Series: New Sith Empire 4
Year: 42 ABY
Category: Drama, Angst,
Pairings: Jacen/Tenel Ka past, Jaina/Jagged Fel, Han/Leia, Zekk/Taryn Zel,
Spoilers: Dark Nest Trilogy, Legacy of the Force series, Fate of the Jedi series,
Summary: After the death of Mara Jade Skywalker at the Wedding of Jaina and Jagged, the Empire and the Hapes Consortium are calling for Luke Skywalker’s blood. At galaxy that was already starting to fracture, it at its breaking point. What can be done to stop the bloodshed?
Notes: Allana is six. Set a few weeks after Wedding.
Jacen Solo stood on the main deck of Stardome the Hapan Battle Dragon that was his flagship. He was headed for a distant shipyard within the star cluster that made up the Consortium. The normal flagship, Star Home, was left behind for speed and to hopefully not let others know that he was not in Fountain Palace. Behind him were Allana Solo, Ben Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa-Solo, and countless staff of his. Jaina Solo, his twin, was standing beside him. Her arm was linked with his and was nearly cutting off blood flow to said arm.
“It’s so beautiful!” Jaina nearly screamed as she turned to look her brother in the face. “What’s his name?”
“This was Tenel Ka’s last present to me. Just two days before she was killed, she brought me here to show it to me. I haven’t named her yet. Tenel Ka called it a ‘she.’ I think that she wanted it to be truly my ship. I was not too comfortable on Star Home. Too grand for my liking.”
Said ship filled up the vision of all those on the main deck. Before them sat a Super Star Destroyer, she wasn’t gray like all the others and wasn’t red like the Errant Venture. Instead she was iridescent greens, blues, and purples. When you looked from one way or another the ship went from white to black and all the colors in between.
“Still rather grand,” Han said from behind them. “A little girly.”
“But memorable. Tenel Ka wanted this to be the flagship of a fleet of ship for me. We were going to beef up the entire fleet with some new ships. The plans for this ship were given as a sign of friendship from Head of State Fel just after he took office. I, of course, knew nothing of it. Nothing until she brought me to the ship. I was very much in awe of her.”
“Have you heard the rumors?” Jagged Fel asked as he entered the room. Jacen turned to look at him, dragging his sister around as well. Jaina smiled at him and her smile lit the room up.
“I just spoke with several of the Moffs. It seems that in the weeks since Master Skywalker escaped from the cluster he has been rallying the GA into bullying my sector to ally against you.”
“I was sure that they would.”
“There has been an outcry in the Empire to not ally with anyone who would attack at the wedding of the Head of State. It seems that even though I married a Jedi, much less the daughter of a Solo, that televising the event to the entire Imperium has gained me much in followers. That the attack was televised as well has gained the Hapes Consortium a good bit of friends. There is another rumor that only one of my Moffs had heard and he heard it straight from his sister on Coruscant.” Jagged looked away from all and out to the ship. “Skywalker moves fast. All the Jedi in the current ranks are being watched and interrogated for information on all of you.”
“Zekk and Lowbacca?” Jaina asked with a frown on her face, she looked at her husband hoping that he would give them good news.
“Lowbacca is in hiding. He disappeared from his current mission around the time that Master Skywalker was killed. Zekk on the other hand was kidnapped just hours after Lowbacca disappeared. It is unknown who took him but the GA is not laying claim to taking him.”
“Your Highness?” Jacen’s aide queried entering the room. Jacen looked over at her. “I have a watch only transmission coming from Trista Zel. It was relayed from Corellia two days ago. Sent through subspace, quietly.”
“Thank you.” Jacen nodded at Jaina who moved to a console to play it. The aide nodded and stepped out of the room, shutting the door behind her.
“Lord Jacen, I bring news for you of some friends. I have three on board my ship and will be picking another up when we have tracked her down. Zels out.” The transmission ended.
“Who could the fourth be?” Jagged asked.
“Tahiri. They already have Lowie, Zekk, and I would assume Raynar. Those would be the four that I would worry about if I was the GA or Uncle Luke. I didn’t think that they would move on them like that though. I’ve not seen any of them since I came here and Tahiri couldn’t make it to the wedding due to a mission.”
“Last I heard Tahiri was in the Unknown Regions on the outskirts doing some checking on things for Luke.” Leia moved over to stand beside her son. “Raynar was on Corellia. Lowbacca was near Hutt space and Zekk was on some undisclosed mission for the GA.”
“Is this what it is to become? A line drawn in the stars?” Jacen turned to face the ship in front of him.
“I have upped the production of ships in the Empire. I have chosen the side for my people.”
“Will we stand united?”
“We stand united. As long as the Galactic Alliance supports Luke Skywalker, the Empire will have nothing to do with them. Right now the Moffs are making sure that all liaisons between our groups are escorted out. Our borders will be closed to all except those that have family on either side and no ties to government. As it stands, one of my aids pointed out some things to me. I was doing over a budget in the weapons division. There was much that was not accounted for coming from the budget. I have thirty-eight Force sensitives ranging from age four to age thirty-four who have been found in Empire space.”
“What will you do with them?”
“They wish to be trained as Jedi.”
“Shedu Maad is where I am taking all Force sensitives once this is resolved. For now bring them to Fountain Palace. Shedu Maad is not safe. I will be upping my ship production as well. First, I must speak with the Court. They need to know of this threat.”
“Is the Galactic Alliance to attack?”
Jacen turned to look at the one who spoke. He could not tell who it was. His mind was elsewhere. “That I do not know. I would say ‘no’ right now just because they are not ready. Their Senate will take a long time to declare war on us.”
“They follow Skywalker even though there is footage showing that he is the one who killed his wife?”
“He demands that I am the one who had control of the blade. He does not state that anyone else could have gotten it and he didn’t have. Even though his sister states that she could tell what was going on. He states that she is siding with her only son left alive and that would be forgiven for her trust in her son should she ever come to the light.”
Jacen stood and started to scan the Court members. All were shocked and outraged, he could tell that in the Force.
“We must prepare for war!” Several members called out at once.
“We will. I promise you. The trust that my wife left in me will not be misplaced.”
“Is your new ship ready for war?”
“I have upped the completion time. All that is left is checking all systems and the shakedown flight.”
“Is our fleet enough?”
“With the Empire’s thrown in yes. Still ships get damaged and destroyed. We need replacement ships.”
“The Empire stands wholly with us? They will not turn?”
“I do not think that Head of State Fel finds it in his best interest to lie to his wife’s brother.”
The Court all laughed at that.
“We stand united against this threat. Luke Skywalker allowed our Queen Mother to be killed. He tried to kill our King Father. He will find that he will not like the dragon that he has awoken.”
Jacen nodded to those in the Court and then left through the passage that led to his rooms. Allana was waiting for him. Jacen could tell by how she was acting that she wanted something.
“Father, may I have a pet? Grandfather tells me of many pets you had as a child.”
“Seems that you already have one picked out.”
“A creature caught my eye at the traveling Exotic Pet Emporium that passed through Fountain Palace today. The trainer tells me that her mother died as did the rest of the litter mates.”
“Take Aunt Jaina with you and you may go back and get this little orphan.” Jacen’s heart tightened. The upcoming war could make Allana a full orphan. He had to set up something so that she was protected. There could be no fight over who was to care for her after his death.
“Send her a message and tell her. I don’t want her not believing me.”
Jacen nodded and picked up his comm unit and sent off the message. He received a message back acknowledging that Jaina received it and that he should send Allana to her so they could catch them before they left the city.
It was an hour later when Allana bounced into the room. Jaina was behind her but there was no pet.
“And where is this little orphan?” Jacen asked with a small laugh.
“Anji is off getting her teeth capped and her claws unsharpened.” Allana stated with a giant smile. Jacen looked at his sister.
“Did she not tell you what breed this little Anji is?” When Jacen shook his head no, Jaina laughed a small dry laugh.
“Congratulations, Jacen, you are now a step father to a bouncing baby Nexu.”
“Nexu?” Jacen looked at his daughter who just smiled. “And how much did you pay for this Nexu?”
“Actually, the trader gave her the Nexu for free. He remembered her from earlier hadn’t known who she was. This time of course the Royal guards were a little more open who they were guarding. He told her how much he was sorry that she had lost her mother and great aunt and said that those who lost should stick together. Anji is getting checked over now but at last I heard she was in health and already in love with her new friend.”
“I guess I should have known. All the creatures I came home with. Tenel Ka was used to Rancors. I guess I should be happy that it was just a Nexu.” Jacen moved to crouch in front of his daughter. “You will have to train her. No one here is going to do that for you. They will help you but you will have to train her. If you do not and something happens, I will have to put her down.”
“Don’t worry, Dad. I will make sure that Anji will only hurt those who try to hurt me or my family.”
“Good. It’s dinner time. Go wash up. We shall meet you in the dining hall.”
Allana nodded and took off running. Jaina stayed.
“Did you get the go ahead?”
“We’re preparing for war but will not make the first move. Jagged and I will get together and discuss the terms of our alliance and send out a statement.”
“Have you named her yet?”
“Yes. My flagship will be the Voxyn Queen. I want everyone to remember what I have given for the Alliance and the Republic to live and breathe. I have up my brother and my wife. I want those Jedi that follow Uncle Luke blind to be scared of my ship as we were when we went against the Voxyns in the Yuuzhan Vong war.”
“She will be a wonderful ship.”
“In other news, the Empire and the Hapes Consortium released statements today about closing their borders and allowing no one inside. They have also released a statement that they are now enemies against all who would threaten them. The Senate seems unconcerned by this. I wonder just what is going on out there and I have a feeling this has to do with the death of Mara Jade Skywalker.”
Jacen shut off the holonews channel and sighed. The Galactic Alliance was limiting its new already. He decided that then and there he was going to make sure that their dealings with the Alliance were shared from their own news sources for the peoples of the Alliance to decide who to believe.
To Be Continued in Conscription