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THE ENLOE TRIALSChapter 10SHARDS OF REBELLION






    











Just days ago, Imperial forces assaulted a secret rebel base on Banyys.





The defenders of the complex fought bravely…





…but were vastly outnumbered.





Even the presence of several Jedi Knights was not enough to stem the tide…





…as the Empire crushed their opposition.





A small number of rebels managed to escape…





…but Rykrof Enloe was taken captive.





Held aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer, Rykrof knows he his doomed.





Under constant guard, and highly sedated, he drifts in and out of consciousness.





The past comes back to him.





His adult life has been filled with conflict…





…and desperation for survival.





In this galaxy of turmoil, few remain that Rykrof can trust…





…as the leadership he entrusted confidence in was nothing more than a ploy…





…to gain absolute control over the galaxy.





Even his childhood friend, Tylin Gere, has been seduced by the darkness…





…resulting in a passion for power that has put Rykrof’s family in harm’s way.





The horrors of the Empire have become constant nightmares…





…old enemies have been replaced by new foes…





…those closest to him seem to be letting go…





…and are ready to pursue their own paths.





He is becoming a man with nothing to lose.





Far away, a lone shuttle has landed on the distant world of Nalwuun.





The planet houses a small rebel base…





…with a variety of brave souls who dare to oppose the Empire.





Departing from their shuttle, Traedon Cusiro and Freelo Macklar look forward to reconnecting with an old friend.





“It’s a relief to see you both,” Kala exhales.

“We were lucky that any of us survived the assault on Banyys.”






“Any news on Rykrof?”





“I’m afraid not,” Kala admits.

“And I’ve been unable to connect with him through the Force.”






“What does that mean? Is he dead?”





“No, I don’t believe that’s the case,” Kala assures him.

“If he were to have been killed, I’m certain I would have sensed it.”






“My intuition tells me he was likely captured,” Freelo helpfully offers.





“You know, that’s about as good as being dead.”





“We have no way of truly knowing at this time,” Kala counters.





“Follow me.”





“This place reminds me of Banyss,” Freelo observes.





“I hope the Empire doesn’t find out about this base too!”





“We have secret bases across several different systems,” Kala tells the others.





“The Empire will never be able to locate them all.”





“Ah,” former Senator Tame Heem sighs upon seeing the trio approach.

“Traedon and Freelo. I’m so happy to see you alive and well.”






“They are among the few to escape Banyss,” Kala says.

“My Jedi brethren were not so fortunate.”






Kala then turns slowly to his friends.

“I’ve already spoken with Tame. I’m afraid we can’t spare any resources to look for Rykrof.”






“But we have to!” Freelo begs.

“He was captured on Banyss!”






“We can’t afford to risk any more losses,” Tame Heem sternly says.

“Besides, Rykrof was responsible for what happened.”






“Now look,” Traedon warns as he steps toward the Ithorian.

“Any chance he’s alive… we’re going to find him.”






“Rykrof was responsible for what happened,” Kala interjects.

“But, we know none of this was intentional. He inadvertently brought back an Imperial homing device to the base.”






“But at this time there may not be much I can do,” Kala says sadly.

“Given the collapse of Banyss, representatives from several rebel cells will be gathering here throughout the coming week. My presence is vital.”






“Rykrof is a good man,” Tame concedes.

“I can’t spare you any bodies, but I can grant you supplies if you choose to search for him. Take what you need.”






“What about droid parts?” Freelo inquires thoughtfully.

“Our protocol droid was damaged during the attack.”






“What we have is mostly scrap; but yes… I’ll see to it that you’re assisted with your droid.”





“I’m afraid I can’t help with finding Rykrof… at least not yet,” Kala tells Freelo.

“But I will contact you both as soon as I’m able to depart.”






Whatever,” Traedon concedes.

“As soon as we get re-supplied, I’m headed out.”






Kale watches with admiration as Freelo and Traedon walk away.





“If even a man like Traedon can see the light, there is truly hope for the galaxy.”





Meanwhile, the Star Destroyer Adamantine patrols a sector known for Rebel activity in the Outer Rim.





Darth Vader approaches the vessel’s command center.





“Lord Vader,” Baron Gere smiles.

“Were you successful in extracting any information from the prisoner?”






The two officers stand in awkward silence as the Dark Lord of the Sith silently stands before them.





“He did not survive the interrogation,” the Dark Lord finally hisses.

“However, I found that Enloe had no link to this Rebel cell…”






“…other than being brought into it due your meddling.”





“But, Lord Vader…” Tylin stutters, “…he was in direct contact with a Jedi…”





“All due to a past acquaintanceship,” Vader replies stoically.

“His involvement with these Rebels stemmed from the attack you placed on the Enloe Homestead at Urelia…”






“You must understand…”





“You have also attempted to undermine the Empire to acquire the Sith artifact from Badoo Corba terrorists on Dathomir!”





“The Emperor has graciously forgiven your actions… but I have not,” Vader warns.





“I am allowing Enloe’s family to remain in your custody,” he continues.

“…for now.”






Several minutes later, Tylin walks away, reflecting on his long relationship with Rykrof Enloe. His friendship, his enmity, is finally at an end.

“Tylin!” his nephew shouts from behind him.






“So, Enloe’s really dead? Don’t you want to see his body?”





“The records log indicates his remains were removed from the ship,” the Imperial baron replies.

“It doesn’t matter. I still have custody of Enloe’s family. I have exactly what I want.”






“So… what are you going do to with his family?”





“Uncle?”





Meanwhile, strong emotions strike Vader as he enters a secure chamber…





…and the past beckons him.





A good man he once knew put himself in harm’s way to make the galaxy safer for others…





…he was always willing to help anyone in need…





…facing deadly enemies…





…and helped secure a passionate secret for Anakin Skywalker.





After the Clone Wars, it took the greed of a man like Tylin Gere to bring Rykrof Enloe out of the shadows…





…and into conflict with the Empire.





Vader then approaches the man he has secretly left alive.





“Sir, the prisoner is alert. Just as you ordered.”





“Enloe,” Vader says.

“Listen to me.”






“Does it look like I have a choice?”





“Official records designate you as having died due to wounds suffered during a Rebel uprising on Banyss,” Vader informs him.





“I am transferring you to a top security prison designated for the highest criminals in the galaxy for the remainder of your existence,” Vader pauses.

“No one will know you are alive. No one will come looking for you. But I have spared your life.”






“Is this supposed to be better than being slowly killed aboard this ship?”





“My debt has been paid.”







THE ENLOE TRIALS
<<  Chapter 9
THE FALL OF BANYSS
 
Chapter 10Chapter 11
DESOLATION
 
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