The Photonovel Alliance


Some beings called starships merely a crude mass of durasteel. But even those with the most ardor for the belief still admitted that the Legacy, the starship owned by Senator Drazil Drewton, was an impressive mass of durasteel.

Inside the Legacy, in the quarters of Drazil Drewton…

Formed by scanlines, recorded thirty-five thousand light years away, the ghost image of the holograph of Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum spoke to Drazil Drewton.

“How far are you from the planet now, Senator?” Valorum asked

Taking a second to calculate it, Drazil answered, “We’ll most likely enter the atmosphere in the next ten minutes.”

“Very good. Please inform me when you land - and, of course, of the result of the negotiations.”

Meanwhile, on the bridge…

“Everything is fine, I assume?” Captain Tenn Elcken asked a junior officer monitoring a computer, who looked slightly concerned.

“Err, do you want fact or opinion first?” the officer asked.

Elcken sighed. “Fact.”

“There’s a small freighter about only four kilometers away. Almost motionless, and it appears abandoned.”

The Captain waited for a few seconds, as if thinking the cadet was going to continue. “Opinion?”

“I…have a bad feeling about this, Captain.”

“Why would you?”

Tenric Zarell turned to him. “It has no signature, Captain, as far as I can tell. It is the duty of this ship to help beings, but it could cause a delay before we get to Dantooine - and it could be a trap by smugglers, bounty hunters…”

“What would you suggest, then?”

“Asking the Senator would be the best choice.”

“I agree. I’ll call him and ask his opinion on the comlink.”

Senator Drewton agreed to observe the ship from the bridge. “Can you give an overview, Captain?”

“The ship is a small freighter,” Elcken explained as Drazil gazed out the window. “No signature, appears abandoned, no sign of life. It is, as some would call it, a ‘ghost ship’.”

“I’m wary about it. But it’s Republic policy that no one’s good to the Republic dead.” Then he smiled. “And no, you can’t quote me on that.”

Elcken almost laughed. “Wise policy. Anyways, there could be people on that ship setting a trap for us. An assassin, a bounty hunter, or even a Kaleesh spy…”

“I’m aware of the possibilities. Unfortunately, possibilities don’t change anything.”

“I’m sorry for interrupting,” Tenric Zarell said, “but I think that it is meant for someone else to find, simply something that we have found by coincidence. We should at least bring it into the hangar.”

“But we also cannot put the Senator’s life at risk,” the Captain said. “If-”

“There’s no need to worry,” Drazil said calmly. “We have enough security on this starship to take a planet, let alone a small freighter. I’m confident that there will be no problems.”

“As you say.”

“Bringing it into the hangar via tractor beam now, sir,” a crew member announced, and displayed a camera view of the hangar on a holoscreen.

“I want every part of this ship checked,” Captain Elcken ordered. “All of it.”

A few minutes later…

“I’m not impatient,” Senator Drewton said slowly, “but I hope this doesn’t take long. The Kaleesh could arrive on Dantooine early, think they’ve been tricked, and attack…”

Elcken was worried himself, but remained calm. “Don’t worry, it won’t. This is just a standard search.”

A burst of static emitted from the hologram channel, and the image of a security officer appeared. “We found no one on board, sir.”

Elcken breathed a sigh of relief. “Well, I think that confirmed Tenric’s views. We can all stop panicking now.”

“That’s good news,” said Drazil, “but I’d like you to try one more time.”

“Yes, sir,” the security officer answered, though somewhat wary, and the holographic image turned into particles of static before completely vanishing.

“Another time, sir?” Tenn Elcken asked. He knew that all of the crew were still slightly wary of the ship.

“Yes. I’m not worried, this just seems…odd.”

A few minutes later, the same security officer appeared again. His voice was shaky as he spoke, and his face displayed fear.

“Err, Captain?” He took a moment to continue. “One of the security officers is…missing.”

Captain Elcken didn’t seem to be able to comprehend it at first. “What?!”

And then a starburst of clarity blossomed within his mind, enlightening Elcken’s mind. “Blast,” he said.

Even the Senator’s face was not completely calm after hearing the report. “I think this confirms another point of view.”

“We’re going on yellow alert,” the Captain said. “Sir, you should go to your quarters. You’ll be guarded.”

Hesitating, Drazil said, “I’d rather stay on the bridge for now.”

“Senator, you have to. Or else I’ll make you.”

“Very well,” Drazil Drewton said, now seeming to be completely calm again.

But as Drazil walked off the bridge, Elcken knew, judging by the faster-than-usual speed of Drazil’s footsteps, that he was very afraid.

“May the Force be with you,” Tenn Elcken said to him, drawing his blaster.

Soon after, Senator Drazil spoke to the officer guarding the hangar. “We’re having a…problem.”

“Don’t let anyone leave this room.”

The young officer seemed slightly surprised by the sharp tone. “I…will try not to, Senator.”

“Good. I’m sorry if I sound angry, but this is very important. I have a bad feeling about this…”

Someone who clearly wasn’t happy with him had boarded the ship. And had killed at least one security officer so far.

Drazil Drewton rushed through the corridors of the Legacy in fear. If he ever had felt the dark side of the Force, he could feel it now.

Captain Tenn Elcken’s voice came from every speaker in the ship. “Attention, we are on yellow alert. An assassin is somewhere on this ship. Any unfamiliar face is to be shot immediately. Senator Drazil Drewton must be guarded.”

The young officer guarding the hangar had an expression of calm.

It was only a facade.

Then he froze, thinking he heard the door open behind him.

It was the last thing he ever heard.

On the bridge, Elcken dreaded whatever he was about to be told by Tenric Zarell. He’d rather be deaf than hear it.

“Sir…every one in the hangar is dead.”

Dead?” the Captain echoed blankly.

It felt like a dark aura was slowly killing them all, and soon, he thought…he would be dead also.

He shook his head. “There must be more than one person. Maybe even an army of battle droids.”

“Sir, we’ve checked the security cameras. It was only one person…maybe you should see it yourself.”

Meanwhile, in Senator Drewton’s quarters…

Raymus and Tarisian Drewton, the two sons of Drazil, had heard the alert over the speakers. After waiting for Drazil for over five minutes, they decided to ask their questions in the bridge.

Captain Tenn Elcken lay dead on the floor of the bridge.

The carnage the two Drewton brothers saw confirmed Elcken’s alert. And it was much more serious than that.

“I think we should leave,” Raymus said.

Drazil Drewton is already dead. The rest is mere details.

As Captain Elcken’s message plays once more, the fury of an assassin has the choice of whether to kill Drazil or not.

And he decides to kill him.

In the pristine clarity of understanding, Drazil realizes that he is about to die. Even after all the good he has done in the Senate, none of that can prevent his death.

As sparks fly from the door, which explodes into thousands of shreds of durasteel and plasma, Drazil Drewton lives his last moments.

In the silence in the bridge of the Legacy, Raymus Drewton said to his brother: “Dad is dead.”

But deciding they didn’t have time to discuss it, and after Tarisian said he didn’t believe it, they fled to the escape pods…

…escaping the Legacy, and whoever the assassin was.

  Chapter 1Chapter 2
Brought to you by Drewton

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