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Legacy of the Force #1: "Betrayal"

chapter discussion thread

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#1
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 1:
 
Luke Skywalker wakes up from a dream about a man who doesn’t exist.  He explains to his wife, Mara Jade Skywalker, that he’s had the dream before.  Some enemy shadowed in darkness but with currents of light, ignorance and denial who brings great pain, not only to the galaxy, but also to Luke himself.
 
But he can’t find him by searching through the future, he can’t find the man because he doesn’t exist.
 
Mara asks if it could be Raynar Thul.  Raynar is being held in a cell within the Temple, undergoing treatment for his mental and physical wounds after spending years among the Killicks.
 
Luke doesn’t think so.  Whatever this is seems to be human, possibly even the man Anakin Skywalker.  Something about the face reminds him of Skywalker the Jedi.  
 
Mara suggests waiting until he shows up and crushing him.
 
After Luke goes the sleep, though, she searches through the Force and can’t find anything either.
 
On Adumar, Jacen Solo walks out of a turbolift with his cousin, Ben Skywalker, as well as their guide.  He walks briskly in a way to intimidate the employees of the Dammant Killers company.  The guide, Testan ke Harran tries and fails to look calm.  
 
Ben engages him in conversation while Jacen looks over the factory floor.  Finally, Jacen senses something is wrong.  After slowly gazing the area, he stops when he sees the middle of one wall and senses worry from Testan.  Then he walks off in that direction.
 
Ben follows and, when they reach the wall, they both know there’s a secret door there.   Ben ignites his lightsaber, cuts a hole in the wall and the two Jedi step through.  They are approached by several troops with weapons.  
 
Jacen warns them that fewer people will be harmed if they stand down.  It’s true, of course, even though large numbers of troops rarely step aside.  But it also serves to help Jacen rationalize the deaths of common guards and soldiers.  It used to bother him, but he knows that, as long as there are corrupt leaders and obedient followers, there will be lives lost.  They become one with the Force when they die anyway.
 
Jacen deflects their blasts back toward them, causing several to drop.  He moves forward despite sensing danger from behind.  Ben was good at defending himself and, after all, being a teacher means learning to trust his student.
 
During a lull in the fight, Ben pulls out a holocamm and begins narrating how Dammant Killers is secretly making missles to sell illegally to other planets.    Jacen tells him to film the whole chamber and figure out what they’re supposed to do next.  Ben suggests they get out there.
 
They make their escape through the end of the assembly line.
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  • The time is now 40 years ABY.  Han is 70, Luke and Leia are 60, Jacen and Jaina are 31; Ben is 13.

 


#2
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 2:
 
Racing across more assembly lines in the next chamber, the two Jedi jump toward a turbolift which doesn’t move.  Jacen cuts a hole, exposing the shaft, so he and Ben can climb through.  Another turbolift is coming up parallel to them, forcing them to use the Force to absorb the shock of being hit by its roof. 
 
When it stops, they are sure they are aboveground, so Jacen cuts another hole in the ceiling that leads them outside.  Above the city of Cartann, they face a sloping building wall.  Jacen asks if Ben has a grapnel and line.  Ben does, but knows how to use the Force to handle drops from angled buildings. 
 
Jacen makes him use the equipment anyway.
 
Down the building they drop, slide and run until a wind gust hits them.  Jacen is prepared, but Ben is not.  He is nearly blown away until he sends the grapnel hook toward Jacen who grabs it.  Using the Force, he pulls Ben back to him.
 
They don’t have much time to recover before they are approached by a vehicle that fires upon them.  The missles miss them, but Jacen is angry that these beings would risk innocent lives just to get their targets.  
 
When the fighter disappears from view, Jacen sees that they are not far from the angle of the building.  He knows that’s where the fighter is.  He confirms this by spotting its reflection in a building across the street.  He moves to about twenty stories aboveground where he can see a large street full of traffic, as well as cable cars and communication cables above.  Below him is the vehicle.
 
He somersaults over the and lands on one of the fighter’s arms.  The pilot is stunned and tries to speed off when a grapnel and cord snag the other arm.
He and Ben cut through the canopy, the pilot tries to eject but she and her ejection seat go in opposite directions.  Once Ben sends the information they obtained and confirms the GA has decrypted it, Jacen assures him they can leave safely as Adumar will not risk allowing them to be harmed.
 
They are headed to another assignment.  
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#3
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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 chapter 3:
 
The Solos welcome their family to their new home on Coruscant.  They had contemplated moving to Corellia, but Coruscant is closer to where everyone else lives.  It’s nice to have a permanent place to live after so many years.  Though Coruscant is slowly being rebuilt into the city-planet it used to be, there are still areas in the sub-levels that are dangerous.  Some even more so than before because of the Yuuzhan Vong shaping.
 
Luke, Mara, R2, Jacen, Ben, Jaina and Zekk arrive over a short period of time.  Han is not enthusiastic about Zekk being here.  He’s certain that this whole friend thing is just a ruse to pursue Jaina in secret.  Over dinner, he’s even less happy to learn that Jacen and Ben meddled in a minor issue on Adumar.
 
Jacen quotes the exact regulation that the Adumarians were violating, but Han thinks it’s just another example of government overkill.  The politicians should have taken care of the issue, not the Jedi.  He foresees the Jedi will be walking the halls of government on Corellia before they know it.
 
Han hasn’t lived on Corellia for decades, but he is still their favorite son and has that proud independent streak.  Leia understands this, but points out to him that the current problems between the GA and the Corellians is not one-sided.  The Corellians seem to want all the advantages of a Galactic Alliance membership, but none of the responsibilities.
 
Han points out that the Corellians have always stepped up when the government needed them.  Jaina argues that many lives were lost in the past because governments didn’t work together.  Han reminds her that lives were lost because the New Republic government couldn’t get its act together.
 
It doesn’t help that Luke sides with Leia on this issue.  Han turns on him and demands to know if the Jedi Order is taking the position that all planets have to have the same uniform personality with no room for dissent.
 
He storms off to the kitchen.  Leia explains that Han’s always been cynical, but this conflict between Corellia and the GA has made it worse.  It does bother him that his own cousin, Thrackan Sal-Solo, is Chief of State of the Corellian system, but the fact of the matter is that he hasn’t trusted any interplanetary government since the Yuuzhan Vong war.
 
Luke knows she means since Anakin died.  He tells Leia that Han hasn’t trusted the Jedi since then either.  She admits that he trusts his good friend Luke, but not Master Skywalker.
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  • Zekk is described as being a little younger than Jaina.  In the Young Jedi Knights book The Lost Ones, he’s described as being a couple of years older than the twins. Do we have to start a How old is Zekk feature? 

 
 
 


#4
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 4:
 
After dinner, Mara compliments Jacen on how Ben is more trusting and more open than before.  Jacen thinks Ben’s earlier suspicion of the Force makes it less likely that he will fall to the Dark Side or run off crazy-eyed due to teenage hormones.
 
Mara doesn’t want to be reminded and Leia kids her about being a grandmother.  Leia herself is ready to be a completely indulgent and inappropriate grandmother, but Jacen warns her not to look his way.
 
Luke asks Jacen to take a walk with him.  They head through the nighttime traffic of Coruscant which just isn’t the same as it was before the war, talking about the current political tensions.
 
Jacen doesn’t think his father is overreacting and asks if the GA is giving up negotiating with the Corellians.  Luke tells him that the GA knows some things that aren’t being reported.  The Corellians are not negotiating in good faith, just hoping to delay while they encourage other systems to mimic them. He also tells Jacen in confidence that the Corellian government appears to be constructing a secret planetary assault fleet.
 
Admiral Pellaeon is hoping that military intelligence will pinpoint the base where its being built, but the Jedi are being asked to help with something more urgent.  The Corellian government is close to making Centerpoint Station operational.
 
Jacen understands the significance of this.  He had been there when Anakin had inadvertently activated it and had also been there when Thrackan Sal-Solo had fired it during the Yuuzhan Vong war.  Though Jacen had argued against its use, that was the Jacen of a decade ago who no long exists.  Under the same circumstances today, he would fire it.
 
Luke believes they’ve figured out how to duplicate elements of Anakin’s biometrics.  Jacen is outraged that his brother’s identity would be used in this way.  They both know that, with an operational station, the Corellians would be able to enforce their desire to remain autonomous.  Jacen doesn’t necessarily think that’s bad, but he does realize that the Corellians, who are notoriously independent, possessing what is probably the most potent weapon in the galaxy may choose to use it for their own agenda.
 
Jacen is being asked to destroy or disable the station.  He has been there before and is able to pass himself off as Corellian.  His training in alternate philosophies of the Force make him more versatile than other Jedi.  Though Luke is certainly reluctant to send his son along, he leaves that up to Jacen.
 
Jacen appreciates this and wants to take Ben with him.  He does warn Luke that the Corellians will be very unhappy.  Luke tells him that an entire GA fleet will show up in Corellian space.  The combination of both the fleet and the disabling of Centerpoint should show the Corellians that they cannot maintain this attitude.  This information was passed on to him by Cal Omas and by the Mon Calamarian Admiral Niathal.
 
Jacen wants some time to think about how he’s going to tell his father about this, so Luke leaves him to his thoughts.  When he returns to the Solos’ building, Luke feels something nearby.  There is a shadow not too far away, watching him.  Something reminds him of the image from his dream.  The figure turns and vanishes.
 
After their guests leave, Leia chides Han for being too hard on Zekk.  Han thinks that Jaina is falling for that just-friends-nothing-more delusion.  He’s getting under her skin.  She thinks Jaina just likes tall men…because of Chewbacca, of course.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • First mention of Admiral Niathal.

  • Jacen had not wanted to use the Centerpoint laser because of its moral implications.  It would seem those moral issues are no longer a problem for him.

 
 


#5
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 5:
 
Han struggles with getting information on Corellia. He tells Leia that Wildis Jiklip has vanished.  She’d been a promising prodigy years ago when teaching at the university level before disappearing to become a smuggler for a couple of decades.  She reemerged a few years before the Vong war as a retired theoretician on planetary economics.  Han had tried to get ahold of her to get some insight into the official GA reaction to the Corellian situation, but she has discontinued her lecture series and has gone on leave.
 
He has tried to get ahold of Wedge with no luck either.  His transmission has taken just long enough to go through that he suspects that the GA is carefully monitoring any message to Corellia.
 
Leia suggests that they could looking to GA government officials with economic interests on Corellia, find out what military forces are up to right now and guess what is likely going to happen to Corellia and track resources.
 
She’ll help him after breakfast.
 
In the meantime, Jacen and Ben are repeating a simulation of an intrustion of Centerpoint Station that has resulted in Ben being cut down 8 of the 10 times.  In the control room of the station, Jacen inserts a datachip into slot to get confirmation of only 75% success ratio.
 
Dr. Tovar Selah appears and points out to a recovered Ben that this simulation is easier than the others.  They know how the control chamber looked three weeks ago, but not now.  The Corellians are using carefully-selected scientists and could have replaced equipment, too. 
 
The command in the datachip should intitiate a ten-minute countdown before activating a repulsor pulse that will tear the station apart.  As long as the chip remains intact and the receptacle slot still exists, it should work.
 
Over several days, Han and Leia have learned that elements of the Second Fleet are being diverted from their normal missions, communications between Coruscant and Corellia are heavily monitored and analyzed, civilian experts on Corellia are becoming mysteriously unavailable and Corellian corporate properties belonging to Pefederan Lloyn who chairs the GA Finance Council, have been sold or traded for properties in the Kuat system instead.
 
All of this points to some action against Corellia in the near future.  Leia suggests that they take no action at this time.  She doesn’t think it’s a good idea for Corellia to continue to get away with what it’s doing.  Han doesn’t think that’s a bad thing, but she points out that it weakens the Galactic Alliance.
 
Han would normally come back with a quick reply to that, but he knows how important good government and a stable galaxy are to her.  He tells her that there has to be room for independence, especially for people like him.
 
She is saddened, but tells him that he should warn Corellia without letting the GA know he’s doing it.  She’ll help him so long as he agrees that Corellia can’t have everything.  If they want independence, they have to pay for it.  It cannot accept the benefits of membership while defying GA law.  He will have to convince them to play by the rules.
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  • First appearance of Dr. Selah.


#6
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 6:
 
Wedge Antilles is awakened in the middle of the night by two GA intelligence officers who come to retrieve him.  He does insist on saying good-bye to his wife and daughter, Myri.
 
Han and Leia comm Luke to ask him to let Artoo come with them on a trip are considering taking soon, to keep Threepio company.  Luke explains he’s taking some Jedi Knights out on a tour to teach them to adapt the Force to piloting X-Wings so he needs Artoo.
 
Han thinks that Luke already knows what’s going on and is on the GA’s side.  He points out that Luke was wearing a warm weather cloak indoors that was probably covering a flight suit and the walls were white and curved like a ship bulkhead. 
 
Leia reminds him that the Jedi have taken oaths to support the Galactic Alliance.  This can’t become an issue of one side being smart and sensible while the other side isn’t.  Han admits she’s right, but it just hit him unexpectedly.
 
Wedge is taken to a secure facility intended for civilian workers who will be working long hours and given sparse but decent accommodations. It is clear that Wedge is simply being held here to keep him out of the way.  He tells Captain Barth that the Corellian military came to him before they did and he turned them down, telling them that there are Corellian officers better equipped to help them than he is.  He did this because he wanted to be with his family in case something happened.  Now, the GA has shown up and dragged him out here and separated him from them anyway.  He wonders why they couldn’t have just left him alone.
 
Lt. Titch is less sympathetic.  He is tired of the Rebel Alliance veterans whining about how they saved the galaxy 40 years ago and now expect special favors.  If they'd left things alone, the Empire would have destroyed the Yuuzhan Vong and Titch wouldn’t have lost everyone he ever knew.  All Wedge has to do is sit here, eat, get some exercise and not get into trouble. Then he can go home and write his memoirs.
 
Wedge tells him he would have left Titch with a career after this if he’d been smarter.  Now, the man’s going to be cleaning refreshers for the rest of his life.
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#7
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 7:
 
Admiral Matric Klausken, commander of the new Galactic-class Battle Cruiser, Dodonna drops out of hyperspace near Corell, knowing he has to prevent a conflict.
 
Meanwhile, the Five World Prime Minister of the Corellian system, Aidel Saxan, meets with Han and Leia Solo who are in disguise.  The position of Governor-general had ended after the Yuuzhan Vong war and each planet in the system elected its own Chief of State.  The position of Five World Prime Minister is meant to represent the whole system.  Aidel Saxan is the first to hold it.
 
Han and Leia explain that they have reason to believe the GA is planning some imminent action against Corellia.  She doesn’t admit to anything, but wonders if they’ve learned about the Kiris shipyards where she had only learned a year into her term that Thrackan-Sal Solo had been building a secret assault fleet.
 
Without revealing this information, she asks why they are telling her this. Han thinks that Corellia should be independent if it wishes.  He will say this publicly if necessary so long as she resigns as Prime Minister and Thrackan as Chief of State.  This stuff they’re spouting is dangerous.  They want independence but don’t want to give up the benefits of membership in the GA. The people are listening to them because they aren’t thinking about what true independence means.  He’s all for planetary pride, but doesn’t want his people thinking that, along with it, comes economic prosperity and galactic popularity.
 
Before the meeting ends, she asks if he has a message for his cousin.  He tells her to tell Thrackan to look out.
 
Near Yag’duhl, Jaina, Zekk and several Jedi Knights are disguised aboard a vessel arranged by Talon Karrde in order to sneak into the Corellian system unnoticed.
 
Wedge spends his days playing with his roller chair.  He stands, propels the chair back with his knees and turn to seehow close he’d come to putting the chair near a mark on the floor.  He knows he’s being monitored so keeps this up. 
 
Every six hours, Titch brings meals sitting them on a second desk, other than the one Wedge sits at and gives him a pitying look before leaving. 
 
Today, Wedge maintains his normal routine, this time generating a simulation on his computer of the Rebel defeat at Derra IV while slowly sipping from a glass of water delivered with his lunch.  He moves the glass to his lap, slips it under the second desk and pours some of it on the floor.  Then he moves it up to the second desk, sits it upside down with water dripping over the desk, knowing the security cam is not good enough to see water on the floor or on the desk.
 
He fiddles with the cables under the computer terminal while his simulation goes exactly as the original battle did when Titch comes in with the meal.  He sits it down on the desk, stops when he feels water there, then Wedge tosses the active power cable on the desk.  Titch shakes and jerks while Wedge stands up, propels his roller chair backward where it lands in just the right spot to stop the door from shutting all the way.
 
He can hear Barthis on the comm. ordering the room powered down. Wedge grabs Titch’s blaster, reminds him about the refreshers and moves out the door into the outer office where he stuns Barthis.
 
Now it’s a simple matter of finding a flight suit, stealing a hyperdrive capable ship and getting out of here.
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#8
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 8:
 
Dr. Seyah is decked out like a tourist, sitting next to a mother and child whom he knows will be at risk if the Jedi must destroy the station rather than disable it as he hopes they can.  The potential loss of so much knowledge grieves him, but there might not be another way.
 
Jacen and Ben are hiding in crates in the cargo hold wearing EV suits.   When Seyah sends the signal that the shuttle is making its final jump to the Corellian system, they emerge from the crates.
 
An airspeeder drops Jaina and her team off in front of the Prime Minister’s residence on Corellia.  Zekk is with her, as well as the Falleen Thann Mithric and the recently Knighted Bothan Kolir Hu’lya.
 
Luke gets the check-in from Jaina’s team and the signal that Jacen and Ben are on Centerpoint.  He admits to Mara that he had another vision, this time of Ben talking to the mystery man. 
 
She tells him she was a bit worried when Luke let Jacen take Ben with him, but she has come to realize that she had clung too tightly to her son the last 13 years.  She’s beginning to understand why the Old Republic Jedi were not allowed to form attachments. 
 
Luke tells his Jedi pilots making up Hardpoint Squadron to prepare to launch.
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  • First appearance of Thann Mithric and Kolir Huy’lya.

 


#9
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 9:
 
On Corellia, Jaina’s team jumps the airspeeder convoy bringing the Prime Minister in, only to find that it’s a trap.  The Prime Minister’s airspeeder explodes, seriously injuring Zekk and knocking out Kolir who tried to slow his plummet to the ground before the airspeeder she was attacking ran into the one in front of it.
 
YVH droids pour out of the remaining speeders.  Thann contacts Control to tell them they’ve run into a trap.
 
In the meantime, VibroSword Squadron prepares to launch from the DodonnaLysa Dunter takes ribbing from her squadron commander about her twitchy leg before heading out after the Jedi squadrons.  Her father had always told her that the Jedi pilots may have an advantage, but so long as the non-Force users make it to the top, they can still look Jedi in the eye.
 
Admiral Klauskin is informed the Corellians have amassed a huge fleet in the system.  It’s likely comprised of every ship they could get, so not all of them are in tip-top shape, but they’re all probably controlled by crazy Corellian pilots.
 
He has half the starfighters redploy to protect the capital ships and no one is to initiate hostilities.  VibroSword is moved back to cover the Dodonna while Hardpoint heads toward the planet.
 -------------------------------------------------------------------------
 


#10
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 10:
 
Jacen rides the top of a repulsor train through Hollowtown, Ben several meters behind him, until he reaches the appropriate hatch and climbs through.  The control panel lights up when he comes in and Jacen knows he’s not alone.
 
The lights come on and Thrackan Sal-Solo wonders someone is playing a sick joke by sending Jacen.  He is in charge of restoring this station and, when word came that the GA was lauching a premature strike, he decided to be here.
 
Jacen asks if he and his men are going to get out of the way.  Thrackan produces two astromech with machinery replacing their heads.  The droids set off sonic assaults that knock Jacen off his feet.
 
Ben reaches the hatch to find it locked and hears voices approaching.  Several CorSec officers position themselves to search for Jedi.  They each have huge man-sized backpacks they are supposed to trigger at the first sign of one.
 
YVH droids are with them.  Ben realizes he may not be able to take out one of those.  He pushes himself against the wall and slides down out of the way. 
 
The three conscious Jedi battle off the YVH droids on the street before Tann uses his phereomones combined with the Jedi Mind Trick to persuade a female driver to let them use her airspeeder. 
 
Team Tauntaun – Tahiri, Doran Tainer and Tiu Zax – have not responded so they may have walked into a trap, too.
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  • Doran Tainer is the son of Wraith Squadron’s Kell Tainer and Tyria Sarkin.  He was first mentioned in Rebel Dream.  He should be about 28 now. 

  • First appearance of Tiu Zax

 
 


#11
Jedi Cool

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chapter 11:
 
Escorting an assault shuttle down on Corellia’s dayside, Hardpoint Squadron encounters resistance from Corellian vessels which do not recognize their authority.  The shuttle is destroyed which requires their plan  be modified as it was going to be used to extract Jaina’s team.
 
Admiral Klauskin’s aide, Fiav Fenn, reports that the starfighters out there are jockeying for position.  Eventually, someone is going to fire.  Further, Luke Skywalker has reported being fired upon.  They’ve lost their shuttle and need another one, though, if necessary, they will extract the team by stuffing them into the X-Wings.
 
Klauskin order the assault force to move down to half forward speed.  It sounds like the Jedi have matters in hand.  He needs time to think.  They could run, but he has to do smething to salvage the mission. 
 
Lysa and her squadron note the Corellians are still moving toward them.  This seems much like a game to see who will blink first.  They decide to bring shields up only if a collision is a sure thing.  Her father would have hated this game.
 
Thann tells the team that Luke is coming but they lost their shuttle.  He doesn’t think they’ll get another one.  Tahiri’s team was ambushed inside Sal-Solo’s mansion.  Right now, they’re stealing a speeder and will rendezvous.  The fleet was ambushed, too. 
 
Jaina thinks it’s better if they get to the spaceport and steal a shuttle.   
 
Meanwhile, Jacen is evading blasterfire when two canisters hit the floor, detonate and fill the air with smoke.  Fortunately, he knows a lot about pain.  Sudden pain surprises him but it can’t keep him down.  He lets it flow through him, stands and moves forward until his body is in control, then races toward the blaster bolts until he reaches the walkway level where Thrackan had been. 
 
He senses beings ahead, bats back their blasterfire with his lightsaber in the direction of one of the sonic-blasting astromechs.  Thrackan orders a ceasefire.  He assures Jacen there are more than enough droids and troops to deal with him. 
 
Knowing that Thrackan doesn’t know about Ben, Jacen admits he has to try. 
 
Down to 9 X-Wings, Luke feels the Rodian Toile Senn die after ejecting.  He has his squadron break and attack while heading to the rendezvous point. He regrets having to shoot down Corellians like this.
 
Lysa notes that someone has a targeting lock on her.  The other pilots are targeted, too, but Leader won’t let them break off and fire.  They wait until it is evident that an impact is imminent.  Leader orders them to break off.  Lysa fires her thrusters as she pulls under the opposing fighter as her wingmate gets hit.  The damage is minimal, but Lysa’s move destroyed her opponent.  She isn’t sure how she feels about this.
 
Her father had told her to save her feelings for home.
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  • First and last mention of Toile Senn.

 


#12
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

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chapter 12:
 
Fiav reports to Klauskin about the incident with the starfighters, explaining that both sides are engaged now.  He nods and clucks that it’s good.  She points out that it’s not good.  Their operational goals do not include combat.  She intimates that it would be helpful to let them know what the revised goals are.
 
He doesn’t want to back out of the system and go home a failure, but attacking the Corellian fleet has too many unknowns attached to it.  He wishes he had someone to talk to and mutters his dead wife’s name. It would be nice to get some downtime.  He decides they will go to Tralus and assault the planet. 
 
Feeling good about his decisiveness, he tells them to fire on the nearest Corellian ship.  When told that’s the Millennium Falcon and they can’t fire on it, he tells his sensor officer to have the pilot get that deathtrap out of the sky.  It’s dangerous here.
 
Han isn’t budging, telling the Dodonna that everything around here is dangerous.  He’s told that they’re just recommending he move his ship to a safe place, wherever that may be.  Han decides to plot an exit course back along the orbital track so he can see how the GA handles this.
 
Leia reminds him to make sure he’s transmitting the real ID so they’ll know it’s really him.  He has her turn on the bow holocamm so they can record.
 
Ben is still hidden, but realizes he’s in the corridor that will take him to the station’s repulsor control chamber.  It’s not far away, but moving along it will take forever because the enemy is looking for Jedi.  He decides to be sneaky.  Pulling his boots and clothes off until he’s stripped to his underclothes, he stuffs his gear in a pouch and runs down the hall.
 
During the battle, Lysa’s wingmate has to pull out, leaving Lysa to try something on her own.  She confronts an X-Wing and is amazed by the incredible evasive maneuvers it takes without even firing a shot.  The pilot is impressed with her, too, comming her to say she must have learned some of her skills from Tycho Celchu.
 
In fact, she had, but the voice is that of her father, Wedge Antilles.  Lysa is Wedge’s daughter, Syal, who took pilot training under a pseudonym so she’d not be unfavorably compared to her famous father.  She’s never encountered him in combat, though.  Feeling guilty for firing on him and killing fellow Corellians, she muses how the universe has become a crazy place.
 
He’d once told her to focus and her odds of survival would be better.  So she focuses on nothing else and keeps going.
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 


#13
Jedi Cool

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chapter 13:
 
Jacen bursts his way through doors and slices through CorSec agents on his way to complete his mission.  Ben runs into a CorSec officer in the hallway and puts on the performance of a panicked child checking on his father.  The officer lets him pass.  Ben realizes how easy that was, but also knows that a successful mission might doom that guard to death. 
 
Still, more people will die if they fail.  It’s a small wrong to do a greater good as Jacen has often told him.  Still, he remembers his father telling him that there are times when the end justifies the means, but making it a habit produces an entire philosophy of evil.
 
Jacen get the signal from Ben that the target is in sight.  He continues to battle his opponents, using the Force to blow their power packs.  Spotting Thrackan with a comlink, he knows he will have more surprises coming his way.
 
Ben finds the repulsor control room and tells the guards that he is lost.  The guards argue over protocol versus what is most convenient for them.  When one of them decides to download a map for Ben, he waits until her security card is in the door, pulls his lightsaber, destroys a nearby security droid and leaps into the room as she tries to close it.
 
Inside the closed chamber, it doesn’t look much like what Dr. Seyah described, but there a large robot of some kind.  The unit greets him and asks who he is, introducing himself as Anakin Solo.
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#14
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chapter 14:
 
At the small Behareh Spaceport, Jaina and her team members wait.  Luke’s squadron is making a run over government centers to hide the reason they are here.  Once this team gets in the air, they’ll leave.  Tahiri’s speeder will be here in a couple of minutes.
 
Thann thinks there’s something she’s not telling them, though.  They spot Tahiri and Doran Tainer nearby with a huge bulk in the backseat of their speeder.  Jaina pulls the cloak off the bulk to find a protocol droid.  She demands to know where Tiu is. 
 
Doran explains Tiu is still in Sal-Solo’s mansion.  She’s hiding.  While they were withdrawing, they spotted this protocol droid. Doran had thought to dress it in his clothes, Tahiri and Tiu would carry it out and it would look like they were taking the body of a fallen comrade with them.  Since three went in, the guards would watch three escape and Doran would hide and see what he could find.
 
Tiu decided that she would do it instead.
 
The fighters are not breaking off of the Falcon.  Han refuses to fire on them, after he was the one responsible for this mess.  She points out that he’s going to lose the ship.  He knows this, finally sending her to the guns with Meelwah.
 
Syal and her squadron are ordered back to Dodonna to prepare for relaunch.
 
Luke is told the landing party has reported in, preparing to launch.  Luke has his squadron form up and head to Jaina’s position. 
 
On the way back to the Dodonna, Syal destroys an enemy frigate.
 
Leia fires on pursuing vessels until Han tells her that the GA forces are turning back into the space, their starfighters headed back.  She hopes this is over with.
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#15
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chapter 15:
 
Jacen pursues his father’s cousin while he he continues to battle guards and droids.
 
Ben tells the robot that Anakin has been dead since he was very little.  The robot tells him that’s true but Anakin became a ghost and was drawn here to inhabit this body to help his Corellian ancestors.
 
Ben tries to use the Force, but the droid has been equipped with anti-Jedi defenses that monitor brain activity used most often in utilizing the Force.  Then a repulsor holds the Jedi down to the ground and induces mild shocks.
 
Ben tries to explain that it’s not Anakin Solo, finally giving the droid a holocam, letting him examine it, then recording it and playing back the tape.  Proving that the droid isn’t a living, breathing Jedi, he explains he’s only here to disable the station.  The plan calls for a ten-minute warning allowing for people to get to the escape pods.  The droid doesn’t think that will be long enough to evacuate everyone.
 
Ben tells him how Thrackan can use the station to destroy stars.  He gives him the datachip that allows the ertsatz Anakin to see beyond places he’s not seen before.  The droid downloads the datachip, then purges his memories and backup files so they can’t be used again.  He won’t destroy the station, but will sound the evacuation alarm.  He gives Ben directions for getting out. 
 
Jacen tracks down Thrackan and uses the Force to push him into a wall. He evades one of Thrackan’s tricks and absorbs blasterbolts with his hand.  Trackan heard that Darth Vader could do that, but didn’t know all Jedi could.  Jacen tells him they don’t all.
 
When the evacuation alarm wails, Jacen tells him that his apprentice has succeeded in getting the station to destroy itself.  Jacen could share in his success by killing him.  Thrackan quickly surrenders, but Jacen hasn’t forgotten the damage he’s done to Corellia and his family over the years.
 
From the future, or one of many futures, Jacen sees events pass him too quickly to absorb.  War spreads out from Corellia from this point out.  Pain racks the Force.  He knows it emanates from a failure to kill Thrackan.
 
Thrackan distracts him long enough to propel into the air through a tube.  Jacen follows him but cannot catch him in time. 
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#16
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chapter 16:
 
The shuttle flies down what has apparently been renamed Wedge Antilles Boulevard, makes a turn and is spotted by Luke.  The X-Wings escort them into space.
 
Admiral Klauskin’s task forces pulls away from Corellia, its fighters recalled.  The ships jump to Tralus where he launches the fighters again.  Within two hours, the world is occupied.
 
Enemy reinforcements arrive but will not take action for fear of damaging the population here.  Klauskin goes back to his quarters where the image of his wife appears, congratulating him on his victory, assuring him he will be promoted to fleet admiral soon.  She urges him to get some sleep.
 
Two days later, Luke is escorted to a meeting with Chief Omas, Admiral Pellaeon, Admiral Niathal and several other officers.  Luke explains they had five operations going as part of the plan.  They were largely successful, but not without incident.  Corran’s job of checking out the starport for starfighter activity was made moot because most of the starfighters were in space.  Tahiri and Jaina’s mission to kidnap Prime Minister Saxan and Chief of State Sal-Solo were disrupted by ambushes.  Luke was able to retrieve both of those teams.  The final team disabled Centerpoint Station, but it was not destroyed. There was some loss of life among the security forces there. On all fronts, he notes that it is clear the Corellians knew they were coming.
 
Niathal asks if General Antilles could have been the source.  He had been picked up and detained prior to the operation, but escaped.  The Corellians have announced that Sal-Solo has pushed out the Minister of War, assumed the position himself and has assigned Antilles as a liason between Sal-Solo and the Prime Minister.
 
Pellaeon points out he would accept such a position himself if his own government had subjected him to being detained.  He doubts Antilles is fighting for Corellia so much as against the Galactic Alliance’s leadership.  Pellaeon wants the name of every officer who botched that assignment and see what can be done to placate Antilles.
 
Niathal asks Luke to put aside sentiment and honestly answer if he thinks his sister could have been the leak.  Luke doubts it as she would have had to know that her son and daughter, as well as her nephew, were involved and Leia would never endanger any of those lives.
 
Chief Omas concurs and agrees with Luke that they will have to find the leak.  In the meantime, Pellaeon wants to know what Luke thinks of Admiral Klauskin.  Luke admits that they were favorable during the mission planning, but it’s obvious the admiral doesn’t improvise well. 
 
His team didn’t spend a lot of time around Klauskin, but one of his Jedi, Tiu Zax, mentioned that he mentally blanked out at one point during a dinner.  It’s something many people do so he didn’t think anything of it.
 
Admiral Niathal explains that it appears the admiral has suffered some kind of breakdown.  His aide found him wandering the halls of the Dodonna searching for his wife about 12 hours after the occupation of Tralus.  While he is now under observation, his acts have only served to infuriate the Corellians who are continuing to rearm.  An operation that was meant to remind them of their obligations to the GA has turned into a public relations nightmare.  Several worlds are expressing outrage.
 
Prime Minister Saxan has agreed to meet with a GA rep so Pellaeon will meet her at a neutral location.  She has also allowed for the neutrality of the Jedi and will permit as many present as Luke wishes.
 
Luke is fine with that, but he points out that she must understand the Jedi have sworn to defend the Galactic Alliance.  Omas supposes she wants peace in order to keep Sal-Solo in line and to save the Corellians face.
 
She’ll likely insists on a withdrawal from Tralus and that’s a given anyway, but they’ll save it for her demands.  Niathal doesn’t think they should.  Tralus should be reinforced and used as a jumping off point in case the Corellians don’t comply. 
 
Omas doesn’t agree with her.  They will withdraw, but only after the meeting.
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#17
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chapter 17:
 
Han and Leia meet in an airspeeder after some information gathering.  She has learned that Centerpoint Station was sabotaged by Jacen and Ben. Ben did most of the work, but doesn’t seem to want to talk about it.  Jaina was part of a team sent to grab key Corellian politicians.  Han wonders what he can do to get Luke to stop sending his children into dangerous situations. 
 
Leia asks if he wouldn’t like to pull over first.  The Corellians were prepared for Jedi and had ambushes specifically set up for them.  Han knows that his going to Saxan caused that.  Leia reminds him he speculated to Saxan, but said nothing about Jedi.  Someone specifically told them when and where the Jedi would be.
 
The situation has escalated so there’s going to be a diplomatic meeting between Prime Minister Saxan and Admiral Pellaeon.  The Jedi will provide security.  Luke is hoping they will be there. 
 
The only thing left on Leia’s list is the group of admirers standing on the sidewalk, recognizing the famous couple and asking for holos with them.
 
At Toryaz Station a few days later, a group of ships arrives to prepare for the conference.  Wedge is one of the first security experts off-loaded.  Not long after that, he is met by Tycho Celchu who has been sent by the GA.
 
Tycho confirms a number of Intelligence officers were demoted in rank for their bungling of Wedge’s detention. He does wonder why Wedge is wearing a Corellian uniform.  Wedge explains that there a number of beings in the coalition Corellian government who want Saxan’s job.  For this reason, she’s had to promote Sal-Solo Minister of War.
 
She needs Wedge to keep an eye on him and make sure he thinks with his head and to promote peace at the conference.  If this doesn’t work out, he can go back to smuggling.  The girls are doing their own thing now anyway.  He asks if Tycho is still keeping an eye on Syal, admitting she fired on him at Corellia.
 
They’ve got to get this patched up or he’ll have family on both sides of this argument.
 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 


#18
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chapter 18:
 
Han is unhappy to find a party going on when the possibility of war is on the horizon.  Leia reminds him that the only person who wants war is Thrackan and he’s not powerful enough to control the other four Chiefs of State.
 
Jacen jokes that his father wants his blaster.  Luke smiles and looks around, telling Mara that the man who doesn’t exists was here.  He’s not sure how long ago, but he just had a flash in the Force.  Mara knows he must exist then.  Luke explains to the others that there is enemy coming into existence.
 
The party turns out to be a success with attendees crossing sides to mingle on the dance floor.  Jaina points out to her father that he’s a hero, too.  He could be walking around, getting to know people and making them feel better about being here.
 
In fact there are several female delegates here who look like they’re waiting for him to lack a dance partner.  Like right now.  Jaina steps away and Han is approached by a junior officer who introduces herself at Lt. Elsen Barthis.  Han recognizes the name as one of the officers who’d been involved in Wedge’s detention.
 
The delegates move into a small chamber after the party to discuss the issues.  After agreeing to use their first names, Pellaeon and Saxan begin by allowing that neither of them is blameless.  The Corellians secretly tried to activate Centerpoint; the GA was unfriendly in sending a task force there.
 
Getting these technicalities out of the way, Pellaeon points out, makes it easier to move on as he’s very old and any protracted argument when he could die any minute now is pointless.
 
Saxan laughes and explains that complete Corellian independence is not her sole priority.  Her world has worked well in the past both as part of a wider government and as an independent state.  What they don’t want is to be a disarmed state, dependent on the GA to protect them.  People sitting here right now, such as Han and Wedge, are a testimony to the independent Corellians spirit that has benefited the galaxy.
 
The Corellian-born Pellaeon asks then if they are just wanting to preserve a Corellian navy above their basic Defense Force.  She assures him they do, but he ponts out that they may not be able to do that witout draining their economy due to their agreement to provide resources to the GA.  She thinks their allotment would have to be reduced and the Corellian navy would be available to the GA when called upon.  Pellaeon insists the GA comes first.
 
Leia seems focused on the aides, Luke looks serene but still troubled by this man who doesn’t exist.  Han is troubled by this as Luke can see things others can’t.  Jacen is intent on the debate, but also turns away to stare in some random direction.  Perhaps Jacen can see things Luke can’t.
 
Later, in the Solos’ quarters, Jacen admits he doesn’t like the idea of this mytery man, but senses his father doesn’t like it for different reasons.  Jacen has been searching through the Force, trying to peer into the future and the past to find anything he can.  He’s found nothing.  There’s a faint touch of a female that feels malevolent, but he can’t attach it to anything specific.
 
Leia wonders if it’s the same person but projecting a different gender. Jacen thinks he would sense it the same way Luke does.  Besides, Luke hasn’t mentioned a female presence at all.  Jacen thinks luke is dismissing a lot of premonitions he may be getting because they don’t match his philosophy.  He certainly proved he was wrong about the Corellians rolling over for the GA.
 
Leia admits Luke hasn’t studied the same alternate philosophies Jacen has, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.  Jacen thinks his point is worth listening to.  Luke has spent years with the burden of the Jedi Order on his shoulders and may be burning out.  He’s closed himself off to certain paths of learning. That limits his vision.
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 


#19
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chapter 19:
 
Security chief, Captain Siron Tawaler, watches the screen as a female beside him comments on how security officers are so innovative.  Tawaler had been flattered when this beautiful Kuati woman had told him he was being considered as her telbun.  This would be a boon to his family.
 
He has to pass a test of loyalty to her house by eliminating a rogue Jedi assigned to kill her. 
 
He allows twenty uniformed humans onto the station.  There seems to be something wrong with them.  His female companion tells him they are dying from serious wasting diseases. 
 
The soldiers head down the passageway. She turns to Tawaler and tells him to board the shuttle that brought them here.  It will take him to Kuat.  When he gets into the airlock, he doesn’t see it.  She assures him it’s there.  Then he sees it right where it should be.  She reminds him he has his pressure suit on and to go ahead and depressurize the lock. 
 
The killers move down the corridor and into a security station. 
 
Jacen wakes up, sensing something is wrong. 
 
Luke sits up in bed, telling Mara that something is going on.  The door blows off and flies at Luke.  Luke pushes it back through the open portal and leaps to the doorway, igniting his lightsaber.
 
Mara joins him in fighting off the armored attackers.
 
Jacen pulls his lightsaber when the door blows open.  He flips Ben’s bed over as cover.  Luke and Mara are on their way.  Jaina comes from another door with her own lightsaber.  Zekk from his own room, complaining someone keeps trying to blow him up.
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#20
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chapter 20:
 
Han and Leia are sitting on the couch when the intruders enter and are surprised that they aren’t noticed.  As the attackers set up a blaster rig to destroy the bedroom door, Han pulls his blaster and shoots one in the throat.  Leia pulls her lightsaber and they fight out of the suite, down the corridor. 
 
Other figures are being pushed out of delegate’s quarters.  The Jedi and Han race down to find the doors of the Corellian delegation’s suite open.  They find members of the Corellian security detail on fire, three dead intruders and Wedge in his nightclothes with a blaster.  The body of Prime Minister Saxan is burned through the torso.
 
Leia heads to the GA delegation quarters, runs into Tycho Celchu and is saddened to see a man on the floor.  He assures her it’s not Pellaeon.  The admiral steps out of the shadows to explain it’s his double. 
 
They all agree that the attackers looked sickly, many of them foaming at the mouth and dying quickly.  Wedge and Tycho quickly take over the investigation.  They insist on lock downs at once.
 
Wedge and Tycho had recommended both Pellaeon and Saxan have doubles and switch assigned bedrooms, but only Pellaeon had taken them up on it.  Saxan’s security chief overruled those suggestions and Han recognizes the name as being someone who worked with Thrackan.
 
Denjax Teppler, a former husband of Saxan’s, will take over as Prime Minister until new elections can be held.  Luke has most of them spread out to investigate while Han will stay here and provide security while Pellaeon gathers data.
 
Ben looks pale and won’t let his mother touch him. 
 
Jaina asks Wedge and Tycho if she’s interrupted a veterans’ parade.  Tycho quips how Jedi senak up on even their friends.  Wedge thinks Tycho is losing his hearing. Tycho believes Wedge’s joint-creaking defeaned him.
 
They both agree that they shouldn’t be speaking to a traitor.  Jaina reminds them she is half-Corellian, has never been raised as a citizen and her mandate as a Jedi is to consider the greater good. 
 
Tycho notes how she jumps to conclusions.  Wedge says she also talks too much.  Tycho adds that she has to because the boy who follows her everywhere doesn’t say anything. 
 
A nod from Zekk confirms this.
 
Wedge explains that someone with her aptitude for flying shouldn’t be running around in robes and swinging an energy sword. 
 
They do get to the point eventually, admitting that it’s not a veterans’ parade, and that the stations’s chief of security is missing. There are no holocam recordings for the time of the attack.  Jaina has been through his quarters, though. 
 
Wedge explains that they came to the airlock to find out if the station logs door openings and closings.  They learned that this particular airlock door opened shortly before the attack for about a minute while there was no listing of a ship docked outside.  Then it went through depressurization, opened, closed and repressurized.
 
There’s a mystery here.  But Jaina knows they found something and Zekk forces a trade for what he learned, too.  Wedge produces an orange rag wrapped around something.  Zekk explains that the officer’s comlink reads as being off-base, so this means that he’s not here, but somewhere close because it’s still sending a signal. 
 
She opens the orange rag.
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#21
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chapter 21:
 
Wedge and Tycho confirm that a shuttle departed another habitat at around the same time the attack was beginning.  It headed away from Kuat and jumped to hyperspace.  No other vessels arrived or departed after that due to the station lockdown.   The bodies of the attackers are analyzed.  Each had been dying of an incurable illness and had been killed either by weapons or a powerful poison released by injectors in their mouths.
 
They have traced Captain Tawaler’s comlink signal to his body in space.  It’s brought back to the station where it’s determined that the decompression is what killed him and, by all appearances, he willingly stepped out the airlock.
 
Jacen and Ben wonder around, seeking impressions through the Force. In the security chamber and air lock, he gets a female aspect to the impressions, but can get no clear sense of it. Mara and Leia dig through the recordings to find the modifications that erased the arrival and departure of the shuttle. 
 
Luke meets them all the next morning to compare notes.  They know that the killers were largely Corellians who were fitted with powerful and difficult-to-get toxins, knew where everyone was supposed to be sleeping, influenced Captain Tawaler into letting them on the station and killing himself and carrying weapons designed for use against Jedi.  This may mean a rogue Jedi is at work here.
 
Han is sure it is Thrackan.  Obviously, he wants revenge for how Jacen and Ben wrecked Centerpoint.  Luke notes again how haunted his son looks, wondering if Ben would ever reveal to Han and Leia that he encountered a droid that thought it was Anakin.
 
Wedge doesn’t think it was Thrackan and Leia agrees.  Even Thrackan must realize how ruinous war will be the Corellian economy.  Jacen hadn’t mentioned that he was going to kill Thrackan and, it appears, Thrackan didn’t mention it to anyone either, probably so that no one could assign a motive for him attacking the conference.  Jacen tells them that he didn’t sense anything in his confrontation with Thracken that indicated he was taking the intrusion personally.
 
Jaina reveals the piece of orange cloth she’d gotten from Wedge.  It seems to be something organic and patterned with different colors and designs.  It was found in the airlock, but they don’t know if Tawaler dropped it or someone else did.
 
Pellaeon is called away for his morning report.  Wedge goes to retrieve the Prime Ministers, leaving only the Jedi and Han.  Luke tells them all that this mission has been a a failure.  The delegations are likely being recalled right now.  He wants Jacen and Ben to find out what they can about Tawaler and the Force user he must have had contact with.  She can’t have disappeared without a trace.
 
Jaina and Zekk need to look into the tassel they found, to find out if it was left deliberately or just dropped, where it came from and what it means.  After that, they should return and take command of Hardpoint Squadron until Mara and he get back.
 
Leia and Han should try to calm things down between Corellia and the GA.  Luke and Mara will travel to Corellia and look into the origins of this attack.  Ben worries that the assassins are after him, too.  Luke admits that, if this was precipitated by the disabling of Centerpoint, then they’re likely gunning for Ben, too. However, Luke will not allow such people to remain free.
 
Jacen asks Jaina if he can see the tassel.  He finds he can almost read the artist’s intent.  One color line means peace, another strife, some threads are claws.  The moral is that even a powerful life will know strife and hooks will be there to pull one into strife.  He knows there’s more.
 
He asks Jaina if she’d like to trade missions.  He’s getting a feeling from these tassels and would like to investigate them.  She can look into Tawaler’s demise.  Jaina thinks they should talk to Luke first, but Jacen would rather not.  Luke second-guesses many of Jacen’s instincts lately, despite always urging him to trust them. 
 
Ben tells his parents that the whole family should be on Corellia, hammering away at Thrackan until he confesses and can be locked away.  Mara tells him they are all angry, but they cannot assume that Thrackan is responsible.   Ben points out that he knows they shouldn’t let their instincts guide their actions when they are angry.  But they can when they’re cold inside because Jacen always is.
 
Luke assumes Ben means that Jacen often hides his emotions from others.  That can seem cold.  However, Ben can’t say that the Force is directing him as to who should win this conflict.   It’s not wrong for the Corellians to want freedom from the Galactic Alliance if they want it. 
 
Ben tells them Jacen has said it will cause unrest.  Mara agrees because life often has unrest in it.  They serve the GA as Jedi, but they have a certain latitude in interpreting their missions.  If they can resolve a conflict without fighting, they will.
 
He should watch out for those who think they have the right answer.  They’re often wrong. 
 
Within an hour, all the parties leave, save Jaina, Zekk, Jacen and Ben. 
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  • Jacen says Luke often second-guesses his instincts.  When have we seen that recently?  Luke continues to send Jacen on vital missions, continues to trust Jacen with his son, continues to ask his opinion, even if he doesn’t always agree. 

 


#22
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chapter 22:
 
Luke and Mara enter the capital city of Coronet, him posing as an actor who looks like Luke Skywalker.  The CorSec officer at the security station assures him he’s too short to pull off Skywalker.
 
Han and Leia are also posing as actors portraying the two famous Rebels heroes as they looked during the height of their activities during the Rebellion. 
 
After posing for a holo with two tourists who are excited to meet Jedi impersonators, Luke and Mara separate on the street. Mara takes a rented airspeeder for a few meetings.  Luke takes public transportation toward the government district where a school for Jedi has recently been closed.
 
The government had tried rounding them up, too, but Luke had taught his students everything he knew about avoiding hunters.  He meets Corran Horn inside. Mirax is under house arrest because the government can’t decide whether or not she can be helpful smuggling materials into the system or if they can’t trust her because she’s married to a Jedi. 
 
Corran has Luke’s lightsaber components, clothing and credits hidden here. While reassembling his gear, Luke asks how the Corellian Jedi are handling things.  Corran admits they are distressed at having to hide or be recruited to work against the GA.  They are holding out for now.  Corran would like them to be transferred off of Corellia so they can do their duty as Jedi without having to feel like they are betraying their homes and famlies.
 
As for the children, removing them would take them farther from danger, but also from their families.  Luke thinks he’ll move them off-world, too, so they can continue their training and mimize their attachments for now.
 
Mara looks at Thrackan Sal-Solo’s unlovely estate that is largely bunker.  Her job is to extract Tiu Zax.  She finds her in an escape tunnel, of which Thrackan appears to have four.  She figured out how to patch a datapad into the internal holocam system.
 
Sal-Solo doesn’t spend much time here which has allowed her to enter his personal quarters.  She thinks she’s found the master control set for the building’s security and communications computers, but they’re well defended, requiring Sal-Solo’s biometric indentification.
 
Mara happens to have brought that with her. 
 
Tiu has spent most of the time avoiding detection which isn’t easy as Sal-Solo and his security officers are paranoid.  Mara thinks they should rest for awhile until they can visit Thrackan’s quarters and go to work.
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  • Minimizing attachments?  Really, Master Skywalker?  You have Corellian children training as Jedi on Corellia near their Corellian families.  A crisis develops and you think removing the children from home is important so they can train with their attachments minimized?  You do realize this is why the Old Republic Jedi didn’t allow Jedi to have families or loyalties to their homeworlds, right?  For exactly this reason!

 


#23
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chapter 23:
 
The droids take Han and Leia down a hallway where they are led into a room where they are greeted by Prime Minister Denjax Teppler.  Leia offers her condolences for his loss.  Teppler admits that he’s also lost his brother – a CorSec officer who defended his ex-wife Aidel.  After Aidel died, he received a package sent to him in the event of her death.  She expected that it might get him killed, but he thinks he’ll be alright so long as he remains an asset to certain people.
 
He’d appreciate staying alive, but he would prefer to make sure Corellia isn’t ruined by either a devastating war or by an idiotic regime.  He’s smuggled the Solos here in order to view a meeting he’s being prevented from attending.  He doesn’t have many allies here; he’s more of a front man than anything else.  They keep him busy enough that he doesn’t have to do anything important.
 
There is a top secret meeting today to discuss getting GA forces off of Tralus.  He’s giving them the opportunity to watch the meeting from this chamber.
 
In Thracken’s quarters, Mara quickly gets passed the security on his computer, only to find that he’s forwarded all of his records to a more secure system inconveniently housed in the government halls.   But she is able to find other, less-important data that might be useful, as well as, somehow, the information she was looking for.
 
A message had come in several days before informing Thracken that a meeting between representatives of the GA and the Corellian governments would be taking place on Troyaz Station in the Kuat System.  The anonymous sender offers details on the locations of all the delegates at all times, as well as their security arrangements.  
 
Tiu can’t sense any animosity toward the sender of the message and the fact that Thracken received the information doesn’t mean he paid to get it.  
Mara decides to steal Thracken’s escape craft.
 
Han and Leia watch the meeting participants enter the room, including Admiral Vara Karathas whom they’d seen on the holonews the day they met Aidel Saxan.  The meeting begins when Wedge arrives.
 
Karathas is unhappy with the scenario they now find themselves in.  They cannot eject GA forces from Tralus without causing harm to their own citizens, something likely to make them unpopular.  But they cannot ignore the GA’s presence; the commend post in Rellidir has to be destroyed.  Unfortunately, the GA’s command post, a Center for the Performing Arts venue, is in a densely-populated area.  There are likely to be thousands of civilian targets.
They are going to send commandos to knock out the GA’s shield generators.  After that, Shriek-class bombers will assault the shielded region from all sides, likely pursued by the GA.  Any shields still standing will be bombarded until the center is destroyed.
 
The pursuing craft will look like GA forces, but will actually be units of the Corellian Defense Force that will reinforce the power of the bombers which will cause the population to blame the GA for the civilian deaths.
 
Wedge stuns Han and Leia by pointing out that it’s to the Corellians’ advantage to maximize civilian deaths.  If Karathas is okay with causing the deaths of their own people to gain a public outrage advantage, then she should agree that even more deaths would benefit them greater.
 
He, on the other hand, thinks they can achieve their goals without killing their own people and reducing the risk that this will cause a war.  Thracken doesn’t care for the plan Karathas just outlined, his plan, to be characterized as wanton.  Wedge points out that killing their own people might fool the population right now, but it will eventually be discovered.  He suggests that they stage a diversionary run on the shields to try to overload them and bring them down.  It will likely fail, forcing the bombers into orbit with GA pursuers after them.
 
A nearby housing complex is being built with a large underground hangar.  A couple of [i]Shriek/i]-class bombers will use the diversion to fly through the housing complex and destroying the Command Post/Arts Center.  Those bombers will blow a hole in the avenue down into the hangar area of the housing complex, fly through it and blow an exit hole to get out.    Targeter droids will be released, leading the hundreds  of missles following the bombers to lead them to the shields and the command post being protected by them.  It is inevitable that some civilians will be killed, but not thousands. Wedge offers the use of veterans who have experience with these types of craft.  
 
Thracken thinks this plan is worth reviewing.
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#24
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

    They call me MRS. Six!

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chapter 24:
 
At Toryaz Station, Jacen is talking to a Twi’lek named For’ali on holocom.  The Twi’lek explains that the bottom knot is a thought, an idea.  It’s a way of preserving thoughts the way writing does.  The closest Basic translation is “He will strengthen himself through pain”.  Jacen notes its similarity to an old Jedi saying, “There is no pain where strength lies”.   For’ali assure him that it doesn’t mean the same thing.  
 
He cannot read any of the other knots; they’re not Twi’lek.   The one he can read is actually derived from a small minority group on Ryloth called the Tahu’ip.   All the tassels could be a form of writing, but from different cultures.  It’s possible there might be a way to read all of them through one source if
he checks on the world of Lorrd.  Its people are proficient in nonverbal communication.  
 
Ben knows that Jacen is bothered by the similarity to the Jedi saying.  Jacen notes that the tassel is less wholesome than the Jedi saying, true, but he also points out that it could be applicable to him, especially considering his captivity during the war.  They are going to Lorrd.
 
While waiting for the YVH droids to retrieve them, Leia implores Han not to volunteer for Wedge’s mission.  Thracken will surely guess who will be involved and there’s a good change he would sabotage Han’s ship after the completion of the mission.
 
They are interrupted by Thracken stopping Wedge before leaving the meeting room.  Thracken knows that Syal is serving with GA forces on Tralus under an assumed name.  He wants Wedge to contact her and persuade her to follow whatever instructions Thracken sends her.  If he doesn’t, Thracken has enough evidence to court martial Wedge for disobeying orders and have him executed.
 
Wedge points out that executing him will rob Thracken of both his experience and his galaxywide network of contacts.  He needs to leave Wedge’s family out of this.  Thracken tells him he will go to Syal personally.  Wedge acknowledges Syal might go along with this, but, at least, Wedge will not be a part of it.
 
Han and Leia can’t help but feel that Thracken will go after Wedge once he is of no more use to him.
 
At Tralus, Jaina and Zekk survey the empty X-Wings just sitting there.  Zekk orders Hardpoint Squadron to assemble at once in whatever state of dress in which they find themselves.  Jaina thinks they need to find someplace less vulnerable for their fighters.
 
On the Dodonna, Syal Antilles, still posting as “Lysa Dunton” is approached by a mechanic who wants to give her greetings from her homeworld and asks to speak with privately.
 
Within the hour, she is sitting in an interrogation room while VibroSword Leader and a dark-skinned human woman question her regarding an incident that’s just occurred.  She’s shot someone and they want to know why.  Syal that he tried to recruit her to work for the Corellian government and that she shot him when he lunged for her blaster pistol in order to bring him into custody.  When asked why she had a blaster in the first place, she explains that she’s carried one ever since her father recommended it when she started dating.
 
Her interrogators don’t know why a low-level ensign like her would be attractive to Corellian spies out of everyone on board this ship.  She is forced to admit that she is really Syal Antilles and that she just didn’t want to be unfairly compared to her father.  VibroSword Leader tells her they’ll verify her story and either she’ll be court-martialed or discharged to go back and fly for her father.  The woman, GA Intelligence, sends him out of the room.  
 
She doesn’t know what his problem is, but she flew with Syal’s father for a little while.  If her story checks out, she’ll remain in the military, but not with the VibroSwords.  She’ll be moved to the Aleph-class fighters and might as well change her name back.
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#25
Jedi Cool

Jedi Cool

    They call me MRS. Six!

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chapter 26:
 
On Coruscant, Luke returns to the conference room to see Omas, Pellaeon and Niathal again.  He reports that the evidence provided by Mara demonstrates that, at the very least, Sal-Solo knew about the plot at the Toryaz Station conference.
 
Omas points out that Sal-Solo could easily claim that he thought the message was a hoax.  There’s no evidence he requested the information.  Luke suggests capturing him and dragging out a criminal trial to keep him out of commission until they can resolve the situation.
 
Niathal likes it.  Omas does not because it sets a precedent for kidnapping planetary rulers.  This could get turned back on him some day.  Luke thinks they could get help from the interim Prime Minister Teppler who thinks he will only live so long as he’s not a threat to Sal-Solo.
 
As for other Corellian issues, Luke has removed the underaged Jedi trainees from the planet so they won’t be retaliatory targets, Mara has some Intelligence information about some midlevel government officials, there is an increase in the number of planets supporting Corellia’s position.
 
Luke had wanted to rejoin his squadron at Tralus, but they ask him to stay until they can figure out how to best use the Jedi.
 
Syal Antilles and her co-pilot, Zueb Zan, fly through testing the Aleph-starfighters that are clunkier and more heavily shielded than other starfighters and are not aesthetically-pleasing either.
 
When they are told to head back to base, she decides to head down to Tralus and run the unit through some paces first.
 
Ben returns to Dr. Rotham’s offices just as she is starting her evaluation.  The first strand is from the dead world of Firrere and reads, “He will remake/rename himself”.  The nest is the Bith strand about ruining those who deny justice, the third used by prisoners on Kessel reads, “He will choose the fate of the weak”, the next one is indeterminate and the next comes from Alderaan, stating, “He will choose how he will be loved”.
 
There are several others about choosing a new skin, strengthening himself through sacrifice, crawl through his cloak, know brotherhood, make a pet, and one from Ryloth indicating that, “He will strengthen himself through pain”.  There is one that she cannot translate.  It’s from Ziost.  Jacen tells her it means, “He will be drawn from peace into conflict”
 
He sees a huge Sith influence in the statements. 
 
Dr. Rotham brought in a beadmaker who is sure the strands were crafted by different hands.  Someone has collected them and assembled them this way. 
 
Ben tells Jacen he found the shuttle that escaped Toryaz Station.  The transponder code matches and the design.  He waited around the spaceport to decide what he wanted to do.  When shuttles landed, they somehow caught his attention.  He checked his datapad to see if any of them matched and found that one not too far from where the Y-Wing blew up.  It’s registered to a Brisha Syo from Commenor.  He’s got spaceport security watching it and they’ve put a transmitter on the hull.
 
Jacen asks what Ben’s done with the rest of his day.  Ben thinks he’s being mocked, but his cousin assures him that they have to bring him down some or he’ll turn out with an ego like Lando’s.  Ben turns to Nelani and begins hitting on her in a smooth Lando-style voice.
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