Chapter Twelve

The Millennium Falcon plowed its course through the blue/white whirl of the otherworldly dimension known as hyperspace. Spread out through the old freighters living areas were some of the greatest names in recent galactic history and a number of guest from another galaxy entirely.

"We're only a couple hours out from the Khomm System," Han reported to no one in particular.

"This is only the first step in our journey, Captain Solo," Rev Bem as the only other occupant in the cockpit replied as he sat in the navigator's position, "And yet I fear great danger as we approach our destination."

"Don't worry, I'll make the sure the shields are charged to maximum when we arrive," Han told him, "We don't want any of those disgusting creatures puncturing our hull."

Rev only growled in response.

"No offense," was Han's somewhat chagrined reply.

"Perhaps I shall check up on young Master Harper," Rev decided granting Han an understanding nod as he exited the cockpit.

In the main cabin Luke and Kam Solusar were putting Harper through a highly focused training session as Corran and Yu Wang watched silently from behind the holo-chessboard. Rev quietly joined them as Harper lifted yet another object from the deck using only the Force.

The two Jedi Master circled the young apprentice as he sat cross-legged on the deck. From Rev's count Harper had thirteen object suspended around the room and while there was look of deep concentration of his face he did not seem to be horribly strained.

"Good Seamus," Kam praised, "Very good, your focus as increased greatly."

"I've has some help," he admitted glancing over at Rev.

Letting the comment pass Rev watched as Luke reached into one of the packs they had brought with them from the Academy. From it he produced to object, a fist sized sphere and what appeared to be lightsaber.

"It's only a practice blade," Luke told him, "but I would like you to work on your lightsaber skills."

"Of course master," Harper replied placing all the levitating object back from where he got them and grabbing the last object, a forcelance, from the air in front of him, "but the practice saber won't be necessary."

Twirling the Forcelance around in one hand he raised it in the en guard position and a stream of glowing blue light burst forth with a snap/hiss. Swinging his lightsaber in gentle arcs it humming filled the stunned room.

Deactivating the Saber, Harper presented the weapon to Master Skywalker.

"You constructed your own lightsaber," Luke said with some surprise, "That is most impressive."

"And the great part is that it maintains most of the functionality of the original forcelance," Harper told them, "It still fires effectors, has a flashlight, and can extend to a quarterstaff, amongst other things but I managed squeeze a lightsaber emitter and focusing crystal in there as well."

"Very impressive Seamus," Luke told him returning the weapon, "But you still have to practice with the remote."

Activating the small device Harper began to practice, his skill with the blade was small, but it quickly developed and soon the small stinger bolts were being easily deflected by the young Jedi.

"That was once me," Luke confided quitely to Rev he watched the display, "In this very room, a very long time ago."

Before Rev could answer Han came out from the cockpit, "Well, we should be coming out of hyperspace in a few minutes," he announced, "Luke, why don't you and the new kid take the quadlasers. Corran I'd like you to join me in the cockpit."

"Of course general," Luke said with a smirk.

"None of that now," Han warned raising his forefinger to emphasis the point.

A moment latter Han and Corran were seated in the cockpit, Kam had joined them while Wang and Rev waited in the Cabin.

"Well here it goes," Han announced but before he could deactivate the hyperdrive the ship was unceremoniously decanted from hyperspace.

"What was that," Corran demanded.

"A mass shadow," Han replied as two massive jolts rocked the ship.

"Han, swarmships," Luke called out through the intercom.

"I see them," Han replied, "Corran set two-seven-one."

Banking the Falcon sharply and going into a steep dive Han managed to avoid two more missile strikes. Three swarmships were now gunning for the Falcon as Luke and Harper let loose on the quads.

Guided by the Force, Luke tracked the first of the swarmships and sent powerful bolts of energy coursing through the deadly craft setting it ablaze.

Harper too managed to score a hit on one of the attacking Magog ships sending it arcing away in a long turn.

"Just nicked him," Harper cried, "He'll be back."

"Understood ," Luke replied as he sent traces of fire into the next Magog craft causing it to break off it attack as well.

"They're coming around for another pass," Luke announced but not before two concussion missiles sailed out from the forward launchers rendering both swarmships into molten bits a slag.

"Nice work everyone," Han called out, "But there are more Magog in the system, but they are pretty far away.

"And oh yeah, we have a bit of a problem."

"The planet is gone," Han told them, "the entire thing is just gone, no debris, no nothing. Just gone."

"What could do that," Kam asked, "An entire world can't just be gone without a trace,"

"Tell that to the Vedrans," Harper said quietly.

"I do have a possible explanation," Han reasoned, "the Khomm sun is gone too. Well not so much gone as it is a Black Hole."

"By the Force," Kam breathed.

"Do you think the Worldship destroyed the system," Luke asked looking at Rev and Yu Wang.

"It is possible," Wang admitted, "But I don't know for certain."

"It is what my people do," was Rev's response.

"So what do we do now," Han asked the inevitable question.

"We continue," Luke responded, "deeper into the core. It is all we can do."

"Kothlis Control, this is the Andromeda Ascendant," Dylan nearly shouted out over the communication system, static was filling every channel.

"I'm sorry Dylan," Andromeda's vidscreen self reported, "I'm recalibrating the holonet, and subspace transmitters."

"That's the fourth time in three days," Andromeda's avatar complained, "There is just to much interference with the Exotic Matter Core, some sort of subspace interference I can't filter out."

The transmission cleared and the now matured features of Admiral Tealera Meduk filled the forward screen.

"Welcome to Kothlis Dylan," Meduck began, "I wish this was under better circumstances."

"Me too Admiral," Dylan replied, "What is the status of my fleet?"
"You sustained heavy casualties Captain," Meduck told him, "But most of the ships returned safely. There are however some questions that need to be answered before we can continue the fight."

"I'll do whatever I can to help of course," Dylan told her.

"I know you will Captain."

Sitting amongst a group of some of the most important people in the Galactic Alliance military made Dylan feel a little small, not the lest because they were all yelling... about him.

"The Alliance cannot support the actions of Dylan Hunt," one Admiral shouted out, "Planetary bombardment is a very Imperial tactic."

"There was nothing else he could do," some alien General returned from across the room.

"Let us here the Captain's report before we make our final decision," Admiral Sovv, the Supreme Commander interjected calmly.

Dylan stood and recounted quietly the details of failed battle at Thyferra. He told them about the Magog warrens deep below the city and how they expanded even beneath the invasion force.

He held nothing back, the entire assault from start to finish, including the unfortunate injury of Lando Calrissian.

"Why did you bombard Xucphra City?" Sovv asked pointedly.

"Your sensors are amazing pieces of technology," Dylan replied, "they told us that so few native Thyferran's had survived, greater then ninety percent of the population was now dead.

"It was the only thing we could do to slow the Magog advance on the rest of the planet."

"Captain Hunt, on the authority of the Chief-of-State I hereby relieve you of any authority in the Alliance Defense Forces," Sovv told him, "You are ordered to leave this system immediately."

"I understand," Dylan replied.

Dylan said little on the ride back to the Andromeda, the thrum of the Maru's engines were just about the only sound.

"You did all you could you know," Beka announced, "These people don't understand the threat they face."

"I know Beka." was his only reply.

"I mean what else can you do but destroy the Magog when you find them," she tried again.

"I know," he said again.

"You look tired Dylan," Beka told him with concern.

"A long day," Dylan replied.

"Perhaps now we can abandon this foolishness and save our own galaxies," Tyr suggested as he cockpit. It would be a more useful waste of our time."

"Dylan," Rommie appeared on the Maru's viewer, "We are receiving a message of the Imperial Remnant. It is Admiral Pellaeon."

"Put it through Rommie," Dylan ordered as he lifted himself to stand before the viewer.

"Admiral Pellaeon," Dylan began as the aged man filled the screen, "To what do I own this honour."

"I've been considering Captain your recent actions," the Admiral told him, "And I feel that your ship may have a great deal to offer the Empire in this war against the Magog.

"I want your help Dylan. I need your help, we all do."

Deep inside the winding and seemingly endless warrens torn into the planet once known as Thyferra, thousands of newly born Harbingers were feeding and growing strong. The Galactic Alliance assault had been a near complete failure and thousands of their troops lay dead on the surface.

Death Knell, the first of the Great Magog officer cast stood tall on the surface reviewing the carnage and the handful of new recruits to be taken to the Spirit of the Abyss in order to be filled with his harsh light.

Each of those Magog were tied down, held in place so that they would not run off or attack each other. Each now seemed resigned to their unknown fate but soon they would be filled with wisdom and intelligence to rival the great minds of this era.

The blisters left behind from the multiple blast hits he had suffered had nearly healed. The war droid that had inflicted these injuries upon him while rescuing his prize, the dark human General had been destroyed by his own hand, as had all its mechanical brethren. They had been torn asunder in punishment for taking the Host for his progeny.

But there would be more, many more such host in days to come.

In the sky high above the ruined planet the sky suddenly seemed to part as unfathomable energies were released.

The Worldship had arrived.

"Rise," Death Knell screeched out over the deafening din, "Arise and great your master."

Massive tendrils, hundreds of kilometers long, and thousands of meters wide burst forth from the Worldship and reached out to the conquered world. Groundquakes began to shake the planet to its very core and gravity seemed to become more intense for a time.

The artificial star at the centre of the Worldship began to draw closer, but in truth it was the planet that was being drawn to the star.

Boarding his swarmship along with his new initiates, Death Knell surveyed the planet once more as it was ripped from its orbit. From the new vantage point afforded to him by the rapidly ascending vessel Knell could see the forest began to blaze, and every city had crumpled.

Thyferra was now part of the Worldship.

A point singularity burst sealed the deal as the Thyferran sun collapsed into an artificially created black hole.