"Do I really need to be here?" Han asked uncomfortably. His wife, daughter, and . . . Whatever relationship Tahiri was to him, smirked at his discomfort.

"You can relax Dad, Tahiri doesn't even have to take off her clothes." Jaina said with a smirk.

"I really appreciate you being here Han." Tahiri said. Han grunted.

"Not sure how to think of this, normally grandfathers are not present for conception." he said.

"Technically speaking, we are implanting the embryos, not fertilizing them, they are already fertilized." Chilgal said. Han squirmed in his seat.

"Well that makes this so much less uncomfortable." Han said and stood up.
"If you don't mind, I think I'll step out for a bit." Han said. They smirked at him and waved. They watched him leave, hearing him mutter "I need a drink." as he left.

"Now that the faint of heart have left, are you ready?" Chilgal asked. Tahiri, Leia and Jaina glanced at the syringe in her hand.

"That seems a bit. . ." Leia started.

"Primitive? Yes, but none the less effective." Chilgal told them. Tahiri lifted her shirt up to her lower ribs.

"I'm ready." Tahiri said, visibly steeling herself.


"You can come in now Dad." Jaina told her father with a smirk. Han wearily left the seat outside the room, and followed her back in.

"So its done?" Han asked.

"We will know at the end of a week." Chilgal said. She turned a data pad she had brought with her and handed it to Tahiri.

"This is your diet, I expect you to follow it." she said. Tahiri looked at it and raised her eyebrows.

"Diet? I'm going to gain a lot a weight eating like this!" she exclaimed. Leia chuckled.

"That is generally the idea when your pregnant." she said. Tahiri looked at her for a moment and then stuck her tongue out at her. Han and Jaina laughed, while Leia tried to smother a grin. Tahiri got up.

"Well now that its done, I think its time to hit the beach." she said.

"A beach with almost no human women not related to me . . . Well at least I can't get in trouble for looking." Han deadpanned.

"Han!" Leia said, offended while Tahiri and Jaina laughed.

"Now this is the life." Han said, stretched out and relaxed on a beach chair. Leia gave him a raised look.

"Even without pretty young things with body attributes that defy gravity?" she asked. Han snorted. He glance at his daughter and Tahiri who were enjoying the surf.

"I see two pretty young things." he said softly. Leia chuckled.

"Who would have thought that you would turn grandpa so quickly on me." she said. Han scowled.

"Well, its happening. Might as well accept that I am . . . Old." Han said in a small voice. Leia suddenly did not find the situation so funny. She looked away uncomfortably.

"I should be glad I will see any of my grandkids." Han rambled. Leia smiled.

"You'll be around plenty long. You might see some of your great grandchildren." she said. Han gave her a vile look.

"Don't torment me woman." he said. Leia chuckled.

"We shouldn't worry about it Han, I don't have any family history to go on." she said seriously. Han nodded.

"I know. At least the kids and their kids will know where they came from." Han said bitterly.

"Have you ever looked?" Leia said. Han blinked and looked at her.

"How come you never asked me before?" he asked her. She looked at the ocean.

"I know what its like to not know, to not even know where to look. And I know how painful that is." She said. Han sighed.

"I never really did, but it bothered Chewie that I didn't know. So he took it on himself to find them."

"Did he?" she asked. Han nodded.

"Turns out befriending Wookies runs in the family." he said.

"Attichitcuk knew my grandfather. Also knew your father, Obi-Wan and Yoda." Han said. Leia blinked.

"Wait when did this come up."

"Last time we saw him."

"You didn't tell me?" Leia said angrily.

"Anakin had just died, I didn't give a whole lot about the past at the time." Han said. Leia calmed down. She nodded.

"Getting back to my family, well they're just names except for my Grandfather being a freight hauler." He nodded at Jaina.

"Gave me some ideas for later though." he said. Leia glanced at their daughter. It occurred to Leia, that Han had insisted, vehemently insisted even, that Jaina had to be their daughter's name.

"Who was Jaina?" she asked. Han glanced at her.

"My Mother." he said. Leia stared. When Han had suggested the name, it fit so well that she had never questioned where he had come up with the name.

"Hey is everything alright?" Jaina asked approaching them, Tahiri close behind. Leia glanced at them and then spoke.

"I just found out your Father named you after his mother." she said. Jaina's eyebrows rose in surprise.

"I thought you didn't remember your mother!" she said to her father. Han sighed. Tahiri suddenly realized she had much more in common with Anakin's family than she thought.

"I don't Jaina, all I ever found was her name, and my birthday, my real one, not the one we celebrate." he said. Leia turned on him.

"Your real birthday?" she asked. Han sighed knowing only full disclosure would suffice.

"Yeah, it turned out I'm three years older than I thought." he said, embarrassed.

"Wait your 62?" Jaina asked. Han sighed.

"Yes, I'm 62." He said glaring at the girls who were struggling to contain smirks.

"That's not so bad." Leia said, wooden faced.

"Your only saying that because your-"

"Don't even think of finishing that statement!" Leia hissed. She glared at the girls for good measure. Tahiri still laughed. Jaina knew better. Leia sighed.

"And to think this is the time Jacen is not here." she said.

"Don't worry about Jacen, I'm sure he is well taken care of." Tahiri said. Jaina and Leia gave her a perturbed look. Han chuckled.

"Go Sprout." Han said smugly.


"Well, Can't say I'm not in good hands." Jacen gasped. Tenel Ka gave a throaty chuckle and kissed him fully.

"Hand, singular." she commented. " . . . until next week that is." she said, enjoying the deep booming laugh that vibrated through her and her bed. Jacen peered at the window.

"What day, week is it?" he joked. Tenel Ka laughed.

"A pleasant as a full week of sex sound, it is just mid afternoon." she said.

"Feels like eternity." he said. Tenel Ka looked at him, realizing he meant it as a compliment. She smiled.

"An eternity of this would be more than any human deserves." she said. She got off him and settled onto her back next to him. She lifted her stump and looked at it. It ended at her elbow, the doctors had removed the sad remains of her radius and ulna. Over the years her arm had settled a calloused section of skin over the end of her humorous that had thickened, adding cartilage and more scar tissue. She lifted her right arm and compared them. It was an unfair comparison, the sad remains of her left, and her strong right, with tightly corded and shaped muscle.

"Credit for your thoughts." he said. She glanced at him.

"I was thinking of the time, I was tallest and strongest out of us." She said, only partially stretching the truth. He chuckled.

"Ignoring Lowie and Zekk." he said.

"I speak only of us." she said gently. He blinked.

"I guess I'm taller." he said. She sighed, placing her hand on a blatantly muscular male bicep. It did not give much when she squeezed.

"Stronger too." she said. Jacen sighed.

"It isn't about that. I love you." he said. She smiled and kissed him passionately.

"I have been waiting for you to say that." she told him. He frowned.

"But I just-"

"I think we can both agree we said things we shouldn't have said so soon while having sex." she said. Jacen coughed suspiciously.

"Like the plant a baby bit?" he said with a laugh. Tenel Ka was truly embarrassed.

"I . . ." she started, blushing nearly as deep a red as her hair. Laughing Jacen waved her off.

"It didn't stop me now did it? Nor did the things I've said. Some of them should have gotten you seriously mad at me." he said. Tenel Ka blushed again.

"I enjoy your dirty talk." she admitted. "And I enjoy that here in the privacy of my bed I have an equal. And that I don't have to rule you." she said. Jacen nodded.

"Yeah, I still need to find something to do though." he said. Tenel Ka sensed that his desire to stay was strengthening, and his need for purpose was waning. His comlink chirped. He frowned and grabbed it, finding a text only message, he quickly read it and handed it to Tenel Ka.

"Tahiri went through with it." he said. Tenel Ka considered.

"Uncle Jacen. Sounds good." she said. Jacen smirked. All the fun of being a patriarchal mentor, none of the responsibility of being the father.

"I like the sound of that." Jacen said, nodding like a man who had an unexpected, but not unwelcome result.

"Almost as good as Daddy." Tenel Ka said, watching Jacen.

"Yeah, almost-" Jacen stopped. "Wait What?!" Jacen said in alarm.
"But your . . ." he said. Tenel Ka smirked. She expected this reaction, Jacen loved her, but Jacen was more than a little . . . baby shy. That a man who had willingly, perhaps even eager thrown himself amongst his enemy for ruin and slaughter, could be so wary, if not quite afraid of a helpless, harmless infant that would have his genetic code in his or her blood.

"No, I am not, but someday. . ." she said as Jacen calmed down.

"Yeah someday." he said. Tenel Ka's comlink interrupted them. She let out a vexed sigh.

"All these interruptions, I cannot spend a single afternoon getting . . ." she trailed off from completing a particularly ribald comment. Jacen frowned.

"What happened?" he asked. Tenel Ka had a resigned look to her.

"One of my ship captains has located a Vong Task group, with a squadron of the Peace Brigade." she said. Jacen sighed.

"So another fight." he said. Tenel Ka nodded.

"Unfortunately I'm about to be constrained by my own words." she said. Jacen glanced at her.

"During my first year as Queen, I expressed the desire to label the Peace Brigade as Pirates." she said. Jacen nodded.

"Unfortunately my Government took it as a command. And I will now be forced to deal with them as pirates." She said and slammed the back of her head against the pillow in frustration. She sighed again and got up. Jacen sat up.

"Hang on, I'll come with you." he said.

"Gallinore's Jewels found them here. Hiding in this system." Gunvor said. Tenel Ka frowned, the holo display depicted all the forces involved in a way familiar to her, but the location depicted symbols unfamiliar to her, and the sphere witch wide three dimensional ray arcs was utterly unfamiliar. But the symbols themselves appeared to depict a deadly hazard. Gunvor and Jacen it seemed, from their wary and resigned emotions. If anything Gunvor was filled with dread by the symbol alone.

"That is a bad place for Vong ships to be, They do not deal very well with Pulsars." Jacen said. Gunvor shivered.

"I don't much like the idea of taking our ships that close to one either. Especially this one. It's called Siren for a reason." he said. Jacen nodded. Tenel Ka glanced at her other advisors. They were not nearly as familiar with pulsars as fleet commanders and someone like Jacen, for all intensive purposes a nomad, would be.

"What is so concerning about this pulsar?" Tenel Ka asked. Jacen pointed out at a series of numbers and equations, next to the forboding symbol.

"The wobble. Most Pulsars have a fairly stable rotation, and a slight, if any wobble. This pulsar has an unpredictable wobble, and its Ejecta patterns are erratic. Even my Dad would steer clear of this star!" Jacen said, shaking his head. Tenel Ka glanced at Gunvor.

"My Queen I recommend we wait until they move." he said.

"What?" Ida said infuriated. "We cannot let this pirates escape!" she said. Gunvor gave her a baleful look. The look was genuine, as was the anger at the careless remark.

"They are not worth the risk. Just the cosmic rays alone would cause fatal exposure to any ship that takes a hull hit. And we can't use Battle Dragons, their ray shielding is not sufficient."

"How is it that they can stay there?" one of the staff advisors asked.

"Probably using the Vong's dovin Baasals to create a massive magnetic sheild."

"Has to be." Jacen added. "If the Baasal faltered for even a milliseconds, it would irradiate every thing inside.

"Our best bet is to blockade them. We can station more than enough ships at the edge of the Gravity well."

"Pin them to a Pulsar?" Jacen mused. "Brutal." he concluded after thinking about it. Tenel Ka suppress a frown at the satisfied and near blood thirsty emotion from Jacen.

"We could try the kinetic weapons." One of Gunvor's advisors said. Tenel Ka raised an eyebrow. It had to be the worst piece of advice anyone had told her in years.

"Kinetic weapons against voids?" Jacen asked with a frown.

"What he means is that we use a modified tractor beam to accelerate and launch small planetoids at them." Gunvor said.

"They'll just move out of the way." Jacen said with an incredulous frown.

"Which is why we will rig it with explosives."

". . ." Jacen stared at the man.

"Gunvor who is this man?" he asked Gunvor with a strained expression.

"This is Snow, he is our director of tactics development." Gunvor said. Jacen held a steady stare at Snow.

"So when your boss presents your Queen with a real problem, you give a solution that only has a real application against ground side troops."" He said in an annoyed tone. Snow stiffened.

"Who are you to question my tactical advice?" Snow said raising to his full height . . . barely as high as Jacen's shoulder. Gunvor lost his patience.

"This man spent all 5 years of the war fighting the Vong. He did not spend the entire war in the Tac room of the Queen's academy! Further more, he, unlike you has served as a Fleet Coordinator." Gunvor told him.

"Enough Gunvor." Tenel Ka said. The flag officers and Jacen glanced at Tenel Ka, and by unspoken agreement, dropped it.

"The fact remains, we cannot deploy against them while they hug that Pulsar. Not without undue risk for minimal gain." Gunvor said.

"Undue risk? They are sailors, they have been fighting this war for years." Tenel Ka said.

"My Queen, they are but thirty ships, none of them are capital ships. The Task Force we would have to commit would include eight Star Destroyers and forty Novas and Dragons. Just four of the Star Destroyers would be overkill."

"So why do you advise such a passive approach?" Tenel Ka asked, rueing that her grasp of astrophysic and stellar phenomenae wasn't sufficient for her to understand on her own.

"The Pulsar's ejecta will greatly affect the ray sheilds." Jacen said. "Without them the ships will only have the material shields, I know that a Star Destroyer has enough, but I don't know that much about Hapan ships." he said. Gunvor nodded.

"We depend much more on Ray sheilds for cosmic ray shielding, unlike Corellians, who prefer using mass based shielding." Gunvor said.

"If the Pulsar was normal and had no, or a regular wobble, we would be forced to approach between the ejecta arcs, limiting both our lanes of attack and our ability to threated their ships. This pulsar is so unstable, no matter what approach we take our ships will be lashed with Stellar ejected."Gunvor shuddered.

"We would certainly carry the day, but our casualties would be heavy from the pulsar alone." Tenel Ka considered.

"If this is truly that dangerous, they will have no choice but to abandone their position. Gunvor position a Task Force to respond when they do." she said. Gunvor flinched.

"A Task Group would suffice, committing two dozen Star Destroyers is a lot of overkill." Gunvor pointed out. Tenel Ka looked at him.

"I am aware Gunvor. I have no doubt that they will have no choice but to try to fight their way out. I am not interested to lose any more of my sailors and soldier by under committing." she said.

"And it puts out a message." Jacen said.

"It does at that." Tenel Ka said. She looked at her advisors.

"Anything further?" she asked. Gunvor nodded.

"Yes my Queen, the Training Camps in the Crystal isles has been converted for use as a temporary orphanage. Just in time as it seems." he said. Tenel Ka's attention perked.

"oh?" she asked.

"The First group will be arriving. I'm concerned we do not have enough people." he said. Tenel Ka considered.

"Find volunteers until we can secure a more permanent staff." She said. She glanced at Jacen.

"Perhaps we should see this for ourselves." she said. Jacen looked at her, and then nodded.

The situation they found was less than ideal, and neither had to be Force Sensitive to sense the severe embarrassment Gunvor clearly had.

Gunvor had recruited extensively from the nucleus of his Army and of the Navy, he had taken several thousand Sergeants and Chiefs at the end of their careers, who had recruited, forcefully it seemed, younger enlisted men.

The problem, was that long serving Non-coms were wondrously effective at controlling and teaching teenage or fully grown men.
Unfortunately, their new charges, were very new indeed.

"I have no excuse." Gunvor said, observing the wary and harried adult men deal, with varying degrees of success, with the myriad small children.

"Its not as bad as it appears." Jacen observed calmly. Tenel Ka glanced at him. She could agree that eventually the situation would be in hand, but at the moment, it was far from ideal. And she could feel herself getting broody just looking at all these children.

" It is expected." Jacen continued. "Children are afraid of new situations, and strangers, especially male strangers." he said. Gunvor grunted.

"I suppose I was over optimistic concerning the Non-Coms." he said. Jacen shook his head.

"No, they will be great for the job. They just need to learn to deal with kids." Jacen said and then frowned.

"What the hell?" he asked and then moved. Gunvor looked at him in confusion until he realized that the Queen had also left with him, both with perplexed expressions.

When he caught up he saw why. Three young sailors were compulsively trying to comfort feed and entertain a child. At the same time.

"What the hell are you three . . . .?" Gunvor started and then felt a compulsion overtake him. That child was lonely, cold and hungry. Terenas Gunvor could take care of that! Terenas Gunvor Needs to take care of the boy! Teranas Gunvor must take care of the boy! He took a step toward the child before Jacen tightly gripped his shoulder. Gunvor blinked.

As abruptly as the compulsion started it ceased and Gunvor looked around in confusion. Nearby the three sailors looked even more confused, and then as one, backed away from the child.

"My Queen?" Gunvor asked, having been able to realize that neither she nor Jacen Solo were affected by the compulsion.

"I did not expect this." Tenel Ka said softly. Jacen nodded.

"Neither did I, though with this many people, there was bound to be at least one." he said. He glanced at her.

"This is a more troubling problem." he said. Tenel Ka glanced at Gunvor.

"The child is Force Sensitive, and his powers are manifesting early." she said. Jacen shrugged.

"I wouldn't say early. Jaina could use Telekinesis at that age, and . . . Well I could get my way from a lot of weak willed adults at the time." He said as the boy in question suddenly realized it no longer could influence the adult men, and started crying.

"How do we prevent the men from being controlled?" Gunvor asked dubiously. Jacen and Tenel Ka exchanged wary glances. Both had soft places in their hearts for children. But this was much further than either was comfortable with.

"We can't, not without Psalamiri, and I will not tolerate those creatures on my Worlds." Tenel Ka said. Jacen winched, he wasn't fond of Psalamiri, not since the Mykr mission, but Tenel Ka all but detested the creatures. Given how little her experience had shown or affected her, he could allow her a negative association like that.

"It seems I will need to adopt directly." Tenel Ka said. Gunvor gave her a look of surprise.

"His desire for comfort, safety and food is being expressed through the Force, and this child clearly has an Empathic effect through the Force. Jacen and I can squelch his influence on others."

"But my Queen!" Gunvor started to protest 'Queens of the Hapan Empire do not adopt!'.

"The only other choice, will be to send the child to the Jedi. I am not about to surrender every Force Sensitive child to a Foreign power, even one I am a part of." Tenel Ka said.

"This boy belongs to Hapes! and no other!" she said.



During the ride back Jacen found himself staring down at an angry child. Jacen chuckled, a deep rumbling laugh. The boy glared at him. He was three, maybe four with unkempt blond hair and brown eyes so pale they were almost orange.

"What is your name?" he asked the boy. The boy blinked and then remembered he didn't like the big man or the red haired lady who completely ignored his telepathic demands. Tenel Ka was able to hide her amusement over the sight they presented. Jacen seated, almost slouch over in his seat. And the boy, Argent, trying to stand his ground, literally. She was well aware that the boy's defiance amused him greatly.

"You will need to speak to us at some point, Argent." Tenel Ka told the boy, gently placing her arm around his small shoulder. The child vehemently spurned her attempt to be nice to him. Nearby Gunvor coughed suspiciously. Jacen chuckled with him.

"I wouldn't laugh too much Gunvor, we at least can say he can't influence us." he said. The old General glared. Jacen glanced at Tenel Ka.

"So where are you going to put the kid?" he asked. Tenel Ka blinked and looked at the boy, who was yawning. She hadn't considered where the boy would sleep the night when she decided in a split second to take him in.

"He'll have to stay with us for the night." she said. Jacen gave her a resigned look.

"Fine, but your going to have a serious issue with that kid." he said. Tenel Ka frowned and gave him a wounded look. Jacen relented.

"WE are going to have a serious issue with that kid." he corrected. Tenel Ka frowned again.
"What is that?" she asked.

"Other people are not quite real for him. He has been able to make others submit to his bidding as long as he can remember." Jacen said. Gunvor shivered. Jacen stared at the child, who glared back.

"He know he is alone, and desperately wants not to be, desires the love of a mother and the security of a family. And he unconsciously injects that need through the Force. To myself and Tenel Ka we feel it like you would feel a child tugging on the leg of your pants. But to you and other Force Blind feel an unceasing and overpowering compulsion to smother the boy in affection." Jacen said.

"How come I don't feel that now?" Gunvor said. Jacen smirked.

"Because Tenel Ka and I are blocking his use of the Force." he said. Gunvor's eyebrows rose.

"You can do that?" Gunvor asked in surprise.

"Well the key to that is thinking small." Jacen said enigmatically.

"Thinking small?" Gunvor repeated.

"Thinking small." Jacen confirmed. Gunvor looked to his Queen who shrugged, and gave him a look that expressed that she was as mystified as he was.

"That why he's so mad?" Gunvor said. Jacen considered.

"Not really he doesn't understand why people fawn over him. He's more mad that the people around him who normally fawn over him, now treated him like . . . A child."

"Hence the reason he doesn't think other people are independent beings." Tenel Ka said gently touching the boy's shoulder. She abruptly shrieked in surprise.

"He bit me!" Tenel Ka said in surprise. Jacen wasn't going to tolerate this. Gesturing with a finger, he raised the boy in the air with the Force.

"Argent." He said in a cold tone. The boy shrieked in fear. Fear of being held powerless in the air, and fear of the grown man using cold threatening tones at him.

" You will not bite, you will not fight Tenel Ka. You will obey. You will be a good boy." he told the boy in tones no child would ever argue with.

"Do. You. Understand. Me?" he asked firmly. The boy shakily nodded. Slowly Jacen lowered the boy back down to the group, the boy shivered in fright. Jacen stared at him.

"I suggest you apologize to Tenel Ka. Now." He told the boy. The boy turned to face Tenel Ka stared at Jacen for a moment, unsure what she had just witnessed.

"I'm sorry." Argent finally said, speaking for the first time in their presence. Tenel Ka managed a tight smile.

"You are forgiven." she said, and dropped to her knee and allowed the boy to hug her. She returned the hug with her single arm, mildly concerned with the boy's shaking. She glared at Jacen.

Jacen's shoulders drooped.


"Did you have to frighten him so badly?" Tenel Ka hissed quietly. Jacen glanced at her laying on her side with the sleeping boy snuggled with her.
"He spent half an hour cowering before he fell asleep!" she added. Jacen expression had no sympathy.

"I did not strike him, or harm him in any way. And if I'm going to co-raise him with you, I'll be damned if I have to put up with biting." he said firmly.

"I did no more and no less than what my father would have done if I had bitten someone." he said.


"He is a little boy. I laid down the law. Maybe more harshly than was required, but it got the message across. He needs rules and limits, and he will be all the more happy for it." Jacen said.

"He is afraid of you." she said. Jacen chuckled.

"Only for now." Jacen said. "He will get over a moment of fright." Jacen said. Tenel Ka considered. His culture was different, heavily shaded by his father's harsh youth as a Corellian orphan. Corellians believed in using a firm, hard hand in discipline. The Dathomiri we firm believers in discipline, but even the threat of corporal punishment bordered on abuse in their eyes. Tenel Ka decided that, whatever his methods, they were effective and had the boy's well being in mind. She looked at him as something else came to mind.

"You said you would co-raise Argent. Does this mean you will stay?" she asked. Jacen swallowed and sighed.

"Yes." he said.
"I will stay."


"You are free of course to leave. Bear in mind that we shall not accept you back into service."

Jaggad Fel stared impassively.

"It is of no concern to me. The Chiss have nothing to offer." he said. The Chiss seated across from him was the Lieutenant General in charge of the CEDF's Strafighter Forces. At Jag's impudent comment, he bristled.

"What can they offer you that you cannot find here?" he asked.

"A life." Jag stated coldly. The Chiss General turned his head to regard the other members of the Fel Clan.

"And you are also intent on leaving our service?" he asked. Baron Fel openly sneered.

"I had to be kidnapped to be brought here. I have been waiting for this day for 25 years."

"What makes you think you can leave?" the General asked.

"Do you think a man of my ability hasn't arranged for his own freedom? You will grant me this or I will make the Chiss vulnerable to the rest of the Galaxy." Baron Fel said. The General scoffed.

"How is that? You are but two men and a boy!" he said with a laugh that abruptly ceased when he heard the power selector slide of a blaster click in his ear.

"General Fel has loyal followers. Even among the Chiss." hissed a lithe female Chiss.

"Shwankyr!" Jag said in surprise. She glanced at him.

"Your friends and compatriots stand with you Jaggad Fel."

"This will not be over here." The Chiss general said.

"For you it is." said another young Chiss, clubbing the back of the General's skull with the butt of a blaster pistol. The general fell over, in pain, but concious

Shwankyr approached General Fel.

"General, we must leave." she said.

To say Jag Fel was shocked was a severe understatement. The Chiss General was outraged.

"What is the meaning of this!" he thundered. Shwankyr turned on him and forcibly pushed him into the nearest wall.

"This is rebellion. For far too long have the Chiss been ruled by the Ascendancy. For far too long have the Empire of the Hand suborned themselves. Consider this a declaration of war. You have commanded, and ordered us from light years behind the lines, never exposing yourself and yours to combat." Shwankyr said scornfully, tucking the blaster under his chin.

"But no longer." she said and fired.

"Shwankyr!" Jag yelled in shock. She glanced at him.

"Are you really so surprised Jaggad? Every species has its internal divisions." she told him. Baron Fel was the one who answered her.

"Under who's orders are you acting?" he asked. She actually smiled.

"You don't have to ask." she said. Soontir sighed.

"Why did your father choose now?" he asked. Shwankyr smiled again.

"We had to wait for Casus Belli. The finally gave us this when they ordered him to have you two killed." she said. Jag glanced at his Father.

"If it's a war you will press, I will join you." Jag said. Shwankyr shook her head.

"Jag you have been an exemplary Commander, and a good friend. But this war, will be a Chiss war." she said. "It is not your fight."

"I have served the Chiss Ascendancy my entire life! How can I not take sides?"

"Because you are human. This war is about long standing feuds and righting long suffered injustices. Leave Chiss Space Jag. You have a life outside Chiss Space waiting for you."

"I cannot leave my friends like this." he said stubbornly.

"And we cannot drag you into this." Shwankyr said. She put a hand on his shoulder in a show of camaraderie.
"I wish you were born a Chiss man. . . We admire you Jag, even your human quirks amuse us. But you are not Chiss. A Chiss man in you image and virtues would have made a fine husband." she said, dispassionately, as Chiss did not view romance as any cause. Abruptly she turned the blaster on him.

"Good bye Jaggad." she said.

Before Jag could protest, Shwankyr fired, launching Jag, Cem and Soontir into unconsciousness as the stun bolts struck them.