Just In
for Keeping the Light Burning

8/6/2017 c21 53Count Mallet
Real life has taken more time up this year. No worries, that's mostly a good thing even if it meant less time to read or write here. I just happened to check your profile first before reading the final chapter, so let me congratulate you on your news. I hope you and your loved one enjoy a lifetime together.

As before with your reading, I like your own references to familiar items, such as “Merica” mentioned here. In some ways, the planetary profile sounds like a cross between Earth and a planet that could easily be part of the new trilogy.

I had a feeling as I read the ending passage that Vergere would die. I can only assume the curse was removed (either by self-redemption or other means) and Vergere finally had the chance to die after suffering through immortality for so long.

Thanks for wrapping this up.

4/10/2016 c20 Count Mallet
I apologize for the delay. I've spent the past couple of weeks working on a new story when recent events prompted me to post it sooner than I originally planned.

Even with your comments in response to my reviews, I didn't expect this. I did have an idea of what *could be* happening, but definitely not what actually transpired. Having believed them to be possessed by the undead, I expected it to be permanent. However, Luke's comments that he saw natural death leads me to believe that he and Leia have somehow been judged worthy to die and that both he and his twin have done nothing that merits forced immortality.

I also imagine the Vong have to feel quite defeated—an experience with which they may not be familiar. The beings are right in that the Vong bring nothing but destruction, so it makes sense they will be kept prisoner someplace where they can do nothing of the sort and remain isolated from the est of the galaxy until they've been judged worthy to leave there.
I look forward to the concluding chapter(s).

1/2/2016 c19 Count Mallet
FFn seems to be going through some issues right now, especially with reviews. However, I’ll review this now while I have the chance.

The Vong holding camps remind me of the Superman comics where Doomsday is secured to an asteroid set on a trajectory to avoid all known planets with the idea that such an evil being should never have the chance to terrorize anyone again. Here, the Vong are put in similar surroundings and guarded in a way to ensure they won’t escape and renew their murderous rampage.

The conflict between curiosity and reality… how well I can relate. Wedge wants so bad to know more about Palpatine and Vader’s “potential danger” yet nobody wants to tell him. Finally he realizes that just maybe he’s better off not knowing. While it’s nothing on such an intra-galactic level, I’ve had my own curiosities about a number of topics only to realize that not knowing the answer may be the best answer, lest I dislike any answer I received.

Luke’s scene was a bit peculiar. I’m not sure if enough time has elapsed for Mara to give birth, or if the two daughters were their previous children. The intermittent Haze is confusing, but undoubtedly significant. Is it a disturbance in the Force, or something far more serious? Given your warning of a cliffhanger, I imagine we won’t know more until a future chapter.

The ending cliffhanger is definitely interesting. The opening sentence has the passage “from his place was” when it looks like the last word should have been “as.” That aside, it appears Luke’s & Leia’s bodies are possessed, but the big cliffhanger is who or what? I have my own speculation, but mum’s the word until the next chapter.

Finally, I saw your poll, and I don’t think you’re being cruel. One’s writing schedule or frequency depends on a number of things. While I’ll admit I sometimes wonder what happens when authors don’t update as regular as they may have in the past, I’m mindful that any number of reasons can cause authors to update less frequency than they wish.

This has been another good chapter. Enjoy your new year.

11/16/2015 c18 Count Mallet
Sorry for the delay reading; real life has thrown a couple of curve balls and I’m busy with my own writing and off-line interests. No worries about the lack of inspiration; I dealt with my own lack of inspiration on a story I want to post next summer. I might not be totally inspired again, but I’ve been able to work on it here and there a little each month to the point I should have something post-worthy once my self-imposed deadline arrives.

If I’m reading this correctly, the immortal cursed ones have been fighting the Vong and dealing them some serious setbacks. I imagine fighting someone who simply can’t die is a losing proposition for *any* mortal beings. Small wonder there are rumors, misinformation, and failed experiments to further shake the Vong into questioning if they made a big mistake.

I’m assuming bien-aimé is a term of affection for Mika from her husband. (Four years of French can be suseful sometimes.) Based on the reference to the end of the Clone Wars Abafar/droid/Gregor arc. Our undead characters seem determined to eliminate the Vong threat no matter the method.

I also imagine Luke must be very concerned about Mara being close to her due date. If I recall correctly, she had a serious injury earlier in the story, so I can understand his desire to return to her side until their son is to be born.

Although I’m not sure if/when I might read that one-shot spinoff, I’ll keep it in mind for future reference.

Best regards,
8/27/2015 c17 2EmlynMara
For something that has been kept a secret for so long - everyone seems to figuring it out now. Maybe it means the end is in sight for Mikayla and Anak. I guess that means Luke and Jacen are related.

It will be interesting to see how you wrap this all up. I like how you've brought Jag into the story also.
6/7/2015 c17 53Count Mallet
¶ First, happy belated birthday. My home internet was down for five days last week and it made even the most basic of internet functions such as checking e-mail very painful over my backup dial-up service. I'm glad to finally be able to catch up on what I've missed and been unable to do since then. At least now I have a chance to finish my newest story for my own birthday at the end of the week.

¶ I seem to recall reading about Vergere before. I can't recall if it was this story or one of your others. You're right that she was a complicated character. From what I remember, she provided information that helped both sides in the Vong War. Here views on the force and fear are definitely unorthodox. However, I find it difficult to think less of her because she's far from the only person to have similar views. The Jedi in this story, however, may disagree with me.

Wow, I wasn't expecting the Dark Guardian to be Anakin/Vader. However, some of his comments seemed very similar to what I would envision him sharing while explaining how he redeemed himself. Perhaps more telling is Verger's reaction... suggesting Anakin's words were enough to make her reconsider her beliefs and past actions.

The force spirit suggesting that Mika and her husband should have been released from the curse long before now is an interesting wrinkle. For me, it makes me question if they did something while cursed ones that led to them having the length of their curse being extended. If there's only a few chapters left, I imagine we'll be getting the answer soon, and perhaps an answer to the question how much longer they are to be cursed.

- Count Mallet -
4/26/2015 c16 Count Mallet
No apologies necessary. Offline responsibilities often come up unexpectedly, especially at inopportune moments. I'm glad to hear your goats are now in good hands. Also, best wishes for your upcoming medical exams.

If I'm reading this correctly, the holoimages appear to be flashbacks to Anak & Mikalyla's past identities over the years. It is very mind-boggling to know that no matter what they try, and how horrendous the method, they will never die due to being Shunned Ones.

Finally, I wasn't expecting a newly/recently-conceived child to send some sort of hint through the Force. Imagine what might have happened had Yoda sensed Padmé's pregnancy, or even Palpatine. That said, I thought it was both an unexpected and an interesting foreshadowing based on your closing commentary.

Update when you can.

- Count Mallet -
2/9/2015 c15 Count Mallet
Sorry for the late review. Winters are my busiest time of year.

It looks like my usual stream of thoughts I use for reviewing won’t work here. Initially, I found Malak’s experiences to be ominous and thought the damaged holotable was done deliberately to keep the Vong from accessing any information that might help them with their plans for mass destruction. Reading on to the next part, it appears these were the same holotable shards Mika fell into in the past.

The short form of the story here seems to be that an injured, distraught Mika asked for revenge against her tormentors in the form of a blood oath. At first, it seems a bit harsh to impose such a punishment for something someone wished for under obvious duress. On the other hand, it’s a living example that Revenge is not the Jedi Way and that revenge, as a general rule, leads to senseless and endless destruction. In a way, it seems as if the Vong War, and the large-scale destruction that comes with it, is going to be a lesson Mika will never forget (or anyone else for that matter).

I did notice the phrase “if their desires” where “of” seemed to be the intended word.

Sure, the chapter was short, but the impact of what was here more than makes up for it, in my opinion. It definitely answered some of my questions. Good job.

- Count Mallet -
12/15/2014 c14 Count Mallet
I apologize for the delay. My real life schedule is busier now that winter is here. Plus, I wanted to finish my Christmas story’s upcoming chapter in advance. Space permitting, I’ll review both chapters here.

(Chapter 13) Betrayal on any scale is devastating. It’s interesting, though. Some did it in hopes of achieving status or prestige. Others, however, did so in an attempt to save their own lives. That makes for an interesting ethical dilemma. War isn’t as black & white as one might thing. There’s many shades of gray in between. Do I betray someone else, perhaps even a close colleague, if it means I won’t die?

The uncovered illicit affairs and corruption reminds me of the governmental scandals of the largest town in my immediate area. It was rocked with numerous affairs and scandals one after another. I guess some things never change, even in far-off galaxies.

Once again, the Vong’s planning and mindset reminds of the Klingons from Star Trek, as both seem to be races that thrive on combat. As I read the vivid description about the poison, I couldn’t help hearing the words, “Today is a good day to die,” echo in my head.

As much as our hero’s collective stand impressed me, I can only wonder if it will go for naught given the cruel relentlessness of the Vong. Time and future chapters will tell.

(Chapter 14) I can only wonder how people will react if and when Mika fully recovers as if she was never attacked and the victim of a brutal poisoning attempt. It reminds me of the story of St. Paul when a snake bites him on Malta. Everyone else thinks he’s a criminal about to die a deservedly horrible death. Instead, he shrugs it off like nothing happens and never dies. If Mika does have to tip her hand that she’s a Cursed One, I wonder if she will still be welcome to remain with the group or find herself ostracized in some manner.

If I’m reading the end right, Mika dies with Adra learning about her status as a Cursed One. I wonder if the latter will share this discovery, or if she will let it stay a secret. Also, it seems a bit ambiguous as to whether or not Mika will heal form her injuries—both from the fight and the ones inflicted by Adra in an attempt to help her die as painlessly as possible—or if she will finally get to die once and for all. Definitely an interesting cliffhanger.

Enjoy your holidays.

- Count Mallet -
12/12/2014 c14 10Angelalex242
And so it goes. But yes, get to Ben. Luke and Mara need their son.
12/5/2014 c13 Angelalex242
Well, let's hope Mara's vision of Ben comes true sooner or later.
10/11/2014 c12 53Count Mallet
Hmm, Whitesun... the same Whitesun family that gave us Luke's Aunt? That would be a very interesting turn of events to have the Force be strong on that part of his family tree.

Nak certainly seems like one of the living dead. If he is, it adds another interesting and curious dimension to the story, especially if he did in fact do something unpleasant to have that status.

It's pleasant to see Mara hold her own after her recent ordeal. She's right that she would be just as tried from a real battle... and perhaps that lien is a foreshadow of what's about to come. Let's hope Mara is ready and doesn't suffer any setbacks.

The passage at the end where the Vong Surpeme Overlord sees their battle as the will of their gods made me think of all the events in Earth's history that were holy wars or could be seen as such. I can only wonder what lessons will be learned by both sides one this skirmish (as you present it) is over.

This was another enjoyable chapter, and i look forward to the next one.

- Count Mallet -
9/4/2014 c11 Count Mallet
I'm not sure if you're spiritual, but the ending of the first passage reminded me of something in the gospels to the effect that God may reveal things that transcend human knowledge. Here, I could picture the ancient ones (for lack of a better term) asking "What were you thinking?" Still, the explanation seemed plausible to the ancient ones. However, they seem as if they'd prefer nobody else to enter the hallowed chambers, but they express it in a rather quizzical and cryptic manner that leaves their visitors more confused than before.

Not knowing the exact EU timeline, I'm not sure if this is before or after Tenel Ka has lost her arm. Either way, I can imagine pitching a tent is a challenge for most anyone, even some seasons veterans. Leave up to a teen to make it sound and look so easy.

Oh, the joys of rustic camping and outhouses. I don't miss the latter. My parents & I used to go to a campground with rustic camping. One year, though, when filling up a five-gallon jug of water at a common faucet, I cut my foot on the rusty corner of our old car. Because the small nearby town's clinic was closed for the weekend, we had to drive 40 minutes away to the next largest town where I received two stitches in what doubled as the two-bed ICU unit. On the whole , though, camping trips were a nice get-away from it all.

Your closing commentary reminds me another experience. In college, our basketball coach was strongly encouraged to take the team to a camp for team-building exercises. It was only for 2 days/2 overnights, but one of the guys packed enough stuff as if he was going to stay for a month. I think he was the same guy who woke up to find someone had taken a moose head off the wall and put it next to him in his bed. *chuckles* I imagine seeing someone bring an electric hair dryer or curling iron to a camping trip would seem a bit peculiar.
I actually enjoyed this chapter as a break from the main action.

- Count Mallet -
8/13/2014 c10 Count Mallet
I can only imagine how disconcerted Jagged Fel must have felt interacting with Force ghosts. That would have to be a rather surreal experience.

I am glad to see Mara recovering. Not knowing the exact details of the Vong War, part of me wonders if she is pressed into duty here before she's 100% healthy, and if that will have any lasting effects on her health/recovery.

It's interesting to see what appears to be the holocron vault open for the first time in a long time. From your description it sounds largely intact. I suppose in the haste to kill everyone in Operation Knightfall, the holocrons were largely ignored and forgotten. I can only imagine what kind of treasure trove this would be for the NJO. I also have a feeling the missing dagger is going to be significant... or perhaps be related to Jagged Fel's dagger. Yo certainly know how to keep me looking forward to seeing what comes next.

I did notice a passage that said "it's lair" when you probably meant "its". Not a big deal (my fingers always interchange the words "from" & "form"), but just wanted to let you know.

- Count Mallet -
7/25/2014 c9 Count Mallet
When I was still working in IT, one of my projects was at a massive automotive facility. Even though the entrance was 3/4 of a mile away, a tornado apparently whizzed past it. I still remember the sirens going off in our building and our project liaison thinking it was for a fire and wanting to exit the building. Sure, we were out of harm's way, but it was still a bit freaky to know a tornado was that close to us.

The comment about "there is no dark side" reminds me of Jacen Solo. I think he believed that, but maybe it was just fanon from a different fic I read in the past. At first, I thought the reference was to Rex, until I thought about it more carefully and realized it was Anakin/Vader. (Rex wouldn't be a Jedi Guardian after all.)

I suppose it's natural to want to die honorably in battle. The Klingons in the Star Trek Universe definitely think so. However, I don't think our heroes realize the Vong may very well desire to inflict torturous deaths.

- Count Mallet -
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