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"Vector Prime": Book 1 in the New Jedi Order

chapter discussion thread

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#26
Jedi Cool

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chapter 23: Into the Web:
 
The battle above Helska is going just as Da’Gara knew it would.  The yammosk connects to the coralskippers and all the warriors in perfect coordination.
 
The Ranger gunships were the latest and best of the New Republic’s forces and the gravity well coming from Helska has wiped out a third of them.  Rojo begins the barrage on the planet, determined to find a weak spot.
 
Anakin is in the gun well, fascinated by the coordinated fighting he’s seeing.  He tells his parents that the pilots have joined the way he and his siblings did. 
 
The Rejuvenator is swarmed with enemy fighters.
 
Jacen goes after a second warrior but is not fast enough.  He leaps across the hole in the floor and deflects the thud bugs tossed at him. The woman jumps on another warrior, knocking him into the water which part of his oogish cloaker retracting.
 
She gets hit by a thud bug and is knocked out.
 
The Falcon and Jade Sabre cannot get close enough to the Rejuvenator to help it before it is swallowed by the explosion.
 
Jacen is outnumbered.  Two aliens are joining the ones he’s already fighting, but he’s helped when Miko Reglia pounces on them, digging into the ooglith cloakers and knocking them into the water, holding them down, unwilling to die before they do.
 
Jacen takes advantage of one of the remaining warriors jumping toward the hole to help his comrades and plunges his lightsaber through the chest, then kills the other.  The woman is calling for Miko.  Jacen tells her to put on the suit the Vong had brought for Miko, then dives under the water, only to return to indicate her friend has died.
 
He leads her through the icy water to the iceborer and they squeeze in uncomfortably. 
 
Kyp calls for a retreat with the loss of the Star Destroyer and Luke backs him up.  Jaina reminds them that Jacen is still down there.  She is told to bring the Miner in between the Falcon and Sabre
 
Han insists they are not leaving his son behind.  Jaina is hit, but controls the ship long enough for the iceborer to burst out of the water and be caught by the Miner.  Jaina leaps to hyperspace immediately.  The Falcon and Jade’s Sabre follow.
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#27
Jedi Cool

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chapter 24: One Trick to Play:
 
 
Jacen pulls off his breather and comforts Danni who is sobbing.  She has both vulnerability and inner strength.  She had been the one to call for help, though she’s not a Jedi.  Jacen wonders if she could be. 
 
On the way back to Dubrillion, Danni uses the comm. to explain what she learned about the Vong while imprisoned by them.  Luke confirms the fate of Belkadan and they all realize that the yammosk, the war coordinator, is responsible for the enhanced fighting among the Vong. 
 
Luke thinks it needs to be destroyed, but it would take an army to infiltrate it.  Bringing in warships as reinforcements will leave the Core undefended.  Lando offers his heat charges to melt the ice crust, but Danni assures him that the yammosk is down too deep to affect.
 
They discuss speeding up evaporation around the planet and freezing the thing.  That would take a lot of energy.  Han thinks if they can do that, they might as well destroy the planet. Danni speculates that they could turn the yammosk’s energy back on the planet.  Luke remembers that Lando dealt in energy reflection on Nkllon. 
 
They decide to use shieldships of the type that Lando used on Nkllon in the hopes of catching their enemies by surprise. 
 
On a nearby planet, Luke takes his X-Wing, Jaina and Danni join Mara on the Sabre while Jacen takes Lando’s place on the Falcon.
 
When the shieldships arrive, protected by some New Republic forces, including Kyp’s starfighters, they head back to Helska. 
 
Da’Gara doesn’t understand why they would come back.  He wonders if Danni Quee is still here and they are attempting a rescue.  The yammosk theorizes that the newly-arrived ships are going to defeat the energy field on the planet and and deflect it back to defeat the gravity wells.  It can still coordinate the battle despite the proximity of the umbrella-shaped ships.
 
Luke’s sensors note the drop in temperature.  The fog coming in gives him some cover as he deals with coralskippers, before heading toward the ice.  Aboard the Jade Sabre, Jaina turns to find out why Mara didn’t fire at the coralskippers coming after them, when she sees her aunt slumped in her seat.  They get hit repeatedly.
 
Danni comes to the bridge to help as the [ i]Jade Sabre[/i] tumbles out of control.  Luke, having brought his ship back up into the sky, sees it.  On the Falcon, Han and Leia watch it go. 
 
Luke fires off his repulsorcoils which attach to the Sabre and give it the propulsion it needs to climb.  He is headed downward again, spotting the melting ice crystals. 
 
Several lost shieldships later, the crew of the Falcon are delighted to see the planet freezing.  Many of the coralskippers zoom back to the planet.  Jacen warns them it won’t last for long because the energy’s gone.
 
When the planet starts up again, the expansion created by the ice will become unstable.  Han screams for everyone to retreat.  Leia worries for Luke, but Han brings the ship around and punches the throttle. 
 
He realizes now that his desire to save Luke is outweighed by the number of lives he is responsible for.  Like Anakin, he cannot risk anyone else to save one person. 
 
Quakes rock the planet, the shieldship pilots release their extra baggage and run, then the planet explodes.
 
The crystals spread out in wave, including within them, a single X-Wing.
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  • The shieldships on Nkllon were used in Heir to the Empire.
  • Did nobody realize the planet would blow up when they came out here?  They seemed to understand what turning the energy back would do, but didn’t fully grasp it until Jacen mentions it.


#28
Jedi Cool

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chapter 25: Connection and Coincidence:
 
C 3PO insists R2 speak to him, but Luke thinks the droid is still recovering from the icy drop.  Many of the Vong forces were destroyed with the planet and the remainder are being swept up by starfighter squadrons.
 
Worried for his wife, he pulls out the vial with the beetle in it.  She had felt an attraction to it as if her disease were connected to it.  Is it coincidence that she fell ill so close to an invasion from another galaxy? 
 
Leia packs her bags to return to Coruscant and make the New Republic understand the danger of these aliens.  She would rather stay with her three children, her desperately-ill sister-in-law, her brother and her grieving husband. 
 
None of that will matter if the Vong tramp across the galaxy.  She hopes she can get Borsk Fey’lya to listen.
 
Nom Anor hears the stories from the Outer Rim, knowing he has warriors and no way to control them.  Somehow, the Praetorite Vong had failed.  He goes back to his work on a relatively unknown planet that is headed toward civil war.
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#29
Jedi Cool

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chapter 26: Eulogy:
 
At the dead world of Sernpidal, the Millennium Falcon sits quietly in orbit.  Han looks out while Leia waits quietly.  He needs this time.
 
He remembers images of Chewie, the way he looked, the way he bounded down the ramp of the ship, the way he held the children up not so long ago to prove he could.  He doesn’t know what they are going to tell his family.
 
Leia suggests they tell the truth, that Chewie died a hero.
 
Han tells her he’d built a bubble around this family, which included them, Mara, Lando and even the droids.  He never thought anything could hurt them, not really.  They’d dodged death so often that it was almost as if they always would.  Now, with reality setting in, any one of the people in his bubble of protection could die.  Mara could die of her illness.  One of the children could die. 
 
Though the alien threat has subsided for now, the galaxy is suddenly a far more dangerous place to Han Solo.
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End of Book 1

 

  • This was a bumpy start to a new series.  It's jarring to read of the big jumps in personalities for Jacen and Anakin right on the heels of their youthful adventures in the previous books.  
  • Also, because  The Phantom Menace came out around this time, we are getting more accurate hints of the past rather than just wild guessing, so these books can be framed around what was then the new movies.


#30
Lucas1138

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Really enjoying this (hope we're going chronologically and the Dark Tide duology next)!



#31
Zerimar Nyliram

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  • Also, because  The Phantom Menace came out around this time, we are getting more accurate hints of the past rather than just wild guessing, so these books can be framed around what was then the new movies.

 

That's what I love about the EU: they had to find unique ways to include new information from the prequels and tie it into existing continuity. The way it all came together was impeccable and gives it a certain charm that the new canon can never hope to recapture. I loved the feeling that we were learning about the past along with Luke.





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