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"The Krytos Trap": Book 3 in the X-Wing series

Jedi Cool

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chapter 27:


Admiral Ackbar meets with Wedge and lets him know that the Xucphera faction on Thyferra is releasing some bacta that Rogue Squadron will be involved in helping to convoy back to Coruscant.


This is a top secret mission because they cannot risk upsetting the Thyferrans who are already miffed about trip to Ryloth for ryll. As it is, this has been made to look like they are selling to Mirax Terrik. They will get the bacta to a certain point and then Rogue Squadron will take over.


Wedge points out that his squadron is very high profile and is doubtlessly being watched. Ackar acknowledges this but also reminds him that they get points with the Thyferrans for having Erisi Dlarit flying with them.


This seems to be political, he knows, but it’s important to appease them because they could cut the New Republic off if they wanted to. Because of the aid the Empire gave the Thyferrans, they are now the sole providers of bacta. The New Republic has to deal with them and their fickleness because it would cost too much to set up a manufacturing operation on their own.


At the same time they have to deal with the cartel, they also cannot upset the other side either. Warlord Zsinj could use the Iron Fist in a way that prevents them from getting bacta at all. Even though he is dependent on the cartel for bacta, too, his needs are less urgent than theirs.


Wedge doesn’t like this idea. Ackbar notes that and reminds him that Rogue Squadron may have a reputation for the impossible but Wedge will have to be careful how he handles this. Billions of lives hang in the balance. If Wedge pulls something that doesn’t work, he could be in just as much trouble as Tycho.



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chapter 28:


Kirtan Loor knows this is information he can use to get out from under Fliry Vorru, but there are risks. It appears that about twenty freighters will be ferrying bacta from Thyferra to the Alderaan system where Rogue Squadron will meet them and escort them back to Coruscant.


He could destroy that convoy and advance Isard’s plans beyond what she has conveyed to him. He also has a wing of lookalike X-Wings that could pass for Rogue Squadron and either destroy their base or hit the convoy and destroy everything.


Except for the fact that he’s not supposed to be seeing this message.


The rebels are stuck using Imperial computers as it’s impossible to run Coruscant without them. The agent inside Rogue Squadron sent the message which was to have been forwarded to Isard. Had Loor done that blindly, he wouldn’t have seen it. The rendezvous is scheduled for three days from now which may not be enough time for her to do anything about it.


He wavers between destroying the convoy using X-Wings marked with Rogue Squadron symbols to engender more distrust of the Alliance or hijack the convoy and sell the bacta to other worlds at a profit to himself. That would give him enough funds to hire Boba Fett himself to kill all his enemies.


Of course, there are risks there, too. If he hijacks the bacta, Isard could interpret that as a threat to her and may not believe him if he tells her that he just wanted to be free of Vorru.


He decides to compose a message indicating that he will be using a decoy Rogue Squadron to eliminate the convoy, intending to tell her later that he would have used the word destroy if he’d meant that, and give her only a day’s warning so that she won’t have time to countermand him.


  • So, it would appear that Boba Fett’s continued existence is known to at least those in the Empire.
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chapter 29:


Nawara remembers being ejected from his ship during the first battle of Borleias and how Tycho risked his own life to save him. After that, Nawara would never think that Tycho was a traitor. They are on their way to Alderaan and will come near an area known as the Graveyard where most of the traffic consists of Alderaanians leaving gifts among the rubble and seeing the sun under which they were born. The rest are normally those trying to steal the gifts.


There are rumors of an armory freighter called Another Chance among the ruins, but that’s about as legendary as the Katana fleet is now. So far, the operation has gone smoothly save for a slight delay at refueling, but Nawara knows that easy operations are seldom such in reality.


When they come out of hyperspace, they fly into an attack by several TIE fighters, a couple of armored shuttles and a strike cruiser called Termagant. A Super Star Destroyer was just seen leaving the system and it appears that the last of the convoy was just blown up.


Wedge orders fire concentrated on the Termagent which Erisi points out will leave the TIEs with nowhere to go. He has no problem with that and assumes she shouldn’t either. The Termagent is allied with Warlord Zsinj so Wedge aims to leave him a message.


They destroy the cruiser. During the battle, Nawara gets a TIE tail that has him considering heading into the Graveyard to shake him, but Erisi shoots it off of him. After the shuttles leave and the TIEs themselves head into the asteroid field, Wedge will not allow them to follow and has them pull out.


They find the remnants of the convoy in utter ruin. Nawara is glad he is not human after seeing what humans would do to a convoy carrying medicine. Wedge has questions. A Super Star Destroyer is more than a match for those ships. No one in their right mind would have done anything to provoke the SSD. In fact, they would have offered to surrender as they were carrying very valuable bacta.


The destruction of the convoy makes no sense. Wedge gets a message from the TIEs who want to give up. They are headed over to the wreckage of the cruiser to find survivors. Apparently, they were not comfortable with this mission. They thought they’d already destroyed Rogue Squadron by the time the real ones had shown up.


Wedge wants Gavin to guide Pash to Tatooine, hire a freighter that can haul a dozen TIEs and bring it back to pick up the pilots and take them to Coruscant for debriefing.


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chapter 30:


Loor is facing his doom. He is just waiting for Isard to drop the ball. In one fell swoop, she’d managed to get him, Zsinj and the New Republic. She would’ve gotten Rogue Squadron, too, if they hadn’t been delayed reaching the rendezvous and if he had not been playing his own game with her.


Warlord Zsinj had sent a message through the Imperial HoloNet to Coruscant explaining that he had intercepted a convoy of tainted bacta in the Alderaan system escorted by Rogue Squadron who had confirmed knowledge that it was tained and was going to let it through to Coruscant anyway to get rid of the xeno-trash. He had the convoy and the Rogues destroyed to protect the citizens from the Krytos virus.


Unfortunately, holorecordings of a later battle in the Alderaan system proved that Rogue Squadron was very much alive and well which made Zsinj’s other comments suspect. Clearly, Isard had leaked the convoy information to Zsinj but it would have taken the warlord at least a day to get his ship to the Alderaan system. Since Loor only gave her sixteen hours notice of his plan to have a duplicate Rogue Squadron attack the convoy, it means that she probably got the original message regarding the squadron’s mission at the same time he did.


Which means Zsinj only thought he destroyed the real Rogue Squadron and didn’t. He came up with the tainted bacta story to cover up the loss of so much of the medicine. Of course, that’s creating its own problems here anyway.


Ironically, though the New Republic is giving as much information as it can, the people of Imperial Center have learned to search for the truth behind what they get from their government. Trust is hard for them to gain.


And easy to lose, too. Since Loor’s transmission regarding his plan was sent after she’d obviously received the original mission, Isard knows she cannot trust him anymore. He will have to take steps to get himself away from this place.


Gavin goes to see Wedge to try to talk to the commander about losing Mirax. He remembers how Wedge talking to him after Lujayne Forge’s death was helpful. Wedge admits it’s been hard for them to have to deal with repeated losses, especially since it seems like such a waste of life.


The convoy was bringing bacta to sick people and the Iron Fist just shredded it. He hopes against hope that Mirax made an astrogation error but he knows that it didn’t happen. What has happened as a result is that the Provisional Council has been moved to go after Zsinj.


Gavin keeps his offer to talk open.


Borsk Fey’lya is happy to meet with Asyr Sei’lar and tells her how much of a role model she is to other Bothan young people. She modestly tries to downplay that, but he goes on to mention she should not be embarrassed by her relationship with the human Galen. He himself was young once, too, and knows how passions go. She corrects the pronounciation of the name and notes that some Bothans do not seem to think as he does.


He claims he hopes that he can change attitudes about interspecies relationships. He had actually hoped to have been of some assistance to her anyway as he is concerned about their recent mission. The ambush at Alderaan has resulted in some uncomfortable information.


The delay in Rogue Squadron’s arrival may have saved their lives, but analysis of the bacta at the ambush site shows that it was contaminated. Asyr points out that bacta found in the midst of wreckage probably would be. He also points out that the timetable of the convoy’s arrival had to have been leaked to Zsinj. Fey’lya believes that the Zaltin faction of the Thyferran nobles must have done so, but there are those would believe that the Alliance leadership was culpable.


Rogue Squadron is being sent out to be part of the Alliance’s attack on Zsinj which Fey’lya fears will be used as an opportunity to wipe out the squadron and eliminate any uncomfortable situations that might arise from the ambush at Alderaan. He wants to protect Asyr from this and asks that she file a report on the ambush that blames human error for their delay in arriving.


She reminds him that this will strengthen conspiracy theories. He counters only if he allows such a thing to happen.


He has no intention of doing so but one never knows what will happen in the future. Since humans have such a propensity for cruelty, even to their own, there could come a time in which the human members of the Alliance turn on their colleagues of other species. Such a report might be helpful in the future as a contingency.


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chapter 31:


Soaking his prison tunic, Corran hopes that he diminishes his infra-red presence enough to pull this off. He pulls the chain that locks the door which opens it enough for him to squeeze through. Most of the other prisoners who could fit through are either old or sick.


He knows security is lax here because of the upside-down nature of the prison. There’s obviously no way out through the mines and, since he has no idea what planet he’s on, there’s no guarantee that it’s hospitable enough even if he does get out of the actual prison.


That’s when he gets a whack to his back. He rolls over to find Derricote over him with a shovel. He wonders how the big man ever squeezed through the door. Derricote explains he has funds in an account that he uses to bribe the guards for ingredients for the ale he makes. He did the same to get the combination for the lock.


But Horn is in his way now. They fight over the shovel until Derricote goes limp and falls, Corran grabs the shovel and hits him a couple of more times. He sees a silhouette in the cavern that turns out to be Jan.


The older man explains that Urlor indicated that Corran had taken off so he’d gotten worried when he didn’t see Derricote. He followed to make sure Corran was alright and hit the Imperial when he saw him standing over Corran.


Derricote’s pulse is weak. He’ll be found and it’ll be assumed he fell while trying to escape. Corran explains they cannot find him here or they’ll know the secret about the prison is out. Jan tells him to take Derricote’s body and hide it. He’ll report the man missing after awhile and try to cover for Corran for the time being.


He cannot come with Corran because his absence will be noticed more than anyone else’s and that is sure to endanger the other inmates. Corran promises he’ll bring Rogue Squadron back for him. By this time, the pulse is gone and Derricote is dead.


Corran drags the body off and through the mines until he reaches an access cylinder to slide both of them down. It spirals around until Corran realizes he is now rightside up. He looks for someplace to hide the body when he spies a control panel. Hitting the release, he finds an opulent area as fancy as the Imperial palace.


It’s better than what he’s just left but the last thing he needs is to find himself in the mansion of a Moff.


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chapter 32:


The prosecution has rested in the case of Tycho Celchu but Nawara is unhappy. They may have circumstantial evidence but it’s a lot and only character witnesses are testifying for the defense.


For this reason, Nawara finds himself in a café called the Hutt Haven waiting to meet Hes Glillto or, at least, someone claiming to be Glillto. Since that is the presumed pseudonym of Lai Nootka, this could be Nawara’s chance to prove that Tycho was meeting with the Duros after all. If he was, then Corran was mistaken in his report and there is no motive to kill him.


The cloaked and hooded figure approaches him and explains that he is not Lai Nootka. Nootka is dead, but he cannot prove that. He can, however, prove that Tycho Celchu was not meeting with Kirtan Loor the night he was accused of doing so.


Nawara doesn’t think he can believe someone who’s deceived him already and asks what proof he has. The figure lowers the hood and explains that he is Kirtan Loor.


He is willing to testify that he did not meet with Celchu that night nor has ever met the man. He can expose every Imperial agent on Coruscant. In exchange he wants immunity from any action he took in service to the Empire, a million credits and transportation off Coruscant with a new identity. He provides Nawara with a blood sample to compare it with. He urges him to compare it to a duplicate of his Imperial file and not the original lest it alert someone that his identity is being verified.


He tells Nawara to hold a press conference in five hours to tell the press a specific statement that will indicate to Loor that the arrangments have been made. At that time, Loor will contact him again for pickup that only Nawara and Iella Wessiri should handle.


This all happens on Loor’s timetable. If he doesn’t get what he wants, they don’t get Celchu’s freedom or Coruscant.


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chapter 33:


Corran dumps Derricote’s body into a garbage chute and moves forward into this palatial dwelling. He finds rooms with xenoscapes on them, then a huge library before having to hide in a deep cabinet from stormtroopers.


One searches the cabinets and all Corran can do is urge the trooper to consider the exercise pointless and that no one would hide in a cabinet. Surprisingly, the trooper backs away and had a heated discussion with another trooper about the sense in an escapee hiding in a cabinet. Corran looks through the datacards in the library, pulling them out in the search for some kind of hidden door. In doing so, he finds a History of Corvis Minor that contains a blaster inside instead of cards.


Leaving the library, he enters a room with a huge holo of the Emperor. Imperial architecture is grand, of course. He finds a computer terminal that someone forgot to log out of and types his name in.


He sees that Isard had a huge amount of intel on him, doubtlessly supplied by Tycho, but is pleased to see how initial attempts to brainwash him failed. Hoping to find the evidence he needs against Tycho, he searches for that name only to find that the brainwashing failed there, too. Though Tycho initially responded positively to Imperial icons, it was thought to be a holdover from his days in the Imperial Military Academy. In simulations, he aggressively targeted Imperial ships.


Corran knows this must be wrong. Then again, Isard couldn’t have planted this information. She’d have no way of knowing he’d find it. This is too elaborate a charade when all she had to do was play on his emotions.


There is still a spy in Rogue Squadron, though. He finds little else about Tycho past his escape from the penal colony until he began working for the squadron. At that point, information began flowing in again. He narrows the bits and pieces down until one name comes to mind. He knows he will need proof this time lest he make the same mistake he did with Tycho.


He had seen Kirtan Loor earlier that day and must have imagined seeing him in the cantina that night.


It irritates him seeing the ostentatious use of space that this huge image of the Emperor takes up. He realizes then that it also keeps people from standing on that space. He looks closer and steps into the circle where a cylinder brings him down a level and a panel opens up to a luxury shuttle. The panel closes and brings him back up to the library level. He shuts down the search he did and takes the circle back down to the shuttle.


He enters it but cannot manipulate the keypad. There is a button marked Return so he tries it and decides to see what will happen.


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chapter 34:


The press conference is held and Nawara Ven says the words. Loor knows it’s all arranged and the New Republic will be his home. Just as well Horn is dead as Loor being on the same side would have killed him.


He is going to send the pickup message to Ven from a public access station but, before he goes, he has one of his special ops men Helvan come in for a moment. He gives Helvan the instructions for a strike at a bacta storage facility to time with the first witness called in the next day’s court proceedings. Helvan notes this is a facility run by Fliry Vorru whose operations Loor has avoided hitting up to this point. Loor shrugs it off as an oversight and Helvan eagerly leaves to start planning for it. Hitting the bacta facility is keeping in line with Isard’s plans and might convince her that he’s not entirely untrustworthy. If not, well, he wants to hurt Vorru personally before turning him over to the rebels.


Iella meets with Halla Ettyk who tells her that they have a witness who could break the case wide open. Iella wonders if it’s Lai Nootka, but, when Ettyk tells her it’s someone else important whom she used to know, Iella realizes it’s Kirtan Loor.


Ettyk will not allow names to be used and Iella can tell no one, not even Diric. She and Nawara will be picking up this person with the codename “Behemoth” and taking him to a safehouse where Nawara will depose him before packing him off to court to testify.


This is a very secure operation as any number of people could want the man dead. There has been a deal cut but they have to accept that if they want justice done in the Celchu case.


Iella gets a comm. from Diric to whom she conveys only that the next day in court will be a big one. She privately ponders the irony of dealing with Loor to free Tycho for Corran’s murder but then realizes that Corran would not want an innocent man to die.


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chapter 35:


Fliry Vorru is rather surprised at the tone of Isard’s note. She has been assured and calm in her messages that the New Republic government will fall. The Krytos virus has created a crisis desperate enough for them to risk antagonizing Thyferra by getting ryll from Ryloth.


Hitting the bacta convoy had dealt a blow to the morale of Coruscant, of course. It certainly was enough that now the rebels are forming a task force headed by Han Solo to get rid of Zsinj. The biggest detriment to confidence in the government, though, is the trial of Tycho Celchu.


Zsinj doesn’t care if the man is innocent or guilty. Isard is certainly capable of turning people into her agents. By putting this trial forward as an example of Imperial evil, the New Republic hurt itself. Rogue Squadron’s protests along with Nawara Ven’s defense have cast doubts on Celchu’s guilt, the government’s case and, along with it, the government itself.


She has sent him a message though, ordering him to put people at various spots in the Galactic Museum, the Senate Hill, the Imperial Palace and other places in order to shoot on sight the person whose file she’s appended to the message. The only place she hasn’t specified is the Courthouse where Vorru assumes she already has people in place.


He frets that she should have had Loor send his people to these other areas, too, and not just the Courthouse. He calls up reports on Loor’s activities to find nothing in the last hour but Loor has always been fairly predictable and easy to find. His operatives, on the other hand, seem to be congregating at a warehouse of heavy weaponry. There is a big operation coming and he realizes it’s against him.


She’s ordering him to scatter his men so that he cannot defend against an attack on what is probably his bacta storage facility. Clearly, she’s put him into position so that he won’t be there at the time and be killed. The fact that she’s saving his life doesn’t particularly make him happy.


The bacta destruction is in alignment with her goals but it will cost him a lot of credits. Doubtless, she will contact him afterwards and berate him for what he did or did not do, holding the rebels over his head.


He really doesn’t fear her because he’d been a rival of the Emperor’s and she isn’t Palpatine. So he orders his militia to the spots she wants, but not as many. The rest he dispatches to the bacta facility so he move the product. If she has a problem with it, he will tell her that he was warned of an Alliance strike.


To facilitate that, he contacts Borsk Fey’lya and tells him he’s learned of an attack by the Palpatine Counter-Insurgency Front against a bacta facility. He hopes they can work together to avoid disaster.


Emtrey awakens Wedge and tells him that Ackbar has called in Rogue Squadron to fly in support for troops who are going to defend a bacta storage facility against terrorists.


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chapter 36:


Corran is able to rest on the couch in the shuttle and take a shower before he moves out and finds that he is the only living person in this area. He finds a room in which there are holograms and statues. A narration tells him that the hologram and statue is of Avan Post, a Jedi from Chandrila who served in the Clone Wars.


The statue’s head has been melted so it may or may not have been Post. But Corran realizes that this is a museum devoted to Jedi. A lot of them served during the Clone Wars which means that they were all alive 40 years ago.


Most of the mannequins have been defaced in some way or had pieces taken off. Corran pulls some rough clothing off of one of them to change into so he can discard his prison poncho. When he turns, he spots a gold glint from a display case and realizes it's exactly like the medallion he inherited from his father. The display is for Nejaa Halcyon, a Jedi who died in the Clone Wars.


There are holo pictures in conjuction with this display and one of them shows Halcyon with a boy identified as an apprentice. The boy looks exactly like Corran's father, Hal, did as a child. But Hal Horn had never mentioned knowing a Jedi or training with one. He decides to bust open the case to get a better look at it. No alarms go off, so he takes the medallion, the hologram and the Jedi's lightsaber.


He thumbs it on and its silver blade lights up the room. Thumbing the off switch twice turns it off– a failsafe to keep the button from accidentally being shut down during battle. He considers he will have to get out of here, but has to freeze in place when three figures in black appear in the room. Posing as one of the statues, Corran hopes to wait them out.


However, one of them notes that this statue has a face. Corran ignites the lightsaber and tells him that he'd like to keep it, too.


  • We met Nejaa Halcyon in Jedi Trial which takes place about six months before ROTS. If he died during the Clone Wars, it was after that. It also meant that his display in the Galactic Museum didn't have a lot of time to be appreciated before the so-called Jedi Rebellion as I doubt the display was added after that. Is this another indicator that the author believed the Clone Wars to have taken place a couple of decades prior to the establishment of the Empire?
  • In addition, there is no mention of Halcyon having an apprentice. He did have a son named Valin, though, whom he told Anakin Skywalker about in Jedi Trial. But surely Corran is mistaken about the picture being of his father because it would have meant that Hal Horn was a child when he became a father himself! ;)
  • Further, I'm intrigued by this idea of a Jedi exhibit in the Galactic Museum that displays their names, costumes, lightsabers and such. For example, Halcyon's Jedcred, holos of him and an apprentice, his robes and his lightsaber. Presumably, these articles would have been provided by the Jedi Order – something I have a hard time believing the Jedi would have endorsed.
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chapter 37:


Wedge tells his pilots that they are going to be flying cover for a commando strike against the PCF which is going to try to hit a bacta storage facility in Invisec. Nawara is not here because Tycho’s defense opens and he cannot be missing his defense attorney lest the PCF think something is amiss and stage their operation sooner.


There is a chance that some terrorists will get away as they’ll likely be on swoops or speeders. They really don’t want to risk any of them escaping but some citizens may not abide by the emergency alert that will sound at the time of the mission. Collateral damage should be avoided, but it will probably happen anyway.

After dismissal, Asyr comes to Wedge and tells him she was told to prepare a report on the bacta convoy which implicated human error in their delay. She gives the report to Wedge and asks him to get rid of it if something happens to her. He wants to know what should be done with it if she survives. Asyr tells him that he’s her commanding officer. She will do what he tells her.


Wedge appreciates that she is taking a chance at antagonizing her own people, but Asyr asserts that she is a member of Rogue Squadron and they are her people. The person who wanted her to do this obviously doesn’t want her to be trustworthy which means they are not trustworthy themselves.


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chapter 38:


It had been a shock to see Kirtan Loor again, but Iella knows he’s the key to solving this issue. They are en route to the Justice building and Loor is answering some of Nawara’s questions.


He has an encrypted datacard that is encoded with the identities of Imperial operatives that he will give them the passwords for after he is certain his demands have been met. He has promised on the stand to reveal the name of the traitor within Rogue Squadron.


They land in a secure parking area while Loor asks Iella how she feels about having to protect him then let him away without punishment for his crimes. She asks how he feels having to rely on her to protect him.


They move toward the lift doors carefully, except for Loor who seems to think this immunity makes him invincible. She's annoyed when she has to brush some thin webbing off of her, then gets a bad feeling when Nawara does the same.


The doors of the lift open, a man dressed in black jumps out and fires a shot into Nawara. Then he yells at Derricote to die before pumping blaster bolts into Loor’s chest. Iella fires back and then runs to the assassin, horrified to find that it is her husband, Diric.


He explains that he was turned at Lusankya just like people believe Tycho was. But where Tycho is innocent, Diric was placed at Derricote’s lab to kill him if he tried to betray Isard. He thought that was who Iella was bringing to court today, but realizes that he wasn’t correct. She tells him he got Loor instead.


Diric is glad because he never liked Loor anyway. He is not going to survive this and doesn’t want to as the cloud of suspicion will never leave him. He doesn’t want life to get boring.


In the meantime, Kirtan Loor is dying alone and notes the irony of dying in place of some other man’s crimes.

  • Is it because Diric was rescued from Derricote’s lab at the liberation of Coruscant that he was never thoroughly investigated? I mean, I know he was debriefed for a long time before they sent him home to Iella, but I’m surprised that someone who’d been an Imperial prisoner for a year wasn’t viewed with more suspicion.
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chapter 39:


Wedge and his pilots fly toward the warehouse where the strike is supposed to be staged from. At first, the terrorists scatter while the squadron takes out heavy cannons and airspeeders.


Then an AT-ST blasts a hole in the warehouse and he spots a heavily-laden airspeeder flying through it. Wedge follows it through the hole in the warehouse and out the other side. He reports to the commandos that the warehouse is empty. He is following the bomb to the bacta storage facility in the hopes that he will be the only one to arrive.


chapter 40:


It’s clear they meant to find Derricote, but Corran will do. Corran slices through one guard with the lightsaber.


The others dive for cover so he knows this is a waiting game he will lose. He decides to leave the way they came in. Corran runs off, the holograms of Jedi exposing his position and nearly gets blasted. The cloak gets caught on a display, however, and saves him by momentarily causing him to lose his momentum.


He bangs his hip and knee, dispatches the two men with the lightsaber and considers their status. They aren’t stormtroopers which means they might be a local security force. He is likely on a backwater planet that can only spare so many men.


The comlink in one of the men’s helmets is set to Coruscant time so that could be helpful. Then he considers the Jedi displays here. A powerful Moff would have such a collection. Corran doubts that would please the Emperor or Vader. Further, a powerful Moff would not be living on a backwater planet.


He realizes that this could be the Emperor’s collection and, if that’s the case, he must be on Coruscant. Though he remembers traveling on a ship, he could have been so muddied in the head as to imagine it and Isard certainly would have wanted him to believe that. In fact, Isard must have never left the planet if Lusankya is actually on Coruscant.


He has to contact his squadron, but doesn’t have the scrambler codes that will allow him to speak and hear them.


He can also not risk getting the traitor instead. He needs someone he can trust so he opens a channel, identifies himself and says that he’s not dead.


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chapter 41:


Wedge pursues the bomb-laden airspeeder until he destroys it. Then he gets reports of three dozen TIEs coming in.


The squadron also gets reports of groundquakes and destruction in the palace district. When Wedge reads the news feeds, he is stunned to find that the massive formation is identified as the Super Star Destroyer Lusankya.



chapter 42:


Ackbar explains to Tycho at the tribunal that his defense attorney, Nawara Ven, sustained injuries about an hour ago. Ven had been bringing a witness forward who was going to testify as to Tycho’s innocence.


However, an assassin succeeded in killing the informant and injuring Nawara.


They had been provided with a datacard of information that General Cracken’s people are working on. Ettyk offers a continuance until Nawara has healed, but Tycho wants to act as his own counsel. While that is his right, he really can’t do much at this stage of the trial.


Tycho advises he can call witnesses. Ettyk reminds him that all of his witnesses in Rogue Squadron are not in court right now and that Lai Nootka is probably dead. Emtrey reports that Whistler is stating that Tycho actually has a witness to call.


Tycho believes Whistler means that he should call himself to the stand. Ettyk cautions him not to do this as she will be brutal on cross-examination. However, Emtrey interjects as Whistler becomes more agitated that the little droid seems to think that there is someone else who can be called to testify.


That’s when Corran Horn appears in court.

  • This is a high-profile trial, already with concerns about security, with a surprise witness that has been killed outside the courthouse in an attack that wounded the defense attorney. How did Corran get into the courtroom?
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chapter 43:


Wedge doesn’t understand how a Super Star Destroyer could be buried on the capital world without anyone noticing or remembering. This could only have happened after the Battle of Yavin as Super Star Destroyers weren’t built until then. The Emperor’s power in the dark side might have been such as to cloud the minds of millions.


The ship is fitted with what appears to be huge repulsor coils that allow it to lift up. Its ascent out of the planet likely caused casualties beyond what crew is manning it. The Rogues try to take out the TIEs before they can join the massive ship which is pounding the planetary shields on one end and taking little ground fire into its own shields.


Erisi follows a TIE close enough to destroy it but reports getting caught in Lusankya’s tractor beam.


Wedge orders his team to pull back. They may be able to do the impossible, but they cannot bring down a Super Star Destroyer.


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chapter 44:


The tribunal is stunned that a man who is supposed to be dead is here before them. Corran approaches Tycho and apologizes, then tells Emtrey to shut up three times. When the droid doesn’t shut down, Corran realizes that it’s been fixed.


Corran explains that he started the morning at the Galactic Museum next door and used the aerial tunnels to get here, using the lightsaber to cut through the metal doors. Security was placed at more accessible doors so he was able to move here pretty quickly.


He had been taken to Lusankya prison where Isard had attempted to convert him as she had tried to do to Tycho.


The other prisoners had told him that Tycho had been a sleeper – someone rendered comatose by the indoctrination attempts. After he escaped, Corran had found a data station that had given him evidence that neither he nor Tycho had been successfully converted.


Ettyk suggests that the evidence was left there deliberately for him to find. Corran acknowledges he had considered that, too, but the area where he found the information was secure enough that no prisoner was ever meant to be there and it also appears that Isard thought another prisoner had escaped, not him. She would have had no way of knowing he would have accessed that particular station.


Ettyk also points out that he could be saying all of this in the hopes of keeping both himself and Tycho in positions of trust. Corran tells her that he’s been thinking about everything that’s happened and, once he takes Tycho out of the equation, that leaves only one logical traitor.


He can’t go any further when a soldier rushes to Cracken’s side and speaks to him softly. Cracken tells Horn not to say anything else and then opens the wall panel to the outdoors which reveals a huge Super Star Destroyer in the sky.


Emtrey notes that Whistler is claiming the transponder signals identify the ship as the Lusankya.


Corran realizes that what he thought were parts of a ship were actually a ship itself. They had been buried underground and lived right next to a Super Star Destroyer.


Cracken identifies the hexagonal repulsor coils as having been retrieved as part of an Imperial operation long before Endor. Now, it appears they know what it had been about.


Ackbar explains that most of the fleet is staged elsewhere in preparation for an attack on Zsinj’s ship. Those at Borleias will take too long to get here.


Emtrey is certain they are doomed, but Madine points out that the ship seems to be trying to leave the planet, not conquer it.


Wedge comms them to explain that they are returning to ground to refuel and go after the ship, but he has to let them know that he’s found the traitor in their midst is actually Erisi Dlarit.


He had modified the astromech units in each of the fighters to send their ship’s data to Wedge. Erisi’s R5 unit didn’t report the same damage she did when she claimed she was being hauled in by a tractor beam.


Corran adds that she would have known about Bror Jace’s return home and, since he was from a rival family, she would not have seen that as a betrayal. She also knew Corran was going to hunt down the traitor in the squadron and had helped him check out his Headhunter before the mission so she would have known the command codes.


The Empire gave the Thyferrans a monopoly on bacta. She may have feared the New Republic would break that arrangement. The Lusankya itself ejects its life-cradle, passes through the planet’s shields and escapes to hyperspace.


Obviously, all evidence against Celchu was manufactured. In fact, Corran knows that General Cracken already knew that. Cracken explains that he knew Tycho wasn’t the traitor in the squadron but didn’t know he wasn’t an Imperial agent.


He had Emtrey assigned to the squadron. The droid had been modified with some special features that would have made him a great spy had Tycho tried to use him that way. He didn’t. Cracken wanted this trial to lull Isard in to a false sense of security and perhaps help them get the real spy. Besides, the fact that she was going to allow Tycho to be executed meant that he was not useful to her. If he had been her agent, she would have framed someone else.


Ettyk is stunned that Tycho’s reputation has been slurred in public. Cracken knew that would happen, but explains that they will tell the public that he was in on the scheme the whole time in order to expose the real traitor. Corran’s magical appearance here at the last minute will lead credence to that.


Ettyk decides that they will drop all charges against Tycho.


  • So what did Emtrey’s shut down program being fixed mean? Does it mean he’s no longer able to be used as a spy? I ask this because Corran deliberately tried to get him to shut down and seemed to think his not doing it meant something. Did Cracken adjust it?
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chapter 45:


In the days since the Lusankya’s escape, the PCF makes multiple attacks. Corran flies some missions with Rogue Squadron to help root them out. Loor’s datapad is not helpful without the coding broken, but Corran is able to give Cracken’s people information about how Loor used to code things back in the CSF.

Once the encryption is broken, the list of operatives and safehouses is accessed. The Rogues are able to hit most of them.


Wedge feels horrible about Diric Wessiri, wondering if he should have done or noticed something about the man that would have indicated he’d been turned. Iella is comforted by Corran’s return, faced with the horror of getting her husband back only to have to kill him.


On this day, Mon Mothma gives an address. She explains that Coruscant is now free thanks to the efforts of Rogue Squadron and gives all members the newly minted Coruscant Star of Valor. While the Rebel Alliance often had to act in secret, she cautions them that the New Republic will have to do so for a short time until they can deal with the remnant of the Empire still out there.


For the time being, though, she explains the situation surrounding Tycho Celchu and Corran Horn, making certain it is understood that both men are clear of any concerns of treachery or Imperial conversion.


In addition, it appears that Ysanne Isard escaped to Thyferra where she supported a rebellion that put the Xucphra faction in charge. This gives her control over the bacta production which would make her ordinarily quite powerful.


However, not as powerful as she could be because of how her Krytos virus has mutated. They have been able to determine that the damage done by the virus as not nearly as bad as she’d wanted it to be. A Vratix verachen named Qlaern Hirf has manufactured a remedy for the virus made from ryll which Rogue Squadron helped secure a huge quantity of.


The resultant treatment is called rylca and there is enough to treat those infected with the virus long before the bacta supply runs out. She introduces Qlearn and the woman who helped rescue him from a dire situation, Mirax Terrik. It had been thought Mirax to have been lost at Alderaan, but she has managed to do what Rogue Squadron does best: survive the impossible.


Wedge muses at the acclaim being heaped on Mirax. They have determined that Erisi probably had the convoy hit both to destroy the bacta supply and to get back at Mirax for continuing her relationship with Corran. That Corran was thought dead at the time either meant that Erisi was being vindictive or that Isard had told her the man was alive and promised him to her as some kind of reward.


Mirax had jumped to Borleias, where the rylca is being manufactured, before the rendezvous at Alderaan. For that reason, she hadn’t been there for the attack. It had been planned that she would have been accused of stealing some of it for profit, something no one would think twice about a smuggler doing. The attack provided a better cover: she was presumed dead until it was time to distribute the rylca.


Mon Mothma goes on to say that the Empire is now made up of bitter people clutching for power. The New Republic hopes that it is now understood that power if given by the people not taken from them. Stolen power evaporates and so do the empires built upon it.



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chapter 46:


The reception is celebratory enough but Wedge isn’t as joyous about it. The New Republic is poised to go after Zsinj. Isard has put Fliry Vorru in charge at Thyferra and bacta prices are already rising. Iella Wessiri is second-guessing herself, as well, wondering why she noticed nothing wrong with her husband.


Wedge remembers celebrating like this at Yavin IV then having to flee the planet. Somehow, he always associates celebrations with impending disaster.


Fey’lya approaches him and congratulates him on a well-played game. He notes that Wedge has had the Alderaan report declared Most Secret. Wedge explains that the report might have compromised the manufacturing of rylca at Borleias which would cause the New Republic problems. It also might have caused problems for a member of his squadron whom he’s sworn to protect.


Fey’lya explains that politics motivates everything they do. Wedge himself has passions he wants to pursue. If he cannot play at politics, he might find himself on the outside looking in. Wedge wonders if Fey’lya is implying that his promotion of Vratix recognition in the New Republic might be hampered by this.


Wedge would be angered by this, but spots Luke Skywalker. Luke tells him that he’s spent a lot of time reviewing the artifacts in the Galactic Museum that Corran found. There’s a wealth of information there though it appears the Emperor defaced the monuments to the Jedi as they were hunted down and killed.


Fey’lya notes that the Council is looking into restoring those exhibits and introduces himself. Luke is diplomatic and notes the Bothan nobility with regards to their sacrifices. Tycho and Winter approach and Luke notes that he sees Winter more than Leia who is off visiting Hapes.


Luke mentions that he would like to meet with Corran Horn. He is introduced to Corran, Mirax and Qlaern, complimenting the latter on their efforts in producing the rylca. He gives Corran the lightsaber and medallion that he’d returned to the Galactic Museum.


Luke explains that Nejaa Halcyon was, in fact, Corran’s biological grandfather. Corran starts to explain that his grandfather is a CorSec officer named Rostek Horn. Luke elaborates that he believes that Rostek Horn married Halcyon’s widow and adopted their son, Valin, after the death of his friend. When the Empire began hunting down the Jedi, he changed the records so that they could not be traced to Nejaa.


He believes Corran was meant to find the lightsaber as it was only one of three that worked without recharging despite the fact that it had lain there for much longer than the others.


This doesn’t mean that Corran shouldn’t honor Rostek Horn who clearly helped him become the man he is today. Luke wants to restore the Jedi who had safeguarded the Republic for thirty generations. And he wants Corran to join him.


Corran, however, refuses. He has a job to do himself, helping Rogue Squadron to hunt down Erisi Dlarit and Ysanne Isard. Luke cautions him about seeking revenge. Corran points out that this is less about revenge than about liberating the prisoners the Lusankya took with it. Wedge offers that they really can’t let Isard and Fliry Vorru control the bacta supply. Since they know that they’re on Thyferra, it will be necessary to handle that situation soon.


Fey’lya tells him that it won’t happen. Rogue Squadron was given orders to move along with the fleet headed after Warlord Zsinj. Wedge protests that the orders were given before Isard took Thyferra. Fey’lya explains that the Thyferrans themselves overthrew the government. The New Republic cannot sanction action against what is internal government strife lest member worlds or potential members be scared off by what it perceives to be Imperial tactics.


Wedge knows that the Ashern rebels on Thyferra will help them, but clearly Fey’lya will not advance their cause to the Provisional Council. When Fey’lya tells Corran he might as well take up Luke’s offer, Corran says he’d rather quit the squadron instead.


Wedge says he quits, too, so do Tycho, Ooryl, Rhysati, Nawara and the rest of the Rogues. The Bothan points out that they have no ships, but Corran mentions he never signed his X-Wing over to the Alliance. Mirax tells him that the Skate will transport them and she can find ships if need be. Tycho thinks using the insane amount of credits funneled into accounts by Isard to frame him might be put to good use buying those ships.


Fey’lya prevails on Luke to tell them they’ll fail if they try. Luke points out that he was told by his master that there is no try. Rogue Squadron, or what used to be Rogue Squadron, will do.


  • Alright, so Luke has managed to put together that Nejaa Halcyon’s son was Valin who became Hal Horn who became Corran’s father. He also managed to determine that Rostek Horn married Halcyon’s widow and raised their son as his own. How? Nejaa Halcyon did have a secret wife and son. We found that out in Jedi Trial but he only told Anakin Skywalker about them. There should have been no documentation that would have linked Halcyon to the Horns beyond his friendship with Rostek. At least, no Jedi records should have. If Anakin Skywalker knew about the family, then Darth Vader did, as well. I suppose we could assume that Vader would go after any child of a Jedi to make sure no Force-sensitives survived, but it’s a bit of a stretch since Halcyon died in the Clone Wars, not the Purge.
  • In addition, to adopt Valin Horn, we would assume that he was a boy at the time Rostek did so. That certainly is the implication here anyway. And there was nothing in Jedi Trial that indicated that Valin was an adult. So we have to assume he was a boy. If he was adopted right after his father died, he was still too young to be the father of Corran. Since Luke mentions that Halcyon’s lightsaber had been in the museum much longer than the others, this is further indication that the author thought the Clone Wars were much earlier than what we now know them to be. At best, from what we know of the prequel trilogy, Halcyon’s possessions should have been at the Museum for a maximum of six months before the events of ROTS. It’s doubtful that other Jedi exhibits would have been added after ROTS, so Luke’s assertion that Halcyon’s is one of the oldest exhibits is fishy.
  • Finally, there is nothing from what Luke says to indicate he has evidence Corran is Force-sensitive, beyond the fact that Corran is probably related to a Jedi. We know that there have been hints dropped about Corran’s flying and his work in law enforcement possibly being assisted by this type of intuition. But Luke points out no examples of this. To him, just being related to a Jedi is enough. This flies in the face of what Bardan Jusik assured his comrades in Republic Commando: Order 66 when he said that the passing along of midichlorians doesn’t work that way. Obviously, we’ve had examples of Force-sensitives born to non-Forceful parents and having non-sensitive siblings, but I’ve not seen anything that’s led me to believe that a Force-sensitive parent does not pass along that sensitivity to an offspring. In nearly every example we’ve had of a Jedi parent, the child has had that potential, as well.
  • And clearly, as Jusik also claimed, Corran’s ability, should we assume there is one, did not wither and die without training. I pointed it out then and reiterate now that, though Jusik claimed an untrained Force sensitive would lose their abilities, we have not seen a single example of that happening.
  • I understand that Fey’lya’s argument is to prevent the New Republic from interfering in the self-determination of a world’s population even if it is not to the Republic’s liking, but this was a coup backed by the Empire, so I’m not sure if it should be treated the same way.
  • For someone who was a terrible diplomat in The Truce at Bakura, Luke certainly knows how to smooth talk Fey'lya!
  • Wedge recalls celebrating at Yavin only to have to evacuate. According to the Rebel Force series, that evacuation didn't come for a long time!
  • Also, Luke mentions the Jedi safeguarded the Republic for 30 generations. Ben Kenobi told him, in A New Hope, that is was over a thousand generations.


End of Book 3

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