momslilassassin: ([neg] disintegrating you with my brain)
It was all over, or at least as over as it was going to get for a while. Their Fandom friends and the Jeesh returned to their separate universes after Jaina's wedding. Allana's identity was no longer a secret, Wynn Dorvan was running the galaxy, the Jedi were leaving Coruscant permanently, and Luke, well. The meddroids said that Luke would never fully recover from his attack on Abeloth. Ben tried not to think about that.

Ben was trying not to think at all.

He was clearing out the last of the stuff in his room when a hollow ache started to build inside, and then his vision narrowed and went completely black. He thought for a minute that he might be passing out--he'd certainly done enough of that recently--but there was no dizziness or nausea to suggest that the vision change was the result of a concussion. He braced a hand on the nearest wall and stood waiting for his sight to return.

Instead, stars and nebulae began to appear in the darkness, rushing toward him at extreme velocity, but with no noticeable red-shift and without spreading apart as they drew closer. He began to feel apprehensive and disoriented, as though he were traveling through a galaxy far different from the one his parents had known.

He saw Coruscant mottled by patches of flickering red flame and black banks of drifting smoke, and beyond it there was a legion of dark silhouettes rising from a shadow-cloaked world, fanning out across the galaxy to meet a much smaller force of luminous shapes.

He saw a pair of tiny disembodied eyes floating through the darkness, collecting wisps of drifting gas and specks of loose dust, in its endless patience swaddling itself in the stuff of cold matter.

And Ben saw his cousin Allana, a young girl sitting cross-legged in front of a white throne, playing with her pet nexu while a small circle of Jedi fought a desperate battle at the foot of the dais, holding off an endless onslaught of beings. There were dark silhouettes and bejeweled women and horned aliens, and every so often a gray tentacle, which would appear on the steps to the dais and attempt to slip past unnoticed before a lightsaber descended to send it skittering back into the darkness.

Ben felt a sudden, overwhelming, flash of anger. All of the pain of the last few years--the last month--and nothing had changed. The Jedi would forever fight the darkness, Abeloth would go on feinting and parrying, the Sith would peek back out from whatever rock they'd gone to ground under...it was pointless.

He glanced at the faces around Allana, looking for familiar ones, and to his surprise didn't see his father. Luke fought the darkness as easily as he breathed, and a Jedi Order without Luke Skywalker was one that, while inevitable, still took Ben's breath away. Ender had pointed out many times that the Order needed to refocus, learn to work without a Skywalker, but a vision of that as reality was both painful and a bit of a relief.

His vision gradually returned to the here and now instead of the future, and he was still feeling off-balance and angry. Why did they fight so hard and lose so much when it never changed anything?

He glanced down at his lightsaber and a thought occurred to him. He could change himself...

Let's have a heart-to-heart with Ender! )

Four years of Ben's life have led up to this moment. )

[OOC: Borrowed, then modified, from Troy Denning's Apocalpyse. Preplayed with the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame, and concluding our two week spam of your flist!]
momslilassassin: ([neu] lightsaber)
Anyone who was anyone--and a few people who weren't--were packed into the offices of Senator Luewet Wuul. The air had gone stale with the smell of nervous sweat and half-eaten sandwiches, and the ventilation system was struggling to remove the heat of all the bodies packed into the meeting room. The gleaming cylinder of the Galactic Justice Center, visible through the floor-to-ceiling viewport, was now swaying. Since Coruscant’s skytowers were designed to withstand tremors far more violent than what they were seeing, it was probably Not a Good Sign.

The last--and newest--member of the Jedi Council, Master Jaina Solo, promoted by Luke while they'd been fighting for their lives inside the Temple, slid into the last chair placed in a semi-circle at the front of the meeting room. Luke, purple circles beneath his eyes and a face clouded by fear and uncertainty based in no small part on the distinct lack of a redheaded Jedi among their number, was listening intently to a briefing already in progress:

"The Sith who've escaped the Temple are spreading out across Coruscant and launching soft-target terrorist attacks,” Dumper was saying. “Of course, BAMR News is blaming the violence on ‘Jedi spice cartels,’ and they’re urging their viewers to take arms against the Jedi and any ‘corrupt’ security personnel aiding the ‘spice smugglers.’ It's not really working. There have been a few civilian attacks against Jedi, but most of the other news outlets are taking a more balanced approach, attributing the violence to a rogue sect of Force-users.”

“They’re not even using the term Sith?” Kyle Katarn asked.

“There has been some speculation,” Dumper said. “But most of the public doesn’t really understand what Sith are, and those who do are accustomed to thinking of them as loners—either Jedi gone bad, or sinister geniuses hiding in plain sight.”

“So the population isn’t doing anything to help us, either?” Kyp Durron asked. Dumper shook his head. “Not much,” he said. “We’ve been getting a little cooperation through the security forces—primarily reports of suspicious behavior. But most Coruscanti don’t seem to know what to believe. They’re just keeping their heads down and trying to stay clear of any trouble at all.”

“Which is difficult, now that our fight with the Sith has spread beyond the Temple,” Luke said, reaching up to rub at the bridge of his nose. “How bad is the violence getting? Are we starting to contain it at all?”

Luke's plan wasn't working. WHO KNEW? )

[OOC: Adapted from Troy Denning's Apocalypse. Preplayed with the lovely [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame, [livejournal.com profile] life_inshadow, [livejournal.com profile] solo_sword, and [livejournal.com profile] hoorayimrich. Warnings for discussion of gross torture-y stuff. WTF, Troy. WTF.]
momslilassassin: ([neg] why me?)
Ben awoke. He felt the familiar softness of Ship's gel-cushion floor beneath his aching body, and his temples pounding with the aftereffects of anesthetic gas…the same gas that filled the passenger cabin every time he tried to free himself.

As was his practice (and an Enderlike voice in his head wondered dryly why he'd been knocked out enough to have a standard set of procedures for this), he lay motionless, waiting for the fog to clear, trying to take stock of his circumstances. His hands remained behind him, secured by the same pair of stun cuffs that he had been trying to open when the gas had last come hissing from circulation vents. Judging by the numb ache in his shoulders, his arms had been folded under his back without moving for quite some time, and his tongue felt swollen with thirst. Clearly, this time he had been unconscious longer than a normal sleep cycle—for at least twenty-four hours, maybe even forty-eight.

The muffled rumble of a battle was reverberating up through the floor beneath Ship, and occasionally the entire hull would shudder with the force of an explosion that was either very close or very powerful. If Ben listened carefully, he could even hear the distant screech of blasters—though the sound was so faint it might have been nothing more than wishful thinking.

Don’t make me use the gas again. The words came to Ben inside his mind, as dark and full of menace as always. You need to see what is about to happen.

A section of hull grew transparent, and Ben saw that Ship was sitting in the formal reception hall just off Pinnacle Platform. Designed to impress, the hall was an immense, cavernous chamber with alabaster walls and a white stone floor. With a sweeping view across Fellowship Plaza, it had once been used by the Jedi Council to receive the Temple’s most distinguished visitors. Today it was filled with blast rubble, gray fumes, and a small band of weary-looking Sith.

Abeloth was there, too, standing in the wreckage of the hall’s grand entry, facing out toward the landing deck between a pair of laser cannon emplacements. At the ends of her upraised arms, her tentacles writhed in the air as though she were using them to stir the smoke that was swirling over Fellowship Plaza. Even with her back to him, Ben could see that she was looking toward the distant cylinder of the Galactic Justice Center, shooting blastboats out of the sky in a way calculated to cause the most fear and pain to the marines inside the carriers before they died. Ben closed his eyes against the pain in the Force and prayed he wouldn't recognize any of the Force-signatures as they flashed out of existence.

Abeloth was feeding on the dark side energy of their fear. Ben had seen her do it on Pydyr, when the entire population of the moon believed they were dying from a fake plague, and now she was doing it on Coruscant--but with trillions of inhabitants on Coruscant, Abeloth’s harvest would be limitless. Ben could not help wondering if this had been her plan all along—to set Jedi and Sith against each other, then feast on the fallout.

You Jedi are such small thinkers, Ship said, interrupting his thoughts. Abeloth wants so much more, Ben…especially for you.

Wasn't that reassuring, Ben? )

[OOC: Taken from Troy Denning's Apocalypse. Warning for mild violence and creeptasticness.]
momslilassassin: ([neu] use the Force)
Ben stood watching an old Bothan limp back and forth across the grimy floor of the undercity industrial hangar. The Bothan was addressing three brigades of elite space marines--a few faces among them ones that Petra had been looking for, not that Ben coud pick them out among the thousands--explaining why he had asked them to volunteer for a mission to overthrow the Galactic Alliance’s current Chief of State, Roki Kem. Their shoulder patches represented units from a hundred different vessels stationed near Coruscant, and they all had at least two things in common: they had all served aboard a ship personally commanded by Admiral Nek Bwua’tu, and when he had commed to ask them to help him save the Galactic Alliance, they had all answered with an unwavering yes.

“… the enemy has retreated into the Jedi Temple with seventy-five percent of its forces.” The admiral’s words seemed to reverberate from every corner of the hangar as a small mike in his tunic collar relayed his voice to a network of speakers spaced throughout the formation. “This withdrawal is certainly a trap, designed to lure our Jedi friends into an ambush against a superior Sith force …”

Luke turned to another Bothan standing at his side, Admiral Bwua’tu’s dapper uncle, Eramuth. “To tell the truth, Counselor, I’m not sure why you waited for the Jedi to return,” he said quietly. “Club Bwua’tu seems to have the war well in hand without us.”

“I’m surprised you haven’t figured that out by now, Master Skywalker,” Eramuth replied, maintaining a straight face. “We needed the cannon fodder.”

“Cannon fodder?” Luke echoed, almost taking the old Bothan seriously. “You couldn’t have hired Mandalorians?”

The Bothan shook his gray-furred head. “Of course,” he said. “But they didn’t manage very well the last time they tried to storm the Temple.”

“I see,” Luke said. “It’s nice to know you have more faith in the Jedi Order.”

“There’s that.” A crooked smile snaked along Eramuth’s muzzle, then he added, “And you do work for free.”

Luke activated the mike on his own collar and stepped to the admiral’s side. “First, I want to thank you all for volunteering for this mission. As Admiral Bwua’tu has explained, it’s not just the Jedi Temple we are liberating. The Lost Tribe of the Sith has infiltrated every level of the Galactic Alliance government, and our victory today will prevent them from achieving their goal of dominion over the entire galaxy. Your objective is to draw the Sith forces to the Temple’s outer shell. Once you have succeeded, I will be able to deactivate the Temple shields and open the blast doors from a central location. When that occurs, Admiral Bwua’tu expects the Sith to stand their ground and continue fighting. Assuming he’s correct, the Jedi will launch a series of attacks from the Temple interior, driving the enemy out onto the Temple exterior, where they will be exposed to fire from your assault carriers’ heavy weapons.”

Sensing a tide of uncertainty rising inside the minds of the veteran soldiers, Luke opened his palm and motioned for patience, acknowledging their questions before the first one could be asked. “If they don’t do as the admiral anticipates—”

Ben watched as a hand was raised among the crowd. Luke turned to him. “Yes?”

“How certain are you that you’ll be able to bring the shields down and open those blast doors?” a familiar voice that Ben couldn't quite place asked.

“Not as certain as I’d like to be,” Luke admitted. “But if the first attempt fails, we’ll keep trying.”

“Until?” The voice didn't sound especially pleased by this plan.

Luke grew somber. “Until we can’t anymore,” he said. “And if that happens, there’ll be a baradium strike.”

“After I call off the Temple assault, of course,” Bwua’tu clarified. “If I order a withdrawal, waste no time before obeying. We won’t be giving the enemy time to escape, so the missiles will be on the way as I speak.” The hangar reverberated with the crump of thousands of boot heels cracking together, and Bwua’tu nodded in satisfaction.

“Good.” The admiral turned to Luke, then said, “I think we’re ready to assign the liaisons.”

Luke began assigning Jedi Knights to the various batallions, skipping over Bazel Warv. Ben noticed immediately how Bazel's ears slumped in disappointment, and he moved closer to see what was going on, not realizing that Vestara was following him as well.

“Did I do something wrong, Master Skywalker?” Bazel asked in his gravelly voice. “I just want to—”

“You did nothing wrong.” Luke reached up and placed a hand on one of Bazel’s huge biceps. “But I’ve received a message from the Solos. They’re on their way here to see you. They need you to do something for Amelia."

“It must have something to do with the secret.”

Ben's heart rose into his throat. “Amelia’s secret?” he saw his father ask. “How did you find—”

“The other secret, Master Skywalker!” Bazel interrupted, shaking his big head from side to side. “Not her name!”

Luke looked as stunned as Ben felt. Bazel’s voice grew soft and he stared past Ben, straight at Vestara. “Master Skywalker, I can’t tell you right now.”

Ben watched the appraising look on Vestara's face and realized she'd heard everything. He was going to have to watch her very carefully. If she took the information of who Amelia--Allana--was back to the Sith who seemed downright obsessed with the idea of a prophesized Jedi Queen...

No. Ben'd had far too many relatives die young. If it came down to a choice between Allana and Vestara, there was no choice at all.

But first a call from Ender! )

It's a Troy Denning book. Cue the battle sequence! Warning for gross injuries of people you know. )
momslilassassin: ([neg] death glare)
Ender and Ben's house in the Lake Country of Naboo was as spotless and welcoming as always, even if neither inhabitant was currently home. A bit of tinkering by Ben in a moment of boredom allowed the visitors access to the house via face recognition, and the fridge was full of food, if not exactly the color or consistency Earth folks were used to.

Welcome, friends! Chat awkwardly until Ben arrives! )

And then Ben tells you what the problem is. Four letters, starts with S, isn't shit. )

--------------------------------------


The ship that brought Ben and his friends from Earth from Naboo to Coruscant docked smoothly and lowered the landing platform into a sea of sentient beings of all colors, sizes, and number of heads.

Ben, his hair a bright, terrifying yellow gelled up into a double row of spikes, and wearing the latest in Coruscanti fashion (which, unfortunately, meant a skintight black jumpsuit with shiny sequins glued onto it) leaned in to point to a Coruscanti Immigration inspector, his zero-g motility pack emitting small hisses as he twirled in slow-motion cartwheels, demanding identichips and ten-credit “expediting fees.” Behind him followed a pair of Bothan escorts, their snouts wrinkling in disdain each time their superior solicited another bribe. "Those are the guys we have to get past," he said with a tiny smile. "No problem, right? Just remember, no violence. We're not trying to get any attention. Give the guy your documents and any bribe he asks for and meet me on the other side."

Everyone else has Cunning Disguises too! )

And then Ben, Tony, Valentine and Vestara pay a call on a Sith pretending to be a Senator-- )

--While Tara and Petra look for Ender. )

[OOC: Adapted from Troy Denning's Apocalypse (cheery title, yes?), and preplayed with the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] life_inshadow, [livejournal.com profile] hoorayimrich,, [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame and [livejournal.com profile] a_demosthenes.]
momslilassassin: ([neu] eye closeup)
“So," Ben said, looking down on Upekzar, "this is a lot nicer than Ziost. Ship's taste in locales is improving."

“Or Abeloth’s,” Vestara said. When Natua had described the ruins of a temple that had closely matched Ben’s description of where he had first found Ship, they had all felt hope that they might actually find that elusive and dangerous vessel, and with it, Abeloth. She wouldn't be challenged just by Luke, Ben, Vestara, or the Lost Tribe, who’d had their own agenda, and one that ended up not really being all that interested in the destruction of Abeloth. Now she would be opposed by nearly every Jedi in the galaxy. And in with those kinds of numbers, even an ancient and powerful a being like Abeloth could not stand.

...Ben hoped. If it didn't work, a lot of people they would need later would die pointlessly now instead.

Natua’s long hours spent in the Temple library studying Sith worlds and their histories had made her the resident expert, and Luke had insisted that she be the one to brief her fellow Jedi. Vestara might know more about the Sith mind-set, but Natua had turned her fierce determination toward learning everything she could about their ancient habitations. Ben listened with half an ear as Natua filled in the rest of the fleet on the Dream Singers, the lava caves, and the subterranean hangar that had once contained Sith training vessel: he'd heard all of this before in the library.

Well *this* planet sucks. )

[OOC: Warnings for NPC death, Ben being kicked around like a puppy, and massive stupidity. Adapted, mangled and folded into origami cranes from Christie Golden's Ascension.]
momslilassassin: ([neg] wow. you're dumb.)
They took Leia,” Han said without preamble.

Luke stared at him. Han was contacting him via hologram, and he stood there in miniature, holding an Allana who was actually considerably calmer than her grandfather.

“What? Who took her?”

By now Ben, copiloting, and Vestara, engrossed in reading a datapad Natua had prepared for her, were paying attention.

“The GAS. Those sleemos took her away on a whole slew of trumped-up charges. You know about the anti-Jedi legislation that’s being enacted? And the whole news slant?”

“I’ve heard some,” Luke said. “But this is ridiculous. What were the charges?”

“Conspiracy to overthrow the rightfully elected government,” Han snarled. “Espionage. And get this. Spice smuggling.”

Because that makes sense )

Paging Tony Stark-- )

Hello, Petra. How'd you get this number? )

After some time to think, Ben realized he had some logistics to take care of. Time to call Ender's TA! )

And finally Ben had to call Ender's sister. All the flailing. All of it. )

[OOC: Taken and turned into a paper swan from Christie Golden's Ascension. Preplayed with the stupendous [livejournal.com profile] hoorayimrich, [livejournal.com profile] life_inshadow, [livejournal.com profile] a_demosthenes, and [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame as Petra.]
momslilassassin: ([pos] pretty lighting)
The good news: Ben was getting a home-cooked meal for the first time in forever. The bad news: Aunt Leia was making her feared spiceloaf. He sat down on the comfortable white sofa in his aunt and uncle's living room, flipped the channel to the Perre Needmo Newshour, and reached down--well, less down now than over, Allana's pet nexu had gotten big since he'd been gone--to scratch Anji's ears.

Allana plopped down next to him and handed him a cup of hot cocoa. "It's traditional," she informed him solemnly.

"Traditions are important," he agreed, smiling. "Did you bring enough for Ender, too? He'll be here in a second."

She tilted her head, getting used to feeling Ender's presence through the Force. "More like a few minutes," she corrected, "but yeah, we've got plenty."

"We'll need it to choke down Aunt Leia's spiceloaf," he murmured under his breath. He was feeling the knots in his shoulders gradually start to unravel. For however brief a stop this was going to turn out to be, it was nice to be back home.

Let's watch the news and make fun of Leia's cooking! )

Where Ender and Luke have a little chat. )

Where Ender and Ben say goodbye. )
momslilassassin: (Default)
Luke had disappeared up toward the Council Chambers immediately on landing the Jade Shadow at the Temple, leaving Ben, Jaina and Vestara to make their way toward the library on their own. Jaina had wanted to see Natua first thing to thank her for her hard work. After a few moments of watching Vestara take in the sights--mostly corridors and turbolifts, by design--Ben broke the silence. “So what do you think?”

She turned to him. “It’s … quite large.”

“Jedi have been on Coruscant for a very long time,” Ben reminded her.

“Sith have been on Kesh for a very long time as well, and yet our Temple is much smaller.”

Ben filed that away for further inquiry later. “Well, once we’re done in the library, we can go anywhere you’d like. I suggest the cafeteria.”

She gave him a little glare. "Very scenic, I'm sure."

The few beings who were here seemed engrossed in their research and didn't pause to stare as the three of them entered. Even, it seemed, Natua Wan, whom they finally found as Jaina peered behind several stacks of datapads. “I commed you about seventeen times,” Jaina greeted her.

Greetings, exposition fairy! Tell us our next wild nexu hunt location! )

[OOC: Adapted from Christie Golden's Ascension.]
momslilassassin: ([neg] disintegrating you with my brain)
Ben could think of about ten thousand planets--including Hoth, Tatooine, Ziost, and the stupid hole the Hidden One had lived in--before he'd have voluntarily set foot on before Dromund Kaas, a planet so seeped in the dark side that Luke had erased it from star charts and general Jedi records for the safety of the public.

But here he was anyway, stomping through the humid guck with his father, his cousin, and Vestara, searching for Abeloth and trying not to lose his lunch because of the physical and spiritual nausea he was feeling.

“I don’t like this,” Luke said without preamble an hour into their search. “More than half a dozen places searched and no one’s found anything. Nothing at all.”

“Well,” Ben offered, “the galaxy is a fairly large place.”

“Of course,” Luke said, “but we should still be finding something. If nothing else, I’m surprised Abeloth hasn’t taunted us in some way. She needs an audience. This absolute inability to find anything at all, about either her and Ship or the Lost Tribe—” He shook his head. “It’s not adding up. She’s not hiding from us because she’s afraid. She’s hiding because she’s planning something. Combine that with the same inexplicable disappearance of the Lost Tribe—I’m willing to bet that they’re working together. They’re planning something. And when Abeloth and the Lost Tribe drop out of sight to plan something—it’s going to be very big, and very bad.”

Ben sighed. “Well, I don’t think we’re going to find them here.”

Sith are drama queens, news at 11. )

[OOC: Adapted from Christie Golden's Ascension. Warnings for NPC death and soooo much scenery chewing.]
momslilassassin: ([pos] I'm so smooth)
The nice thing about how time worked on Naboo was that even a few days away from Fandom meant that Ender and Ben had gotten almost a week to themselves to unwind.

Now the fridge was restocked, the rooms were prepared and the droid Ben had made was bustling industriously around getting rid of dust bunnies.

Ben and Ender were ready for their Fandom (and other universes!) invasion.
momslilassassin: ([neg] bitch plz)
Ben's arrival back on Coruscant wasn't the low-key event he was hoping it would be. He and Ender had caught a public transport from Naboo only to be recognized immediately as they passed through customs. He was sure his arrival would be in a datapad on Daala's desk within the hour.

The news at the Temple wasn't much better: Master Hamner's assistant (in forty years, Luke had never had an assistant, and so meeting a young Jedi who, as far as Ben could tell, was there to get Master Hamner's caf and read reports for him made him roll his eyes) told Ben that Master Hamner couldn't possibly see him until the next day, perhaps next week.

Ben's eyes narrowed and he leaned his knuckles onto her desk. "I'm carrying a message from Luke Skywalker. You might remember him? He used to sit in this office without someone to screen his calls?"

She glared back at him. "I'll let him know you were here, Jedi Skywalker. He's on a very important call at the moment."

"I don't care if he's setting the new galactic record for solitaire," Ben growled. "I have news for the Council that cannot wait."

She pointed to a large stack of datapads. "I'll add it to the other things that cannot wait."

"Any of those mention a planetful of Sith?" he demanded. "If not, they can wait."

Her eyes widened slightly and he gave her an irritated look. "Right. But I'm just a knight. Clearly I'm a moron." He gave her a look of elaborate innocence. "Oh, wait, you're a knight too--"

Where Ben gets even bitchier at the Jedi Council, with expected results )

[OOC: Liberally adapted from Christie Golden's Allies and NFB!]
momslilassassin: ([neg] uncertain)
The quarters were a little more cramped on the Falcon than they were on the Shadow, and the addition of two more people and a nexu cub was helping Ben feel a little caged in.

It wasn't helping that Luke hadn't called yet to let him know where to rendezvous to continue on with their mission. His father wasn't dead--Ben would have felt that--so Ben was trying to wait patiently for his comlink to go off, rather than calling and demanding to know what was going on.

After a few hours of staring at the comm and mentally demanding it to ring, Luke finally called in. The Sith had left the planet having captured most of the Nightsisters of Dathomir, but Luke had Vestara as his prisoner aboard the Shadow and was using her as collateral in his new pact with the Sith.

Ben's yelped "WHAT?!" at that news had echoed through the ship.

Luke's second bit of news--that the Sith claimed their young people were going through the same Force psychosis that had plagued the Jedi--was harder for Ben to believe, and the final piece--that Luke would prefer Ben head to Coruscant to warn the Council personally about the Sith rather than meet up with his father to head back into the Maw--was greeted with absolute silence, then a nod of acquiescence.

Ben was being left behind again. He was fine with that. Really. He curled up on his bunk after he wished Luke luck on his mission and stared at the wall.

See? Totally fine.

[OOC: For the guy with him, phone calls or emails!]
momslilassassin: ([neu] focused)
The attack came later than Ben had anticipated--past midnight instead of at sunset--and with a lack of subtlety that spoke of a hurriedly thrown together plan.

But then, Ben reflected, lightsaber glowing as he stared down the cliffs into the forest as they prepared for a third salvo, how subtle could you be when you were attacking with rancors?

"It's unfolding like we thought," he commented to Ender, "no cohesion between the groups. I'm now accepting brilliant suggestions on how to fix that. We're down to half-strength."

Don't get eaten by rancors, boys )

[Follows this, NFB, NFI, loosely adapted from Aaron's Allston's Backlash and concluding our summer of preplay flist spam! Thank you sooooo much to [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame for putting up with my insanity on this!]
momslilassassin: ([neg] lost little boy)
Ben woke up in the predawn hours, though he hadn't slept much during the night either. He'd finished his work on the lightsaber around midnight, and that was about the only constructive thing he'd accomplished.

He sat up where he'd slept, a couple meters from the campfire, wrapped his blankets around him, and began a series of breathing exercises, hoping to be as detached and reflective as Jedi should be.

When Darth Caedus died, and Lumiya before him, and when Tahiri had shown no sign of wishing to follow the Sith traditions, Ben had hoped it meant the Sith were gone for good. Oh, of course there had been suggestions otherwise: the continued existence of Ship, the rumors of dying Sith communities out in the galaxy somewhere. But he could ignore them. They weren't in his face, waving lightsabers.

That had changed with the arrival of the Sith strike team in the Maw. Most of the Sith that Ben and Luke and Ender had fought had been at the level of training of an experienced Jedi Knight. Luke described Vestara's female companion as being the approximate level of a Jedi Master, and Ben didn't feel lucky enough to hope that the strike team had been the last representatives of this new Sith Order.

So there were Sith again, and part of him, the younger Ben who'd been tortured and nearly turned by Darth Caedus, was still a little afraid of them. Death didn't frighten him. Becoming like Jacen...that was another matter.

Where Ender and Ben talk about Sith and the amazing Skywalker-Solo parenting skills )

Where the score in verbal sparring becomes Vestara 2, Ben 0. )

[Taken and adapted from Backlash by Aaron Allston. NFB, NFI.]
momslilassassin: ([neu] feeling a little gangster)
Dathomir, Ben thought a little darkly, was picking up where the Maw had left off. First they'd been hassled by a low-level bureaucrat for even being on the planet, then they'd run into one of the Dathomiri witches who'd used Force lightning to short-circuit their lightsabers, comm equipment, and unfortunately, the speeders they'd been riding on.

So now they were tromping through the rain forest on foot, following the blood trail that Luke had put on the Sith girl and trying to avoid the increasingly devious traps the Dathomiri witch was placing in front of them. Ben was currently meditating while Luke and Ender stood watch, trying to get a better idea of where their little shadow was hiding.

He reached into the Force and found...Aunt Leia. He let out a sigh of relief and set her a Force-pulse of reassurance--the mental equivalent of a smile--and then looked around for the Dathomiri witch. He found her nearby: stringing cord to turn a patch of poorly balanced boulders on a hillside into a dangerous deadfall. She was unhappy about it, Ben could tell, upset that this trap was so much more dangerous than the other ones, but she wanted, needed them to go away.

He opened up his eyes again. "We still need to head northwest?" he asked his father, who nodded. "Then we need to watch out for rockfalls." He smiled at Ender. "I have our tactic all prepared: when the rocks fall, we get out of the way."

The exploits of Ben Skywalker, master tactician, continue! )

[OOC: Taken and tweaked from Aaron Allston's Backlash in the Fate of the Jedi series. NFI, NFB, say hello to Vestara, everyone.]
momslilassassin: ([neu] looking up)
They were getting close to Dathomir, but Ben, after learning his lesson from the Maw, decided to take a quick detour to a nearby system to top off their fuel and food reserves and to check for any mail they might have received in the past few months.

After so many weeks in the ship and in Sinkhole Station, he was kind of desperate to breathe clean, non-recylced air again too, and maybe get a haircut.

Ben's life of intergalactic intrigue was never-ending thrills, it was true.

[OOC: For phone calls, emails, the boy who travels with him, packages full of Playgirls, Tony...]
momslilassassin: ([neg] oh noes!)
That awful smell, Ben realized, was probably him. It reminded him of sour nerf milk, with a hint of ash and mildew. His tongue lay in his mouth like a raw sausage, his left eye could barely open (thank you, Ender), and he generally felt sore and weak, with a throbbing, muddled head that made him feel like he'd died and just didn't realize it yet.

Which, Ben suddenly remembered, was a distinct possibility. He stared up into the red strobing of the control room's alarm lights, then glanced over at the IV drip bags he'd brought to hydrate himself. They'd been drained, which meant he'd been Mind Walking for much longer than just a day.

"Now I see why they'd rather die than return to their bodies," he gasped out after a couple of tries.

When no reply came, Ben looked over and found his father still lying motionless on his gurney, his gaze vacant and fixed on the ceiling.

"Dad?!"

Where there is introspection and then ass kicking. )

[OOC: And that's it for Abyss! Preplayed with the always amazing [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame. Warnings for lightsabering with extreme prejudice. NFB, NFI, OOC is always welcomed.]
momslilassassin: ([neu] meditating)
A few minutes—or a lifetime—of meditation with Rhondi and Ben felt himself slipping free of his body. He had a thousand questions about what was happening to him, about how long they had been gone and what would happen to his body. But when Rhondi appeared next to him, looking more refreshed and beautiful than she ever had, he had only one thing to ask her: “How do we find my father?”

She extended her hand. “Take my hand and walk with me into the light.”

At any other time, Ben would have had a comment about how walking into the light sounded a bit ominous, but right now Ben did as she instructed, and together they walked into the crackling purple radiance beyond the viewport. He was instantly filled with an eternal, boundless bliss beyond anything he’d ever experienced. He became one with the Force, melted into it and was filled with a calm joy as vast as the galaxy itself. How long he and Rhondi hung there together, Ben would never know. It was less than an eyeblink, long as eternity.

And suddenly Ben was looking out on a narrow black mountain lake with a surface as still as glass. From one shore rose a sheer granite face, sloping toward a domed summit lit with the light of a blue sun. Along the other shore lay a boulder-strewn meadow. Directly ahead was his father standing next to Ryontarr and the Givin, looking toward a half-hidden female form floating in the silver mists that concealed the far end of the lake.

Ben released Rhondi’s hand, no longer consumed by the same sense of urgency that had been troubling him on the station. True, his father had grown perilously weak over the last few weeks, and true his own life was also in peril since the Mind Walkers were still trying to kill them. But Ben had left such mundane worries behind with his body. He’d swum in the incomprehensible infinity of the universe, and now he understood: life and death were the same because moments did not vanish, could not be consumed like air or water or nutripaste. They existed once and forever, spread across the entire continuity of the universe. Just as atoms gathered together to make matter, moments gathered in packets of minutes and hours, which mortals perceived as time passing.

But those packets were no more the essence of time than sunlight was the essence of a star, heat the essence of fire. They were simply the perceptions through which the mind of finite beings experienced the infinite. When he had time to think about it, he wondered how this would change his perceptions of his vision of Jacen, or the view of the future he’d experienced with Ender.

Now—for the given value of now—he had to talk to his father. “That was some trip,” he said with a smile.

Where Ben and Luke go on an extremely trippy...something )

[OOC: Taken and modified from Abyss by Troy Denning. Contains gratuitous icons of Christian Bale and happens at the same time as this. NFB, NFI, OOC is love.]
momslilassassin: ([neg] brooding is a family thing)
The repairs were finished on the ship, and Luke still hadn't returned from beyond shadows. Ben was returning from his daily trip to check on him (his dad's suck-nozzle kept shifting out of his mouth and he was getting pretty dehydrated), and had poked around some of the other ships looking for anything food-like.

The Mind Drinkers had made themselves at home as visitors in the Shadow and were going through provisions faster than Ben had thought possible. At this point, the first thing they'd have to do when they left the Maw was get more supplies. At the beginning it had been worth it to get them to feel comfortable and learn about how they'd ended up here, but Ben was getting uncomfortable with how comfortable two of them in particular--Rolund and Rhondi Tremaine--had gotten with just stopping by to talk to Ender for hours. And eating everything in sight.

Ben wasn't jealous. At all. Really.

And also shut up.

"Ender?" he called as he stepped aboard the ship again. "You around?"

Where Ben goes a little crazy. Maybe. A tad. )

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Ben Skywalker

December 2016

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