Star wars. the new jedi order 2: dark tide book 1

Star Wars

The New Jedi Order

Dark Tide

Book 1

Onslaught

By Michael A. Stackpole

Updated : 11.XI.2006

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To Timothy Zahn For all the obvious reasons, and a few more. (Next time we’re in Tasmania, I want to try driving.)

This book could not have been completed without the tireless efforts of a host of folks. The author wishes to thank the following people for their contributions: Sue Rostoni, Allan Kausch, and Lucy Autrey Wilson of Lucas Licensing Ltd.; Shelly Shapiro, Jennifer Smith, and Steve Saffel of Del Rey; Ricia Mainhardt, my agent; R. A. Salvatore, Kathy Tyers, and Jim Luceno, my partners in crime; Peet Janes, Timothy Zahn, Tish Pahl, and Jennifer Roberson; and, as always, Liz Danforth for keeping me sane through the whole process.

PROLOGUE

Standing there, on the bridge of his Nebulon-B frigate, the pirate Urias Xhaxin clasped

his cybernetic left hand to the small of his back with his right hand. He stared straight ahead at the tunnel of light into which his ship, theFree Lance, flew. Given the nature of the frigate’s design, with the bridge far forward, he felt as if he were flying there alone, making his way deep into the territory of the Outer Rim where no one in his right mind would be found.

He glanced back over his shoulder at the Twi’lek working the navigation station. “Time to reversion, Khwir?”

The Twi’lek’s long lekku twitched. “Five minutes.”

Xhaxin turned on the comlink clipped to his jacket’s collar. “All hands, all hands, this is Xhaxin. Red and Blue Squadrons, prepare for launch. You will be moving to the outbound vectors and disabling the smaller yachts. Gunners, we will aim for the escorts. Everyone look sharp and this may be the last run we ever need make. In and out, clean and easy. You’ll all do well, I know. Xhaxin out.”

A dark-haired woman stepped up beside Xhaxin. “You really think this haul will earn us enough to retire?”

“It depends upon the quality of retirement you desire, Dr. Karl.” The white-haired, white-bearded man turned and smiled at her. “Your skills will earn you a good living almost anywhere in the New Republic, and your share of this raid should be enough to buy you a new identity or two.”

Anet Karl frowned. “Ever since the peace between the Imperial Remnant and the New Republic six years ago, we’ve been forced to go after smaller and smaller targets. The New Republic never condoned what we did, but they turned a blind eye to it while the Imperials were still a threat. Pickings were good as unreconstructed Imperials fled out here to the Remnant, but that trade has been trickling off. Is this raid going to be different?”

Xhaxin pursed his lips for a moment, then lowered his voice. “It’s a fair question you ask. The answer is yes, I can feel it in my bones. This raid will be like nothing we’ve seen in the last five years.”

Anet smiled mischievously, her brown eyes sparkling. “You’re not going Jedi on me, are you? The Force tells you about this raid?”

“No, I’m far more practical than the Jedi, and more dangerous, too.” He spread his arms. “We’ve nearly nine hundred crew on this ship-nine times the number of Jedi in the whole of the galaxy. And while they have the Force to aid them, I have two powerful allies with me: greed and arrogance.”

“Oh, your plan was good.”

“Correction, my plan was brilliant.” Xhaxin laughed.



Star wars. the new jedi order 2: dark tide book 1