Isard's Revenge

Free Isard's Revenge by Michael A. Stackpole

Book: Isard's Revenge by Michael A. Stackpole Read Free Book Online
Authors: Michael A. Stackpole
Tags: Star Wars, X Wing, 6.5-13 ABY
it to rubble, but that wouldn’t do anything for the prisoners being held there. From his CorSec experience, Corran also knew that destroying the building would destroy any clues as to who owned it, who was running it, and where other prisoners might be. The site itself was a valuable link in the chain that would take them to all the prisoners.
    To get the prisoners out would require a commando strike. The New Republic assigned their two top units to the raid: Team One, led by Colonel Kapp Dendo, a Devaronian who’d worked with the Rogues in the past, and the Katarn Commandos, led by Captain Page. Page and his people had worked with the Rogues on their mission to Borleias to liberate that planet from Imperial hands. Both teams had been covertly inserted onto Commenor and had worked their way to the district around the XV site.
    The second problem concerning the mission proved more frustrating than any possible defense the Imperials could have raised. Commenor had declared itself independent of the Empire and the New Republic, much as Corellia had done. Since Commenor was a key world on trading routes, it was able to maintain its independence by courting each and every political faction in the galaxy. An attack on an Imperial facility by a New Republic strike team could create an incident that would cause Commenor’s officials to bar New Republic trade, impose stiff tariffs, or even cause the planet to align itself with a warlord like Krennel.
    Leia Organa Solo managed to convince Commenorian officials that they should sanction the coming operation. She pointed out that when General Jan Dodonna retired, he did so to the Commenorian moon, Brelor—a small moon the Emperor had given him as a reward for his service to the Empire. She suggested that the Empire’s subsequent attempted assassination of Dodonna on Brelor was a violation of Commenorian law. Allowing the New Republic to rescue him, or comrades of his, from the XV facility would be a step toward making things right again. Having the New Republic stage the raid would also insulate Commenorfrom any Imperial reprisals, which was an aspect of the deal the Commenorians liked a lot.
    Rogue Squadron’s X-wings—painted black for the operation—and astromech droids had been shipped to Commenor under cover as training vehicles for the local militia. The members of Rogue Squadron arrived on a variety of commercial transports and all rendezvoused in Munto, the largest city near the XV site. At the warehouse that served as a hangar for the X-wings, Wedge ran over a briefing with the latest intelligence. Then the pilots mounted up and waited.
    Wedge’s voice crackled through the headset built into Corran’s helmet. “Rogues, we are good to go. Light your engines, but keep the S-foils in transit position until we are out of Munto.”
    “Finally!” Corran turned to glance back at Whistler. “Now we make good on the promise.”
    Whistler warbled encouragingly as Corran brought the engines up. He shunted power to the repulsorlift coils and let the X-wing hover there. He retracted the landing gear, then smiled when the ship didn’t dip at all. He nudged the throttle forward, then applied a little etheric rudder via his foot pedals and swung the X-wing’s nose around to starboard. Corran trailed out after Slee’s X-wing, then slid his X-wing more to starboard, swinging wide onto the open ferrocrete slab where another warehouse had once stood.
    All around the Rogues most of Munto lay sleeping. Houses had been built up on terraces all around the valley in which the town lay, but most of them were dark save for a safety glow panel here and there. Some airspeeder traffic moved down in the more central part of the valley, and beyond it a roadway carried landspeeder traffic heading up to the town of Kliffen, but otherwise the city seemed all but dead.
    One Flight took off first, heading out slowly in a very loose formation. It started off toward the northeast and then would

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