Jacen tells the phantom Luke that he’s as good as his real master. The phantom asks who that is, but Jacen says he already knows. The phantom offers to talk about this with him, but Jacen doesn’t really negotiate with phantoms.
The phantom Luke sidesteps Jacen’s attack and Brisha stops the fight. The phantom vanishes and Jacen asks who that really was. She tells him it was a combination of the real Luke Skywalker and the dark side energy here. This was a test.
He thinks it’s time for her to tell him her whole story.
Han is in a good mood until he sees the Aleph again and knows Syal knows what’s going on. He also knows what she’s doing. She’s in his targeting sights now, but he just can’t kill his friend’s daughter.
He decides to fire on the duracrete underneath her fighter instead.
Her ship is kicked up in the air, she sees red and cannot reach her control yoke as the buildings spin around her.
When it flies off, Wedge chastises Han mildly for missing. Han just urges the ship to keep flying away. To his dismay, she regains control and comes back. Missles emerge from the building heading to the sky. She tries to lead a few toward him, but his ship had already been designated a nontarget by the droids.
He is alright until most of the missles reach their arcs and turn back toward the ground. They hit the dome of the shields, the punch through them, collapsing the buildingMissles continue to rain down.
Luke tells Mara he was fighting a version of Jacen. She was fighting Ben. He wonders why they didn’t both get sent Ben increasing the odds one of them would hesitate. There is a dark-side Force user of some kind or a group of them. Something is happening out there and he needs to find out what it is.
Brisha takes Jacen to a door that leads to an immense cavern in which hides a mansion built along the style of Naboo architecture. She tells him she was trained to be a Sith by Darth Vader. Despite what Jacen has been told, Vader wasn’t a galaxy-conquering psychopath, but a sad man whose love in life died and whose only connection to the living world was the galaxy-conquering Palpatine. Her name is actually Shira Brie.
Jacen recognizes her as the better known Lumiya who had tried to kill several members of his familiy. Lumiya admits this but she was young and didn’t have the same breaks that Mara Jade did. She was raised on Coruscant and joined Imperial services to discredit Luke when he became a rebel hero. She did get attached to him and hoped to draw him to her side, but he shot her down during a battle.
Half of her body had to be replaced with cybernetic replacements. That’s when Vader took an interest in her. He trained her on Ziost, ut she never got to be the Mistress of the Sith. Interacting with the Force involves a living body. A replacement mechanical part is fine, but you must be mostly organic, which she is not. The greatest powers are closed to her as they were to Vader because of his mechanical parts. He probably never understood that.
This mansion is colorful and full of busts of people who were not Sith but were the joys of Vectivus’s life. Jacen perceives that he’s not here to be killed but to be lured to the Dark Side. She thinks that all the portents flowing into the future say that he’s the one since he’s already gotten a lot of Sith training.
She’s not trying to turn him into Palpatine who was twisted by the Dark Side. Jacen can resist those temptations because he, unlike his uncle, hasn’t been twisted by the light. Nelani appears and has heard enough. She tells Jacen that she and Ben were separated.
Lumiya explains that Ben is unhurt, but he is unconscious. Jacen reminds her that, whatever she is now, there are still charges against her she will have to face. She considers this, but thinks it’s sad that Jacen’s fear is what is motivating him.
He’s afraid that what she’s saying is true, that he’s destined to be the first Sith Lord in decades, the first one in centuries to use the Sith techniques to help others. Choosing this will make his comfortable life less so and he will continue to lack purpose.
Jacen knows it’s true. Since the end of the Yuuzhan Vong war, he has felt his life as a Jedi hasn’t given him the purpose he needs. Nelani is concerned. She can sense Jacen wavering, warning him that the Dark Side often mixes truth with lies.
Jacen reminds Lumiya that just because a man can build a nice-looking house doesn’t make him a good person. Even Palpatine was a patron of the arts. She hasn’t offered any proof that he ever existed, much less was a good man. The Sith are inevitably drawn to evil.
Lumiya can give him a name of one who wasn’t, but she shouldn’t bother with Nelani standing there wasting her lightsber battery. After all, surely Jacen knows that everything she’s telling him is a lie. Didn’t Vergere tell him that while she was training him as a Sith?
Jacen argues that he was trained to survive. Lumiya contends that survival is a Sith trait unlike the Jedi who train themselves for self-sacrifice. Jacen thinks she’s just making things up now. He tells Nelani to go get Ben.
Lumiya urges him not to. Death is in the air here. Someone will die and it could be any of them. If Ben comes here, it could be him. Jacen tries to look at the future but the pathways lead everywhere. In each one, however, one of them dies.
Lumiya goes to to tell him how Vergere resented the traditional ways of the Jedi Council. She began learning techniques that were not all part of the Jedi. She began to study Count Dooku which led her to Darth Sidious who had just taken Dooku as an apprentice. Sidious accepted her as a student because there can be many of those, though only one apprentice.
But Vergere saw Palpatine’s weaknesses and decided she should kill him. She strikes too soon and Palpatine sent killers after her. She quickly accepts a mission to find Zonama Sekot and chose to leave from there with the Yuuzhan Vong.
Jacen points out that it doesn’t make her a Sith. Lumiya reminds him that she cared for him, gave Mara the treatment that allowed to her have a child. Yet, Vergere could also be ruthless. She used it to improve her surroundings and to improve Jacen.
Nelani decides that’s enough and strikes at Lumiya.
- According to Darth Plagueis, which takes place well before this, but was written long after, Sidious did not approach Dooku about apprenticeship until after the events of TPM. This was many years after Vergere disappeared into the Unknown Regions during the events of Rogue Planet.
- Lumiya, as explained here, was someone Luke encountered before during Marvel Comics “Star Wars” run. Her story, as described here, is essentially accurate. She was just one of many of Vader’s students that he apparently packed into his 23-year apprenticeship with the Sith.
- Where did Vergere get the idea that learning from a Sith was not going to include controlling, ruling and destroying? Did she just think that she was learning from an alternate point of view? Did she think the Jedi were exaggerating?