Vong War Annals – “Preparations for War” 4.8.2014

Mark Wyler held his hand out behind him for the tool he’d requested. Not feeling the cold steel slap into his hand as he expected, he repeated the order a bit louder. Still nothing. Grumbling, he backed out from beneath the control panel he was working on and found himself alone. Then he remembered Trevvik’s return, smelling of alcohol and full of stories that distracted Asya from assisting Mark in the job he was wrapping up, and then the two of them heading back to the living complex. That was hours ago. That recollection was followed soon after by that of the conversation he’d been carrying on.

To no one. Probably for quite some time. He sighed and rummaged around for the tool himself. Coming up with it, he put the final panel in place and locked it down.

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Vong War Annals – “First Impressions” 09.20.2013

Molly Losoda tapped Logan MacKenzie on the shoulder, smothering a smirk as the other man jumped.  He’d been absorbed in mournfully watching some of the ground crew from Shay Memorial move his freighter from the Legacy’s landing bay to the tarmac–so absorbed that he’d missed the NRI agent’s approach.  “You don’t have to just stand here, you know.  You can get off the ship.”

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Vong War Annals – “Groundings” 03.16.2011

            Dorrin stared at the mottled ball of blue, green, brown, and white below them, looming large after the microjump.  He glanced at Molly, who was back at the Legacy’s controls.  “Y’sure you can handle landing this thing?”
            “It’s just like landing a shuttle, Dorrin.  Except about ten times bigger.”  She smirked at him.  “We’ll be fine.”
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Vong War Annals – “Support systems (part 4)” 03.07.2011

            When Tag had finished, Les stood silent for a long moment, eyes closed, contemplating all that she had said. Her words comforted him more than anything anyone had said to him lately. He wanted to believe them – he did believe them. Yet there was a side to him that remained guarded, cautious. At last he opened his eyes, and looked the Jedi in the eyes. If these people were willing to give him another chance, so was he. Marcus Leslye Wyler bowed his head and replied simply, “Yes, master.”

“:)
Skyy

Vong War Annals – “Support systems (part 3)” 03.04.2011

            Tag frowned a little, moving to the side and seating herself on the reed mat, cross-legged.  She brushed a few stray hairs out of her face and stared at Les for a long moment, as if choosing her words carefully.  “You’re Marcus Leslye Wyler, son of Marcus Wyler and Janet Skyy, the nephew of Trevvik Wyler and the brother of Asya Wyler.  You’re Chase Kel-Solan’s best friend and your baby sister’s hero.  You’re part of the second generation of the Aurora Force, part of the legacy we’ll leave behind when we’re gone.”  She paused, then said more softly, “You’re the padawan Jinx Katarn failed and the second student I’ve taken on since Indiana Bridger herself—the only one I’m not related to, too.”  She smiled wryly.  “You’re still you, Les.  You’ve just…seen more, felt more, experienced more.  It’s part of growing up.  Not easy by a long shot, but…it’s part of the deal.”
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Vong War Annals – “Support systems” 03.02.2011

            Tag touched Les’s shoulder gently.  The grip of the small woman was warm, firm, and she squeezed his shoulder before just letting her hand rest there.  He’s more lost than I thought he was.  Deeper into that dark place.  I shouldn’t have sent him home with his folks tonight.  I should have made him come home with me.  She silently drew a deep breath and exhaled it slowly, finding her own center as she felt a fleeting sense of guilt that came from her, not from him.  Too late to change that now.
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Vong War Annals – “Confession” 10.25.2009

            The question was not an easy one. Les, his eyes fixed on the featureless silver mask, knew the warrior behind it would accept nothing short of truth drawn from the deepest well of his soul. He took a long moment to reflect on those depths before forming his answer.
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Vong War Annals – “Caught fast” 10.23.2009

We are far, far more than the sum of our experiences.  We are the sum total of the impact of the experiences of our teachers, our leaders, our parents and friends, of the trails we’ve lived through and the bottomless well of emotions we all feel.

– Karinlyyn Bridger Kel-Solan, Auyn Warmistress

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Vong War Annals – “Predawn” 10.23.2009

            No more words came until he was in the speeder and she was behind the wheel, racing away from the house.  Every time he even tried to speak she simply held up a hand to forestall commentary.  Once they had turned safely onto the roadway outside of the Wyler’s residence on Xenen, Tag cleared her throat, eyes intent on the road before them, her voice even—but barely.
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Vong War Annals – “Tagged” 10.23.2009

           So wrapped in his musings that he’d let situational awareness slide, Tag caught Les unawares. Realizing that he’d been caught off his guard, he flew to his feet with surprising quickness, pulling his saber to him through the Force so that it reached his hand before his feet hit the floor, but he stopped short of snapping it on, realizing at the same time just who it was that had invaded his room. All at once he locked the things he’d been turning over in his mind into a safe place; and as they faded from the fore of his thoughts and he looked his new mentor in the eye, all that they had discussed in her office that day as well as his honest and bare plea for help flooded his mind. He felt color rise to his cheeks, and he had to catch himself from casting his gaze elsewhere.
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Vong War Annals – “Home Front I: Calling a tune” 10.22.2009

            “How do the feeds from Aten-Re look?”
            That was it.  No preamble.  No good morning, no admiral on deck.  Indy was suddenly there, in the dim of base ops’ night watch.  Nylan was too tired to even feign surprise.  He was getting too old, Jedi or not, for these thirty-six hour days.
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Vong War Annals – “Yet More Nocturnal Musings” 10.20.2009

            Janet awoke with a start and a gasp. Trembling, she sat up and reached for the lamp, but as the dream that had disturbed her sleep ebbed into reality, she thought better of it. Beside her Mark stirred and resettled on his side, his breathing evidence that his slumber hadn’t been interrupted. She watched him for a while, envying him that everlasting optimism that permitted sleep. Things, she knew, didn’t always turn out, no matter how much time would eventually go by. Cross the galaxy to and fro forever and nothing would ever cloud over the pulling the trigger on one of her oldest and dearest friends, or dispel the memory of the darkness seeded in the eyes of the son she had killed for. Nothing could ever make it better, make it all right. Nevertheless, if she could feel his arms around her, the steady and reassuring pounding within his chest – resting there, she could forget. For just a little while. Reaching out a hand to touch Mark’s shoulder, she almost did, but withdrew before making contact. Tears filled eyes already stinging from lack of sleep. Hadn’t he already been put through enough? The guilt was hers – it was a burden she had taken on herself upon drawing the weapon and ending the Jedi’s life. His life for Les. She had handed her only son a second chance, and yet…oh Jinx….

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Vong War Annals – “Finding allies in strange places” 4.16.2009

            Tag Rendar’s office—her new office, as the old was still occupied by the absent Alek Cannelle, Chief of Intelligence for Sector 27—had begun to take on the personality, slowly but surely, of its occupant.  The cabinets slowly had begun to be filled again with pictures, mementos—an old flight helmet, holos of various stripes, a crystal bar set in one corner cabinet.  A few blank pages of…paper?…were still scattered across the floor, half under furniture.  Tag didn’t seem to notice their presence as she waved for Les to take a seat, sinking down into the chair behind the desk.
            “Hear you hit a rough patch the past couple weeks, huh?”
            Les wondered why he felt so suddenly shy. He shifted uncomfortably in the chair. “I guess so.” He coughed to clear his throat.
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Vong War Annals – “Awkward situations” 4.15.2009

            Tag was perched on the corner of Indy’s desk when the admiral walked in, juggling an armload of files and her own caf cup.  Indy blinked at the other woman a moment, then shook her head.
            “You still remember my lock code.”
            “You still haven’t changed the overrides,” Tag corrected.
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Vong War Annals – “Reunion” 4.08.2009

            The journey back to Xenen seemed to take forever. Little was said between Janet and Les, and he was glad to give his mother space. What he sensed from her was such a mixture emotions, each about to spill over, while she struggled to keep the lid on them, hang in there, survive, keeping her focus on the task of getting them home again. Under the not-so-inconsequential guise of keeping an eye out for the Vong, Les assigned himself to lookout duty, situating himself at a gunner station with a broad bank of windows to the stars, currently a swirling kaleidoscope as the Stormcrow hurled through hyperspace.
            His arm ached. His new one. Absently he flexed that hand, sheathed in a black glove, faintly aware of the servos and wires he felt working throughout, performing duty in place of the muscles and tendons that should be there. It would be a lifelong reminder of the events on Coruscant – of his old master.
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Vong War Annals – “Master Katarn” 4.05.2009

     The day had been long, and being completely honest with himself Kyle could freely admit that last thing he wanted to do was give an undisciplined kid a lesson about why it’s not nice to try an kill your mentor. 
     He sighed, lowering his head and calming his emotions. No, it wasn’t entirely Les’ fault…Kyle knew the corrupting nature of the dark side of the Force and how it threw you common sense out the window. Seeing that side of him and knowing it intimately now made it nearly impossible for Kyle to give in the seduction of power, though he was far from invulnerable as well. And now here he was, standing next to Les and not sure where to go. It was one of the very rare times where he would seek Skywalker out for his advice.
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Vong War Annals – “Confliction” 3.16.2009

            Les lay sleeping in a hospital bed in a private room. Across the room Janet sat curled in a chair with a blanket around her, looking outside, though there was little to see; the sky was as blank and gray as the walls. It was sitting in the quiet, with the rain streaming down the window, that all those emotions that she had been keeping at bay conspired to overwhelm her, as well as the questions that troubled her…was Jinx right? Even if you get him away from here today he’ll turn again.  Les has tasted the power, he’s let it in Janet…you can’t change that. Was he lost to them, for good? Repeatedly she defied that question. Les had the benefit of family and friends who loved him, no matter what he had become…surely that counted for something. Wasn’t love stronger than hate, light than darkness? There was hope, always hope. By the Raven, there had to be. Where there’s life, there’s hope, as her father had been fond of saying. Yet that scared, lost and alone feeling endured as she wondered what to do from here. How do we handle this? How do I handle this?
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Vong War Annals – “Don’t give in” 3.14.2009

            Jinx’s gaze held her, even after the light in his eyes faded and died away, his final words ebbing into the silence.
            “Jinx…” she pleaded, “forgive me.” He had, that she knew; only she could never be able to forgive herself. It had to be done; for her son’s sake, it had to be done.
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Vong War Annals – “The end of things (part two)” 3.12.2009

     “The hell was all of that about?” Kal’or asked, doing his best to make it as casual as he could though he knew something was wrong.  He had that feeling ever since they came to the cursed planet in the first place, and he was kicking himself for not giving it the proper attention it deserved.  A Mandalorian that didn’t trust his instinct wound up dead.
     Jinx stood there for a long moment, Janet’s words still ringing in his head as a sudden sense of foreboding washed over him.  As he tried to fit the pieces together in his mind, he could begin to feel a disturbance in the Force growing…it was not unlike getting sick to one’s stomach, and yet the pressure it used against one’s mind could become numbing quickly as well.  “I don’t like this,” Jinx said.
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Vong War Annals – “No turning back” 3.12.2009

            All the long way to Coruscant, Marcus Leslye Wyler III barely slept. When he closed his eyes, his dreams were filled with darkness and pain, rage and fear. He would awaken trembling and wet with sweat, cursing his former master for leaving him when he needed him most; for not being there at his first and most crucial test that ended with his sister being taken by the Vong; for abandoning him a second time and shattering his hope for guidance and salvation, especially after his brush with the Dark Side; for treating him like an obligation when Les looked up to him as a hero.
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Vong War Annals – “In Pursuit” 3.11.2009

            It seemed like years since Janet had visited Indy’s office, so much had happened in the mean time. Once news was swapped and briefings on the current state of the war had been hashed over, the two women kicked back over a cup of caf and reminisced. After so many years and so many missions together, there were innumerable stories to call to mind, comrades to remember, and plenty of laughs to share.
            But before they could get too comfortable, Indy’s comm went off. As she took the message, she smiled at Janet. “Two more back into the fold,” she told her.
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Vong War Annals – “Les throws a hissy fit” 3.11.2009

            If all the doors around here didn’t open and close automatically, Les Wyler would have given them all good slam as he made his way through the complex. He barely heard or saw anyone he passed, being too busy replaying through his mind the brief and unexpected message left by his former master.
            Apologies for having to leave on such short notice…things come up, you know how it is…so proud of the Jedi you’ve become…Force be with you…yadda yadda.
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Vong War Annals – “Communication” 6.24.2008

            “I’ll only be gone a little while, I promise.” Janet swept the hair from Asya’s face to better see her eyes. The way she let her long hair fall over her face and peek out from behind the strands made it tempting to have it cut, but she was unsure what that would do to her at this point, she seemed so fragile – fragile, yet strangely strong at the same time. She’d been returned to them an odd tangle of contradictions. “I need to meet with Indy, get caught up on what’s gone on since we’ve been away, all right, honey? Then I’m coming straight back here. We’re staying wherever they put you until Intel releases you back to us. Okay?”

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Vong War Annals – “Reunited” 6.13.2008

Shocked, staggered, stunned, and incredulous in their elation, the Wylers spilled out of the Stormcrow before the echo of the engines had died away in the expansive hangar bay, one of many housed within Wayfarer Station. Tag was there to greet them, unable to conceal a broad smile. It wasn’t very often that she was privileged to be the bearer of good news about a family member to their loved ones in the midst of the dark days of war. It felt great.

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Vong War Annals – “Messages from Afar” 5.23.08

            The atmosphere, so heavily laden with moisture that the ghost-gray clouds that had eclipsed the sky sank lower and lower to the ground, so that by the time Les arrived back to the borders of Arradan, they seemed ready to touch the ground. The light mist that was falling did not drive Les immediately into the house, but he took a detour through the gardens, taking his time as he did, enjoying the familiar scent of damp earth and stone, and trees and plants anticipating the rain. He knew where his steps were taking him, yet continued onward. A few days ago he would have resisted going there, but now he obeyed the wandering of his feet in that direction without trepidation.
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Vong War Annals – “Stars” 5.18.08

Descending into the ancient mines, the surface world faded from existence so quickly it was like falling from the waking world into the realm of dreams. In the deepening black, the air took on a chill and all sound ceased, save that of his own breathing. It was an eternal darkness, where the planet slept and only rarely stirred, paying no mind to what went on outside. The darkness, the silence, the cool air that had hung unmoving for indeterminate years until stirred by his migration, wrapped around him, settling upon him and soaking in to his skin, sinking deeper and deeper until it was in his blood and bones.Climbing down, down, into the endless night where no star’s light ever pierced, meandering through a combination of natural caverns and manmade corridors carved into the rock millennia ago, he descended, following the signs written in the light of cultivated luminous lichen until he reached the deep darkness of the bridge.
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Vong War Annals – “Down Into Darkness” 5.16.08

 Les cinched up his haversack, packed with the bare essentials for his journey, clipped his lightsaber to his belt, and headed out the door of his room, down the columned corridor. He cast his eyes to the floor, focusing on his booted feet to avoid glimpsing Asya’s door as he passed, even though it was closed, as it had been since she shut it for the last time prior to heading back to Xenen. 

 But, no, that wasn’t right, he recalled; late on the first night back home, hoping a midnight stroll might clear his head so he could get some sleep, he’d heard his mother’s voice crying softly from the other side. Feeling as though he were intruding, he passed on by without interrupting her private outflow of grief. 
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