Following Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade mission to Nirauan, the Hand of Thrawn was destroyed by a pirate raid. Shortly after, Commander Kres'ten'tarthi, the commander of Syndic Mitth'raw'nuruodo's Household Phalanx—an important Chiss unit of the Empire of the Hand—arrived at the secret military training academy on Rhigar to announce the fall of the Hand of Thrawn to pirate forces.
Fearing that the pirates could have obtained the location of the secret academy, Lieutenant Jagged Fel and the other cadets rushed to the hangar to defend the base. But a damaged pirate freighter crashed through the transparisteel dome hiding the base, killing several students and the academy's commandant, Gimald Nuruodo, destroying their clawcrafts, and revealing the academy. By examining the ship's cargo, Fel deduced that they were pirates, and not New Republic forces as Stent had suspected.
Stent was now the senior officer present, and issued orders to First Lieutenant Shawnkyr Nuruodo to collect weapons in order to repel an attack; she took Fel and several other cadets with her. Fel returned to the hangar weighted down with charrics just in time to see Stent vanish in a blast of laser fire. With Stent assumed dead, Nuruodo was in command. She ordered the cadets to assemble in the central indoor forest, where they would make a stand against the pirates. Fel was uneasy with the plan, and when the pirates began bombarding the base, he dove for cover with Nuruodo in the mechanic's bay. This caused him to realize the cause of his misgiving: the pirates would not attack on the ground until after a heavy aerial assault to soften up the base, rendering a ground defense ineffective. He explained to the cadet commander that he would take up Blue Flame—which had survived by being in the mechanic's bay after yet another crash, instead of in the hangar with the rest of the craft—perform poorly, and so lower the enemy's expectations in hopes that they would break off the bombardment and begin a ground assault.
Fel fired up his silver-blue ship and blasted through the hole which had been opened in the dome. He quickly found that his single ship was up against a corvette and several X-wings. He made an erratic attack, missing with most of his laser blasts. That fire covered the launch of two proton torpedoes, though, which destroyed two enemy fighters. Fel flew through the rubble, taking damage to his hyperdrive but losing his pursuit. He fed power into the hyperdrive, overloading it and then using the clawcraft's emergency detach function to launch the unit into the path of an oncoming fighter, where it exploded. This reduced the opposing force to two fighters and the corvette. Satisfied he had done as much as he could and that it was time to fake defeat, he rode the edge of the explosion away, then plummeted toward the dome, pretending to be out of control. He switched his repulsors on at the last moment, crashing through the dome and striking the hangar floor with significant force. The Blue Flame was wrecked and Fel himself sustained a nasty cut running from his right eyebrow back along his scalp as well as a possible concussion. He stumbled out of the craft and placed a fellow student's body within it to convince the pirates he had perished, then limped to the forest.
He collapsed upon finding Shawnkyr, who examined him and declared him unfit for combat, but insisted he help her plan tactics. The two fighter pilots had set down and begun scouting, but the Chiss were able to ambush them. Only seven students remained capable of fighting, however; not enough to repel the numbers likely present within the corvette. A sudden idea struck Fel, who had one of the panels of mirrored transparisteel that had fallen from the dome dragged onto the forest path, where dead Chiss bodies were placed upon it. The other students suspended themselves from the trees over the path using ropes. Mirrored in the transparisteel, they too seemed to be bodies lying on the floor. When the pirate force advanced, the Chiss ambushed them, cutting them down from above as they looked for a threat on the ground. The battle was messy and brief. The pirates were entirely defeated.
After the battle, Fel and the Chiss were able to use the pirates' equipment to contact their superiors for assistance.
In recognition of Fel's key role in tactical planning and the leadership he had provided, Shawnkyr Nuruodo turned her position as cadet commander over to Fel. Jag Fel gained command of a Clawcraft squadron shortly before the Yuuzhan Vong War and Shawnkyr became his wingmate for all the conflict.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Cavrilhu Pirates aren't specifically identified in Red Sky, Blue Flame but they are described as "Carrion birds who follow warriors and pick the battlefields clean". This must refer to the Cavrilhu Pirates who fought Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade, the "warriors", during their search for the Hand of Thrawn in Vision of the Future.
The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia resolved the timeline problem, stating that Stent survived the attack.
- Red Sky, Blue Flame"—Star Wars Gamer 7 (First appearance) "
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant (Indirect mention only)