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Force Heretic I: "Remnant": Book 15 in The New Jedi Order

chapter discussion thread

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#1
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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Prologue:
 
Saba Sebatyne returns to Barab I to find it burning.  Four coralskippers escorting a huge ovoid ship appear to be the only remnants of the attack force still in system.  She allows rage to rise within her, easing her pain as it builds to action.  Saba veers off to intercept.
 
She destroys one coralskipper, then finds that the huge ship has tentacles unfurling from the stern, attempting to grab her.  Keeping herself close, she avoids the limbs, destroying the coralskippers and punching a hole in the huge ship.
 
It opens, spilling what appear to be six-pointed stars into the vaccum of space.  Saba realizes they are Barabels.  She watches helplessly, pondering what she’s done.
----------------------------------------------------------------
  • The time is apparently still 28 years ABY.
  • It is not unusual for the Yuuzhan Vong to take captives before leaving a planet.  The New Republic has encountered ships carrying hostages before.  I suppose Saba was too angry to think about that when she attacked.
 
 
A word about this next set of books.  There don't seem to be any chapters.  Just Parts that are extremely long and cannot be summarized in one post.  So I've broken down the parts into manageable sections and numbered them so it will be easier to keep track of what's been posted.


#2
Jedi Cool

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Part I: Intersection:
 
1.
 
Three months later, Senator Niuk Niuv urges the body to keep fighting.  The Yuuzhan Vong are overextended and not prepared to defend themselves, so it’s incumbent upon the New Republic to press the advantage. 
 
Leia and Kenth Hamner are here, observing the argument for and against a huge offensive against the Vong.  Releqy A’Kla pushes that her people cannot support extermination as they are pacifists.
 
Niuv counters that the Vong would do the same to them if they could.  Her peoples’ ethics are fine in and of themselves, but do no good if they are dead. 
 
Leia and Hamner, seeing where the prevailing winds are, leave the chamber.
 
Not far from there, Luke is meeting with several Jedi Knights and Masters.  Waxarn Kel argues that the Jedi have been vindicated for everything they have gone through.  It’s time to act now that they aren’t being held back by complacent politicians before the tide of public opinion turns against them again.
 
Luke points out that the Yuuzhan Vong have used the weaknesses of the Jedi against them.  No species is perfect, but no war is won solely by strength.
 
Kenth Hamner arrives and Luke is disappointed that it’s not Jaina.  She and many others are absent.  The next speaker takes the podium to speak their mind.
 
A couple of hours later, Cal Omas has called a meeting of several people to discuss the outcomes. Hamner is here, both Skywalkers, Leia Organa Solo, Releqy A’Kla and Sien Sovv.
 
He explains that he’s sick of fighting.  He’d hoped that intergovernmental backbiting would end with Borsk Fey’lya’s death, but now the Bothans want to exterminate the Yuuzhan Vong and the Senate isn’t much better. 
 
He doesn’t want to overextend their forces right now, lest he risk losing the small gains they’ve made.  Sien Sovv might feel differently if he had the forces at his disposal.  Luke knows it’s hard to argue against a push, but there is a moral argument.  If they strike with the intent to destroy, that makes them no better than the Yuuzhan Vong.
 
Senator A’Kla thinks their ultimate objective is peace, not just an end to the war.  Peace at any cost isn’t peace.  Leia points out that they need something else to base this new government on rather than just the defeat of the enemy.
 
Sovv tells that they need Coruscant back.  It’s a symbol of their authority.
Omas points out that there’s more going on here than just a war.  The HoloNet has fallen to pieces and that will be hard to put back to gether.  There are whole systems they’ve lost contacted with, either deliberately or because of internal strife.  The intelligence community has been disrupted.  There is no coordination.
 
He wants a group of people committed to bringing things together.  He’d like them to move from place to place, reconnecting peoples to the new Galactic Alliance.  Leia believes that she can be of help here.
 
Luke thinks this will solve part of the problem, but that still leaves the Vong.  It’s not going to go away regardless of how much agitation is quelled.  However, he believes he can solve both problems in one operation.  This does involve getting the Empire to help them.  He explains that, now that the new government is hitting back, the Empire may have changed its mind about becoming allies.
 
And, after all, it will legitimize the new name of the government: The Galactic Federation of Free Alliances.
 
He’d like to propose a diplomatic mission to the Imperial Remnant and to the Chiss.  The Chiss were the ones to refine the Alpha Red bioweapons.  That project is still on hold, but it can be ready in a few weeks. 
 
Omas is conflicted over this.  He can see the military value, but it smacks of using the enemy’s own tactics against it.  It can also easily backfire on their own worlds.  Luke points out that he’s not going to try to persuade them to get rid of the weapon, but just to extend the hand of friendship.
 
He’s also hoping to find something else.  An alternative way to end the war.  They end the meeting with a hope for peace.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Among the Jedi not attending Luke’s meeting was the name of a Jedi named Kyle Katarn.  So far as I know, this is the first mention of Katarn in an EU novel though he has been featured in many short stories, video games and other source material.

  • What, exactly, where the Senate and the Jedi arguing about?  Was it Alpha Red?  Was it a huge military offensive?  We never really got clarification on that.

 


#3
Jedi Cool

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2.
 
Jaina Solo looks down on Mon Calamari from space, marveling that the long-suffering world shows no scars of its past. 
 
Kyp Durron meets her when she lands, telling her she did miss the meeting, but he thinks everything is being decided behind the scenes anyway.  She asks if Tahiri is here.  She’d been left a message for Jaina and sounded as if there was something wrong. 
 
Kyp tells her that Jag is here, meeting with her parents.  There’s also a lot of excited talk about how they may very well win this war.  She can sympathize with people wanting to believe victory is imminent.  This war has been hard on everyone. 
 
He takes her to her parents and Jag who are speaking to someone Jaina recognizes as an NRI officer.  Leia tells her that Jacen is working on something for Luke right now.  Jaina reaquaints herself with Belinda Kalenda who has been asked to coordinate an operation involving the Solos.
 
She briefly summarizes the mission which is to travel through the open hyperlanes fixing communications links and reminding worlds that they are still part of a galactic civilization.  Jaina knows this won’t be easy.  The Vong have mined some lanes and that’s isolated worlds to the extent that some have been taken over by local despots.
 
A fighter squadron will be coming with the Falcon and a frigate called Pride of Selonia captained by [bTodra Mayn[/b].  They don’t really know where the mission will start, but there are benefits to Antar 4 and Melida/Daan both.  Jaina, feeling like there’s really nothing for her to do here, interjects to ask why she would need to come on this mission.
 
Leia explains they need a military escort and Twin Suns will be that squadron. Jaina protests that she has work to here, not escorting her mother on a reunification tour.  Han promises that the war will be here when she gets back. 
 
Jag tells her he’ll be going along with her as part of Twin Suns.  Jaina tries not to resent the idea that she may be going along to provide her with some rest.  Her comm. buzzes and she hears Tahiri’s voice.
 
Jaina is struck by the psychic pain coming from her.  She asks what’s wrong.  Tahiri bursts out that Anakin is trying to kill her.  Then the comm. goes dead.
 
Kalenda traces the call and gives Jaina the location.  Someone is being sent to investigate.  Jaina heads that way, too, with Kalenda who gets a call that Tahiri has been found and medical team is being sent there.  Tahiri has been missing for two weeks and has not responded to any calls. 
 
When they reach the scene, Tahiri is being restrained by the medics who have to sedate her.  All Jaina can sense is a mixed-up jumble of emotions, including a very deep hatred.
 
Tahiri has visions of burning flesh, effigies, smoking holes where body parts are being remade.  She tries to get it to stop as a figure emerges from the flames and she recognizes it as herself.
 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • I think this is the first mention of Melida/Daan in a long time.  I’m sure we remember the wartorn planet that inspired young Obi-Wan Kenobi to join the Young.  I wonder how they’re doing since the Empire fell?

 


#4
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3.
 
Danni Quee knows Luke is referring to Zonama Sekot, but she’s not going on a wild goose chase.  Everyone has heard of the so-called living planet and they all know it doesn’t exist.
 
Cilghal isn’t sure it’s safe. Luke tells her that it’s no more or less safe than Mon Calamari which is where the Yuuzhan Vong will surely attack.  He doubts they will be in the Unknown Regions, though.
 
Danni agrees to go, but Cilghal has too many responsibilities here.  She does offer to send Tekli, though.  Mara and Jacen will be going, too.  As Luke turns to speak with Saba , he stops.  Cilghal’s comlink buzzes and she gives some instructions before telling the others that Tahiri is unconscious and is in need of medical care.
 
Danni asks if Saba will come with them, but Saba thinks they should bring along someone with better judgment.  They may tell her that what happened above Barab I was not her fault, but she knows better.  Her anger and hatred blinded her to the people traped aboard the ship.  If she had been in control, they might still be alive.
 
Luke reminds her that they might be slaves of the Yuuzhan Vong, too.  Wishing that things were different does not erase memories.  They are not asking her to come out of sympathy.  They need her help because she has become very sensitive to life.  He urges her to think of this as a hunt for the honor of her people. 
 
That appeals to Saba who agrees to come, too.
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#5
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4.
 
On Yuuzhan ‘tar, Nom Anor moves secretly through the underworld where he has fled.  The purification of these areas has gone on unabated, continued by Nas Choka who has returned from Hutt Space.
 
He stumbles across a Shamed One named [b]Vurrok I’pan[/i] who claims to be lost, but Anor knows better.  He demands to be taken to the others.
 
In Cilghal’s infirmary, Tahiri lies unconscious with a group around her.  Saba ponders this young one who had gone to Myrkr with some of Saba ’s apprentices and came back lost after the death of Anakin Solo.
 
Anakin’s parents are here, along with Jagged Fel, Belindi Kalenda and Jaina Solo who is explaining to Cilghal what happened.  Luke explains that he could feel Tahiri calling to Anakin through the Force.  Cilghal doesn’t find any physical reason for the collapse.  She’s under stress, but isn’t sick.  She recommends letting her rest.
 
Leia tells Cilghal to do everything she can for Tahiri.
 
Luke asks Saba to stay behind for a moment and asks what she sees.  Saba isn’t sure, but there seems to be something.   Her ability to sense life has grown since the incident at Barab I.  She sees what the healers do not sometimes.  When she looks at Tahiri, she can see her on a cellular level. 
 
Luke isn’t certain, but, with time, he thinks Saba might be able to figure it out.  For now, there is work to be done. 
 
Tahiri walks through a tunnel, trying to escape, hearing a creature calling her name.
 
She wakes up screaming and yells to be let go.  Jacen is there and tells her to let it out.  He assures her that bottling things up won’t help. She doesn’t know what’s wrong with her.  Jacen tells her she’s been out for 15 hours.
 
No one is angry at her, but they are concerned about her well-being.  There’s a mission coming up that they hope to bring her on.  It may be the means to end the war without wiping out the enemy.  She doesn’t understand why he thinks it would be wrong to destroy the Vong.
 
He explains how the Force is not just about what happens to living things but about what living things do to each other.  If they win by military means alone, they will have committed an atrocity that he cannot have on his conscience.  There has to be an alternative.
 
Vergere told him about a world that existed long before they were ever born, where they could grow ships that could outperform anything built today. She’d been sent there by the Jedi Council and saw this.  It was a world in balance and she fell in love with it. 
 
These were living ships on a living planet.  It was called Zonama Sekot.  Aliens came and attacked the planet.  It is believed that those aliens were the Yuuzhan Vong.  After the attack, the planet fled and hasn’t been seen since.  That’s what they’re looking for.
 
He thinks if they can understand the Yuuzhan Vong ideology, they can understand them better.  He thinks the planet is the key to this victory.  She doesn’t know if this is really possible, but Jacen’s family has a history of doing the impossible.
 
He offesr to help her get some sleep and has her close her eyes.
 
When she wakes again, she feels rested for the first time in weeks.  It’s as if someone had been poking around in her head.  Jacen is nowhere around but there is a note telling her that she will always be family to them.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 


#6
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5.
 
Jaina and Jag spend some time sparring on a wrestling mat before ending up kissing.  This mission will give them more time to spend together.  She wants to see Tahiri before they leave, though, and heads off to shower first.
 
They walk together later to the infirmary where she expresses her frustration about being left out of the action.  He leaves her there and goes to meet with the Skywalkers, wishing that she would be participating in this part of the mission and see the Chiss capital of Csillia. 
 
Jag explains that the actions of Grand Admiral Thrawn paint the Chiss in an unfair light.  Luke notes that the same can be said of the New Republic on occasion when dealing with those who purport to represent all.
 
He wants to know some information that Jag really can’t provide.  The Expansionary Defense Fleet is where they need to direct their questions.  First of all, he doesn’t know which people he would need to speak to specifically.  Secondly, he wouldn’t tel them if he knew because the individual is expected to sublimate himself into the role he is expected to play.  Names mean nothing.  Ranks mean everything.
 
If they need to ask about a planet, they should ask the Chief Navigator of the CED Fleet.  Closer ties to the Galactic Alliance would need the assistant syndic in the same department.  That position is currently held by his father.
 
He cannot say what answers they will get. 
 
Luke wonders what the chances are of getting aid from the Chiss.  Jag thinks that would depend on how their other negotiations go.  If they can convince the CEDF that the mission is of value to them they might give an escort.  If they do it too well, they might find themselves in competition instead.
 
Jag returns to the barracks and is confronted by Eprill, his second-in-command, who wants to know what he told them.  Jag assures her it was nothing they didn’t already know.  If his father had been in contact with the GA representatives, he would have likely done the same thing.  Still, Jag doesn’t want to leave his new friends hanging.
 
He’s also not sure what his family will think of Jaina. 
 
Nom Anor had spent years gathering information about the infidels, but he still does not understand anyone who would allow a planet’s natural suface to be buried with metal and tarnsparisteel many times over. 
 
This is not a world he would have chosen to conquer.  The underground is so obviously built with one on top of the other.  When they come through a huge vertical tunnel, I’pan takes him to a side area with a high-domed ceiling.  I’pan calls for his comrades, explaining that they hide for the same reasons Anor does.
 
A dozen beings appear, all manner of misshapen Shamed Ones.  One of them recognizes Nom Anor who has failed the warmaster many times, yet never suffers as painfully as those under him who are sometimes denied an honorable death.
 
She is Niiriit and she tells him they are building a self-sustaining environment here, only wanting to be left alone.  He asks to stay with them to help them, hoping his fortunes will rise again.  They ask if they will rise with him.  Anor gives his word that he will restore the honor of everyone here once he is returned to his former position.
 
She tells him they do things differently down here and worship different gods.  He knows they are talking about the Jedi. 
 
As Jade Shadow prepares to leave, Jacen knows this is going to change everything.  His parents see them off, accompanied by Meewalh and Cakhmaim and C-3PO who frets that, at least Artoo has the good fortune to not know what awaits him in the Unknown Regions.
 
Jaina hopes they will all find what they’re looking for. 
 
Danni shows up with Tahiri in tow, having found her wandering the corridors.  Tahiri admits she got lost along the way. Everyone says their good-byes.  After boarding, the ship takes off for the unknown.
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Cakhmaim first appeared in The Last Comand and in several books since.

 
 


#7
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Part II: Destination:
 
6. 
 
Saba knows something is wrong the moment the Shadow drops out near Bastion.  Mara confirms that it is the Yuuzhan Vong.  It is clear that Bastion has been hit hard as the Imperials have large ships evacuating the planet. 
 
Mara comms the Chimaera and suggests they target a nearby cruiser which contains a yammosk.  Grand Admiral Pellaeon comes on the line and explains that they were holding their own until the Vong pulled back and sent grutchins down to punch holes in the defenses.
 
As for their offer to join with the Empire, Pellaeon reminds them that the Moffs will not accept it.  However, the Moffs are nowhere in sight right now, so he’ll consider it.  He tells them to regroup at Yaga Minor.  Civilians are going to Muunilinst.  If the Skywalkers beat him to Yaga Minor, they are to look for Widowmaker captained by Arien Yage.
 
After Pellaeon signs off, the cabin is silent.  They all knew this would happen.  The Yuuzhan Vong probably left the Imperials alone long enough to let them relax and then hti them with everything they could. 
 
Knowing they cannot do anything else here, they decide to jump to Yaga Minor for now. 
 
When they emerge from hyperspace, they find shipyards holding the remains of the fleet.  From the navigator’s position, Jacen looks for signs of Pellaeon’s arrival.  The Shadow is commed by Commander Keten, representing Moff Flennic.  They are told to obey regulations or they will be fired upon.
 
Jacen suggests they just let the Imperials board.  They have nothing to hide.  Mara thinks Flennic is probably the type to have a chip on his shoulders.  The situation is abated when Widowmaker arrives and Captain Yage orders Keten to stand down.
 
She docks at the Jade Shadow and comes aboard.  She greets the Skywalkers, mentioning that the Grand Admiral has spoken highly of both of them.  Fleet Intelligence is in disarray right now so she doesn’t know if he’s survived the battle. 
 
They were caught completely off guard which doesn’t mean the Moff Council will listen to reason.  Moff Flennic might take a battle group and continue resisting the Vong but he’ll never join the people who took his Empire from him.  She knows that’s why they’re here.
 
Luke certainly hopes an alliance will be forthcoming.  For right now, though, he would prefer to give them the help they need to survive. Lives count for him more than political points.  Yage asks him if Yuuzhan Vong lives count just as much.
 
Luke acknowledges that they are the aggressors.  If he gives the Empire the information he has, what they do with it is up to them.  Yage points out that she would use it without hesitation if it was up to her, but it will be hard without Pellaeon here.  The Moff hardliners will never admit that the Empire couldn’t have withstood the invaders.
 
Without knowing if Pellaeon will make it back or not, Luke decides to speak to Flennic first.  Yage offers to try, warning him that those in opposition to the Galactic Alliance will be more powerful now.  She can give them no guarantees.
 
She stops when her comm. buzzes and returns to tell them that the Chimaera is arrived, but Pellaeon is comatose and not expected to live.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Captain Yage and Moff Flennic first appeared in Ruin.

 
 


#8
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7.
 
Tahiri was getting tired of the infirmary when Anakin’s mother had come to see her before the Falcon was scheduled to leave.  Jacen the others were already gone.  She couldn’t help but feel that she has let everyone down by not being prepared to go on the mission.
 
Leia explained that, if she felt ready, Tahiri could come with them when they leave.  She told Tahiri that all of them have doubtless about themselves sometimes.  It’s part of what makes them sentient.  Tahiri should not be ashamed to have those feelings.
 
Tahiri thought about what it would be like to have a family.  Her parents had been killed when she was young by Tusken Raiders.  One of them, Sliven , had raised her but he died shortly after she went to the Jedi Academy . 
 
Tahiri appreciated the offer and promised not to be a burden.  After Leia left, she decides to ignore that other person in the room.
 
I’pan explains that the Shamed One Vua Rapuung and Anakin Solo encountered warriors and Vua Rapuung defeated them single-handedly.  Anor has heard some of this story of Rapuung’s quest for redemption.  He has heard versions of it in many different places; however, this one is a little different.  It ends with the shaper Mezhan Kwaad admitting that she had deliberately sabotaged Rapuung’s implants. She declared there to be no gods and killed the commander along with Vua Rapuung.  The infidels killed her in return
 
Hua Rapuung orders a salute the Jedi that results in a conflict between those who value the old ways and the ones who do not believe the Jedi are infidels.
 
By the time the battle is over, the supporters of Vua Rapuung are dead and the Jedi are gone. 
 
This heresy would have ended there if Shamed Ones had not seen what had happened and spread the word. There is another way that leads to the redemption of the Shamed Ones and that is through the Jedi. 
 
Tsavong Lah had ordered the Shamed Ones on Yavin IV killed, but, obviously, the word got out anyway.  Nom Anor is told how it spread from there with different versions.  Anor knows that they are holding on to hope that the Jedi can help them in some meaningful way.
 
The warrior, Kunra, still distrusts him.  Kunra is vocal in that he is sure that Anor will use the story behind their faith to his advantage in some way. 
 
This is true, of course, but the adherents down here forbid fighting among themselves, so the two adversaries are required to part peacefully.  Anor knows that the story’s specifics may be different, but it is true in a broad sense and that’s what gives it power.
 
Jaina walks into another one of her parents’ arguments.  It seems that someone has gotten into the Falcon’s computers and left instructions on a possible stop for the ship.  The problem is that it’s in the Koornacht Cluster. Han will go anywhere but N’zoth where the Yevetha are rumored to be on the move again.
 
Leia reminds him that the Yevetha will fight the Yuuzhan Vong.  Han points out that they will turn on the Galactic Alliance after that.  She tells him that they aren’t going there to pick a fight and if one erupts, they’ll just leave.
 
Kenth Hamner appears with the news that the Imperial Remnant has been attacked  Bastion and Muunilinst have been hurt badly.  The fleet is at Yaga Minor where the battle is probably going to continue.  No word yet on any survivors.
 
Jaina opens herself to the Force and tells them that Jacen is alive.  However, this means the entire Empire is unsafe and the Chiss won’t be much better off.  Hamner argues that this doesn’t mean that the Empire is out yet.  The Vong must have taken losses to mount an attack like this.  He’s here to make sure they aren’t going to rush after Luke on a rescue mission.
 
Jaina leaves her parents to work out the details of the mission to the Koornacht Cluster when she runs into See-Threepio who is tired of the mouse droids all over the ship. Jaina reminds him they are needed to spy. 
 
She shuts down one that is particularly troublesome.  Hamner stops by on his way out to tell her that Omas is more worried about the Empire than he’s letting on.  He asks that she let him know if she gets anything more definite on Jacen.
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  • I’m sure we remember the Yevetha from the Black Fleet Crisis.  Now, that’s a battle to imagine:  two species that consider the Galactic Alliance abominations!

 


#9
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8.
 
Unconscious, Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon sees his life pass before his eyes.  His birthplace of Corellia vanishes before Coruscant and the other worlds he’d visited during his life. He’d spent almost a century in space, though, and no world is really his home.
 
His childhood memories are lost in blackness.  He’d been born before the Empire and the fall of the Jedi.  He’d joined the Judicial Forces at age 15 and watched the political tide rise and fall on most of those in charge.  He’d survived by ignoring all of them and just standing back, taking care of his soldiers.
 
That’s the problem with the Yuuzhan Vong.  They don’t fit into this picture at all.  He’d argued with the Moffs about this but they had preferred to huddle in their private corner and watch the worlds around them crumble. 
 
He remembers the alarms as coralskippers had arrived at Bastion.  Eventually, he just sees starlight.  There is something else out here: a web that stretches from system to system.  It seems like the galaxy is alive.  He fades to darkness again before falling.  He realizes he’s in a bacta tank and someone is calling him.
 
A healer named Tekli tells him that she’s installed a neural shunt in his inner ear.  She urges him to ignore the pain and stay alive.  They need him. 
 
Tekli tells Jacen that Pellaeon seems to have given up struggling against them.  Over time, the admiral is moved from the tank and onto an operating table.  The admiral had been half impaled against a control console.  He’d been pulled from the wreckage and put on a medical frigate which slipped away quickly.
 
The shuttle pilot who brought him here explained that a dozen TIE Fighters had sacrificed themselves to make sure he got away.  His name is Vitor Reige  and he’s injured, but won’t have any treatment until Pellaeon is stable.
 
He tells them that Pellaeon wanted to be taken to the Jedi so they would know that appreciated them coming to help when they really didn’t have a reason to.  Reige assures Jacen that he is in their debt for saving the admiral’s life.
 
Tekli appears and tells them that it’s up to Pellaeon now, but he’ll need bacta for another six days.  Captain Yage appears and tells them that will be too long. The Moffs think that he is dead.  Moff Flennic has put himself in charge and he will probably not give up that power now that he’s got it.  Eventually, people will realize Pellaeon is alive and where he is. 
 
She’s already gotten a recall order and doesn’t know what to do.  Jacen suggests he speak with her superiors. 
 
When Twin Suns is ordered to stand down, Jag sends them off to check out the neighborhood.  They are soon commed by the Fia from the planet of Galantos.  Captain Mayne tells them that she is here to speak with Councilor Jobath.  Leia Organa Solo is accompanying her.
 
Jag asks Jaina if she knew Tahiri was coming with her parents.  Jaina admits she didn’t but doesn’t think that’s a problem.  Jag can’t help but be concerned.  There is something beyond her breakdown that just doesn’t seem right.
 
When he sees her eyes, there is intense hatred there.  He almost wants to pull his blaster when she’s around. Then her eyes change and he doesn’t know what he was thinking.  It’s true the Yuuzhan Vong did something to her, but Jag hasn’t been told what. 
 
Ultimately, he decides to leave her in the care of Leia who can surely be trusted. 
 
General Berrida is outraged when Jacen offers to help him.  He explains the Jade Shadow has retreated to a safe distance and asks why the Vong attacked Bastion.  Berrida is sure he doesn’t know.  Jacen isn’t convinced.  No one uses resources for no reason.
 
Berrida admits it was in retaliation for their helping the New Republic , specifically the hyperspace routes in the Deep Core that allowed the victory at Ebaq.  Very few people know about that which interests Jacen as to why the Vong did.  Since the lanes worked, the leak wasn’t on the New Republic ’s end.  This leads to the question of who in the Empire passed this on to them.
 
There is clearly a spy among them and the Empire has no experience in rooting out Yuuzhan Vong infiltrators.  Fortunately, the Galactic Alliance does.  He offers to help them find who they are, teach the pilots new tactics and offer an opinion.  The first one being to leave Yaga Minor quickly as any spy will have already reported where the fleet has regrouped. 
 
He also wants to invite them to join the Galactic Alliance
 
Berrida says he’ll think about it.  Yage tells Jacen isn’t something, but at least Berrida will contact Flennic.  Flennic will probably tell him to stop wasting time but that will buy them the time they need.  With the Chimaera missing, the Moffs will assume that Pellaeon is dead but won’t make any sudden moves until they know for sure.  That could stall Flennic.
 
Jacen tells Jade Shadow to stay where they are for now.  He doesn’t know much about Imperials, but he knows that they know Luke.  He thinks that they would rather negotiate with him rather than the man who helped destroy their Emperor.
 
Besides, they may be more amenable now that they have the Vong nipping at their heels.  Jacen still knows that he may need Pellaeon anyway and hopes he gets well soon.
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  • Grand Admiral Pellaeon was 15 when he joined the Judicial Forces, then?  I’m sure we remember those mysterious Judicials from the pre-Clone Wars books. 

  • According to Wookieepedia, Pellaeon was born 51 years bby which makes him 79 years old as of this book which is not exactly a century of exploring the galaxy, but certainly a very long time.  Obi-Wan Kenobi was born 57 years BBY, by contrast.  Pellaeon would have joined the Judicials circa 36 years BBY which was about 4 years before The Phantom Menace.

  • First appearance of Vitor Reige.

 
 


#10
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9.
 
Leia mentions that Galantos has changed since she saw it last.  There are cities that weren’t there before.  The Falcon is guided down and met by a celebration.  Jag lands nearby. 
 
The Fia official introduces herself as Primate Persha and welcomes them on behalf of Counilor Jobath.  He has an engagement in another city but will be here soon.  She walks the group along, chattering nonstop.
 
The party is given diplomatic quarters that are expansive.  The visitors gather after checking in and Han wants off the planet quickly.  He asks Jag if there isn’t some reason they shouldn’t stay.
 
Jag can’t find anything for now but he does confirm their rooms are bugged.  He’s jammed them for right now.  Leia isn’t sure what seems wrong, but these happy people are almost too peaceful.  There’s no planetary transceiver here and there used to be one.  She’d like Jag to contact Captain Mayn to see if she can patch into one. 
 
For now, she and Tahiri are going for a walk.
 
She refuses to allow anyone else to come with them.  Tahkri doesn’t get why Jag keeps looking at her, but is warmed by Leia’s confidence.
 
They encounter Presha’s assistant, Thrum, who is with a small continent of Fia.  They explain they’ve noticed a minor electrical fault with the diplomatic quarters and suggest the party be moved.  Leia knows this refers to the jamming of the listening devices.  She tells them that Han is sleeping and shouldn’t be disturbed right now.  When he wakes, she will have him check their quarters for any problems they may not have noticed.
 
In the meantime, she asks Thrum for a tour of the city, barely giving him time to speak as she walks and talks animatedly.  Tahiri lets herself fall behind and slips off at Leia’s quick look.  It’s odd here.  After Borsk Fey’lya visited her a few years ago and brushed off the planet, almost no one ever came here.  It seems unsusual then for such extravagant quarters for guests who didn’t come.  It almost seems that these buildings are brand new which is also odd for the middle of a war.
 
She assumes she’s being watched and tries to avoid doing anything suspicious.  It’s for certain that someone had stayed in those quarters recently and she would like to know who that was.  Tahiri weaves through corridors until she reaches a guard station and uses the Force to get them to leave their post for a moment.
 
Outside is nosier and plainer with other species moving about.  Most of the Fia are wearing normal clothing.  They let her pass but seem alarmed to see her.  She wonders what they are so frightened of.
 
Leia comms her to say that Thrum has noticed her absence.  Tahiri plays along and says she should have called first.  She went back to her room and got lost.  Leia offers to have someone sent to help her, but Tahiri assures her she’ll be fine.
 
She walks around for awhile before deciding to get back to the others.  Finding a turbolift, she goes down, walks around and then returns. Finally, she goes back to the security post and the guards are there.  They are glad to see she’s returned and one offers to escort her back to her rooms. 
 
Tahiri assures them she can do it herself and heads back to the guest quarters, determined to find out who had been here.  She can feel their echoes all around her.  Stopping at one door, she feels disturbed.  It opens and, inside, she can feel someone calling her.  Underneath the mattress, she finds a silver object that is the image of Yun-Yammka, the Slayer.  As the security guards approach her, she cries out in Vong language and collapses.
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  • Councilor Jobath appeared in Before the Storm.

 
 


#11
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10.
 
 
Nom Anor uses his knowledge of security codes to appropriate the raw materials the Shamed Ones need to build their new home.  They are becoming indebted to him.  They now have lambents for light and arksh for warmth and a biological processor that produces food. 
 
I’pan is leading him today to a trio of Shamed Ones so they can teach his friend more about the Jedi.  Niiriit’s brother, [b]Shoon-mi/b], is one of them.  Anor is assured that the dhuryam is still causing problems on the surface.  Many are joining their ranks as blame for the mistakes falls on them. 
 
Anor explains that he has learned that Shoon-mi has a different version of Vua Rapuung’s story.  Shoon-mi explains that, while I’pan has heard that it was Mezhan Kwaad the shaper who killed Vua Rapuung, he has heard that Hul Rapuung was the one.  He believed his brother was deliberating shamed but was not willing to take the Jedi as allies.  The essential story is the same but that the Jedi in his story is guilty of using the abomination of fire.  This is something that many Yuuzhan Vong do not want to hear and it’s preventing them from understanding the way of the Jedi.  The Jedi are not primitives.  The Vong can learn their strategies. 
 
Nom Anor is curious how there came to be two stories that differ so about the same event.  He’s concerned that they cannot know what is true. Shoon-mi points out that world of mouth stories can become disorted in a short period of time, but the essential parts are true.  The essence of the story is what’s important.  Anor had hoped that he could speak to someone who had witnessed it.  Unfortunately, that person’s name is unknown.  Anor knows it could have been anyone from a warrior to Nen Yim herself.
 
He asks if there are other versions and is told there are.  They would be more suspicious if all the stories were exactly the same.  There are others who tell the story and they do it in handfuls.  It may cause different iterations of the story but it also keeps them safer. 
 
Anor knows this to be true.  But the worship of the gods was what holds Yuuzhan Vong society together.  If someone supplants the gods, their culture would fly apart because there was nothing left to pull it together.  His duty is to report this to Shimrra, but he wonders if there is some way to turn this to his favor.
 
The Shamed Ones know of other Jedi who have been in close proximity to their people.  The Jedi Wurth Skidder who was not broken and was able to destroy a yammosk.   The Jedi-Who-Was-Shaped could not be broken by Mezhan Kwaad.  Then there are the twins who have both been captured and escaped.
 
The Jedi may not be more powerful than the gods but they may know more than the priests do. 
 
Nom Anor mentions that he would like to hear as many versions as possible.  They leave with some supplies from Shoon-mi for his sister. Niiriit will not speak to him while he continues to revere the gods, but he is still concerned for her sister.  Nom Anor remembers the light in her eyes when she told the story and recognizes her for a true fanatic.  That makes her more dangerous than the others.
 
He gets a plan in his mind that requires only the source of the original rumor.
----------------------------------------------------
 
 


#12
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11.
 
Jaina watches the holo of Tahiri being escorted by Fian security for the third time.  According to Leia, Tahiri had gone on an exploratory mission and evaded the guards until they tracked her down to a room where she was found dazed.
 
She can see something in Tahiri’s hand.   When the young woman sees it, she recoils and ignites her lightsaber.  The guards fall back and the leader gives her a warning that she doesn’t seem to be able to hear.  She looks wide-eyed and fearful before she collapses of her own accord.
 
Leia, Thrum and Jag arrive shortly thereafter.  Jaina understands that Tahiri wasn’t fighting the guards but something else.  She just can’t tell what.
 
Meanwhile, Leia is using as much influence as she can to get Tahiri to her own quarters.  She has called Jaina to let her know that Tahiri is only unconscious.  Jaina admits that, whatever is wrong with her, it’s not wholly in her head. 
 
See-Threepio has managed to uncover a holo of what happened to her ahead of time but it was taken from him by the Fia quite quickly. Meanwhile, Leia lets her know that the Fia aren’t afraid of the Yevetha anymore.  There appear to be no precautions being taken and Thrum has confirmed that N’zoth is no longer a problem. 
 
Jaina asks if they’d like her to take a look and be sure there’s not a problem in the Koornacht Cluster.  Jag isn’t happy about this and wants her to take some back-up.  It makes her feel good to know that he’s worried about her.
 
Jacen reaches inside himself and meditates on Vergere’s words.  She’d told him that there is no dark side.  He only needs to be concerned with the darkness in his own heart.  It’s hard not to be worried about the darkness in others as Moff Flennic rants at him.  The man has no intention of taking advice from a mere boy who is not even one of his officers.
 
Jacen finally urges him to convene the other Moffs as Jacen would like to speak with Moff Crowall of Valc VII.  Their time here is limited and they will be leaving once their mission here is over.  Flennic assumes Jacen is suggesting Valc VII as a fallback position for the fleet.  Instead, the young man tells him that it would be the worst place, but Borosk would be better.
 
In fact, if he moves quickly, he can save Yaga Minor.  The Vong hit them now in the hopes that they would knock a potential opponent out of the war.  But, they’re stretched thin, so if they’re sent away now, they won’t return with as sizable a force.
 
The Vong spies on his staff will make sure their masters know about a move to Borosk and the Galactic Alliance will teach Imperial pilots how to fight more effectively.  For now, the only thing Jacen wants in return is saved lives and a stable region of space.
 
A comm. comes in and Flennic irritatedly dismisses it before he hears Pellaeon’s voice.  The voice is muffled but very much alive.  He issues orders for Flennic to do exactly as he is told; otherwise he will take the fleet with him and leave the Moff to defend his shipyards.
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  • Moff Crowal appeared in Ruin.

 
 


#13
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12.
 
Jaina and her wingmates head off to the Koornacht Cluster.  Along the way, she frets over Tahiri who’d always been kind of a sidekick to Anakin.  But they were more than kids at the end and their relationship was progressing.  Tahiri isn’t just grieving the loss of a friend, but of a loved one.  So Jaina is wondering if her mother’s idea to bring her along on this trip was the right idea.  Being exposed to the Solos would only keep reminding her of what she’d lost.
 
After many hours, she warns her wingmates that this is just a sweep and they aren’t to provoke anything.  New Republic forces haven’t been to N’zoth for 12 years.  There are three fleets massed around two of the worlds in Yevethan space but they are small ones.
 
But the sensors are picking up unusual traces.  Jaina decides to move in closer when they see that N’zoth is radiating heat.  When they arrive, the reality is so much worse than they could have imagined.  The wreckage surrounds the planet and is still hot.  N’zoth has been pounded from orbit and the Yevethan civilization is in ashes.
 
There are no quips on the way out.  They pass by a small moon where they find a lone Yevethan pilot determined to go out with his people despite efforts to save him.  Unfortunately, he takes one of Jaina’s wingmates with him.
 
Luke tells Jacen that Captain Yage sent a shuttle when Pellaeon woke up.  They used his codes to patch in the Imperial network without being noticed.  They walk the corridors of the Widowmaker to the medical bay where Tekli is studying reports. 
 
Admiral Pellaeon compliments Jacen on his work but tells him that Flennic was never going to listen to reason.  He has looked over holos of the battle and sees a single ship at one of Bastion’s poles.  Yage doesn’t know where it came from but it came in late to the battle.
 
Pellaeon guesses it’s a slave carrier that’s taking anyone who couldn’t get away to be processed as drones.  Citizens of the Empire deserve better than this.
 
Jag is finding nothing going on at Galantos.  Jobath is still tied up elsewhere, Tahiri is still unconscious and he and Threepio still can’t find out why communications are disrupted.  He finally decides to go for a walk.
 
He walks through the corridors where Tahiri had her collapse, thinking about the recording.  She had looked down right before she drew her lightsaber.  She was holding something that might have triggered her episode, but no one has mentioned that.
 
He’s already checked her robes for what it could be so he walks around hoping to find it.  He tells a guard that his friend lost something. They look around until a small silver pendant is discovered.  Jag thanks the guard and allows himself to be escorted back to his quarters. 
 
Later, he decides to go back to his squadron and finds a note telling him he must leave her immediately.  He has no idea who has sent it or why.  There are too many unanswered questions here and he needs to move on.  He takes Twin Suns squadron up to the Pride of Selonia to work on the comm. blackout.
 
The duty officer lets them know that there appear to be Yuuzhan Vong craft on the way insystem. 
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#14
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Part III: Intervention:
 
13.
 
Tahiri dreams of her friends trying to kill her.  A voice tells her they think she is her.  It’s Riina. 
 
When she wakes up, See-Threepio is there.  She finds that the Solos are in the middle of an argument with Thrum who will not let them take their ship out.  See-Threepio explains that Jaina returned to tell them that the Yevetha have been destroyed.  That coincided with the arrival of other ships and now communications are being jammed.
 
She knows the newcomers are the Yuuzhan Vong.  They’d been here before, too, as the totem of Yun-Yammka proves.  Very likely, the Fia had struck a deal for protection from the Yevetha in exchange for resources.  Unfortunately, they probably assumed resources meant minerals from their world. 
 
She steps through and tells Thrum that they need to get through.  He points out there are guards, but suddenly there is the sound on the other side of the door and it clicks open.  The guards are out. No one knows how this happened, but they aren’t stopping to investigate.
 
Clearly, the Fia are as surprised by this attack as anyone.  That doesn’t mean they won’t try to use a Jedi as a bargaining chip. 
 
At the Falcon, they are finally opposed.  It takes some blasterfire and the Force to help them, but Han gets up the ramp. Tahiri, noticing someone following them, goes to the pursuer and tells him he was the one who shot the guards.
 
The being explains that he’s been trying to get off this planet since the Fia made their deal with the Peace Brigade. All he wants is to use her powers to get the airlock of this space yacht open.  He can do the rest.
 
She reaches out and implants a thought in the pilot’s mind.  She comes back to unseal the airlock and the mystery man thanks her.
 
She is pulled onto the Falcon by Leia. 
 
Jain brings her X-Wing around and spots huge ships that her father described seeing at Ord Mantell.  She knows these are slave ships and works to maim one of them.  The Vong are clearly short of warriors and no one had bothered to consider they would resort to mass enslavement.  Tsavong Lah would have done it for certain.
 
The Falcon appears in order to help Then Jag appears and asks her if she was the Fia and she’d done a deal with the Vong, which side would she fight on if someone started fighting her new allies?
 
She asks why it matters.  He tells her to look at her telemetery.  She finds multiple launches off from Galantos headed toward them.
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#15
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14.
 
The incoming Yuuzhan Vong fleet is about to be blocked from Borosk by the Widowmaker.  The planet is heavily fortified and the Imperial fleet has had enough time to organize.  Discipline is still high and the chain of command still intact. 
 
Four Imperial battle groups are formed under the Stalwart, the Relentless, the Protector and the Right to Rule.   Five other Star Destroyers are here, as well.  The rest of the fleet is still at Yaga Minor, including Chimaera.  Pellaeon is directing the battle from his bacta tank on Widowmaker with Cilghal and Saba .  Luke is leading a squadron of TIE Fighters, Mara is in Jade Shadow with Danni Quee and Jacen Solo is on the Right to Rule
 
Mouse droids had been sent board the ships and identified three Vong infiltrators.  In analyzing their communications, Jacen had found a dozen collaborators.  They’d all been reassigned to the Right to Rule and summoned to a staff meeting where Jacen is presiding. They are all suspicious to a degree before a huge officer comes in and recognizes Jacen is a Jedi.  His ooglith masquer peels back and Jacen has to take him on before the squadron of stormtroopers waiting outside bursts in, followed by security droids.
 
Pellaeon orders a fallback and the mines activated as soon as the enemy comes within range.
 
Saba can sense the prisoners aboard the slaveships in a way she did not feel her people aboard the ones at Barab I.  She contacts the Jade Shadow with a plan.  They cannot destroy it, she wants to liberate it. 
 
Pellaeon admits it’s a worthy goal, but not particularly practical.  Saba thinks that the rear is vulnerable, but there are interdictors out there and any assault team would be surrounded.
 
Saba thinks the Yuuzhan Vong know that that they know the slaveship is here.  It may have been produced this early in the battle to taunt them.  She thinks they should send in an assault ship to attack the carrier. If it’s not destroyed, it will be captured.  On the inside, Saba can take it over since it’s not a warship. 
-----------------------------------------------------
 


#16
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15.
 
Nom Anor wakes up to screams and realizes that he will never be safe.  He’s learned to sleep light over the years.  It’s serves him now as he recognizes they are under attack.  Anor grabs a lambent, pauses a moment to regret the loss of his comrades, and takes off.
 
Saba takes an old Katana-dreadnaught that had been a survivor of the Dark Force fleet grabbed by Grand Admiral Thrawn.  It’s not supposed to get them far, though.  She and Danni are clad in the armored jumpsuits that the Jedi have used since Myrkr. Pellaeon admits the ship has been saved for a suicide strike.  It’s designed to die first when the enemy sees field failures and charges that make it looks like the engines have failed, then it comes back to life and surprises everyone.
 
There are some old combat droid brains that were pulled out of storage for it, but other than that, it’s just a hollow shell.  The Braxant Brave can take the Jade Shadow and a squadron of TIE Fighters with it.  Shadow’s tractor beam will capture the slave carrier and  force fields will keep the air and cargo in long enough for the ship to jump to safety.
 
Jacen had wanted to go but Pellaeon reminded him that a responsible leader belongs where he is now.  Jacen doesn’t think he’s leading anyone, but Pellaeon tells him he will someday and he owes it to those that follow him to be there for them before and after a campaign.
 
The ship takes off with Danni wishing they had some YVH droids with them.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


#17
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16.
 
Anor runs into someone in the tunnels that he’s sure is I’pan but turns out to be Kunra.  They work together to get a chuk’a cap open so they can get through.  Kunra admits that he was on guard when the attack happened.  While the shaper fought them, Kunra ran.
 
Anor understands why the warrior is a Shamed One now.
 
But it’s clear that something brought the cleansing parties down on them.  Since these cells really don’t have clear connections, Anor wonders if all his inquiries have succeeded in bringing attacks down on them all. 
 
He gest the cap open and the floor falls out from under them.
 
Jacen is patched into the mind of the Dreadnaught and oversees its movements.  As the seconds tick by, he can sense Danni’s nervousness.  She will have to rely on Saba during this mission.  But there seems to be some connection between him and her now.  He’d had a mild crush on her after rescuing her from Helksa 4, but he’d thought he’d buried that.  He’ll have to reexamine that ore closely once the mission is over.
 
When the ship jumps out of hyperspace, the TIEs launch and swoop to attack.  Coralskippers zoom around and send plasma fire into the weakened points.  The Dreanaught begin to vent air and debris.  The droid brains shut down and the ship drifts.
 
Jacen waits and answers Mara that they aren’t firing yet, but the slaveship isn’t available yet.  He tells everyone to take their positions and he’ll let them know when something happens.  When a shadow passes across the screens, he knows when the dovin basal grabs onto the ship. 
 
The slaveship moves in quickly.  A Yuuzhan Vong commander comes on the comm. and demands all infidels to surrender.  Pellaeon answers that they have no intention of becoming slaves.  They banter a bit, taking time that allows the Braxant Bonecrusher time to drift closer.
 
Mara sends well wishes to Saba and Danni.
 --------------------------------------------------
 


#18
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17.
 
Saba feels sorry for the families of the dead Imperial troops that are being used to convince the Yuuzhan Vong that the Dreadnaught is really dead.  As the bodies float out of the blasthole, the tentacles of the slaveship ignore them in order to find something useful.
 
She lets the tentacle find her and is devoured, knocked about the inside of the face and body and slipping on the jelly.  Worse are the captives, most unconscious, their bodies traumatized by the experience.
 
Danni joins her.  The two make their way through the interior until Danni opens a cylinder and activates six Mark VII scarab droids.  The droids head for the gnullith vent and burrow into the sphincter.  When the lead scarab finds light, it slows until it comes to a tank with star shaped creatures.  Here is the source of the gnulliths.
 
Scarab Four finds the control room; Saba spots the bulk of the Dreadnaught which at least means they have a way off this thing. They don’t think there are any other Yuuzhan Vong aboard beyond the two in the control room.  It’s not glorious work.  
 
Saba and Danni direct the remaining scarabs to join the other.  The droids are filled with anti-Yuuzhan Vong toxins.  The warriors are surprised when the droids get the drop on them and howl with rage when they are injected with needles.  The needles are easily pulled out, however, and Danni panics when she realizes the poison isn’t working.
 
The alarms sound and a vilip opens up revealing a superior barking orders.  The slaveship fires its drives and the Braxant Bonecrusher begins to shrink as distance separates it from the slaveship.
 
The chuk’a was bred to turn base compounds into building material.  At rest, it shuts down completely.  There are ways to bring it out of hibernation safely, but Nom Anor and Kunra shocks it into alertness, causing it to collapse onto the structure it had built and taking the two Yuuzhan Vong with it.  
 
Fortunately, they are able to slow their fall before the chuk’a reacts again and they are tossed into free fall.  When they land, Anor crawls along to find his lambent.  The chuk’a appears to be dead.  Kunra’s leg is impaled on a shell piece.  Anor refuses to help him;  after all, Kunra left his friends to die.
 
Kunra wonders if Anor thinks he’s any better, but Anor points out they weren’t his friends.  What’s really bothering Kunra, he knows, is that Anor took all of the attention away from him.
 
But Anor does open a kit and treats Kunra as he is able.  While he waits for the other to recuperate, he explores the area.  When Kunra is alert enough, Anor explains that he should not think that just because Anor treated him this time doesn’t mean he won’t kill him in the future.  Kunra knows that Anor only looks out for himself.
 
Anor wants many things.  Kunra can either help him or die now.  Kunra agrees. He will be useful for the time being, but Anor cautions him not to question instructions and to never use his real name.
 
Danni realizes, when the warriors start to slump over, that the poison is working after all.  They are still moving away from the Bonecrusher, though.   Saba contacts Jacen to tell him they have been eposed.  Jacen tells her they are moving in to pick the team up.
 
Saba doesn’t want to risk cutting through the hull to get out, lest it kill all of the captives.  She asks Jacen to clear the docking bay, keep the Jade Shadow in dock and prepare a tractor beam.
 
Saba cuts through the wall of the ship.  Mara is horrified as the captives will freeze.  Saba explains that the blorash jelly will protect them for a few minutes until Danni can get them to the flight deck.  The gnullitz will provide oxygen as they will be in the jelly, too.  
 
Saba cuts a hole just enough to allow the captives to flow out into space, but not in a wide pattern that will cause them to disperse. Mara should be able to tractor them all in.  
 
As they float in space, Saba wonders if this will be the last thing she ever sees.  Did her people, blown out of the slaveship above Barab I feel the same way?
 
As the Jade Shadow’s tractor beam pulls them in, the Braxant Bonecrusher comes to life and trades fire with the Yuuzhan Vong.  The captives are being cut out of bonding so they can begin treatment.  Most of them should survive.
 
Jacen orders the ship to leave.
 
The Galantos Guard arrives, its commander admitting that he brought his squadron up on his own initiative.  Captain Mayn accepts the help whie Jag explains their primary target has been the slaveships.  Now, however, they have to take out the last ship which could have a yammosk on it.
 
He focuses on the departure of the Millenium Falcon for the first time.  Certainly, they have business on Galantos, but, then again, Tahiri is on the ship, too.
 
Then he organizes the ships into an attack that destroys the coralskipper.
----------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
Leaving on vacation today, will pick this up in a week.


#19
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18.
 
The Imperial forces concentrate on the group of capital ships protecting the yammosk which fights back as best it can.  However, the confused pilots of coralskippers find it hard to miss something as big as a Star Destroyer.  Before long, the yammosk realizes it’s going to lose and starts utilizing the capital ships nearby. 
 
Now seeing how taking the yammosk out is the best way to win, the Imperial forces stop allowing the new tactics to distract them and focus on their goal.  A TIE fighter lands a direct hit on the life-support tank.
 
A second yammosk is located and the Defiant is granted permission to target it.  Luke reports to Pellaeon that the strike team is back from the slave carrier.  Pelleaon is pleased, but also feels that the Vong may back off now.  If the Vong really don’t have the resources to expend on a minimal opponent like the Empire, the commander will not want protract this battle any longer than necessary.
 
Commander Vorrik comes on the line and tells the Imperials to surrender.  Pellaeon won’t have it and tells him his threats are empty.  The Imperial forces will not surrender today or ever.  Two-thirds of the Yuuzhan Vong fleet cut off, while the remainder head in the opposite direction to Yaga Minor.  Pellaeon sends several Star Destroyers after them to make their evacuation undignified and to lend support to Moff Flennic.  The rescued captives are moved aboard a medical dock, Jacen finds out the war has gone away temporarily and Pellaeon assures Luke that the Vong may come back but this is the beginning of their end.
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#20
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19.
 
Twin Suns and the Galantos Guard break off with the fate of the Guard up in the air for possibly disobeying orders to join the battle.  Both Jaina and Jag know that Leia will be unhappy about this as she is already going to be unhappy about presumed attempts to hold her on the planet and trade her to the Yuuzhan Vong.  Jaina asks Jag why they bother defending people who are going to stab them in the back. 
 
The Millennium Falcon  reconnects with the yacht containing the mysterious man who had helped them.  A voice hails them and explains that he’s a friend.  He apologizes for what happened on Galantos but there was nothing he could do to prevent it.  He would have warned them when they arrived but he didn’t know they were coming.  They were already confined to their rooms by the time he found his way there.
 
He offers to help them because Tahiri helped him.  He does confirm that the Yevethan shipywards have been destroyed.  The Fia were traumatized by what happened 12 years ago.  The Yevetha weren’t completely destroyed by the New Republic and it was always known that the Yevetha would emerge again.  When the New Republic began to crumble, they feared that no one would be able to protect them. Hence the deal with the Peace Brigade.  They exchanged minerals for the tactical information about the Yevetha.
 
The communications blackout was one of the conditions because they feared that the New Republic would find out and retaliate.  Leia is unhappy about all this, but she does understand that the Fia felt they were in a no-win situation. 
 
It was their mysterious benefactor who tipped them off by the message in the Falcon’s computers.  He had been trying to get word oout of the system for awhile and wasn’t sure it would work.  He didn’t know it had until they showed up.  Councilor Jobath panicked and sent Persha to deal with them.  The underlings’ inability to handle the situation gave the Solos opportunities to explore and find out more.  It also gave him the chance to leave a note in Jag’s computer. 
 
There are other blackouts in this area on other worlds, but it’s hard to know whether they are the work of the Peace Brigade or are merely innocent.  Rutan and Senali were divided politically until the Yuuzhan Vong wiped out the Senali and enslaved half of the Rutanian population.  Belderone is probably next.  That’s where Firrerreos settled after coming out of suspended animation and have nearly been wiped out due to problems on that world, too.
 
This person represents a group who keeps an eye on what goes around them, don’t sell the information they collect and work for no one but themselves.  They do it to look out for themselves.  They are the kind of people who get caught between opposing armies and squashed.  No one notices them.  He is helping the Solos because the health of the Galactic Alliance will determine how possible peace is. For the moment, he and his people are on their side.
 
Leia asks if there are places that he might recommend they go next.  She was considering going to Belsavis due to communications problems there.  He suggests they go to Bakura.  He doesn’t know much except that normal communications have been cut.  The Ssi-ruuvi Imperium could be active again.
 
The thought of either the Yuuzhan Vong or the Ssi-Ruuk adapting either species’ technology is sobering.  If they go there, someone will contact them.  Tahiri asks his name and she is told to be patient.  His people will sing her song some day.
 
It’s only after the line is cut that Han realizes it was a Ryn. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • We visited the planet Ruan and its moon Senali in Jedi Apprentice: The Shattered Peace.  It hasn’t been mentioned since in the novels until now.

  • The Firrereos were Hethrir’s species from The Crystal Star.

 
 
 


#21
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

    They call me MRS. Six!

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Part IV: Conscription:
 
20. 
 
The nearest transceiver opens up with a few hours of the destruction of the two slaveships allowing information to flow from Galantos to the network.  Councilor Jobath emerges publicly to announce his loyalty to the Galactic Alliance.
 
Jaina can’t imagine her parents buying that. 
 
She goes to get some sleep and wakes up to find Jag in her quarters.  He tells her that the attack on the Empire had been resisted successfully and the Imperial forces turned back the invaders at Borosk.
 
Her aunt, uncle and brother are fine.  They go to eat and she learns her parents may be going to Bakura.   This concerns her as she’s not entirely convinced the Ryn can be trusted.  The Galantos Guard have been honored for their assistance.
 
However, the Yevetha are a good example of how the Vong exploit old wounds.  The New Republic and the Chiss haven’t always been on good terms.  He knows that Thrawn overextended himself, but he was still a Chiss and many of their people still mourn him.  That doesn’t mean they will work with the Vong but they might be manipulated into working against the Galactic Alliance.
 
Jaina tells him Luke was planning to head into Chiss space after his stop in the Empire.
 
Jag also shows her the pendant he’d found in the hallway after Tahiri had her collapse. 
 
Shoon-mi is attacked quickly.  His attacker demands to know who sent the warriors to kill the other cell.  Kunra stands by without doing anything.  Nom Anor tells him he has ten seconds to tell him what he wants to know.
 
Shonn-mi swears it wasn’t anyone in his group.  The warriors were looking for thieves because supplies had gone missing.  There were three groups wiped out that night with no chance to warn anyone.
 
Anor is now more bothered.  It had been some comfort knowing the attack was motivated to wipe out heresy.  If they had not been betrayed, that changes things.  If he’s not being hunted, he can breathe easier.  Ironically, it was he and I’pan who brought death to the others by stealing regularly using his access codes.
 
He suggests they are being too careful by hiding the light of their message in fear.  If they keep preaching to the converted, they will never grow.  They have to find new ways to spread the message, but only among the Shamed Ones first. 
 
Anor decides to refine the story to it suits his needs best and spreads it enough that it eliminates the other versions.  He decides that he will be called Yu-Shaa from now on….the Prophet.
 
Grand Admiral Pellaeon convenes a meeting of the Moffs and several ranking officers.  Jacen, Luke, Mara, Saba and Tekli are there, but do not contribute.  The admiral tells them that they have not only successfully fended off a Yuuzhan Vong attack, but also the threat of irrelevance.
 
They had originally just observed the invasion of this galaxy, believing themselves to be too strong to be attacked.  At Ithor, they saw how strong the enemy was and retreated to dig in for an attack that didn’t come.  It didn’t because they didn’t matter.  They weren’t a threat and were making the invasion easier by doing nothing.
 
This recent attack doesn’t prove their relevance at all, merely that Shimrra took a moment to stamp out a potential threat.  And they will be a real threat now.  If they sit here, planning to defend their territories indefinitely, they will be dead in months.  The only alternative he can see is to take the fight to the enemy.  To be effective, they must strike a formal agreement with the Galactic Alliance to share resources.
 
Several moffs are outraged.  Flennic tells him that, if it weren’t for the rebels, the Empire would have sent the Yuuzhan Vong back to their own galaxy.  Pellaeon reminds him that they couldn’t even defeat a handful of rebels, so the idea that they could have stopped the Vong is unlikely. 
 
Flennic does not agree that even a loose alliance is an agreeable situation and pulls a blaster.  Pellaeon tells him he’s tired of fighting the wrong enemy in a war they cannot win. 
 
Mara pulls the blaster from his hand as the stormtroopers restrain him.  She also reminds him that she served under Palpatine but has changed as Pellaeon has.  Even Flennic must have as he should remember that the Emperor never would have tolerated this display.
 
In the end, he agrees to cooperate.  The Jedi leave, knowing they made their first steps.  It’s sometimes harder to make a friend than fight an enemy.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 


#22
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

    They call me MRS. Six!

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Epilogue:
 
Two days later, Jade Shadow wtches the Imperial Navy prepare to head Coreward to push Vorrik’s rear guard.  Pellaeon offers them an escort in the form of Widowmaker.  Moff Crowal has provided data on her numerous scouting missions into the Unknown Regions and the civilizations found there.  Among the information is a comparisons of the myths and legends common to the area, including one of a wandering planet.
 
Of course, if they approach it, it might run away again.  Pellaeon is advised to speak with Cal Omas or Sien Sovv when he gets to the Core. 
 
Luke congratulates Saba on her rescue of the captives and goes back to find Jacen and Danni together, standing very close.  He’s about to leave when they assure him it’s fine.  Danni slips off. 
 
He and Jacen take a moment to talk about the awkwardness of new relationships.  Han contacts the ship and tells them that they’re headed off to Bakura now.  The Pride of Selonia will be with them.
 
Luke gets the sense that these good-byes feel different this time.  Something is troubling him, but he doesn’t know what.   Artoo lays in a course for the planet Yashuvhu.  They will taking a specialist named Dr. Soron Hegerty who was flown in from Valc VII to advise them on local folklore. 
 
As they head off into hyperspace, Luke vows to find Zonama Sekot wherever it is.
 
--------------------------------------------------------------
 
End of Book 15
 
  • The format of this book made for extremely long reading and made it difficult to break up the parts into chapter-like sections for summarizing.  

 




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