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A Bitter Winter is a short story written by Patricia A. Jackson that was originally published in Star Wars Adventure Journal 5 by West End Games in February 1995 and was later archived online at Hyperspace on April 15, 2005.
Drake Paulsen travels to Tatooine after hearing that a friend of his father's is in trouble. Waiting out a dust storm, he finds his ship surrounded by Sandpeople. One of the "raiders" is Tait Ransom, who carries in the "friend" - Toob Ancher, who is on the verge of death thanks to Jabba the Hutt. Toob tells him to set course for Redcap, where he claims "the biggest spice shipment you or any smuggler has ever seen" is there. He reveals that Drake's late father was one of the Black Bha'lir, an infamous pirate group. He seems to be slowly going insane - and Drake learns why when he finds another friend, Fahs Oxsor, on Redcap. Ancher is suffering from "Bitter Winter," an intense mental illness. He is in the last stages of the disease, and the best thing Drake can do for him now is to take him out himself. Ancher heads out for the spice shipment he swears is in Tyma Canyon, with Drake along for the ride. Ancher is growing crazier and crazier, and finally steals a Headhunter and goes head-to-head with an Imperial Star Galleon. Drake is forced to join with the Imperials to fight Toob. The Imperial captain, Calder, gives Drake an option - kill Ancher or he will. Drake solemnly blows Ancher out of the stars. The Imperials let Drake go on his way, and he returns to Redcap to mourn. He decides it is time to try a Kessel spice run himself.
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