The moment of unity between all Jedi, living and dead, had passed, and with it also passed the wake of Abeloth's ravaging of her prison world. The lava in the oceans and elsewhere across the planet receded from whence they came, as her death prompted all of the super-hot plasma to return from the volcanoes from which they erupted, as if this were a parting gift from the Force itself to the Jedi for destroying Abeloth.

Nevertheless, the damage had been done, and what little foliage there was left, such as the relatively short area of jungle behind Jacen and the others, would one day wither and die from the destruction wrought by Abeloth. And with the planet's sun that would become a black hole in some thousands of years, there was no way that the jungles of this world could recover in time for the flora and fauna to renew life.

But that didn't soil the feeling of triumph that ran throughout the Force, the Jedi all but celebrating their victory over the greatest threat that they had ever encountered. Shouts and cheers were shouted in the cockpits of all the remaining ships, Corran embraced his children in relief, Seha collapsed to the ground in content exhaustion, and Jacen and Mara sat down next to each other on a nearby rotted log in tired happiness.

The two of them soon looked at each other and smiled wordlessly; Luke had been there with them again, and for what would most likely be the last time, he had helped them defeat Abeloth in life, vanquishing her evil from the galaxy, just as Onimi, Lumiya, and Darth Krayt's evils had been banished from the galaxy. Mara rested a hand on her nephew's shoulder, and it led into a hug, neither of them crying this time, as now was too great of a time to feel any sorrow.

A short time later, the Millennium Falcon landed at the site of where the six Jedi all were, and the ship's boarding ramp lowered to the sandy ground to reveal Han and Leia Solo standing at the top, with Jaina and Jag standing just behind them.

"All aboard!" Han called out. "'Cause I don't think this place is a good vacation spot anymore."

After a moment, all of them chuckled, and the six Jedi who confronted Abeloth personally boarded the Falcon. Once they were all on, the ship blasted back off into the sky, rejoining with the remainder of the Jedi fleet and heading out of the system that had defeated the galaxy's greatest evil.


In the days that followed the Jedi Order's return to Denon, a somber memorial service had been held for all the Jedi who fell in the battle against Abeloth, as well as the five Jedi who died on their way toward the planet. It was a sad time for those Jedi's friends and family members, which included many of the Order's own, but great comfort had been taken knowing that they had all been present when Abeloth fell.

But it was also a good time for many; the Solos and the Fels, which even included Jag's own family, had all gathered in the Temple's mess hall for a celebratory feast, along with several other Jedi and non-Force-sensitive associates, such as Booster Terrik and Talon Karrde, the latter who arrived to see Mara and was relieved to find that she had not died after all.

After that feast, Ben and Vestara went to the latter's room, as they had achieved a deep connection through the Force when they embraced it as part of the death-dealing push upon Abeloth. No words were exchanged between them as they entered and embraced each other passionately.

As for Jacen, he had spent a good deal of time with Danni and Miko and less time at the office; as it was now, though, that was where he was, as there were still operations to be carried out by the Order throughout the galaxy. Just because Abeloth, the galaxy's greatest evil, had been vanquished didn't mean that other evils still didn't exist.

Rumors had abounded of an allegedly corrupt Alliance of the Galaxy General Stavin Thaal, along with other AG personnel in the upper echelons of the government, who were planning to throw a coup against Chief of State Cal Omas. Investigations were pending over some shady business concocted by two Columi siblings known as the Qreph brothers over in the Chiloon Rift nebula. And there had been suspicions that Admiral Natasi Daala, who had reappeared recently and was asking for membership into the Alliance of the Galaxy, was secretly plotting something to overthrow the government, though not in conjunction with General Thaal and his alleged co-conspirators.

The door chime to Jacen's office rang, and he sensed Mara's presence outside. "Come in," he said.

His aunt entered the office, and Jacen set aside the datapad from which he worked to address Mara, who waited for her Grand Master nephew to invite her to sit down in one of the guest chairs.

"Is there something I can do for you, Master Skywalker?"

"Just wanna have a conversation with you, Master Solo, if you're not too busy."

Jacen smiled. It was clear that they could drop the pretense of formality at this point and address each other in the more personal relationship that they had.

"Of course, Aunt Mara. Is it about what happened when Abeloth was vanquished?"

Mara nodded. "And I'm not even gonna talk about your Uncle Luke being there. I wanna talk about your own personal change from that."

Jacen nodded. "I had broken through the doubt that had been plaguing me since I killed Saes Rrogan," he said. "I learned that for whatever mistakes I make, I can't let that hinder my actions or decisions and lead me into hesitation." He gave a wan smile. "I thought I had learned that lesson during the Yuuzhan Vong War, when Vergere taught me not to let hesitation keep me from acting on what I believe is right.

"But now I know that may never come to pass, and if there's anything that Palpatine taught me, it's that; sometimes I will continue to stumble and fall, no matter how much I believe my actions to be right and wrong, and occasionally, even the Grand Master of the Jedi Order will make mistakes. But I guess even I still have to learn that I can never lead myself astray from what I feel is right and what I have to do."

Mara shared her nephew's smile. "I think I've learned the same lesson, Jacen. I've come to terms with Ben being with Vestara; I felt them share that bond. It was like when your uncle and I bonded." She thought back with fondness over that day in the bowels of Niriuan, when she and Luke fought against those guardian droids that were protecting Grand Admiral Thrawn's clone. If that was what Ben and Vestara now shared after their participation in Abeloth's defeat, and Vestara truly was a Jedi now, then Mara had no right to intrude on her son's happiness with that girl.

"He'll always be with us, Aunt Mara," Jacen assured her. "Uncle Luke. Like the Force, he'll never leave our lives, even if we're cut off from him by ysalamiri or something like that. And even though the galaxy will always be in some kind of mess or another, we can take comfort in knowing that our loved ones will always be on our side, no matter what happens."

"Thanks for that, Jacen," Mara said. She stood up and said, "May the Force be with you." She then turned and left the office.

And Jacen, just before setting back to work as Mara crossed the office's threshold, "May the Force be with you."