Hassk- Mercenary (male Trandoshan)
Rosh Hensen – Mercenary (male human)
Corran Horn- Jedi Master (male human)
Jadek Hunner – Scavenger (male human)
Keenah- Priestess (female Yuuzhan Vong)
Akhi Lian- Commander (male Yuuzhan Vong)
The Master- Dark Side Adept (unknown male)
Kizin Qel- Master Shaper (male Yuuzhan Vong)
Rhona – Mercenary (female human)
Jaina Solo- Jedi Knight and starfighter pilot (female human)
Tahiri Veila- Jedi Knight (female human)
Ziil- former Shamed One (male Yuuzhan Vong)
Prologue: Dreams in Darkness
She stands upon the surface of a dead world. It is not truly a desert- she was born and raised in a desert, and knows that even in the empty wastes of Tatooine there is life if you know how to find it. Nor is it like Coruscant, a world covered in technology with little in the way of true nature. This world is simply dead, from its barren flats to its grey, cloudy sky, as though something has drained it dry and departed in search of other sustenance. To all of her soul- Tusken Raider, Jedi, Yuuzhan Vong- it seems an abominable place, a wound in the living fabric of the galaxy.
She takes a step forward, and the ground before her opens up. A vast chasm stands where once was featureless barrens, and from it rise the spires of ancient buildings. Temples, tombs, palaces- she doesn't know what they are, exactly, but they are terrible, clawing the sky as if they would drag it down and soar into infinity. Somehow, it feels as if the buildings are alive in a way the rest of this terrible world is not, that they are watching her… waiting…
A figure stands in front of the nearest temple, wrapped head to foot in a filthy black cloak. It turns towards her, and she can see nothing beneath its hood except for the outline of a chin and two piercing yellow eyes. Its feeling in the Force is familiar, but somehow off, like a familiar face distorted by twisted mirror, and try as she might, she cannot recognize it. The figure sees her, and it smiles- and then it looks up to the heavens and raises its arms.
A vessel descends from the sky. It is not made from durasteel or any other material familiar to the galaxy, but seems carved or perhaps grown from living coral. She knows that this is an accurate statement- part of her remembers childhood spent on a similar, far larger ship. It hovers over the valley, and then from it descend warriors encased in fearsome spiked armor, their faces tattooed with the symbols of their domain and caste, as well as their own personal glories. They come to stand among the tombs and the cloaked figure welcomes them, and deep within the ground she can feel something rejoicing.
The cloaked figure turns back to her and beckons, and she takes a step forward almost against her will. And as she does so the ground opens up beneath her feet and she is falling into a vast darkness….
Tahiri Veila came awake with a start, sitting up in her bed and breathing deeply to calm herself. She hadn't had a dream that bad in more than a year- not since before in end of the war, in fact, when her warring personalities had merged into a single being. But she knew at once that this was something entirely different. Her integration had been personal, a battle fought within her own mind. This dream had been her mind reaching out and touching the Force, and being told something in return.
It hadn't, in fact, been a dream at all, but a vision - one that her instincts told her portended something yet to come. And although Tahiri didn't know what it had meant, she was certain of one thing- it must never be permitted to come to pass.
The New Jedi Order has been since its publication one of the more controversial storylines in the Star Wars EU, but I've always been rather fond of it while admitting it was flawed. The Yuuzhan Vong War is perhaps the single most epic event in the entire franchise, but because of the multi-author format, there were characters who could be somewhat inconsistent and certain storylines never really went anywhere. However, in my opinion, when the NJO was good, it was good. One of my favorites of the authors who contributed to the series was Greg Keyes, and in particular the books Conquest and The Final Prophecy – and something, or rather someone, he brought to the table well was Tahiri Veila.
Tahiri is probably my favorite supporting character in the NJO. There's a lot I like about her, including her spirit and her snarkiness, but probably the two things that most stood out were her relationship with Anakin Solo (another favorite) both before and after his death, and her wrestling with the half-Yuuzhan Vong nature she found herself with after being the subject of the Shapers' experiments.
Unfortunately, I felt that Legacy of the Force really dropped the ball on Tahiri's characterization (among other things…) and Fate of the Jedi was too burdened by LOTF's legacy to do much damage control. Not only did she fall to the dark side based on emotional baggage she'd spent much of the NJO getting over, her history with the Vong was essentially erased except for a few snide comments. After LOTF ended, I first began work on this fic (based on ideas I'd been toying with since the end of the NJO), ignoring everything after the end of The Unifying Force to tell a story about Tahiri that drew more heavily on her characterization as presented in Final Prophecy, the last time she'd gotten heavy focus. I finished the fic several years ago, but between the new movie coming in a few months and my own current reread of the NJO, I decided to go back and tidy this fic up a bit.
The fic's title, of course, is based on the Corran-centric novel I, Jedi, since Corran is a character Tahiri liked and respected (I'm not writing in first person, though, which I'm not a huge fan of in general). "Warrior" obviously reflects Tahiri's Yuuzhan Vong nature, though there's a bit more nuance to it we'll get as the fic goes on. The main thing I changed in the prologue for this version is the Dramatis Personae, adding a few characters to it who'd ended up more important in the fic as written than they had been in my head.
I'm not sure how much of an audience this revision will reach, but I do hope to bring a Tahiri-centric adventure that sticks to her prior characterization better than LOTF did. If that sounds interesting to you, strap in. We have an appointment on Cato Neimoidia…