solo_sword: (you want to tell me)
Jaina Solo Fel ([personal profile] solo_sword) wrote2017-01-27 12:34 pm

Coruscant- Friday

Given that he was in the process of reshaping the government, it was agreed that Jag shouldn't be leaving Imperial space quite yet. So Jaina returned to Coruscant to settle things there, and there weren't words to describe how much she did not want to call the special Council meeting to tell the Jedi what was happening.

It was extremely awkward as people arrived, because no one knew what to say to her, nor did they know what she was going to say. As far as they knew, she, Jag and Tahiri had disappeared without warning and suddenly there was a new Emperor, with one of their Masters as Empress. Jaina just kept herself open as possible and let people read what they would from that.

Also, she was equal parts glad and disappointed that Luke wasn't here for this. Considering he had first set Jag up to be Head of State, he shouldn't take issue with an escalation of that, but...

As soon as everyone was assembled, Corran started off with, "I believe we have some idea of what this about, Master Solo. Or should I say Empress Fel?"

Jaina cringed. "It's been a really rotten week or so, let's start with that," she said. "Look, you all know what's happened, and I'm going to start off answering some of the questions I know you have. First, absolutely none of this was planned. Second, nobody is turning into Palpatine here. This isn't any different than if Jag had continued being Head of State."

"Except then he didn't have absolute power over half of the galaxy," Kyp pointed out.

"He still doesn't. Or at least, he won't. We're keeping the Moff Council around despite all logic considering they're responsible for this mess, but we want checks and balances, and Jag and his team are working on restructuring some things to prevent total control. He doesn't want that, either."

"And what about you?" asked Octa Ramis.

Jaina frowned. "What about me?"

"What are you going to be doing?"

"We're still working that out," she admitted. "I don't want to govern, know I'll have to in some capacity at least. There's a possibility I'll be overseeing the military."

That was something she thought they might take issue with, as a paramilitary group, but there were also enough Masters present who had been military to know that Jaina would know what she was doing there.

"You have to see how you leading the Empire and being a Jedi would be a conflict of interest," Corran added.

She'd known this was coming. She'd prepared for it. Tenel Ka had had to make the choice between being a Jedi and being Queen Mother, and the Jedi had only gotten more hardcore about that in the last ten years. After all, Jaina herself had received plenty of lectures on whether Jag was more important and whether she was prioritizing him over the Jedi.

And she wasn't having any of that.

"My place on the Council may be a conflict of interest, sure, but that's something different," Jaina replied, lifting her chin a bit like her mother did when she wasn't budging on something. "I'm resigning from that, effective immediately. But I'm not taking a demotion from a title I've spent my entire life earning, and if you think anyone can ever make me not be a Jedi, you're sorely mistaken."

The room was silent for a moment, and Jaina braced herself for a fight, especially when she saw a couple Masters exchange glances like they'd been expecting one from her too. Which, fine. They should, since they knew her.

"We can't send you on missions this way," Corran pointed out.

"How about this: you're going to want me to be a Jedi when I tell you why this happened."

"And why's that?" Kyp asked, sounding genuinely curious.

"Jag took on the role as Emperor in an effort to possibly prevent a Sith from removing Vitor Reige from office and installing a Moff in his place," she said.

Sure enough, that got murmurs from the Council. Jaina tried not to be too proud of being able to pull that one out.

She explained what had happened, the sightings of the tattooed man that Luke had reported seeing during the Abeloth debacle, including a reminder about how this Sith had managed to take a good chunk out of Luke without physically having been there. She finished with, "That's why Jag took over. Because it was either we had a puppet government with possible Sith influence over the entire Empire, or it's us, keeping control of the situation."

"Master Skywalker did believe the man to be with the Lost Tribe," Cilghal pointed out.

"We don't know where they are," Saba added. "They could be in the Empire."

Jaina spent some time going over what she knew, presenting what evidence they had, and assuring them that a Jedi in the Empire under a new emperor wouldn't be any different than the horrible mess they were dealing with already on Coruscant. By the end she was really wishing she had more substantial evidence or assurances.

"Look, I know this maybe wasn't handled the best, and I understand why everybody has concerns. I have them too," Jaina went on. "But Jag and I also want an increased Jedi presence in the Empire. I'd actually like to request help in investigating the potential Sith. We want to protect those in friendly Imperial space, and it'll give you some leverage in dealing with Galactic Alliance oversight. You wouldn't be theirs and you wouldn't be ours. It would actually be fair for once. Jag's willing to go to bat for you with Wynn Dorvan if you're interested. Not to mention it would make myself and everybody else feel better knowing there were Jedi around to prevent another Palpatine."

The silence from the Masters was different this time, and Saba said slowly, "We have a lot to consider. Thank you, Ma- Jaina."

Jaina stood from her chair, realizing it was the last time she was ever going to do that. "Been a pleasure working with you guys," she said, and left the room to let them argue about what to do next.

Two years. She hadn't even gotten two years on the Jedi Council, and it was one more thing she'd worked for and finally achieved, gone.

She hadn't gotten very far when she heard the door to the chamber open and close again, and Kyp quickly caught up with her just by benefit of having longer legs. He stopped in front of her to block her path and said, "We're going to have an honest moment, just the two of us."

"Ten credits say I know why," Jaina said.

"No bet. I was there the last time you were in a position like this," he reminded her.

"I know. Trust me, I got a call from Tenel Ka, too. It's not the same thing." But she would admit that when she'd once started falling to the dark side and ended up in a position to become Queen Mother of the Hapes Consortium, people might look at you funny when you became something even bigger than that.

"I'm aware. And it wouldn't worry me if I didn't know you were hiding something. So we're going to have an honest moment, you and me."

"It's nothing you need to worry about," she said.

"Honest moment," he repeated.

Jaina sighed, and decided she could be a little bit honest. "I'm never not worried anymore. This is a permanent position that Jag and I are sticking future generations with. I come from a family where all but two of us have fallen to the dark side, and Jacen was in charge of the GA when... I know the inclination is to worry about a revival of Palpatine, and I worry about it, too."

"So you want to be watched," Kyp said.

"No. Sort of," she sighed. "When I went dark, I knew what was happening because of Jag, and Zekk, and Tenel Ka calling me out on it. I made it back because of you. I don't know what shape it needs to take, but I'm going to need that safeguard in place. The absolute last thing I want to do is screw up relations with the Jedi when we need each other."

He took this in, and finally nodded. "I'll see what I can do."

Jaina managed a tiny smile, and moved in to give him a hug. He kissed the top of her head, and she pulled away to let him get back to his meeting, to talk about her.

*****

The other big task at hand was packing up the apartment that she and Jag had lived in until this week. She supposed she could have had someone do that for her, but she was still in mourning for what she hadn't expected to be her old life, and she needed to go through it herself. Also, she and her husband were both public figures who'd either led or had ties to people who led governments and factions and it was safer this way.

Luckily after lifetimes of living in different places on short notice and traveling light, there wasn't a ton of stuff, and she figured she'd have time to send a message to one particular person in case he wanted to yell at her.

Ben showed up a few minutes later, hair longer than it should be, but not yet at Zekk-level time-for-an-intervention length. "So," he said, tucking his arms up into the sleeves of his Jedi robes. "I'm not going to yell."

Probably.

"Thanks," Jaina said, turning from where she was happy to stop filling a box with random stuff she might be better off throwing out. "I've done enough yelling the last few days for both of us. Thanks for coming."

"The Council didn't take it well?" Ben asked a little dryly. "I'm shocked. They've been so reasonable, historically."

"It actually could have been a lot worse. I didn't really give them much of a chance to start arguing over me." If Jaina had an issue with the Council, the infighting was definitely it. "No, the yelling's been over just about everything else. haven't been taking it well, honestly."

Not that she thought anyone could blame her. Unless they thought she'd done all dark and power-hungry anyway.

"You're not leaving forever, are you?" Ben asked, biting his lower lip. "The Empire isn't going to hole itself away again?" Luke had taken a step back from the Order months back, and Ben was still feeling the sting. He hadn't proven to be particularly great at making new friends.

"Definitely not," she said immediately. "I'm going to be stuck living there, but Jag's always wanted to keep up good relations with the Jedi, and just try getting me to stay out of things."

Ben gave her a relieved smile. "Okay. Good. It's going be too quiet without your yelling, otherwise."

"There'll probably be times you hear me all the way from Bastion," Jaina said dryly. "The good thing is this family is so used to being scattered that this shouldn't be so bad. Unless someone's mad, anyway." Han, for instance, would be mad.

"Have you told Uncle Han yet," Ben asked, "or would I have heard that reaction from here?"

"I was kind of hoping to see what the Council said so I could use them as backup before I talked to him," Jaina admitted. "If they haven't called me yet, it means they haven't heard."

"It's probably bad that makes me think your comm's going to go off any second, huh?" Ben said.

They came from a family with amazing dramatic timing, after all.

"It better not. I'm not quite ready for that fight yet. He made a bunch of comments before we were even married about Jag basically being Emperor and now he is and maybe I should warn my mom first," Jaina frowned. "So. What are you thinking?"

"I'm thinking that you wouldn't have married him if Jag was going to turn into a mustache-twirling bad guy," Ben said with a little smile, "and I'm thinking that I'm really going to miss you."

"I'll miss you too. And you're getting a hug for all of that," she said, walking over to do just that.

Ben hugged her back, clinging just a little. "It's going to be weird, being the only one in the family in the Order."

"Does it help if I didn't exactly entirely quit?" she asked.

"Yes," Ben said with feeling. "I mean, that's probably weird, but yes, it does."

Ben was a little lonely. Shh.

Jaina shrugged. "If it's weird, then too bad, because it makes me feel better too."

"Good," Ben said. "It's just...you know, a legacy."

"Guess it's time to start making a new, much scarier one," Jaina frowned.

"Does it have to be scarier?" Ben asked.

"It does if you're me," she said. "Nothing like being part of the system your parents tried to stop. I know it's different now, but this is not where I thought I'd end up."

Ben smiled a little ruefully. "Something poetically circular to it, though. I realize that's not helping."

"I do like to think it'd make Palpatine roll around in his grave, if he had one," she admitted.

"Granddad kind of made sure he didn't thanks to weird Imperial 'holes in everything' architecture, and how Dad tells it, he and your mom made sure Imperials didn't set up any kind of creepy memorial to him on Endor," Ben said.

"And I'm sure I could always issue an Imperial law against stuff like that. I'm sure Jag would be on board." Seriously. He'd be on board. He was really more of a Thrawn guy anyway.

"He should also look and make sure there aren't weird plunging death parapets around," Ben said. "The Imperials have a certain...traditional way to getting rid of people." And Ben liked Jag.

"Apparently they've gotten sneakier," Jaina said dryly. "Though Jag makes enough snarky comments about going out that way that I'm pretty sure he's on top of it."

"Pushing people into giant holes is pretty much the least sneaky thing ever," Ben agreed. "And Jag is a level of magnitude smarter than most of what the Empire ever had running it, plus he's not evil, so that's two things going in your direction."

"And he's going to have Tahiri, so that's three. I trust him with her more than just about anyone," she said.

Ben nodded. "Is she going be something like a Jedi again then?"

"Whatever Tahiri ends up being is for her to work out." The story of Tahiri's life, really. "She's staying on with us as a Jedi, and Jag's always wanted a Jedi presence in the Empire. So we'll see what comes of that, and how the Order handles things when they've had time to process and see."

"Hopefully they'll react with maturity and wisdom," Ben said, "but...I've met them."

"Pretty sure I can get Kyp to yell at them till they come around," Jaina said.

"Let me know when he's going to do it so I can bring popcorn and shamelessly eavesdrop," Ben

said.

"You're going to be in a way better position than me to know the whens of what the Jedi do now," Jaina pointed out.

Ben's face fell a bit to be reminded about that. "Yeah," he said softly. "Well, maybe hanging around the Council chambers more will get me better assignments?"

"If you ever feel like working around the Empire, I'm pretty sure I can put in a good word for you," Jaina said lightly.

Ben smiled. "I might take you up on that--any I'm pretty sure I can hear the grandfather from your island yelling from here."

Jaina grimaced. "I don't even want to think about that yet," she said, though she knew it was a conversation best had in person. "Want to help me pack up as penance for bringing it up?"

"Sure," Ben said. "What are you taking? Are the robes staying behind?"

"Nope. Everything must go. I have a ridiculous amount of space to fill up now and Jag and I barely have stuff to begin with. And the robes stay in the closet." Symbolically, if nothing else.

"Well, you've been Jedi-ing a long time," Ben said, glancing around for a place to begin. "Most of my stuff can fit in the back of an X-Wing, too."

Jaina didn't point out that she wasn't even going to be able to keep her Jedi-issued X-wing. It was too depressing. Instead she just sighed and said, "Never become an empress, kiddo. Keep things simple."

[NFB, NFI, OOC okay. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] momslilassassin for being my Ben!]

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