not been training here for long.  Anakin is not even 15 years old yet.  The others haven’t reached 17, except maybe for Lowie, who was described as about 19 when he was first mentioned.
  • For reference sake, we know Isolder, Teneniel Djo, Ta’a Chume and Augwynne from The Courtship of Princess Leia, as well as their appearances in the YJK books.  We know Lowie’s parents and sister, Sirra, from the Diversity Alliance storyline and Raynar’s family members from the same.
 
 end of series
 
This was an engaging set of books in which to learn the personalities of the Solo kids and their friends.  
 




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