"My joy comes in understanding. You're right—if I could take the universe apart and put it back together, I would."
―Nen Yim to Tahiri Veila[src]

A young Yuuzhan Vong who died on the eve of her species' redemption from their culture of warfare, Nen Yim was a visionary scientist who played a pivotal role in the Yuuzhan Vong War. Born into Domain Yim and trained as a shaper in the arts of biotechnology and organic engineering, Yim spent her youth aboard one of the enormous worldships that transported the Yuuzhan Vong through the intergalactic void toward the galaxy that was to be their new home. A realist who viewed the universe through a scientific lens, Yim soon found herself at odds with the strict protocols that governed experimentation with her species' biotechnology. Despite the fact that her lover Yakun Kwaad was discovered and executed on grounds of heresy, Yim herself dabbled in heretical practices in a successful effort to save one of the ailing worldships. Lauded yet undiscovered in her heresy, Yim was assigned to Master Shaper Mezhan Kwaad and taken to experiment on a Jedi girl who had been captured during the second year of the Yuuzhan Vong species' invasion of the galaxy.

Yim and Kwaad undertook an extensive study into the biology of the captive Jedi—the Human girl Tahiri Veila—in an attempt to determine the origin and cause of the Force. The two shapers soon became partners in heresy as they clandestinely flouted the religious orthodoxy of Yuuzhan Vong science in order to meet their own ends; namely, to brainwash Veila into believing that she was a Yuuzhan Vong warrior. A damning accusation of heresy and the interference of one of Veila's Jedi companions resulted in the death of Mezhan Kwaad and the banishment of Nen Yim to the ailing worldship Baanu Miir, which she attempted to save from decline. When the young shaper requested aid in her endeavors, she was shocked to meet an insane master shaper known as Kae Kwaad, who treated Yim with disrespect and ignored her stated tasks. Nen Yim later discovered that Kae Kwaad was in fact Onimi, the court jester of Supreme Overlord Shimrra, who had been sent to monitor Yim and watch for signs of heresy. It transpired that Shimrra sought a skilled heretic shaper to labor in secret to create new Yuuzhan Vong technology, which was mired in tradition and causing heavy losses in the war against the defenders of the galaxy.

The newly appointed master shaper worked in secret for Shimrra for the next two years, other than a brief diversion to aid Warmaster Tsavong Lah in a personal matter. Yim created cutting-edge technology which, while sacrilegious in the extreme, was sanctioned by Shimrra and served to undermine the opposing Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. Yim's true allegiance remained not to the Supreme Overlord, however, but to the future of the Yuuzhan Vong. Thus, when she was delivered a living starship which bore startling similarities to Yuuzhan Vong technology, Yim formed an unlikely allegiance with the questing priest Harrar and the rebel prophet Yu'shaa, in order to travel to the starship's planet of origin, Zonama Sekot. Accompanying the Yuuzhan Vong trio were two Jedi, Corran Horn and Tahiri Veila. Once the group had arrived on Zonama Sekot, Yim surrendered much of her scientific realism and enjoyed the sense of wonderment and peace she experienced on the living planet. Reconciliation with Veila, as well as the discovery that the Yuuzhan Vong had once been a peaceful race living in symbiosis with a world similar to Zonama Sekot, came in the last day of Yim's life. The master shaper was subsequently struck down and killed by Yu'shaa—in fact the ambitious Yuuzhan Vong Executor Nom Anor—who wished to eliminate Zonama Sekot so as to gain favor with Shimrra.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Childhood[edit | edit source]

"It is the will of the gods that life serves us. You were taught this."
―Mezhan Kwaad, to Nen Yim[src]

Nen Yim.

A female Yuuzhan Vong, Nen Yim was born into Domain Yim,[3] a subsidiary of Domain Kwaad.[4] She was raised on a Koros-Strohna—one of the planet-sized worldships that had transported the itinerant Yuuzhan Vong from the ruins of their galaxy to a new home. From a young age, Yim was inquisitive and exploratory, fascinated by the workings of her own body. She grew up in a crèche with fellow Yuuzhan Vong children. Two of her crèche-mates, P'loh and Zhul, once took a korsk—a Yuuzhan Vong organism bioengineered for cleaning services—and placed it in the communal food area, whereupon the creature consumed the i'fii which served as food.[2]

On another occasion, Nen Yim came across a n'amiq, a small creature pitted against others of its kind by Yuuzhan Vong warriors as a blood sport. The injured creature had been abandoned when it had refused to fight and Nen Yim took it back to her crèche and cared for it. Once she had nursed the n'amiq back to health, however, one of Nen Yim's crèche-mates took the creature to a fight. The young Yuuzhan Vong girl rushed to the arena, only to see the n'amiq be killed. The vivid memory remained with Yim throughout her life.[2] Due to her birth into the shaper caste, Yim later began her training,[5] on the worldship Baanu Kor.[6] Yim was moved to dormitories for instruction in primary shaping, where she and her fellow trainees were guarded by a young warrior.[2] Shaper training was rigorous and difficult; all trainees had to pass skill and aptitude tests in order to remain in the caste.[5]

Nen Yim passed her training and entered the caste proper, as a shaper initiate. Yim remained aboard Baanu Kor, where she worked alongside another initiate, Yakun Kwaad. The two young shapers fell deeply in love as they worked, tending the mernip breeding pools aboard the worldship together. When Kwaad was suddenly taken away and accused of heresy—which entailed committing an offense against the strict Yuuzhan Vong religion—Yim was shocked and saddened. Kwaad was sentenced to execution for his crimes and was scheduled for sacrifice to the gods he was deemed to have transgressed against. Before her lover's death, Nen Yim shared forbidden moments of intimacy with Kwaad and was greatly aggrieved by his execution. The young shaper initiate was subsequently reassigned to another region of Baanu Kor, although she continued to carry Kwaad's memory with her.[3]

As with all the Yuuzhan Vong worldships,[4][7] Baanu Kor needed continual maintenance in order to ensure its survival until the Yuuzhan Vong living aboard the enormous vessel could be transferred to a planet. During work on the endocrine cloister of Baanu Kor, Nen Yim found that the orthodox shaping protocols that governed the science of her caste were constricting and unhelpful. Rather than remain limited by the strictures, Nen Yim decided that she should instead adapt the Vul Ag protocol to suit her purposes, despite the fact that such a method went beyond usual shaping practice. The adaptation, which ensured the continued functionality of the endocrine cloisters, nevertheless involved heresy. It was an offense punishable by death, as Yim well knew. In 26 ABY, a year after the Yuuzhan Vong had initiated the invasion of the galaxy which Supreme Overlord Shimrra had promised them in 29 BBY,[8] Yim was assigned to Master Shaper Mezhan Kwaad.[3]

The Jedi girl[edit | edit source]

"Our work begins tomorrow. We have one of the Jeedai, you know. Only one, but we shall have more. Supreme Overlord Shimrra himself is watching what we do here most carefully. We will not disappoint him."
―Mezhan Kwaad, to Nen Yim[src]

Now an Adept, Nen Yim accompanied a plethora of other shapers to the Yavin system. There, on the fourth moon of the gas giant Yavin Prime, was the Jedi Praxeum. The Praxeum was headquarters to the New Jedi Order, an order of individuals capable of manipulating an energy field known as the Force. Yuuzhan Vong shapers had been tasked with setting up a research and development laboratory on Yavin 4, where captured Jedi were to be experimented upon so that the origin and nature of the Force could be analyzed and understood.[5][3] On arrival, however, the mission's military leader, Commander Tsaak Vootuh, learned that the Peace Brigade, a collaborative organization which worked alongside the Yuuzhan Vong, had attacked the Praxeum. In the chaos, every Jedi had escaped bar one—Tahiri Veila,a young Jedi girl. Another Jedi was known to be on the moon in hiding, lurking in the jungles.[3]

Once Commander Vootuh had secured an Orbital perimeter and deposited damuteks on the moon's surface—organic Yuuzhan Vong constructs which would serve as laboratories for the shapers—Yim disembarked the starship that had brought her and her fellow shapers to the moon. The young adept reveled in her first experience of setting foot on an actual world, rejoicing in the mysteries of the alien lifeforms and enjoying the sense of wonderment that filled her. While doing so, Yim was approached by her new master, Mezhan Kwaad. The two conversed about the nature of Yavin 4, although Yim was reprimanded for letting slip the fact that she was fascinated by the new life due to the fact that it had not yet been shaped, unlike Yuuzhan Vong lifeforms, all of which had been experimented upon to be used in service of the species. As Kwaad revealed that she had selected Yim as an adept due to the younger shaper's innovative work on the endocrine cloisters of Baanu Kor, Yim feared that her master knew of the heresy she had committed.[3]

The young adept was led by Mezhan Kwaad to the Grotto of Yun-Ne'Shel, a holy shrine to the Yuuzhan Vong Goddess of Life, whom the shaper caste worshiped. There, Yim took part in a ceremony to receive the customary implant of all adepts—a shaper hand. Yim's wrist was severed, before she was led to a basin for a creature to be affixed to the bloody stump in the place of her hand. The young shaper fainted from the pain and awoke with the creature attached, now serving as a replacement hand with shaping tools in place of her digits. Yim was congratulated by her master on the process. The next day, Kwaad and Yim began their experiments on Tahiri Veila, the young Jedi girl who had been captured by the Peace Brigade and handed over to the Yuuzhan Vong. Interrogating the girl, Yim and Kwaad learned that the Jedi had no biological or mechanical implants to aid her to manipulated the energy field known as the Force. The first goal of the two shapers was to map Veila's nervous system, so that the physiological origin of her Force-sensitivity could be isolated.[3]

Over the next days, Yim aided Kwaad in this process. The master shaper decided to apply the protocol of Tsong, which governed the use of the provoker spineray, an organism which could trigger nervous impulses in the being to which it was attached. By inducing pain in certain areas of Veila's nervous system, the two hoped that they could formulate an image of how the Jedi girl's body operated. Despite the benefits of using the protocol of Tsong in this manner, both shapers knew that the adaptation of the protocol to a purpose for which it was not originally intended tested the boundaries of orthodoxy. By adapting the protocol, they were denying its usefulness, which in turn defied the gods, who had in legend delivered the knowledge to the Yuuzhan Vong. When Master Shaper Yal Phaath arrived in the middle of one of the experiments and began implying that Kwaad and Yim were dabbling in heresy, the younger shaper observed as her master refuted Phaath's claims.[3]

As the tense conversation continued, Veila suddenly utilized the Force to compress the air in the laboratory, in an attempt to crush the Yuuzhan Vong to death. While Kwaad, Phaath and his aide were incapacitated, Yim was able to manipulate the provoker spineray to overload Veila's nervous system with pain. With Veila's attempt to kill the four Yuuzhan Vong foiled, Yim explained what had just transpired to Phaath. Disturbed, the ancient master shaper revealed that the experiments into the Jedi served little purpose, as he himself had been assigned to create a weapon that would eliminate the Jedi Order once and for all. Kwaad wished the rival master shaper luck in his endeavors, and Phaath subsequently left the star system for the planet Myrkr. Following Yal Phaath's departure, Yim continued in her efforts to map Veila's nervous system. Although Yim was eventually successful in her task, she found herself confused. The Human girl's nervous system had multiple differences to that of a Yuuzhan Vong. This suggested to Yim that the protocols were once again lacking, in that supposedly the rules of shaping should apply to all life—as all life had been created by the god Yun-Yuuzhan. The fact that Humans did not obey the laws of Yuuzhan Vong existence suggested that there were untruths in the cultural orthodoxy of Yim's species.[3]

Master's deception[edit | edit source]

"Do not speak to anyone but me about this. If our result are to the liking of our leaders, I assure you they will not look closely at our methods. But we must be discreet. We must move with caution."
―Mezhan Kwaad, to Nen Yim[src]

Due to the doubts raised in Yim's mind by the conclusions from her experiments, she came to suspect that Mezhan Kwaad herself was a heretic and was ignoring the strictures of the shaping protocols in the name of expediency and pragmatism. A day after Yim had received another new shaping implant—a Vaa-tumor that would grow in her brain, inducing visions and epiphanies to further her experimentation—she approached her master in the shaping damutek. Kwaad, whose own Vaa-tumor had developed to the point that it required excision, discussed the implant with Yim before moving on to the subject of Tahiri Veila. Yim revealed that she had finished mapping Veila's nervous system, which led to Kwaad asking how Yim would continue her studies of Veila if, hypothetically, there were no shaping protocols. The young shaper adept hesitantly recognized Kwaad's question as an invite to discuss heresy and indeed, the master shaper accused Yim of doubting the protocols—an action which constituted heresy of the first order. Rather than be reported by her master and condemned to death, Yim was assured that Kwaad too understood that the shaping protocols were lacking. Warning Yim not to contemplate betraying her—a monition that surprised Yim, who had no such intent—Kwaad directed the experiments on Veila to continue down the path of heresy.[3]

Having mapped out Veila's nervous system, Yim and Kwaad began the next stage of their experiment. With the intention of replacing Veila's memories with those of a Yuuzhan Vong, in order to brainwash the young Jedi into believing she was a warrior known as Riina Kwaad, the two shapers utilized the protocol of Qah as a starting point. The protocol was insufficient, however, as its instructions pertained to Yuuzhan Vong physiology.[3] Instead, Kwaad supplied memories from a real Yuuzhan Vong and the two shapers created hybrid brain tissue—Human, but with Yuuzhan Vong information instilled.[2] To prevent Veila accessing her Human memories during the difficult process, Yim and Kwaad modified the provoker spineray to inflict pain upon the Jedi girl whenever she attempted to do so. They then began the slow process of replacing Veila's Human brain tissue with the hybrid material, careful to ensure that the Jedi's memories of how to use the Force were preserved. First, Veila's language centers were modified, allowing the young Jedi to speak the Yuuzhan Vong dialect. Having granted Veila the ability to understand them, Kwaad and Yim approached the young Jedi in the laboratory and informed her that she was Riina of Domain Kwaad, a Yuuzhan Vong girl who had been kidnapped as a child and brainwashed into believing that she was a Jedi. Veila began to despair; the next day, Yim carved three thin lines into the girl's forehead—the traditional markings of Domain Kwaad.[3]

For reasons unknown to Yim and her master, Veila's mind continued to reject the modified memory cells, which had to be replaced on a regular basis. Rigorous trial and error became the staple of the experiments. One day, when the young adept was waiting to meet Kwaad to begin the day's work, she was instead approached by a shaper initiate, who introduced himself as Tsun Q'el. Q'el informed Yim that her master was resting in preparation for the removal of her Vaa-tumor, and that he had been sent to act as an assistant. Uncertain, Yim's suspicions were dispelled by Q'el's references to Yakun Kwaad—Nen Yim's former lover. The initiate claimed that he had been a companion of Yakun's and that he had even met Nen Yim on Baanu Kor. Q'el's flirtations and invocations of Yakun's names offset Yim, who introduced the young initiate to the work she and Kwaad had been carrying out. As Yim demonstrated Veila's increasing docility and explained the difficult process of the memory grafting, Q'el surmised that she and her master had committed heresy. Nen Yim divulged that this was indeed the case, earning Q'el's admiration. While they talked, Veila suddenly burst into a fit of activity and began screaming her real name at Yim and Q'el. The Jedi was instantly quietened by the provoker spineray, but the outburst proved that the shaping process still had much further to go and Yim continued her work.[3]

Mezhan Kwaad returned to the laboratories two cycles later, irritable at how long she had remained apart from the project. Overriding Yim's concerns, the heretic master shaper abandoned the use of the provoker spineray and asked Veila—who was becoming convinced that she was in fact Riina Kwaad—to lift a stone using telekinesis. Veila did so, proving that her memories of the Force could be accessed alongside the implanted ones. Further study suggested that there was no locus for the Force powers within Veila's body. The findings confused the two shapers, who had hoped to discover that the ability to access the Force was located in a certain area. During their discussion, Kwaad was pained by her Vaa-tumor which, to Yim's incomprehension, had not in fact been removed as Tsun Q'el had claimed. It soon became apparent, following Kwaad's questioning, that Tsun Q'el had been sent by Master Yal Phaath to collect evidence of heresy, while Mezhan Kwaad was distracted with bureaucratic exercises. As the extent of the situation dawned upon both shapers, Commander Tsaak Vootuh arrived in the laboratory with his personal guard. Brushing aside Kwaad's protestations, Vootuh informed the two shapers that they were to be arrested on suspicion of heretical activity.[3]

As Vootuh and his guards led the two shapers and Veila out of the laboratory and through the damutek complex, a disturbance erupted far behind them. The commander hurried the group to his personal shuttle, located in the nearby ship compound. Moments after boarding the craft, however, a Jedi and a Shamed Yuuzhan Vong warrior, fighting side by side, stormed the ramp of the shuttle and attacked Vootuh's guards. The commander seized Veila as a hostage and, with Nen Yim and her master accompanying him, prevented the Jedi and the Shamed One, both of whom were badly wounded, from coming any further. It transpired that the Jedi—Anakin Solo—had paired with the Shamed One, who had formerly been commander Vua Rapuung, to recover Tahiri Veila. Rapuung had his own motives; at his insistence Solo asked Tsaak Vootuh to force Mezhan Kwaad to reveal whether or not she, as a spurned lover of Rapuung's, had used her shaping arts to inflict the appearance of a Shamed One upon the former commander. Nonplussed, Vootuh ordered Kwaad to respond to the charges. Kwaad proclaimed that she had indeed caused Rapuung to appear Shamed, and that there were no gods. As the crowd of Yuuzhan Vong who had assembled to watch the unfolding drama exploded in anger, Kwaad killed Vootuh and his guards with the finger-spears hidden in her shaper hand.[3]

As Kwaad held the crowd at bay with the threat of a huun; a toxic nerve gas; Yim went forward to drag Solo and Rapuung aboard the shuttle. When Anakin Solo's lightsaber lifted from the ground and arced toward Mezhan Kwaad, Yim froze while the master shaper attempted to throw off Solo's telekinesis by over-loading his senses with pain from the finger-spear she had embedded within him. Too late, Kwaad realized that Veila was manipulating the lightsaber; the Jedi girl decapitated the master shaper and Solo took a shaky stand on the shuttle ramp. To the surprise of everyone present, Vua Rapuung rose to his feet and hurled himself at the crowd of Yuuzhan Vong warriors at the base of the ramp. In the resulting chaos, Yim disappeared. The two Jedi, afforded enough time by Rapuung's sacrifice, escaped Yavin 4. Throughout the next day, a space battle raged as Jedi-aligned forces attempted to recover Solo and Veila. The young shaper adept watched as many of the Yuuzhan Vong starships were destroyed as they lifted off to join the battle in space. Once the Yuuzhan Vong had been defeated, an orbital bombardment of the damutek compound commenced. Mezhan Kwaad's records were immolated in the process, leaving Yim the sole repository of the the knowledge on the Force amassed during the experiments. When the enemy began landing troops in order to recover the slaves present on the moon Yim, wishing to preserve the valuable knowledge, hid among the Shamed Ones in case the enemy took shapers captive.[3]

Ignominy[edit | edit source]

"Only the senile, inept, and disgraced remain to tend the worldships."
"Yes, Adept."
"Aren't you going to ask which I am?"
"I know you were once part of one of the holy programs."
"Yes. A program that failed. My master failed. I failed. We failed the Yuuzhan Vong. The honor of death was denied me, and I have been sent here to do what I can for our glorious people."
―Adept Nen Yim and Initiate Suung Aruh[src]

The Jedi-aligned forces took no captives, leaving only with the liberated slaves. Yim spent some time among the remaining Yuuzhan Vong while the survivors waited for relief. The Shamed Ones excitedly discussed the events that had occurred on the moon; Vua Rapuung, once thought a Shamed One, had been redeemed when, with the help of a Jedi, a high-ranking shaper had admitted that she had artificially Shamed the commander. Although the belief was deeply heretical, the Shamed One came to regard the Jedi as emancipators who could throw off their lowly status. Warmaster Tsavong Lah, leader of the warrior caste, eventually arrived to oversee the clean-up. Yim was taken before the warrior and debriefed. She explained her situation and why she had hidden; despite the warmaster's interrogation, Yim contended that no evidence of heresy existed following the bombardment and that she should be allowed to record her knowledge in a qahsa—a memory storage device. Lah spared the shaper adept and gave her permission to preserve the information, but revealed that she would be dispatched to tend the ailing worldships. Before the warmaster released her, he inquired into the heretical beliefs arising among the Shamed Ones. Yim replied that she could name a few of those who were vocal in their beliefs of the messianic Jedi, but knew that repression would only inflame the heresy.[3] A purge of Shamed Ones was subsequently enacted on the moon to prevent the spread of the heresy.[4]

Nen Yim was assigned to the Koros-Strohna worldship Baanu Miir, an ancient vessel located in the outer reaches of the galaxy, too old and too distant from any planets for its inhabitants to be transferred. With all available warships and experienced shapers committed to the war, Baanu Miir and its occupants, most of whom, like its prefect Ona Shai, were either Shamed Ones, invalids, elderly Yuuzhan Vong or those who had fallen into disgrace, had been largely abandoned by the bureaucratic and administrative arms of the species.[4] A new worldship had been undergoing construction in the ruins of the planet Sernpidal since the previous year,[9] but had a considerable amount of time remaining until completion. On arrival, Yim was shocked by the ancient vessel's advanced state of decay, as well as by the inertia and apathy that ruled over its 12,000 occupants. Almost a thousand years old, Baanu Miir was reaching the end of its long life; Nen Yim recognized that her task was to sustain the vessel as best she could, with limited resources and knowledge, until the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the galaxy had been concluded and the dying worldship could be evacuated. With no master shaper to oversee her, but with no access to the forbidden shaping protocols, Yim turned once again to heresy in order to formulate a solution. She visited the ailing brain—the rikyam—that controlled the worldship, hoping to extract samples which she could study in private. Accompanying her was Suung Aruh, an inexperienced shaper initiate who was underqualified for the task. Informing Aruh of the scope of the task awaiting them, but careful not to divulge her heretical leanings, Yim ordered the initiate to depart and increase his knowledge of the protocols, before taking the illicit samples of the brain and retiring to her quarters.[4]

Over many days, Yim developed a new, highly illegal protocol which she hoped would enable the rikyam's dying brain cells to regenerate. Progress was arduous and slow, however, and the adept found herself increasingly aware that time was running out for the occupants of Baanu Miir. This fact was further emphasized when, during one of Yim's private studies in her chambers, Prefect Ona Shai arrived and informed her that 3,000 of the worldship's inhabitants had died. Immediately, Yim consulted the rikyam, only to discover that while the accident had occurred at one of the Koros-Strohna's spiral arms, the senile brain had little understanding of what had transpired. Along with the prefect and a warrior, Sakanga Shai, Yim traveled to the end of the relevant spiral arm, where she discovered that a rip in the old vessel's hull had vented the breathable air into space, killing those within. Equipped with a gnullith and a lungworm, which enabled Yim to breathe in the vacuum, the master shaper and the two members of Domain Shai observed the corpses of the Shamed Ones who had been trapped in the arm and unable to escape. Yim spent some time examining the scene of the accident, concluding that in its senility the rikyam had been unaware that the living tissue of the spiral arm was spasming. The living hull of the great starship had torn open in the process. Shocked and saddened, Yim vowed that she would use heresy to save the remaining inhabitants, even if it came at the cost of her life.[4]

Despite her innovations, Yim's experiments were hampered by her inability to access the higher shaping protocols, which she hoped could at least serve to push her heretical explorations in new directions. The condition of the ancient worldship worsened in the meantime, despite the efforts of Suung Aruh and the other novice shapers under Yim's command. Despite her capacity to grow an entirely new rikyam for the worldship, if given time, Yim also needed to transfer the memories and idiosyncrasies of the old brain to the new one, which required knowledge beyond her station as an adept. Hoping to gain access to the cortices higher than the fifth cortex available to shaper adepts, Nen Yim contacted Tjulan Kwaad, the lord of Domain Kwaad and the Yim subsidiary. Full of anger over the disgrace his domain had suffered following the revelation of Mezhan Kwaad's heresy, Tjulan Kwaad responded to Yim's appeals with rage and bitter sarcasm. Tjulan Kwaad ridiculed the problems faced by the inhabitants of Baanu Miir and cut off contact. Following the conversation, Yim was visited by Aruh, who urged her to retain hope and voiced his confidence in her. Yim dismissed the younger shaper and returned to her thoughts, only to be shocked by news from Tjulan Kwaad. The old shaper re-established contact via villip and informed Yim that he was sending her a master shaper to help out on Baanu Miir.[4]

The news was seen as a death knell for Yim, whose heresy was sure to be discovered by a master in person. Confronted by the prospect of her own death, Yim's only respite was that the new master might save Baanu Miir on his arrival. Two days later, Master Shaper Kae Kwaad arrived, and Yim's respite proved a chimera. Kae Kwaad was a physically twisted, unkempt, seemingly irrational Yuuzhan Vong, who flirted with the young shaper despite the strict guidelines against carnality observed by orthodox master shapers. Kwaad insisted on referring to the adept as Nen Tsup, which had connotations in the Yuuzhan Vong language of sexual servitude; as Yim led the master shaper through the dying worldship to his quarters, she came to the conclusion that Kwaad was an obscene, demented figure. She left the master shaper in his quarters and served aboard the worldship for a day, before returning to her laboratory and discovering Kwaad rummaging through her heretical experiments. Put on the spot, Yim confessed that she had strained the orthodox protocols, only for the mercurial master shaper to announce that they would work together on the protocol of Hon Akua, which concerned the creation of insectoid grutchins, spaceborne creatures that attacked starships for the Yuuzhan Vong fleets. Despite her protestations about the declining rikyam, Yim could not penetrate Kwaad's fixation with the idea of creating a perfect grutchin, and soon began to compass the murder of the master shaper.[4]

Revelation[edit | edit source]

"In my vision, Nen Yim, you were raised to the rank of master. In my vision, you quested for the knowledge that Yun-Yuuzhan holds out. He offers it, but he demands sacrifice and labor to obtain it. He requires that you pursue your heresy. The other shapers are the dupes of Yun-Harla. They shall not know of this. You will labor here, with me. You will have the resources and assistants my household provides. Together with me, you will bring the deepest secrets of shaping forth from the waking mind of Yun-Yuuzhan, and before that unleashed knowledge, the infidels will fall."
―Shimrra, to Nen Yim[src]

Over the next weeks, as Yim and her fellow shapers were forced by Kae Kwaad to abandon their maintenance of the rikyam and devote their time and resources to the creation of the perfect grutchin, the young adept endured further humiliations, at one point being ordered to work entirely in the nude. After a visit from the despairing prefect Ona Shai, who informed Yim that the sewage system on the worldship was failing and that noxious fumes were being spilled into the living areas of the vessel. As Yim traveled to apprise Kae Kwaad of the issue, she realized that the dissent aboard Baanu Miir was being given focus by whisperings that the Jedi were the saviors of the Shamed Ones. The "Jeedai heresy" had survived Yavin 4. When Nen Yim reached the quarters of Kae Kwaad, she found the master shaper, as she had suspected, disinterested in Ona Shai's concerns and immersed in the study of the grutchin larvae. Dismissing Yim with the instructions to remove and destroy a defective larva, Kwaad remained engrossed in his studies.[4]

Nen Yim decided that the time had come to eliminate the master shaper and secretly modified the larva so that it would attack and kill Kae Kwaad when she uttered the command word "Mezhan". Satisfied that she would soon be rid of the master shaper, Yim returned to her duties. One ket later, when the larvae had emerged, Kae Kwaad suddenly turned on the project, claiming to Nen Yim in private that the shaper initiates who had served him were conspirators and assassins. Just as she was about to order the doctored grutchin to kill Kae Kwaad, Yim hesitated when she saw a way by which she could access the shaping cortices beyond her reach. Yim promised that she could create new hands for Kwaad, whose own were stunted and useless. To do so she would need access to all of the cortices; access forbidden to her as an adept but promised to her by Kwaad in return for his new hands. The deal was sealed with Kwaad's molestation of Yim, which the young shaper endured to her disgust, confident that with the new knowledge she could save Baanu Miir and its inhabitants.[4]

Granted unprecedented and illegal access to the shaper cortices usually preserved only for masters, Yim placed a cognition hood on her head and undertook a mental journey through the Qang Qahsa. Yim filtered through the thousands of shaping protocols with her mind, searching through the sixth cortex and through the seventh and final cortex for the knowledge which governed the rikyam. As Yim searched, she marveled at the knowledge available, noticing how her own deductions had often mirrored actual science which had hitherto been inaccessible. When Yim tracked down the rikyam protocols, however, she realized that there was no hope. The protocols held no new knowledge; none had been added for thousands of years, despite the claims of supreme overlords that the Yuuzhan Vong gods regularly delivered new knowledge. Once again faced with the prospect that the orthodoxy of her species was a lie, Yim despaired, only to discover that an eighth cortex in fact existed. The sentience of the qahsa which Yim was exploring warned the young adept not to enter the eighth of its cortices, which it claimed held knowledge denied even to master shapers. Determined and resolute, Yim commanded the cortex to open, and was wracked with physical pain over and over until finally the qahsa relented and allowed the adept to gaze inside, only for Yim to discover that the eighth cortex was itself practically empty.[4]

When Yim awoke in a daze, she ordered her grutchin to kill Kae Kwaad, who had disposed of the creature beforehand. With his persona of madness and eccentricity seemingly discarded, Kwaad commanded Yim to accompany him to visit Supreme Overlord Shimrra. The two shapers traveled to the worldship-citadel of the ruler of the Yuuzhan Vong and into Shimrra's throne room. Yim was awed by the presence of the supreme overlord, who was regarded as a demi-god by the species. Shimrra revealed that Kae Kwaad was in fact his jester, Onimi, a Shamed One who carried out tasks for him. Yim was further informed that the eigth cortex was indeed empty—and that of all shapers, only she knew this fact—but that she would work in secret to fill it. Shimrra elevated Yim to the rank of master shaper and ordered her to work on his personal vessel to create new technology with which the inhabitants of the galaxy could be defeated. With her heresy finally licensed, Yim asked what would happen to the occupants of Baanu Miir, only to be informed that the worldship's inhabitants would die, as the new worldship growing at Sernpidal had been destroyed by New Republic forces. Yim decided that she would turn her attention to those who had destroyed the worldship and condemned those aboard Baanu Miir and the other dying worldships to death, determined in her new task.[4]

Serving Tsavong Lah[edit | edit source]

"Your cleverness, used in our service, more than makes up for the loss of Ghithra Dal and his conspirators."
―Tsavong Lah, to Nen Yim[src]

As a master shaper, Nen Yim was granted a master's hand, replacing the shaper hand that had been affixed to her wrist on Yavin 4.[10][2] In 27.3 ABY, Nen Yim was called away from her secret labors at Shimrra's side. Warmaster Tsavong Lah, who knew of Nen Yim from their encounter on Yavin 4, called for the shaper's services despite her heresy. Shimrra released Nen Yim to the warmaster and the master shaper consequently traveled to the Domain Dal worldship, which was serving as Lah's flagship in the ongoing war against the New Republic. Lah's worldship was stationed in orbit over Coruscant, the galactic capital that had been conquered by the Yuuzhan Vong forces at the beginning of the year.[11]

Soon after her arrival on the worldship, Yim met with Warmaster Lah, who apprised her of his situation.[10] During his campaign to conquer Coruscant, Lah had sacrificed his arm to Yun-Yammka, the Yuuzhan Vong god of war, as an offering. The replacement implant, the clawed leg of the radank creature, had begun to rot in the days following its attachment. The infection had rapidly spread up the warmaster's arm; once the rot spread past the shoulder, the celebrated warrior would be stripped of his rank and relegated to the level of a Shamed One.[11] Tsavong Lah's suspicions had been aroused by a New Republic collaborator, however, who had alerted him to the fact that the implant might have been deliberately sabotaged by those who might wish to control the warmaster. Nen Yim had been summoned to investigate the work of the shapers who had attached the arm, whom Lah suspected of conspiracy.[10]

The master shaper performed a thorough examination of the warmaster in private. She soon came to the conclusion that the implant was not failing in the manner usually experienced by those who were to become Shamed; rather, the infection was slowly consuming Lah's Yuuzhan Vong flesh and enlarging the radank implant. Her own suspicions raised, Yim discussed the possibility of how such sabotage might have been carried out. She agreed with the warmaster that she would need to carry out tests on the implant immediately after Master Shaper Ghithra Dal, who was overseeing Lah's treatments, had studied the arm. The warmaster alloted Yim quarters, promised her resources, and assigned her a suitable cover story.[10]

It was not until 27.5 ABY that Lah's next visit from Ghithra Dal took place; when the master shaper did arrive to treat the warmaster's infection, Yim remained outside the chamber until Dal had been dismissed. Once the signal had been given, the young Yuuzhan Vong woman rushed in and took samples of the arm and the carrion eaters Dal had administrated, which would supposedly consume necrotic flesh. When Yim was able to study the samples her findings confirmed that which both she and Lah had suspected. Dal had been administering bogus treatments that were instead worsening the condition of the implant; as the warmaster's health declined, the master shaper hoped to convince the warmaster that the progress of the infection bore a correlation to the favor Lah showed to the various Yuuzhan Vong gods. If Lah granted the followers of the priests of the god Yun-Yuuzhan opportunity and privilege, the deity would supposedly respond by causing the infection to abate.[12]

Once Yim had reported her findings to Lah, she was ordered to refrain from taking further action. For some time she remained aboard the worldship, until one day the warmaster took her with him to the transport ship Fu'ulanh. There, Lah had ordered the delivery of four rancors, carnivorous reptomammals native to the galaxy, to which the warmaster intended to feed the conspirators. Ghithra Dal and his conspirators in the priest caste were gathered aboard the transport ship as well, ostensibly to be conveyed to the world of Borleias, soon to be conquered by Yuuzhan Vong forces and awarded to the priests as a fief. Overlooking the chamber where the conspirators had been assembled from an organic Yuuzhan Vong viewing platform, Yim stood alongside Lah as he addressed the group.[12]

After feigning support for their ventures on Borleias, Lah confronted Dal and the priests over their scheme. One of the leading conspirators, the priest Takhaff Uul, attempted to deny the charges, but Lah soon gave the signal for Yim to trigger the release of the rancors. As the beasts entered the chamber and fell upon the Yuuzhan Vong, the shaper was led by the warmaster away from the feeding frenzy. Yim assumed that having witnessed the deaths of the conspirators, she too would be killed to cover up the affair. The victorious warmaster assured her, however, that he would announce that the New Republic defenders of Borleias had destroyed Fu'ulanh on arrival and that her death was not permissable, on Shimrra's orders. Her duties to the warmaster completed,[12] Nen Yim returned to Shimrra's side to continue her work.[7]

The eighth cortex[edit | edit source]

"No warrior, no priest, no outside shaper will ever learn what we do here. Shimrra values our heresy, yes—we produce new weapons and technology badly needed for the war effort. But he will never allow anyone beyond these to know how that technology comes into being."
―Nen Yim, to Qelah Kwaad[src]

Shimrra arrived on Coruscant at the beginning of 28 ABY; Nen Yim arrived with the Supreme Overlord and was soon set up in a damutek on the outskirts of the new Yuuzhan Vong city that was arising on the surface of the terraformed world. The compound was heavily guarded and far from the main Yuuzhan Vong thoroughfares, and Nen Yim's only contact with the outside world was Onimi, who acted as a messenger for Shimrra himself. Other shapers were brought to the compound with whom Yim worked alongside to create the cutting-edge technology, grounded in heresy, that was needed to triumph over the New Republic and the other hostile inhabitants of the galaxy. The team was provided with every resource it needed and carried out numerous experiments into mutations and bio-chemistry. Yim suspected that once the invasion had been completed, she and everyone else involved in the eighth cortex project would be quietly executed as part of a cover-up. Having accepted death a number of times before, however, in the interests of her species, the heretic master shaper went about her duties with enthusiasm.[7]

Almost immediately on arrival, Yim was infected with an itching plague that had spread as a contagion across the Yuuzhan Vong population on Coruscant. The world had been renamed Yuuzhan'tar, in honor of the Yuuzhan Vong's ancestral homeworld, and was undergoing a complex terraforming process overseen by the World Brain, a telepathic creature that could commune with Yuuzhan Vong life on the planet. As Yim worked rapidly on a cure for the itching plague, she began to suspect that it was the World Brain itself that had been responsible for creating the contagion. Master Shaper Ch'Gang Hool had already been executed for problems pertaining to the World Brain and it was vital to the Yuuzhan Vong that they be accepted onto their new galactic capital. Onimi arrived to collect the cure and return it to the mainstream shapers, who would subsequently mass produce it. Interacting with Onimi always discomforted Nen Yim, but she reported the results of her experiments and discussed the issue of the World Brain with the Shamed One.[7]

Rather than focus her efforts on the World Brain, however, Yim was ordered by Onimi to find a solution to the yammosk-jamming regularly carried out by New Republic forces in engagements. Yammosks were telepathic creatures that coordinated Yuuzhan Vong forces in battle, communicating via gravitic fluctuations. The enemy had discovered a means by which the gravitic communication could be disrupted, thus rendering the yammosks useless in battle. Onimi assured Yim that she would be granted a repulsorlift—a machine somehow utilized by the New Republic to disrupt the yammosks—to study in order to create a countermeasure.[7] Nen Yim and her shapers were able to do so;[13] new technology emerged from the damutek in rapid succession. The decoy dovin basals utilized by the New Republic to trick Yuuzhan Vong warships into firing upon one another,[7] the undetectable shadow bombs hurled by the Jedi telekinetically and other such contrivances that had placed the Yuuzhan Vong at a disadvantage were eventually countered by the advances of Yim and her team.[13]

Despite the parity gained by the Yuuzhan Vong forces due to the work of Yim's team, the Yuuzhan Vong suffered a heavy defeat that same year, which saw the death of Warmaster Tsavong Lah and the disappearance of a Yuuzhan Vong executor, Nom Anor,[7] whom Yim had once met.[2] Anor had failed to realize that his spy network had been compromised, an oversight that led to Tsavong Lah's defeat.[7] Among the Shamed Ones, the Jeedai heresy began to reach new heights. Many Shamed Ones were clandestinely venerating the "Jeedai" as saviors and, in the months following Tsavong Lah's defeat and the re-organization of the New Republic into the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, the movement expanded in scope and scale.[14]

Nen Yim continued to keep an eye out for other heretic shapers who might be useful in her endeavors. Ahsi Yim, her domain sister who had been discovered violating the shaping protocols on Yuuzhan'tar, was saved from execution and brought to the damutek compound. Qelah Kwaad, a young adept, was also brought to the project, whereupon she began creating mabugat kan; creatures that would ingest and destroy the relays of the HoloNet communications system utilized by the enemy. The compound itself was re-located to within Shimrra's Citadel, a worldship which had been landed on Yuuzhan'tar's surface to serve as the Supreme Overlord's palace. Toward the end of the year, Yim began work on a countermeasure to the gravity well projectors deployed by the enemy interdictors. The gravity well projectors were able to simulate the presence of the mass shadows that could wrench a starship out of hyperspace, and were thus useful in ambushing Yuuzhan Vong forces.[2]

Mysteries of a living world[edit | edit source]

"If this planet exists, I must see it for myself. The ship alone is not enough. I must know more."
"Because I think if I do not, our species is doomed."
―Master Shapers Nen and Ahsi Yim[src]

In 29 ABY, Nen Yim was once again visited by Onimi in her damutek. The master shaper soon grew irritated at the Shamed One's presence but, when Onimi led her through a secured corridor previously inaccessible to her, became intrigued. In a hidden chamber, the Shamed One revealed a living starship, which bore similarities to Yuuzhan Vong biotechnology. The craft had been damaged in battle; Yim queried Onimi on the subject, but the enigmatic Shamed One instead gave to her a portable qahsa so that she could study the data stored within, before leaving. Yim returned to her quarters but was visited by Qelah Kwaad before she could begin. Affording the shaper adept a measure of her time, Yim discussed the eighth cortex project and the probability that none of the heretic shapers would ever be allowed to live once the galaxy was secured. The heretic master shaper commenced her study of the qahsa after Qelah Kwaad's departure and grew excited as she explored its knowledge. The qahsa had belonged to a Yuuzhan Vong commander, Ekh'm Val, who had been sent on an extended reconnaissance mission to explore the galaxy. During his assignment, Val had discovered a planet that he claimed had been alive, which was inhabited by symbiotic life-forms. Yim was startled by the information, as the planet and its life-forms bore a resmeblance to the ancient legends of Yuuzhan'tar, the original ancestral homeworld of the Yuuzhan Vong.[2]

Nen Yim.

Yim also realized that she needed to see more than just that ship. Contacting the Priest Harrar, they arranged a plot where it would seem that she was kidnapped by Yu'shaa and the Jedi. However, one of those Jedi was Tahiri Veila, though Veila did not attempt to kill her. In reality, they discovered that Nen Yim's memories were used to create Riina Kwaad. On Zonama Sekot, she discovered that the planet was the seed of Yuuzhan'tar. Before she could share this information with anyone, Nen Yim was killed by Nom Anor, who, acting in favor of his own interests, poisoned her with neurotoxin from his plaeryin bol implant. When the toxin failed to kill her, he hit her head three times with a large rock and fled. Nen Yim lived long enough to identify her killer, divulge his plans, and to be granted forgiveness by Tahiri. However, she died just short of sharing her findings about the shared origins of the Yuuzhan Vong and Zonama Sekot.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

"I will not say I am happy to find myself sabotaged and in danger of destruction, and yet what you brought with you—the shaper and her knowledge—are of great importance. I do not entirely understand, and will not speak of it now, but I suspect the questions raised are the most important questions I shall ever have to ask myself."
―Sekot, the consciousness of the living world, to assembled Jedi[src]

Nom Anor's attempt to sabotage Zonama Sekot was repulsed by the living world,[2] although the executor was able to escape the Jedi and Harrar, returning to Shimrra on Yuuzhan'tar.[13] Sekot, the intelligence that controlled the planet, was able to excise the virus but failed to prevent a blind jump into hyperspace. The living world's intelligence was able to absorb much knowledge of Yuuzhan Vong technology due to Nen Yim's experiments, and Sekot subsequently appeared in the deceased shaper's guise to Tahiri Veila and the other Jedi to inform them of the situation. The planetary consciousness examined Yim's knowledge and the Yuuzhan Vong technology,[2] and eventually came to a series of conclusions.[13]

Onimi was revealed to have been the true Supreme Overlord of the Yuuzhan Vong, controlling Shimrra from behind the scenes through the Force—which, due to his own actions as a shaper, he had gained the ability to manipulate. The Shamed One died along with Nom Anor in the final stages of the Second Battle of Coruscant. Warmaster Nas Choka surrendered to the Galactic Alliance and peace terms were subsequently negotiated. The Yuuzhan Vong settled on Zonama Sekot, with the stipulation that they live in symbiosis with the living world as their forefathers had done before the species' original homeworld had been destroyed.[13]

The Shamed Ones were redeemed following the Sekot Accords and were renamed the Extolled, bringing an end to the heretical activity that had arisen on Yavin 4 three years prior.[15] Despite the reconciliation experienced by Nen Yim and Tahiri Veila, the Jedi Knight bore the scars of the shaper's modifications, both internal and external, for years; the painful losses she had incurred during the Yuuzhan Vong War continued to shape her future long after the conflict had drawn to a close.[16]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

"You truly are a genius."
―Nom Anor, to Nen Yim[src]

Though it was considered heresy by her people, Yim did not believe in the Yun'o; she believed in the gods in concept, but did not believe them to be real beings. This made her very analytical in her views and she believed that, if she was capable of taking apart the universe after which she would put it back together, then she would do so. She firmly believed in the shaping arts.

After the death of Baanu Miir, Nen Yim held a great deal of hatred towards the Jedi, New Republic and the inhabitants of the galaxy for killing so many of her people.[4] In time she managed to let go of the hate, although she was determined to never force her people to suffer through the agony that they did while drifting through the void between galaxies.

Ultimately, Nen Yim held loyalty to the Yuuzhan Vong people and went through any lengths to ensure the survival of her people. This meant that parts of her disagreed with the invasion of the galaxy as she felt that her people had gained enough territory with which to be sated.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Nen Yim first appeared in Greg Keyes' 2001 novel The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest.[3]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Using the text of The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, it is possible to place the Battle of Yuuzhan'tar nineteen days after the start of the novel, and the Battle of Esfandia (and thus the end of The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic III: Reunion) two months prior to the start of The Unifying Force. The Recapture of Coruscant occurs in 64:6 per The Essential Atlas, and by working backwards, at the very least the Battle of Esfandia must fall in 29 ABY. The Final Prophecy also places its events as more than two years after the Battle of Coruscant, which occurs in 62:4. Thus, The Final Prophecy, which occurs between Reunion and The Unifying Force, must fall in 29 ABY, despite The Essential Reader's Companion's placement of it in 28 ABY.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 The New Jedi Order: The Final Prophecy
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory II: Rebirth
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
  6. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
  8. The New Essential Chronology
  9. The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
  11. 11.0 11.1 The New Jedi Order: Star by Star
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
  14. The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee
  15. Dark Nest I: The Joiner King
  16. Legacy of the Force: Inferno
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