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DarthAnt66
DarthAnt66
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Luke, Mara, & Tahiri vs. Nyax - Full Fight Empty Luke, Mara, & Tahiri vs. Nyax - Full Fight

on September 5th 2020, 5:44 pm
"I don't know if you can understand me," Luke said. "But whatever you're doing, whatever your plans are, I have to stop you."

Lord Nyax's smile grew broader. It seemed to recognize Luke's intent, even if it could not grasp his words.

Then it answered-not in words, but in images. Luke saw the power of its will, expressed through the Force, rolling over the remaining people of Coruscant like water roaring down a canyon through a burst dam. He saw them sweeping across Coruscant, killing and eating everything in their way-the Yuuzhan Vong, the disobedient, the Force-blind. He saw the workers here boarding the machine beneath their feet, crashing it through kilometers of buildings until they came to some place, a source for more power to fuel this glorious, deliriously happy destructive impulse.

In that instant, Luke joined in the plan. He longed to slaughter the outsiders, those who did not understand or join. He longed to taste their flesh,

He turned to Mara, beckoning her to join. She was facing the Yuuzhan Vong warriors, preventing them from surprising Luke with an attack, but her gaze was yanked to Luke. Her eyes widened, and he could feel her leaning toward him, leaning toward acceptance of this crucial duty.

But the sight of her brought memories. Luke saw worlds of beauty. He saw his son, composed of Luke and Mara and years to come. Around the edges of Lord Nyax's command he felt the Force, its other natures, the life from which it flowed.

He turned back toward Lord Nyax and struggled to find the words to express his thought. "I... stand... in... your... way."

It was the Jedi way. Jedi did not attack. But to position oneself in the path of a violent aggressor who would not yield achieved the same result.

All he could ever do as leader of the wartime Jedi was lead them into the path of the enemy. That was, Luke realized, perhaps his greatest limitation, and in struggling against it without understanding it, he may have hampered the Jedi effectiveness against the enemy.

But once recognized and accepted, it was also perhaps his greatest strength. Whether by accident or design, by his own will or by the permutations of the Force, he had always found his way into the path of the great enemies of all things living.

And here he was again. "I stand in your way," Luke repeated, and was pleased that he had regained control over his voice. "What you see, you will not achieve."

The expression on Lord Nyax's face turned from mocking amusement to seriousness... even sadness, for a brief moment, as though the thing had at last recognized some kinship and discovered that it did not bridge the gulf between the two of them.

Then it charged.

Kell finished binding Viqi's hands behind her back and looked up in time to see Lord Nyax lunge toward Luke.

Luke raised his lightsaber, caught the downward sweep of Lord Nyax's right-hand forearm weapon. He spun clockwise, narrowing his profile as the left-hand forearm blade thrust toward him, and kept his guard up in time to intercept the right-hand elbow blade. Mara leapt forward, unleashing two fast blows that the thing's left-elbow blade caught, then folded over nearly double as she leaped back from a strike from its left knee.

The Yuuzhan Vong warriors unloaded handfuls of thudbugs and razorbugs, heedless of which of the targets they might hit, but the two Jedi and Lord Nyax flicked the weapons out of the air or dodged them entirely.

Two Jedi? Three. Suddenly Tahiri was in their midst, coming up on Luke's left, blocking a follow-up blow from the elbow blade on that side.

---

The pale thing fought with a savagery and speed unlike those of any warrior he had ever seen. And it was untrained. With his experienced warrior's eye, he could see that its movements were instinctive, a fact revealed in the creature's failure to throw effective combinations of blows, its inability to gauge which way its enemies would leap when it attacked them.

If it had been born Yuuzhan Vong, if he'd been able to train it for a year, even half a year, he could have turned this thing into the greatest warrior who was not himself a god. As it was, he'd have to kill this thing.

Even if the Jeedai, too, wanted it dead, it was still an abomination. And it was the greater threat. It had to die first. He threw his last razorbug, then lunged forward into hand-to-hand range, probing at the pale thing's back with the tail-tip of his amphistaff.

The pale thing spun, sending its knee blade toward Denua Ku's guts. He blocked the sweep with his amphistaff, but the impact was tremendous; it threw him back off his feet. He rolled backward and came upright, saw one of his warriors perform a similar probing assault... and this warrior took a forearm blade through the throat.

Nine Yuuzhan Vong warriors down. Sixteen to go. The numbers were becoming worse.

A tremendous mechanical roar shook the chamber. It lowered slightly in volume but became steady, filling the air.

---

"It's a delaying tactic!" Mara shouted over the roar.

"I know!" Luke shouted back. "It's working! I'm being delayed!" He stopped a forearm-swing and was driven back a step, stopped the follow-up elbow swing and was driven back a step, jumped back to avoid the knee-strike and discovered it was only a feint; Lord Nyax's leg snapped back and caught a Yuuzhan Vong warrior in the crotch, collapsing the warrior despite its armor.

Every step took the Jedi and the warriors toward the center of the chamber. The floor vibrated beneath their feet.

"What?" Mara said.

"I didn't say anything!"

"Not you! Speak up, Face!"

Luke waved Mara back. She jumped up and backward in a somersault, taking her out of Lord Nyax's range, and took out her comlink, holding it up to her ear. Tahiri took her place, swinging her lightsaber defensively, eyes wide as she analyzed her attacker's motions and patterns.

---

Far below, the treads spun into action. The construction droid's machinery whined as the gigantic machine J lurched into action... and then crashed into the dura-crete wall before it.

Unable to hear, Mara bit off a curse. She tucked her comlink away and jumped back into the fight, deflected a pair of thudbugs, took a swipe at Lord Nyax's hand; its arm rotated and it caught the attack on its lightsaber blade.

Luke flipped over the pale thing, striking as he went; his blow was blocked.

Tahiri, in front, lunged forward... and stumbled, right into the path of a knee blade. Mara reached out, an effort to shove with the Force, knowing that she was too late, knowing that the knee-blade would emerge in a fraction of a second from the back of Tahiri's skull-but Tahiri whipped to the side, still in control, still in balance, even as Luke crashed feetfirst into Lord Nyax's neck, forcing its head down toward its own knee-blade.

The blade turned itself off. Lord Nyax's head passed through empty space. Luke, backflipping to his feet, offered up an expression of bafflement and frustration.

Mara sighed. It had been a feint, an effort to trick the thing into spearing itself with its own weapons. But its designers had been too thorough. There were fail-safes.

The floor rocked under their feet. Mara felt the crash from below as much as she heard it.

Lord Nyax leapt upward a half-dozen meters and then, impossibly, just hung there in space, smiling down at the Jedi and the Yuuzhan Vong.

Mara realized, a fraction of a second too late, that it had merely grabbed the same cord by which she and Luke had descended. Then the floor went out from under her.

Lord Nyax led the three Jedi on a high-speed run through the ruins of Coruscant. He could travel faster than they could, because from time to time he'd simply leap from one building to the next one over, usually a leap too great for them to match. Yet they could always feel him in the distance, sense his movements, sense a feeling of expectation and even anxiety from him.

---

Lord Nyax moved to be beneath them. He ignited his blades, all of them. He knew they'd be here, knew it from the moment they stopped chasing him. He wished they'd go away instead of tiring him.

The foremost of them, the male, slid down until he was not far above Lord Nyax's reach, then leapt free, somersaulting to land somewhere behind him. Lord Nyax reached out as the male came down; he slid a sharp-edged piece of stone toward the male's landing area, timing it so that the stone would shear through the male's legs. But the male slowed his descent and rotation, landing atop the stone instead of in front of it, and bounded off, toward Lord Nyax. Meanwhile, the women leapt clear of the stone, spinning down toward him, igniting their weapons as they came.

Lord Nyax leapt free of the center of their formation, bounding up over the head of the red-haired female. He hit the stone wall feetfirst, shoved off, and rotated to a landing many steps away from the three pests.

Then he made a thought and drove it into their heads.

It hit Luke like a razorbug fired straight through his forehead. Luke staggered under the pain. His back hit the irregular floor. He waved his lightsaber up and in front of him, a defensive form, but there was no follow-up blow for him to counter.

There was, however, a new priority. He was to switch off his lightsaber and then go attack the Yuuzhan Vong. He leapt to his feet and turned his weapon off. He could see Mara and Tahiri doing the same.

But that would mean dying-and, worse, failing.

No, it's what he had to do.

No, he couldn't do that.

He stood, frozen by the dilemma, straining against the thought that filled his mind, the thought that was slowly driving out every other consideration.

So he did what he had to whenever he was confused. He reached out, touching Mara in the Force. He didn't have to open his mind to her; his mind was as open as it could be, held open by Lord Nyax's thought. He just had to reach for her, and she was there, locked in as much confusion and pain as he.

She had no answer for him. He reached for Tahiri and found her to be identically immobile.

He felt Lord Nyax grow impatient, then angry, and Lord Nyax expressed his anger through pain. Luke felt his fingers and toes, hands and feet, shins and forearms explode. He fell, writhing, then stared in amazement as he realized that his limbs were still attached-the pain was real, but no injury had caused it. He could feel Mara's pain, feel Tahiri's.

There was something different about Tahiri's. He looked over to where she lay.

She was rolling to her stomach, forcing her way to her feet. Off-balance, weaving as she stood, she nevertheless managed to pick up her lightsaber and ignite it. She looked at Nyax, anger blazing in her eyes. "I know something about pain you don't," she said. "Pain drowns other people. I just swim in it." She took a step toward her tormenter.

Luke could feel Nyax's anger, his moment of confusion. And though Luke couldn't move, he could act. He reached out through the Force and grabbed the stone that Nyax had tried to use against him moments earlier. He jerked it toward his enemy.

And though he was weakened by pain, by distraction, it flew those few meters and slammed into Nyax's back, driving him forward, slamming him off his feet.

Tahiri leapt forward, bringing her lightsaber down in an all-out attack. Nyax managed to get one of his arm-blades up to intercept it, then kicked out, shoving off against a pile of rubble. He slid away from Tahiri, and the slide continued well past the point that it should, carrying him clear of her... but he left skin and blood behind on rubble he crossed.

Luke felt Nyax's astonishment, his outrage at having been wounded, however trivially. Then Nyax drove another thought into Luke's brain: Kill Tahiri.

This time, Luke was ready for it. He'd had a moment to center his thoughts and, most important, emotions. He was ready with his memories of Tahiri, all the time's he'd been delighted as she'd made another gain in her study of the Force, all the hopes he'd had for her future and happiness. He could hold up like a shield his memory of her love for his nephew Anakin Solo. All those memories blunted Nyax's attack, shattered its speartip.

Luke reached for Mara again and found her similarly armored, but with logic, not emotion. Running through her mind was a cold calculation of allies and opponents, actions and consequences. Uppermost in it was a realization that Nyax could rule any individual, and out of individuals whole galaxies were made.

But deep beneath the analysis was a stream of emotion, an awareness of their son Ben, of what he would be if Nyax could find him and shape him.

Luke came up on shaky legs, felt Mara doing the same. And though Nyax was not letting up on the pain-energy, it affected Luke less now. He could feel Tahiri's part in that, the way she opened herself to the pain, was not daunted by it, was not shut down by it.

They faced Nyax as a single creature. The part of them that was Mara rejected the false truths Nyax tried to impose upon them. The part of them that was Luke rejected the false hatreds, the lying enmities. The part that was Tahiri made the pain part of what they were, a fuel for their strength.

Nyax looked between them, and a flicker of distress, a childlike expression of fear, crossed his features.

Then all four of them felt the wall break. Whatever was beyond it roared forth to sweep them away.

Elsewhere.

---

Luke swam out of a sea of-not pain, not shock, but something between exultation and complete confusion. His back was against a mound of rubble, and his wife and the girl were beside him. He couldn't remember their names, or his own.

Red fluid dripped down upon his shoulder. He craned his neck to look up and saw a body on the mound above him, that of a human man. Its right arm was missing and blood poured down the rubble below, one stream of it pooling and then dripping onto Luke.

Luke. That was it, Luke. And Mara and Tahiri. And the Yuuzhan Vong, and Nyax. Luke rose, saw his lightsaber a few meters away, and yanked it to him with a casual display of the Force. It struck his palm with far more energy than he'd intended, and he dropped it again.

Then he saw Nyax, standing beneath the hole in the black wall. The hole, one of the construction droid's wrecking claws still within it, was twenty meters up. Nyax danced on the pile of rubble beneath it. His was the uncoordinated, artless, dance of a child. It was a dance of joy.

Mara rose beside him. Luke had known she was unhurt.

"Force energy," she whispered.

This must have been a wellspring of it, he thought. The old Jedi Temple must have been built above because it was here. They were guarding it. And guarding the planet from it.

Nyax finished dancing. He turned to look at the Jedi. His expression was so full of uncomplicated happiness that it seemed impossible that he would ever try to hurt them.

Nor did he attack them now. He simply raised a hand.

Above him, a portion of the ceiling, a plug some ten meters across, shot straight up and out of sight. Debris rained down, but drifted to one side before it could hit Nyax. Tremendous crashing noises emerged from the hole above, and the walls all around them began to shake.

Tahiri joined Luke and Mara, tucking something away in her backpack. "We're in trouble," she said.

---

Luke thumbed his lightsaber into incandescence and marched toward the creature with Irek Ismaren's face. Let's finish this.

But Nyax, ignoring him, lifted straight up into the air and floated up through the hole his Force powers had made. In a moment he was out of sight. wall. Support comes from the building's metal skeleton. So I've planted shaped charges to blow that wall out."

---

The hole above Nyax's head widened. No more rubble poured down upon him. Instead, sunlight did. First it was a tiny shaft; then it broadened into a blue-white column of brilliance. He bathed in the light, held out both hands to capture it, rubbed it into his cheeks.

Luke could feel Tahiri's sense of shock; it matched his own. "Did he drive a hole all the way to the surface?" she asked.

---

"That fountain of Force energy is what made Nyax stronger," Luke said. "It's pure power... and we can use it, too." To demonstrate, he raised a hand like an orchestra conductor... and a mound of rubble against a building a hundred meters ahead rose into the air. Luke clenched his fist and drew it toward him, and the rubble swept toward the construction droid.

The coralskippers to the rear of the formation had no chance. Chunks of duracrete, stone, and ferrocrete plowed into them from behind. Dovin basal singularities snapped into position to swallow some of the improvised missiles, but even that was not enough. Luke's missiles smashed into yorik coral, sweeping coralskippers out of the way.

Eyes wide, Tahiri mimicked Luke's gestures, but with the face of a building to their left, to the right of the coralskippers. Chunks of facing blew forth from the building, hurtling and falling among the coralskippers.

Mara continued to add her voice and her Force presence to the orders Luke had given, spurring the workers to flee more quickly, but most of her attention was on the chamber's controls, its walls and ceiling features. She found what she wanted and reached up to undo a hatch in the ceiling. Bright light spilled in from above and a metal ladder lowered. She went up topside.

Coralskippers rose from the formation in sudden flight, attempting to get away from the stream of crude projectiles, but those who rose first ran into another stream, this one moving much faster; chunks of rock and duracrete pounded into the yorik coral, eroding it like a super-powered sandblaster, destroying those vehicles.

At first Luke thought that Mara had initiated that attack, adding her strength to his and Tahiri's, but he realized after only a moment that it felt wrong. He leapt up through the hatch Mara had opened, landing beside her on the construction droid's roof. Tahiri was only a second behind him.

From here, they had a clearer view of the sky full of coralskippers and of the ziggurat behind them.

From the ziggurat emerged a column of rubble. As it rose, it parted, arcing away from its point of emergence in all directions like a water spray. But this spray was being flung kilometers in every direction, chewing through building tops and coralskippers as it landed.

And above its center, where the rubble no longer rose, floated Nyax. Giant boulders danced in and out through the rubble spray, weaving a lovely spiral through the air.

"Another Jedi academy graduate," Tahiri breathed. "He can lift really big rocks."

"Very funny," Luke said. He gauged the leap from the construction droid's roof to the nearest solid surface on the ziggurat, decided they could make it. "Let's go."

---

Luke could feel it as Nyax detected them. The pale giant rotated in the air to face them, his smile changing from one of simple pleasure to one of malice. "This is going to be bad," Luke said.

Mara nodded. The wind at this altitude whipped her hair into a life of its own, making it look like a candle flame in a strong breeze. "Any ideas?"

"I have one." Tahiti knelt to improve her balance while she stared ahead. In the distance, this stream of boulders took a sharp turn, then moved to within a few meters of Nyax's position and beyond. "Just past that point. Distract him. I'll finish him."

Luke cocked an eyebrow at her. "You'll finish him. How?"

There was something in Tahiri's eyes that sent a chill down Luke's spine. "He could fight the Jedi just by feeling us in the Force," she said. "He couldn't feel the Yuuzhan Vong, so he had to watch. Well, I'm both." She rose and turned away from Luke and Mara, then took the long leap to the next flying boulder back in line. She raced its length, then leaped again to the third boulder down.

"What do you say we take her at her word?" Mara said.

"I'm too tired to argue."

Their boulder reached the end of its straightaway course and turned. It turned more violently than its predecessors had, but Luke and Mara could feel Nyax's intentions in the Force; they kept their feet planted and did not budge.

As their vehicle came closer to Nyax, Luke stretched forth his hand. He snatched a portion of the rubble stream from beneath them, bent its course, sent it hurtling toward Nyax.

Nyax reacted without moving, regaining control of the stream, hurling it at Luke.

Luke leaned over backward, rotating his boulder with him. The oncoming stones crashed into its side and bottom as the rotation continued.

Upside down, clinging by virtue of her enhanced Force strength, Mara ignited her lightsaber and hurled it. It twirled under the flow of boulders, almost invisible through the dense rain of duracrete; then, as it came within meters of Nyax, it twirled up and at him.

His expression changed to one of startlement. With none of his own blades active to protect him, he slipped sideways, out of the lightsaber's path, then turned to watch it as Mara directed its flight. She sent it around in a long loop, preparing it for another approach.

Mara and Luke came upright as their boulder completed its rotation, and Luke could feel Nyax's attention on him, too, waiting for his attack. Luke made it, shoving in the Force, trying to hurl Nyax off balance and onto Mara's blade. The attack was a success, but Nyax activated all his blades as he was shoved, and with contemptuous ease he swatted Mara's lightsaber away.

Power flowed through Nyax, such power as no being alive had ever felt. He could reach down into this world, reach through the false crust beneath him, through the natural stone crust beneath that, all the way to where stone turned to sluggish fluid and through to where superheated metals ran like river water. He could crack this world in two, could force the meaningless worker-things to convey him to another, and crack that one, too.

And he was tired of these creatures. They were weaker than he, but so stubborn. Even inventive.

Nyax raised his hands. He would crack the stone they rode on and send it and them hurtling down into the ruins.

Something slammed into his back, just below the point where his internal armor plate protected him. His eyes snapped wide. He had not felt it coming. He used his power to overcome the pain.

A second thing struck him. He felt bones in his lower hack shatter. Numbness flowed across his legs. He exerted greater control over himself, desperately trying to force sensation into those limbs, as he turned.

His third antagonist, the smaller female with the yellow hair, rode another boulder, lying upon it and gripping it with one hand. She looked at him with alien merciless-less in her eyes. She barely registered in his special senses - she must have closed herself off to the power, reducing his ability to detect her, his ability to anticipate her moves.

Something was wrong. He had the pain under control. He was full of the power. He should be able to make anything happen, anytime.

He did not understand, for he had not been trained in the ways and use of the Force, that the catastrophic failure of the body's functions could interfere with use of the Force. All he did understand was that his control over the boulders, over the debris flow from the ever-widening hole beneath him, was faltering.

The yellow-haired female held up a third missile. It had legs that writhed as she held it.

Nyax gaped at her. It was one of the alien creatures, one of the types flung by the warriors he could not feel. Her type was not supposed to use this. Only the flat-nosed aliens were.

It was unfair. She had cheated.

Before she could throw it, Nyax lost control. He fell, screaming, into the pit he had created.


(Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - Enemy Lines II - Rebel Stand)
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