~Rise of the Sith Empire~
By: Elisabeth Spalding

Setting: Two years after Crisis at Crystal Reef. Zekk has been elected as Ennth's ambassador. Jaina is turning 18. Sorry, I'm not good at explaining this. Read on for more detailed explainations.

Author's Note:(I don't take credit for any of this. I'm not being paid & I'm not doig this for Lucas. This is simply for your entertainment.) This story takes place after the Jedi knights have graduated. Jacen, Jaina, Tenel Ka, Lowbacca, & a few others have stayed behind to help Master Skywalker train his newest students. However, Zekk has left & returned to Ennth where he was nominated as their new ambassador. Word has reached him that a few of the dark Jedi that had escaped the attack on the Jedi academy & fled to the last Empire-hugging planets of the Outer Rim. A Sith lord, Darth Vighom (personally trained by Anakin Skywalker) has taken them in & trained them in the ways of the Sith. His aid, Thor Alsyre (also his best student) has disvovered that the prince of the ice planet, Sydercon (home of the Ice Dragons), is paying a visit to the races on Ord Mantell. The young Syderian carries information in his crystal necklace that can destroy a species, culture, galaxy, & more that only he knows.

The Siths want this crystal & will do anything to obtain it. Darth Vighom has sent out three of his best students to obduct Prince Caspian Le Devia & bring him back to the deserted planet of Zoit where their headquarters are located. Once he has been captured, they can completely annhilate the Jedi & continue their take over that had ended so many years ago . . . .


~Chapter One~

Prince Caspian Le Devia paced his large quarters, his silver cape flowing after him. His silvery hair waved as he stopped by his window, gazing out on his white world with his ice blue eyes. A prince at a young age since his parents were assasinated, he was an exceptionally fine ruler. His many servants were never given tasks that they couldn't do within a comfortable envioronment. His subjects thought he was the best leader they'd had in many years since the fall of the Empire.

But that wasn't on his mind that morning. He was waiting for his transport to arrive & take him to Ord Mantell for the Kessel Run. The race was an event he looked forward to every year since he was four years old. He smiled at the memory of his mother holding him up above the crowd so he could see the racers wiz by. The thrill of the race had inspired him to get a ship of his own & learn how to fly. He was a skilled pilot & had the potential to join Rogue Squadron. But Caspian had other dreams. Becoming a Jedi knight was his greatest. To widle a lightsaber & defend his peaceful colony & the sacred Ice Dragons was a comforting thought.

His attendant tapped him on his shoulder. "Your Majesty, the transport has arrived." Caspian blinked away his other thoughts & waved his hand. "Oh, yes, of course. I'm sorry Defron. I was day dreaming again." Defron smiled. "Shall we go now, Sir?" Caspian nodded. "Yes Defron. Have my dragon handlers fed Demytron today?" Defron nodded. "Yes, Sir. Your dragon is well fed & sleeping in the moores." The young prince nodded. "Then let us proceed. We wouldn't want to keep the transport waiting."

The transport was a new Syderian cruiser. Caspian smiled slightly & boarded the ramp. His servants smiled & bowed as he acended toward the passenger area of his ship. "Good bye, Sir! Have a safe trip & may the Force be with you!" one called out. Caspian smiled. "Thank you Dalorace. I hope that everything shall run smoothly here while I'm gone" He waved to all of the servants, humbly bowing before him. "I'll see you all soon. Maybe a trip to Cloud City when I return for all of you?" A chorus of cheers went up. Caspian smiled & ducked into the cruiser.

Defron took a seat beside his prince. As his personal body guard, Defron was prepared to give his life for the young 19 year old man. But, as he looked at the silver haired Syderian, he figured that it was worth it.

Caspian glanced up at Defron. "Are you excited my friend?" he said, his voice confident & with high spirits. Defron laughed a deep laugh from his heart. "Yes, Your Majesty, I am quite looking forward to this race. I hear that the ambassador from Ennth is running in it." Caspian looked at his friend since birth. "Oh? What is his name?" Defron frowned. "I believe his name is Zekk. He is a Jedi knight & a skilled pilot. He won the race once before too. He was once asked to join Rogue Squadron, but he turned them down, wishing to persue his life as a Jedi." Caspian raised his eyebrows knowingly. "I'll be cheering for him then, Defron." he said with a small laugh.

Caspian nodded. "I'll be cheering for him then. What other pilots are running today?" Defron shrugged. "Sorry, Sir. I don't know any more than that." Caspian bit his lower lip & nodded. "Thank you, Defron. I think that I will see the other racers at the event anyway."

Zekk dropped out of hyper space about thirty miles from Ord Mantell. Glancing out his front view port, he saw the New Republic fleet awaiting his arrival. The comm unit buzzed & a Mon Calamari voice came over. "Greetings Ambassador Zekk of Ennth. We hope you will enjoy your stay aboard the Mon Remolda." Zekk raised his eyebrow. "Admiral Ackbar, am I correct?" The voice laughed. "Yes, sir. This is Admiral Ackbar. You may dock your ship is Bay 23." Zekk thanked the elderly Mon Calamarian & alighted his ship down on the metal floor of the elegant cruiser.

Admiral Ackbar walked into the docking bay once the sheild doors were up to prevent the vacuum of space from killing them all. "Welcome, Sir. It is an honor to have you aboard our ship Ambassador. We will escort you to your quarters now." Zekk shifted uneasily & made sure his weapons were sercurly strapped to his hips. They were. Something is wrong, he thought. Not on this ship, but something is definently wrong. He glanced around himself, looking for any sign that he was being observed. Nothing.

He strode over to Admiral Ackbar & shook his webbed hand. "Admiral, it is an honor it be in your presence. I have always dreamed of meeting a great Rebellion hero such as yourself."

Admiral Ackbar took note on Zekk's youthfulness. "I can see that you weren't alive during the Rebellion. You are too young looking to have been born that long ago." Zekk grinned. "Thank you, Sir." He felt for his datapad. "Is my room near by?" The admiral nodded. "Yes, just this way." The Mon Calamarian led him over the war bridge & into a well furnished room. Zekk gawked. "Admiral, this is so different. I have never had such accomidations in my life!" Ackbar chuckled. "It is the finest sweet we have, besides my own. We hope it is enough." Zekk cried out. "Enough?!" he squeaked. "This is more than enough! This is my own little iece of paradise!" He smiled broadly & slumped down, dazed, in a chair. I could get used to this, he thought.

The next few hours were filled with mapping out the race course & going over the trouble spots on the track. Though Zekk was a winner of the Kessel Run, the race changed every year & he wasn't prepared to get himself killed yet. There was one area that troubled him. "Here, on the area where you have to pass through the mine field. I don't believe that I can get through without doing a fair bit of damage to my ship." He glanced out his window at the battered Corellian freighter. Ackbar frowned. "I suspect that this is an optical illusion. When you look at the track from this angle, it appears that the mines are set up underneath the rocks. However, if you look at it from the cockpit's view, you will see that the mines are place on the side of the semi-canyon. Now, if you turn your ship in a ninty degree angle, you can get through all the mines with minimal damage to your ship." Zekk gave Ackbar an "I knew that" look & blushed. Ackbar chuckled & patted Zekk on the shoulder. "My boy, I suggest you get some rest before the race. It will be a very stressful day ahead of you." Zekk nodded & slipped into his bed.

Jaina Solo sat atop the the Great Massassi Temple, waiting for the Kessel Run to be broadcasted on all of the Republic channels on the holonet. All the other students including her brother, Tenel Ka, & Lobacca the Wookie, were watching the race in the main audotorium. Jaina smirked because she knew that the transmition would be jammed because the power source would drain the holonet's power. But she would get a perfect image. She grinned & tuned her holopad to the Kessel Run.

"And now, the contesents! Ship number 1 . . ." She didn't listen until she saw number 12 ship. " . . . and number twelve is a special guest we have from the planet of Ennth. Ambassador Zekk!" Jaina's heart skipped a beat. He never told her he planned on racing in the Kessel Run again. I wonder if he sent me a holo message. She pulled out her datapad & switched it on. Scrolling down to the bottom, she clicked on "recieved holo mail". She had four new messages.

One was from her mother. She read through it quickly & laughed because her mother was considering reprograming C-3PO. The next on was from Anakin. She wondered why he'd sent her a holomessage when he could just talk to her. But she read it anyway. He needed help on a puzzle & was embarressed to let anyone help him. Jaina.

She glanced up at her holopad. The race was about to start. She bit her lower lip & clicked on the last message. It was from Zekk.

"Hi Jaina. It's Zekk. How are you? I'm okay I guess. Look, I'm sorry, but I can't make it to your birthday celebration. I know, I said I would, butI have entered in the Kessel Run & I have some buisness to attend to afterwards. It seems that the Dark Jedi that escaped after the attack on the academy have built up a small Sith colony on the planet Zoit. I have a feeling that they are trying to get Prince Caspian Le Devia because of his crystalleen necklace. If they got hold of it, it would be the end of you & me & the others. So you see why I have to stay away.

"I am wishing you a happy birthday, even all the way out here. I wish you could be here to be my co-pilot, but maybe when get back, we can spend a day together. Without Jacen's annoying jokes! But until then, I hope that you will remember to send me holo messages so I know you don't hate me.

"Oh! Before I forget, I have you a very special birthday present. I hope that when I am back from my little 'outting' I can give it to you. I am sure you'll like it. It's slightly damaged, but I think that you'll enjoy tinkering with it. Oh alright, if I haven't given it away already, it's a ship. I'll keep it wherever you want, but make sure your parents are okay on it before you make me dock it.

"Jaina, as much as I want to keep talking to you, I have to go. The racers have to get ready & I'm only just now starting up my ship. I miss you. Zekk out."

Jaina was torn between emotions. Happiness that she had a ship & sadness because Zekk wasn't going to make it to her birthday celebration. She looked over at her holopad. The race had started.

Zekk gunned the engine on his ship & zoomed to the front. The ship behind him swung over too close to the canyon wall & was no more that debris. Zekk smirked & turned his ship, barely getting away from the first mine. Followng Admiral Ackbar's advice, he turned his ship to ninty degrees & his sheilds took minimum damage.

The rest of the race only took afew minutes. He went into the cloud of fog & skimmed above the water easily. In the end, he won. All of his competetors congradulated him & he was given another medal. "The winner! Ambassador Zekk of Ennth!" The crowd cheered & he saw people rushing to collect their bet money. Then, he saw Prince Caspian Le Devia. The young many waved & clapped. Zekk motioned him & his guard to go out the South exit. Caspian appeared puzzled, but obeyed.

Prince Caspian Le Devia & his guard, Defron, met the ambassador of Ennth outside of the South exit. Caspian ran a hand through his silery, semi-long, hair & smiled as Zekk came around. "Ambassador, it is a pleasure to meet you. Can I help you?" Zekk returned the smile & they shook hands. "No, Your Majesty, it is me who must help you. I am a Jedi knight, sensitive to the Force, tiny living particals that live inside us. They are what helps us use our powers. That is how I know you are in danger." Caspian's expression changed from placid to surprised. "How so?" Zekk grimaced. "The remaining Dark Jedi from the attack on Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy have fled to the deserted planet of Zoit. I'm afraid that the remaining Siths have joined forces with them." He pointed to the necklace around Caspian's neck. "They want that."

Caspian gasped. "My crystal my mother gave me before she died? Never!" Zekk frowned. "I have no use for it. It is the Siths who want it. They will wipe out a species, culture, or even the Jedi." Caspian put a hand over his mouth. "Oh, how awful!" He grasped his necklace firmly in his hand. "I must get to somewhere safe." He looked up at Zekk. "Ambassador, do you know of a safe place that I could stay at, safe from the Siths?" Zekk smiled. "Caspian, I think I do . . ."


~Chapter Two~

Jaina blew a puff of air out of her mouth as she watched Zekk win. He looked so happy. But his expression faded & he slipped out of view. Jaina growled, turned her holopad off, & trudged back to her dorm . Why was this mission so important? So the Siths get him.Big deal. I bet there's some code on the crystal so you can't work it. She felt tears cominto her eyes, but she blinked them away. He'll come back, she thought. He always does. Jaina picked up her datapad & selected "send holo message".

"Hi Zekk, it's me, Jaina. That's alright. I understand. Maybe when you take care of everything on Zoit, you can come & stay at the academy for a while. I- everyone misses you. Alot. Even Tenel Ka says she is bored to have no one fast enough to run with in the moring. Jacen wishes you were here to tolerate his jokes. I just wish you were here. I don't know what Lowie thinks. He always off on his own, never taking time to help me on the Rock Dragon anymore. So I have absolutly no one to help me.

"By the way, thanks for the ship. I'll need it & I have messaged my parents. They said it was okay. But I really want to be there to help you. Please tell me if you need any help. I have to cut this message short. My brother is looking for me. Until next time, I miss ya alot. Jaina out."

Jaina looked over the message, played it, & sent it. If only Zekk could really talk to her, she thought. The last time she'd seen him, they'd graduated from the temple! Zekk had been called away & he'd never come back. She'd been hurt, until he messaged her telling her what was going on. Now, she would be able to find him.

Jacen came shuffling down the hall with Lowie & Tenel Ka & Raynar. Jacen stopped in front of her door. "Hey! Jaya! We're going swimming! You coming?" Jaina snapped out of her revirar. "Yeah, sure. I'll be out in a sec." Jacen nodded. "Alright. But hurry! I got a really good joke for you!" Jaina heard Raynar & Lowie groan. Tenel Ka was silent, as usual. "Thanks Jacen," she smirked. "But I think I'll pass on the joke." She grabbed her datapad & joined her friends down by the river.

"Aaaaaaaah!" Jacen shrieked as Jaina pushed him under the water. Tenel Ka, for once, broke out into laughter that surprised everyone. Jaina smirked & swam back, avoiding Jacen's splash. "Ugh!" he growled. Lowie barked & roared & leapt into the water. "Hey!" Raynar cried as Lowie came tumbling down on top of him. "Ow!" Lowie grumbled "sorry" in his language & helped Raynar up.

Raynar brushed himself off & jumped back in on top of Lowbacca. Lowie roared & gently body slammed Raynar back into the water. Tenel Ka watched them with interest. "Jacen, my friend? You look . . . . wet." she said trying to keep her voice from rising with kaughter. Jacen shook his wet hair out, getting Jaina wet. "Thank you, Tenel Ka. I feel so cherished here." Jaina slung an arm around her brothers shoulders. "It's okay Jacen. We know that I was the smarter child already." Lowie chuffed & patted Jacen on the head. Jacen turned to Lowie. "Laugh it up, Fuzz Ball!" Lowie tilted his head & smiled a fanged smile. Jacen pushed Lowie back & scrambled out of the water. With her one good arm, Tenel Ka reached out & caught him. "Hey!" he screeched. Tenel Ka pulled him close. "I do not believe it would be fair for Lowie to have to chase you. I think that you should swim & maybe he will be leniant on your punishment." She quirked a smile.

Jacen wriggled out of her grip & dove into the water. Lowie caught him & dragged him up toward the diving rock. Jacen screamed as he was thrown over the rock & into the water. Jaina winced as he landed on his stomach. "Oooooh! That had to hurt." she muttered. Jacen's head popped up & he glared at Jaina. "You are so dead!" he snarled. Jaina shrieked & leapt out of the water. Being faster than Jacen, she mde it back to the temple-

-just as a ship was landing. She smiled & rushed out to the landing pad. Zekk bounded down the Lightning Rod's ramp & caught Jaina in a fierce hug. "You made it!" Jaina cried. Zekk smiled sadly. "I can't stay more then afew days." He looked up the ramp. "It's safe you two!" he called. Jaina frowned. "Who do you have up there?" she ased.Zekk grinned. "Allow me to introduce Prince Caspian Le Devia of Sydercon & his body guard, Defron."

Jaina watched in awe as a beautiful young man glided down the ramp. His silver hair blew gently in the breeze & his ice blue eyes pierced into her mind. His silver cape swirled around him, making him look like a Syderian Ice Dragon. Caspian saw her. "Hello. My name is Caspian. What's yours?" Jaina blinked. "Jaina. Jaina Solo. And this is my brother-" she gestured to Jacen"-Jacen. And these are my friends, Princess Tenel Ka Chume Djo of Hapes & Lowbacca the Wookie." Caspian smiled at each of them. "Hi," They all shook hands. Jaina tapped Zekk on the shoulder. "Zekk, we were swimming. Do you want to? Caspian & Defron can come if they want too." Zekk looked at Caspian & Defron. "Would you two like to go swimming?" Caspian grinned & nodded, but Defron shook his head. "I'll stay & watch, but I'm not getting in, thank you." Zekk shook his head. "Alright then." He grinned at Jaina. "Last one to the water has to listen to Jacen's jokes!" Everyone laughed, until Jacen caught on. "Hey! Wait!"

Jaina dove into the water & popped up laughing. "Hey! Come on! It's not that cold!" she called out to Zekk who was barely even ankle deep in the river. She sighed & pulled him in. He cried out, but he was pulled under by Jaina. "Hey!" he tried to say, but he was under water. Jaina grinned & pulled him up. Zekk stummbled & balanced himself on the muddy river floor. He glared at Jaina. "This was a new shirt!" It was white with a lace up front. His black pants now had a rip in them. Jaina blushed. "Sorry Zekk." she said. "I didn't mean to rip your pants or get your shirt muddy." Caspian crept up behind Zekk. Jaina held back a grin & moved out of the way. Caspian lunged forward & tackled Zekk into the water. Jaina laughed. "Way to go Caspian!" she called. Caspian grinned & watched Zekk slowly lift his head out of the water. Caspian slowly stepped back & broke out into a run as Zekk growled & chased after him. Jaina rolled her eyes & jogged after the two boys.

"Alright you two!" Jaina called as she walked into a clearing. Zekk had pinned Caspian down & had him in aperfect arm lock. Caspian flipped Zekk over & scrambled to his feet. Jaina grabbed Caspian & Zekk by the hair & yanked. "Ow!" Zekk screamed. "Hey!" Caspian yelled. Jaina released them. "I don't approve of you two killing eachother!" She grinned. "I happen to be fond of having live friends rather than corpses rotting in the ground." Zekk looked down. "Sorry," he muttered. Jaina pinched his cheek. "That's a good Zekky Wekky!" Zekk batted her hand away. "Stop it!" Jaina grinned. "Why?" she asked, smiling sweetly. Zekk returned her sarcastic smile. "Because if you don't, I'll have to make you stop repairing my ship & not give you the one I got you." Jaina raised her eye brows. "Uh huh. Really. Of course." She patted him on the shoulder & skipped back to the river. Caspian ran a hand through his silver hair & strode after her.

"Hey Jaina!" Caspian called out. Jaina turned around. "What Your Highnessness?" Caspian gave her an "I'm not amused" look & quickly changed his expression. "Are you busy tomorrow?" he asked. Jaina frowned. "Well, I was going to help Jacen build his new aquarium for his new stump lizard, but I guess other than that I'm free." Caspian nodded. "Do you want to do something later then?" Jaina nodded. "Yeah, sure." She waved & called out to Tenel Ka. Caspian turned on his heels, walked deeper into the jungle, resisting the urge to whistle.


~Chapter Three~

It was late that night when Jacen, Jaina, Tenel Ka, Raynar, Lowie, & Caspian stumbled, groggily & slightly drunk, back to the temple. Jaina laughed & tripped. Zekk blinked & caught her. "A little too much Corellian Brandy eh?" Jaina flipped her head back & groaned. "No . . . why do you say that?" She laughed & fell back onto the ground.

Jacen leaned on Tenel Ka's shoulder, groaning & sputtering. The warrior girl had refused to take even a sip of the achohal. Her body was attuned for perfect ravel & she didn't want to damage it in any way. However, Jacen, Jaina, Zekk, & Caspian were slightly woosy. Caspian stumbled over a root & fell face down onto the ground. Jaina wobbled over to him & helped him up. He laughed & hauled himself up. "Thanks," he muttered & burped. Jaina laughed. Zekk looked at his bottle of brandy & gulped down the rest. He sighed & burped. "I am gonna have a hell of a hangover tomorrow!" he mumbled. Jaina glanced at him & coughed, gaged, & threw up all over the jungle floor. Zekk cursed & walked over to her. "I think that's enough brandy for you, Jaya." he said, sounding like he was choking. Jaina looked up at him. "I never want another bottle of brandy again in my life," she gasped. Zekk smirked & helped her up. "I don't think that will be a problam." he said. Caspian shook out his hair, sending water everywhere. "I don't believe that I'll ever drink Corellian brandy again. At least not in this much quantity." Zekk shrugged. "Same here." he agreed.

Zekk limped into his ship & slumped down in the pilot's chair. "Ugh," he mumbled as he slipped off into a restless sleep.

Early the next morning, Zekk woke up to the sound of ships taking off & landing in the docking bay. He sat up & imediantly wished he hadn't. "Oh Sithspit!" he muttered. "I am so dead." He stood up, remembering that this was one of the days that Han Solo came to the academy. "Jaina," he said to himself as he stumbled out the ramp.

Jaina glanced up. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK! Jaina looked at her door. It was Zekk. Jaina grinned. "I'm coming!" she called. Zekk blinked afew times & looked back towards the docking bay. "Jaina?" he choked. He heard her smirk. "Come on in, I need to put this away." She held up a hydrospanner. Zekk fiddled with the door knob & finally got it open.

"Jaina, your dad is in the docking bay!" Jaina whirled. "My father?!" she shrieked. Zekk nodded then ran his hands through his hair. Jaina grinned. "I don't know why, but I don't have a hangover." Zekk glared at her. "I have one," he mumbled. Jaina raised an eyebrow. "As I can see," she muttered. "Come on. Sit down until I know what to do with you." Zekk flopped down on a stool & moaned. Jaina laughed. "Don't leave my room. If Jacen comes looking for me, don't say anything." She strolled out of her room & waved good bye to the already sleeping Zekk.

"Jacen?" Jaina called into his room. "Ugh," he replied. Jaina rolled her eyes. "Dad is here Jacen!" Jacen looked up at her. "Crap, no," he mumbled. Jaina nodded. "I know, bad timing, huh?"Jacen swung his legs over the side of his bed & stood up. "Oh, no," he cried. "How do you know?" Jaina gestured to her room. "Zekk told me." Jacen looked at her. Jaina scowled at him. "Jacen will you grow up?" He shook his head & stood up. "I . . . don't look too bad do I?" Jaina thought. "No . . . not too bad." Jacen tested his weight. Then a thought occured to both of them. "Caspian!" they both screamed in usion.

Caspian stumbled around in his room. His vision was blurred & he couldn't see anything. "Ugh!" he growled. "This so sucks. I am going to throw up!" Caspian shook his head & rubbed his eyes. Suddenly, "Caspian? Are you okay?" Caspian looked up. "Jaina?" he moaned. He saw two fuzzy figures. "Jacen? Jaina?" He saw an arm wave. "Hey," Jacen said. "Can you, like, let us in maybe?" Caspian's silver hair lay in clumps on his head. "What now?" he moaned. Jaina slipped her arm in through the window & undid the latch. "My father is coming! In other words, if he sees Jacen, you & Zekk looking like drunk mad men, I'm totally screwed!" Caspian limped over to the door, dizzily. "Tell Master Skywalker," he said softly. Jaina looked at Jacen. "You & Caspian tell Uncle Luke. Zekk & I will make a diversion. Move!" Jaina sped back towards her room.

"Zekk?" she asked. The young dark haired man stood up, a little more balanced. "Jaina? It is you, right?" Jaina nodded. "Yeah! Let me in!" Zekk fumbled with the knob & let her in. "So, what?" Jaina paced her room. "We have to make a diversion. Caspian & Jacen are going to tell Uncle Luke about how you, Jacen, & Caspian are drunker than a bounty hunter with a gallon of Cheru beer!" Zekk raised an eyebrow. "I am not drunk!" he said. "Uh huh," Jaina mumbled. "Come on!" She grabbed Zekk by his shirt & dragged him out to the landing pad.

"Oh! Dad! Please! Help us!" Jaina called. She muttered to Zekk, "Pretend your arm is broken or something!" Zekk screamed. "Aaah! It hurts!" he lied. Jaina looked at her father. Han & Chewie were stunned. "Alright, Chewie, get the medical kit!" He strode over to Zekk. "Well, Kid, looks like you've done it now. What happened?" Zekk looked baffled. "I, uh, was, I mean we were swimming this moring & I must have jumped in wrong & I smashed my arm." Zekk forced out a fake wince. "Please, Captian Solo, it really hurts." But Han was looking at Jaina. "Were you two alone?" Jaina rolled her eyes. "You and Jacen?" she whined. Han smirked. "We'll talk later Jaina. Chewie?" he called back into the Falcon. "You got the kit yet?" A series of roars & barks returned his question. Han grimaced. "What do you mean we left it on GemDiver Station?!" Chewie loped out & barked. Han stood up. "I remember it being in the cargo bay! Chewie you big Ewok! Did you dump the cargo?!" Chewie grumbled & trudged back into the Falcon. Han stood up & cursed. "Jaina, does Luke have a medical kit?" Jaina shrugged. "I don't know. But Zekk really needs help." Zekk screamed.

Han examined the "broken" arm. "Hmmmmm," he said. "There isn't a break as far as I can see." He felt around some more. "Zekk, I don't see why it hurts. Chewie?" The Wookie grunted. "Hand me the wire probe." Chewbacca tossed Han a long wire with a needle on the side. Zekk looked up at Jaina. She held him down. "Indure it! We need to by them more time!" she whispered. Zekk frowned. "Fine," he whispered back. Han picked up Zekk's arm. "Now, pal, this is gonna hurt alright?" Zekk bit his lip & shut his eyes. A wave of pain swept over him.

"So," Luke said. "You all got drunk & you want me to cover for you?" Jacen nodded. "Please?" he asked. Luke stepped back. "You're breath smells like Corellian brandy!" Jacen grinned. "We were drinking!" Caspian nodded & cleared his vision again. Luke made him sit down & gave him some water. "Caspian, wehere's Defron?" Caspian gestured back to his room. "Cleaning up. Why?" "Does he know you're drunk?""No."

Luke smiled kiddingly. "You two have really done it this time!" he said with a laugh. "Who had the brandy?" "Zekk," Caspian & Jacen said together. Luke didn't move. "He's old enough to drink. As for you two, I think that I should give you a small punishment. But first, I am going to-"

A scream from outside pierced the air. Luke swirved. "What the-" Jacen & Caspian looked at eachother. "What kind of diversion did Jaina come up with?" Jacen sputtered. "Poor Zekk," Caspian said sadly. Luke looked at Jacen. "That is Zekk?!" he shrieked, pointing toward the sound of the scream. Jacen & Caspian nodded. Luke shook his head & rubbed his temples. "Han with a medical probe?" He rushed down to the landing bay.

"Han!" Luke screamed. Zekk was clutching his arm, screaming. Han looked up. "I was trying to help!" Luke ushered him out of the way. "Let me handle this!" He bent down beside Zekk. "Move your hand." Zekk reluctantly drew his hand away from his upper arm. Blood dripped down his shirt. Luke winced. "Han! What did you do?!" Han shrugged. "Zekk said that he'd hurt his arm diving this morning so I had to use this medical probe to find where his injury is!" Luke rolled his eyes. "You don't put the probe in his skin! You put it over!" Han blushed & looked down at Zekk, still clutching his bleeding arm. "Sorry Kiddo." he said quietly. Zekk shrugged, wincing at the motion. He looked up at Jaina. "Can I talk to you. Alone?" Jaina swallowed. "Yeah, sure." She helped him up. Zekk glared at her. "Follow me."

They walked a good mile deep into the forest. Then, Zekk stopped her. "Jaina, I thought that the meaning of this diversion was to get us out of trouble and pain! Not into more trouble & to ruin a perfectly healthy arm!" Jaina bit her lower lip. "I-" Zekk cut her off. "Now, your uncle is blowig our cover & chances are that I'm gonna have to bail outta here so he doesn't think that I got you drunk!" Jaina held back tears. "Zekk, I-I'm sorry-" "And I'm going to have to have stitches! Jaina, I thought that you knew what you were doing!" Jaina wiped her eyes. "Zekk! I am sorry! Okay?!" Zekk looked at her. Her bottom lip trembled & she turned away. Zekk slumped. "Jaina, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have made such a big deal out of it." Jaina sniffed & looked back at him. "No, I'm sorry I made your arm hurt. It probably needs a bandage." She tore off part of her sleeve & began tying it around his arm. "Here," "Jaina?" "This should stop the bleeding," "Jaina?" "Just make sure that you change it before-" "Jaina?!" Jaina looked up at him. Zekk smiled. "It's okay. See? I'm not bleeding as much."

He sat down on a rock near the end of the clearing. A look of dismay crossed his face. "Before . . . before I went to get you this morning, I found a message on my datapad. It appears that the Sith lords have found a way into the Royal House of Devia. You know, Caspian's house?" Jaina nodded. Zekk continued. "Well, one of his students, Thor Alsyre, found out that Caspian is here." Jaina sat down beside Zekk, shocked. Zekk grimaced. "The Sith fleet is on the it's way."

Jaina gawked. "The Sith lords? On their way here?" Zekk nodded. Jaina stood up. "We . . . we have to tell Uncle Luke! Now! Maybe Dad can get the fleet here in time to-" Zekk stopped her. "Jaina, it's too late. I saw some of the acadmy's technitions. They were going to start the evacuations soon. We have to leave." Jaina looked around at the jungle. "I thought you took care of them!" Zekk spread his arms. "I brought Caspian here! This was the safest place I knew to take him. But I guess that paradise has it downfalls . . ."

Jaina sighed. "Will we come back?" Zekk shrugged. "I don't know. I hope so. This is like home to me too." Jaina slipped an arm aound his waste. "We will come back. But I have a strange feeling." Zekk looked at her. "Everything's happening so fast. I don't know what's even going on." He shifted his weight so he was facing her. "Jaina, promise me that if someone walks up to you & says that they have one of your friends prisoner on Zoit that you won't believe them. If we are, I'll tell you." He took her hands. "Do you promise?" His emerald green eyes pierced into her mind. Jaina nodded. "Yeah, sure. I promise." Zekk felt a smile tugging at his lips. Instead, he kissed Jaina on the forehead. "Alright, then let's go back to the academy.

"Jaina! Get into the ship!" Han screamed. He didn't care about the brandy anymore. With the Sith fleet on it's way, he had no time for games. Lusa & Raynar trotted up to Master Skywalker. "Luke!" Raynar cried. "We can't contact our parents!" Luke looked at the other students getting onto the transport. "Get on the Shadow Chaser. I'll see what I can do." But that was all that was possible at that time.

Jaina bit her lower lip & took Zekk's hand. He looked at her. "Go on. You need to be with Han in the Milleniun Falcon. It's too dangerous to go in my ship." Jaina shook her head. "No, I don't want to. I'm better with the weapons systems & you can pilot while I shoot. You need a co-pilot." Zekk gave her a "please don't do this" look & sighed. Jaina pressed on. "Please Zekk?!" she practically screamed. Zekk held up his hands. "Alright alright, fine fine." He looked at Han. Han gave Zekk a "don't try anything" look & hugged Jaina. "Meet us on Dagoba. That's where we're all rendevousing at." He pulled Zekk aside. "You try anything & you can be sure that I will have you punished." Zekk raised an eyebrow. "Captian Solo, trust me for once. I've been best friends with Jaina ever since I was fourteen." Han nodded. "I know. Just be careful, Kid."

Jacen watched his sister get onto the Lightning Rod with Zekk. "What?!" he shrieked. Han grabbed him by the arm. "She's flying with Zekk. Get on the Falcon!" Jacen stumbled onto the Corellian freighter along with Anakin. "Ouch!" the younger boy yelped. "My lightsaber's end is digging into my side!" "Sit down & get strapped in!" Han shouted back to them. Anakin made a face & hooked p is crash webbing. Jacen looked out his view port at the Lightning Rod. He had a strange feeling building up in his stomach. "I just hope Zekk knows what he's doing," he muttered.

Anakin looked over at him. "What?" he asked quietly, working on a puzzle. Jacen glanced at the dark haired boy. "Oh, nothing. I just hope that Zekk doesn't get Jaina killed." Anakina smirked. "Jasa, don't worry. He won't. I can feel it."

Jacen had never understood his brother. Anakin was more sensetive to the Force than either of the twins & he could see the future more clearly than them. Jacen put a hand on Anakin's shoulder. "Is that what you saw, or what you hope?" Anakin smiled. "It's what I saw, Jasa." Jacen leaned back on the seat. She'll be okay. Anakin said so, he thought. But still, he looked out at Zekk's old ship & wished that he was with her, to make sure she was okay.

"Lowbacca, my friend, please assist me in starting up my ship," Tenel Ka said, calmly & sternly. Lowie grumbled & barked. Tenel Ka turned around. "Are you sure?" Lowie nodded. "Replace the hyper drive then!" she said louder than she'd intended. Lowie barked & disappeared into the back of the ship.

Caspian held his bag over his shoulder. Defron told him that he would be on the transport, so he could be there when he was ready. Caspian went over the thought in his head & rushed out to the landing pad. Then, he saw the Lightning Rod. "Zekk," he muttered. "Zekk?!" he cried. Zekk stuck his head out of the exiting ramp. "Caspian?" Caspian smiled. "Can I have a ride?" Zekk shrugged. "Sure, come on board." Jaina waved. "Hi Caspian." she said. Caspian nodded to her & stode on board.

His white, loose fitting outfit waved gently as he walked. Once he was inside, he went to the back & changed into a silver flight suit. Jaina raised an eyebrow. "So, you're one of us after all, huh?" Caspian laughed. "I hate dressing up for all the royal balls that I have to attend & all the princesses I have to dance with. But this is what I like to wear." He spread his arms. Jaina nodded. Zekk sighed. "Jaina? If you would take the weapons controlls now please?" Jaina frowned, then remembered. "Oh! Yeah! Okay." And she bounded into the cockpit.

The Lightning Rod lifted up into the air & sped into the sky. Many ships surrounded them. Zekk saw the Falcon & flew up next to them."Lightning Rod to Milleniun Falcon. Han, are you there?" Han returned the transmition. "Yeah, I'm here. Is Jaina with you?' "Yeah," "Can I talk to her?" "Okay. Jaina! Your dad wants to talk to you!" Jaina toggled the comm unit. "Dad?" "Jaina! Are you okay?" Jaina rolled her eyes. "I'm fine, Dad." She glanced back at Zekk who was sitting on a chair, looking annoyed. Han continued. "Jaina, remember to meet us at Dagoba. You won't forget, right?" Jaina rolled her eyes. "Dad, we're going to meet you there. Okay? So, just calm down." Han sighed. "Alright. Bye now." "Bye," she said & ended the transmition.

Zekk stood up & was starting to put in the coordinates for Dagoba when a bunch of TIE fighters came zooming in. Caspian swirved. "What was that?!" he shrieked. Zekk cursed & looked out the view port. "TIE fighters! Damn!" Jaina slid into the weapons systems. "I'm on it!" she shouted & targeted a TIE. BOOM! The TIE vanished. Zekk whooped & flew, trying desperatly to lose the TIE Bomber closing in on them. "Jaina?!" Zekk cried. Jaina fired her proton torpedo. "I see them, I see them!" She bit her lower lip. "We can't make it to Dagoba!" Zekk nodded, then saw a Victory Class Star Destroyer moving into firing position on the Jedi transport vehicle. "No," he whispered. "No!" Jaina took his hand. "We can't do anything, Zekk, don't blame yourself." Zekk ignored her & looked out mournfully at the transport.

A flash of light. The Star Destroyer had fired. The transport exploded into space debris, scattering everywhere. Capian shut his eyes. "Defron," he said sadly. Jaina turned to him & hugged him. "I'm sorry," she whispered, feeling a pang in her heart. Many of the people she knew & had fought with had just been killed. Luckily, everyone she personally knew had either gone with Luke or her father or Tenel Ka. But it was still a sad time for her.

Suddenly, the wave of death hit her. "Ugh!" she moaned & fell to the ground. Zekk blinked & fell beside her. Caspian sprang to his feet & helped them up. Zekk thanked him & continued flying. Jaina crawled back into the weaponry chair & shot down a TIE fighter. Zekk glanced at her & gave her an "are you okay" look. She nodded & took a shot that missed at another fighter.

The sheilds took another hit. "We can't live through much more of this!" Zekk mumbled. Jaina nodded. "Where do we go?" The sheilds indured another blow. Jaina stumbled. Zekk looked down at the floor boards. "Jaina," he said. "I . . . I can't get us out of this one." he said softly. Jaina looked up at him. "What?" she choked. Zekk pursed his lips. "We just lost the rear deflector sheilds. One more hit & we're gone." Jaina covered her mouth with her hand & slumped down in her chair. Zekk blinked his eyes. "I'm sorry."

Jaina looked into Zekk's eyes. He was searching his brain frantically for an answer, she could tell. Then, a thought dawned on her. "Move into attack postition!" Zekk shot her an exasperated look. Jaina grinned. "I've got a plan."


~Chapter Four~

Jacen saw the Lightnig Rod 's sheilds fail."Oh no!" he screamed. Han told Chewie to take over. "What?" he said as he jogged into the back. Jacen pointed at the Lightning Rod. Han's heart skipped a beat. Jaina, he thought. He swallowed & put a hand on Jacen's shoulder. Anakin sprang at the view port. "Jaina!" he screamed. Han grabbed Anakin. "Come on, Kid. What can we do?" He pointed at the view port. "Trying to leap through glass won't do them any good!" Anakin looked out at the crumbling ship that carried his older sister. "Dad, we can't do anything!" Han looked at the Corellian ship, forcing it's way along. "There has to be something we can do!" he cried. Jacen stood up & paced. Then, the Lightning Rod began to attack the Victory Star Destroy. Jacen gawked. "Dad! Look!''

Han watched as Zekk's ship use it's emergancy power source. "What the hell?!" Han shouted. "Jaina, what have you made Zekk do this time?" Han ran back into the cockpit. "Chewie! Get a comm with the Lightning Rod! Now!" Chewie roared & flipped switches. Han toggled the comm unit & screamed over. "Jaina?! Pick up the damned comm!" A buzzing, clicking noise, followed by Jaina's voice, returned. "Dad?" Han was relieved. "Jaina! What are you making Zekk do this time?"

There was a long pause. Then, "Dad? Do you remember when you were tryig to outrun the Empire & had lost the rear deflector sheilds?" Han swallowed, afraid of the answer. "Yeah, Jaina, I remember." Jaina continued. "Well, since Zekk is a fair pilot-" Han heard Zekk say in the background, "Only fair?!" And Jaina said, "Shut up," then continued. "Anyway, since Zekk is an excellent pilot, we thought that, maybe, we could attach ourselves to the Victory Class Star Destroyer & maybe get the time to do the repairs." Han shook his head. "Jaina, once you attach yourself, you will be part of the ship until you take off again! If they jump to light speed, so do you! You could end up anywhere! You-" "Dad what else are we supposed to do!? If we stay out here, we'll be killed! I'm sorry, Dad, but I have to do this." Jaina ended the transmition.

"Jaina? Jaina!" But Jaina refused to respond. Han cursed. "Sithspit, Jacen! Get in here!" The brown haired boy strode in. "What?" Han motioned him over. "Talk some sense into your sister. She's going to land on the Star Destroyer." Jacen sprang at the comm unit. "Jaya! It's Jasa! Answer me!"

Jaina fought the urge to answer her brother's plea. Zekk called at her, "Maybe you'd better flip the switch, Jaina." he said. Jaina shook her head. "No, I can't. Fly on. We have to get to that destroyer!" Zekk shrugged & bit his lip. "500 yards," he announced. Jaina shot down another TIE fighter. "450 yards," Zekk updated. Caspian watched the radar. "Jaina one is coming up behind us!" "400 yards," Zekk said. Jaina swirved in her gunnar's station. "It's good! I got it!" "350 yards," Zekk called. "I'm putting more power to the rear engines." Jaina nodded. "Alright!" she shouted.

A TIE fighter zoomed into her view. "I see it!" she said before Zekk could talk. Jaina fired her charged lazers & watched the TIE explode. She grinned. "It's good," she cried happily. "100 yards! Jaina, they're sending out the bombers! You'd better arm those torpedos!" Jaina nodded. "Okay, I did this in Dad's ship, so I can do it with Zekk's." She flipped the load switch. PROTON TORPEDOS LOADING. Jaina sighed. I need them now! she thought. PROTON TORPEDOS LOADED. "Yes!," Jaina hissed. "Alright you TIE bombers," she muttered. "Let's see what you've got." She jabbed the launch button & watched the torpedo fly across her view port & decintegrate two TIE bombers & a fighter. "Yeehaaaaa!" she shouted. "They are goners!"

She heard Zekk laugh. "Alright, do that a few more times & we'll be set!" Jaina grinned & shot down three more TIE's. More? she thought as more of the fighters & bommbers came flying out. "50 yards Jaina! They're fireing at us!" Jaina bit her lower lip. "Get to the destroyer already!" she screeched. Zekk gunned the engines & dodged enemy fire. "Jaina I'm having problams here!" He stood up. "Caspian, you take over." The silver haired Syderian's eyes widedned. "Me? I can't fly!" "Imprivise! You have to!"

Caspian did his best to pilot the failing freighter. Zekk fiddled with the controls system. "Hang on Caspian, not much longer now!" he called. Caspian dove & swirved. Then, it dawned on him. "How do I land?!" Zekk can rushing in. "Let me take over," he mumbled. "You got 'em all yet Jaina?" he called.

Jaina fired her last proton torpedo. "I just used up my last topedo, but I think I got them all." She bit her lower lip. Oh no! she thought. There's one left! She charged her lazer. "Hold on you two! We got one left!"

No torpedos. No charged lazers. No sheilds. A TIE bomber & a fleet of Stat Destroyers. Zekk swallowed. "This is it," he said to Jaina & Caspian. Jaina cursed. "Damnit, Zekk! Land the stupid ship!" Zekk snapped. He began to form an attack. He swooped toward the main bridge & landed on the bottome of the Destroyer. A flash of light from behind them. A whoop from Jaina. "We made it!" she cried & came rushing into the cockpit. Zekk smiled & wrapped his arms around her waste. She flung her arms around his neck, laughing.

Caspian said he would go scan te ship's computer to find out the full scale of the damage. Jaina nodded, still having the adrenaline from the flight rush through her blood stream. She sat down, smiling. Zekk looked at her. "A little hyper, eh Jaina?" Jaina rolled her eyes & stood up, bouncing a little. "No! Yeah." Zekk smirked & walked up to her. "That was pretty nice shooting back there," he said quietly, so Caspian couldn't hear. Jaina shrugged. "It was nothing. I do stuff like that all the time." Zekk raised an eye brow. "Uh huh. Well, as for spur of the moment shooting goes, that was terrific fighting." Jaina playfully punched Zekk's shoulder. "You're not such a bad pilot yourself." Zekk looked hurt, with a hint of sarcasm. "Not such a bad pilot?! I am the pilot!" Jaina grinned. "Of course you are Zekk." She slungs an arm over his shoulders. "Now, who saves who this time?" she asked. Zekk pushed her arm off his shoulder. "It's my turn, I think."

"You think?" Jaina asked. Zekk spread his arms. "Hey! I don't keep count! I just show up at all the right times. I've saved your life ona number of occations." Jaina shrugged. "I need to save you then," she said. Zekk frowned. "You okay? Or is that brandy still in your system. Your eyes look all glassy." Jaina blinked. "Oh, no, I'm fine," she said with a nervous smile. "So, the repairs?" Zekk nodded. "Yeah . . . . . . the repairs." They walked toward the back, looking at the ground.

Caspian cursed. "This isn't fair," he muttered. Taking a closer look at the hyperdrive engine, he'd noticed that it had scarred wires. "That will take an eternity to replace!" Zekk walked in. "What will?" Caspian pointed to the hyperdrive scanner. "That will. The lazer fire scorched the wiring. We don't have to time or the credits to replace it." Zekk cursed. "So we're stuck here. Great. A suprise attack & now we're stranded on a Victory Class Star Destroyer. Perfect." He turned to Jaina. "Let's get to work on everything else. No lghtspeed, no problam."

Jacen looked out mournfully at the ship. "They'll never survive," he muttered. Anakin was crying. He never cried. "Jasa, is Jaina gonna die?" he asked. Jacen looked at him. "I don't know Annie. I don't know." Han walked in. "Look, you two! Jaina is not going to die! She will come back, no matter how lobg it takes! Got it?" Jacen looked his father in the eyes. "Do you believe that Dad?" Han swallowed. "I want to," he mumbled. Anakin stood up. "Dad, if Jaina dies, what are you going to tell Mom?"

Han turned to Anakin. "Jaina isn't going to die!" he shouted. Anakin stumbled back, his bottom lip trembling. He opened his mouth, but only a whine escaped his lips. "She . . . she can't die! She still has to teach me how to hot wire a ship!" The dark haired Jedi burst into tears & stumbled into the back, crying Jaina's name over & over again. Han pursed his lips & walked to the comm unit. "Chewie, I gotta talk to Leia. Now." Chewie didn't say anything. He moaned & sent out the transmition.

"Yes?" Leia's voice came over the comm. "Leia, sweetie, it's Han." Leia paused. "Han, what is it?" She heard Anakin crying. "Han, what's going on?" Han swallowed. "We . . . . we think that Jaina . . . . is going to die." There was a long pause. "Han," her voice cracked. "How do you know?" Han sighed & wiped away a tear. "She is in Zekk's ship. His ship lost it's sheilds & is attached to a Star Destroyer. They don't have an operational hyper drive engine & we don't know if their is any oxygen support there. They . . . could suffocate, we don't know."

Leia didn't say anything for a while. When the thought if losing a child is on your mind, nothing happens. Then, she burst in to tears. Han swallowed. "Leia, honey, we don't know yet."

Jacen walked in. "Is that Mom?" Han nodded, unable to speak. Jacen toggled the comm unit. "Mom? It's Jacen. Can you hear me?" Leia inhaled. "Yes, Jacen. I'm here." Jacen sighed. "Mom, I'm sure Jaina will be okay," he said, not quite beieving what he said. Leia inhaled. "Jacen, if she isn't shot down, promise me you'll save her, somehow." Jacen nodded. "I'll try-" "No. Do or do not. There is no try. You know that." Jacen smiled sadly. "I will, Mom. I will."

"Hold on, back there," Luke called. Raynar fidgeted in his seat. Lusa looked around nervously. Tionne sat up next to Luke with Tahiri. "There has to be a way to save them," she said, looking at the Lightning Rod attached to the Star Destroyer. Luke frowed. "What in Kessel is Jaina making Zekk do now?" A transmition came from the Lightning Rod. "Uncle Luke?" It was Jaina. Luke flipped the comm unit. "Jaina? Why're you on a Star Destroyer?!" Jaina made a whine noise & coughed. "We're making repairs. Caspian! Don't do that!" He heard Caspian coughing. "I thought it was the extinguisher!" More coughing. "Put it out! Turn it off!" That was Zekk's voice. He toggled the come."Master Skywalker, tell the fleet to go ahead & blow up the Star Destoyers. We can't take off & if you don't blow them up, more transports will suffer." Luke shook his head. "Zekk, just take off-" "Master Skywalker, the damage is too severe! We can't take off with our of newly repaired sheilds failing." He paused. "I'm sorry. I'll put it on the New Republic's channel."

On her cruiser, Leia watched another Star Destroyer fly in front of Zekk's ship. No, Leia thought. I can't see them! Suddenly, a transmition from the Lightning Rod on the New Republic channel filled the air. "Attention all New Republic ships. This is Zekk, pilot of the Lightning Rod. We understand that you have been waiting for us to take off before you blow up the destroyers. We appreciate your concern, but we must inform you that we can not take off.

"Oh damage level is too severe to take off. The hyper drive engine has been scarred irreparibally unless we land. And as you know, that is impossible. So, we've come to the hard desicion that . . . " Leia shook her head. "No," she whispered. ". . . . We've decided that you should go ahead & blow up the destroyers. We have done all we could. The fighters & bombers are gone so you should only have to dodge the fire from the ships. We . . . . hope that setiment won't get in the way of destroying these ships. It is best for the New Republic. Anyone want to say good by?" Leia stumbled to the transmitions. "Jaina?!" she cried. Jaina picked up the comm. "Mother?" she asked calmly. Leia wiped away her tears. "Jaina, please come home!" Jaina's image smiled. "Mom, please. We have to do this. It's for the New Republic."

Zekk strode up next to Jaina's image. "Mrs. Solo?" Leia turned to her communications officers. "Make this a private message," she muttered. They nodded. The picture of Zekk & Jaina cleared some. "Jaina? Sweetie, please don't do this. We'll dock & save you from death! The transport can hold one more person. Please, we'll come get you."

Jaina slipped an arm around Zekk's waste. Clearly, this move suprised Zekk as much as Leia. "Mom," Jaina said. "What about Zekk? And Caspian?" Leia bit her lip. "I'm sure that they'll find a way to take off-" "I'm not leaving them." Leia blinked away her tears. "Jaina, don't do this. Stop. Just come home." Zekk put his hands on Jaina's shoulders & shook her gently. "Jaina? Go." Jaina started crying. "No," she said, hugging him, squeezing him. He wrapped his arms around her & hugged her back. "Jaina," he whispered almost so quietly that Leia didn't hear it. Jaina looked up at him. "What if you can't take off?" Zekk smiled. "Then I'll haunt you forever," he said. Jaina shook her head slowly. "I'm not leaving this time, Zekk." The determintion in her voice was stronger than Leia knew.

"Alright," she choked. Jaina smiled & wiped away a tear. "I love you, Mom," she said. Leia smiled sadly. "I love you too, Sweetheart." Jaina ended to transmition.


~Chapter Five~

Jaina sat back from the communications system. Zekk put a hand on her shoulder. "Jaina, I think that, since we're about to die, I should tell you something." He sat down beside her, taking her hands. "I . . . I've fallen in love with you." Jaina nodded. "I know. I've always known." She slipped her arms around his waste. "I wish that you'd told me before now. I can't enjoy my time now." Zekk put a hand on her face. "Jaina," he whispered. She wiped her eyes & buried her head in his white, now unlaced, shirt. "I don't want to die, Zekk." He sighed. "I don't either." He lifted her chin & pressed his lips to hers in a gentle, yet passionant kiss. Jaina smiled sadly. "Good bye, Zekk." she whispered. He kissed her again. "Good bye, Jaina."

Caspian walked in. "I . . . am I interupting something?" Zekk wiped away the tears streaming down his face. "No, Caspian. We're saying good bye." Caspian smiled slightly. "So, this is it, huh?" Zekk nodded & looked down. "Let's just hope it's quick. I hate slow endings." Caspian sat down next to them, his blue eyes sparkling.

Three pairs of eyes looked out the front view port. "Oh no!" Zekk cried. "They're making the jump to light speed!" Jaina gawked. "I don't believe it. We're jumping with them!" Caspian wasn't sad. "We're not dying!" Zekk & Jaina smiled. "At least we're not space debris." Jaina said. Zekk smiled. "Now, all we have to do is get away from the Star Destroyers & find . . . our . . . way . . . home." Jaina's smiled faded. "We won't know where we are." Zekk nodded & looked out at the strange colors whizing past his ship's view port. "We'll get home . . . somehow." Jaina whispered sadly. Zekk took her hand & squeezed it. "If we don't get home, I'm sure we'll find a place like it." Jaina smiled. "I hope so."

Caspian walked out, then, ten minutes later, came back in, smiling. "I tapped into the Star Destroyer's computers & found out where we're going." Zekk's eyes glistened. "Where?!" he almost screamed. Caspian was happy. "The Hylio System! My planet is there!" Zekk laughed & slapped Caspian on the back. Caspian wasn't done. "Guess what else? I managed to get the rear deflector sheilds back up! I'm working on the hyper drive engine & I've gotten most of the wires repaired." Jaina stood up & kissed Caspian. "Don't take it personally," she said before laughing & wrapping her arms around Zekk's neck. "We're not gonna die!" she cried.

Zekk grinned. "Caspian, I ow you big. Thanks." He closed his eyes & hugged Jaina. Caspian was standing, still slightly buzzed from Jaina. "Oh . . . yeah, sure, whatever." He stumbled out, a idiotic smile on his face.

Jaina gigled & sat down, watching the colors of lightspeed. "I wonder if I'm ever going to see Mom again," she wondered. Zekk slipped an arm around her shoulders. "You will. I'm sure of it," he said softly. Jaina sighed. "Can I call her in hyper space?" Zekk shook his head. "No, & I wouldn't do it when we get there either. The Sith's will trace it." Jaina nodded. "Probably. Can we try to get to Sydercon when we end the jump?" Zekk shrugged. "I guess. It's our only other option. Besides being killed." Jaina frowned sarcastically. "I'll choose Sydercon," she whispered.

Han blinked. "They're gone!" he shouted. Jacen smiled. "Hey, Dad, they're alive, aren't they?" Han nodded & swallowed. "For now," he muttered. "Jasa, it's the Lightning Rod verses a Star Destroyer. How many chances do you think they have?" Jacen looked down. "I don't know. But Zekk is a good pilot. He'll get her out of there alive." Han shook his head. "I think the odds are slightly in the Siths' favor, actually." he muttered. Jacen rolled his eyes. "Dad?" he asked. Han turned to him. "What?" Jacen smirked. "Never tell me the odds." Han couldn't help but grin.

Caspian looked at his pack. He had everything he would need when he returned home. Wait, he thought. If the Sith's traced me this far, they probably got to my city & found the records to my parents death, meaning they'd learn about the will & my crystal & they'd follow me back . . . He felt a tear roll down his silver-dusted cheek. "Home," he choked in a hoarse whisper.

Quickly, he fumbled for his comm link to his friend, Katinaly, a female Syderian. She was one of his servant's daughters. He turned it over, searching frantically for the egnition button. He found it. "Kat?" he said quietly. A pause. He bit his lip. Then, "Caspian? Is that you?" He smiled. "Kat! It's me, yeah. How are things down there?" Kat sighed. "Not too good. I'm hiding in the Ice Dragon temple with a few of the other kids. It was awful!" Caspian, swallowed, not wanting to hear what he had to. "What . . . happened?" he asked, worridly. Kat sighed again.

"The adults (she contiued) were doing there chores & me, Darlynian, Dechar, & Shelya were out in town, buying new outfits at the new mall. Suddenly, Dar felt something tingling in the back if his neck. Well, Dechar thought he might be getting sick, so we left & were walking back to the palace when we saw this monstrous ship land! It was like a giant triangle with a huge blaster canon on it! We figured that it wasn't a very nice ship &, along with some other kids, rushed into the Ice Dragon Forest. The Ice Dragons had seen the ships land & ushered us toward the Ice Dragon temple. I looked back just as I saw the Ice Dragons flying away from a group of young adults with hoods over their heads.

One kid was brave enough to stay behind & fight. Oh, Caspian, it was dreadful! He pulled out his stun shot & tried to fire at the strange outsiders. But he wasn't fast enough. He killed one, but the others shot him down."

Caspian felt a pang in his heart. Then, anger replaced his fear & sadness. How DARE someone harm his people! he thought, his face turning red with hatred. He shook his head. In the background on his link, he heard Dar, Dechar, & Shelya talking, along with other young Syderians. Kat sighed. "I'm talking to Caspian," she said to the others. The talking grew louder. Then, Dechar's low, mature voice sounded over the link. "Cas? You coming to help us? Please Caspian! We need your help!" More pleading voices.

Caspian bt his lip. "I . . . I can't help you very much. I'm traveling with the Chief of State's daughter, Jaina, & the ambassador of Ennth, Zekk. Both are Jedi knights & I'm sure we can help you some. But stay in the temple. Do not, under any sercomstances, leave that building." A chorus of yes's & okay's arose. Kat groaned. "Okay, okay, you guys." They kept talking. "ALRIGHT!" she finally shouted. The voices stopped. She returned her voice to Caspian. "Where are you?" she asked. Caspian frowned. "We're attached to a Victory Class Star Destroyer, taveling through lightspeed toward Sydercon." Kat smirked. "Why in the galaxy are you attached to a death machine!?" she asked, discusted. Caspian shrugged. "We had to make repairs to the Lightning Rod. That's Zekk's ship. We were damaged pretty bad on the ambush at Yavin 4, so here we are."

Kat laughed. "Of all the screwballed ideas. Why'd you make them do that?" Caspian huffed. "I didn't make them! Jaina Solo did! Han Solo did once & she tried again, but it back fired. For a while, we thought we were going to die. Zekk & Jaina thought I didn't see them, but Zekk told her that he's always been in love with her & they kissed." He grinned. "I was going to walk in on them, but I decided that, since we were going to die anyway, that they should at least have a romantic momant alone." He scratched that back of his neck. "We'll land on the outscerts of Syder Town. Meet us in the worshiping chamber of the temple, okay?" "Alright. See you there, hopefully."

Caspian reached to turn off his comm link when, "Hey, Caspian?" It was Kat. He frowned. "What?" He heard her walking away from the others. "Um . . . keep calling me when you land, okay? I-" swallow-"-want you to come home in one piece. Please?" Caspian smiled. "Is that concern I sense in your voice Kat?" he asked quietly. Kat smirked. "Maybe. I need to go. Bye Caspian." She ended the connection.

Caspian switched off his comm link & sat back against the metal walls of the Corellian freighter Zekk owned. How am I going to pull this off? he thought to himself. He shook his head, feeling it rub up against the side of the ship. "Ow," he mumbled as he scraped the back of his neck against a sharp edge in the wall. "He needs to get that shaved," he grunted.

Leia slumped in her chair, torn with emotions. Jaina, alive? She is still breathing? She turned to the captian of her flagship. "Captian Rieekan, where are they?"

Formerly Echo Base's general, the aging Carlist Rieekan was a supporter of the Rebal Alliance from the start. He had been recruted to fly the head flaship in this mission, having an impressive Republic record.

He paced, a grim expression on his face. "Your Highness," he said, as he'd called her those years during the Rebellion. "I'm afraid we are unable to trace where the enemy fleet has gone a this time. They no longer appear on our scopes." Leia glared out the bridge view port. Rieekan whispered to her. "I trust the ambassador of Ennth. He has a good heart. He'll make sure your daughter is safe. I've met him on quite a few occations." Leia smirked. "Captian, that boy used to be a scavenger on Coruscant. He & my twins were & still are best friends. Although I feel as though he's showing intrest towards Jaina." She frowned. "I'm not so sure I want them together."

Rieekan laughed. "Princess, don't worry." He turned around as a docking bay officer strode up to him & saluted. "Sir, the Millenium Falcon has just landed in docking bay 7. General Solo requests an audience with Chief of State, Leia Organa Solo." He nodded to Leia. She smiled warmly back. Rieekan nodded. "I believe it is wise to let them see eachother." Leia turned to Rieekan. "A pleasure," she said & glided off the bridge, her white gown flowing around her.

Han bounded down the ramp as Leia walked in. She smiled, but the tear stains were obvious on her face. Jacen & Anakin strode out after Han. Naturally, Jacen put his hands on his hips, just like Han. They both swallowed, cleared their throats, & grimaced. Anakin, being in personality more like Luke, walked over to his mother & wrapped his arms around her waste. Leia put a hand on his black hair & ran her fingers through it. Han & Jacen stumbled over & each took a turn embracing Leia untilshe pulled them all in & hugged them, tears streaming down her cheeks. Han pursed his lips & ruffled Jacen's brandy brown hair. "Kid, you'd better take Anakin & go back into the ship," he said through his tears. Leia nodded. "Let's go to the lounge," she said quietly.

Han sat down on one of the white chairs, sipping an ale that a droid brought him. Leia stood at the view port, looking out at the black space, spotted with stars. "I wonder where Jaina is out there now," she said, holding her voice tight with emotion. Han put his drink down on a tray & leaned back. "Leia, I'm sure she's fine. Wouldn't you've felt if any harm had come to her?" Leia offered him a smile. "I suppose. But what if she never comes back?" Han stood up & walked over to his wife. "She will. I know Jaina." He lifted her chin. "Remember when I said I was just leaving & I came back? Jaina takes after me. She'll be back home on Coruscant before you know it." Leia looked down. "What if she dies?" Han swallowed. "I don't know."


~Chapter Six~

Katinaly Falora felt sweat dripping down her forehead, not from heat, but from the fear that the Siths would discover the small amount of children seeking shelter in the temple. Her silver hair was tied back in a pony tail away from her neck. Her white insulated top kept the bite out of the cold & her thick pants kept the ice on the floor from freezing her legs. Her cleeted boots gripped the ice to keep her from slipping. Caspian, she thought. Hurry!

Someone pounded on the barracaded temple door. Heads turned. Dechar, being the biggest & the strongest, picked up an ice block & placed it in front of the door. "Let them try & get through that!" Many people smiled & went back to searching for a way out. Darlynian lay back on a sleeping pallet, his skin turning pail. Kat bit her lower lip. Dar was her younger brother by two years. Seventeen was too young to die of illness.

She knelt down beside him & put a hand on his head. "You okay Dar?" she whispered. Dar sat up, his eyes glassy. "Kat, I can't hardly see," he said in his musical voice. Kat bit her lower lip. "Please don't die now Dar. Caspian is on his way. He'll be here soon. I hope he will anyway." Dar inhaled & lay back down. "I really need to go to sleep Kat. I'll be okay." He closed his blue eyes. Kat shifted her weight & sat down beside her sibling.

A boy walked up to her. "Do you need anything Kat?" he asked. Kat swallowed. "I am kind of thirsty. Can I have some water?" The boy smiled. "Okay. I'll go get you some. There's a well not far from here. Be right back." He disappeared into a hallway.

Shelya walked silently up to Kat. "Another Star Destroyer has entered the system. We picked it up on my portable radar system. Do you want to move the others into the courtyard for now?" Kat nodded. "Yes, but let me have your systems. I'll set them up in here." She frowned. "Can any signals we send out be traced by the Siths?" Shelya shook her head grinning. "Nope. I took care of that problam." Kat sighed in relief. Hher friends would land.

The boy returned with her water as Shelya walked off to retrieve her tracing & communications systems. "Here's your water, Kat." he said. Kat smiled & thanked him, sipping her water. He turned & walked away. Her comm link beeped. She set her water down on an ice block & fumbled with her link. "Caspian? You there?" she asked. A reply. "Yeah, I'm here. Look, we just dropped out of hyper space. Zekk is starting the detach process & we'll be in your planet's atmosphere within the hour. What area to you want us to land on?" Kat rolled her eyes. "Remember the plan Caspian?" There was a pause. "Oh yeah! Whoops. Sorry. I'll see you in the worshipping chamber then?" Kat nodded. "Yeah. And bring your friends too. We could use the help." Caspian chuckled over the comm unit. "Just try to stay alive until I get there." He switched off his link.

Kat sighed & slipped the small white unit into her calf pocket on her right leg. Dechar was herding other Syderians into the courtyard as fast as he could. He gave Kat an exasperated look as two ten year olds climbed onto his shoulders. Kat grinned & waved. Dechar picked them up & placed them on the ground. "Go in," he said. The two girls looked sad, but they obeyed.

Kat strode over to Dechar. "Having fun yet?" Dechar grimaced. "If you call squeezing over twenty teenage kids into a courtyard while younger ones climb all over you fun, then I'm having more than my fair share." Kat grinned. "Aw. You would do so well with children Dech." Dechar shook his head, his chin length silver hair shaking. "No, no, no. I am never having kids." Kat rolled her eyes. "No, you don't want kids. You're just in love with my best friend, Shelya."

Dechar shot her a betrayed look. "Oh hah hah. I kiss her once & we're automatically hitched?" Kat laughed. "Something like that." Dechar shoved her playfully & ran a hand through his hair. "Why is it that the moment I start to relax, my life goes haywire?" Kat shrugged. "I don't know. My life is the same way."

Shelya walked over with the systems on a hover wagon. "I have all the systems you wanted Kat." She looked at Dechar. "Are you waiting out here with her?" Kat nodded & slung an arm over Dechar's shoulders. "Yes, I'm stealing your boyfriend." She laughed as Dechar & Shelya glared at her. Shelya continued. "Where do you want me to set these up?" Kat kept her laughter under control & pointed to the center of the chamber "Right there is a good place." Dechar went to help Shelya set up the radar.

Kat picked up her water. Why am I so thirsty? she wondered. Am I sick? She didn't feel sick. Is it hot? She didn't feel hot. Am I scared? Yes, she was scared. Very scared. She shook her head as her comm beeped again. She switched it on. "Caspian?" "Kat, we're on the ground. The city is full of Siths! How do we get through?" Kat bit her lip. "Head toward the Ice Dragon Forest. You know where the temple is. Go in the south entrance. From there, go into the main chamber. I'll be there." "Okay, I'll be there soon. Jaina! Zekk! It's this way!" She heard shouts from the coupled Jedi. "We know!" a male voice supposedly Zekk's said. Caspian chuckled. "See you in a minute Kat. Hold up." The channel ended.

Kat finished her water & put a stray strand of hair behind her ear. Dechar & Shelya were lifting up the radar map, joking & laughing. Kat rolled her eyes. "Save the lovey dovey talk until we're out of this mess!" Dechar grinned. "Yes, Mother!" he called to her. Shelya gigled. Kat glared at her, her jaw dropping. "You never laugh at my smart comments!" she pouted. Shelya smiled. "So? Yours aren't funny!" Kat raised an eyebrow & quirked a smile. "Uh huh." She walked over to her brother, now sitting up & nibbling on the piece of meat someone had given him. She smiled. "Feeling better Dar?" Darlynian nodded, swallowing the meat. "Yes, much better." He looked at his empty plate. "That was good what was it?" Kat sat down beside him. "If I tell you, you'll never want to eat it again." Darlynian smirked. "Yeah right. How bad can it be?" Kat grinned. "Mynock. Roast mynock," she said, still grinning.

Dar spit out the meat. "I'm eating a parisite?!" Kat laughed. "I told you that you wouldn't like it!" Dar groaned. "I think I'm going to be sick," he muttered. Kat laughed & grinned. "Before, you were eating it as if it were a nerf sausage cooked with Syderian peppermint, enjoying yourself, looking one hundred percent better. Now that you know what it is, you look as though you just ate bantha fodder!" Dar rolled his eyes, a discusted expression on his face. "I am never trusting Gobi again." he mumbled. Kat raised her eye brows. "Gobi? You trusted Gobi Afron?!" Dar blushed & grinned sheepishly. "Yeah . . . so?" Kat smacked him over the head. Dar yelped. "Ow! Sithspit, Kat! Why'd you do that?" Kat grinned. "You're too stupid to know that Gobi Afron id the biggest con artist on this planet & too half witted to know that I'm still alot stronger than you!" Dar grinned, rubbing his head. "Yeah. Oh well. Maybe I'll be stronger than you someday."

Kat stood up. They should be here by now! she thought angrily. Just then, her comm link beeped. She fumbled with the small white cylender. "Caspian?" she asked. She heard a reply. "We're in."


~Rise of the Sith Empire~
By: Elisabeth Spalding

Part Two

Author's note: I don't own any of this. I'm not getting paid, so please don't, like, press charges or anything. This story picks up where part one left off. Caspian, Zekk, & Jaina have landed on the ice planet of Sydercon in the capital city, SyderTown. The Siths are having a hostile take over & it is up to the young ice prince to rescue his people, & himself! It is a battle to the death, & only one group of Jedi will live to the next day . . . .


~Chapter One~

Caspian waved Zekk & Jaina over to the side of the Ice Dragon Temple. The cold building glistened in the sunset. Caspian felt his utility belt. A blaster, a thermal detonator, a stun rod, a comm link, & a first aide kit, just in case of an emergency.

He turned to Jaina & Zekk. "I'll go see if the Siths forgot about the west entrance. The north & south are backed up & I only have one thermal detonator. You two stay here." He pulled his blaster up against his chest & crept forward along the icey wall of the glittering worship temple.

Zekk sat back against the temple & sighed, his head bumping lightly to the ice. Jaina slid down beside him. "Tired?" she asked in a low whisper. Zekk looked to her, black circles under his eyes indicating loss of sleep. He blinked, his eyes cloudy. Jaina knelt down beside him. "If it makes you feel any better, I'm even more tired than I appear." Zekk offered her a weak smiled. "When I get off this frozen space dinner, I'm taking a vacation." Jaina smiled. "That's not such a bad idea actually." she muttered, looking back at Caspian. Zekk frowned, jealous of the attention Jaina was paying the young prince.

He folded his arms behind his head. "I hate it here." Jaina smirked. "Of course you do. You hate everything. That's the way you are." Zekk raised his eye brows. "I wasn't notified of this. Since when do I hate everything?" Jaina grinned. "Since you realized you weren't a scavenger anymore." she said, jokingly. Zekk looked at her, shifting his weight so he was facing her. "Jaina, why do you put up a sheild to keep others out? You don't ever seem to let people know how you truly feel anymore. You . . . you've changed." He swallowed, taking one of Jaina's hands, squeezing it. "And I'm not so sure I like the change I see in you."

Jaina looked down. "I'm . . . scared. Before all this started, I was . . . . attacked on the streets of Coruscant. Someone walked up to me. He had hazel eyes & brown hair & was very handsome. 'Where is it?' he had asked. Being terrified, I hid my feelings. 'Where is what?' I asked.

"He pushed me back into the darkness of an allyway. I struggled. 'Leave me alone,' I had said. He pinned me down & put a stun rod to my throat. 'Where is the amulat?!' he demanded. I had swallowed, crying out. He smiled, seeing my fear. I swallowed & shoved him off me. He gabbed my arm & pulled me close to him. I tried to free myself but . . ." She broke off.

Zekk frowned. "But what?" Jaina bit her lower lip. She slid closer to him & let a tear drip down her cheek. "The man . . . kissed me & tried to rape me. He . . . . said if I told anyone about him, he'd kill my family." She burst into silent tears & fell into Zekk's arms. He held her close, his eyes shut. "Did he hurt you?" he whispered. Jaina lifted her head. "No, he didn't hurt me. But he said he'd kill Mom, Dad, Anakin, Jacen, Tenel Ka, Lowie, Chewie, everyone." She sat up & kissed Zekk gently on his lips. "Even you."

Zekk pushed a stray strand of brandy brown hair away from her tear stained face. "Jaina, when this is over, will you consider, like, not getting yourself into messes like this anymore?" Jaina smiled & gigled. "I'll try," she said sarcastically.

Caspian came around the other side of the temple. Zekk saw him & stood up. "Well?" he asked. "Is it clear?" Caspian nodded. "Yeah, it's clear. Only a guard or two & I took care of them." He grinned. Zekk rolled his eyes. "Let's go then." Jaina rose to her feet. "What are we waiting for?" Zekk shuddered. "Everytime you say that, something bad happens." Jaina laughed. "Probably. Now stop wasting daylight. Caspian, you found a way in? Then let's get going before the Sith realize there is another entrance."

The snow was building up & Jaina was freezing in her thin flight suit. She looked down at her hands. They were a palish blue color, shaking violently.

She glanced at Zekk. He looked equally sick. His usual pale skin was almost white. He swallowed a lot & shook. His lips were purple.

Zekk looked at her. "C-cold?" he asked in a trembling voice. Jaina nodded. "Very," she choked. Zekk slipped an arm aound her shoulders. Jaina smiled to herself. Maybe I'm not so cold after all. she thought.

Jaina lay her head on Zekk's shoulder as they walked. It's a lot longer than I thought, she realized. Caspian didn't seem to be bothered by the cold. He walked briskly, not faultering in his step, not cold or shivering, just walking.

Suddenly, Caspian slipped to the side of the ice tempe. Mimicking his movements, Zekk & Jaina peeked around the corner with the ice prince. "What is it?" Jaina whispered. Caspian frowned. "I heard some voices, but I can't be sure if they are Siths or my people." Caspian closed his eyes, then opened them. "They're Siths." he said harshly, as if the words were poison. Zekk's hand went to the hilt of his lightsaber. Caspian put up a hand. "No, there's only two of them & they're just walking through. Let's wait."

The Siths passed. Caspian stood up & walked quietly & cautiously toward the west entrance. Glancing around quickly, he motioned them over. Jaina breathed on her hands & blinked to clear her vision. Zekk looked at her. "You okay?" he asked. Jaina nodded, looking down at the snow. Zekk grimaced. "Let's get into the temple." he said, taking her hand.

Caspian fidded with the door handle. Oh no! he thought. It froze! He turned to Zekk. "Can I borrow your lightsaber?" Zekk shook his head. "Tell me what you want done & I'll do it." Caspian rolled his eyes. "Alright. See that hole there?" He gestured to a tiny opening in the iced over door. "I need you to put the lightsaber carefully in there so it doesn't-" Zekk rolled his eyes, pulled out his blaster, & shot the hole. Caspian gawked. "Why'd you do that?!" Zekk raised an eyebrow. "Because it'll get the job done faster so we can set up this screwed up, child run, New Republic base of yours." Jaina quirked a smile. Caspian crossed his arms over his chest. "You'll have to pay a lot of money for that." he said as Zekk pushed the door open. The dark haired man turned to face him as he stepped in. "New Republic credits or Imperial?" he asked with a wyry smile. Caspian glared at him. "Funny," he muttered. "Remind me to report you to the New Republic Senate." Zekk raised an eyebrow. "If I were you, I wouldn't endager my ticket off a Sith Lord planet." Caspian swallowed.

Zekk walked into the crystal-like hall way. "Wow." he said. "Is this ice or crystal?" Caspian smiled. "It's ice. Pretty cool, huh?" Zekk nodded, admiring the artsminship used in building the ice wonder. Jaina raised an eyebrow. "It's big, but not as big as Oorwood Tower back home." Zekk smirked. "It's pretty, you've got to give it that much." Jaina nodded. "Definently."

Caspian cleared his throat. "We had better be moving along." he said, picking up his comm link. "We're in," he said into it & turned it off.

Kat breathed a sigh of relief & smiled. Maybe we'll beat this thing after all, the thought. Darlynian sighed. "Are they coming in yet?" Kat shrugged. "I hope. But if Caspian is in a bad mood, he'll be here in a hurry." She swung her arms around & looked at Dechar & Shelya. They were smiling at eachother, laughing, not setting up the communications systems. Katinaly rolled her beautiful silver eyes. "Stop flirting!" she yelled. They looked at her & laughed. "Oh come on Kat! We're only playing around!" Kat leaned back against the wall of the temple. "I know!" Shelya put her hands on her hips. "Kat, we're normal. You refuse to even assosiate with boys like this! You're the weird one!" Kat tightend her pony tail. "If you're normal, I hate to wonder what weird is." she muttered.

Kat turned as she heard a thud coming from the west entrances hallway. She picked up her blaster &, along with Dechar & Shelya, crept into the dark passage. Another noise. A curse. A laugh. The voice, "Funny Caspian! I wonder if you can fly." Kat smiled & lowered her blaster. "It's okay," she said to the others.

Caspian walked, smiling, into the main chamber. Kat ran up to him & wrapped her arms around his neck. "You made it!" she cried. He hugged her back. "I told you I'd make it, didn't I?" Kat grinned. "Ican never be sure with you Caspian." Dechar strode up to him & hugged him. "Good to see you Casp." he said with a straight smile.

Zekk & Jaina walked into the chamber. Kat smiled, then looked at Zekk. Oh my, she thought. He was gorgous in her eyes. His emerald green eyes glistened. If only he would look at me, she thought. Kat looked at Shelya. Zekk must have also had the same effect on her, judging from the blank expression on her face. Shelya & Kat exchanged glances & smiled. "Wow," Shelya's face said. Kat nodded in agreement.

Dechar saw Shelya's eyes. Focused on the dark haired man who was standing in front of them. Caspian spoke. "Dechar, Kat, Shel? This is Zekk." Shelya & Kat nodded, awstruck. "Hi," they said in usion. Zekk eyed them nervously. "Uh, hi." he said back. Kat & Shelya smiled. At the same time. Blushed. At the same time. Looked down. At the same time.

Dechar cleared his throat & looked at Zekk, glaring at him. Zekk pursed his lips. "Why do I get the impression that no one is very fond of me here?" Caspian frowned, then looked at Dechar. The tall, strong, man was glaring at Zekk. Caspian saw Kat & Shelya staring at Zekk, dreamily. Oh Sithspit! he cursed to himself.

Jaina took Zekk's hand. Kat bristled. Shelya looked away, back to Dechar. He was glaring at Zekk. "Dech?" she whispered. Dechar glanced down at her. She looked at the comm systems. "Shouldn't we all be working on the base?" Dechar nodded. "Yeah. I guess we should." Zekk shifted his weight. "I think that I'll just sit down," he muttered & walked over to a wall. Caspian frowned, then joined Dechar & Shelya.

Kat looked at Zekk & Jaina. Oh well, she thought. At least Caspian is being nice to him. She walked over to him. "Hi," she said. Zekk nodded. "Hi," he said, looking very cold. She frowned. "Do you two need a blanket or something?" Jaina nodded. Kat held up a finger. "Be right back. Don't move." She jogged into a hallway.

~Chapter Two~

Zekk rubbed his arms. "Damn, it's cold!" he said. Jaina nodded, swallowing hard. "I wish I was back home on Coruscant. It's always warm there." Zekk smirked. "Hey, it could be worse." Jaina shook her head. "Nu uh. There is no way it could be any worse than this. We're half way across the galaxy, trapped in a temple surrounded by Siths & we can't communicate without being traced by the stupid black coated Siths!" Zekk slipped an arm around her shoulder. "We could be here alone."

Jaina gave him a "that too" look & lay her head on his shoulder. "I want to go home. I miss Mom, Dad, Jacen, all of them." Zekk nodded. "Me too. Let's just hope this thing ends soon." Jaina bit her trembling lip. "I can't feel my feet or legs anymore, Zekk." She pulled up her flight suit pants. Her skin was turning white. "This is bad." she said. Zekk touched her skin. "You're cold. You need warmth fast." His own face was turning a whiter shade of pale. "If we don't get warm soon, we're going to freeze to death." Jaina hugged her knees. "A light speed jump won't save us this time, will it?" Zekk shook his head.

Just then, Kat came walking back in. "Here. These are heated blankets. You should be better now." Zekk snatched both the blankets & wrapped them around Jaina. "There." he said smiling. Jaina looked exasperated. "Zekk take one. You'll die of cold otherwise." He shrugged. "What do I have to live for anyway? We'll never get outta here." Jaina glared at him. "You're the ambassador of Ennth. Take a blanket & get warm until they can get us the right cloths." Zekk's jaw was set stubbornly. "Jaina, you need the warmth more than me. Your skin is white. I'll be fine." He stood up & walked over to Dechar, Shelya, & Caspian.

Kat knelt down beside Jaina. "You two engaged or something?" Jaina smiled. "No, we're just seeing eachother." she said. Kat frowned. "He's cute." Jaina laughed. "I know. So's Caspian. But he's not the adventure type like Zekk is." Kat grinned. "Caspian is my best friend. A lot of the girls at the palace have tried to trick him into marrying them. But he's no moron. He has a brain & he uses it wisly." Jaina nodded. "Yeah, he's smart. A little parenoid, but smart." Kat laughed. "Parenoid is an understatement." Jaina smirked & yawned. "I'm gonna take a little nap. Wake me up when you need help." She slid down onto the ground & fell asleep.

~Chapter Two~

Darlynian coughed. Kat turned to him. "Dar! Are you okay?!" Darlynian shook his head. "No. I'm not," he mumbled through hacking cough. Kat knelt down beside him. She pressed her hand to his forehead. "My GOD! You're freezing! Literally!" Dar nodded, his teeth chattering. "Th-the heat-ting sy-syst-ems shut d-down an h-hour ag-o, K-K-a-at." Kat looked frantically for her link to the computer turminal. She plugged it in.

"System damages: Heating systems, light systems-" the lights flickered. "-food processing systems . . ." More systems were named. Kat shut her eyes & slammed her fist into the ice on the temple's wall. "Damnit!" she said in a loud whisper. She looked back at the others, struggling frantically with the weapons system, now that the radar & communications systems were up. Zekk looked pale & he shook his head a few times, his hands shaking. Hypothermia, Kat thought. He's gonna kill himself!

She bounded over to him. "Zekk! Stop! You're freezing! Come with me!" Zekk waved her away. "I'm f-fine. I-is Jaina o-okay?" Kat raised an eyebrow. "She's fine. As for you, I'd say a good rest is in order." Zekk gripped the piece of machinery in his white hands. Kat narrowed her eyes. "Zekk, COME WITH ME NOW!" Zekk handed the metal to Caspian & quickly followed.

Kat flung a blanket at him. He caught it. She pointed to the ground near Jaina. "Sleep." she ordered. Zekk tried to object, but Kat held up a finger. "Now." she said. Zekk shrugged & sat down by Jaina, covering himself with the insulated blanket.

The lights flickered again, then went out. Jaina slowly opened her eyes. "Huh?" She looked over at Zekk who was huddled up in a blanket, breathing on his hands. He glanced down at her. "Hi." he said in a chilled voice. Jaina pulled herself into a sitting position. "What happened? I can hardly see!" Zekk nodded. "Same here." They heard a cough from across the chamber. It was Darlynian. With the blankets still draped around their shoulders, they walked over to the younger Syderian man.

Dar looked up at them. "H-hi." he stammered. Zekk tore off one of his blankets & threw it around Darlynian. Dar mouthed a thank you, unable to get enough strength to speak. Jaina bit her lower lip & knelt down beside him. "Darlynian! Are you okay?" Dar coughed & shook his head. "N-no. I-I can't-t-t bre-eath-h." Zekk pressed a finger to the side of Dar's throat. "Damn," he said quietly. Jaina squinted. "What? I can't see." Zekk sighed. "Dar's windpipe is closing." Jaina inhaled quickly & closed her eyes. "Will he be okay?" she asked. Zekk gave her a mournful look. Darlynian looked down. "G-go help-p Kat-t s-set up-p th-he s-syst-tems-s." he said in a soft weak voice.

Jaina squeezed her blanket. Cold, she thought. So cold. She looked at Zekk. He looks bad, she thought. And it was true. Zekk was turning paler by the moment. He swallowed hard, his adam's apple bobbing. Jaina put a hand on his shoulder. "Zekk, you need to sit down." Zekk shook his head. "No. Darlynian needs help." Jaina bit her lower lip. "I'll get Kat." She tore off towards Kat, who was helping Caspian prop up a lazor.

"Kat!" she screeched. Kat turned & looked at Jaina. "What is it?" Jaina looked back at Dar. "It's Dar. He's sick. Real sick." The color drained from Kat's face. She looked at Caspian. He shrugged. "Go on Kat. I can handle this," he said. Kat sighed & followed Jaina over to her brother.

Dar's eyes clouded over & he gasped for breath. Zekk kept his eyes locked with the younger Syderian's. "Come on Dar," he whispered. Dar blinked his eyes & coughed. Zekk nodded. "Good. Air is getting through." Dar's arms & legs went into a violent spasm. Zekk sat up quickly. Dar cried out. "I . . . . I can't . . . .. .. breath!" Zekk watched as Dar choked & his eyes flickered.

Kat rushed to Dar's side. "Dar!" Zekk pushed her back. "He's gone into oxygen reprival! A cunfoltion. There's nothing we can do." Kat blinked her eyes, forcing her tears back. Dar opened his mouth, crying out for air, but closing his eyes when none came.

Jaina stood up & her eyes fluttered shut. Zekk looked at her. She was in full concentration. She focused on his windpipe. Open, she thought. Open! The Force flowed through her & she felt a jolt. Dar ceased struggling & lay down, mouth open, breathing. Kat smiled & looked up at Jaina. Jaina gaped. "How?" she asked herself. Zekk stood up, right in front of her. "You saved his life," he said softly. Jaina looked down at Dar, slowly drifting off to sleep. Kat kneeled over her brother. "Sleep, Dar. Sleep."

Zekk kept his eyes locked with Jaina's. Jaina was trying to figure out what she did. Zekk placed his hands on her shoulders & shook her gently, smiling. "Master Skywalker was right, wasn't he? It is possible to save someone's life with the Force!" he said to her quietly. Jaina smiled as the realization of the moment dawned on her. Zekk nodded.

But a shudder broke the moment. Dechar looked toward the door. "Oh no!" she screamed. Shelya backed away. Caspian gritted his teeth & gripped his blaster. Zekk & Jaina drew their lightsabers. "This is bad," Zekk muttered. "Very," Jaina seconded the opinion. Kat scrambled to her feet & raced toward the courtyard door. She flipped the hatch & all the Syderians came out, talking. They saw Zekk & Jaina.

"Who are they?"

"I've never seen them before."

"Must be tourists."

"Why are they in the temple?"

Caspian held up his hands. The talking ended. Caspian spoke. "These, my people, are Ambassador Zekk & Jaina Solo. They are Jedi knights & they're helping us fight the Siths, alright?" Many voices rose up.

THUD!

Ice fell from the ceiling. People scattered. Caspian scanned for Kat. "Kat!" he screamed. He saw her pony tail flip at her name. "Caspian!" she screamed back. He waved his hands frantically until sh was at his side. "Why did you let everyone out?!" he asked angrily. Kat shrugged. "We have a better chance of surviving if we are all out." Caspian rolled his eyes. Then, he looked up. "Where are Zekk & Jaina?"

~Chapter Three~

Zekk slipped slowly toward the iced door. Voices from the outside. "How do we get in?" "I don't know! Blast it!" "I've tried that. The door is real thick!" "Darth Alsyre isn't going to be happy about this. You'll be incenigrated for sure!" "Please don't tell!"

Zekk smirked. "Some Sith apprentice. Brakiss would-" He cut himself off. Jaina was looking at him strangely. He pursed his lips. "Nevermind."

The younger voice continued. "Well can't you use the ship's lazors?" "You stupid little bantha! That would wreck the entire temple! Emporor Vighom wants this to be our base." "Emporor? Since when is he the Emporor?" A sigh. "You stupid moron! Darth Alsyre announced it this morning. No dought you were still asleep. Why don't you just go scan the ship's read outs again & let me handle the temple?" "Fine!" "Fine!"

Zekk rolled his eyes & leaned back against the wall of the hallway. "This isn't going to be so hard." Jaina paced, feeling a little odd in her new clothing. "Are we going out, or are they coming in?" she finally asked. Zekk grinned. "I'm just sitting here until we get ambushed." Jaina nodded. "That's a real comfort Zekky." she said sarcastically. "Now, would you like your coffin released in deep space or let to orbit Ennth?" Zekk shot her a "very funny" look & closed his eyes. "Can I ever have one moment with you that isn't trying desperatly to get out of a space fight, a romantic moment where we get walked in on, or an unneeded argument? I mean, come on, Jaina! We are always fighting for someone else's benifits?" He sat up. "It's just ridiculous!"

Jaina raised an eyebrow. "We can have moments when we just talk! We used to all the time before you joined the stupid Shadow Academy!" Zekk stood up. "So I screwed up! Big deal! I'm back now, aren't I?" Jaina walked up to him. "Yeah but you're different ever since you stopped being a bounty hunter. You're more of a ghost of your past self! You leave, then come back, then you leave again! Make up your mind!"

Zekk crossed his arms over his chest. "Look, I was guilty okay? Jaina I almost killed you! That's not something a gift holo can fix." Jaina tilted her head the way she did when she was very annoyed. "Zekk, why do you do this?" "Do what?" "This! You go off & blame every bad thing that has ever happened on yourself! You say stuff like if only & if I hadn't."

"Damnit Jaina! Most of the stuff that has happened is my fault! If I hadn't turned to thedarkside, my friends wouldn't have either! If I had stayed strong & broken free, so would the people who are out there, pounding into the temple to kill us! IT'S MY FAULT!" He glared at her, his eyes on fire. Jaina opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. Zekk closed his eyes & swallowed. "Jaina, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have yelled at you." Jaina looked down at the ice floor. "I want to go home. To Coruscant." Zekk nodded. "Me too."

Jaina slipped her arms around his waste & squeezed. "I hate this. We only have, what, one lazor?" Zekk nodded, laying his chin on her shoulder. "We probably don't have a chance. But we can try, right?" Jaina nodded. "We can try."

Another pound on the door. This time, the ice began to crack. Zekk ignited his lightsaber. "Alright!" he screamed. "Back off! I'm armed!" A malical laugh. "With what? A stun shot?" Zekk gritted his teeth & kicked the door down with incredible strength that Jaina never knew he possessed, his lightsaber still in his hands. "No, a lightsaber."

The Sith trainee stumbled back. "L-Lord Zekk!" Zekk's eyes widened. "Dralor?!" he yelped. Jaina frowned. "You know him?" Zekk nodded, looking at the man standing in front of him. Dralor swallowed hard. "You're . . . a . . . a Rebel?" Zekk glared a him. "You knew I'd never stay!" Dralor lowered the blaster in his hand. "Yeah."

Zekk oved closer. "Put that thing away. Now." Dralor flipped the blaster & hid it in his dark robe. "I . . . I don't know what to say," he gasped. Zekk jerked his head over. "Cuff his wrists, Jaina." Jaina strode over to him & tied Dralor's hands behind his back. Zekk kept his lightsaber out. Zekk pursed his lips. "Our first prisoner." he mumbled. Jaina ignited her lightsaber & held it close to Dralor who instinctivly moved away from it. Zekk slid his near the boy too. "No, no, no. You're coming with us." Dralor swallowed. "Please don't kill me." he pleaded. Zekk rolled his eyes. "If you're good, I'll spare you." Dralor's eyes flicked back & forth between the two lightsabers. Jaina elbowed him to keep him walking.

The temple was colder than the air outside it. Zekk saw a small room with a lock on the outside. "Welcome home." he said & shoved Dralor in. Jaina slammed the door after him & gigled. "I can't wait to see the look on his face when he sees that we're all a bunch of kids!" Zekk nodded. "Yeah. But I think we should be getting back to the main chamber right now." Jaina shrugged. "Sure." They jogged back to the chamber, aware that the Sith's knew how to get to them.

~Chapter Four~

Leia pursed her lips. If they live, how will they get home? she thought. She lowered her head & felt tears run down her cheeks. Han walked into their quarters & grimaced. "Leia are you worried about Jaina again?" Leia looked up & nodded. Han sat down beside her & rubbed her shoulders. "Don't worry. The Hapen & Bornaryan fleets just arrived." Leia smiled. "Is Luke here?" Han nodded. "Yeah. He's here. But he & Anakin are tuning up the Shadow Chaser. They'll be back soon." Leia closed her eyes.

Suddenly, a communication's officer came stumbling in. "General Solo!" said the Sullaston male. "We've recieved a message from an ice base on the planet of Sydercon! It's from Ambassador Zekk!" Leia stood up. "What does it say?" she spat out. The short comm officer waved them toward the main bridge.

"General Solo: Greetings. I am Ambassador Zekk of Ennth. We have managed to break away from the Star Destroyer & have landed on the planet, Sydercon, in the Hylio system. We've suffered intermidient hypothermia & have one Sith prisoner in our "base", the Ice Dragon Temple. The prince & a few other Rebels have built up a complete system in the main worshiping chamber of the temple. I am still suffering slightly from the hypothermia, as is Jaina Solo. She has a milder case than me, but we are recovering.

"This is a coded message. No Siths can trace it. So you shouldn't need to worry about any interferance. Now, we have to get back to our stations. In one standard Coruscant hour, we will be taking off the planet & traveling to Zoit, the enemy home base. We know, this is short notice, but we are going to try & stop Vighom before he does even more damage than he already has. It is now safe to send the Jedi trainees back to the academy. Ambassador Zekk, out."

Leia felt her hopes rise. She reached for the screen. "Don't go!" she said just before his image faded. Han took her hand. "Let's go back to the room now. We can send them a message." Leia nodded & followed him back to his room.

Jacen sat down inside the Rock Dragon, playing a holo game with Tenel Ka. He frowned looking down at the board. Let's see, he thought. If I move the ronto there, then maybe she won't be able to let that . . . . thing . . . . . eat it again. Tenel Ka watched & looked over his moves with intrest. "Are you ready Jacen?" Jacen looked up. "Yeah, I'm ready." He typed into his side of the board & his ronto lumbered over to a square on the board. Tenel Ka wasted no time. She moved her gundart pack near the ronto & devoured it. Jacen looked up at her. She had a completely satisfied look on her face. "It appears that I have won again." Jacen raised an eyebrow & leaned across the table. "You're not getting out of hearing a joke that easily," he muttered to her.Tenel Ka's eyebrows twitched. "Jacen, my friend, I would like to hear your joke."

"Okay, a guy walked into Mos Eisley's Catina & asked for the bartender. The bartender walked up to him. 'Can I help you, Sir?' he asked. The man shook his head. 'No, I just wanted to ask if you left your speeder running or not.' The bartender shrugged. 'I don't believe so. Why?' The man pointed outside. 'There's a group of Jawa's out there that said they needed a speeder & they are driving in it right now.'" Tenel Ka frowned. "I don't get it." Jacen laughed. "The Jawa's stole his speeder & he didn't understand!" Tenel Ka nodded & looked down at the chrono strapped to her wrist. "Jacen, my friend, Lowbacca has asked us to join him for lunch in the cafateria." She stood up. "Let's go."

Jacen set his tray down beside Tenel Ka. She chewed & nodded to him. Lowie barked a greeting. Jacen grinned, then sighed. "It feels strange without Jaina & Zekk, doesn't it?" Tenel Ka grimaced. "I, for one, miss them." Jacen looked at her. "Right now, she'd be asking for your Celta dip, wouldn't she?" Tenel Ka nodded. Lowie grumbled & looked out the view port at the stars. Jacen raised his eyebrows. "I know. But hey. Maybe she'll send me a holo." He wiped his mouth & took a sip of his spring Chad water. "I'll check with Dad later to see if they've contacted us lately." Tenel Ka looked across the room as Luke & Anakin walked in, smiling & waving to everyone they knew. Luke saw Tenel Ka & waved . She waved back.

Jacen looked up. "Hi Uncle Luke!" he called. He saw Anakin. "Hi Ani!" Anakin grinned & jogged over to the table. "Hey guys. Can I sit down?" Jacen shrugged. "Sure. Where's Mom & Dad?" Anakin jerked his head back. "They're in their room, eating lunch. Luke & Mara Jade are going to visit them after lunch soon, so if you want to catch them, I suggest cutting lunch short today." Lowie roared. Anakin laughed a small laugh. "Heh heh. Lowie, I am not going to turn Em Teedee on any time soon." Lowie grumbled to himself & stood up to throw his tray away. Jacen followed him & Tenel Ka close behind him.

Luke looked at Mara. "Are you sure you don't want to see Han & Leia?" Mara nodded quickly. "I'm very sure. You know that Han & I have never had a very friendly relationship." Luke grinned. "I know, but I still think that you should talk to them. With Jaina missing & all." Mara sighed. "If I must." Luke nodded. "You must." Luke took her hand & they walked down the hallway toward Han & Leia's room.

"Leia?" Luke called. Foot steps. The door opened. "Luke? Oh! Come in!" She saw Mara. "Mara, would you like something to eat or drink?" Mara shook her head & followed Luke in. Leia walked briskly into the bed room. "Han? Luke & Mara Jade are here." Han shifted uneasily. "Did you have to let Mara in?" Leia gave Han a "how rude" look & grabbed his arm. "Be polite & say hi to them, alright?" Han grimaced. "Yeah."

Luke shook Han's hand. "Hello Han. I'm really sorry." Han nodded. "We recieved a message from Zekk & Jaina. Theyre going to Zoit." The color drained from Luke's face. "Z-Zoit?" Han nodded. Luke's eyes appeared blank. "The Sith Empire is hiding out there. I'm not sure that it's such a good idea to go rushing head first into a Warlord planet." Han shrugged. "Too late now."

Leia lay her hands on her lap. "Well, we can at least communicate with them before the hour is up. We have ten minutes." Han nodded. "Alright. To the comm unit people."

Zekk finished loading up his ship. His pony tail was scraggly & almost out, hanging by only a few inches of hair. His bangs draped in front of his eyes, making it hard to see. He shook his hair out & tossed his duffel bag on. He looked at the temple. I hope they can manage alone, he thought.

Jaina came out from under the Lightning Rod. "Hey," he said softly. "I'm sure they'll be okay. Caspian won't let anything happen to them." Zekk smiled sadly. "I hope so." Just then, the comm unit inside the Lightning Rod. Zekk touched Jaina's shoulder & strode in

"Ambassador Zekk here. Identify yourself." Zekk swallowed, hoping against hope, it wasn't a Sith. "Hey Zekk. It's Han Solo. Look, Luke doesn't want you two to go to Zoit. So we think that you should all just go home & let the New Republic, Hapen, & Bornaryan fleets handle this. Okay?" Zekk sighed. "Sorry General Solo. We have to do this."

Jaina crept in. "Hi Zekk," she said. He nodded & put up a finger, returning his gaze to the comm untit. Han cursed. "Look here, Kid, that's my daughter you got there! If she is even minorly hurt, I will have you put in jail! And if you even think about making any sort of advances on her, I will personally see to it that you are thrown where you can never see another living being until you're dead!"

Zekk swallowed. "I . . . I understand, sir. But the plan-" "The hell with the plan! That child isn't some scavenger on Coruscant you can make out with just to get the spar parts for your ship! She's my daughter & way too high up on the political ladder for you!"

Zekk fumed & screamed into the comm unit. "Han, she's not a child! She's eighteen years old & if she wants to kiss me, she will! If she wants to fight Sith lords, damnit, I pity the idiot dumb enough to try & stop her. So Han, just leave her alone for once & let her live her life!"

Jaina walked nervously up behind Zekk. The dark haired man from Ennth's eyes flickered viciously for a moment, then calmed. There was silence between the general & the ambassador. Finally, Han broke the tension. "Put Jaina on." Zekk nodded. Jaina stepped up. "Daddy?" she asked quietly. Han sighed over the transmition. "Jaina, do you like being up there with Zekk?" Jaina smirked. "Yes, Dad, I do enjoy being up here with Zekk." She added softly looking into Zekk's eyes so Han couldn't hear. "I like it alot." Zekk blushed slightly, but he closed his eyes & the color faded.

For a moment, no one spoke. Then, Han cleared his throat. "Jaina, promise me that you will try & stay alive. Please promise me." Jaina swallowed. "I promise Dad. But I am not going to go back to living the way I used to." Zekk frowned. "What do you mean?" he asked. Jaina shrugged. "Nothing yet. I just don't want to go back to Coruscant. I want to go live . . . I don't know." Han laughed. "Jaina, Coruscant will always be your home. You will always come back, once you realize you have to be supported by your parents. Jedi knights don't get paied much these days."

Jaina growled at the comm unit. "Dad, I am not staying on Coruscant! I want to go & live somewhere . . . . quiet, peaceful, natural," she said in a sing-song voice. Zekk slipped an arm around Jaina's shoulder. In response, she slid an arm around his waste, leaning her head on his shoulder. Han coughed. "Just don't leave your family out of your life. We'll be there for you." Jaina nodded, Han's voice becoming static. "Dad, if you're going to keep judging the desicions I make, then maybe I should ignore you all." Han groaned. "Jaina, if you want to ignore us, fine! But we won't ignore you." "Dad, I'm putting you on visual for a moment, okay?" "Okay."

Jaina flipped some switches & a holo of Han Solo appeared on the holo clip. Jaina walked over to it. "Just to prove I am doing what I want, I will let you see this." She walked slowly over to Zekk, slipped her arms around his neck, holding his head with on hand, & kissed him on the lips long & passionantly, making noises between a moan & a sigh. The image of Han was joined by Leia, Luke, & Mara Jade. "Damn," Mara said, grinning. Zekk chuckled to himself & wrapped his arms around her waste.

Han was furious. "Jaina!" Jaina looked at him, then returned to kissing Zekk who obviously was enjoying himself. Leia was smiling & Luke was on the brink of laughter. Mara patted Han on the shoulder. "I think that I should be off with Leia, making wedding arrangments." She called out to Jaina & Zekk. "Jaina! When you get back, we'll discuss the wedding okay?" Jaina laughed, still lip locked with Zekk. Han kicked something & glared at Jaina. "Young lady! I want you to stop this, right now!" Jaina smirked & slipped her hands into the back of his shirt. Leia started laughing. "Han, if you keep bugging her, she's going to make out completely!" Luke shook his head, still smiling. "Han, leave them alone."

Jaina ran a hand into Zekk's hair, keeping the other in his shirt. Leia was laughing & watching contently. Mara raised an eye brow. "I knew this would happen, didn't you Luke?" she asked in the voice she used when something amused her. Luke nodded. Han brushed a hand acros his face to wash away the feeling of dread he felt blanket him. "Jaina, stop now."

Jaina, still kissing Zekk, went to sit down & pulled him down beside her. Leia swallowed. "Enough Han! If you keep doing this, she'll be sleeping with him!" Han was sweating, but he couldn't help but speak. "Jaina, sweetie, please." Jaina undid Zekk's black, silky hair, letting it drape around them. Han's mouth dropped open slightly. Damn, he thought. She is going to make out with him! Luke knitted his fingers. "Uh, Han? No more talking, okay?" Leia didn't think it was funny anymore. "Han, shut up or they're going to turn this off & go into the cabin area! Then I think we should worry."

Han stumbled back, watching his daughter & her best friend kiss. "Please, Jaina." Luke smacked his forehead. "Han, you moron!" Jaina unlaced Zekk's shirt & pulled it off. Mara gasped. "Han I think you'd better shut up!" Zekk looked at his shirt on the floor, but closed his eyes, kissing Jaina. Leia sat down in shock on the nearest chair. Han gritted his teeth & screamed. "Jaina Solo! If you keep doing this, I will never let you live it down!" Jaina looked at the holo, at Zekk's shirt on the floor, back at Zekk, & pulled him down beside her. Han scowled & looked away. "Jaina, this is ridiculous! Stop!" Still kissing Zekk, Jaina stumbled over to the holo unit. Han's eyes widened. "Jaina! No!-" She switched it off.

Jaina slowly released Zekk from her lip lock. He blushed a deep red & backed away. "Sorry." he said quietly. Jaina grinned. "Now they think that we're back in the cabin area. This is so great! Now I have a reason not to go home!" Zekk smiled & shook his head. "Why'd you do that?" Jaina shrugged. "I don't know. I guess I just wanted to prove I wasn't little anymore." She stared blackly at the ground. "I guess I proved my point, huh." Zekk looked at his shirt, still lying on the ground. "Yeah, you proved your point alright." He pursed his lips. "For some reason, I still feel like I'm kissing you." Jaina frowned. "Same here. Weird, isn't it?" Zekk nodded & looked for his hair tie. Jaina picked it up. "Here. I kept it in my pocket." Zekk reached over to take it, then realized Jaina was looking right at him. He picked it up & looked down. Jaina took his hand. "Are we on a schedule to get to Zoit?" she asked. Zekk shook his head. "No. Why?" Jaina slipped her arms around his neck & kissed him deeply, then pulled away. "Then I don't see any reason for leaving yet." Zekk's eyes narrowed in suprise. They sat down on a chair & resumed kissing.

Han didn't know what had happened for a full one hundred heart beats. Then, he passed out, unaware that he landed in Mara's arms. Leia rushed to his side. "Han!" she shrieked. Luke assisted Mara in sitting Han upright on the floor.

When he came to, he swallowed. "Did Jaina . . ." Leia nodded. Han gritted his teeth. "I swear that I'm going to get that bastard for this." he muttered. Leia shook her head. "Han, Jaina started the whole thing. We should be mad at her, not Zekk." Han stood up. "But he wanted her to do it! Don't you see? He wanted to kiss her. And for all we know, they could be in his bed together!" Mara rolled her eyes. "I think that you knew she'd do it sooner or later. So give it up." Han glared at her. "If the daughter of the New Republic's general & the Chief of State gets married to the ambassador of Ennth, can we sa popirotzi? They will be completely obsessed with ruining their lives! And ours!" Mara shugged. "So what? It could be worse. We could be prisoners on the Death Star." Han tilted his head. "I suppose. But this is my daughter we're talking about!" Mara raised her eye brows. "At least she's with someone you know." Han grimaced. "Considering it's Zekk, that thought is less than comforting."

Jacen's jaw dropped. "She what?!" he screamed at Luke. The Jedi master put up a calming hand. "She started kissing Zekk & everytime someone tried to make her stop, she got more serious. It ended with her & Zekk switching off the holo & we think going to the cabin area." Tenel Ka's usually serious face was pale. "Jaina & Zekk . . ." Luke nodded. "That's what we're afraid of." Tenel Ka shook her head. "I do not believe that Jaina would ever do such a thing." Luke sighed sadly. "Well, it appears that she has, now doesn't it?" Anakin didn't look suprised. "I knew she'd do that eventually. She was always sighing & pursing her lips everytime I'd mention Zekk." Everyone agreed.

Lowie grumbled thoughtfully. Tenel Ka frowned. "I think it is best that we remain with the fleet, Lowbacca my friend." Lowie shrugged. Jacen shook his head. "I can't believe it. Something must be wrong. Jaina isn't like that. She wouldn't just jump into things without looking over everything." They departed for the night.

Zekk woke up, sighed & ran a hand through his dark hair. Jaina lay, asleep, on his shoulder. He leaned back, not wanting to wake her. This is so weird, he thought. He looked down at Jaina, still in her flight suit. That can't be comfortable, he thought. She twitched & opened her eyes. "Mmmmm," she groaned. Zekk helped her sit up. "Morning." he said softly. Jaina looked up. "Morning? It's already morning?" Zekk nodded. "Yeah. I just woke up." He looked around the cockpit. On the floor lay, still, his shirt. He never picked it up.

Jaina stretched out her arms & stood up. "Are we leaving soon?" she asked. Zekk nodded & blinked. "Yeah, but can I at least put my shirt back on?" Jaina leaned over, laughing. "Yeah! Sure!" She smiled. "About before. Sorry about it. I didn't mean to actually take your shirt off. I was only going to unlace it." Zekk shifted nervously in his stance. "Somehow, that doesn't make me feel any better." Jaina rolled her eyes & put her hands on her hips. "Zekk! It was just to prove a point! Don't take it that way." Zekk bit his lip. "Jaina, after the holo, you still kissed me. Was that to prove a point?"

Jaina looked down, smiling sheepishly. "Maybe not that," she murmered. Zekk hid the smile trying desperatly to leap onto his face. He grabbed his shirt, slipped it on, & laced it up. "We need to leave to go to Zoit soon," he said softly. Jaia nodded & walked over to the refresher unit. "I'll be out in a minute or two." she called back. Zekk nodded & went to start up the ship.

Suddenly, a blaster bolt singed the back of his chair, richochetted off the wall, & slammed into the attacker. Jaina came flying in from the back. "What happened?!" she screamed. Zekk blinked, looking down at a dead Sith, lying on the ground. "He came in, shot at me, missed & the bolt bounced back & hit him in the head. We'd better go now before more show up." He kicked the dead man out of his ship & closed the door.

In the atmoshphere above Sydercon, Zekk spotted a fleet of Star Destroyers. "Uh oh," he mumbled. Jaina, her hair still wet, sat in the copilot's seat, ready to type in the coordinates for Zoit. She looked up. "Uh oh what?" she asked nervously. Zekk pointed & cursed in Bothan. "We're dead now." he said & powered up the weapon's systems. "Let's go in." Jaina said quickly. Zekk shot her a "what the hell" look & blinked his eyes. Jaina shoved him gently & grabbed the controls.

Th Lightning Rod dove straight down, close behind, two TIE fighters. Jaina sprang up to the gunner's station & slipped on the head set. "Incoming! Four bombers & two fighters. You fly & I'll shoot." "Alright," Zekk replied. Jaina punched the torpedo loader. "Damnit!" she hissed. "Why won't you load?!" TOPREDOS LOADED. Jaina sighed & targeted a bomber. "Space debris ahead," she grumbled & launched the torpedo. A brief flash of light & the bomber was no more. Jaina grinned. "Maybe this day isn't a complete waste after all . . ."

~Chapter Five~

Caspian & the other Syderians lifted up the machinery as it fell down. When it was fastened completely, he went to check on the sick ones. Hypothermia. More & more cases by the hour. He looked at Kat. She shrugged & sighed sadly. "I can't do it all Caspian." she said quietly so they wouldn't hear her. Caspian nodded & took her hands. "I know. Just do the best you can for now." He swallowed. "Dechar, Gobi, Frahla? Come with me." He picked up his utility belt & crept toward the open ice door.

A Sith stepped in. Dechar set his blaster to kill & shot him. He dropped to the ground motionless. Caspian nodded & they strode forward. Caspian knelt down to check for a pulse. A weak one. "Gobi," he asked. Gobi strolled up. "Yeah?" Caspian hauled the Sith onto his back. "Take him to the prisoner's chamber imediantly." Gobi shrugged & dragged the person back down the hall.

Frahla's silver-black eyes glistened. His silver hair waved gently & he brushed a hair out of his face. "Caspian?" he asked in the soft voice he used when he was scared. Caspian's expression softened. Frahla was only fourteen & he was already seeing violence that no person should ever witness. Frahla swallowed. "Are we ever going home?" Caspian grimaced. "I don't know, Frahla. I don't know."

Kat sat down by her brother, Darlynian. "Are you feeling okay?" Dar shook his head. "No. I feel . . . . cold. Not physically, mentally. Like, something back is going to happen & I want to get away from this place." Kat swallowed. Dar had always been Force sensative. But now he was even more in tuned with the mystical medichlorines.

Dar coughed. Kat snapped out of her reveir & looked at him. He wheezed & gasped for breath. Kat put a hand on his hand & stroked it. Dar fell back against the iced wall. He looked at Kat & swallowed hard. "Kat," he gasped. "I'm . . . dying." Kat heard a cry escape her lips. "Dar . . ." The Syderian boy of seventeen years squeezed Kat's hand tightly, &, for one last fleeting instant, looked up at her, then fell back, dead.

Kat screamed. Caspian looked up & dashed back to the main worshiping chamber. "Kat!" he called. He saw a crowd back away from her. Dar wasn't moving. Caspian feared the worst & walked toward her. "Kat?" he asked quietly, kneeling beside her. She looked up & wrapped her arms around his neck, crying. Caspian slid his arms around her waste. "What's wrong?" he asked in a faint whisper. Kat swallowed & he felt a tear drop onto his shirt. "Dar's dead."

Caspian pulled away & looked Kat full in the face. She'd been crying hard. He looked at Dar's unmoving body. Dechar walked over & picked him up. Kat stood up & raced into the couryard.

Caspian walked in after her. "Kat?" he asked, closing the door behind him & locking it. Kat was sitting by the iced pond. He sat beside her. "Kat?" he asked again. She looked at him & cried, leaning her head on his shoulder. Being a good friend, Caspian lay an arm around her shoulders. Kat closed her eyes & shook with every cry.

Finally, she recovered herself. "We'd better get in there," she choked. Caspian nodded. "Yeah." Kat stood up & did the bravest thing she knew to do. She kissed Caspian on the lips. Long & gentle. When she pulled away, she ran.

"Jaina! The Star Destroyers are firing at us!" Jaina swivled in the gunner's station. "I can't really do anything about that right now! I'm all tied up at the moment." She fired at a TIE fighter & missed. "Crap!" she murmered. Zekk dove his ship, barely escaping a TIE bomber's charged lazer. "We can't hold out much longer Jaina! Get rid of the TIE's so we can make the jump to light speed." Jaina sighed. "Just wait, oh impatient one!" She blasted a fighter to sinders.

A shot from a Star Destroyer caught her off guard. "Whoa!" she shrieked. She heard Zekk curse in Rodian. "What the hell?" Jaina bounded out of the gunner's station & looked out the view port. The Star Destroyers were circling them. Zekk's heart sank. "Oh no," he said. Jaina shook her head. "Dive under them & jump alright?" Zekk shrugged. "Worth a try."

End of Part Two


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