Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

*This entry has earned 3 XP*

1280x1087.jpg

Previously...


It was silent in the temple caverns.
 

Four days had passed since Bey'wan, Fenree Kel, and 6 soldiers from Hunter Team had left, in secret, on a mission to infiltrate the Imperial trench.

The days on Ilum, hiding in the hidden temples, were long. The pilgrims and Freedom Fighters sheltering together felt the hours stretch on.

Four long days, and there had been no word. They had sent probe droids, but there was nothing to learn, no trace to be found.

Ever since they had first been reported missing, Admiral Yima knew where they had gone, and he knew, in his spirit, what had happened.

 

The trench had swallowed them.

 

He wished it hadn't happened like this, on this disgraced planet, following 12 weeks of depression and strife. He wished they had spoken before he had left, just to see something in his friend's eyes besides distrust.

Yima imagined the person Bey'wan could have become: an old Bothan, gray streaking his fur—a respected, trusted leader, a brilliant mind, endlessly intelligent and insightful.

He could've taken over as leader, just a few years down the line. But that would never happen now.

In the old stories, death came when the person was ready. It was never quite a surprise. They always had their affairs in order, nothing important left to give. It was always somehow the right time. Even the most violent deaths were somehow peaceful in their purpose.

But Yima still needed Bey'wan, right now more than he ever had. It physically hurt that he could not turn to rely on his data master, ever capable, ever ready. He missed his stiff manner, his awkward sense of humor, his earnest desire to see the oppressed free.

 

He listened quietly to the wind that whistled past. He let himself hope for a rare connection beyond the grave, a voice, a vision, anything from Bey'wan to offer comfort, guidance, or wisdom.

 

But he stared and strained and there was nothing, only the wind.
 

Emptiness settled on him.
 

Then came rage.
 

The cavern walls of the control center below echoed with a cacophony of voices. 
 

He imagined getting justice. All out war, a bombardment from the fleet. They could make it costly for the Empire. They could add hundreds of corpses to the pile.

 

He heard footsteps behind him, and turned. There was Noora, a steaming cup in her hand. She managed a kind of wretched smile.
 

 800x450.jpg


"I thought you might want some tea."

 

"Oh. Thank you, Noora." Yima accepted it politely, but for once, did not feel in the mood for tea. "That is very kind."
 

Nora noticed that he did not drink. "Admiral, things are heating up downstairs. The Fighters' are furious."
 

"I understand how they feel," replied Yima, his eyes hooded and his expression dim. He imagined how many dead Stormtroopers they might make before they would eventually be destroyed by the overwhelming opposition. They could stay here and keep hunting them like prey for years.
 

"You're not thinking of...striking back?"
 

Yima avoided her gaze. "Are you not?"
 

Her answer was already considered. "...No, Admiral. Why throw away more lives? In a way...it wasn't the Empire that killed Bey'wan, it was this planet. Do you know what I mean?"
 

Yima did. Chastened, he stared into the dark depths of the cup of tea.
 

"You do not want justice against his murderers?" He said softly, an edge to his voice. "And what of that he died for? Should we abandon that, too?"
 

Noora stared at him. The Admiral wasn't thinking clearly. That had never happened before, not as long as Noora had worked with him.
 

It scared her.
 

She understood what was happening. She had worked closely with Bey'wan ever since she'd been promoted to command crew, he was--had been--a good friend, and she felt the pain of grief too, but she was beginning to feel like the only person who hadn't gone mad. And now even the Admiral, normally so wise, was being seduced by thoughts of revenge.

 

The soul of the Freedom Fighters teetered on a precipice.

 

"If you force the Fighters to stay here, they'll do whatever you say," she said, adrenaline shaking her voice. "They love you, they'll follow whatever order you give them. And how you feel is how they'll feel. And if you're angry, and you let them be angry, and we all make decisions driven by our anger, then...every one of us will die on this force-forsaken world."
 

Finally, Yima looked at her. She looked angry, desperate.
His face pulled in confusion, his thoughts were clouded.

 

"Please, Admiral...think about the people we have left."
 

With her words, Yima suddenly saw the future as if it was happening.

The current path was a spiral. The pilgrims would try to escape too late. Families would be incinerated and become fuel for the flames of the Fighters' hatred, and they would throw themselves against the Empire again and again until their bones broke and their spirits were snuffed out and no one would ever know. The Empire would go on: evil always does. Good does too. But people die.

And that was what he served: people.

If he didn't serve them now, every one of the people here would suffer for years to come, until they died in the pursuit of vengeance.
 

Like a light through the clouds, Noora reached him.
 

"Yes," he choked. "You're right. Oh, Noora. Thank you." A strange sob came from his throat. How close he had come.
 

"I am a foolish old man," he said, his voice brittle. "I-I am so sorry."
 

Tears of stress welled in Noora's eyes. She quickly nodded and wiped her face with her sleeve. "Please, make the right choice."
 

"Yes, young one. Yes. You are right. You...you have saved me from disaster, and a shame that would poison me."
 

Yima took a deep drink from the cup of tea, and felt its warmth flood his bones.
 

"Will you come with me? I must speak with the others."
 

Noora nodded. The two of them left the tower and went to save the Freedom Fighters.

 

 

It took wrestling of words and spirit to bring the rest of their clan to the truth, but Yima was ready: he knew that this fight was the most important he had ever fought. His weapons were words: gentle words, truthful words, words that honored the memory of those they had lost, but did not embrace recklessness, vengeance, or a repayment of violence. Slowly, one by one, he saw reason dawn on faces in the crowd around the control center, saw anger melt away into grief, saw hope beam through rage.
 

Slowly, the grueling work of unity was accomplished. Trust restored. And Noora felt relief crash into her like a wave, and she devolved into weeping when she saw the fever break.
 

The faces of the Freedom Fighters looked to their leader, his face lined with age and sorrow, but lively with purpose. They looked to leadership, and—wishing he had Bey'wan beside him—the Admiral provided.
 

It was past time for them to leave Ilum.
 

The plan would keep everyone safe: escorts to protect the transports, a diversion bombardment from orbit.
 

But what of Bey'wan's investigation? What of the Empire's sinister purpose? A small team of five: the remains of Hunter Team, volunteered to stay and learn more, to gather information from their hidden outpost, to try and obtain readouts of the entire planet, whereby they might discover any Imperial weaknesses. They did not have to do this, but they were determined. The ones who would leave gathered around the ones who would stay, and amidst tearful farewells a pilgrim consecrated their sacrifice.
 

The others, Fighters and Pilgrims alike, boarded the shuttles. Final prayers were prayed, blessings spoken, fingers tracing the ancient, holy ruins that must be--at last--given up.
 

Yima wished there was a way to preserve the planet for the future, to protect its history and significance, but it wasn't worth the lives of those in the temple.
 

He watched the groups board their transports, and cast a final look around the Jedi's ancient monuments. Finally, he boarded himself.
 

No lives were lost in the retreat from Ilum. Every transport made it safely away.
 

The Peace and Quiet made the jump out of the Unknown Regions and the relief of its passengers was palpable. All of them felt the lifting of the dark spirit that had settled on them in the last weeks, and Yima immediately felt his discretion return. None of them had realized how heavy they had all felt until they had escaped.

Yima only wished he had called for it sooner.

A memorial service was held in the ship's community hall—quiet, mournful, appreciative. In silence, they honored the eight that had been lost and committed their lives to the Force.

Yima remembered how steady Bey'wan had given them hope, with his understanding and his solutions. He remembered—soberly—how Noora had reminded him of truth and pulled him from his darkness.
 

The old Admiral looked around through misty eyes at all the faces on the ship, and felt a surge of thankfulness for every one of them. For their endurance, for their steadfastness. For who they were.
 

And so the Followers of the Force were saved from Ilum, and even in the mourning there was hope once more.



_____________________



(Thanks for looking!)

 

Edited by RocketBoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the atmospheric shot of the tunnel, but the real highlight of this is the story. You have made a such a wholesome ending to the story without it feeling too cliché in how you present the goodness of the characters. I think Yima in particular has been a great character - he has developed so much over this arc and I'm excited to see where you take him in the future. Overall, I think you have controlled this whole narrative really well, especially in keeping in line with canon whilst staying true to the idea of the FF. This has definitely been one of my favourite stories so far!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, marvelBoy123 said:

I like the atmospheric shot of the tunnel, but the real highlight of this is the story. You have made a such a wholesome ending to the story without it feeling too cliché in how you present the goodness of the characters. I think Yima in particular has been a great character - he has developed so much over this arc and I'm excited to see where you take him in the future. Overall, I think you have controlled this whole narrative really well, especially in keeping in line with canon whilst staying true to the idea of the FF. This has definitely been one of my favourite stories so far!

Without a doubt this is the most in-depth anyone's gone with a story I've posted, I can't express how meaningful that is to me. I'm seriously honored that you enjoyed and appreciated it! Thanks so much for reading along and sticking with the arc, and for your insight. It's really rewarding to read what you have to say. (And it's such a relief to be done, endings take so loong to write)

I've got a few ideas for Season 2 arcs involving Yima and the FF (though it may be time for him to settle down on a nice farm). I'm looking forward to working on those more and seeing where it goes. He's really the heart and soul of the FF, but I want to see what it would like for a whole new generation to step up to the plate and become as integral as he is.

Again, thank you. I really appreciate it.

Edited by RocketBoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, marvelBoy123 said:

especially in keeping in line with canon

This is a really nice end to your Illum story. I had my doubts when I learned you were going for Ilum, but you've respected canon, and mane a brilliant story that fits well. I see now that my worries was unwarranted - if anything you've actually tied the Illum of the Clone Wars to Ilum from Jedi: Fallen order. Well done!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.