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"The Final Prophecy": Book 18 in The New Jedi Order

chapter discussion thread

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#26
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double post



#27
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chapter 25:
 
The villip on Nom Anor’s chest.  He cannot respond while he is within earshot of the others, though.  It isn’t until he is an hour into his watch that he moves further away and opens the villip.
 
It’s Onimi.  Nom Anor insists on speaking with Shimrra as he is now on Zonama Sekot.  Shimrra tells Nom Anor he deserves death for what happened on Ebaq 9.  Anor explains that he has been a captive of the Jeedai.  Shimrra believes Zonama Sekot to have been destroyed.  Nom Anor explains he is on the planet with Harrar the priest and Nen Yim the shaper.  They are accompanied by Corran Horn, the one who slayed Shadeo Shai, Tahiri the Jeedai who was shaped and the Chief of them all, Luke Skywalker, with his wife.
 
It won’t take much to subdue the Imperial frigate in orbit.  Shimrra need only to track him through his relative Phaa Anor.  Shimrra reminds him that it’s not the infidels they have to deal with, but the planet.
 
Nom Anor tells him that he has a plan to sabotage the planet so that it will not be able to resist them this time.
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#28
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chapter 26
 
Jaina is in contact with the station.  A voice introducing himself as Erli Prann claims he’s in charge of the station. Jaina asks if he’s aware he’s in Vong-held space.  The Galactic Alliance is trying to retake Bilbringi.
 
Prann explains that it’s a long story, but the station is in good shape.  He gives her a landing berth.
 
On board, she recognizes the old uniforms of the Bilbringi Defense Force.  Prann introduces his crew and explains that the Golan had been cloaked for a long time.  They assume this was done on the part of Grand Admiral Thrawn back when he was cloaking asteroids.
 
They didn’t know it was there, but knew it was missing. On the theory that it might be cloaked, they were sent out here to find it.  They did so as the invasion started.  The docking bay was damaged by skips, but, when they got the cloak back up, the Vong must’ve assumed the station jumped to hyperspace.
 
They’ve been here for a year, waiting it out.  They floated a small probe out to watch what the Vong were doing.  Today, they were able to see the battle and found Jaina.
 
It’s then that Jaina realizes something’s wrong.  She reaches for her lightsaber before everything goes dizzy and she falls.
 
When she wakes up, the Toydarian crew member has a blaster on her. 
 
Prann admits that most of their story is true, but not all of it.  They are smugglers.  They have been swiping technology from the space junk around planets the Vong invade; those aliens certainly aren’t going to lose it.  They’d heard there might be a cloaked Golan out here somewhere.  Clearly, Thrawn never told anyone about it before he died.  It was Vel, the Toydarian, who hacked into the system.
 
They were going to take off with the station, but the hyperdrive motivator was on their ship when the Vong attacked and got destroyed.  With no motivator, they couldn’t’ go anywhere.  They installed the drive when they got here.  
 
Jaina asks what they want with her.  They don’t really want her, just part off of her ship to get the hyperdrive going.  She warns them that her one X-Wing won’t give them all the parts they need.
 
Prann admits that they now have 7 of Twin Suns X-Wings.  They are all docked and the pilots stunned, which wasn’t easy to do to the Wookiee or the crazy Twi’lek.  
 
They’re not trying to make enemies, but they’ve invested a lot into this station.  Regardless of what the Republic’s needs are now, they are going through with the plan.  
 
However, he isn’t sure how long he can keep Jaina around as he’s sure she will eventually use her powers to get some kind of edge over them.  On the other hand, he respects Han Solo enough that he really doesn’t want to kill his daughter, especially since he’s already had enough heartbreak.
 
He’ll release her and the pilots when they are clear.
 
Jaina warns him that there is no place safe from the Yuuzhan Vong and, soon enough, there won’t be any customers for this technology.  Prann is sure there are small planetary governments, possibly even in the Corporate Sector, that will be willing to pay.  She accuses him of letting the galaxy die while he makes a profit.  
 
Prann gets angry and tells her they sat here, invisible, not able to see anything while cloaked and sat on the edges of their seats every time they sent a probe out, fearing the Vong would find them.  They are taking this station.
 
Jaina tries to use the Force to tell Vel to stun Prann. Vel blinks,but does nothing.  Prann laughs that the rumors he’s heard about Toydarians are true.
 
He tells Vel to keep Jaina under guard and don’t let her talk to anyone. 
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#29
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chapter 27:
 
Corran can find no signs of natives and knows he’s going to have to check out the giant hyperdrive nearby.  Harrar’s been after him to investigate it and he knows the priest will not be happy when he finds out what it is.
 
It will take a day or so to get there, maybe longer to see if he can use something there to contact the Imperial frigate in orbit or see if he can reach Luke or his party, if they’re still here.  Tahiri will have to stay and watch over the Prophet and Nen Yim.
 
Tahiri balks at this.  She is bored looking over the two of them who only walk around and poke plants and sticks.  Corran reminds her that they are still the enemy no matter how well they’re all getting along.  She will have to accept that he knows a few more things than she does.
 
Tahiri knows that all too well and gets upset because she thought they were friends.  She needs some kind of special training and he has a chance of understanding her where other masters might not.
 
He tells her he’d have to clear that with Luke, but for the time being, he’ll be glad to show her some things.  She’ll have to agree to do what he says and that means staying here with the other two.
 
Nen Yim had originally been irritated that the Jedi girl kept watching her, but she’s proved to be an astute learner and so the shaper isn’t so bothered now.  She explains to Tahiri that she wanted to find some way to test her theory that the Force is involved in the intercommunication on this world.
 
The central memory core must be large and be somewhere else.  To explain her theory, she will have to speak of Tahiri’s shaping.  Nen Yim tells her that the protocol of Qah is used to move manufactured or borrowed memories into the brain tissue of ong life.  It’s usually used to teach ships to fly or for memory enhancement.  On rare occasions, they’ve been used in the past to replace personalities, which was what was attempted with Tahiri.
 
It didn’t work on human tissues so they used her own brain cells to create a human Qah and filled it with Yuuzhan Vong information.   They implanted Yuuzhan Vong brain cells into her mind.
 
Tahiri asks if there was a real Riina.  Nen Yim assumes there was but she doesn’t know for certain.  The details of Riina’s childhood are probably real.  Mezhan Kwaad supplied the memory data and is in no position to reveal her secrets now.
 
Tahiri talks about her childhood memories of growing up in a Yuuzhan Vong crèche and the friends she had.  Nen Yim is stunned when she realizes that the children Tahiri knew and the experiences she had were her own.  Mezhan Kwaad apparently used Nen’s memories.
 
Tahiri asks what happened to some of the people she remembers.  Nen tells her of the ones who’ve died and the ones who are still well.  Tahiri finds it hard to reconcile having friends among the Vong only to be on the side that may have killed them.
 
She needs to absorb this,but tells Nen Yim she forgives her.  Nen goes on to explain that she has extracted nerve cells from Sekotan life and modified them just as Tahiri’s cells were.  She hopes tht she can gain access to the memories of this world through them.  After all, Tahiri’s brain contains Vong implants and she still senses the Force.
 
Nen reaches for the qahsa and joins with it before the world seems to shatter around her.  Images surround her and she is nearly overwhelmed by it.
 
Tahiri is afraid to do anything while the shaper convulses, but reaches out through the Force, before touching the qahsa herself.
 
When the noise dies down, Nen Yim finds herself understanding.  She knows the secret of Zonama Sekot.
 
She comes to and finds Tahiri unconscious.  She explains that she didn’t make contact with the planet’s consciousness, but certainly saw its memories.  She needs to meditate on this, but thinks she has the solution to everything that concerns them.
 
Tahiri is a Jedi Knight, right?  Why does she need more training?  If she was not prepared for this position, why did they elevate her?  Luke knew she was struggling internally with the two personalities.
 
Corran specifically says he’s not a master.  I suppose I can agree there.  What constitutes being a master in Luke’s New Jedi Order?
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#30
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chapter 28:
 
Nom Anor overhears most of this conversation and watches Nen Yim walk off alone.  He follows her.  She walks along, happily, musing on her experience before she is interrupted by the Prophet.
 
He knows she’s discovered something and she confirms that it’s something wonderful that she wants to share with all of them.   It’s not just about the Shamed Ones though, but for all Yuuzhan Vong.  Shimrra will resist this.
 
He removes his masquer, telling her that the day of revelation requires them to stand as they really are.  All of his truths have been lies.  She finds the face of an executor with one eye replaced with a venomous Plaeryin bol.  She tries to claw him with the stinger on her shaper’s hand, but he evades it.
 
The poison from his bol hits her and she thuds to the ground.  She knows him.  Anor admits they met once.  He isn’t really interested in her data on Zonama Sekot.  He thinks she and Harrar are mad.  There is only so much people can change before they lose themselves.
 
She tries to tell him they already have. Anor tells her that, with access to her qahsa, he will send Zonama Sekot with her.  He bangs her head with a rock.  As she dies, she remembers being a young child seeing her fingers move for the first time and wonders if Tahiri remembers it, too.
 
She wiggles them.  Nom Anor gasps as the sting runs through him, using the pain to drive the rock onto her head.  The stinger had gone through his side, missing organs.  He picks up the qahsa, hoping it’s the original one and not the one she has used to access Sekot’s memories.
 
He finds it’s the right one and leaves to go find the components he’s stolen over the last few days to carry out his plan. 
 
Tahiri goes looking for Nen Yim when she doesn’t return and finds the shaper dying.  Ne Yim tells her that the Prophet is really Nom Anor.  He’s going to kill Sekot.  He stole her qahsa and may use it against a drive mechanism of some kind.
 
She dies before she can tell Tahiri what she learned of the planet.
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#31
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chapter 29:
 
Corran looks at the metal vanes and the pits that serve as exhaust vents.  He tells Harrar that they are part of a hyperdrive engine that can move the planet.  This would cause problems on the planet itself. Corran laughs when Harrar considers the threat to the planet must have been great for it to flee.  He tells him they think Zonama Sekot was fleeing the Vong.
 
Harrar notes that Shimrra fears Zonama Sekot and it fears them.  He doesn’t understand why or how it tolerates this man-made construct.   Corran tells him they need to find a communications device of some kind so they can contact the natives or the ship in orbit. 
 
Harrar is hurt and offended that Corran did not trust him.
 
They find a large metallic dome half buried in rock.  Corran cuts through the ground-level entrance and find a huge shaft plunging down. 
 
Nom Anor watches the entrance for awhile, knowing that Corran and Harrar must be here.  He goes through the cut opening and listens carefully.  The masquer has been replaced.   Anor boards a lift to go down and hears another one arrive. 
 
Corran and Harrar emerge, discussing how to attract attention.  When he hears Harrar make a joke, he knows that the priest has gone mad.  He sits down with the qahsa, needing to find the hyperdrive unit.
 
They meet Tahiri in the forest.  She tells them that the Prophet is Nom Anor and that he killed Nen Yim.  She lived long enough to say that he’s planning to kill the planet.  Harrar realizes that Nom Anor became the Prophet in the hopes that he would find some way to redeem himself in the eyes of Shimrra after he failed once too often.
 
He laments that he should have known as the man really didn’t act like a Shamed One.  Harrar suspected he wore the masquer for fear of being recognized.  They need to find him fast.
 
Corran forces Tahiri to calm down first, telling her that anger feels good at the time, makes everything justifiable, but it’s a trap.  They decide they’ll have to go back to the construct to find him.
 
It begins to rain as they reach the entrance.  All of the turbolifts are jammed.  Harrar explains that Nen Yim probably brought protocols along to destroy the planet in case t turned out to be a threat.  She did come to a different conclusion, but Anor could very well be using those protocols anyway.
 
Without the lifts, they will have to find a way down. 
 
Nom Anor is delighted to find that the hyperdrive is large and obvious.  The threads aer just like the ones on the ship.  He links an incubator to the qahsa and accesses a genetic blueprint in the protocols.  The incubator transforms them into living organisms creating a soldier virus to invade the neural net.  It will cause a feedback explosion that will prevent the world from traveling and burn a third of the biosphere away. 
 
He hides the incubator and contacts the force that Shimrra has sent to request a lander.
 
Corran decides to take a smooth cable down, leaving Tahiri to protect Harrar.  He slides down in free fall, using the Force, and slams into the ground.
 
Anor hears something hit the floor and knows the Jedi have managed to get down the shaft.  He races toward the nearest lift and finds Corran Horn coming around an equipment bank with his lightsaber.
 
Anor hasn’t gotten this far by accepting challenges to fight and heads up the shaft, knowing he will probably meet the other Jedi and the priest.
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#32
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chapter 30:
 
A large Destroyer explodes and Wedge orders them to continue as planned.  The Vortex Wind noses over and begins firing on the next Vong shipyard.  The Mon Mothma joins the Memory of Ithor against a smaller frigate.  He’s been working his way through the formation by using one ship to draw the attackers into the line of another while he plows around the flank farthest from the interdictor and shredding the ship.  Three capital ships have gone down already.
 
He’s told the Golan 2 opened fire on the skips chasing Colonel Solo.  Wedge wonders if she’s commandeered it yet,but is told she can’t be raised and the station has disappeared.  Wedge ponders if Thrawn left them a present.  He tells Cel that the station is cloaked.
 
As they take on a huge Dreadnaught, Cell alerts him that the Yuuzhan Vong ships that had retreated earlier are back.  They figured it it wasn’t a feint.
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#33
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chapter 31:
 
Tahiri tells Nom Anor to stop.  He doesn’t believe she would strike down an unarmed person.  He’s studied the Jedi long enough to know that they are not permitted to act in anger.  Harrar urges her to kill him, but she refuses to murder.
 
This gives Anor enough time to spit his bol venom at her.  She rams into the guardrail when she tries to evade it and he kicks her over the railing, her lightsaber falling to the ground.
 
He can’t believe it is that easy and turns on Harrar.  The priest attacks him and Anor knocks him out, grabs the lightsaber and cuts the power conduits on the lifts to keep Horn from coming up.
 
Tahiri uses the Force to grab the cable that Corran had used and slows her descent.  She begins climbing up instead.
 
Anor goes down the parth, snarling to the wind that the planet can do its worst because he knows he has killed it.  This world is an abomination in a a galaxy of them.  Harrar slams into him.
 
Anor tells him this world is a lie that he told his followers so they would obey him.  Harar tells him he knows nothing.  The priesthood doesn’t have all the answers and the ones they do are not shared with everyone.  Shimrra lied to them.  This planet is the truth. 
 
Anor argues that nothing wil reverse this damage and swings the lightsaber at him.  The prest jerks away, slips on the rocks and stumbles over a cliff.
 
The lift jars to a halt, so Corran cuts through the roof and climbs into the shaft.  The door is about ten meters ahead, but the walls are smooth as glass.
 
He drops back down and looks at the control panel, hoping the emergency system will continue the ascent.  It moves, but very slowly.  A few minutes later, he gets out the door, but there is no one to fight.  He sees Tahiri pulling herself up on the cable.  She tells him Nom Anor got away.  He pulls her the rest of the way up. 
 
She uses her Vongsense to track Nom Anor through the rain.  They both realizing something is wrong with the planet.  A sonic boom sounds and they spot the lander, knowing it will go where Anor is.
 
Anor watches the ship approach when Corran steps into the clearning.  He runs when the Jedi comes after him and is intercepted by Tahiri who pulls her lightsaber to her.  Corran warns her not to kill him.  She threatens his limbs instead and demands to know where Harrar is.
 
Anor tells them that he’s dead.  Corran tells him to use the villip to call off the lander now.  He reaches for the villip as the planet tosses them into the air.
 
Tahiri sends to the planet that it’s Anor that is doing this to it.  She and Corran bring themselves to their feet when the hit the ground.  Anor has taken off.  The ship has landed and he’s nearing it quickly.  Tahiri races after him, hoping to stop him before the warriors on the ship can get off.  Corran uses the Force to knock her down before a swarm of thud bugs hits her.
 
The warriors are out and surrounding them.
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#34
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chapter 32:
 
Han prepares to revert to real space to find out if Wedge is still here.  They find that the fleet is stuck in the system by interdictors.  Leia can sense Jaina in the area, but she’s in trouble.  Han comms Captain Devis and asks him to advise Admiral Pellaeon what’s going on.
 
Devis agrees to send a wingmate, but he wants to stay to help.  Han sends Leia to one of the turbolasers. 
 
The TIEs drop into formation on the Falcon’s port and starboard.  He warns them to watch the gravity well.  He fires concussion missles intercepted by the void, one firing near enough to knock the ship into the line of fire.  He stands the ship on her side and weaves through the fire, turns up and out, stunned to find that the two TIEs stayed with him the whole way. 
 
He tells Devis it’s a good thing there weren’t more Imperial pilots like him when they were fighting the Empire.  He wants to make one more pass, but it’s going to be hot.
 
Prann shows Jaina that the rest of the Vong fleet has returned so this station wouldn’t have been much help.  She tells him not to justify his cowardice.  Prann is ready to leave, but he plans to leave her alive despite her typical hero’s wish to die. 
 
She tries to nudge him with the Force, but it doesn’t work.  That was just to get him to know she was trying.  She’d found a plan while they were talking.
 
Wedge calls for Pash after the Memory of Ithor takes a few hits.  Cracken is sorry they’re not much help right now.  Wedge tells them to get out there.  They are evacuating now.  A few moments later, the Memory flashes out and Wedge hopes his friend made it out.
 
Twenty skips are now following the Falcon and her escorts.  The rear deflector is beginning to fail and Devis has lost his shields.  His wingmate explodes after that.
 
Han tells him to get out and get to Pellaeon.  Devis tells him it’s too late for that.  He hopes he can still be of service.  He tells Han it’s been an honor flying with him and to tell the admiral that he did what he thought was best.
 
The TIE comes screaming by and smacks into the interdictor, blasting a chunk of yorik coral the size of the Falcon off the ship.  But the interdictor is still functioning.  Saddened that the young man’s sacrifice was for naught, Han realizes he never even saw his face.  They will have to make another pass.
 
Prann lays in the final calcuations as Jaina uses the Force to substitute her own coordinates for the ones he thinks he’s entering. 
 
See-Threepio shouts that the Golan 2 Battle Station just showed up. 
 
Prann is furious and is certain that Jaina did something to mess him up.   They are in the middle of the battle.  She tells him they are interdicted and he has to fire now or die. 
 
Leia tells Han Jaina is aboard the station and she’s still in trouble.  Han decides to take care of that. 
 
Cel tells Wedge the Golan just appeared next to the interdictor.  Wedge orders her to change heading so they will be out of range. 
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#35
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chapter 33:
 
Tahiri asks what a wise Jedi does in this situation. Corran tells her he avoids a situation like this.
 
Jade Shadow comes down, Luke, Jacen and Saba jump out as the ship raises up and begins raining fire on the circle of warriors.  Nom Anor jumps aboard the lander and it takes off, Tahiri trying to hold on to the landing ramp before being knocked off.
 
She frets that Sekot will die because of her.  Luke asks ifthey know what’s going on.  A shaft of blue light leaps from the ground near the hyperdrive, followed by a shock wave.  Corran urges them to get out of the area quickly.
 
The Shadow drops back down to picks them up as the surface vibrates.  Tahkri can feel something out of control.  Mara alerts the Widowmaker about the Vong ship. 
 
As she struggles to control the ship. Corran asks how they happened to be by.  Luke didn’t know it was them.  He felt Sekot in pain and they came to investigate, finding the Vong ship and seeing them here.
 
They leave the atmosphere and stars begin to streak.
 
Nom Anor is on the transport, glad to see the Jade Shadow break off pursuit.  He’s told that the Imperial frigate is approaching.  The commander tells him that Shimrra only sent this one ship.  They will have to evade.
 
From space, Anor sees a large blue cone appear and vanish.  This was not supposed to happen.  The core was supposed to explode, not fire the engines.  Then three blue cones stab up as a detonation knocks him to the deck.  
 
All the stars fall toward the planet, the frigate quivers and stretches into a streak of light and vanishes.  When the stars come back, Zonama Sekot is nowhere in sight.  It’s not what he wanted, but it will do.  This crew will probably be executed by Shimrra, but Anor will live long enough to tell him what he knows.
----------------------------------------------
 
 


#36
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chapter 34:
 
As the GA forces continue to fight the Vong reinforcements, Prann’s people are angry, but they are not willing to let him kill the Jedi.  He warns them that she will continue to cause trouble for them. Jaina reminds them that no one knew they weren’t planning to help. Right now, they are probably thought of as heroes.
 
Prann points out the other pilots will know.  Jaina asks if he’s planning to kill them, too. 
 
A new voice is heard, Prann jerks his gun up and fires.  Lowbacca intercepts it with his lightsaber to keep it from hitting Jaina’s father.  Alema Rar follows, deflecting blaster fire until Lowie slashes through Prann’s weapon and knocks him to the ground. 
 
Prann assures Han he doesn’t want any trouble.  Han orders the rest of them back to their posts because this station is going nowhere until the last Alliance ship has left the system.  Prann objects to this and Han knocks him out with his blaster.
 
Then he yells at the rest of them and they move.
 
Wedge lets the interdictor think the Mon Mothma is overloading its power core so it powers down.  Wedge orders all ships to leave the system now.  Leia Organa Solo contact him and tells him they are on the Golan and will cover him on the way out.
 
Wedge bids farewell to Bilbringi, knowing the two times he’s seen it has been too many.
 
Han tells Jaina how they slip into a berth after evading the skips.  No one was watching the dock.  They are all sitting around the table in the newly-commandeered battle station with Wedge in an uninhabited system with the remains of the fleet.
 
Prann’s people are in custody. 
 
Wedge ponders their losses.  Pash Cracken and Judder Page are gone.  He can’t get used to losing friends.
 
Grand Admiral Pellaeon appears to give them his congratulations and apologies.  His fleet hadn’t had time to prepare for lightspeed by the time Devis’s courier arrived.  He would have joined them anyway, but the communications failed.
 
Wedge tells him he would have done the same.  The battle plans hadn’t taken a loss of communications into account.
 
Admiral Kre’Fey has been in contact with them, having engaged Vong ships that jumped from Bilbringi.  Jaina asks about Jag, but Pellaeon knows nothing about that.
 
Wedge invites the admiral for a drink, but he begs off due to his duties.  He does, however, ask about Captain Devis.  Han gives him the unhappy news as well as Devis’s last message.  Jaina senses something in the Force as Pellaeon steels up.  He tells Han that Devis was an admirer of his despite the Imperial holos that made him look like a villain.
 
He salutes them and leaves very quickly.
 
Leia finds that odd, but Jaina asks if the Grand Admiral is married.  Leia tells her he’s not and it’s said he’s never really made the time for a family.  Jaina thinks Devis was his son.
 
Han gives a toast to all of their sons and daughters whether they are present or beyond.
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  • Judder Page was the commando who appeared in the X-Wing books and the Thrawn Trilogy.  We haven’t seen him since Champions of the Force.

  • Devis was probably Pellaeon’s son by Hallena Devis, whom we met in Clone Wars: No Prisoners and haven’t seen since Imperial Commando: 501st

 
 


#37
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Epilogue:
 
Han and Leia are on the beach when Lando finds them.  Jag and Jaina are in the tide pools, inseparable.  Lando is doing his part to keep a courier service going.  They did finds out what caused the HoloNet to go down.  A dovin basal was grafted onto some kind of living guidance system to follow signals to the source and collapse the relays into singularities.
 
They’re everywhere and may be multiplying.  He is building some compact relays that can be mounted on corvettes. 
 
When Han and Leia finish watching the sunset, they walk back to their apartment and Leia stumbles.  Something is wrong with Luke, Jacen and Tahiri.  They are alive, but they’ve winked out somehow. 
 
Tahiri watches the hyperspace lines above her.  The Jade Shadow has taken cover in a ravine unti they can sort things out. 
 
Luke tells them that Jacen and he and sensed them for a long time but didn’t know where they were.  Sekot couldn’t find their ship.  Tahiri tells them they came in a Sekotan ship with Vong spare parts.
 
Nen Yim appears.  It is Sekot taking her form.  Her memories are attached to him now and he finds her modifications to the ship interesting. 
 
He was infected with a virus designed to corrupt the information transfer system that links his consciousness to the hyperdrive.  He thinks the core was supposed to explode, but he has prevented that.  Unfortunately, he was not able to prevent them from jumping.  The virus is gone and he is gaining control.  He’s not sure where they are going due the blind jump, but a gravity well will eventually pull them out.
 
The ship in orbit did not make the jump with them.  He does not know what happened to them.  Sekot is not happy to be sabotaged, but he assures Tahiri that the shaper and her knowledge are very important.  He does not entirely understand it, but he thinks the questions raised from it are vital. 
 
He is going to devote his attention now to preserving them and suggests they seek shelter in the caves.  Nen Yim vanishes, the stars return and the wind begins.
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The End
 




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