- "One of us needs to report this. If the Sith are involved with this place—"
"Yeah—I get it. This could be the whole thakitillo."
"The whole thakitillo?"
"You know, the big secret. The reason Jacen went dark, the reason the Shelter Jedi are going barvy…the reason the freakin' Sith keep coming back."
- ―Luke and Ben Skywalker
A skirmish took place at Sinkhole Station in 43.5 ABY when Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker and his son Ben Skywalker were ambushed by a strike team of Sith sent to eliminate the two Jedi. The Skywalkers had recently embarked on a quest to find out what had caused Jacen Solo's fall to the dark side of the Force, which eventually led them to find the Mind Walkers at Sinkhole Station in the Maw. Meanwhile, the strike team, consisting of members of the Lost Tribe of Sith from Kesh, was sent to track down Ship, a Sith Meditation Sphere, and kill Luke Skywalker. After recovering Ship, the surviving members of the Sith strike team arrived at the station and ambushed the Jedi.
The Jedi duo survived the initial confrontation and headed for the station's hangar, only to be ambushed by Sith Master Yuvar Xal, Sith Saber Baad Walusari, and Sith apprentices Vestara Khai and Ahri Raas. Xal and Raas, however, had planned to betray the others in an attempted coup to take over command of the strike team from Khai's Master, Lady Olaris Rhea. They attempted to kill Walusari and Khai as they attacked the Skywalkers, but their betrayal was unsuccessful. Khai quickly killed Xal, and Raas and Walusari were slain by the Skywalkers. Luke then confronted Khai, allowing her to cut him with her parang in order to put a blood trail on her before knocking the apprentice out and taking her hostage.
The Skywalkers were once again ambushed along the way to the hangar by more of the Sith. Khai regained consciousness and attacked as well, and the Jedi were forced to let her escape. They defeated the rest of the Sith and made their way to the hangar, where Ben went to prepare the Jade Shadow as Luke went back inside the station and confronted the four remaining Sith, killing the first two quickly and engaging in a duel with the second pair, Rhea and Khai. In the Jade Shadow, Ben opened fire on Ship, distracting the two surviving Sith and allowing Luke to kill Rhea. Khai, realizing she was no match for the Jedi, saluted them and fled. The Skywalkers allowed her to escape so that they could follow her with the blood trail.
- "Luke Skywalker has done much to fight the Sith, the dark side. He was at one point the last Jedi, and now he has re-created the Order with hundreds of them. And now, somehow, he has broadcast his presence into the Force. And we can take him down."
- ―Lady Rhea
After Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker was put on trial and exiled from Coruscant for dereliction of duty in 43.5 ABY, he and his son, Jedi Knight Ben Skywalker, embarked on a quest to find out what may have caused Jedi Knight-turned-Sith Lord Jacen Solo to fall to the dark side of the Force two years prior. Spending time with the Hidden Ones on Dorin and the Aing-Tii on a planet in the Kathol Rift, the Skywalkers' journey led them to seek out the Mind Walkers in the Maw. The Jedi found the Mind Walkers at Sinkhole Station, which appeared to be a miniature version of Centerpoint Station. There, the Mind Walkers began to teach the Skywalkers to go "beyond shadows" by separating their minds from their bodies.
Meanwhile, Ship, a Sith Meditation Sphere, abruptly left the planet of Kesh, where it had spent the last two years helping the planet's Lost Tribe of Sith develop a new Sith armada. The Tribe, having recently felt Luke Skywalker's presence in the Force when he came in contact with the Codex artifact in the Kathol Rift, sent a strike team led by Lady Olaris Rhea to recover Ship and eliminate the Grand Master. The team tracked Ship to a planet in the Maw, where they eventually met Abeloth, a female being of great strength in the Force. The planet's plants and wildlife proved deadly to the Sith, disposing of them until, eventually, there were only fifteen left. Abeloth pretended to help the Sith search for Ship and stay safe, while actually preventing Ship from returning to the Tribe. However, Abeloth was also present beyond shadows, and after she discovered the Skywalkers' location in the Maw, she allowed the Sith to leave the planet for Sinkhole Station, provided that the Tribe capture the Jedi and return with them to Kesh, as opposed to killing them.
- "Ben, who the black empty void is that?"
- ―Luke Skywalker, as the Sith begin to cut through the entry hatch
After returning from beyond shadows, the Skywalkers began nourishing their dilapidated bodies in the station's control room. The Skywalkers then proceeded to question one of the Mind Walkers, Rhondi Tremaine, of the validity of their trip. They also considered theories about the mental illness befalling Jedi Knights back on Coruscant. While discussing that, they heard a detonation nearby from the room in which Ben had locked up Tremaine's brother, Rolund Tremaine—a precaution he had taken before going beyond shadows in order to guarantee that Rhondi would make sure they returned safely. As Ben began to go check on Rolund, a scarlet lightsaber was thrust through the entry hatch, impaling the back of Rhondi Tremaine's head.
Four red lightsabers began to cut through the hatchway, and Luke cut open an escape route in the control room's viewport. The Grand Master decided that he would attempt to take one member of the ambushers hostage in order to find out who they were, as well as who had sent them. Finally, the intruders broke through and engaged the Skywalkers in combat. One of the Sith, a Keshiri female, threw a parang at Luke, who barely managed to dodge the weapon in time. Ben attacked the female Sith, slicing off her hand and stabbing her with his lightsaber. Her companions quickly charged them, however, and the Skywalkers retreated out through the hatch, Luke pouring blaster fire in after them. As Ben slipped out of the control room, he threw in a canister of azetal gas before he and Luke opened fire with their blasters. Three of the attacking Sith were killed, but the rest escaped through the hole that Luke had cut in the viewport. Meanwhile, the Skywalkers fled down the corridor in an attempt to reach their Horizon-class star yacht, the Jade Shadow.
- ―Yuvar Xal, giving the order to attack the Skywalkers
Upon arriving at the station, Rhea had changed the mission's objective back to killing the Skywalkers, rather than capturing them. She also ordered her apprentice, Vestara Khai, and a Sith Saber, Baad Walusari, to keep a careful watch on Sith Master Yuvar Xal and his apprentice, Ahri Raas, as she believed that they would attempt to betray her during the battle and take command of the strike team. Xal, Raas, Khai, and Walusari were hidden behind hatches at a junction chamber that the Skywalkers would have to pass in order to reach the Jade Shadow, planning to attack them with grenades. Shortly after the Skywalkers escaped the first confrontation, Rhea called the four ambushers to warn them that the Skywalkers were headed their way. Seeing their targets approach with lightsaber and blaster in hand, Khai and Walusari opened their hatches and tossed their grenades at the Skywalkers, but Xal and Raas quickly pushed the explosives back at them before tossing their own stun grenades at the Jedi. Rhea had anticipated the move, however, and had given Khai and Walusari false grenades to throw first. Meanwhile, one of the Skywalkers—both of whom had escaped the effects of the grenades—pretended to be incapacitated by the stun blast, and Raas moved forward to apprehend him. However, before Xal could join him, Khai unsheathed her shikkar and hurled the blade into the Sith Master's solar plexus, then broke off the hilt with the Force and watched Xal die. The Sith Master screamed in agony, and Raas was distracted long enough for the Skywalker he had been attempting to subdue to slice him down the spine with his lightsaber, killing him.
Walusari was the next to move, preparing to throw his fragmentation grenades at the Skywalkers, but the Jedi used the Force to throw the grenades back at him and shut his hatch down on his arm. Luke then grabbed Khai's wrist and quickly tossed her fragmentation grenades away down the corridor. Infuriated, Khai used the Force to lash out with her parang, managing to cut him across the cheek and nose. Unbeknownst to her, however, Luke had intended to let her cut him so that he could track her using a blood trail. Luke then knocked her out with a blow to the face and took her with him as he and Ben continued toward the Jade Shadow.
- "Hey, Ben?"
"Dad, what's wrong? You don't sound so good."
"I'll survive, if you hurry."
- ―Luke and Ben Skywalker
As the Skywalkers passed by a detention center containing Killik carapaces, they were attacked by more Sith from the corridor behind them. The Jedi pushed their captive aside as Sith began pouring blaster fire at them, which Luke countered by shooting the entrance through which the intruders had come—a membranous door. While the shot hit one of the beings still behind the door, the membrane itself split, and the resulting decompression explosion sent several of the Sith flying down the corridor. The Skywalkers continued firing on the Sith, quickly killing four of them. However, the intruders finally composed themselves, igniting their lightsabers and charging toward the Jedi. The Skywalkers, who had continued retreating down the corridor to the hangar the whole time, were suddenly attacked by Khai, who—though still bound—had regained consciousness. She Force-pushed Luke into Ben, knocking them both into the wall. Luke, however, urged Ben to let the girl escape, and the Jedi Knight fired a few blaster shots after Khai, sending her running down the corridor.
As the Skywalkers reached the hangar, Ben felt Ship's presence searching for them and realized that their attackers must be Sith, as he recognized the vessel as a Sith ship he had encountered during the Second Galactic Civil War. He told his father his concerns, and Luke ordered him to prepare the Jade Shadow for launch. Luke then went back inside the station on a lift and was instantly confronted by four Sith. He shot one of them in the chest three times, and then ignited his lightsaber through the face of a second. As the lift headed back down, the last two Sith—Khai and Rhea—dove in with him. The three began to duel, and the Sith managed to land several glancing blows on Skywalker, tearing holes in his vac suit. As Skywalker began to lose pressure in the suit, the Sith pressed their advantage, Khai firing on him with her blaster. Luke deflected the bolts back at her, sending one into her boot. Skywalker proceeded to duel one-on-one with Rhea, all the while using the Force to prevent Khai from attacking him from behind. The exit panel on the lift opened behind Luke, and Ben opened fire on Ship from the Jade Shadow. The Sith were distracted by the sudden light of the lasers, and Luke seized the opportunity by cutting off Rhea's leg and arm and quickly decapitating her. Upon killing the elder Sith, Luke immediately anticipated a counterattack from Khai. The apprentice, however, had realized she was outmatched, and had retreated over to a SoroSuub StarTripper. She saluted Luke with her scarlet lightsaber—to which Luke responded with a nod—and fled.
- "Hey, as long as you're awake, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
"What are we still doing here, hanging out in the Maw, when we're completely out of food and medicine?"
"Naw—I already figured that one out. You put a blood trail on that Sith girl. We're just waiting for her to get her act together and leave Sinkhole Station, so we can follow her."
- ―Ben and Luke Skywalker
With the blood trail on Khai, the Skywalkers allowed her to retreat to give Luke time to recover from his injuries. As they prepared to begin tracking the Sith apprentice, Ben began to worry that—while his father would recover from his physical wounds—he might never fully recover from his time beyond shadows. When Khai finally left the station, she knew that the Skywalkers would be tracking her and decided to head for the planet of Dathomir, where she sent a hypercomm message to the Tribe on Kesh to retrieve her. However, the Skywalkers found and dueled with the Sith Lord sent to retrieve her, defeating him and capturing Khai.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Skirmish at Sinkhole Station was created by author Troy Denning for the third novel in the nine-part Fate of the Jedi series, Abyss, released on August 18, 2009. The event served as the climax of the novel, as well as the death of three established characters in the series: Ahri Raas, Yuvar Xal, and Olaris Rhea.
Notes and referencesEdit