EUCantina.net is very excited to present to its readers an exclusive preview for tomorrow’s release of the fourth Fate of the Jedi novel, Backlash. Written by veteran Star Wars scribe Aaron Allston, Backlash can be picked up as a hardcover at any major book-seller tomorrow. Until then, enjoy the excerpt by clicking on the “Read More” button.
Many thanks to the great folks over at Del Rey for the excerpt.
Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Backlash
Page 36– Bottom
A short while later, when the two speeders had come within view ofeach other for the third time, Leia saw the cargo speeder halt. There was discussion among the four people aboard, then Tribeless Sha dropped over the side, landing nimbly on the forest floor four meters down. She looked right and left, then set off at a trot to the right, a course that would carry her past the red speeder’s current path. When she’d moved forty paces, the cargo speeder followed at a slow pace.
Leia activated her speeder’s comm. “What’s happening? Over.”
Yliri’s voice came back, “Sha spotted blood on a bush. Now she’s spotted rancor footprints. She’s tracking back to where the beast was injured. Over.”
Within a few minutes, Sha had found the spot, ground that was charred everywhere as if by a broad-ranging but not very intense fire. Within a hundred meters of it were two wrecked speeder bikes. Tarth looked over the registration numbers engraved in their engine compartments and gave Han a nod.
Han sighed. “Luke and Ben are going to lose their deposits.”
Leia elbowed him in the ribs. “Not funny. Where are they?”
“Hard to track.” That was Sha, one of the few times she’d spoken since she’d been hired. She gestured to the northwest, at a distinct angle from their previous course. “That way. There’s another set of tracks. Dathomiri woman, I think.” Her hand transcribed an arc, then ended up pointing in the same direction. “Went off at an angle, then went that way, too.”
“Who was leading and who was following?” Leia frowned. While she didn’t like the idea of anyone tracking or trailing Luke and Ben, she knew that her brother might merely be allowing an enemy to do so.
Sha shrugged. “Impossible to tell. Too long ago.”
“Can you track them?”
Sha nodded. “Yes. But slow. Walking speed.”
“Let’s do it, then.”
“Electronics are fried.” That was Tarth, still rummaging around in the mechanical insides of one of the speeder bikes.
Han frowned. “How’s that again?”
“Electronics are fried. Both speeders. I also found a comlink by the other one. Burned clear through and discarded.”
“Char marks on the ground where they were?”
Tarth shook his head. “The same as all around, but nothing to suggest they were grounded when it happened.”
Sha said nothing, but the look she gave Han was a question.
“Electrical attack of some sort,” Han told her. “But electricity is most damaging when its target is in contact with the ground. If the two speeder bikes were shot out of the sky with an electrical attack while they were moving . . . well, that’s a lot of power.”
Sha nodded. “Lightning Storm. A spell cast by the Witches. Some Witches. All Nightsisters.”
Leia took a step forward before she’d realized she had. “Nightsisters? I thought-I was hoping they were all gone.”
Sha shook her head. “Never gone. They hide, they heal, they return. If their numbers are few, they come for your children.” For just a moment, her usually expressionless mask fell and she looked bleak. Then that look was gone, wiped away by a blankness any sabacc player would envy, and Sha turned away.
Han gripped Leia’s shoulder, gave it a reassuring squeeze. “The Nightsisters are their Sith.” His voice was a grim whisper.