Heir to the Empire

Chapter 31

The Story So Far

Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa Solo have been on the run from a mysterious taskforce set on abducting them, directed from the shadows of Imperial Command by Grand Admiral Thrawn. On Kashyyyk, Leia uncovers the identity of the Noghri assailants from one they manage to pull into custody.

On Myrkr, Luke crashes in the wilderness with Mara Jade, an ex-Imperial operative with a mortal rancour for him. Caught in the act of an incidental kidnapping, Talon Karrde feels morally obliged to break his long-fought independence to work with Han Solo and Lando Calrissian in extracting Luke and Mara from the wilderness. 

Hoping to delay retribution from Grand Admiral Thrawn for his concealed (albeit reluctant) partisanship, Karrde stages an ambush in which Lando stakes his life on Luke's Jedi intuition. The gamble costs him dearly, leaving him mortally wounded, but betting on Luke wins out even without use of the Force.

After a few weeks unconscious and imprisoned, a short-lived escape attempt, and days trekking through the wilderness with an animus Jade, Luke leaves Myrkr a free man with Han Solo and injured Lando Calrissian. Bound for Sluis Van, they hope to get Lando much needed medical attention, as well as repairs to Luke’s crippled X-Wing.

However, at the edge of the Sluissi system, Grand Admiral Thrawn and Captain Pellaeon are prepared for their assault on the Shipyards.

Chapter 31

The Sluis Van Shipyards are mired with repurposed warships trying to make up for the logistical deficiencies of the New Republic.

While awaiting the processing of his charge, Wedge Antilles’s instincts tell him to investigate an approaching freighter. Just before Rogue Squadron's approach, it literally explodes with activity, releasing TIE fighters and unidentified snub crafts. Having presently arrived, the Millenium Falcon jumps the docking regulations to enter the fray; Han and Luke both identify the snubs as Lando’s stolen mole miners. 

At the edge of the Sluissi system, Thrawn and Pellaeon direct the Imperial assault. Upon seeing the Falcon, Thrawn is now certain of Karrde’s earlier deception, but tucks that away for a later time. 

As the battle continues, Wedge, Han, and Luke discover the mole miners are being used to hijack the repurposed warships running materiel through the shipyard. Injured though he is, Lando activates his override codes for the mole miners, boring through the bridge of every escaping warship. 

Unperturbed, Thrawn orders the retreat, and measuredly edifies Pellaeon that their campaign has only yet begun.


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