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Agents of Chaos I: "Hero's Trial" - Book 4 in The New Jedi Order

chapter discussion thread

30 replies to this topic

#26
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

    They call me MRS. Six!

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chapter 24:
 
Starfighters fly from the Thurse toward the QueenWing Commander Kol Eyttyn reports a visual on the Vong ship. Firing at the enemy, they are surprised not to see laser beams and torpedoes disappear into gravitic anomalies, but this is different. It looks like the ship has vanished.
 
His R2 unit tells him the ship has moved.
 
The Millennium Falcon comes into Bilbringi to find the battle going on.  The captain of the Thurse is unhappy to find that the Falcon still doesn’t have an authorized transponder.  He refuses her help because the Vong warship is jumping all over the place.
 
Luke notices a coralskipper out there that reinforced in some way.  He realizes it’s a void of some kind.  The captain tells her that the raiders are threatening to expel passengers out the airlocks if New Republic forces don’t back off.  He cannot negotiate with pirates, especially with a Vong ship out here. 
 
Leia decides she’ll have to get rid of that ship then.  Luke tells her he thinks the object out in space is a living dovin basal. 
 
Han watches armed men and a cloaked being that is probably a Yuuzhan Vong walk down the corridor.  He thinks of Chewie, Lywyll, Roa and Fasgo and pulls his weapon.  Droma urges him not to use this time for confrontation, but Han tells them to stay back.
 
He steps out and holds his blaster to the man left behind and takes his weapon, then knocks him out.
 
One firefight later, however, puts him, Droma and the two defectors in Reck’s custody.  The man uses a creature that sniffs at Elan and tears the ooglith masquer off of her.  He also recognizes Han. 
 
Han tells him he won’t get far and, even if he does, he should rethink his loyalties.  His new bosses are responsible for killing Chewbacca at Sernpidal and Roa’s wife, Lwyll.  Reck assures him he didn’t know about any of that, but a guy has to work.
 
Then he finds out they can’t go anywhere because their ship can’t detach from the airlock.  The Vong ship will not respond.
 
Reck decides he’s going to take the shuttle to the Vong ship and send the someone back for the rest of his crew, many of which are already abandoning him.  He forces Han to an empty lift shaft. Squaring his shoulders and tightening his travel pack, Han steps back and drops down it.
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#27
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

    They call me MRS. Six!

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chapter 25:
 
Nom Anor reports that the Peace Brigade has tried several times to communicate with them but he is refusing all appeals.  Tla doesn’t think they should abandon allies, even ones who took it upon themselves to retrieve the infiltrators.  He also doesn’t like avoiding engaging the enemy.
 
They are told that the hidden dovon basal is being targeted by an enemy ship.  The villip recognizes the ship from Helska.  He orders nothing to be done to protect the remote, but the coralskipper pilots should behave as if confused should it be destroyed.
 
When that happens, it allows the ships to leave the starliner.  It appears that the Peace Brigade has Elan and is probably trying to bring her home. 
 
Han climbs up Droma’s tail until he’s back on the deck.  The Ryn is still in pain and chastens Han to learn to fall more gracefully.
 
They go after Reck and his men only to find the docking bay hatch has been shot.  They finally cut through the hull and spot New Republic elite forces coming through.  He’s told three shuttles have already left.  Han sees the Millennium Falcon coming in.
 
Luke, Mara, Leia and the droids appear at the ramp.  Han quickly introduces Leia and Droma and asks where the raider ship is.  He thinks Reck is headed to the Vong warship.  He races up the ramp of his ship with Droma on his tail.
 
They follow the shuttle toward the warship and he’s commed by the Thurse.  He finds out the captain is Mak Jorlen whom he used to know.  He explains he’s chasing down a shuttle that has something they need on it.
 
The Falcon hits a repulsorfield.  Seeing the shuttle slow down, Han gives Droma the controls and tells him to maneuver alongside. He’s going to board the other ship.
 
Nom Anor tells his men to allow contact with the shuttle for a few minutes. 
 
Wearing an EV sit and armed with a blaster rifle, Han oves to the shuttle hatch and gets inside.  He finds black stuff all over the place. Reck and his comrades are dead and soaked with blood.  The creature that ripped off the ooglith is also dead.
 
He finds the females unconscious, but unharmed.  Vergere wakes up and tells him they were drugged.  She and Elan start when they see the black husks on the floor.  Elan identifies it as bo’tous which is an airborne blood agent.  She allows Han to believe the Peace Brigade might have had it and let it loose.  Fortunately, Yuuzhan Vong are immune to it.
 
Droma tells Han to hurry up because the warships coming after them.
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  • Captain Jorlen gave Leia a hard time even though she was flying the Millennium Falcon and he surely knew she was married to Han.  Why then does Han flying the ship make it alright for him to interfere with the battle?

  • Did Han grab Droma’s tail on the way down?  I’m asking this because I can’t imagine Reck wouldn’t have stuck around to make sure he didn’t drop all the way.  He was going to drop Droma down another shaft further down.



#28
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 26:
 
Han flies the ship back to the starliner as Droma tries to explain to him that the warship has jumped.  He also points out that he’s seen Vergere’s species before so he knows she’s not extragalactic.
 
He can’t say she’s an imposter, only that the two of them don’t seem right. 
 
Han doesn’t understand why the Vong would send a warship to back up the Peace Brigade. They would have come after Elan themselves if they knew she was here.  He also doesn’t understand why the shuttle slowed down.  The bioweapon getting loose doesn’t explain that.
 
Droma suggests that the Vong deliberately slowed it down the way they may have prevented the raider ship from leaving the Queen. Han also notices that the Vong ships seem to be missing the Falcon a lot more than they should.  It’s as if they want Elan and Vergere to remain where they are.
 
He hands the controls back over to Droma and goes back to the females.  Elan asks if he can outrace the warship.  Han tells her he can’t but that her people will probably make sure he does.
 
He thinks they don’t want her back and that all of this is part of some scheme.  When she mentions that she has information for the Jedi, Han suggest it might be better for him to let Master Skywalker decide.
 
Elan quickly agrees, but Vergere has a look of recognition on her.  Han starts to go back to the cockpit, then asks if the creature that unmasked the ooglith responds to anyone or just a Vong.  She tells him only a Vong.
 
Then he reminds her that she told him the Yuuzhan Vong are immune to the bioweapon on the shuttle.  He also knows that she just remembered that he found the Vong warrior handler dead on the shuttle. 
 
She was the one to release the toxin.  He orders Droma to reverse course to the Vong warship.
 
Droma takes exception to this and Han tells him they won’t fire on the Falcon.  He pushes them into an escape pod and is going to seal the door with his blaster but finds it depleted.  Elan tells him she’s got one breath for him and one for the Jedi. 
 
She exhales deeply and leaps for the hatch, but the Falcon gets hit by fire and knocks her back into the hatch.  The door closes.  She tries to get it open and pounds on the porthole.  Han hears someone say something about poisoned air, but he does’t know whom.  He grabs the survival tool and pulls out the compressed oxygen feature to allow him to breathe.
 
She spits up blood and little black husks crawl all over the floor.  He pounds on the door and, with his last breath, falls out as Droma gets him out.
 
Vergere crashes into Han just as he gets to his feet.  Droma tells him that the Vong keep firing on them so it doesn’t really seem like they are trying to avoid taking the defectors back.  Vergere pulls out a drinking bulb and squeezes it to catch some of her tears.
 
She jumps into the pod and thanks him for giving her the chance to be with her own kind.  She gives him the bulb and tells him to give it to the Jedi.
 
She takes off in the pod and, for all Han knows, has been picked up by a dovin basal.  The Falcon heads back to the New Republic forces
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#29
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 27:
 
Director Dif Scaur of NRI asks Kalenda to explain which parts of Solo’s report are fact and which parts are fiction. 
 
Kalenda explains that Major Showolter and his team were ambushed by the Peace Brigade.  When Showolter went in search of the backup team, he found Solo and thought he was part of the operation.
 
Showolter is expected to make a recovery, but they lost three Intel agents as part of this operation plus the back-up team which was tortured to give up the countersign. 
 
The defectors ended up in Solo’s custody and were then captured by the Peace Brigade who tried to take them back to the Yuuzhan Vong.  Along the way, they were apparently poisoned by Elan.  Solo got both of them back, but suspected that this was just a ruse to kill a bunch of Jedi. 
 
The defectors had offered to meet with the Jedi and give them details about a mysterious illness that has killed about 100 people this year. When Solo realized this was just bait to get them near the Jedi, he was going to remove them from the ship.
 
He believes that she was the one who killed the Peace Brigade members to prevent them from returning her to the warship.  Her attempt to poison Solo backfired and she died, but the companion escaped in that same pod.  It is unknown what happened to it.
 
Scaur isn’t happy that Solo took it upon himself to try to return the defectors, but Kalenda points out that they do not know what would have happened had Elan continued to stay in their custody. 
 
As it is, command staff is unhappy that this operation has been bungled.  They’ve lost whatever Elan could have told them and it’s also apparent that the Peace Brigade is getting information from somewhere. 
 
Someone leaked the information.  Six military intelligence officers, 14-in house officers and the six members of the Security Council.  All of them had the information but the guilty party also sliced into the network and discontinued surveillance on the group.
 
Two of the thirteen Peace Brigade members in custody insist that Reck Desh was the only one who had contact with the leak.  He met with a telbun. 
 
Cilghal, Tomla El and Ism Oolos wait for the MD-1 technician to finish analyzing Vergere’s tears.
 
It scrapes cells from Mara’s cheeks and compares them.  The substance is being darwn into the cells as though it were being sponged up. This is encouraging but they do not understand why Elan would bring a poison while her companion would bring a cure.
                                                                                                                                               Luke explains that Han told him that Vergere had thanked him for giving her a chance to return to her people.  She also reacted to hearing Luke’s name and Droma seems to recognize her species.
 
Mara doesn’t think they would go to the trouble of specifically killing her with these tears if Elan was going to kill all of them.  Based on what Vergere did on the Queen of Empire to a wounded agent, the tears should be applied topically.
 
Luke is about to squeeze some into his mouth, when Mara grabs it and does so herself.  She tells him it’s like drinking after days of going without.  Luke reminds her that Vergere told Showolter it was temporary.  Mara doesn’t think that it means it will be so with her.
 
She drips some on her hand which absorbs it immediately. She feels so light-headed and bright.  They drag her to a table.  She tells him she thinks it’s working.  They embrace and Luke tells her they have their victory.
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#30
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

    They call me MRS. Six!

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chapter 28:
 
Leia rushes in to find Han telling Anakin how he doesn’t understand what made him think that Elan’s breath was deadly.  He says it was like hearing a voice warning him so he grabbed for the multitool.
 
He thanks Anakin for giving it to him.  Anakin tells him he should thank Chewie for making it.   Han already has, but this conversation is between the two of them.  He pulls Anakin into a hug and tells him that they both know why Chewbacca died.  They did everything they could have done.  He’s sorry for the things he said.
 
Their relationship healed, Anakin tells him he’s going back to Yavin IV.  Leia interrupts to say that Vergere’s tears seem to be working. Mara is getting stronger.    
 
She asks if Han is going to unpack his travel bag yet.  Han tells her he’s going to find Roa and help Droma find his family.  Leia asks about his obligations to his family.  She doesn’t want to be Malla, waiting for a once-per-year visit, their home just a base of operations.
 
He tells her to trust him.
 
C 3PO tells Artoo that things couldn’t be better.  Mara is recovering.  Han is home.  The Yuuzhan Vong have suffered a defeat.
 
Artoo points out that Han is leaving right now and that all reports indicate that the victory at Ord Mantell was a trick.  He also shows C 3PO a hologram from a Mid-Rim world where a mob is chasing droids.
 
C 3PO tells him he’s determined to present the worst of everything.  However, at least C 3PO will never fear deactivation again.  Han has promised to store his memories in a storage unit that can even be put into a new droid body.
 
When Artoo insults him and rolls off, C 3PO muses that it’s no wonder sentients wage war.
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#31
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 29:
 
Harrar looks out over Obroa-skai as his villip explains to the high priest, Jakan that they do not know if Elan is alive, captive or otherwise.
 
Since the New Republic ship carrying her kept coming back to the warship, it’s possible they realized what was going on.  An escape pod was ejected at the last minute but Nom Anor failed to retrieve it.
 
Tactician Raff explains that they are having to shore up their forces at Belkadan and Sernpidal.  Anor has assured them that they will receive a warm reception in an area known as Hutt space.
 
The New Republic is concentrating on protecting the Core and may be learning how to overcome the dovin basals.
 
Malik Carr is ordered to proceed to Hutt space, Commander Tla and Harrar are recalled to the Outer Rim and Prefect Drathul wants to speak with Nom Anor privately.
 
Anor blames the fiasco on Harrar and Elan.  The Jedi may have been part of it.  Anor’s agents had a part in it but only for trying to protect the Vong’s interests.  Drathul warns him that Tsavong Lah will not tolerate any more failures.  Anor assures him he has a new plan that he will launch once the fleet moves into Hutt space.  He also has made contact with a potential new ally on Coruscant.
 
Meanwhile, Droma and Han work on the Falcon.  Han tells him not to get comfortable in the co-pilot’s seat because this arrangement is only temporary until he finds his family.
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End of Book 4
 
 




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