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: ([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] 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: (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] brooding is a family thing)
Ben was on his way to find Ender, fresh from a few hours of lightsaber practice, when his comlink went off.

As a general rule, his comlink went off several times a day, but this time he had a bad feeling about it even before he turned it on. "Hello?"

There was silence on his end as he listened to his Jaina's clipped rundown of how things had ended on Nam Chorios.

"He'll survive?" he finally asked softly.

She confirmed that.

"Okay," he said. "I'll be there as soon as I can book a portal."

He clicked the comlink off and closed his eyes, taking a few steadying breaths. First he had to find Ender.

Aren't scheduled postings awesome? )

[OOC: And away we goooooo. Tracy, I apologize in advance for the spam.]
momslilassassin: ([neg] death glare)
Ben returned to the room from his afternoon salle training, dropped off dinner, and headed immediately to the shower.

He returned to two dozen messages on his comlink.

"Sithspit," he groaned as he read. "Who's in charge now?"

He should probably change out of a towel soon...

[OOC: Open door, open post! Thread with Ender is now not so worksafe.]
Ender|Topher|Tony
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: ([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. )
momslilassassin: ([neg] crying)
Ben wondered if he should have had a sanisteam and something hot to eat before attempting what he was about to do, but it was too late now. He trudged slowly to the spot where he, Luke, and Ender had spent so many days learning from Tadar'Ro. It all looked as it had before, the time-smoothed stones warm from the sun, the taller stones casting cool shadows. But didn't feel the same to Ben.

Here was where Tadar'Ro had taught Luke, and Ender, and Ben, and Jorj Car'das.

And here was where Tadar'Ro had taught Jacen Solo.

Hello again, Jacen. )

Where Ben has a long-delayed nervous breakdown )

[OOC: And we're done with Christie Golden's Omen. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame for the preplay on this one. NFB, NFI, OOC given donuts. Man, I want a donut.]
momslilassassin: ([neu] i have a sweater)
Fresh from the Jade Shadow's sanisteam and dressed in clean robes, Ben joined Ender and his father in the main cabin for their nightly meal of reheated prepackaged meals.

"You know that thing where the sages decide that it's time to die and they just will themselves to do it?" he began between bites of nerf loaf and tuber mash. "One of the Baran Do masters--the senior combat instructor, Charsae Saal--has decided to do it tomorrow. He was working with Ender and me today and invited us all to attend the ceremony."

"Did you talk to him about his choice?" Luke asked.

Ben nodded. "We didn't just blurt out Why have you decided to die? or anything, but Ender asked some questions about the ceremony and I told him that from a human perspective, it was sad when a good person died because they took their knowledge with them. He said he was leaving his knowledge behind."

"Huh," Luke replied.

"What did you learn today?"

"I learned to make a ball float at a constant altitude but not make it be still."

Ben decided that the combat training sounded way more interesting. "You also had a busy day," he said a little dryly instead. "Talking to other Baran Do sages, I was getting a strange sense about Charsae Saal's decision. The students were sad. So were the Baran Do Masters, but it was different."

"Of course it was," Luke said. "Masters tend to have a greater depth of philosophy and understanding about such things--"

"Dad, they were even sadder."

That brought Luke up short. "What's that again?"

"I got the impression that the Masters had even deeper regret."

"Interesting," Luke said finally. "Now I'm certain we need to attend."

Alien funerals for the win? )

[OOC: Taken and adapted from Aaron Allston's Outcast, preplayed with [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame, NFI, NFB, void in Delaware.]
momslilassassin: (Default)
Ben sat ramrod straight in the back of the court chamber, not looking at his family or at Ender. The only evidence of how the last week had weighed on him was in the bags under his eyes: he hadn't been sleeping well since Valin Horn went insane and led the Jedi on a chase through Coruscant, which meant that when his father left in the middle of the night yesterday, he'd heard it.

That they'd been called to meet Luke in court so early this morning and so unexpectedly was, in his view, a really bad sign.

Where Luke Skywalker becomes a convicted felon. )

And a plan is formed. )

[OOC: Taken from Aaron Allston's Outcast and preplayed with the lovely [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame, which will become a theme this summer. NFI, NFB, OOC is love.]
momslilassassin: ([neg] zomg!)
Ben had been slightly worried when Ender hadn't shown up for class, and more so when he'd taken their traditional coffees to an empty Stark's.

He trotted back to the dorms, wondering if Ender had come down with something--it wasn't like him to just skip out on class or work--and felt the hair on the back of his neck rise as he approached their room. He could tell already that no one was home, but he opened the door anyway.

Both coffees hit the floor when he saw the note.

He ignored the "don't worry" and the thing about Caligula, focusing instead on "eye of the storm."

Ender was gone, disappearing like Val had. Ben shoved aside a furious--and pointless--surge of hate for Graff. There was no proof it was his fault.

Yet.

He stared at the piece of paper for a long while, hoping that maybe rereading it a few thousand more times would help him to understand what the hell Ender was doing.

He'd forgotten to close the door behind him.

You should have a bad feeling about this. )

[OOC: Preplayed with the lovely [livejournal.com profile] glacial_witch. NFI, but OOC is loved and fed pie.]
momslilassassin: ([neu] bw scruffy)
Let's be very clear: Ben was a badass, as was his roommate, and neither of them needed to snuggle a cute little whatever the thing was that had followed Ben home from his daily run.

Which was what Ben was very patiently--and then less patiently--explaining to the little thing as it tried to climb into his lap.

"You look like a middle aged Yoda," Ben laughed. "And no, I don't need a hug."

[OOC: Open door, open post!]
momslilassassin: (Ben: Ben says "um wtf")
Seeing King (and really, other version of him, King?) had been, a little overwhelming, so when the boy had demanded to go out and play, Ben had extricated himself (read: fled) as quickly as possible and returned to his room.

And shut the door.

And was now building something in the hopes that he wouldn't hear anyone knocking. This was, of course, a doomed course of action.

For a virgin, Ben sure got around... )

[OOC: For Aravis, the wee one, and truly epic levels of SP.]
momslilassassin: (Ben: its on the book cover)
Ben followed the sound of Han's whooping and wasn’t surprised to see everyone he wanted to in the same place. He loitered in the doorway and watched as Jaina stood in the grass and concentrated hard enough to shatter a disk of lightsaber-proof beskar with her mind. He didn’t blame Han for being excited at all.

He's baaaack! )

[OOC: I swear I'm almost done. Dialogue snagged from Troy "Why Yes, I Might Hate All of These People" Denning's book Invincible. NFB, NFI. OOC is love.]
momslilassassin: (Ben: sad panda)
In a galaxy whirling madly out of control, where whole cities could be blasted out of existence entirely on the Chief of State’s whim, no one cared when fourteen-year-old Ben Skywalker walked into a seedy cantina in a refueling depot halfway to nowhere and ordered a drink.

Which was why Ben couldn’t figure out why he felt like he was being watched. )

[OOC: Dialogue taken from Troy "Sure, Let's Make This *More* Awkward" Denning and his book Invincible. Apologies for the flist spamming.]
momslilassassin: (Ben: listening)
Ben sat as unobtrusively as possible in the room as Jaina made her case to the Council and to her parents. “Mom and Dad, I’m sorry for this,” she said, looking them straight in the eyes, “but I think we have to go after Jacen. I think it’s our duty.”

“What do you mean ‘go after’?” Saba asked when it was clear that Han and Leia weren’t going to speak. “This one knowz you have been training with Boba Fett, but that has not worked before.”

I mean eliminate. I mean hunt down and kill. )

[OOC: Dialogue stolen from Troy "Whack Off More Limbs!" Denning and his book Invincible. NFB, NFI, etc., etc.]

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Ben Skywalker

December 2016

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