Star Wars: Shadow Child is the fifth book in the Bryn Fulcron Series. In it, Bryn is exiled from the Jedi Order, and attempts to hunt down the Red Dawn on his own.
- Bryn Fulcron- Jedi Knight (Human Male)
- Jaina Solo- Jedi Knight (Human Female)
- Luke Skywalker- Jedi Grand Master (Human Male)
- Mara Jade Skywalker- Jedi Master (Human Female)
- Ben Skywalker- Jedi Learner (Human Male)
- Jacen Solo- Jedi Knight (Human Male)
- Cem Fel- Diplomat (Chiss Male)
- Bryt Fulcron- Jedi Knight (Human Female)
- Zekk- Jedi Knight (Human Male)
- Lando Calrissian- Entrepreneur (Human Male)
- Tendra Risant Calrissian- Entrepreneur (Human Female)
- Soontir Fel- Pilot (Human Male)
- Tahiri Veila- Jedi Knight (Human Female)
- Tryst Veila- Infant (Human Male)
- Valin Horn- Jedi Knight (Human Male)
Chapter 1: ArmatureEdit
[Day: 27| Month: 9| Year: 37 ABY| Time: 0705]
Bryn strode down the hallway, confidently. The Masters Skywalker had called him specifically to a meeting. A meeting by himself. He had a decent idea what is was going to be about, but even that could not put a damper on his mood.
He walked through a small outdoor courtyard, taking in the pleasant breeze. Many Jedi were here, at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. It was the first time he had been able to rest for at least two months. Capturing Tarc Rethcoe had taken a lot out of him, as did his ordeal afterwards.
He felt a lot of familiar prescences here, including the Msters Skywalker. He could feel their son, Ben, slowly coming out of his Force shell with Jacen Solo; they were practice dueling a few levels away. He could distantly feel Jaina, working on her Stealth X in the nearest hangar. He could feel Tahiri, his former lover, in the dormitory behind him, with-
He caught his breath.
With his son, Tryst.
It felt good to be able to say that. It felt god to have ridded the galaxy of a madman like Tarc before his son's birth. He still had work to do, of course, but he'd taken a major step in eradicating all the enemies he had, to keep the galaxy safer for his son. He would do ANYTHING to see that happen
Mara could feel the joy radiating off of Bryn as he walked into the Council Chamber. It wasn't cockiness, of entitlement, just sheer joy. She smiled at its purity. Bryn beamed right back. He was a new father, ready for anything that the galaxy had to throw at him. Except this. She glanced over at her husband, Luke. He had a much more somber look upon his face.
Might as well get it over with, farmboy. she nudged Luke in the Force. Bryn's smile started to fade as he started to understand.
"Bryn..." Luke spoke softly.
"We, as in the Masters, don't think you should be actively searching for the Red Dawn anymore."
Bryn said nothing, just stared at Luke solmenly, as if to say so it's come to this. He was ready.
"I have to, Luke." Bryn spoke almost as softly as her husband, and he NEVER called anything but Master. He was serious.
"Bryn, the remaining members, if they even exist, don't seem to have any ill intent toward the Jedi." Luke continued, following the plan they had laid out earlier.
"Tarc might have even been a rogue element. He might be acting on his own. There might not even BE a Red Dawn." Mara rebutted. She paused for breath.
"It could have all be a lie." Luke finished for her.
Bryn said nothing, just shaking his head, slowly. He locked eyes with Luke, and something unsaid passed between them. Luke shut himself off to her, drawing inwards.
No, not inwards she noted. Towards Bryn. She realized they were sharing a silent confrontation. After a few seconds, Luke sighed and shook his head, as if accepting a weight on his shoulders.
"Bryn, you can't keep doing this. It won't work every time."
Bryn still said nothing, but took a step forward. Then, all of a sudden, Mara's danger sense flared up. She put a hand to her lightsaber, instinctively searhing the room with all her senses.
Then it all became clear. Bryn threw himself at Luke, igniting his lightsaber with a flurry of strikes. Luke dodged them all, only using his own blade to drive off strikes that came too close. Mara leaped towards the confrontation, which had spilled out into the hall, but Luke waved off lazily.
They twirled and flipped, dancing a deadly dance with their blades. It was...mesmerizing, like a dance that had been perfectly coreographed. She wasn't the only one who had noticed. Several Jedi had gathered around them with confused looks on their faces. They didn't know if the duel was real.
Then Bryn started yelling.
"I HAVE TO KEEP TRYST SAFE!!! YOU WON'T STOP ME!!!"
Luke said nothing.
Bryn dodged a swipe from Luke, then flipped and spun 180 degrees to land behind Luke. But instead of a killing stroke, Bryn offered up a closed fist strike, catching Luke in the ribcage. Luke's breath exited his body in a whuff.
Bryn paused for a split-second, seemingly surprised he had felled his foe so quickly. It cost him.
In a blur of motion, Luke spun back around and swept Bryn's legs out, simlutaneously snatching the Jedi's lightsaber from him. By the time Bryn knew he was on his back, the Grand Master had both blades pressed to his neck.
"I hereby banish you from the Jedi Order, and strip you of your right to carry a lightsaber." Luke said softly.
Everyone, every Jedi in the immediate vicinity, including Jaina, Zekk, Jacen and Ben, dropped their jaws simultaneously. Except Luke, who said nothing, just sighed and shook his head. And except Bryn, who just smiled.
Chapter 2: In the Name of the FelsEdit
[Day: 5| Month: 10| Year: 37 ABY| Time: 1130]
A trio of Jedi StealthX's swooped down into Csilla's atmosphere, ion efllux trailing behind like a comet's tail, blue as the twilight sky. They aligned themselves, each one dropping onto a different raised pedastal, each one touching it's landing struts in perfect sychronization. The hatches popped open, and three Jedi leaped out, each one taking off their helmet before landing perfectly, both feet touching at exactly the same time.
The three Jedi walked to the edge of their respective platform, judging the distance between them, and leaped. They all came down at the same time on the fourth and largest platform, equidistant to each other. Then they all simultaneously marched to the man standing with his arms crossed behind his back, as if to parley impatience.
Soontir Fel was impressed with this show of sychroniztion, but he had seen better from the Jedi. From this particular Jedi, as a matter of fact. He reached out his hand, firmly and briskly shaking her hand. Jaina Solo smiled back, and bowed slightly. Zekk and Valin Horn did the same.
"Welcome, Jedi. Please, follow me." thje Baron Fel stated in his smooth voice. He led them throughout a complex series of tunnels and maintenance bays, purposely taking the long route, if only to throw off their sense of direction. Friend or not, it never hurt to confuse your visitors as to where exactly they were.
Finally he led them into a small conference room, with only a durasteel meeting table and a few chairs in it. He gestured for them to have a seat, which they did without delay. Solo smiled slightly and motioned for her fellows to sit as well. Without a moment's hesitation, Fel began.
"Around four standard days ago, we at this outpost picked up a distress transmission emanating from an Alliance scout ship which we had given leave to investigate the Unknown Regions. We tried to hail them afterwards, with no response. Normally, we would not consider letting other tread so far into the Regions, but the Ascendacy feels that the Galactic Alliance should be allowed to...recover any assets they may have lost."
Valin shot a confused look at Zekk. Obviously this was not what they came to hear. Jaina Solo showed no outward signs of surprise. Baron Fel respected that. It wasn't prudent to show anyone weakness, friend or foe.
"That is...distressing, Baron Fel, but not exactly what we came here for. We were under the impression that you had the whereabouts of a possible Red Dawn mothership?" Jaina spoke politely, but forcefully, something she undoubtedly learned from her mother.
Fel hesitated for a split second, unsure of where to take the conversation, wondering what exactly he could say next without tipping off the Jedi.
He didn't have to. A hologram flickered to life in the middle of the table, revealing a middle aged Chiss male, stadning cross armed on the bridge of a battleship, somewhere in the Ascendacy. Fel suppressed a smile.
"Aristocra Formbi." Jaina excalimed politely, bowing slightly as she had to Baron Fel. Fel smirked. She was definitely her mother's child.
"Jedi Solo, and comrades, welcome." the Aristocra, while not exactly a friend of the Jedi, had no ill will towards them. He was a wise choice to divert their attention.
"What's this about the Red Dawn, Jedi Solo?" Formbi asked politely.
"We were under the assumption that the Red Dawn had invaded Csilla, Aristocra. We recieved several coded messages at the Jedi Temple, all of which held either a warning or a call from help, and all them concerning the Red Dawn." Zekk, silent until now, spoke quietly and forcefully. He had come here to fight, Baron Fel decided. He admired that.
"We have no knowledge of such transmissions." Formbi asnwered quickly.
"The CEDF has no affiliation or contact with the Red Dawn." Baron Fel finished. He could tell that the Jedi were searching for a lie in his mind, but he was telling the truth. The CEDF, to the best of his knowledge, had never even seen the Red Dawn. They only knew of them through contact with the Jedi. With a few certain Jedi, to be particular. Speaking of him...
"Where is Jedi Fulcron? I would have figured he to be the first of you to respond to a Red Dawn sighting, real or not." Barn Fel asked quizzically.
Jaina exhancged panicked glances with Valin Horn. A few awkward seconds passed, and baron Fel's heart sank. He had liked Fulcron. He served well under the CEDF durign the Battle of Tenupe. His son, Jagged, had spoken highly of him during their service together. The thought of his son made Baron Fel's heart sink even lower. He had never been found after that fateful battle.
"He..." Jaina spoke up first. "He was exiled from the Jedi Order." it pained her to say those words.
After another awkward pause, Jaina regained her composure and assessed Aristocra Formbi. Baron Fel took that as a sign to drop the conversation.
"Aristocra," she continued, "so you're telling me that there has been absolutely no sign of the Red Dawn anywhere in the Asendancy?"
The Aristocra, politician as he was, had already planned a response before the question had been asked.
"Well, surely, we cannot account for every occurence, but there have been no telltale signs of Red Dawn activity in our space, no."
Without missing a beat, Jaina politely thanked the Aristocra and Baron Fel for their time, secured the coordinates for the missing Alliance ship, spun on her heel and left, Valin and Zekk in tow. Baron Fel wondered how long it woul dbe before they found out the truth.
He also wondered what exactly Bryn Fulcron had done to get himself exiled from the Jedi, and whether or not he would be interested in doing the Baron a little favor. In the name of the Fels, of course.
Chapter 3: BreakerEdit
[Day: 13| Month: 10| Year: 37 ABY| Time: 0513]
Valin Horn slowly released his pilot's yoke, easing himself back into the seat of his StealthX. He always hated coming out of hyperspace. It made him feel blind, helpless. He didn't like to feel helpless. Wiping the sweat from his brown, Valin reached out in the Force for his companions. Sure enough, he could feel them, Jaina Solo and Zekk, mere kilometers away on each side. They reached back to him, flooding assurance and confidence into the Jedi battle meld.
Confident that his fellows were as fine as he was, Valin began to gather his bearings. They were in the midst of a vast, empty space, no discernable objects in sight, aside from the vast field of stars, stretching as far as the eye could see. There were no signs of life near them. No Alliance cruisers to be seen.
Strange, this is exactly were the ship should be. He thought to himself.
Jaina had figured that the Chiss were leading them on a wild-bantha chase. Almost as if on cure, he felt her exasperation in the Force. She believed that the CEDF knew a lot more about the Red Dawn than they let on. Baron Fel seemed to have been honest enough, but Valin didn't like not being able to feel the Aristocra over the hologram. It gave the Chiss politician a decided advantage.
Then out of nowhere, Valin felt a pulse int he Force. A ship, emerging from Hyperspace. Instinctively juking his craft to the right, Valin narrowly avoided the incoming ship. A Star Destroyer, probably Victory class, blazed beneath, just meters from his canopy. Regaining control over his StealthX, Valin blasted away from the ship before it registered any part of him on sensors.
After a few kilometers, Valin turned his craft back around, and focused on finding his friends in the Force. Zekk was alert and confused, somewhere close to Valin's right, but Jaina was cold and unresponsive, a telltale sign of someone who had beenknocked unconscious. Panicking, Valin and Zekk drew closer to the dark Blue Star Destroyer. He decided not to hail the craft until he was sure who it belonged to. Coming parallel with the bridge, Valin double checked his parameters and swooped in towards Jaina's presence. She had gone EV near the farthest edge of the expansive bridge, in full view of the crew.
And it's captain... Valin thought solemnly. If this ship was hostile, Jaina was as good as dead.
Unless... Valin sent a query to Zekk, picturing Jaina in his head, floating lifelessly near the bridge. Zekk snet the equivalent of a mental nod, and fell into line behind Valin.
They flew around the port side fo the Star Destroyer, whose name they could see to be Gargantua, where they hid in wait for the eventual search party.
Sure enough, within five minutes, a squad of derelict Z-95 Headhunters crept around their side of the vessel, making their way towards Jaina's wrecked craft.
Before they even got within sensor's distance of Jaina, Zekk unloaded a shadow bomb directly at them! Valin panicked in the Force, incredulous to what Zekk ws trying to do. Valin recoiled in confusion when he felt Zekk's presence, calm and worryless instead of the vengeful and angry he had thought. Zekk told him not to worry and nudged the shadow bomb even closer. Instead of detonating it when it entered the pack of slow moving Hedhunters, Zekk merely nudged them out of the way with it, sending the entire squadron fleeing. Within seconds, the entire squadron had peeled around, scattering laser shots wildly in Zek's general direction.
Stunned, Zekk fled out of their range. He bled shock and frustration into the Force, not quite believing that the ships had ascertained his position. Valin started to ease his StealthX in behind the enemy squadron, when it stopped. Completely.
That could mean only one thing. Tractor Beam.
Swearing loudly, Valin could do nothing but watch as the Z-95's hereded Zekk into a second tractor beam and escorted a rescue shuttle to pick up the unconscious Jaina. Whoever these people were, they just bagged themselves three Jedi.
Chapter 4: Deus ExEdit
[Day: 15| Month: 10| Year: 37 ABY| Time: 1700]
Bryt Fulcron sighed heavily, pulling back on her yoke gradually, easing herself out of freefall. Before she could even begin to relax, she sverwed once more to the right, then back to left. Dodging asteroids was hard work.
Spiraling the Eye back and forth between streams of deadly rock, Bryt slowly worked her way through the asteroid belt of the Mobus system. By the time she finished her clothes were drenched with sweat and her hands shook from exhaustion. She had drawn heavily on the Force to keep the ship and its passengers safe.
Then, as is on cue, the ship's intercom sputtered to life. A suave male voice filled the cockpit, startling Bryn awake. How he had slept through the harrowing experience of navigating an asteroid field, she would never know.
"Looks like we're right where we should be. Good flying, kid." Lando Calrissian's voice, smug as ever, continued on within moments.
"And tell that lazy brother of yours to wake up. We should be seeing Baron Fel's ship soon."
Bryn smirked, and began to scan the surrounding space with all the ship's sensors. After finding no sign of Baron Fel, he used a different sensor, one mor familiar to him. He searche dfor the Baron in the Force. After a few moments, he opened his eyes, all at once startled and confused.
"What is it, Bryn. What do you feel?" Bryt laid a hand on his arm, doubly worried by the look on his face.
Without responding, Bryn keyed the intercom.
"Lando, Tendra. Gear up and get into hiding, we're coming up on some sort of Star Destroyer. I don't know who it belongs to, but I know that Jaina's on it, and she's not conscious."
Less than five minutes later, after Lando and Tendra had geared up and stowed away in the smuggling compartment Lando himself had built, Bryn setttled down in the pilot's chair, Bryt in the co-pilot's. The plan was for Bryn to fly the Eye into the Star Destroyer's hangar, surrender himself and Bryt, and find Jaina and the others. Then, after an hour, Lando and Tendra would sneak out of the ship and get Bryn off of it. The Star Destroyer, Gargantua, had yet to notice them, but that was sure to change.
As soon as Bryt strapped herself in, warnings began blaring throughout the ship. The Star Destroyer had a lock on.
"Hold on!" Bryn bellowed, and began to put the ship into evasive maneuvers. IG-18's familiar text scrolled across the readout directly in front of Bryt.
THERE ARE CURRENTLY FOUR TEN-SHIP SQUADRONS BETWEEN OUR SHIP AND THE GARGANTUA. DIRECT COMBAT IS NOT ADVISED.
"Of course it isn't, 18. And that's why we're doing it. Lower the inertial compensator to 95%, and optimize the shields. All of them. Now."
Bryn drew inward, letting the Force paint his path. Closing his eyes, he visualized the exact route he would have to take to reach the Gargantua in one piece. It was risky, but it could be done.
Exhaling slowly, Bryn opened his eyes and smiled. This is where it got fun.
A few kilometers to their right, the first squadron, a mismash of Z-95's and old Imperial TIE Fighters, opened fire. None of their shots were accurate enough or powerful enough to have any negligible effect of the Eye's shields. No sooner had the squadron appeared, they had been left behind, roughly one third of their number adrift, hulls smoldering from IG-18's precise turbolaser blasts.
Bryn re-adjusted their position and angled past the second squadron, composed of dilapidated Chiss Clawcraft and Rebellion Era X-Wing fighters. These ships, no matter how old, still could match the Eye's speed, so outrunning them was not an option. Staggering his fire as if to draw out their defenses, Bryn feinted to the right and spun his ship end-over-end, slicing through the middle of the hostile squadron.
Emerging from the other side no worse for wear, with three downed enemies, Bryn felt that his odds of beating this blocakde were pretty good. At least, they were until he noticed that the first squad he had blown past had caught back up to the fight. Cursing, Bryn put on some extra speed before wheeling back around to square off with a combined 13 fighters, all of whom were peppering his shields with concentrated laserfire.
Then, at the back of his mind, Bryn felt a pair of eyes tracking him, tracking his ship. Realizing exactly who they belonged to, he formulated a plan, a plan that was equal parts Han Solo and equal parts complete insanity. So basically, a plan that was fully Han Solo.
Bryn swung his ship back around the combat zone and put on full speed directly at the Gargantua. Within seconds, both of the fresh, unharmed squadrons came upon him. Both of these squadrons were fully outfitted, Yuuzhan Vong War-era Chiss Clawcraft, some of the most advanced starfigthers in the galaxy.
With his ship approaching the Gargantua at nothing shorter than kamikaze speed, Bryn opened his mind completely to the Force. He flew without thought, jinking and juking like a frenzied insect. With the Star Destroyer filling up the entire viewport in front of them, Bryt began to panic, screamign at him to stop. He didn't respond. His eyes were beginnign to glaze over, sweat pouring from his face. A lone Chiss Clawcraft pulled next to them, pouring a torrential rain of laserfire into the Eye's stern. Warning alarms began to sounds throughout the ship as the vacuum began to pour into the cargo hold. Still, Bryn didn't respond, his mind focused on a far off set of eyes, cautiously scanning the Eye, impatiently waiting for a moment to strike. Then, just before impact, Bryn seized the mind behind those eyes, and forced one singular thought into it.
Chiss Sqaudron Commander Marv'ort'anori, known by his Galactic Alliance comrades as the colloquialism "Vorta", was unsure of what to make of this entire situation. Merely days after a trio of mysterious Jedi StealthX's tried to attack the ship after almost being obliterated by its revert from hyperspace, a second, supposedly Jedi-led ship had shown up in system, and proceeded to make his his pilots look like naive trainees. Now it was heading striaght at the Gargantua, likely looking to do as much damage as it could before succumbing to the non-lethal shots his squads were hammering it with.
Focusing even harder on stopping the Jedi ship before it could damage the Gargantua, Vorta applied full speed, drawing parallel to the ship, a modified Corellian cruiser of unknown make. He slid directly behind and slightly "under" the hostile ship, pouring in as much fire as he could without destroying the ship outright. Shuddering, the ship slowed, and seemed willing to surrender. Vorta eased off the throttle and sverved downwards to avoid the looming Star Destroyer. What happened next seemed to slow time.
The ship shuddered and veered off to port and downwards, narrowly avoiding the Gargantua, so close that the paint from the Star Destroyer knicked off, leavign a blue streak on the underside of the cruiser. Before vorta could follow, a flash of white enveloped his craft and sent it into a maddening spin. Suddenly, his ship was stopped completely and thrown in a different trajectory. It came to rest a few kilometers from the Gargantua. Vorta blinked the shock out of his eyes and focused on his squad. Or rather, he surmised, what remained of it.
A sudden turbolaser strike from the Star Destroyer had plowed through all four squadrons, scattering the ships like dominoes. Not many of them were destroyed outright, but even those who were unharmed showed no signs of movement. After fruitlessly hailing his pilots, the commander confirmed that every single one of his men were either EVA or unconscious. They had, every one of them, been knocked uncnscious at exactly the same moment.
Not panicking, taking his situation firmly and assessing his best option, Vorta scanned the battlefield, for that is what it now looked like, for the Jedi ship. He found it, parked safely inside the Gargantua's port hangar.
Chapter 5: Fade to WhiteEdit
[Day: 15| Month: 10| Year: 37 ABY| Time: 1743]
Light converged upon shadows, swirling and dancing. Slowly, they melted into shapes, into forms, into figures. Everything stopped spinning. The man could see. It was dark, but he could see.
He was tired beyond words, confused and alone. He didn't know where he was, who he was. He couldn't move his arms, though from restraint or fatgue, he couldn't tell. The dark room around him slowly came into focus, as his eyes adjusted. He couldn't tell for sure, but the room seemed to be about 10 meters across, square and empty. There were other shapes, darker than the dark, to his left and right. He had no idea what they were.
Slowly, after a couple minutes, he started to remember who he was. He remembered flashes of light, the creaking of metal as it was stretched beyond its limits. He remembered pushing, reaching out to a thousand minds, simultaneously shutting them down. Hulls drifting in space like derelict ghosts. He remembered lowering a yoke and laughing quietly. Then nothing.
Two overhead lights flickered on, blinding the man. He blinked away the searing light, and fully embraced the room around him. His arms were held above his head, slackening in two wrist shackles. He glanced over at the shapes he'd noticed earlier. They were people, four of them, all bound similarly to him and all unconscious.
Farthest from him, there was an exceedingly tall, skinny man whose black hair strung down in front of his face. Next to him was a shorter man, also with dark black hair, styled shortly and efficiently.
Next to him was a slender woman of perhaps 25, with tousled brown hair that strayed towards blonde. She was the only one of his companions not garbed in a garish orange flight suit.
Next to her, and closest to the man, was a short, dark haired woman with a bloody knot on the side of her head. When he focused upon her face, a lifetime's worth of memories flooded back into him. He remembered a dark room and a confession of love, he remembered a snoy plain and an impossible foe, he remembered a torture chamber and a moment of weakness. He remembered pain, he remembered pleasure, he remembered love. But most of all, he remembered her.
"Jaina", he croaked weakly. He had found her. She glanced towards him, groggily. Then, upon recognizing him, her eyes widened in surprise. And gratitude.
No sooner had the name left her lips, the entirety of the room's lighting blasted on. Two doors, positioned behind him, snapped open. A cadre of droids marched in, armed to the teeth. A squad of blue skinned warriors followed, clad in a dark brown armor. Finally, a tall, thin Human with distinguished features strode in, grinning slightly. He was leading another man behind him, a broken, beaten man tied to a chain. Jaina gasped.
The man panicked, struggling against his bonds. Whoever this was almost certainly the sme person who had strung him up here, the same man who had captured Jaina. The same man who had hurt her. With that, a suge of anger went up through the man, and he hurled two droids into the wall with the Force. They shattered upon impact, broken and burning. The outbust had broken another unseen barrier, and the rest of the man's memories returned. He remembered his past, his family, his friends, his name.
"Bryn Fulcron," the Human male interjected. "I know your face."
Jaina shooke her head, clearing out the cobwebs. She moved her arms, finding them restrained. Her head throbbed. The last thing she remembered was a ship reverting from hyperspace.
It was bright. Too bright. She blinked her eyes to shield them from the intense light. Eventually, things began to clear, and she could see; somewhat. Jaina opened her eyes enough to see the room around her.
"Jaina," a voice next to her croaked. She turned to look. And came face to face with Bryn.
Instantaneously, doors starting opening, and combat droids started pouring in, riles at the ready. A squadron of Chiss soldiers marched in behidn them. Last, but not least, two Human males entered. One, tall and regal, with jet black hair and eyes full of fire. He looked vaguely familiar, like an old friend after a long time away. He led another man on a leash, like an animal. It was this second man that caused Jaina's breath to catch in her throat. The second man, beaten, broken and tortured, was Baron Soontir Fel. His eyes, cold as steel, held a reproachful look.
Then, before any of them could move, Bryn unleashed a peal of pure rage at the two closest droids, obliterating them within a second. His eyes filled with rage, unbridled. The younger man laughed, and began to speak.
"Bryn Fulcron," his voice was regal and baritone. "I know your face."
He approached Bryn, staring straight into his eyes. He showed neither fear nor apprehension. He was very much in control of the situation.
"If you'll pardon me this little exposition." He cleared his throat, launginh into a very well-repared speech.
"My name is Cem Fel. I am a ruling member of the Red Dawn, the orginization you have tried very hard to eradicate. I am pleased to inform you that your efforts have been all in vain."
Bryn' eyes shone at the mention of the Dawn, and he tried to strangle fel in the Force, to no avail. No sooner had Jaina felt out to find her connection to the Force gone, then four different Chiss soldiers opened small obxes they were carrying, revealing a Ysalmiri in each one.
"As you can see, not all of Grand Admiral Thrawn's Ysalmir are gone. These few still remain."
He strolled over to one particularly nervous-looking Chiss soldier, silently petting the Ysalmiri he held.
"And now, if you'll excuse my abruptness, I believe it is time for these introductions to cease. We will no begin to exact some form of...payment for the damages you caused to us."
Jaina locked eyes with Soontir Fel, searchign for some sign of hope, that the Baron had not come alone, that someone else knew they were here. He read the question from her eyes, then solemnly shook his head, glancing downwards to the floor.
"Rest assured, Jedi Solo," Cem Fel said, walking forward to caress Jaina's cheek. She spat at him. he smiled.
"None of you will leave this ship alive." Cem Fel said darkly, prdoducing a small transmitter and thumbing the ionly visible switch. Countless volts of non-lethal electircity coursed down through their restraints, flooding Jaina's senses with pain and agony. The room faded to white.
Chapter 6: Pay it ForwardEdit
[Day: 16| Month: 10| Year: 37 ABY| Time: 0010]
Bryn awoke. He couldn't see. He shook his head once. Twice. Nothing. Just the blackness. Centering himself, Bryn felt out his surroundings, felt through all his senses. He began to notice the thinnest blindolf over his eyes, and an identical piece over his mouth, almost a muzzle. Cem Fel was assured that Bryn would not be trying any daring escape attempts.
He was confused. Things hadn't gone as planned. Nowhere near. Everything, from that morning in the Jedi Council chambers to the moment he had passed out in the Eye, had been planned out. It had all gone well. Until now. He hadn't realised that Cem Fel would be so resourceful.
He envisioned himself sweeping through the ship, striking down Chiss loyal to Fel, freeing his friends and striking another blow to the Red Dawn. Now, instead of victory and freedom, he tasted only imprisonment. But not defeat. Not yet. He still had a few tricks up his sleeve.
Then, across the entire chamber, a guttural, animalistic chorus of gronas and hisses broke the silence. It was a grotesque sound, one that Bryn knew to be a dozen Ysalmiri dying simultaneously. Yelps of surprise and Chiss curse words filled the air. Within seconds, Bryn heard the thundering steps of Cem Fel as he approached. Just as planned.
Sudden;y, as the Ysalmiri gasped their collective final breath, Bryn felt the Force bflow through him like a tidal wave. Keeping his head still and his breath steady, Bryn slowly reached out to his companions, awakening Bryt, Valin and Zekk, who were all much surprised at his presence. Jaina was already awake, and waiting his signal to start their escape.
He focused as much positive energy and confidence he could to her, then steeled himself for what he knew was coming. Without speaking a word, Cem Fel smashed the butt of his blaster pistol into Bryn's temple. Simultaneous with the point of impact, Bryn cushioned the sde of his head from the blow with he Force and re-directed all of the physical force from the blow back into Fel's pistol, into the firing mechanism. Bryn felt his mouthguard being pulled off rather violently.
"What did you do?" Fel asked quietly, firmly pressing his blaster against Bryn's face.
Bryn said nothing, only smiling. Cem becamse angry, and Bryn heard his footsteps grow distant. A startled yelp sounded out, and Bryn felt Jaina's surprise through the Force. Bryn focused his mind on Cem's, willing Jaina to understand. She calmed, her mind cold and stoic like it always was before a battle.
"Tell me or Solo dies! What happened to my Ysalmiri?" Cem Fel bellowed.
Again Bryn said nothing. Bryn waited until a shirll noise was barely audible, a noise that emanated from a small patch in his shirt. Five seconds passed, then ten. Bryn felt Cem tense up, ready to fire. And he finally broke his silence, trying to time it right.
"You should really...watch who you do business with in the future, Fel." Pausing for what seemed like dramatic effect, but was really a stalling motion, Bryn let the last few words hang in the air, taunting Cem.
"Wha..." Cem Fel began, but before the words could escape his mouth a deep, ultra-masculine sythesized voice bellowed through the ship's speakers.
"DROP YOUR WEAPONS NOW, IN THE NAME OF THE GALACTIC ALLIANCE!!!"
A few of Chiss did as they were told, and they were immediately shot by some of Fel's senior officers. Luckily for ryn, Fel decided to keep his blaster trained on Jaina. Despite Fel's efforts, Bryn could see, if only barely, through his blindofld.
Then, before any of the Chiss could make a second move, Bryn yelled "Now" towards the door, which summarily exploded. YVH-11A flew through, dropping a handful of Chiss with stun bolts as he did. Behind him, significantly slower and less precise, Lando Calrissian and his wife Tendra slid though, each dropping a soldier of their own.
Simultaneously, Jaina snapped rolled backwards, swinging herself backwards a couple feet. She brought her momentum into Cem Fel's back leg, stumbling the man onto one knee. Panicking, Cem fired point blank at where Jaina's face had been, only to have the weapon violently explode in his hands, blinding him and throwing him completely to his back.
YVH-11A, his primary mission complete, turned and fled the room, rampagin his way back towards the Eye. Lando and Tendra followed.
Using the distraction Bryn swung himself striaght up and balanced, bringing his feet down around an unsuspecting Chiss solider's neck, throttling him. The solider began firing rapidly into the ceiling, showering himself and Bryn with melting chunks of ceiling. Bryn gritted his teeth and pivoted, throwing the solider's errant fire toward his friend's restraints.
With a little carefully timed leg movements, Bryn managed to free his friends, who returned the favor.
Dusting himself off, Bryn thanked his friends and turned to leave. Zekk lifted the exhausted Soontir Fel to his feet, handing him a blaster rifle and bidding him to follow.
Bryn moved towards the door, when suddeny he realized they had forgotten something.
"Where's Cem?" he asked no one in particular.
Jaina and Zekk whipped around, activating their lightsabers. Valin and Bryt covered the left and right. Slowly the backed out of the chamber, eyes peeled for any sign of their quarry.
Bryn backed out the mangled doorway first, eyes focused towards the last place he'd seen Fel.
Then, suddenly, a sharp pain expoded in Bryn's right shoulder. He heard a coarse laugh and felt a knife slam ddeep into his arm and back, numbing his entire right side.
He fell to one knee and felt warm blood dripping on his legs. Turning, and in agonizing pain, Bryn stared up at the charred face of Cem Fel. His blaster's malfunction had seared the right side of his face, leaving his once handsome features a charred blackened mess.
The two men had a wordless exchange, Bryn staring up at Cem with eyes full of anger, and Cem staring down, eyes full of hate. Bryn shoved upwards with all his might, but Cem, being the larger man, had dead-weighted on top of Bryn. It was all he could do just to keep himself up.
Bryn's vision began to blur. Cem Fel cackled. Their scuffle had brough them farther back away from the doorway, just out of safe strking distance of the other Jedi. Bryn pleaded with the through the Force to disregard his safety, to eliminate Fel. They never budged.
Feeling his blood slowly seepinf from his body, Bryn tried one last desperation move, a feint that slid Cem farther down bryn's back, causing the knife to twist and Bryn to pass out from the pain. As he descended into darkness, Bryn head one blaster shot and the slash of lightsaber cutting through bone.
He awoke to find himself staring striaght into Cem Fel's face. Good eye open, it was quie dead. As was the rest of him, some two meters away. He was quite decaptitaed. Bryt stood over the body, eyes aflame and lightsaber activated. Soontir Fel stood behind all the Jedi, his rifle still extended, smoke pouring from the nozzle that brought an dend to his flesh and blood.
Bryn stood up on one knee and gasped for air. When Zekk tried to lift him to his feet, Bryn slipped in the ever-growing pool of his own blood. He looked at Jaina, smiled weakly, and crumpled into a heap on the floor.
Chapter 7: Collateral DamageEdit
[Day: 22| Month: 10| Year: 37 ABY| Time:1204]
Luke Skywalker sat alone in the Jedi Council chamber. He sat, eeys closed, floting the COuncil charis aroudn him in a Force exercise. With his mind focused on abstract ideals and spending time with his wife, he almost didn't feel the sense of apprehension that had permeated the halls near the chamber. Smiling softly, he patiently dropped all the chairs back in their original places, then stood up and waved open the doors, revealed a hunched, hooded figure about to tone his arrival.
Luke smiled. The man smiled back. Walking slowly and painfully, the man reached Luke and grasped hands with him, greeting him like an old friend. Luke gestured to sit, and the man moved, ever slowly, towards one of the vacant council chairs.
"So, Bryn, I take it things went well?" Luke asked.
Bryn pulled back his hood, revealing a pale complexion brought on by severe blood loss.
"As well as they could, Master."
There was no animosity in his words, so bitterness.
"Cem was too focused on the Jedi, he severely underestimated everyone else. He didn't even bother to sweep the Eye for stowaways." Bryn siad matter-of-factly.
"Or giant, Yuuzhan Vong killing droids?" Luke quiped back. Both men laughed, Bryn noticeably quieter.
Bryn shifted in his seat, ad Luke began again.
"So I take it the posioned Ysalmiri Fel bought were courtesy of Lando as well?" Luke asked, patiently.
"No," Bryn responded. "Those were from Talon Karrde. Lando just shipped them."
Luke smiled. Cem Fel had certainly picked some poor non-Jedi to underestimate.
They talked for a few more minutes, mostly about how Bryn's son was doing, and his injury. As Bryn stood up to leave, Luke walked him to the door, and put a hand on his shoulder.
Whispering softly, Luke gave one more word of advice to his student.
"Bryn, if you ever want to fake an expulsion from the Order again, get Kyle to do it. He's more the angry disciplinarian than I. We've had at least two dozen students question our fight's validity. Some of the Masters are more than a little angry with us, Mara cheif among them."
"Jaina wasn't exactly happy with me pulling a stunt like that again either; although I think she would prefer fake expulsion over fake death any day," Bryn whispered back.
Luke smiled and pat Bryn's shoulder lightly. Luke produced Bryn's lightsaber from the depths of his robes, officially and unofficially ending his banishment.
Bryn said nothing, but smiled and left.