|Great Aquilaris Deluge|
- "...They cannot free themselves nor even always save themselves from the flood of darkness -- but when the way is lit by those who fight for good, they can be led..."
- ―Vannar Treece
The Great Aquilaris Deluge was an event during the Second Charge Matrica's Aquilaris campaign in 1,032 BBY. The Hutt crimelord Zodoh successfully tested his Stormdriver superweapons on Aquilaris. His Stormdrivers were large capital ships equipped with moisture vaporators that generated large artificial floods on Aquilaris, killing many civilians and inflicting much damage on the infrastructure. During the flooding, Jedi Knight Kerra Holt along with the Seacroppers saved thousands of lives by evacuating many survivors into underwater harvester stations.
The Stormdrivers' global flood was disrupted by the actions of Devil Squadron Captain Kerra Holt who set of a series of explosions and escaped Zodoh's flagship Voracious. This disruption ended the global flood and the waters began to gradually recede.
Despite this setback, Zodoh viewed the Deluge as a victory since it proved the effectiveness of his Stormdrivers and he could exploit Aquilaris as a source of seafood. Having achieved his goals, Zodoh launched an attack on Darkknell, capital of Sith Lord Daiman's realm.
- "...Business. It's costly to remove the Sithlings from their worlds. But with the Stormdrivers, I can do it for nothing!...This worthless planet's about to become my testing ground -- only there won't be any ground left!"
- ―Zodoh's ambitions for regional dominance
Following the capture of Devil Squadron, the planet Aquilaris Minor was left virtually undefended. This suited the Hutt crimelord Zodoh since his fleet of Stormdrivers would be able to position themselves around the planet and then create a global flood using their moisture vaporators. Zodoh planned to usurp the Sith warlords within the Grumani Sector and then carve up his own empire. He also planned to secure Grace Command's stash of Deluge spice and then synthesize his own stock of the addictive spice to circulate among the inhabitants of the Grumani Sector as a means of weakening resistance to his conquest. Zodoh coerced Devil Squadron's Captain Jenn Devaad into obtaining the remaining stashes of Deluge spice by promising to release her crew if she agreed to cooperate.
Aquilaris was an ocean world with low-lying continents and islands with no high mountain ranges. This made the planet's landmass vulnerable to large-scale flooding. Aquilaris was ill-prepared to handle such a large scale environmental disaster since the Aquilarian people had been impoverished during the Sith occupation since the conquest of the planet in 1,032 BBY. The Aquilarians lacked any logistical means of evacuation or safe refuges to accommodate refugees during the flood. The few remaining Aquilarian landspeeders were incapable of operating in such storms and there were no boats since they had been destroyed by the Sith Lords to prevent any civilians from escaping. While the Seacroppers' Guild still had a fleet of submersibles, they were barely operationable due to a lack of maintenance. The logistical problem was aggravated by the drug-ridden state of much of the population due to Operation Deluge, a black-operation run by the Galactic Republic's Grace Command with the aim of undermining the Sith war effort.
- "Look, I know it's a beautiful day! But those machines are going to produce enough rain to drown the whole planet! Everyone needs to get to higher ground -- and find something that floats! On water -- or air!"
- ―Kerra organizing an evacuation effort
Jedi Knight Kerra Holt was the sole survivor of the debacle that ensnared Devil Squadron. She landed back at Capital Cay's spaceport in her Fire Lotus-class starfighter and began to organize the evacuation efforts. During a meeting with residents, Kerra encountered much disencouragement and dismay which was compounded by a serious logistical problem. When Kerra queried about the role the Seacroppers could play, a pessimistic Padgett explained that the Seacroppers were still addicted to Deluge spice and were thus unable to render any services because they wanted nothing else in life but Deluge. Kerra expressed surprise that the effects of the drug had not worn off despite the medical treatment supposedly provided by Grace Command. When Kerra querried about using the submersibles to evacuate the population, Padgett again shrugged off that suggestion by stressing their decrepit state. Despite her frustrations, Kerra was determined to continue the evacuation and ordered the civilians to evacuate the Seacroppers from the barracks and to use force if necessary.
While the Aquilarian civilians began their evacuation efforts, Kerra went to inspect the submersible at the docks of Capital Cay. Kerra expressed her exasperation at the compounding logistical problem and the apathy of the Aquilarian civilians. While inspecting a submersible, she encountered a despondent and drug-afflicted Joad within its command deck. Following a brief conversation about their childhood experiences and separation during the invasion of Aquilaris ten years ago, she tried to convince him to help by repairing the submersible so that it could help in the evacuation efforts. Still grieving over the loss of his family, Joad refused to help, stating that he had nothing to live for in life except his Deluge addiction.
After Joad climbed out of the command deck, Kerra expressed her exesperation by kicking one of the orange food containers left by Grace Command open. She quickly discovered that the container only contained Deluge spice. She quickly realized that Grace Command's relief operations were actually a cover for distributing Deluge spice among civilian populations in Sith-occupied Space. She returned to the barracks in time to catch Captain Jenn in the act of loading spice into a shuttle and harassing the local civilians at gunpoint. Using her Force powers, Kerra overpowered Jenn and confronted her about Grace Command's spice smuggling operations. Joad quickly revealed that Grace Command was a black operation established by Baron Lemayne of Alderaan with the goal of sabotaging the Sith war effort and dismissed the addicted civilians as collateral damage in the greater war against the Sith.
She also revealed that her animosity towards civilians stemmed from the illfated Dalaang campaign. The civilians had been unwilling to shelter her and her Republic Navy comrades. Consequently, they were captured and enslaved by the Hutt crimelord Zodoh. Finally, she revealed that she was planning to save her crew by obtaining the remaining stocks of Deluge in Capital Cay. Kerra was unable to convince Jenn to assist in the evacuations. Following the departure of Jenn in a transport shuttle, the orbiting fleet of Stormdrivers activated their moisture vaporators, trapping the moisture in the atmosphere and using their trapped energy to generate large storms and floods.
Trapped in the StormEdit
"Sitting there, I remembered how they worked -- just wanted to see if I was right."
- ―Joad Kreel arrives at Tarrah Hill in a submersible
Within hours, large areas of Aquilaris' surface were inundated in torrential raid and flood waters. Much of the city of Capital Cay was swept beneath the waves and many civilians were trapped or killed in the ensuing flood. Meanwhile, Kerra and a group of Aquilarian civilians including Padgett began a desperate effort to evacuate civilians to Tarrah Hill, the highest point on the planet Aquilaris. During the storm, Kerra used her Force powers to physically levitate drowning civilians out of the floodwaters. While on top of a submersible, she encountered Joad who expressed remorse for his earlier animosity towards her. In her symbolic gesture of his desire to overcome his addiction to Deluge spice, he threw his remaining stash of Deluge into the floodwaters. However, Joad then surprised his friend Kerra by diving into the flood apparently to recover his prized Deluge stash. In reality, Joad had swam under the submersible in an attempt to restart its motor.
Kerra was forced to soldier on alone with her refugee followers to Tarrah Hill. By then, the mountain was being submerged in flood waters. To the surprise of Kerra and the Aquilarian refugees, the orbiting Stormdriver ships began deactivating, ending the torrential rain. Later, it would be learnt that Jenn Devaad had caused a series of explosions aboard Zodoh's flagship Voracious during an escape attempt which disrupted the coordination of the Stormdriver fleet. Since the Stormdrivers were controlled by a large data processing centre aboard the fighter carrier, they were unable to continue their operations. Shortly afterwards, a submersible piloted by Joad surfaced near the edge of Tarrah Hill. Kerra was relieved by the change of heart in her friend who explained that he could remember how to operate his submersibles and wanted to prove himself right.
They managed to evacuate Kerra's company of refugees aboard the submersible to a harvester station on the ocean seabed. Since there were still thousands of other Aquilarian flood refugees in the flood zone, the submarine would have made several trips from the surface to the harvesting station to save more lives. As part of the evacuation operation, Kerra would lead more parties of refugees to the rendezvous point at Tarrah Hill. Joad would then pilot the submarine and its refugee passengers to and from the harvesting station. Meanwhile, Padgett and a group of Seacroppers began work on opening the sea tunnels at the harvesting station to accommodate the subsequent waves of refugees seeking shelter from the storm. Through these efforts, thousands of Aquilarian lives were saved.
- "...Darkknell! Zodoh's making a play to become the big power in this sector -- and he's going to drown Daiman's homworld to do it!"
"Darkknell? There are billions of people there!... All right. We'll do this. But this time, Captain we do it my way!"
- ―Kerra and Jenn reconciling their differences to confront the threat of Zodoh
The following day, Joad's submersible was travelling through a submerged gorge when they encountered a Hutt starfighter. Assuming that Zodoh had dispatched starfighters to finish off the survivors, Kerra ordered the submersible to submerge while she stood on the coning tower to confront this unidentified starfighter. Kerra quickly realized that the starfighter was flown by her erstwhile ally, Jenn Devaad who had escaped from Zodoh's flagshipVoracious. She revealed the fate of her crew and told Kerra that Zodoh was going to target Darkknell, the heavily populated capital of Sith Lord Daiman. Holt agreed to patch things up with Devaad, but insisted on doing things her way. The two women then departed on the Hutt starfighter to Darkknnell where they single-handedly defeated Zodoh, destroying his flagship and scattering his fleet at the eleventh hour.
Meanwhile, the floodwaters on Aquilaris quickly receded which allowed the surviving population to move back to their homes and begin clearing up. Following the Battle of Darkknell, Devaad and Holt came up with a strategy to sabotage Operation Deluge. Devaad would return to Grace Command and claim that she had gotten for distributing the Deluge on Aquilaris. This ensured that Grace Command would continue to send transport ships which Devaad would personally fly to and from Sith occupied words. Enroute, she would get rid of the Deluge while returning to the Republic with civilian refugees. With the hidden undersea facilities on Aquilaris, the world could even become a important hub for ferrying refugees from Sith occupied space to safety in the Republic. As a reconciliatory gesture, Devaad then allowed Holt to keep her Fire Lotus for future operations against the Sith.
Behind the ScenesEdit
The Great Aquilaris Deluge was conceptualized as a major plot element within the Deluge arc of the Star Wars: Knight Errant comics series. It first appeared in Star Wars: Knight Errant 9: Deluge, Part 4 which debuted on November 16, 2011. The story plot was developed by John Jackson Miller, who has been involved in several Star Wars projects.
- Star Wars: Knight Errant 8: Deluge, Part 3 (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Knight Errant 9: Deluge, Part 4
- Star Wars: Knight Errant 10: Deluge, Part 5 (Mentioned only)