Twenty-three years after the battle of Yavin, when the Rebellion won a decisive victory against the Empire by destroying the Death Star, another battle was fought on the jungle moon Yavin IV between the Second Imperium and the New Republic. The New Republic again prevailed and peace was secured. . . But in the infinite web of time. . . no event is final, no outcome certain. In another time, another place, the New Republic lost that battle. Over ten years later, the Second Imperium dominates the galaxy and the freedoms of the Republic are known only as forbidden dreams . . . or are they?

"The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his." -- Gen. George Patton

There's something oddly comforting about watching a casket float away in the emptiness of space. Surrounded by deafening silence with only the distant stars for company. A peaceful, pleasant existence, Jaina mused. It would be so easy to join the stars, to join her dead friend in sleep. Jaina saw her hand move towards viewing window, felt her fingertips press against the transparent steel. So simple, really. Open the hatch and let the sweeping vacuum end her pain. After all these years, didn't she deserve a rest? The stars glowed their response.

"No. Never, never, never, never. . ."

It took Jaina a moment to realize the thready whisper came from her mouth and not the stars. She stepped back from the window.

Jaina returned her attention to the casket. It had already drifted far from the ship and was disappearing in the dark. "We should have had it better, my friend," she said softly. "This wasn't how our life was supposed to be. . ."

A tear glistened on her cheek. Jaina reached to wipe it away, absently running her fingers along a two inch scar below her left eye.

"I will avenge you," Jaina's voice sounded pitiful and weak in her ears. "Luke would say revenge isn't the Jedi's way, but what does he know?" She laughed bitterly. "The Jedi way got him killed. Got my family killed. Got my friends killed. Got you killed. I don't want to be a Jedi any more. The Jedi are dead. I'm still alive, aren't I?"

Closing her eyes, Jaina let herself remember. The Great Temple exploding, with Luke and hundreds of trainees still inside. When it became painfully obvious that retreat was the only means of survival, she, Lowie, and Tenel Ka had managed to find an old supply ship. The rickety old transport had no weapons and they weren't in the air for more than a few seconds before they lost their shields to enemy fire. Jaina was certain they were lost until she caught sight of the Lightening Rod, piloted by her brother, blasting the TIEs away. She had allowed herself to smile, right before the charred remains of an old imperial shuttle from someone else's fire fight collided with the Lightening Rod, breaching her shields and a moment later Jacen was no more.

Jaina felt his death, heard his noiseless scream in the split second before impact. When her uncle Luke had died there had been a sense of displacement, of something lost but soon to be found. But Jacen's death ripped her in two as the other half of her soul tore violently away from her. She collapsed in the pilot's chair, letting Lowie take the controls. At the time Jaina thought, there can't be anything worse than this.

She was wrong.

Two months later, Han and Leia were caught in a raid on Coruscant. Jaina got word of their deaths two days later, but she knew the instant they died. Anakin was gone three years later, died in his sleep. Apparently he had been poisoned. Lowie was killed six years ago, defending her and Tenel Ka from the assassins sent to kill all three of them. Jaina hadn't truly smiled since before that time. Tenel Ka had been alive a week ago, but now her body drifted in the vacuum of space, a victim of imperial forces that took the lives of more New Republic, no, the Republic was gone, make that rebel solders than anyone cared to think about.

Everyone was gone. Everyone except. . .

No. Not going to think about him. Cruel emerald eyes flashing towards her, lightsaber in hand.

Should've killed you when I had the chance. Bastard, you know I'm gonna make sure you die screaming.

Visions of him flooded her mind. His laughter in the underworld of Kashyyyk, the glint of his eyes reflected from the blaster shots flying around them both before he gave his troops the order to take no prisoners, and most recently, a holo-cast of him kneeling before Brakiss, a horrific caricature of Vader and Emperor Palpitine.

A sudden beeping interrupted Jaina's revere. Another ship was coming out of hyperspace. Time to get gone.

As Jaina keyed in her destination she looked at the stars one last time.

They can't catch me if I don't exist to be found.

Some notes:

This is just one of those ideas that got stuck in my head and more or less wouldn't get out until I wrote something. In this alternate universe, the Shadow Academy won its battle with the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV. As a result, the Empire swiftly retook control of the galaxy and Luke, Han, Leia, Anakin, Jacen, Lowie, Tenel Ka, and pretty much everyone Jaina cared for died. Brakiss rules as Emperor and Zekk is his second in command. There are small pockets of resistance against the Empire throughout the galaxy, but without coordination between would-be revolutionaries any act of rebellion is futile.

I initially wanted to write a long story about all this but knowing my schedule I'm fairly certain it would never get written. So, this is left with an ambiguous ending. If anyone wants to add on to it, feel free to do so, just as long as you let me know about it.

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