|1||Chapter 1: Fraying Fabric|
|1||Leia paused a moment before she entered the bridge of the Jade Sabre, the new shuttle her brother, Luke, had built for his wife, Mara Jade.||starship: Jade Sabre, Mara Jade's vessel. For a shuttle it seems very large, with distinct living quarters for at least some of its occupants.|
|1||...with only the continual hum of twin ion drives...||starship: Jade Sabre has 2 sublight drives.|
... as she considered her sister-in-law, Luke's wife and Jaina's tutor
— at Jaina's own request — in the ways of the Jedi.
Mara was not a substitute mother for Jaina, but rather a big sister,
and when Leia considered the fires that constantly burned in Mara's green eyes,
she understood that the woman could give to Jaina things that Leia could not,
and that those lessons and that friendship would prove valuable indeed to her
She knew before looking that it was Bolpuhr, her Noghri bodyguard, and barely gave him a glance as he glided to the side, moving so easily and gracefully that he reminded her of a lace curtain drifting lazily in a gentle breeze. She had accepted young Bolpuhr as her shadow for just that reason, for he was as unobtrusive as any bodyguard could be.
At this point in history Mara Jade gives one-to-one tuition to Jaina Solo,
in what appears to be a reestabilishment of the master/padawan system
of the pre-Skywalker days.
character: Bolpuhr, young Noghri bodyguard.
... Jaina increase the magnification on the forward screen,
and instead of the unremarkable dots of light,
there appeared an image of two planets,
one mostly blue and white, the other reddish in hue, seemingly so close together
that Leia wondered how it was that the blue-and-white one,
the larger of the pair, had not grasped the other in its gravity
and turned it into a moon.
Parked halfway between them, perhaps a half million kilometres from either,
deck lights glittering in the shadows of the blue-and-white planet,
loomed a Mon Calamari battle cruiser, the Mediator,
one of the newest ships in the New Republic fleet.
"They're at their closest,+ Mara observed, referring to the planets.
location: Rhommamool, Osarian.
Since the separation of the planets at their conjunction is only on the order
of a million kilometres,
and habitable terrestrial planets are on the order of ten thousand kilometres
the separation of planets is about a hundred times the width of either,
at this point in time.
Osarian's seas should feel appreciable tides due to Rhommamool
during these encounters.
It would be interesting to consider whether this orbital configuration
can be stable;
there may be a collision or gravitational capture within
a time that is short in galactic terms (though still far off in human terms).
If the planets appear in approximately their true relative sizes on this screen then the ship is at a range that is much greater than the planets' mutual separation. Probably several tens of millions of kilometres at least.
|3||Parked halfway between them [two planets waging a missile war against each other], perhaps half a million kilometers from either, deck lights glittering in the shadows of the blue-and-white planet, loomed a Mon Calamari battle cruiser, the Mediator, one of the newest ships in the New Republic fleet.||starship: Mediator, described as a Mon Calamari battlecruiser. This means that it is almost certainly larger, more heavily armed and armoured than the two types of cruisers at the Battle of Endor, and possibly approaching the size of Home One (depending on whether it's considered a battlesruiser, battleship or commandship in Mon Calamari terms). The use of the term "battlecruiser" is consistent throughout Vector Prime.|
|3||"Even Osarian's fleet must be considered marginal, at best. Unless, of course, one is using the Pantang Scale of Aero-techno Advancement, which counts even a simple landspeeder as highly as it would a Star Destroyer. Perfectly ridiculous scale."||technology: C-3PO remarks on some scales of technical development used by some of the galaxy's inhabitants to classify the capabilities of others.|
"It's the leader on Rhommamool," Mara remarked.
He's reached down and grabbed his followers by their most basic instincts,
weaving the dispute against Osarian into a more general matter of tyranny
Don't underestimate him."
"I can't begin to give you a full list of tyrants like Nom Anor that I've dealt with," Leia said with a resigned shrug.
"I have that very list available," C-3PO blurted. "Tonkoss Rathba of—"
"Thank you, Threepio," Leia said, too politely.
"Why, of course, Princess Leia," the droid replied. "I do so like to be of service. Now where was I? Oh, yes. Tonkoss Rathba of ... Daluba," C-3PO went on. "And of course, there was Icknya—"
characters: Nom Anor; Tonkoss Rathba of Daluba; Icknya —
tyrants that Princess Leia has dealt with during her career.
If C-3PO's list is chronological, then the first two he mentions
must have been encountered during her years as a teenager or Imperial Senator.
Daluba, a place associated with a tyrant Tonkoss Rathba.
"New Republic shuttle," a halting voice crackled over the comm.
"This is Captain Grappa of Osarian First-Force."
With a flick of a switch, Mara put an image of the captain on the viewscreen, and Leia sighed as the green skin, spiny head ridge, and tapirlike snout came into view.
|character: Captain Grappa, a Rodian mercenary pilot for Osarian. Grappa is also the name of the Hutt in Crimson Empire II, involved peripherally in another one of Nom Anor's plots.|
|7||She rubbed her hands together, then reached out to the right, "Strap in," she ordered, and she dialed it down to 95 percent, as fighter pilots often did so that they could gain tactile feel to the movements of their ships. Reading the g's, Jaina had heard it called, and she always preferred flying that way, where fast turns and mighty acceleration could push her back in her seat.||
technology: This is an important clue to the accelerative capabilities
of Jade Sabre.
If the pilot feels only 5% of the full effect of acceleration
(at this setting) then the maximum accerlation of the ship
cannot be much more than 100g.
A greater acceleration would cause a human pilot to go unconscious.
Since all the occupants of this ship's cockpit are Jedi or Jedi apprentices,
they might be able to use their powers to sustain consciousness
and physical integrity at higher than normal acceleration,
but it seems clear that this shuttle cannot do more than a few hundred G.
Contrast this with the accelerations of thousands of G
demonstrated by Imperial warships moving into position
to spring their trap near Endor in Return of the Jedi
[see Star Destroyers].
Therefore we now have a rough idea of the relative abilities of broad classes of starships: shuttles can do a few hundred G; powerful warships can do at least some thousands of G in a straight line but with considerably less turning ability or lateral acceleration; starfighters probably can exceed this performance whilst being able to turn and maneuver rapidly.
|10||Before the three women could even begin to catch their breath, another ship streaked in, an X-Wing, the new XJ version of the starfighter, its own laser cannons blasting away from its wingtips.||starship: X-Wing variant XJ. How does this fighter differ from the other X-Wing models from the movies and earlier literature?|
|12||a contingent of New Republic Honour Guard stood waiting there, along with Commander Ackdool, a Mon Calamarian with large, probing eyes, a fishlike face, and salmon-coloured skin.||character: Commander Ackdool, captain of the Mediator.|
Wurth Skidder," Jaina remarked, recognizing the markings under the
canopy on the starfighter.
"Couple o'ridge-head parachutes floating over Osarian, if those Rodians had any luck," came the singsong voice of Wurth Skidder. The cocky young man was fast approaching, pulling off his helmet and giving his shock of blond hair a tousle as he walked. ...
— and he always seemed to be sniffling, and his hair always looked as if he had just walked in from a Tatooine sandstorm.
|character: Wurth Skidder, Jedi.|
|14||".. and we would have asked for no explanations from Shunta Osarian Dharrg, all of uspretending that nothing had ever happened."||character: Shunta Osarian Dharrg, seemingly a leader of the Osarians. The inclusion of the planet's name in his personal name may be significant. Perhaps it is part of a title.|
|15||C-9PO, a protocol droid, its copper colouring tinged red from the constantly blowing dusts of Rhommamool, skittered down an alley to the side of the main avenue of Redhaven and peeked out cautiously at the tumult beyond. The fanatical collowers of Nom Anor, the Red Knights of Life, had gone on the rampage again, riding throughout the city in an apparent purge of landspeeders on their tutakans, eight-legged lizards with enormous tusks that climbed right up past their black eyes and curled in like white eyebrows.||
location: Redhaven, on Rhommamool.
creatures: tutakans, a mount beast found on Rhommamool. Whether it is native is not indicated.
C-9PO slowly turned about and saw the fringe of the telltale black capes,
and the red-dyed hides.
.... The doomed droid knew the destination: the Square of Hopeful Redemption.
characters: Red Knights of Life, costume description.
location: Square of Hopeful Redemption, some part of the city that has ritual significance for the Red Knights. [Described in greater detail on p.19.]
"He's the strangest man I ever met," she explained, and given her past
exploits with notorious sorts like Jabba the Hutt and Talon Karrde,
that was quite a statement.
"Even when I tried to use the Force to gain a better perspective on him,
I drew ..." Mara paused, as if looking for some way to properly express
"A blank," she decided.
"As if the Force had nothing to do with him."
Leia and Jaina looked at her curiously.
"No," Mara corrected. "More like he had nothing to do with the Force."
|Mara Jade's impression (or conspicuous lack of impression) of Nom Anor through in the Force. Does this have something to do with his extragalactic origins, or is it related to the apparent use of Force-manipulating organic technologies by the Yuuzhan Vong?|
|21||Chapter 2: Intergalactic Eyes|
Danni Quee looked out from the western terra-tower of ExGal-4,
a solitary outpost on the Outer Rim planet of Belkadan in the Dalonbian sector.
Danni came here often at this time of day — late afternoon — to watch
the Belkadan sunset filtering through the thirty-metre dalloralla trees.
Of late, those sunsets had been more spectacular for some reason,
with tinges of orange and green edging the typical pinks and crimsons.
She had been on Belkadan for three years, an original member of ExGal-4, and traced her roots to the always underfunded ExGal Society back another three years before that, to when she was only fifteen. Her homeworld, a Core planet, was badly over crowded, and for independent Danni, even trips to other nearby worlds didn't seem to alleviate the feeling of being squeezed by too many people. She wasn't a fan of government, be it the Empire or New Republic; she wasn't a fan of anything bureaucratic. In fact, she considered the "ordering" of the galaxy a terrible thing, robbing people of excitement and adventures, burying cultures beneath the blanket of common civilisation. Thus the notion that there might be life beyond the galaxy, the thought of something undiscovered, excited the young woman.
At twenty-one, she was one of the youngest members of the fifteen stationed on ExGal-4, and one of only four women. She had developed into a very attractive young woman, small of frame, with long curly blond hair and green eyes that always seemed to be asking questions of everything they surveyed, and of late, it seemed as if she had spent more time resisting the advancesa of several young men than in staring out at the galactic rim.
character: Danni Quee, whose adventurous and outward-looking temperament
makes her a misfit in conventional civilised galactic society.
She engages in "scientific" endeavours that consider life in other
However these practices aren't exactly science in the progressive form known on Earth today. The ExGal Society must be sure that other galaxies contain life, because life emerged independently numerous times in their own galaxy. Thus in some sense their investigations are of a less ambitious scope than the mysteries pursued by more innocent scientists in emerging pre-space civilisations. It is also noteworthy that none of these ExGal personnel has shown sufficient scientific initiative and curiosity to investigate the changing sunsets. At this stage, it appears that ExGal consists of enthusiastic amateur naturalists with uncomformist leanings in a society that has been static and inward-looking for at least tens of millennia. Whether ExGal's activities are "scientific" in the sense commonly used on Earth is a question needing the attention of philosophers.
location: Belkadan; Dalonbian sector.
|23||Yomin Carr didn't understand that sentiment at all. He found Danni, as he did all humans, quite repulsive, for while Yomin Carr's people, the Yuuzhan Vong, resembled humans in form — though they were on average a dozen or so centimetres taller and quite a bit heavier and had less hair on their heads, both face and scalp — their ways were hardly similar. Even if Yomin Carr might admit that Danni was somewhat attractive physically — though how could she be, with not a single scar or tattoo to mark her rise toward godhood! — those tenet differences, attitude differences, made him consider any union with her with disgust. He was Yuuzhan Vong, not human, and a Yuuzhan Vong warrior. How ironic then that the pitiful humans thought him one of them!||
character: Yomin Carr, a Yuuzhan Vong infiltrator in the ExGal-4 base.
aliens: Yuuzhan Vong, and their attitudes. It is interesting that a near-human species should come from a different galaxy. If the STAR WARS galaxy is not our own then its humans must have come from elsewhere as well. Perhaps this is already an intergalactic species, but the first arrival of humans here is lost in prehistory? Or perhaps the Yuuzhan Vong are distant descendants of prehistoric extragalactic explorers?
...though he knew from the voice, particularly the teasing tone, that it was Bensin Tomri.
"Or is it that you're still here from last night?" Tomri went on, and he gave a chuckle.
"He'll get bored with it soon enough," Garth Breise said, another of the night-shift controllers, sitting up on the wide room's higher level, where the comfortable chairs, the gaming table, and the food could be found. The room was elliptical, with a wide viewscreen on the front wall, seven control pods in a three-one-three pattern before it, and the raised galley area taking up the rear quarter.
Yomin Carr forced another smile at the remark and made his way down toward the front of the room, to his usual position at Pod 3, the left-hand one of the first row. ....
Danni Quee entered next, moving down to Pod 4, the central pod, the one whose viewing scan overlapped the quadrants scanned by all six of the others. Then came the last member of the night shift, Tee-ubo Doole, the Twi'lek woman-the only nonhuman, as far as the others knew, among the fifteen at the station.
characters: Bensin Tomri; Garth Breise; Tee-ubo Doole
location: monitoring room of the ExGal base.
At his post, Yomin Carr, as he did every night and most days when he could inconspicuously hang out about the pod, dialed down the
volume so that only he would hear any telltale signals, and covertly locked his
dish on sector L30 the location he knew to be the entry
point: Vector Prime.
"You want to play?" came Bensin Tomri's call an hour later, his tone making it clear to Yomin Carr that Tomri was not faring well in the strategic battle.
A part of Yomin Carr wanted to go up there and engage in the game, particularly waging against Danni, who was a strong strategist. Such competitions were good. They kept the warrior mind sharp and focused.
"No," he answered, as he had for every night in the last few weeks. "Work to do."
"Work?" Bensin Tomri scoffed. "Like the greatest scientific discovery of the last millennium will happen at any second, to your waiting eyes."
"If you feel truth to that, on the next shuttle you should go?" Yomin Carr politely returned, and he saw by their curious expressions that he had mixed up his sentence structure again. He made a mental note to review with his tizowyrms later on.
location: Vector Prime, the direction or position from which
the Yuuzhan Vong invasion fleet is expected to enter the galaxy.
technology: tizowyrms, organic translator devices worn inside the ear of a Yuuzhan Vong.
Never mind that humans did not typically
appropriately paint their skins or mutilate any part of their bodies to
show their worship to a worthy pantheon-human eyes did not droop with the
appealing bluish sacks beneath them, as did Yuuzhan Vong eyes, and the
human forehead was flat, not enticingly sloped, as were those of the
Yuuzhan Vong. No, even after these months as an advance agent of the
Praetorite Vong, Yomin Carr could hardly stand the sight of the infidels.
....and Yomin Carr stood at the mirror, regarding his true form admiringly, his taut, strong muscles, his tattoo pattern, nearly complete upon his body, a sign of high rank in the warrior class, and mostly, his intentional disfigurements, the oft-broken nose, the extended tear to his lip, the split eyelid. ...
|culture: Yuuzhan Vong attitudes to the body, and their decorative self-mutilation. This artistry probably does not cause much inconvenience or health risk for the Yuuzhan Vong, since their biological engineering and (presumably) medical technologies are masterful. They may not fear infection as much as baseline humans would, given a particular degree of skin damage and laceration.|
He moved his hand up beside his nose, to the little crease beside his
his fingers working at the obscure seam at the side of his left
nostril, the contact point for the ooglith masquer.
Sensitive to his touch, and well-trained, the creature immediately responded.
And Yomin Carr clenched his teeth and fought hard to steady his trembling as the thousands of tiny grappling tendrils pulled free of his pores, the ooglith masquer rolling back over his nose and separating across his cheeks. The seam widened down his chin and neck and the front of his torso, his fake skin peeling back, rolling down until he merely stepped out of it.
The ooglith masquer shuffled across the floor toward the dark closet, making slurping, sucking sounds as it moved, ....
|technology: ooglith masquer, an animal that serves as a living second skin for the purposes of disguise.|
.... resembled a brain, with a single huge eye and a puckered maw. Many
tentacles extended from that bulk, some thick and short, others fine and
long. This was Yun-Yammka, the Slayer, the Yuuzhan Vong god of war.
Yomin Carr prayed again, the entire litany of Yun-Yammka, then kissed the statue gently and replaced the coffer in his closet.
He wore only a skin loincloth, as it had been in the purer days of his warrior people's dawn, ... and he carried only his coufee, a crude, but ultimately effective, large double-edged knife, again, a ceremonial throwback to the early days of the warrior Yuuzhan Vong.
culture: Yun-Yammka, war deity of the Yuuzhan Vong
technology: coufee, a Yuuzhan Vong knive weapon.
|30||The distant roar of a redcrested cougar gave him no pause. He was in that creature's element now, but he, too, was a hunter. Perhaps one of those 140-kilogram animals, with 10-centimeter fangs, huge claws, and a tail that ended in a lump of bone as solid as any crafted cudgel, would provide him good sport this night.||creature: red-crested cougar, physical description.|
|37||Chapter 3: The Role of Politics|
|47||Chapter 4: Seeds Planted|
|66||Chapter 5: The War Coordinator|
|74||Chapter 6: Take Me Far, Far Away|
"Mon Calamari Star Defender," Jaina answered, pointing toward the upper
left quadrant of the screen. With a flicker of her other hand, she angled
the viewer to bring the beautiful ship into complete view.
and it was spectacular. Like all Mon Calamari ships, this one was unique, an artwork, sleek and flowing, and ultimately deadly. It was the largest ship ever produced on the watery world, nearly twice the size of the battle cruiser they had left behind between Osarian and Rhommamool, and the first Mon Calamari Star Defender produced for the New Republic fleet.
"The Viscount," Leia remarked. "Just comissioned two weeks ago. It must be making a flyby for the approval of the council."
starship: Viscount; Mon Calamari Star Defender;
substantially larger than a battlecruiser,
which should be appreciably larger than a cruiser or destroyer.
The previously largest Mon Calamari ship loaned to the Rebel Alliance
or New Republic was Home One at almost 4km long.
Viscount ought, implicitly, to be appreciably longer.
It is probably in excess of six kilometres long
and may even compare to great human-designed warships such as the
Executor (almost 18km long).
This indicates the Republic has
finally started building larger warships, possibly having learned a lesson
from The Black Fleet Crisis.
Viscount is no shorter than Home One, and the battlecruiser Mediator is about half its length, therefore Mediator must be about 2km long or more.
The term "Star Defender" is a novelty; it probably serves as a brand name for what is a battleship or commandship.
|92||Chapter 7: Launch|
It was said that Ackdool had been given
the ship primarily because he was a Mon Calamarian, who, with the
retirement of Ackbar, were underrepresented among the fleet.
Of course, the fallout from this attack would be great and would likely force Nom Anor to flee Rhommamool altogether. But that was fine with him, for his mission here was nearly complete, and if those missiles hit Osa-Prime and brought the war to full conflagration, then he would happily move on. His job now was distraction, to keep the New Republic so concerned with the explosions near to the Core that they didn't get a chance to turn their eyes outward.
Three hours later, Nom Anor received the outraged call from Commander Ackdool. Missile plumes had been detected in Osarian's atmosphere.
By what standard are the Mon Calamari underrepresented?
In terms of population?
As a newly emergent interstellar civilisation
their population cannot be as great as the countless other species
that have already spread across the galaxy.
In terms of material contributions to the fleet?
Warships built by the Mon Calamari do seem over-abundant
compared to the Mon Calamari population
(at least in events and situations
chronicled in the existing STAR WARS novels).
technology: The missiles from Rhommamool take three hours to traverse the distance between the planets. This sets an upper limit on their average speed during this particular journey, 92km/s. This is many times greater than the escape velocity of a terrestrial planet or the typical heliocentric orbital velocities of such planets. Therefore the missiles can be regarded as following a linear course, to a fair approximation. If they accelerated continually throughout the journey, the mean acceleration would be about 17m/s² (roughly 2G). If the missiles were idle during part of the flight (in order to reduce the chance of detection by Mediator) then the initial acceleration must have been much higher. as continual linear
|105||Chapter 8: Layers|
Han snapped his fingers, ending in a wide smile. "Bagy," he said, pointing
to a Sullustan across the way.
Chewie recognized the target, a notorious con artist named Dugo Bagy, and gave another less-than-enthusiastic groan.
The pair bumped their way through the establishment, through the crowd, and when they finally had a straight line of sight to Dugo Bagy, and Dugo Bagy to them, the Sullustan scoffed down his drink and started to move away.
Han signaled left, and Chewie circled that way, while Han went right. Dugo Bagy, apparently focusing on Han, started right, but skidded to a stop and darted back to the left — to thud into Chewie, Dugo Bagy's face barely reaching the Wookiee's belly, and the Sullustan's momentum not budging huge and powerful Chewie a centimetre.
|character: Dugo Bagy, a Sullustan con artist and former associate of Han Solo.|
|115||Chapter 9: The Honour of Dying|
|115||The Twi'lek kept her blaster holstered, but the other three did not; they moved with weapons out and ready, with Luther De'Ono, a rugged man in his mid-twenties, with coal black hair and dark eyes, diligently guarding the left flank. Bendodi Ballow-Reese, the oldest member of ExGal-4 at fifty-three, but a former barnstormer search-and-destroy agent with the Rebel Alliance, guarding the right;||characters: Luther De'Ono, Bendodi Ballow-Reese: members of the doomed foot expedition with Tee-ubo Doole.|
|136||Chapter 10: Running the Belt|
|143||There were available technologies to make the TIE fighters able to withstand many asteroid hits, using combinations of shields and an enhanced repulsor system, but for many years, the militaries of both the Empire and the New Republic had been trying to perfect off-ship shielding, with greater power sources lending deflector shields to small starfighters, thus freeing the drives of the starfighters to the tasks of manuvering, accelerating, and firing.||
technology: Remote projection of shielding.
In principle this is similar to the projection of the security shield
from Endor to the second Death Star.
This is a demonstrated technology,
so its non-application to fighter craft must be due to practical limitations.
Speed, range, the confined extent of shielding
and the need to support multiple moving ships
might be among the problems.
The essential weakness of such a system is that the fighters depend on their home base or mothership. This might be acceptable or advantageous in a defensive war, but it might have been less practical for the more mobile forces engaged in the Galactic Civil War in the movies.
|152||Chapter 11: Boom|
|164||Chapter 12: The Game, the Reality|
|178||Chapter 13: Minus Thirteen|
|197||Chapter 14: Closer, Closer|
|223||Chapter 15: Awaiting the Goddess's Arrival|
|237||Chapter 16: Worthy Opponent|
|261||Chapter 17: The Last Pose of Defiance|
|272||Chapter 18: Storm Brewing|
|289||Chapter 19: The Perfection of Teamwork|
|314||Chapter 20: Point of View|
|321||Chapter 21: False Serenity|
|332||Chapter 22: Turning it Back|
|349||Chapter 23: Into the Web|
|362||Chapter 24: One Trick to Play|
|379||Chapter 25: Connection and Coincidence|
|383||Chapter 26: Eulogy|
James Easter suggests:
In this book the new alien threat/race cannot be detected by the force. When Luke/Mara/Any Jedi try to get a `reading' on these new aliens (human shaped-bio technology based) they get nothing. However, the Jedi's are still able to use their abilities to stay one step ahead of these aliens in fighting situations (both in space and in hand to hand). This may indicate that these new aliens have no midi-chlorians, thus the force cannot be used to `read them' -emotionally/mentally. Yet the force can be used to predict thier physical actions, just as Jedi's do to counter blaster bolts with thier lightsabres.
Qualifications: It is not proven that any particular kind of Force usage is functionally connected to the midi-chlorians. To date, the only thing that we know for certain about this subject is that Jedi in the pre-Palpatine era used midi-chlorian concentration counts as an indicator of the potential of Force sensitive beings.
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