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Edge of Victory II: "Rebirth", Book 8 in the New Jedi Order

chapter discussion thread

42 replies to this topic

#26
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chapter 28:
 
In his guise as a Givin, Nom Anor receives a villip communication from Qurang Lah, whom he knows resents Anor.  Lah explains that the fleet was spotted by an infidel ship.  Anor assures him that any issues here are taken care of.  The Rodian Jedi who recognized Anor’s disguise is dead and it wasn’t unexpected that the fleet would encounter another ship along its route.
 
Lah also tells him that the Stalking Moon has lost contact with them.  Anor will check into it, but he does wonder if Jedi are responsible.  The Peace Brigade on Eriadu had told him the Rodian was taken care of, but they are not always totally honest.  There may have been more.
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chapter 29:
 
Luke holds Mara’s hand.  She tells him to cut it out.  He suggests it may be time for Cilghal to induce labor.  Mara tells him she can sense that doing so now will kill both her and the baby.
 
He reaches out through the Force to the baby.  Darkness overwhelms him here where the sickness has taken over.  There is too much coming at him.  He fights it until it fills him up and he loses hope.
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#27
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chapter 30:
 
Corran explains that Yag’Duhl has three moons on which tidal forces are strong enough that the atmosphere gets rolled back, exposing the surface of the planet to space every so often.  The Giving have evolved to survive in vacuum for short periods.  The Yuuzhan Vong could not want the planet, though it would be strategically valuable.  The Givin build ships which the Vong won’t want either.  Since they have nothing of value to offer, they are probably hoping that working with the invaders will result in their being left alone.
 
He has Tahiri tell the Givin that they’re having some minor difficulties.  Tahiri explains they want to know why the villip isn’t being used. She tells the Givin that he is speaking the Vong language so badly, her commander will address him in Basic.  Corran makes up a Vong name and speaks through the transmitter. 
 
The Givin tells him that the defense grid and communications systems will fail at the prescribed time.  Corran assures him that the Yuuzhan Vong will honor their agreement with him.
 
Afterwards, he surmises that this is just a faction of the government.  Anakin thinks they should contact the real government then.  Corran reminds him that they have no idea who is working for whom.  They don’t have time to get a fleet in here before the attack.  They have to get the attention of the right people ahead of time.
 
Anakin suggests they attack Yag’Dhul before the defense grid goes down.  Corran doesn’t like it, but it will work.
 
Reverting near the planet’s furthest moon, not far from the space station Booster Terrik had commanded, now used by the Givin, Tahiri tells Corran that twenty ships are coming their way. 
 
The starfighters attack, but this is just a scout ship and Tahiri has never been trained as a pilot.  She can feel the pain the ship experiences. Once Anakin fixes the damaged comm. system, Corran opens a channel to the Givin fighters.  They are surprised to see him on board this Vong ship.  Corran tells him he needed to get their attention.
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  • The space station was used by Rogue Squadron during the Bacta War in the X-Wing series.

 

 


#28
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chapter 31:
 
It turns out that Shalo’s backup people also had backup people.  Han and Jacen use a table for cover.  Then they race to a trinket shop across the street where a Gamorrean knocks Jacen against the wall.
 
Jacen knows he can reach out through the Force and stop its heart, but he also knows he would rather die first.  Han hits the Gamorrean over the head with a statue.
 
About fifteen minutes later, it’s over.  None of Karrde’s people have been picked, but several will need bacta for awhile.  Karrde himself suggests that Tatooine will probably not be a good base of operations after all.  They are docked at the Darklighter family bay, but that won’t keep the authorities off their backs for long. 
 
Jacen mentions he’d sensed something Shalo was holding back. 
 
Shalo is more cooperative this time, admitting a convoy is stopping here on its way to Ylesia in a couple of days.  When Han finds out that some slaves will be aboard, he threatens to drop him off on Nal Hutta after this is over.
 
Tsavong Lah speaks with Vergere about her time among the infidels.  She explains that the infidel ship that has been causing problems for them is the Millennium Falcon which is captained by Han Solo.  He is the father of Anakin who interfered on Yavin IV and of Jacen Solo.  She believes Jacen is aboard the ship, but, even if he is not, taking his father will soon bring him to them.  It’s how the infidels think. Lah notes that the Jedi are particularly weak in this way.
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#29
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chapter 32:
 
Admiral Kre’fey had hoped that they were done with superweapons once peace with the Empire was achieved.  Darklighter admits he’s not particularly trusting of Kyp.  This sets Kyp off and he threatens to go destroy the thing himself.
 
Kre’fey explains that he is not as bitter toward Kyp as others are, having taken the battle to the Yuuzhan Vong himself far more than his superiors would like.  He has been looking for a good target and superweapons seem to be big enough to hit.
 
Gavin does add that the Vong have mapped out all the safe hyperspace jumps near the weapon and have blockaded them.  Kre’fey has been watching Sernpidal lately from a distance and noted the departure of the large number of ships headed to an unknown destination.
 
If this is a new push, then it would indicate that this so-called truce is very much the ruse they suspected it was.  Kyp explains that he has been using the Force to read gravitic fields and jumped in the asteroid belt when the Vong tested their weapon. 
 
Kre’fey knows where they can get an old Interdictor with two mass-shadow generators still intact.  It can be towed if necessary.  If they jump it into one of the blockaded coordinates, its shields will go up and the gravity wells will go on for about thirty seconds.  That’s enough time to push starfighters through. 
 
Kre’fey is willing to do this and Kyp will put his squadron under his command for the duration of the mission.
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#30
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chapter 33:
 
Leia wakes up to hear Han needling C 3PO about his lack of patience.  Han tells her Karrde showed up with four ships which should be enough to handle the convoy. 
 
Leia mentions her son got banged up on Tatooine.  Han notes that most people do eventually, but he hadn’t known there’d be real danger there.  Leia understands.  Being a parent creeps up on a person, but she wishes it had done so more often when they were younger.  Their children are nearly grown and they missed so much of it.
 
Han points out that they didn’t have the luxury of being perfect parents.  Their kids actually turned out okay.  Leia mentions that Jaina seems bitter sometimes.  It wasn’t a bad thing to take Jacen down there.  Han admits that he probably did so because he, too, felt guilty about not being around more often when Jacen was a boy.
 
The freighters arrive with two capital ships.  Han is a little more cautious here.  He and Karrde talk it over when a Yuuzhan Vong ship emerges with coralskippers.
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#31
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chapter 34:
 
As they are escorted through the station, Corran notes some of the decorations have changed since the time the Rogues used it.  There are all kinds of fractal patterns.  When they are brought to Dodecian Illiet, he has many of the same symbols painted on his exoskeleton.
 
Corran explains that the scout ship they captured was to contact some faction of his government that is colluding with the Yuuzhan Vong to bring down the defense grid in preparation for an invasion. 
 
Still Illiet isn’t convinced there’s much to be concerned about.  They can hide their ships if the Vong don’t like them.  Their world does not offer much save a jumping off point to Thyferra, the same use Rogue Squadron had for it all those years ago.  Yag’Dhul will likely suffer little in that case.  Tahiri points out that the Yuuzhan Vong would certainly be interested in species that can survive a vacuum.  She thinks they will be turned over to the shapers for modification. 
 
Illiet does confirm that the defensive grid has been sabotaged and he will put in a request for aid from Coruscant.  For now, though, the Vong prisoners aboard the scout ship are being questioned.  He would prefer that Corran and the other two remain in quarters until this is resolved. 
 
Anakin cannot help but feel that Illiet is hoping to use the Jedi as bargaining tools if it comes down to it.
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#32
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chapter 35:
 
Nen Yim and her apprentices are getting tired of working on Master Kae Kwaad’s perfect grutchin.  His completely inappropriate humiliation of them is even worse.  She continues to form plans to be rid of him.
 
Ona Shai comes to Nen with complaints that things are worsening and her master will not speak with her via villip.  Nen can only assure her that she will try to speak with Master Kwaad.
 
The ship is getting more sick.  Slaves and Shamed Ones are huddled in the hallways where it is more livable.  Nen believes she hears the word Jedi among them.  Though Tsavong Lah had killed the slaves and Shamed Ones on Yavin IV, the rumors of the Jedi still spread.
 
Nen explains that Ona Shai really would prefer that the work on ship’s maintenance resume.  Kwaad brushes her off and goes for a nap.
 
Nen shapes an insufficient grutchin to key it to the scent signature of Kae Kwaad.
 
Kwaad later laments the useless hands he has.  She asks why he doesn’t have new ones made and he explains the other masters deny it to him. Everyone is plotting against him.  She does not have the protocols to do it for him.  He demands she bring him the data and he will teach her how to do it for him.
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#33
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part IV: Rebirth:
 
chapter 36:
 
Having rigged the Interdictor to go critical when the shields dropped to 12%, they don’t know how many Vong ships went with it, but there are still plenty coming as Jaina and the others fly through the asteroid belt.
 
Rogue Squadron is to clean out the Vong nested around the stable hyperspace entry and gain control of it. 
 
Meanwhile, the Yuuzhan Vong ship at Tatooine has opened a void.  Karrde’s ships are fighting against the Peace Brigade vessels.  Han calls for C 3PO.  There’s an odd radiation signature coming from one of the cargo pods and Han needs to know what it is.
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chapter 37:
 
Tahiri is going crazy not knowing what’s going on.  Anakin reaches out in the Force through the system.  His lambent gives him a sense of the Vong and he knows they’re here.  He can’t tell anything else.  He is soon overwhelmed with emotion.
 
Tahiri asks what’s wrong.  Anakin tells her that his Aunt Mara is dying.  They have to get out of here.  He pulls his lightsaber.  Corran reminds him they can’t do that. 
 
Tahiri thinks they should steal a ship.  Corran thinks they should wish for vac suits in case the station decompresses.  He doubts the ones that were used by the Rogues are still here or that they would be in the same place.  Tahiri notes that they could use the Force to make the guards help them.
 
Corran refuses to let them use the Dark Side on his watch.  He also points out that it’s very likely they are being monitored.  From the Givin point of you, the Jedi came here in a Vong vessel claiming to have information about an invasion fleet coming with full knowledge of a faction of their government.  He himself would have a hard time believing it., too.
 
When the station shudders, he finally agrees that they have to get out of here.  Their room isn’t locked and there are no guards outside. They step out and Anakin can sense there are still Givin around. In fact, two of them appear and demand that the Jedi come with them.
 
Illiet greets them and acknowledges they were correct.  He tells them that they are going to empty the station with air when the Vong board and will provide the three with vacuum suits.  The station has limited firepower and the shields won’t hold out for long. 
 
He regrets the position they are being put in and lets them know the Vong promised to leave the station alone if the Jedi were turned over to them.  Illiet, however, did not believe them.  There is a small ship docked in a nearby port that they can take.  He appreciates their efforts.
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#34
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chapter 38:
 
Nen Yim is thrilled at the knowledge provided to her.  She is well beyond what she has been trained to do.  The seventh cortex is all the data provided to the shapers, but the gods have been generous in providing new protocols to the warriors.
 
She finds, then, in the cognition hood, an eighth cortex, but fears abosorbing it.  Finally, she is overwhelmed with data and collapses. When she awakens, she finds Kae Kwaad standing over her.  He tells her he took the precaution of killing the grutchin that was supposed to kill him.  He seems very different now.
 
Kae Kwaad explains they are going to see Supreme Overlord Shimrra who is waiting for them.
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chapter 39:
 
Jaina takes a hit and her engines die.
 
C 3PO reports that a Vong ship is hailing them.  Han is somewhat busy shooting down their ships to answer.  Finally, the Yuuzhan Vong ships are called back and C 3PO explains they will resume attacking in sixty seconds if Han does not answer the hail.
 
Warmaster Tsavong Lah explains he knows he’s speaking to Han Solo.  Lah demands that Jacen be put in an escape pod alive.  When Lah has him, the rest are free to go.
 
Jacen thinks it’s a good idea.  He could get Lah to duel him.  Han ignores his son and asks Threepio about the radiation signature.  The droid explains it’s low grade liquid hydrogen with tritium.  Han had hoped for something more potent.
 
He finally orders C 3PO to jettison both pods empty.  Han cuts the engines back and begins creeping toward the freighter and the huge Vong ship.   Then he fires the forward lasers.
 
A Givin takes Corran, Tahiri and Anakin to the berths, but Anakin realizes his lambent is signaling Yuuzhan Vong.  He tells the others to activate their sabers.  When the lift door opens, there are five warriors.
 
Anakin was sure there were six and turns to get hit in the nose by the Givin.  The three Jedi fight against the others before several more Vong file in.  The Givin pulls off his masquer and explains he’s Nom Anor. 
 
Corran challenges him to a duel which Anor declines.  Tahiri, on the other hand, shouts to the warriors in Vong language what is going on. The head warrior, Shok Choka, wants to accept the challenge.  Anakin offers to be the one to duel.  After all, he slew many warriors on Yavin IV and fought with Vua Rapuung. 
 
The warriors don’t listen to anything Anor is saying as Anakin steps out with his lightsaber.
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#35
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chapter 40:
 
Jaina’s engines come back online and she celebrates by destroying some more skips.  Rogue Squadron has lost two and has one other damaged ship.  The Dozen have lost five.  Then the Ralroost reverts to realspace with two corvettes and a cruiser.  Kre’fey congratulates them for clearing the area. 
 
C 3PO screams that they are going to hit the other ship.  Han bumps the side of the freighter which two shots fromt eh lasers have cut adrift, then cranks the engines to full.  The Yuuzhan Vong ships realizes he’s up to something and sends coralskippers his way. 
 
Han turns the Falcon up and flies.  The interdictor gets a lock and then he’s stuck.  The tanker module freighter, however, keeps moving toward the warship, coming apart as its liquid contents spread toward the warship, too. 
 
Han has Leia and Jacen target the interdictor.  The Falcon’s shields come down. 
 
Choka is a huge warrior.  Anakin starts off with wild parries that cut gashes in the bulkhead.  He tightens his defense, dealing with the amphistaff which cuts his hand and then is punched down.  Anakin releases the staff and jumps up which causes Choka to lose balance and giving Anakin time to cut off his head.
 
Corran has already cut one more line in the triangle Anakin had been cutting in the bulkhead and the three jump through it, followed by thud bugs.  They race to berth thirteen, feeling popping in their ears that means the Givin have opened the station to space.  Corran shoves them into a storage locker with an airpack he’s found.  Then he pulls on one bulky suit to go look for more.
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#36
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chapter 41:
 
Boiling liquid hydrogen consumes the Interdictor.  Han tells them to keep firing.  The dovin basals relax and Han launches his last spread of missles before throwing the ship back into drive.
 
He comms Karrde and tells him to go to lightspeed now. 
 
There is a huge iris in the middle of the construct that projects the gravity well.  This is Rogue Squadron’s target now.  Jaina is surprised to hear Wedge’s voice on the comm..  Kyp’s Dozen shoot coralskippers off their backs and asks to fly with them.
 
The weapon is only using conventional weapons and not the gravity well.  Kyp wonders if it’s off-line.  Suddenly, two bursts of plasma cut through Jaina’s shields and into her ion engines.  She is going to lose her ship soon if she doesn’t shut down and there’s a coralskipper on her tail. 
 
The superweapon fills her vision and then makes a big bang.
 
Several minutes pass as Anakin and Tahiri try to think of something to do.  She thinks they can find some way out of this if they can yank Massassi trees out of the ground.  Anakin isn’t sure what they can do at this point.  He knows she’s frightened and admits he is, too.  She doesn’t think he ever is.  He tells her he was when he thought he’d lost her on Yavin IV.
 
She cries and he puts his arm around her.  She apologizes for getting him into this.  She keeps thinking that she can be like Anakin but she can’t.  Anakin always wins.  If not for her, they’d be on the Errant Venture right now.
 
He is glad she’s here with him.  She tells him to stop treating her like a child.  He touches her face and traces over the scars, then kisses her. 
 
She kisses him back and they joke about having their first kiss in a locker on an airless station.  They are contemplating going into a Jedi trance to conserve air when they hear footsteps.  Corran opens the locker and tells them he remembered a backup system nearby and has pumped air into the room for now.  He has two vac suits for them.  Looking at them, he suddenly asks if he should have left them unchaperoned.
 
Nom Anor chastises the warriors for letting the Jedi slip through their fingers and then lose them.  Qau Lah points out that the infidels opened the station to space and the warriors were forced to wear ooglith masquers as Anor himself does.  He also mentions that they are not nearly disgraceful as Anor for turning down a challenge from a worthy opponent.
 
Knowing that news of this will get back to Qurang Lah, Anor uses a blaster to shoot the warrior and anyone with him.  Then he starts off to find any other warrior who witnessed the challenge.
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#37
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chapter 42:
 
Jacen explains that the dovin basals began swallowing the liquid hydrogen.  The black holes were also swallowing the energy from the concussion missles which caused energy to compress outside the event horizon and undergoing fusion.  The fusion explosions were what shut it down.
 
Han points out it only works under specific conditions and it didn’t really destroy the ship anyway. 
 
Jacen suddenly cries out and tells them something bad is happening to Mara.
 
Jaina feels it, too.  She realizes where she is and knows she cannot help Mara right now.  Jaina stops her tumble into the Yuuzhan Vong superweapon as it explodes.   She still doesn’t have engines, but drifts to the outside of the asteroid field.  Then she spots a big chunk of yorik coral.  It’s just sitting there unattached.
 
She adjusts her sensors and sees a corridor of dovin basals stretching fromt eh superweapon to the star.  She realizes what Kyp has done. When Gavin calls to see if she’s alright, she tells him she needs someone to pick her up.  She also needs him to come see what she’s found.
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#38
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chapter 43:
 
Luke wakes up with Mara’s hand on his arm, her eyes open and her lips moving.  They have to do what’s needed right now.  He’s desperate and throws himself at the illness in the same way he’d hurled his body at Darth Vader underneath the Emperor’s throne room.
 
Mara urges him to pull back.  Cilghal appears, sensing her distress.  Luke explains Mara wants him to do something but he doesn’t know what.  Cilghal tells him that he’s attacking.  Jedi do not do that.  He needs to open himself up to what she needs.
 
Understanding he needs to strengthen the part of her that’s well, rather than attacking what is weak, he fills her presence with his.  He disappears as three lives merge.  He sees his son in many possible futures, nearly imagining Ben Kenobi telling him that the future chooses him not the other way around.
 
Then he pulls back from his visions and just focuses on the new life.
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#39
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chapter 44:
 
Corran, Anakin and Tahiri find the small ship which is designed for speed, not war. Anakin is impressed while Tahiri worries about Taan. Corran tells her they can’t do anything for Taan right now.
 
They prepare to flee the Yuuzhan Vong fleet when they notice the fleet itself is leaving for some unknown reason.
 
Nom Anor is upset when Qurang Lah tells him they are being recalled.  Lah explains their primary shipwomb is being desecrated, but Anor doesn’t believe the New Republic Senate could possibly be organized enough to order a strike.
 
Besides, his source would have told him first.
 
Lah thinks the infidels are outmaneuvering him.  They’ve clearly set up a trap.  Anor insists that, whatever is happening here is not related to the shipwomb.  The fleet should remain here to finish what it started.
 
Lah thinks this is Anor’s loss to explain to Tsavong Lah.  When he demands to speak with Shok Choka, Anor tells him all the warriors were slain by the Jedi.  Lah notes that Anor managed to make it out safely enough.  He will be sure to advise the warmaster of this.
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#40
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chapter 45:
 
Jaina climbs out of her X-Wing, feeling older than 18 years old.  She only wants her mother and father, brothers and aunt, even C 3PO.  Instead, she gets Kyp Durron’s smiling face which she quickly slaps. 
 
She accuses him of tricking her and insists he tell the others what their comrades died for.  It certainly wasn’t a weapon.  Kyp argues that everything the Vong have is a weapon.
 
She tells them that the Vong set up a relay of dovin bassals in a corridor on the way to the sun as a means to get hydrogen and helium to use in their shipbuilding.  But it’s not a giant gravitic weapon and Kyp knew that.
 
Kyp admits it was a worldship and not even a finished one.  However, it did have a few Vong on it.  He felt that hitting some Vong civilians, even a small number would show them that they aren’t any safer than the New Republic civilians.
 
The Vong worldships are dying and those that aren’t are in terrible shape.  This one would have been dyperspace capable soon and would have housed thousands of their people.  Maybe the Vong will now have to use military resources to help them.
 
This was a blow for those at Sernpidal, Dubrillion, Ithor, Dantooine and every other world taken by the Vong.  Though Wedge and Gavin are angry, Kyp’s words stir most of the others.  Kyp reminds Jaina that she grew up without a real homeworld.  She doesn’t know what it’s like to lose one.
 
She would have appreciated honesty rather than finding out that Yuuzhan Vong children may die of suffocation for lack of a viable worldship.  He’s sorry she feels used and wish he didn’t have to lie to her, but he had to because she wouldn’t have helped him otherwise.
 
She promises never to help him again.  The next day, she leaves to find Errant Venture.
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  • Jaina is 18 already?  Wow, that was a fast year.  That means Anakin is now almost 17.

 


#41
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chapter 46:
 
Corran admits he feels strange being happy to see his father-in-law’s ship.  Anakin and Tahiri suddenly feel awkward around each other.  Anakin also knows that Mara is in trouble. 
 
The land and he runs from the ship to the medical lab where he finds Mirax, Booster, Valin, Jysella and several others. Mirax tells him Mara is fine.  The disease is gone.  Luke and Mara together somehow conquered it.
 
He insists he felt terrible pain.  Mirax tells him that it’s natural and she’s felt it twice now.  Cilghal appears and tells them they can come in now.  Anakin and Mirax go first.  Inside, Mara tells him she knew he would be here. 
 
He looks down and meets his new cousin, Ben.
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  • First appearance of Ben Skywalker.

  • Not that I’m complaining but I don’t see how Ben is a less daunting name as Obi-Wan.  In the last book, Luke fretted over how his child would perceive his name and, specifically, what burdens naming him Obi-Wan would be. 

  • You notice that we’ve been told about Jysella Horn and she’s mentioned in many chapters, but, despite her presence, we really haven’t been given much information about her?

 


#42
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chapter 47:
 
Kae Kwaad brings Nen Yim to Overlord Shimrra.  Shimrra knows she is a heretic.  She admits she saw the eighth cortex which represents the end of all their knowledge.  Shimrra knows of this, too, and tells Onimi to reveal himself.
 
The dead hands of Kae Kwaad fall away and the masquer rips that hides a deformed soul underneath.  Shimrra explains that Onimi is his jester.
 
In the time after Yun-Yuuzhan shaped the universe from his own body, he was weak which gave Yun-Harla time to trick him out of some of his secrets.  She passed these to her handmaiden, Yun-Ne’Shel, and then to Shimrra himself.  But he never gave up all his secrets and Shimrra has seen that in a vision.
 
In Shimrra’s vision, he has seen Nen Yim raised to master where she looked for the knowledge that Yun-Yuuzhan keeps back.  For this, she must continue her heresy.
The other shapers are eing duped by Yun-Harla and do not know this is going on.  Nen Yim will work with Shimrra to find the deepest secrets that will cause the infidels to fall.
 
She asks about the inhabitants of the dying worldship.  He tells her they are nothing and will die anyway since the destruction of the new worldship by the infidels.  Nen Yim is on a new path.
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#43
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Epilogue:
 
Luke is confused when Borsk Fey’lya tells him he’s free to return to Coruscant.  Knowing that Fey’lya himself threatened to arrest him several months ago, Luke isn’t convinced that the arrest warrant was solely the work of the Senate.
 
Fey’lya explains he’d really rather Luke didn’t come back.  He knows of some of his activities are likely helpful, but Luke still has enemies in the Senate who believe that the Jedi are the reason why the Vong are breaking the truce. 
 
They both know that, in fact, the Vong want every world in the galaxy, but Fey’lya is only in a position to cancel the arrest warrant, not to sanction Luke’s actions.
 
He signs off after congratulating Luke on the birth of his son. 
 
Mara is upset that Luke wasn’t as angry as he should have been. Luke explains that it’s not worth the anger.  Besides, they should be trying to mend their relationship with the Chief of State, not further damage it.
 
She tells him that Kam Solusar commed her and told her that he and Tionne think they’ve found a suitable planet.  They are returning with the news.  With the return of the Falcon and Jaina headed their way, it will be a real reunion. 
 
Of course, Ben will be the center of attention. Luke wonders how long before they sleep through the night again.  Mara tells him that, judging by the antics of Ben’s cousins, it’ll be another twenty years.
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End of book 8




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