Crossroads is a short story by Atarumaster88. It is within the Yanibar Tales as part of the Force Exile Series. Crossroads continues the story of the characters of the Force Exile trilogy a year after the events of Force Exile III: Liberator.
Welcome, my friend, to a galaxy far, far away. Enter the realm of Jedi and bounty hunters, soldiers and droids, rulers and beggars, aliens and humans. From Stackpole’s Corellians to Traviss's Mandalorians, immerse yourself in a universe with the exotica of Zahn, the wit of Allston, the grimness of Stover, the daring of Ostrander, the imagery of Luceno, the detail of Wallace, and most importantly, the vision of George Lucas, to whom we owe it all. And if you listen close enough, you’ll hear the sweet sounds of John Williams’ score in the background. Welcome to Star Wars.
Greetings, traveler. What brings you here to our remote corner of space? There’s little of value here if you’re after money, and little action for a thrill-seeker. After all, what significance does a dusty Outer Rim world have to the big galaxy out there? No, we’re a simple folk here on Yanibar, content to mind our own business and let the galaxy minds its own. Now, what did you say you wanted? Stories? Ah, you want to know if the scattered myths of three hundred years ago are true, if the legends of a great power that once lived here are more than old wives’ tales. They are. Once, this world was home to a great people-nothing special by themselves, but united, capable of great things. They lived and died here, all those years ago, as surely as you and I are standing right here. So, pull up a chair, grab something to drink, and I’ll tell you some of the old Yanibar tales.
Selusda Kraen, Milya Tayrce, and Spectre embark on a mission to the world of Ord Cestus. However, things do not go as planned and the trio must improvise if they are to complete their goal and escape with their lives. As the might of the Empire descends upon them, it becomes a desperate race to secure the future of the Jedi.
The three made their way through the crowds, walking casually, making no pretense of haste. They were blending in to the crowd, as inconspicuously as possible, yet as alert as a sentry droid. All three of them were enemies of the Empire, and while the Imperial presence wasn’t obtrusive, they knew all too well how quickly Imperial personnel could come boiling out of their hidden garrisons if a disturbance presented itself. Passing through the spaceport district, they walked past numerous docking ports, all busy with spacers and locals performing the myriad tasks that came with landing a ship on a world: repairing, bargaining, loading, unloading, refueling, buying and selling. Ord Cestus, being primarily an exporter of droids, did enjoy a brisk trade with a number of nearby worlds willing to buy small amounts of droids. “Wait a minute,” Spectre stiffened. “That’s odd.” “What is it?” Selu asked softly. “Have you found our friends?” “No,” Spectre said. “I did sense something though.” “Where?” Milya asked. Spectre looked around; searching for whatever had tripped his senses, set him alert. He wasn’t quite sure what it was, but years of practice had honed his perceptions to the point where he generally knew when he was the subject of someone’s attention.
- Djinn Altis, Jedi Master
- Milya Tayrce, Yanibar Guard
- Selusda Kraen, Yanibar Guard
- Spectre, Yanibar Guard
- Sheeka Tull, starship pilot
- Located at Crossroads
In 14 BBY, Selu Kraen, Milya Tayrce, and Spectre journey to the world of Ord Cestus after learning of Jedi hiding there from an informant. While walking through the city of ChikatLik, Spectre realizes they are being followed by a woman. They confront the woman, Sheeka Tull, who recognizes them as Jedi and admits to being curious about Spectre due to having once known another ARC trooper during the Clone Wars. Leaving Tull in peace, the three find their way to the Jedi hideout, but are disturbed by the arrival of Imperial ships. Selu sends Spectre back to prepare the Hawk-bat for departure while he greets the Jedi, an outcast sect led by Masters Djinn Altis and Plett. They accept his invitation to Yanibar and Selu and Milya escort them back toward the ship.
Meanwhile, en route to the Hawk-bat, Spectre finds Sheeka Tull being harassed by a pair of stormtroopers. Unwilling to let her be interrogated, Spectre intervenes, killing both of them, and, attracted as he is to Sheeka, invites her and the son she’d previously had with the ARC trooper, to live on Yanibar. She accepts and takes her son aboard her own ship into space after picking up some of the Jedi while Spectre heads for the Hawk-bat. Selu and the rest of the Jedi sneak through the spaceport, protected by Force camouflage, but the sudden arrival of Darth Vader unnerves Selu. Djinn Altis and Plett fight Vader while Selu and the others escape, but perish in the attempt. Selu is distraught about having newly acquired responsibility for dozens of new Jedi students, but the Force ghost of Djinn Altis appears and reassures him of his own capabilities, conferring on Selu the rank of Jedi Master. With both the Hawk-bat and Sheeka Tull’s Spindragon free of Ord Cestus and having escaped the Imperial cordon, they journey back to Yanibar.
Behind the scenes
Crossroads was released in June 2008 as the first entry in the Yanibar Tales. At approximately 14,000 words long, it is about average length for the Yanibar Tales. Like many of the Yanibar Tales, Crossroads is set between the prequel and original Star Wars movie trilogies.
When writing Crossroads, Atarumaster88 had two goals. First, he wanted to tie in the missing Jedi from Children of the Jedi as well as introduce Sheeka Tull as a love interest for Spectre, something that had originally been planned for inclusion in Force Exile III: Liberator, but was cut for length. As such, both Children of the Jedi and The Cestus Deception influenced Crossroads. Whether or not both Jedi Masters would die at the end of the story wasn't decided until the story was actually being written; the author originally had either Plett or Altis surviving.
As is typical with Force Exile Series works, Crossroads has numerous references and homages contained within its prose. Many of these references are to other canonical Star Wars works. Sheeka Tull's son is named after A-98 "Nate", aka Jangotat from The Cestus Deception. The Jedi Knight and her lover Altis mentions that went to stop the Imperial superweapon are references to Callista Ming and Geith, from Children of the Jedi.
Outside of Star Wars references, Selu's thoughts about the Hawk-bat fighting very bravely and dying very quickly are a reference to similar line in the movie The Mask of Zorro. Selu's line of "I'm not quite sure I'm ready" near the end of the story is a reference to a similar line in the C. S. Lewis book Prince Caspian.
Recognition and reception
Crossroads currently has no awards or featured work status.
Notes and references
|Force Exile Series|