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"Star By Star": Book 9 in The New Jedi Order

Jedi Cool

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chapter 1:

In the Jade Shadow, Jaina Solo tells R2-D2 to stay connected. Finally, tired of arguing with the droid, she lets him go wake Mara up.

Suddenly, she feels a sense of ravenous hunger that unnerves her. Mara Jade Skywalker appears and tells her to sit down. They look out at a Corellian cruiser called the Nebula Chaser which is one half of a duo of troublemakers. Mara sensed the disquiet earlier, too, but it’s nothing to do with the passengers of the ships.

Aboard the Nebula Chaser, Captain Pollux turns to the the Twi’lek sisters who are watching a piece of yorik coral detach from a nearby frigate and move toward them. The small craft has some kind of creature aboard and, what’s worse, they can sense it. This creature is attuned to their galaxy.

Alema Rar tries to get the computer to find a match while her sister, Numa, sets out their disguises. They’ve been setting up resistance movements on New Plympto for the last year, but have never been seen together and only under the hooded robe of a Jedi.

The Yuuzhan Vong board the ship and demand to know if there are Jedi aboard. Captain Pollux claims to have none, so the Vong commander brings aboard a creature called a voxyn.

Alema uses her narrow beam antenna out toward where the rendezvous craft should be waiting and sends what they are seeing. The voxyn circles around the docking bay before exiting into a passage.

The two sisters watch the surveillance cameras for an hour while it roams the Chaser’s deck. It seems to know where they are and that concerns Alema who wonders if it tracks them using the Force.

They shut themselves down as far as they can, but it doesn’t seem to help. Alema pulls her lightsaber. Numa reminds her that the Vong will know that Pollux was lying to them. She would rather not have a repeat of New Plympto where the Vong, tired of the planet’s reistance, released a plague that wiped the whole world clean.

Numa thinks they must make the Vong think the creature is mistaken.

They make their way to the side of the ship furthest from the Vong frigate where Numa thinks they should disguise themselves as refugees. She reminds Alema of what Daeshara’cor had done for them. They hide their robes and weapons in a disintegration chute and head toward engineering where they are stopped by a search party.

They pretend to be looking for a specific engineer and are taken down toward the right bulkhead when the voxyn comes bounding toward them. They take off running until they reach the escape pod and jump in.

Alema prepares the pod while Numa goes back to the corridor to seal the bulkheads. Hearing Numa scream, Alema steps out to see her sister staggering and covering her face. She falls over the rim of the hatch, covered in mucus with her lekku thrashes.

Alema finds the voxyn pinned beneath the bulkhead. It tries to spew mucus at her but she uses the Force to push it back at the creature. She goes back to her sister and urges her to find her center. Numa falls calm and empty. Alema carries the body back to the pod hatch and can hear the Vong coming through. Their chance to slip away unnoticed is gone. Pollux is doomed.

She is hit by a compression wave that causes her ear to bleed. The pod launches.

Jaina watches this via the communications pip and sees the voxyn trapped, the warriors smashing droids and the commander interrogating Captain Pollux regarding where he picked up the Jedi. Pollux is not cooperating so the commander orders the crew killed.

Mara tells Jaina there’s nothing to be done to help them. They can pick up the escape pod and find out why a Jedi endangered thousands of refugee lives only to flee in a pod.


  • First appearance of Alema Rar. Sadly, not the last.

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chapter 2:

Han Solo counts 500 warships under construction at Bilbringi. Leia is sitting with Sullustan General Muun, urging him to provide an evacuation escort for the gentle Vray species. Muun reminds her that protecting the shipyards is also a priority.

She’s asking for a quarter of Bilbringi’s defenses.

When his comm. pings, C 3PO is allowed to answer it while Han does a very job at being diplomatic. C 3PO interjects to explain a Yuuzhan Vong emissary is asking to speak with Princess Leia.

Han refuses, but Leia is rather interested in knowing how her presence here became known to them. She tells C 3PO to assure them she will grant safe passage and then spends time setting up a safe interview room while Muun preps the shipyard to look abandoned so that the Vong emissary will not get an accurate accounting of the ships here. Inside the interview room is a transparisteel partition that will separate them from the emissary and a void button that will release the chamber to the vaccum outside.

When Leia introduces herself, the Vong emissary explains they met before on Rhommamool and even worked together on Duro. She realizes that it’s Nom Anor.

He asks about Jacen and Mara. She asks how he knew she was here. Anor explains that the Vray are evacuating and he assumed she would look for a convoy escort here. They’ve been watching Bilbringi for awhile anyway.

He tells her he has something Tsavong Lah wants her to see. The image is of a starliner called the Nebula Chaser which Han knows is the ship Jaina and Mara were supposed to go meet. It was a simple rendezvous in a safe sector.

Anor tells them there are 10, 000 refugees aboard. Leia can save them if she can tell him where to find the Jedi base. She tells him that there isn’t one. Anor is unhappy because Tsavong Lah felt she was willing to sacrifice anything to save the Jedi while he himself had argued that she did have her limits. They watch the ship being destroyed.

The Jedi must surrender within a week. His ships are surrounding the world of Talfaglio and preventing any refugee ships from leaving. If, after the week, the Jedi do not surrender, the convoy will be destroyed. The same will hold true if Anor fails to return.

Han is relieved that no one has mentioned Mara or Jaina. Since the Jedi are not going to surrender, he thinks he might as well start the fighting now. He hovers his palm over a button that will send Anor out into the void. He’s surprised when Leia doesn’t stop him.

In fact, she asks what he’s waiting for. He realizes that she is concerned that Mara and Jaina were aboard the Nebula Chaser and the Vong may not know who they killed.

Nom Anor, on the other hand, is beginning to panic. They unseal the chamber and tell Anor to go back and tell Tsavong Lah that the Jedi will not accept responsibility for lives the Yuuzhan Vong threaten. Anor says he will but that it won’t change anything.

Luke Skywalker senses an anguish in Alema that will not fade. He knows that she was dangerously close to the Dark Side when running the New Plympto resistance, but she will never accept responsbility for what happened to that world, her sister or the Nebula Chaser. For her, her fall to the Dark Side is just a question of when.

He finds Jacen, Anakin, Danni Quee, Tahiri and a group of other Jedi being addressed by a hologram of Han and Leia. Luke announces that they already know about the threat as it came in a few minutes ago. He assures them that Jaina and Mara are fine.

He also reminds them that they cannot allow the Yuuzhan Vong to make them responsible for what happens to other people. They are the murderers, not the Jedi.

Cilghal is still uncomfortable with the loss of so many lives and feels they should do something to prevent it. Jaina appears and reminds them, too, that Alema Rar and her sister were aboard the Nebula Chaser and were leading the New Plympto resistance.

Danni Quee thinks they cannot assume they know how their enemies think. Tahiri suggests the blockade be stopped so they won’t try it again.

Danni and Han don’t think doing what the Vong expect them to do is a good idea. Jacen hates to think of another world dying, especially if Jedi are waving their lightsabers around as normal, but he cannot think of a better choice.

Luke insists they are not going to surrender and asks if the Eclipse Program has anything to offer yet. Danni doesn’t have anything yet beyond the fact that there’s a yammosk coordinating the battle.

The villips they’ve captured aren’t being used by the Vong anymore, so they can only dissect them now to figure out how they work. Luke knows their path is not clear but he is confident that they cannot be drawn out until they are ready. They will have to trust the Force to deflect blame for the destruction of the Nebula Chaser on the proper shoulders.


  • Isn’t it interesting that Luke thinks that Alema Rar will fall to the Dark Side? I would think he would keep her around for some kind of post-traumatic Jedi therapy instead of just assuming the worst.

  • Luke assures his audience that the Vong are responsible for any deaths they cause if the Jedi do not surrender. But people seem to be faulting Alema and Numa Rar for the destruction of the Nebula Chaser. I don’t see that it’s the fault of the Rar sisters more than anything the Jedi have or haven’t done. Regardless of whether or not they were organizing resistance cells on New Plympto or happened to be aboard a ship of refugees, the deaths of the refugees are still the fault of the Yuuzhan Vong.

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chapter 3:

Nom Anor has spent too much time here to be offended by the Museum of Applied Photonics on Obroa-skai which has been spared the reclamation of the world. Tsavong Lah uses a hologram to show Nom Anor an X-Wing starfighter.

He is loathe to use such abominations, but it is necessary. After all, they cannot defeat what they do not understand. He trusts Anor did not fail this time. Anor gives him the chilab which had a good view on the way in and its memories will be useful in planning the attack.

As for his meeting with Leia Solo, it went well and he is certain the Jedi will respond. Vergere thinks the Jedi will smell a trap and be cautious. Anor knows that Vergere’s information has proven reliable, but she is fast becoming his greatest rival.

He lies about the circumstances of his departure from Bilbringi. Vergere knows this and mentions that the diplomat Leia would never accept blame for the deaths of the refugees. Tsavong Lah agrees and wonders why he was allowed to live.

Nom Anor knows that Leia had given her word and that is the reason but he cannot say so. He does mention that she told him to warn the warmaster that the Jedi will not take responsibility for the hostages.

Tsavong Lah notes that Vergere had told him much the same, but he still thinks the Jedi can be driven from the New Republic on behalf of the refugees.


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chapter 4:

General Muun, in light of the threat, decides to send the escort to help the Vray. When Han and Leia return to Eclipse, Luke has a request for a mission and asks to borrow C-3PO. This time, The Solos are sent to Nova Station in the former Caridan system.

They sit in a cantina waiting for Booster to show up when a Weequay is spotted watching them from across the room. When the being gets up and heads their way, Han realizes he knows him.

It’s Plaan, the Weequay chief of security on Tholatin. He asks about Droma who Han admits he hasn’t seen for about a year. Han asks what he’s doing out here. Plaan is now first mate on the Sweet Surprise.

He offers them work but Han won’t take anything having to do with scamming refugees. All they have to do is hop out, pick up the rest of their cargo and make a two-day run before returning here.

They tell him they’ll think about it. Leia asks where he could be going on that schedule. Han guesses Kuat, Borleias or Coruscant. Kuat and Borleias are turning away refugees. Leia doesn’t think he should accept the job. Luke is anxious that Booster be given coordinates for Eclipse immediately. Two more Jedi have been killed by voxyn and one of those was on Kuat. He’s concerned the Venture might make a supply stop somewhere unsafe.

Of course, Booster is three days behind schedule.

She wants to wait one more day and then try to jump to Coruscant ahead of Plaan. Han suggests he talk to Wedge. Rogue Squadron is at Coruscant right now and they may be able to get him to drop in on Plaan.

It turns out that Wedge can’t order the boarding of a properly registered ship, especially on Leia’s word. Leia tells Luke they can’t wait for the Venture any longer and she and Han leave for Coruscant.

They arrive just as Rogue Squadron makes its way out to intercept the Surprise. Han brings the Falcon over the ship and tells them there’s a military delay and to prepare to be inspected. Plaan wavers on this, insisting they have innocent refugees on board.

This exchange is overheard by the planetary defense force which culminates in formerly-retired General Rieekan coming on the comm. and asking Han what’s going on. Han explains that the ship commanded by smugglers who had been involved in an operation to ferry hostages to the Yuuzhan Vong.

Rieekan authorizes the Rogues to keep the ship from getting below the mine field that is now orbiting Coruscant in preparation for a possible attack.

Plaan tries anyway and is pursued by several mines and the Falcon. When the Surprise falls away, the Falcon beomes the mines’ target. They evade until free and Leia warns Gavin to watch for voxyn on board the Sweet Surprise.

The Rogues continue to try to bring the Surprise in safely, lest it crash on Coruscant. A cruiser comes alongside to pick up the refugees. However, once aboard, Gavin reports at least four voxyn.

Leia has the Falcon dock with the Sweet Surprise. She and the Noghri confront the voxyn, one of which explodes into a cloud of acid vapor. Leia brings a door hatch down on the muzzle of one. The other two open their mouths and send blast waves out that knock her and the Noghri down.


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chapter 5:

Mara had watched the hologram of the Nebula Chaser’s destruction repeatedly, wondering if there was any way she could have saved the refugees.

Now, she and Luke show the hologram to several others in the chamber on a quick rendezvous point called Solistation. Kyp Durron is outraged and insists he is not responsible for that. Barabel Jedi Saba Sebatyne is less emotive.

Luke points out that they aren’t here to assign blame, only to provide data on the voxyn and decide how to respond to the Vong threat. Kyp doesn’t see them doing anything other than what they’ve already done. They aren’t going to attack and they won’t surrender either.

He doesn’t care about the senate. More Jedi should be doing what his Dozen are doing. He tells them he’ll be waiting when they decide to fight and leaves.

Saba speaks for the first time which surprises Mara. She thought the Barabel couldn’t speak Basic. Saba explains that Eelysa taught her the wisdom of waiting quietly. Eelysa had grown up on Coruscant after Palpatine’s death and is now one of Luke’s most trusted Jedi. She had found Saba on Barab I and had trained her there since she was undercover before being chased off by a pack trying to import the Diversity Alliance philosophy.

Saba has her own squadron of Jedi pilots known as the Wild Knightz who share her own less aggressive philosophy. Luke asks her thoughts about Tsavong Lah’s threat.

Saba doesn’t think the path is clear. She suddenly feels something unusual that Luke and Mara do not. Moving on, she knows the Senate disapproves of them but cowards are often threatened by those braver than they. The Yuuzhan Vong are the same which is why they continue to send obstacles against the Jedi.

She has the feeling that Master Eelysa could be in danger. She’s on Corellia right now and it’s always possible that Thrackan Sal-Solo and his people might do something dangerous, but no one should really know she’s there.

Saba explains that her master feels frightened. She doesn’t have any other information. She does agree to ferry equipment and Danni Quee for her new mission. Saba has also brought three young Barabels, two females and one male who is her son, and asks Luke to train them in the Force.

Suddenly, she cries out in grief and explains to Luke and Mara that something has caught Eelysa and she is dead.


  • Eelysa was first seen in The New Rebellion. Despite the reference to the Diversity Alliance which was mentioned in the YJK books, Eelysa was neither seen nor mentioned in that specific storyline.

  • First appearance of Saba Sebatyne.

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chapter 6:

Leia is unhappy to be part of the New Republic’s political community. She had spent time recovering from the voxyn’s noxious attack and the Noghri are still in bacta tanks. Han is taking the voxyn bodies back to Eclipse while Jacen is with Leia.

She reminds him that Borsk Fey’lya does nothing without a reason so he needs to pay attention. They meet with the New Republic Military Operations Committee. In the committee room, Leia tells everyone that Jacen ish ere as her bodyguard. This is not a Jedi matter, but about SELCORE.

Viqi Shesh puts in that this is about the Jedi because they are the reason the Vong are holding Talfaglion refugees hostage. Leia already doesn’t think much of Shesh who had used her position for personal gain when Leia was trying to get enough supplies for the refugee camps on Duro. Though Leia had not had enough proof to get her removed from the Senate, she’d created a big enough fuss that Shesh was rotated off the SELCORE committee. Now, the woman seems to have an important position on NRMOC.

Leia points out that she has no doubt that the Vong would continue to make demands of the New Republic even if the Jedi surrendered. Borsk Fey’lya stops a potential argument by explaining that the New Republic does not yield to coercion and they need a solution.

The Yuuzhan Vong are blockading the most direct route in so Jacen suggests they sneak three Star Destroyers through the Deep Core and, wipe out the blockade and grab the convoy. The various senators divide along pro- and anti-Jedi lines until Fey’lya grants Leia permission to ignite her lightsaber to shut them up.

She explains that she did not intend to cause discord within the committee and thinks they should just vote now and be done with it. The vote is narrow enough but it’s in favor and Leia assumes Fey’lya will be able to move forward.

He isn’t certain, however, that removing three Star Destroyers to save millions will not then risk the lives of several billion. He suggests he have the military study the issue. Jacen argues that doing so will take time they do not have. General Bel Iblis, like Wedge and Rieekan, has also been reactivated so Fey’lya doesn’t think he’ll take too long. In the meantime, he suggests asking Tsavong Lah for an envoy to discuss the matter.

This will buy them the time they need and, in fact, they will tell the envoy that threats like this only solidify the relationship between the New Republic and the Jedi. This results in a surprising consensus that Leia, even more surprisingly, doesn’t like.

On the way out, Leia realizes she’s grown tired and doesn’t have the self-control anymore to put up with the antics of the New Republic government. She assures Jacen she’ll never appear before them or their committees again.

She wraps her arm around him and is amazed how her 19-year old son towers above her. She tells him it’s dangerous to assume the best about people sometimes. Borsk Fey’lya is their worst enemy in the Senate right now and proved it by suggesting the envoy. There’s no reason for him to speak with one unless he has something to bargain with. Jacen realizes that Borsk Fey’lya only has the Jedi as a bargaining tool.


  • Jacen is 19 now? Hold on a second! In Vector Prime, we know that Jacen and Jaina were probably 16 1-2 and very close to their 17th birthdays. They finally reached 17 in the Agents of Chaos duology. Jaina was described as 18 in Rebirth with Anakin either 16 ½ or close to 17 because we discussed that he seems to turn a year older before his siblings do which indicates his birthday comes first in the year. Now, Jacen is 19? This means that Jaina is also 19 and that Anakin is definitely into his 17th year. This also means that a good 2-2 ½ years have taken place over the span of the preceding 7 books.

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chapter 7:

After slashing himself a few times, Nom Anor presents himself to Tsavong Lah. Vergere is there and tells him that the warmaster wants Anor to see something. Viqi Shesh is telling them via villip that the vornskyr-inspired voxyn have proven very effective, having killed four Jedi already.

Lah introduces Shesh to Anor whom she knew as Pedric Cuf. She tells them what happened in the committee room. Jacen Solo had suggested a way to get around the blockade and she had maneuvered Borsk Fey’lya into suggesting a military study that will buy the Vong time to prepare a counterambush.

Fey’lya is also going to ask for an envoy in whom he’s really not so much interested beyond the fact that it buys him more time. Lah promises the usual funds in return for her assistance.

When he turns to Anor, he complains that she takes him for a fool. Anor mentions that humans often cast themselves in the best possible light. Lah asks if he believes her when she says Borsk Fey’lya really isn’t interested in speaking to them.

Nom Anor thinks it’s more likely that Fey’lya wants to talk and she fears he has something that will make them listen. She’s just protecting her own position. Lah agrees and sends him back to the infidels. Vergere objects that he has done too much damage to even think that Fey’lya would agree to speak with Anor.


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chapter 8:

The voxyn are dead. Cilghal examines the ones taken from the Sweet Surprise and confirms her findings. Too tired to take the time she knows she needs to look over them safely, she steps away and hears crying from the other room.

She walks into another room and sees several young Jedi gathered. Among Jaina, Anakin, Lowbacca, Tenel Ka and Zekk, she spots Raynar Thul weeping. She starts to back out when Tenel Ka notices her.

Anakin explains that their fellow Jedi, Lusa, was killed by a pack of voxyn on her homeworld. Cilghal explains she’s been trying to find a solution but they have no weaknesses she has found.

She does suggest someone watch her while she works on the samples. She believes she’s inadvertently contaminating them in some way. She’s tried several times and they always map the same. The genetic sequences can’t be identical. Jaina suggests they may be cloning the voxyn.

Cilghal realizes it’s possible they only have one and are cloning from it. She can’t be sure because she’d need more samples. Anakin tells the others that’s what they need to do.


  • Though Lowbacca and Tenel Ka have been mentioned briefly in the New Jedi Order series, thus far, this is the first sighting of Zekk and Raynar Thul. And, of course, the first mention of Lusa. All were featured in the Young Jedi Knights books.

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chapter 9:

The task force is on an asteroid in the Froz system, keeping tabs on inbound traffic. Anakin notes that it appears the Yuuzhan Vong will be sending an envoy after all. Viqi Shesh is giving an interview stating that she doesn’t endorse bargaining with murderers, but she is hoping they can impress upon the invaders that the New Republic has no control over the Jedi.

Though she’s been a friend to the Jedi in the past, she accuses Luke Skywalker of thinking only of his followers, some of whom have been irresponsibly rash.

The task force spots two craft coming into the system, one possibly an interdictor. Anakin can sense nothing from the ships, but that doesn’t surprise him. He is rather surprised to feel an ordinary presence on a nearby moon.

The three Barabel apprentices are here with them. The male is Tesar Sebatyne, the two females are Bela Hara and Krasov Hara. Raynar suggests something be done, but Anakin reminds him they cannot interfere, but concentrate solely on the mission. They cannot afford to jump into a situation unprepared that would give the Senate further cause to condemn them.

The Vong ships brings a New Republic vessel out, but they often let the ships go in the hopes it will return with a cargo of refugees. Krasov senses someone else in the system.

They realize that Kyp’s Dozen is here, too. Anakin comms them and asks to break off lest they cause trouble. Kyp isn’t listening. Suddenly, the Vong boarding shuttle vanishes with no sign of attack.

Anakin can’t understand how he was able to do this without firing on it. He worries that Kyp may have used the Force to do it. When the ship is destroyed, Kyp doesn’t think there is a problem. Then more Vong ships arrive.

Anakin starts to lift off to help when Jaina reminds him that they cannot disobey their orders. He doesn’t want to lose Kyp, too, but Jaina points out that Kyp brought this on himself. Tenel Ka refuses to accept that and the others decide to join in.

They come in behind a frigate in the hopes of blasting an escape hole that will allow everyone to get home. While the fighting tapers off, Kyp tells the others to go home and uses the Force to eliminate a number of coralskippers.

Anakin knows he’s angry at losing several of this squadron; they fly together in silence. He knows that there is a Dark Side even without the Force due to his experience with the bitter Vua Rapuung. It seems now that Kyp knows how to use the Force to destroy enemy ships. This seems to make the Force a tool among many.

Kyp explains to Anakin that he used the Force to propel his torpodoes. This way, there is no propellant glow to give them away when they are coming.

The Vong continue to fire off missles which the Barabel seem to be able to redirect. They also don’t bother to dodge attacks, leapfrog to spare their shields and cut their sublight engines to keep the dovin basals from bringing the shields down.

The three are hearty survivors.


  • Though they were introduced in the earlier chapter, this is the first real appearance of Tesar, Krasov and Bala.

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chapter 10:

While the Thyferran senator offers a plan to open peace negotiations with the Yuuzhan Vong, the Wookiee delegation throws pieces of their console at his hologram, the Talfaglio consulate staff is roaming the halls demanding the Jedi surrender and Balmorra is offering free orbital turbolaser platforms to any world that sends a fleet to defend it. Meanwhile, security is searching for a rumored Dathomiri assassin.

In other words, the New Republic Senate is in chaos. Since the Yuuzhan Vong would not agree to let Fey’lya meet their envoy privately, they are seeing each other in the Grand Convocation Chamber in the middle of the tipping point of Fey’lya’s career. He feels like throwing up.

The envoy steps down toward the podium slowly as the Togorians toss their mugs at him. He looks more annoyed at the security droids trying to shield him from the barrage. When the warrior appears, he pulls his hood back and the Senate becomes uproarious at the sight of Nom Anor.

He explains that there is nothing to discuss. He presented their terms to Leia Solo. Fey’lya reminds him that she is not a representative of this government. He handles Anor coolly which gets him a great deal of approval from many in the body.

However, it is easily lost as he knows all too well. His problem is that he knows the Vong are trying to divide the Senate between those they can intimidate and those they can’t. Those they can tend to be the powerful Core worlds rich in resources.

He steps right up to Nom Anor and tells him that the Vong must be worried about the Jedi to think that so few of them are worth the lives of so many more. When Anor announces that their lives mean nothing, Fey’lya answers that he thought as much. Viqi Shesh tries to salvage the situation by emphasing their inability to control the Jedi when Fey’lya cuts her off and chooses to speak for himself.

He announces the Vong are cowards who hide behind helpless refugees rather than battle the Jedi. Anor argues that it’s the Jedi who they seek. Fey’lya volunteers they could have been found in the Froz system recently had the Vong tried to look.

In fact, Borsk and many senators are quite helpful in naming dozens of uninhabited systems where they could possibly find Jedi. Anor assures them they will follow up on all of them.

Fey’lya tells him he can communicate with his superiors by villip because he’s not leaving until he can explain the taking of a million hostages.

The resulting applause is likely the greatest Borsk Fey’lya will ever get, so he lets it linger as long as he can.


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chapter 11:

Via villip, Viqi Shesh reports to Tsavong Lah who was told by Nom Anor that the session went well. She explains that Anor bungled it from the start to the point where Fey’lya tossed his support to the Jedi. She has been working to salvage the situation since.

The Core Worlds favor turning against the Jedi while the others support them. This is important because the Core controls most of the resources and wealth in the New Republic. She’s hoping to force a no-confidence vote, but doesn’t think it will happen. If Fey’lya dies, the next chief of state may be less supportive of the Jedi.

Nom Anor was close enough to him today that he could have killed Fey’lya. After confirming that she hopes to be the one to replace the chief of state, Lah tells her to do the killing herself. She tries to convince him that New Republic politics do not work the same way as Yuuzhan Vong.

He suggests he might drop a line to NRI to let them know about her association with him. She reminds him that, should that happen, he would lose the intelligence she gleans through the chilab in the NRMOC room.

Lah decides that he’ll provide someone else to kill Fey’lya instead of Anor who really can’t be trusted with something like this. He will provide a contact named Bjork Umi.


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chapter 12:

Lando Calrissian shows off his YVH-One war droid to a select audience of Han and Leia, Borsk Fey’lya, Generals Bel Iblis and Antilles. Han explains that Fey’lya wouldn’t meet with Lando unless Leia agreed to be here.

Lando goes on to explain that these are Yuuzhan Vong Hunter droids and they are designed to search and identify threats, utilize heavy weapons and are extremely durable. He demonstrates the droids’ effectiveness against droids designed to mimic the Yuuzhan Vong. Bel Iblis finds it humorously ironic that the Yuuzhan Vong could be hunted by droids trained to fight them by battling droids.

On the other hand, he admires Lando for what he’s risking once the Vong find out what he’s doing.

The demonstration is impressive, showing how the droids can engage in combat, capture ooglith masqued infiltrators, sensing ambushes and utilize self-healing metals. As they walk down to view the destructive capabilities, they discuss how many would be needed.

Fey’lya guesses it will require a great deal of support to push through ordering a droid army. Leia suspects he’s going to try to draw her back into politics, if only as an ally. She reminds him that the senate as it is was helped forged by people like him.

Han thinks she should just play nice for a short period of time until Fey’yla can build up the political momentum to have the army built, but she’s determined to stay out of the Senate from now on.

Lando isn’t concerned because he thinks these droids sell themselves. In fact, the droid announces they should take shelter immediately. Lando confirms that the demonstration is over and the droid agrees. There are real Yuuzhan Vong ahead.

Leia realizes that several guards are imposters. Lando struggles to replace the weaponry card with one that will allow lethal force around the chief of state and two generals. Fey’lya races off, Leia ignites her lightsaber and Han is knocked out by a non-lethal laser blast from one of the droids. Then it grabs a Vong warrior and squeezes.


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chapter 13:

Han, Lando, Leia, Mara, Cilghal and the older Jedi meet with the younger ones. The voxyn have killed Anakin’s friend, Lyric, and were seen chasing Corran and Mirax Horn on Corellia. They’ve been out of contact since.

Cilghal apologizes for not being able to do more. Ganner assures her she’s been doing the best she can. All of the Jedi have been working with her. Ganner has traced the original voxyn from the Sweet Surprise, Streen searched for gaps, Cheklev is working on the destroyed ship while Anakin’s group find voxyn corpses for study.

She has learned that the voxyn age rapidly and she’s working to see if the Force can be used to speed that up.

Luke notes that they need to make sure Booster Terrik doesn’t take it upon himself to go after Corran and Mirax. Han assures him that Kam and Tionne would make sure that the Venture would not go into a war zone without dropping the young students off first, especially since two of them are his grandchildren.


  • If two years have passed since the beginning of the series, Valin should be around 13 or so.

  • I’m sure we remember Lyric from the Junior Jedi Knights’ book Lyric’s World.

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chapter 14:

The Jedi go over the plan with Lando. Ganner Rhysode will be the figurehead so that no one will notice that Anakin is really in charge. The Lady Luck will be boarded by Yuuzhan Vong who will be aided by volunteers from among Lando’s people who will pretend to betray the Jedi.

Two YVH droids will conceal themselves on the boarding shuttle for the ride to the mothership. Anakin will use the Force to tear open a weapons locker and pass out blasters which will be stored with disengaged power packs.

After Raynar expresses his concerns that the Vong ship will feel the droids hiding, Jaina assures him that the ships don’t work that way.

Lando makes sure they all understand that, regardless of planning, there will be surprises they cannot predict. Jacen becomes concerned when he realizes that the completion of their mission and returning alive are the only things expected of them. There is an argument about whether the ends justify the means.

Anakin realizes Lando wants them to work this out now instead of on the misson so he jumps in and tells everyone that no one is turning to the Dark Side.

Jaina suggests that Jacen help them bolster their mental and emotional will, especially if the Vong try to break any of them on the transfer ship. They could use a telepathic Force union and combine it with some of the Barbels’ combat tactics.

Anakin tells Jacen that he is in charge and, if Jacen can’t live with that, he shouldn’t come.


  • 17 strike team members: Anakin, Jacen, Jaina, Raynar, Tenel Ka, Lowbacca, Tahiri, Alema, Ulaha Kore, Jovan Drark, Eryl Besa, Zekk, Tesar, Krasov, Bela, Tekli and Ganner Rhysode.

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chapter 15:

Danni Quee is assured by Saba that there is a yammosk out there. The Wild Knights have been working not far from the world of Arkania, ambushing Yuuzhan Vong ships who seem to be clearing an invasion route.

They are using a freighter called the Jolly Man as a headquarters and are about to return there when they are attacked by an enemy fleet.

One of the pilots, Izal Waz, uses the Force to collect light into what he calls a Glowball in order to hide them. Drif Lij uses his X-Wing’s ion engines to feed the intensity of the light. Danni continues to collect data until Saba decides they’ve been here long enough and tells them to back out and drop the block. The cargo door open and expels a two-ton square of durasteel.

Wonetun announces that the cruiser nearby is trying to pull their shields which soon collapse. The X and Y Wings fire forth while the dovin basals begin pulling the light ball in. Saba orders it dropped, then the Wild Knights launch concussion missles and torpedoes.

Saba announces that everyone should prepare for concussion impact, leading Danni to think they are going to ram. She realizes the durasteel block wasn’t seen by the Vong when they grabbed the Glowball. It had accelerated increasingly and impacts with the cruiser.


  • Izal Waz and Drif Lij first appeared in the e-book Recovery

  • First appearance of Wonetun

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chapter 16:

Tsavong Lah walks away from the priests, leading Vergere to ask if he does not want to know Yun-Yammka’s will. He explains that only the gods are infallible. Though the priests do their work faithfully, they still cannot tell him how the Jedi work their powers.

Vergere tells him he makes too much of the Jedi. He should just destroy the Talfaglion convoy even though that will doom Nom Anor. It won’t be a huge loss anyway.

The priestess tells him that one of the sacrificial slaves has fallen silent and that will not please the gods. He should not go through with the attack. Lah would rather make his own decisions.


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chapter 17:

Lando displays the screen to the Yuuzhan Vong boarding party that shows 17 young Jedi Knights around a dining table. They aren’t doing a good acting job. Though Lando has had the finest fare provided for them, no one is eating or holding their spoons. The subaltern is suspicious, but he turns to his superior.

Duman Yaght is the commander of the Exquisite Death and he comes forward to confirm there are Jedi aboard. Lando assures him there are 17. He will only release them if the Talfaglian refugees are spared. He can provide more, too.

Lando is operating under an assumed name and had sent a message via a Vong listening post that he is working for the Jedi rescue organization and feels betrayed by them for allowing the plight of Talfaglio go on.

The members of the strike team can sense each other’s emotions as soon as the voxyns board. Jacen can sense all of their individual apprehensions as the galley door bursts open and the crew, including Lando’s wife, Tendra, enter with blasters. According to plan, they stun Zekk, Jovan and Eryl, then Lowbacca and Krasov.

They collect the Jedi lightsabers and toss them, including Em Tedeee, down the disposal chute. Jacen remembers that the disposal chute still leads to the flushlock instead of the weapons pod. Nothing to be done about it now.

Jacen is having a hard time absorbing the hits the others are taking without feeling them himself. Ganner is knocked unconscious when he lunges at Lando.

As they are lined up, Anakin takes his place near the weapons locker. Tendra is using the war droids to grab the dropped lightsabers. Lando distracts the commander by offering wrist restraints while Anakin uses the Force to pull the weapons locker door open . Ulaha closes the pressure hatch, sealing the rest of the boarding party in the access corridor.

Anakin flies the door into Duman Yaght’s head. The strike team overpowers the few remaining warriors, while Anakin flings blasters at his comrades. They need several seconds to allow the YVH droids to attach themselves to the boarding shuttle.

A fight over the weapons does that nicely but it causes more stunned Jedi and Ulaha being seriously injured by a coufee.

Anakin hopes Lando can find a way to keep Ulaha, knowing that he’s been able to do the impossible for longer than Anakin’s been alive. When he meets Lando’s eyes, though, the other man has a haunted look before he must accompany Duman Yaght.


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chapter 18:

The Errant Venture can orbit Eclipse for a short time before it’s likely to be seen. There really isn’t time to watch the HoloNet, but Nom Anor is about to address the Senate.

Booster leads Luke and his companions to the ship’s comm. center. The Horns, Solos, R2 and C 3PO, Mara and Ben are there. Luke hadn’t yet heard the story of how Corran and Mirax had escaped the voxyn, save that it involved a hovertaxi.

When Ben starts to cry, Leia readies to take him from the room, not really wanting to see the Senate address anyway. The baby calms immediately. Leia admits she was thinking of Anakin and wishing she’d had time to hold him like this more when he was a baby.

Viqi Shesh watches Nom Anor at the speaker’s podium. Fey’lya asks him if he’s finally come to explain the hostage situation. Anor tells him that the warmaster is extending the deadline for the Jedi surrender. This is not something that the warmaster is known to do.

Even Shesh is a bit surprised and wonders what’s going on. Anor could be playing his own game, hoping to strike a deal. She will have to intercede there in case he is hoping to succeed Fey’lya instead of her.

Anor explains that the warmaster believes the New Republic may not be able to comply with his demands on short notice. Seventeen young Jedi were turned over last night. This announcement shocks everyone, including Shesh, who doesn’t believe that it’s possible for even a group of bounty hunters to do that.

Anor has the list and reads off several names, telling them he recognizes the name Solo. Wedge asks which one he has, Anakin or one of the twins. Anor seems surprised that two of the Solos are twins, almost worried, then explains they have all three. Viqi Shesh does notice the momentary discomfort and wonders what significance twins have to the Yuuzhan Vong.

Fey’lya insists they will not turn over any Jedi and has Anor’s microphone cut. Shesh activates her own and finishes Anor’s sentence because the council has a right to know what he said. This causes a huge uproar that results in several senators being chased out by security droids. Fey’lya announces that he wants everyone to know how the Yuuzhan Vong conduct diplomacy.

Shesh realizes that Fey’lya is still alive, not because the assassins are late, but because they have already tried and failed. She starts to exit, but Fey’lya urges her to stay for a short period of time. He tells the body that a squad of Vong infiltrators tried to kill him.

He produces General Antilles and General Bel Iblis who can verify the truth of his accusations. Everyone knows neither man is a close friend of his.

He asks if Senator Shesh has anything to say. He knows she was only trying to protect Kuat. Realizing that he thinks this is just a political game and has no idea what’s really going on, she admits that she was wrong and that the Vong cannot be trusted.

C 3PO does notice Nom Anor’s reaction at the revelation that Jacen and Jaina are twins. The others aren’t really paying attention because they’re watching Fey’lya order Anor’s arrest. They continue to ignore his prattlings about the significance of twins to other cultures while Anor makes his escape by using a gas to stun the whole floor.

Corran and Mirax express their sympathy to Han and Leia about the capture of their children. Luke explains to them what Anakin and team are doing. He also urges Corran to return to the Jedi. His experience is needed to help young pilots learn to fight as a unit.

Admiral Kre’fey has converted an old smuggler’s base near Reecee as a rear base and that is close enough to Eclipse for the Venture to hide. Booster tells Luke he knows what the Jedi is doing to him. Luke is glad because he was worried the older man was slipping.

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chapter 19:

The attack on Arkania begins quietly. The Wild Knights head up. Saba warns Danni to stay calm. Wonetun says Danni feels angry to him and that will get someone killed. They know she was upset when Mara Jade Skywalker came by to tell them about Anakin’s plan. They think she wanted to go along.

Danni insists she doesn’t want to end up in another Vong holding cell, but she does wish she had been asked. Luke shouldn’t have let Anakin talk him into it because they’re just kids. Luke hasn’t seen a breaking and has no idea what he’s sending them into.

She would go after them if she knew where they were.

Saba urges her to focus on this battle and her specific job this time. The battle isn’t much with skips sitting around, not even moving. Danni thinks they never intended to come in. This is a trick. The yammosk isn’t responding the way it should if the attack had encountered a problem.

Her data has shown her how the yammosk communicates. This doesn’t make sense. They consider that maybe the Vong’s resources aren’t limitless. Saba orders them to head back to Eclipse. The Yuuzhan Vong are going to withdraw because there’s something bigger going on that she must warn Master Skywalker about.


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chapter 20:

Nom Anor greets the warmaster and accuses Vergere of being behind the assassination attempt on Fey’lya in the hopes of eliminating her rival. Lah isn’t interested in any of this. He is more concerned about this blatant attempt to trick them with news of Jedi twins.

Nom Anor guesses that the information divulged in the Senate was not done so to trick them. In this galaxy, twins are not unusual. They are not like the Yuuzhan Vong for whom twins are very rare and done so via the will of the gods. In each instance, one had murdered the other and gone on to lead the empire. Lord Shimrra himself had done the same with his own twin brother. But the Solo twins aren’t anything special.

One of the adherents to the twin gods Yun-Txiin and Yun-q’aah asks if he is confirming, though, that Jacen and Jaina are Jedi twins. Anor says he knows only what Viqi Shesh has said. Lah doesn’t trust her.

The adherent indicates that sacrificing one twin would cause an inbalance. They could have the twins fight each other as the gods have ordained. That would be a great gift to Yun-Yuuzhan. Vergere doesn’t believe the two will ever do that due to their closeness.

Lah thinks it’s just a simple matter of breaking them first.


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chapter 21:

In the hold of the Exquisite Death, Jaina can hear Ulaha’s anguish and knows she’s in the jaws of the voxyn again. They are all down to bare-bones clothing, facing a wall to which they are tethered with their elbows between their needs. It’s also freezing here.

Everyone has gone through the breaking at least once, except for Ganner, who is being held elsewhere under the mistaken believe that he is the group’s leader. Duman Yaght keeps coming back to Ulaha who only has short periods of time in a Jedi healing trance. The others try to prolong their own time to give her the opportunity to rest.

It’s hard to hear the screams without knowing what’s going on. Duman Yaght tells her she doesn’t have to tell him where the Jedi base is, only to admit there is one.

They are not in Yuuzhan Vong held space yet. Eryl has an innate ability to tell through the Force where she is in the galaxy. She is supposed to alert Anakin when they are behind enemy lines. It’s taking a long time to do that and Jaina suspects it’s because Yaght wants to return to his masters with information.

He tells Ulaha about the neurotoxins on the paws of the voxyn. Jaina wants Ulaha to tell him that there’s a base so he’ll just let her sleep. It is a relief when she does, but Alema reminds Jaina that he’s trying to break Ylaha. A warrior knocks Alema out.

Jaina is dragged over to Ulaha who is then returned to the wall, but laying instead of sitting. Yaght tells Jaina the Bith may rest and Jaina will determine how long. The others send assurances through the Force. Yaght tells her to choose which one of her brothers will go next.

If she doesn’t, Ulaha will be brought back. Anakin tells her she can choose and she can choose him. Anakin takes pain well, however, so Yaght tries something new. They’ve all been inoculated in the hopes that the neurotoxin won’t harm them, but there’s no way to know for sure.

He uses the creature to rake Anakin’s back. She warns him that, if Anakin dies, he will have one less Jedi for his master’s sacrifice. Yaght tells her it doesn’t matter as she and Jacen are the twins anyway.

They restrain the voxyn and move Anakin away, securing him to the floor. A small tree is brought in and clumped down. The voxyn goes wild. Jaina looses contact with her comrades, feeling nothing in the Force. She realizes that there is an ysalamiri attached to the tree.

The creature is put on Anakin’s back. Yaght explains that the shapers do not understand why the ysalamiri drive the voxyn mad. Sooner or later, the voxyn will try to kill the creature. Jaina knows that Anakin and Ganner could activate the war droids and solve this problem, but it’s not quite time yet.

He asks her where the Jedi base can be found. She realizes that he had been trying to break the strike team and, since Jaina was the one who cracked first, this burden has fallen to her. She tells him it’s in the Core. He will release Anakin only if she tells him more; otherwise, he will continue to break Anakin or will bring Ulaha back.

Jacen brings forth Anakin’s calmness. Jaina realizes there’s a plan. Anakin pulls away from his guard and yells for Ulaha to wake up as he jumps to her side. He whispers in her ear while she stares at the ceiling. Anakin keeps talking until he is hit in the head with an amphistaff.

Ulaha is dragged over and she suddenly moves, pushing her hand down into the voxyn’s paw until she finally grabs her guard’s coufee and slashes his throat. Yaght orders troops to come in and Jacen uses the Force to convince the voxyn that they are the threat, not the Jedi.

During the distraction, Ulaha brings the coufee down between the creature’s eyes. She staggers back before collapsing. The guards drag her clear of the dying voxyn’s toxic cloud and are surprised to see her stand up.

Jaina asks if they have another voxyn, knowing that Yaght will only be compelled to move faster into Vong territory.


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chapter 22:

Mara is cooking breakfast when R2 expresses concern about the fire. Luke good-naturedly eats the burned food when R2 lets them know there is a problem. On the vid screen, they see the hangar where the the Wild Knights, Kyp’s Diozen and a new starfighter squadron called the Shockers are gathered. Kyp Durron, Saba Sebatyne and the Shocker leader, non-Jedi, Rigard Matl, are all arguing while Corran Horn looks at the camera.

Kyp is upset because they don’t have a lot of time. The Yuuzhan Vong have Anakin and the others. Danni Quee might or might not be able to figure how to jam the yammosks. Kyp, because he didn’t promise to remain at Eclipse, has not been told that the capture of the team was a ruse.

Luke and Mara head down where they find Danni has already joined the group, doubtless because Saba called her upon learning Luke was coming. Danni had been pressing for a rescue of the strike team ever since she learned of its capture.

Corran explains that the Lady Luck entered the system and should be here shortly. Saba explains that she wanted to here how things were going which only piques Kyp’s interest.

He threatens to go after them himself. Han explains that he cannot launch a rescue mission if he wants to save them. Luke agrees that there will be no backup mission.

The Lady Luck approaches while the Gentleman Caller is moved out of the way. Han tells Kyp he’s going to have to promise to listen to Luke; otherwise he can pack up and get out. He needs to start acting like a Jedi Knight.

Kyp asks his pilots what they think and they all agree. Luke tells them that he is still working on finding out what was going on at Arkania, but they are going to carry the war to the Yuuzhan Vong.


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chapter 23:

On the Exquisite Death, the captives are fidgeting, sitting among several ysalamiri trees. Jacen won’t even look at Anakin. Anakin lowers his chin and speaks into his left armpit to activate escape.

Many minutes later, they hear thuds sounding from the ship and then a great deal of noise. Several warriors realize this is the Jedis’ doing and turn on them, but the YVH shows up and, unknown to them, Lando has programmed one of them to protect the three Solos.

Anakin has the droids secure the doorway while they free themselves, get their weapons and equipment from the weapons pod and dispose of the ysalamiri. They access their medical conditions and tend to Ulaha.

The droid report they are ahead of schedule, the remaining voxyn on board are no longer a problem and describe the vessel as a picket boat. There are ducts that Anakin worries could be used by the enemy to move around.

Lightsabers, equipment and jumpsuits are passed around. Anakin divides the team into two squads and gives them his plan. He can sense some reservations in Jacen and wishes he’d not sent his brother back with Lando. Anakin, Tesar, Alema, Jacen, Tenel Ka, Tahiri, Bela and Krasov walk with one YVH droid which guards Lowbacca while he sends mines into the system ducts. Jaina, Ulaha and the others are covering the corridors.

On the bridge, Anakin’s team finds unconcious Yuuzhan Vong. Their armored jumpsuits protect against thud bugs, but they are only attacked once. In the bow, they find more ysalamiri nearby.

Their YVH droid discovers an injured voxyn nearby, so Anakin coms Jaina to warn her, sending a droid to protect her. The droid reports 11 warriors are on the deck below, waiting to ambush. Ganner Rhysode is being moved by several guards, but seems to be asleep.

Anakin cuts through the floor with his saber. Jacen tells him that they have to go after Ganner. Anakin thinks they have to get rid of the ambushers first. Jacen accuses him of sacrificing team members to get what he wants. He is giving up on Ganner just like he risked Ulaha by having her attack.

Anakin turns on Jacen and tells him he told Ulaha to tell them where the base was, not to attack. She disobeyed him. He tells Jacen to stop holding him up. Tenel Ka catches Jacen’s arm and tells him they cannot resolve this issue now. He’ll have to wait.

One by one, they jump down into the corridor below and start shooting. Jaina’s team takes down the voxyn, but they get the sense of another one. One of the droids confirms that Ganner is on the bridge now.

Anakin cuts his way onto the bridge to find Duman Yaght wearing a gnullith and holding Ganner’s body in front with a coufee to the throat. The commander tells them to set down their weapons if they want Ganner to live.

He’s learned that the Jedi are soft when it comes to the death of their comrades. Anakin and Tesar hold their blasters at Yaght’s head. Anakin offers to let him in the boarding shuttle with the rest of his crew if he surrenders. The commander tells him Yuuzhan Vong do not surrender.

Anakin uses the Force to push the coufee back which is long enough for Tesar to blow Vaght’s head off.


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chapter 24:

Nom Anor can’t believe he is watching Warmaster Lah play a game of dejarik with Vergere. She explains that there are intimations that the game was once a favorite study of the Jedi Knights.

She believes studying the mind of the enemy is important for a warrior. Anor admits he’s played a few times himself in his various guises in this galaxy. Lah is interested to know then his insights into the route the two Jedi twins will be taking home following their escape.

Anor didn’t know that had happened as he’s received no communication of such. Studying dejarik, however, has led Lah to believe that the Jedi will strike when the commander is unaware.

Vergere says they will strike, but not where expected. Lah realizes they are being tricked, but doesn’t know the purpose. Vergere says the Jedi do not think much differently from the Vong in that they will strike at what they fear most.

Lah orders Anor to take a ship to Myrkr where there’s a already a dying worldship waiting. He should do what’s necessary, but keep the Solo twins alive as a gift to Lord Shimrra.

Vergere suggests that Anor should probably be replaced with someone else. Lah tells her he knows what happened on Coruscant and that it was not Anor’s fault. She reminds him that he has a history of failures, such as Elan, the Peace Brigade and the many face-offs with Jedi that have all ended poorly.

Lah knows she speaks out of ambitious motives, but he cannot dismiss the substance of her words. He cautions Anor to speak up now if he doesn’t think he can handle this assignment.

Anor explains he has also played another infidel game called sabaac where the cards often change identities before the game finishes. He points to the fact that Vergere, having been a prisoner of the infidels for many weeks, has not yet provided a satisfactory explanation as to how she escaped.

Lah is satisfied by the priests’ determination in this matter, besides he mentions that the circumstances of her escape were caused by the ineptitude of the Peace Brigade. Besides, the information provided by her since that time has been invaluable.

However, this assignment is important and he is tired of the petty jealousies between the two. He will send Vergere as Anor’s advisor. They will succeed or fail together.


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chapter 25:

Jacen sits with Tenel Ka as he explains that he just assumed Ulaha was ordered to attack because that’s what it looked like. It isn’t like the others didn’t think that, too.

Tenel Ka agrees but she points out that, since Jacen is Anakin’s brother, what he does is interpreted as judgment. It doesn’t help that he blatantly disagreed with Lando. Jacen tells that Jedi cannot choose to ignore morality the way gamblers do. It’s too easy to let their power lead them down a dark path and many others suffer because of it.

She asks if he remembers her first lightsaber. He remembers how he blamed himself for her accident for the longest time; sometimes he still does. She tells him that the accident was her fault because she had too much confidence in her own fighting abilities.

Jacen cannot put himself in a position where he thinks he’s the only one who understands the dangers of the Dark Side.

He finally understands how he’s offended his brother. Tenel Ka tells him to trust Anakin to forgive and things will return to normal.

Jaina and Lowbacca look at the targeting brain on the wardroom table and, with Zekk’s help, begin scavenging the means to repair the ship.

Meanwhile, Tesar, Bela and Krasov are hunting voxyn, severely injuring one before it gets away. Tesar turns and finds himself staring into Ganner Rhysode’s eyes. The Jedi tells him that hunting season is over.

Raynar and Eryl wake up from their healing trances. They are joined by Tekli. After the ship comes out of hyperspace, Eryl tells them they’ve reached Myrkr.


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