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Crouched at the top of the extended ramp, Han peered down at the rushing water not twenty meters below. Wind and salt spray howled through the opening, blowing his hair every which way and making it difficult for him to keep his eyes open.
“Captain Solo,” C-3PO said from the ring corridor. “Princess
Leia wishes you to know that the swoop is approaching. Apparently the pilot feels confident that he can complete the transfer to Millennium
Falcon without suffering too much internal damage or . . . perishing in the attempt.”
Han threw the droid a wide-eyed look. “Perishing?”
“Certainly the odds are against him. If he were piloting a speeder bike, perhaps. But swoops are notorious for going out of control at the slightest provocation!”
Han nodded grimly. A former swoop racer, he knew that C-3PO
was right. Taking in the situation now, he wondered if even he could make the jump.
“I’m going to the bottom!” he shouted.
C-3PO canted his golden head. “Sir?”
Han made a downward motion. “The bottom of the ramp.”
“Sir, I have a bad feeling . . .”
The wind drowned out the rest of the droid’s words. Han crabbed down to the base of the ramp, where he could hear the Falcon’s belly turret slicing through the agitated peaks of the waves. A distinctive throbbing sound captured his attention. The swoop was beginning to angle for the ramp. The pilot—a Jenet, of all species—took his right hand off the handgrips just long enough to signal Han with a wave.
Considering that even that slight movement sent the swoop into a wobble, there was simply no way the Jenet would be able to let go completely—especially not with the Falcon adding to the turbulence of the sea itself.
Han reconsidered, then swung around to C-3PO.
“Threepio, tell Leia we’re going with Plan B!”
The droid raised his hands to his head in distress. “Captain Solo,
just the sound of that makes me worry!”
Han raised his forefinger. “Just tell Leia, Threepio. She’ll understand.”
“That was precisely my reaction,” C-3PO said in an agitated voice. “But does anyone ever listen to my concerns?”
“Don’t worry, Threepio, I’m sure Han knows what he’s doing.”
“That is hardly a comforting thought, Princess.”
Leia swung back to the console and allowed her eyes to roam over the instruments. Plan B, she mused. What can Han have in mind? She placed him squarely in her thoughts, then smiled in sudden revelation.
Of course . . .
Her hands slid switches while she studied the displays. Then she sat away from the console in contemplation. Yes, she decided at last,
she supposed it could be done—though it would mean relying largely on the attitude and braking thrusters, and hoping that they didn’t stall or fail.
She looked over her shoulder at C-3PO, who had evidently followed her every move and manipulation.
“Tell Han I’ve got everything worked out.”
“Oh, dear,” the droid said, turning and exiting the cockpit. “Oh,
The four coralskippers were closing fast, lobbing plasma missiles into the blustery stretch of water between the swoop and the freighter.
Thorsh dipped his head instinctively as one fireball plunged into the waves not ten meters away. The ferocity of the impact geysered superheated water high into the air, and sent the swoop into a sustained wobble.
The freighter held to its course regardless, its top gunner keeping the coralskippers at bay with bursts of laserfire. A human male was crouched at the base of the landing ramp, his left arm wrapped around one of the telescoping hydraulic struts, and the fingers of his right hand making a gesture that on some worlds implied craziness on the part of its recipient. Just now, the twirling gesture meant something else entirely—though craziness was still a large part of it.
Thorsh swallowed hard, just thinking about what the pilots were about to attempt.
The human waved and scurried back up the ramp.
Decelerating slightly, Thorsh fell in behind the freighter, giving it wide berth. Above the strained throbbing of the swoop’s repulsorlift,
he heard the sudden reverberation of the YT-1300’s retro- and attitude thrusters.
Then, scarcely surrendering momentum, the freighter began to rotate ninety degrees to starboard, bringing the boarding ramp almost directly in front of the tottering swoop.
“Take the jump!” Han said, mostly to himself. “Now!”
He was back in the pilot’s chair, his hands tight on the control yoke, while Leia feathered the thrusters, cheating the Falcon through its quarter turn. Flying sideways, Han could see the coralskippers that had a second earlier been “behind” the ship, as well as the swoop,
which was flying just off the blunt tip of the starboard docking arm.
Hoping to minimize the chances of the pilot’s overshooting his mark and smashing headlong into the bulkhead at the top of the ramp, Han adjusted the Falcon’s forward speed to match that of the swoop.
“He’s accelerating!” Leia said.
“Threepio! Meewalh!” Han yelled over his right shoulder. “Our guest’s coming aboard!” Glancing out the right side of the viewport,
he saw the Jenet leap the swoop toward the ramp—the Falcon’s narrow but open mouth.
“Now!” he told Leia.
Deftly she fed power to the attitude thrusters, allowing the ship to complete a full clockwise rotation, even as a series of crashing sounds were echoing their way into the cockpit from the ring corridor.
Han winced and scrunched his shoulders with each clang! and
crash!, mentally assessing the damage, but keeping his fingers crossed that the Jenet pilot was faring better than the interior of the docking arm.
No sooner did the ramp telltale on the console flash red—
indicating that docking arm had sealed tight—than Han yanked back on the control yoke, and the Falcon clawed its way into Selvaris’s open sky, dodging volleys of molten fire from pursuing coralskippers. The quad laser replied with packets of cohesive light, brilliant green even against the backdrop of the heaving sea.
“Captain Solo, he’s alive!” C-3PO called with dramatic relief.
“We’re all alive!”
Exhaling slowly, Han sank back into the seat, but without lifting his hands from the yoke. The coralskippers were already lagging behind when the Falcon rocketed over the summit of the volcano,
straight through dense clouds of gritty smoke, climbing rapidly on a column of blue energy. The ship was halfway to starlight when the shaken Jenet appeared at the cockpit hatchway, one bare arm drapped over Meewalh’s shoulders, the other around C-3PO’s.
“You must have a hard head,” Han said.
Grinning faintly, Leia looked at her husband. “He’s not the only one.”
Han glanced at her in false chagrin, then nodded his chin to the female Noghri. “Take our guest to the forward cabin and provide him with whatever he needs.”
“I’ll get the medpac,” Leia said, leaving her chair. She set her headset on the console and looked at Han again. “Well, you did it.”
“We,” Han amended. Casually, he stretched out his arms. “You know, you’re never too old for this sort of thing.”
“You haven’t outgrown it, that’s for sure.”
He studied her. “What, you have?”
She placed her right hand on his cheek. “You’re a danger to yourself and everyone around you. But I do love you, Han.”
He smiled broadly as Leia hurried from the cockpit.
From the Hardcover edition.
Posted April 10, 2013
Posted March 3, 2013
Posted June 3, 2012
The Yuuzhan Vong's history and origin is finally revealed, including why and how they're invisible to the force.
The duels involving Luke and Jacen are outstanding, defeating of the Yuuzhan Vong supreme overlord.
This book isn't just the end of the New Jedi order, it's a worthy and thrilling climax.
Posted November 30, 2011
Posted August 9, 2005
I just read this book over again and it is even better then before. It leaves open the door for a new saga in the series and yet closes an old one at the same time. The way it closes is kind of corny and mushy but that's okay because that is part of Star Wars. But the whole book keeps your attention and won't let you go and with the twists and turns keeps you stuck to your seat until the end. Great book, one of the best yet.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 28, 2005
i enjoyed this book very much has i did the other ones of the series. i recommend this book for anyone who is reading NJO. if your think about starting it start off with Vector Prime and work your way up. trust me you won't be disappointedWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 26, 2005
Posted January 16, 2005
I really enjoyed this book, it was a great conclusion for a great series. Although it leaves me hungering for more, the pace is good and the writing is excellent.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 12, 2004
With this novel, Luceno really establishes himself as one of the best writing Star Wars right now. There is alot going on in this book, but the pace is brisk. The war is wrapped up in convincing fashion. Good character development.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 12, 2004
As sad as this is to say, I am happy this series is over. It was a noble concept which did keep me longing for the next book in the series. I was a little disappointed in the first 1/4 - 1/3 of the book which went over the whole series. Anyone who read this series knows what happened and most likely didn't need a recap. But, for the most part, this was a fun quick read. The ending was pretty good. The action scenes were great. Definitely worth the read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 15, 2004
It is a excellent book. Great way to end the series and the last battle was great all the battles in the series were great but this was the best. Even if youre not a big fan of Star Wars this series is great. Right On!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2004
Excellent book. The series as a whole should be read by anyone who enjoys the Star Wars characters. I was a little disappointed in the ending as some characters (i.e. Jag and Danni) were left to just twist in the wind without a clear well thought out ending to their role in the series. Even still, the action scenes were very good and the story as always with this series had an excellent flow to it. I probably wanted some larger ending (i.e. a major character death) as we had seen a couple of those during the series to end this great series, but nonetheless I am happy with the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 3, 2004
i am 15 years old and love this book. it is a vary good book, for eney one who loves star wars.I have read the hole seares, and invite you to do the same! But pleas start from the first book so you realy under stand the hart and sole they put in to theas books.They took ther time writing them, so I beleve you shod tack the time to go back to wear it all bagan.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2004
Posted February 1, 2004
Posted December 16, 2003
Posted November 21, 2003
In October 1999, with the release of Vector Prime by R. A. Salvatore, the Star Wars community was rocked by the introduction of the Yuuzhan Vong-a race that exists outside of the known Star Wars galaxy. With the death of Chewbacca, fans realized this threat was stronger and more mysterious than anything the New Republic, or the galaxy for that matter, had ever encountered. In the fours years that have passed since Vector Prime, characters have lived and characters have die. Battles have been fought and lost. Now, the grand finale is at hand. The fates of all the major players are laid bare: Luke, Leia, Jacen, Nom Anor, Shimmra, and many others that have been shown in the NJO. In this book, you really get the fell that we've been getting since Courscant fell in Star By Star - that the fate of the entire galaxy is at stake and as always, rests in the hands of a few. I highly recommend it to any Star Wars fan on one condition - you would probably be best in reading the other 18 books before reading the finale. Other than that, enjoy the final battle for everything and all in that galaxy far, far, away...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2003
As I went on through the series, I realized a huge chance was being taken by killing off the main beings. It worked. New characters were brought in and became main players such as; Droma, Tahiri, Jag, Danni and Gilad. Good work to all the writers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 22, 2003
Posted November 21, 2003
WOW! IT REALLY TOUCHES THE HEART TO READ ABOUT ALL THE CHARACTERS THAT HELPED SHAPE THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE. BOBA FETT, TELCHO CYCHU, AND ONE OF MY FAVORITES LANDO. NOTHING LIKE A GALACTIC WAR TO BRING THE OLD GANG BACK TOGETHER.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.