Welcome to author Mark Wooden’s “Star Wars” fanfictions with Episode Four! ISB agent Kaila Ores begins her hunt for Rebels on her homeworld Naboo.
Meanwhile, Rebels Nile, Piani, and Corana start their quest for the Force-sensitive Kaila.
Want to read from the beginning? Go to Episode 1.1 here!
“This is Captain Anne Bonny of the William,” Captain Corana Biabru said over the comm channel to Naboo flight control. “Requesting landing on Naboo to pick up a shipment of spare parts for HealthiDrive.”
“We read you, Captain Bonny,” came the reply from Naboo flight control. “Standby for transponder code verification.”
The line went silent.
Corana (who was decidedly not Anne Bonny) leaned back in her pilot’s chair aboard the Bevryder (which was decidedly not the William). She ran her blue-skinned hands through her dark maroon hair.
Adrenaline flushed her system. Soon she scraped her nails across her leather cargo pants. It made an annoying scratching sound that irritated her co-pilot, Piani Nuruodo.
The captain glanced at her co-pilot. The Twi’lek pinched the end of one of her head tentacles in between her thumb and forefinger while staring aimlessly out the cockpit window.
Having traveled with Piani for a decade, Corana recognized the motion as Piani trying to act relaxed when she was actually nervous as hell.
Entering a new star system with illegal transponder codes and identities was never an easy time. The number of things that could go wrong far outweighed those that could go right.
In their career as smugglers, Corana and Piani often had good cover stories or sponsors to help fortify their masquerade. When they became Rebels against the Empire, those stories got thinner, the risks higher.
Somehow luck had always favored the smugglers. Hopefully, their dance with luck wouldn’t end with two left feet and a crash.
The comm line clicked back to life. “Who are you picking up parts from?” flight control asked.
Corana quickly replied. “Company called Transfrag Parts. Small shop. So small we have to go get the parts ourselves.” Corana paused for a moment, then added, “Don’t worry. My shipmate and I can handle it without help thank you very much.”
Piani nudged Corana and flashed her a scolding stare. Corana made sure the comm channel was closed before saying, “What? Makes it real.”
“I thought you said the less chatter the better,” Piani said.
Corana shrugged. “What can I say? When sent after a Force-sensitive ISB agent who probably has an Inquisitor on the way to recruit or slay her and, by extension, us, I get chatty.”
“It won’t be so bad,” came another female voice from the entrance to the cockpit.
Corana and Piani saw the third member of their trio, Nile Chinelo. She was older than Corana’s thirty-two years by at least two decades.
Piani was the youngest of the three at twenty-four. Yet Nile could pass as Corana’s not-much-older sister.
Nile’s appearance was more impressive considering all she’d seen as a Jedi during the Clone Wars. Experiences from the war burned scars both emotional and physical on those who served.
Her soul carried the brunt of her hardship.
“Ahsoka received the info via a secure Rebel cell when Agent Ores served on the other side of the galaxy,” Nile said. “We should have a jump on any Inquisitors. That doesn’t mean we should draw this out.”
Piani noticed a blinking yellow light on the pilot’s console. She pointed it out to Corana. The captain opened the comm channel. “Go ahead, caller.”
“You’re cleared for landing, William,” flight control said. “We’re sending you the coordinates and flight path to a landing pad in Naboo. It’s close to Transfrag Parts, for your convenience.”
“Appreciated,” Corana said. “Captain Bonny out.”
Piani smiled and nodded her head. Corana took a mock bow.
“Let’s just hope finding this Agent Ores is as accommodating,” Nile said.
The blue-skinned Twi’lek turned to the co-pilot’s astrogation computer. A blinking blue light signaled the coordinates and flight path uploading from flight command.
Piani punched some buttons on the computer’s keyboard then glanced over her shoulder at Corana. “Auto or are you feeling frisky?”
Corana thought for a moment. She leaned back in her chair and propped her booted feet on the console. “Let the computer do the work,” she said. “We have enough to do planetside.”
Piani nodded, then finished with astrogation. She sat back in her chair as the ship drifted into the programmed descent to Naboo.
“What’s the plan for when we touch down?” Piani asked.
“The two of you will maintain our cover, heading to Transfrag Parts,” Nile said. “When flight control isn’t looking, I’ll make inroads through other channels to locate our agent.”
Spinning her chair to face Nile, Piani said, “We’ll also do a bit of name dropping ourselves.”
“Be discreet. I may need you to bail me out when this is over.” Nile reached to the belt of her dark robes and withdrew a silver cylindrical item: her lightsaber. “Especially since I’ll be leaving this here.” She put her Jedi weapon on the co-pilot’s console.
Corana looked at the unlit weapon. “Probably a good idea. Wouldn’t want to give away —”
Overhead lights drowned the cockpit in red light. An alarm klaxon sounded.
Corana immediately lifted her feet from the console and moved into position to pilot the ship. Piani turned to her co-pilot console looking to her instruments for the source of the alarm.
Nile looked out the cockpit window and found the answer. Pointing, she said, “Incoming!”
“Taking the controls!” Corana said while her hands punched several buttons on her console.
Watching a small monitor just above the co-pilot’s console, Piani said, “An E9 Explorer Class scout vessel, coming in fast! It’s got two —”
“First things first!” Corana said. She grabbed the ship’s controls and pulled hard to the right.
Nile stumbled against the side of the cockpit entrance. Secure in their chairs, Corana and Piani avoided the sudden jerking of the ship.
Unfortunately, the Bevryder wasn’t as lucky.
The E9 was smaller than the Rebels’ ship but had a longer silhouette. The cockpit was near the rear of the scout ship, perched atop a rounded section. Unfortunate, because this is the section that smashed against the bottom of the Bevryder.
The impact knocked Nile off her feet. She slammed forward into the back of the passenger chair.
“Damage?” Corana shouted.
Piani glanced at another monitor. “Systems are green, just missed the dorsal ion cannon. Damage cosmetic.”
“Except my pride,” Corana muttered.
Nile pulled herself up and looked out the window. “But what about those two?” she asked. Corana and Piani followed the Jedi’s gaze out the window.
Two yellow starfighters shaped like letter T’s zoomed at their ship, one further ahead than the other but both coming fast.
“That’s what I was trying to tell you!” Piani shouted. “Two N-1 starfighters in pursuit of the scout!”
Why the hell do they always run? Imperial Security Bureau Agent Kaila Ores thought.
She slammed the throttle on her N-1 starfighter, punching away from the Naboo landing pad. Her targets in the E9 scout vessel had a head start, already breaking the clouds in the planet’s upper atmosphere.
That’d be easy enough to overcome. The N-1 was faster than the scout. Kaila would close the distance, then use targeted fire to make the vessel dead in space.
She’d have to dodge other freighters and transports on approved flight paths first.
Kaila swooped past an incoming transport. It was too slow to react, maintaining its course toward one of the landing pads on the civilian side of the area Kaila had vacated.
Her targets had parked their scout vessel near a Naboo naval landing pad. They’d done it for a quick getaway after detonating a bomb. The explosion destroyed one of the navy’s N-1 starfighters.
The targets then utilized the confusion to escape to their craft.
They benefited from the other commercial vehicles moving through the area, the freighters, transports and other craft providing cover for their escape.
The Empire had dissolved Naboo’s military, replacing it with Imperial troops and armaments. Kaila used her ISB credentials to call off a TIE fighter squad, opting to pursue the terrorists herself.
That she got to fly the practically ancient N-1 starfighter was a
The starfighters were the closest ships available. She and one of her ISB trooper escorts had gotten two of the N-1 starfighters into the air soon after the targets were airborne.
Up ahead, the targets proved better at sabotage than piloting. A large freighter zigged as the E9 scout vessel zagged, resulting in a hard collision. The scout’s port side lost a sizeable chunk of armor plate.
More important to Kaila, she closed the distance between her and her target. Checking her radar, the ISB agent was pleased to see her ISB escort was still on her five.
Kaila returned her focus to getting her target in the range of a few well-aimed laser bolts to its hull.
The scout vessel corrected its trajectory and broke into the lower reaches of space.
Kaila swerved around another transport. Her acrobatics lost some distance, but she remained on course. Soon there was only space between her and the E9.
Unfortunately, the target ship was still outside of the starfighter’s weapons range.
The ISB agent accelerated, throwing the N-1 to full speed and breaking into space after her adversary.
Luck swung to her side.
A Legate-class courier followed a prescribed flight path to Naboo that placed it directly in the way of the scout vessel. The E9 couldn’t avoid a collision with the underside of the courier, a collision that cost the ship its top-mounted turret.
However, at Kaila’s present speed, she may end up a casualty of collision herself.
To be continued…