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: ([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: (Default)
They were getting very close to Dathomir now, and Ben was trying not to get too antsy about just getting this portion of the mission started, or about seeing Uncle Han and Aunt Leia pretty soon.

Luke wasn't recovering nearly as fast as he'd like--he still looked kind of flattened from his experience in the Maw.

Ben sat in the cockpit, triple-checked their trajectory, and tried to relax.

[OOC: Open for the boy traveling with him or people from Fandom who want to complain about their tails...]
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. )
momslilassassin: ([neg] lost little boy)
It had taken a few days to break free of the Kathol Rift, but the minute the ship cleared the interference, Ben had his comlink out to make a few long-needed calls back to various galaxies.

Ender and his dad had been good to talk to--or not talk to--but he needed to reconnect with some others, too--especially Jaina.

[OOC: If you think you got a call, you did! Ping on back!]
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] bw staring)
Ben had not been pleased to hear that that place where Aing-Tii artifacts was called the Embrace (a word that was going to be followed by "of Pain", at least for the next little...decade...) and had been even less pleased to learn that Taran'Do's "few kilometer" walk to it was a three day hike up mountains on a planet already too light on oxygen for humans. The rift between Ben and Luke about Ben's flow-walking training had become tense to the point of uncomfortable silence.

Finally they had gotten to the passageway, where their only instructions had been: "Inside, you will find all the artifacts we have painstakingly gathered over many thousands of years. Tread carefully, for this is sacred ground to us. Go to the relics. Be with them. Please...find answers for us that we cannot, so that we might heal this terrible rift that wounds us as a people so deeply."

They had descended into a cavern lit from within by glowing stones in every color along the spectrum and imbued strongly with the Force--not the dark energy Ben had felt on Ziost, but one that refreshed.

...or it had a week ago. Now, as they lifted and stared at relic after relic, no closer to an idea of what they were looking for than when he'd began, Ben wished that the words that reverberated in his head weren't his father commenting that he still had nine years and a few months of his exile to fill.

"They couldn't have narrowed it down to blue things, or something round?" he complained.

Will they be stuck in a cave FOREVER? )

[OOC: All power and glory to Christie Golden's Omen and preplayed with the amazing [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame. NFB, NFI, OOC welcome!]
momslilassassin: ([neu] gobsmacked)
The Kathol Rift was easily the most beautiful spatial phenomena Ben had ever seen in his life, which in no way made up for how horrible it was to fly through. The properties that made the Rift so beautiful also turned every ship that entered it into a lightning rod and made flying the mechanical equivalent of riding a spooked ronto for days at a time.

It was exhausting (no thanks to the kriffing hallucinated spiders), even with three pilots and Luke calling on the new training he'd learned from the Baran Do sages to stop the Jade Shadow from short-circuiting outright and leaving them all to drift powerless in space until the breathable atmosphere ran out.

So it was a relief to Ben that the Aing-Tii finally made contact (via their ship--which hadn't been anywhere near the Shadow just appearing on their scopes) and directed them with very specific coordinates (down to the second they should jump) to a planet that Luke identified as their homeworld.

Ben read off the planetary specifics as Luke landed. "It's a little light on oxygen for us, but we won't need breath masks," he said, "and thank the Force for that. Who are we looking for when we disembark?"

Luke smiled. "They didn't say."

"Oh, good," Ben muttered. "More cryptic Force users."

Ooh, new aliens to be terrified by! )

[OOC: Adapted from Christie Golden's Omen and preplayed with the spendiforous [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame. NFB, NFI, OOC welcome!]
momslilassassin: ([pos] knit cap silly smile)
Ben was grabbing a quick snack as he waited in the galley for his father to finish docking the ship on the first human-majority planet they'd seen in months and taking the chance to catch up on more reading about the Aing-Tii Monks. As soon as they restocked their supplies and checked for physical mail (Ben hoped that Tony's package would catch up with them here), they'd be heading into Aing-Tii space, which was a challenging enough flight that Luke Kriffing Skywalker looked slightly apprehensive about it.

Ben stopped being nervous by remembering that if Jacen had been able to do it, Luke would be able to do it better.

...it had never been said that Ben could not be very petty if the occasion called for it.

[OOC: Open for calls, texts, visits from the boy who's in space with him, care packages from home full of YA gay literature...]
momslilassassin: (Default)
Luke, Ben and Ender were sitting around the table in the galley when the holographic communications array chimed softly. Luke frowned. "I wasn't expecting to hear from Cilghal for four more hours," he said, reaching forward to tap the controls, "and you can set your chrono by her."

An image of the Mon Calamari Jedi, about a third of a meter tall, appeared in the center of the table. She nodded her head. "Much has happened in the last few hours, Grand Master. There's been another incident with a Jedi Knight. Jysella Horn. I witnessed it." Cilghal then went on to explain how Jysella had been fine on moment and fighting for her life the next--against the Jedi Master--and fled the Temple.

"She escaped the Temple? How? There's Jedi all over the place!" Ben blurted.

Speak to us, Exposition Fairy, and tell us where to go next! )

[OOC: It's a new book! Taken from Christie Golden's Omen, preplayed with the always fantastic [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame, and NFB for distance, but totally open for emails and phone calls!]
momslilassassin: ([neu] looking up)
They gathered in the Hidden One's throne chamber, four dozen Kel Dors and three humans. As the last of the Kel Dors, servants who operated the foundries, arrived, conversation dropped off and all the Kel Dors turned toward the Hidden One on his throne.

He gestured to the Skywalkers and Ender, motioning them to approach with a benevolent smile. "It's with a whole heart that I greet you. I understand that you have determined to choose new names, the better to make your way among us."

Ben barely restrained a snort. Despite his astral suggestions of names (his father was definitely a Grand Master Whango Mittphool in his heart), that was not really why the three humans were here.

"I'm sorry, great one," Luke replied, looking surprised. "There has been some misunderstanding. I did ask for a naming ceremony, but I didn't mean it would we will be renaming ourselves. It's my hope that we will be renaming some--or all--of you."

Exclamations of surprise and disapproval filled the room. Ben kept his face impassive but he was grinning on the inside. Much as he liked causing trouble, it was just as much fun watching his father do it. And the Hidden One had been asking for this.

"You have wasted my time," the Hidden One said darkly.

Luke shrugged. "What do the dead have except time? And admit it, as annoying as you find my words, this is going to be the most interesting event you're going to experience all day."

"Why are you doing this?" the Hidden One asked.

Luke turned serious. "Because you're wrong. And if you were only wronging yourself, that would not be so bad. But you are wronging every one of them as well." He gestured at the assembled Kel Dors. "You are a group who study and utilize the Force, yes?"

The Kel Dors looked between Luke and the Hidden One. "Yes," one replied.

"And the Force is the energy of life."

Another Kel Dor said, "Yes."

Luke gave the Hidden One an admonishing look. "Life is risk. Life is energy, vitality. But you've rejected those things, and in rejecting them, reject the Force. In rejecting the Force, you deprive yourself of the right to teach its ways to the living. You have brought nothing to these caverns but your own bodies, and even then you don't have the decency to start moldering like ordinary corpses."

Ben hoped that his father knew what he was doing as the Kel Dors began muttering angrily to themselves.

With a start like that, clearly things can only get worse. )
momslilassassin: ([neg] disintegrating you with my brain)

They'd been down in the caverns for more than a week now, and other than a rather awkward meeting with the Hidden One and a really small hole in the wall, had very little to show for their time.

Ben swung his pickaxe at a particularly stubborn bit of stone and imagined it was the Hidden One's face, a fantasy that gave him some satisfaction as he worked. "We need to get out of here," he declared, and not for the first time.

Or the hundredth.





Where Ben and Ender do some investigating )

[OOC: Taken from Aaron Allston's Outcast, then tweaked. Preplayed with the delightful [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame.NFB, NFI, still livin' in a hole...]
momslilassassin: ([neu] looking up)
After scaling the walls of the temple, the Jedi and Ender stood before the platform where Charsae Saal had said his goodbyes and tried to figure out the trick to the Baran Do sage's disappearance. "If we assume this is the means by which he vanished, there's probably a mechanism somewhere," Luke said thoughtfully. "If he triggered it himself, it was with the Force."

"We would have felt that," Ben pointed out, narrowing his eyes and moving his fingers along the edge of the platform. "Someone else must have helped."

Luke snapped his fingers and a portion of the top platform swung down, leaving a gap easily large enough for a good-sized human or a Kel Dor to fit through. "Shall we?"

"Masters first," Ben replied immediately.

They used the hook and line that Luke had kept on his belt for as long as Ben could remember, repelling 10 meters down a dark hole and found themselves in a storage chamber of some kind, standing on a hydraulic platform that, retracted as it was now, was almost at floor level, but when raised would go to the ceiling and the hidden entrance above.

"Pretty simple," Ben whispered before he and Ender followed Luke through a permacrete-lined corridor towards the living beings Ben could sense through the Force.

"Might as well barge in," Luke said, shrugging.

"They're Baran Do Sages," Ben agreed. "They're not going to try to kill people for prowling through their basement, I hope."

Skywalkers were amazing planners.

Breaking and Entering for Great Justice! )

[OOC: Taken from Aaron Allston's Outcast, then folded into origami cranes with the help of [livejournal.com profile] endsthegame. NFB, NFI, and the guys are kind of incommunicado for the...um, foreseeable future?]
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, Ender, and Luke had been in space for almost a week now and Ben was starting to realize what would be the real killer for him for the next decade: nowhere to run. A 55 meter long ship, while equipped to hold up to ten people, wasn't exactly built for laps, and there was only so much treadmill that Ben could deal with in a day.

He settled for tapping his leg as he read up on the planet Dorin on the three-dimensional screen in the shared common area, sipping from a steaming mug of caf as he did so. It was his third run-through of the admittedly limited information on the system. He knew that the planet had been Jacen's first stop on his quest for knowledge away from the Jedi after the Yuuzhan Vong War, but Jacen hadn't added anything to the Jedi archives about what exactly he'd learned from them. The only reference to a Jedi Kel Dor was a Master named Plo Kloon from his grandfather's time, but even that information was patchy.

He was half-tempted to send Anakin a message and ask for information. Surely sending an email to a supposedly dead Jedi wouldn't violate the terms of his father's exile?

...This was also an argument he'd been having with himself for days. He sighed, scrubbed his hands through his hair again and went back to reading.

[OOC: Open for him that is in space with him, as well as calls and emails! NFB due to distance]

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