Ancient Lantean--I appreciate the support. I liked Anakin's end in this one much better than throwing an old man into a pit and dying. It seemed more noble here.
master cheif rulz--Thanks. I wrote this battle before more of Adria's powers were presented in SG-1, so I was taking a best guess at what she could do. Glad it worked for you.
Grayangle--I think Kir would probably find a way to carry on. I'm sorry I forgot to go back and put the section separators in, but I think you were able to make the distinctions.
Worker72--The Force always existed in the GFFA, even before the Ancients arrived. I posit in this and Heaven Falls that only the Ancients or their descendents are able to harness the Force. Otherwise humans would not ever be Jedi. (In this AU, of course). As for Heaven Falls--the Replicators won't be much a factor. Kind of an off-screen issue. They'll be in it, but not in a major role. Is is authorial bias. I want villains people can either identify with or absolutely hate. Machines just don't do it for me.
Since I'm moving to a new town this week, I likely will not be able to post anything regarding Heaven Falls. For those who are interested, I've set up a topic in my forums where I will eventually post a pretty throrough Dramatis Personae listing all the characters. I have a huge cast, almost all of which are canon or semi-canon characters from other verses. It is not, however, a direct sequel. I stress this so as not to disappoint.
With that said, I present the conclusion of Gods of Dark and Light. Thank you all for sharing this story with me.
Epilogue: The Seeds of Forever
The Battle of Rim Gate, while not as large or as important as the Battle of Centerpoint, was nonetheless historic in that it put a final chapter on the Ori War. The remaining three Eclipse-class super dreadnoughts emerged from hyperspace with a fleet of five thousand Alliance capital ships and engaged the remnant Ori forces, which had gathered to defend the gate.
As the Alliance ships arrived, the gate itself activated, and all present were able to see first-hand how the Ori came to be in their galaxy. However, the reinforcements were able to come through only one ship at a time, and the Ori forces in the galaxy had been reduced to only a few hundred ships. Faced against thousands armed with resonance torpedoes, and three superlasers, the outcome was fairly predictable.
It was a pair of shots from the Executor and the Lusankya that destroyed the gate itself. The Gate was struck while still open, and the resulting explosion was the equivalent of ten hypermatter reactor explosions. The Alliance suffered more casualties from the explosion than from the battle, including the majority of the Lusankya. Still, there were thousands of survivors from Soontir Fel's flagship, thanks to the Asgard shielding technology.
With that last spectacular explosion, the Ori were once and for all expunged from the Galaxy.
Eight weeks later, in a newly opened park on the actual rocky surface of Coruscant, amid trees that had not existed just a year prior, surrounded by family, officials, and ten trillion close friends via holonet, General Han Solo—who single-handedly saved over five thousand crew members of a star destroyer by employing a series of suicide-like runs against a phalanx of Ori destroyers—married Princess Leia Organa Skywalker, President Elect of the Galactic Alliance of Free Systems.
"You may kiss the bride," Luke told the happy couple. Luke wore the long, flowing robes of a Jedi Knight, tailored for him by Tallisibeth.
In the first line of chairs on the bride's side of the aisle sat all the Jedi. Darana's new interest of the week sat staring at the young Veltron Jedi as if not even capable of forming any more coherent thought. Ekria sat next to, of all people, Kir Kanos. Kanos wore the uniform of the Alliance, with a colonel's insignia—and a lightsaber at his belt.
Tallisibeth sat wearing her Jedi robes, watching Luke and Leia with the same pride she might have shown her own kids. In fact, since Anakin's passing, she had acted the part of their mother, fussing over them with loving care. "You are Anakin's children," she explained to them a few days before the wedding. "As I loved him, so too I love you."
Luke had hugged her then, without saying a word. Words were not really necessary.
Kyle, of course, sat next to Nani Delun, his arm wrapped protectively around her shoulder, while she gently bounced her baby Kaylin. She watched the ceremony with a sad, wistful expression, as if reliving her own vows. Kyle also watched intently, his face an unreadable mask. And yet he kept his arm where it was, as if he could shield his ward even against the threat of her own memory.
The droids were there of course. R2-D2 and C-3PO had been through so much, it seemed only natural to have them there. And for the little astromech droid, he was able to put the recording of this new wedding in the same sub-drive file as another wedding he had recorded a quarter of a century earlier.
Droids were not supposed to feel actual emotion, but then Artoo was no ordinary droid, and he expressed his deep satisfaction at this turn of events with a loud chirp and whistle that brought smiles to those who had ever spent time around him.
Leia and Han came together to share a long, passionate kiss which perhaps was a bit intense for many there, but just touched the surface of their true feelings. Chewbacca, serving as best Wookie, roared his approval. Then they turned and proceeded down the aisle toward the pavilion.
The reception went on literally all night. Luke eventually found a nice corner and settled in. Mara forced him to the dance floor a few times, and then shoved him in a corner when he proved that even with the Force as his ally, he still could not keep from stepping on her left big toe during a scherzo.
He was content to watch with a smile and an untouched glass of Alderaanian wine as everyone he knew and loved danced on the floor in front of him. Mara had moved from partner to partner until she discovered that Lando Calrissian, aside from being a scoundrel, thief, and businessman, was also a talented dancer.
Han and Leia danced slowly, her head on his chest and his chin on her head, arm in arm as if no one else in the world mattered.
Darana danced with anyone willing, and the line of the willing wrapped around much of the pavilion.
Even Ekria and Kanos danced, though it was the most serious-faced dance Luke had ever seen. Still, they both moved with the grace of trained warriors.
"It is a moment of joy, is it not, my son?"
Luke turned to see his father next to him. There was no blue halo of a Force ghost, nor hint of any otherworldly powers at play. Rather, he saw a young Anakin Skywalker, his hair hanging in curls down to his neck and his face unblemished by scars or dark emotion.
"It is indeed, Father," Luke said without surprise. "I don't know if I have ever told you how much I loved you. How much it meant to me when you reached out to me when I offered."
"And I can never tell you enough how proud I am, and how very much I loved and cherished you for making that effort to reach me. You are my hero, Luke. And I will always love you."
"And I will love you as well, my son," a woman's voice said from the other side of the corner. He turned and saw a slim figure of profound beauty, with hair like Leia's, but larger eyes and a more slender neck. She looked as if the purest aspects of Leia's beauty had been distilled and perfected into a singular vision of womanhood.
"Mother," he whispered, his still-weak voice breaking now as tears welled in his eyes.
She leaned over and wrapped him in a hug as real and substantial as if it were his sister. "We will always be with you, our son. Just as the Force will be. Be strong. Be wise. Be the husband and father we know you can be. And in the passing of many years, when your time has come and the Force calls, we will be waiting."
"I will cherish that moment," Luke said.
He blinked, and his parents were gone. On the floor, music played and loved ones danced, and Luke knew he was at peace, and the Force at long last was in true balance.
He got up, and with a laugh and motion to get Lando out of the way, Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master, hero of the Alliance and founder of the new Jedi Order, went to dance with his wife.