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Shonn Volta was a Humanoid Force-sensitive female captain, sniper, and assassin of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. During the Clone Wars, she was captured by Jedi Master Kit Fisto and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and imprisoned within The Prism. After the rise of the Galactic Empire and the subsequent Gentis coup, Volta was one of the few prisoners who survived a brutal test and were allowed to join the New Order. She then helped to take back Coruscant in a surprise attack that culminated with Emperor Palpatine's execution of Headmaster Gentis.
Becoming fond of Laurita Tohm, a heroic Imperial who helped save the Emperor and his rule of the Empire, Volta decided to stay with him and become an Imperial officer as well. The two planned on serving side by side, but Tohm was betrayed and killed by his mentor, Darth Vader.
Shonn Volta was a Force-sensitive female from an icy planet. Her father was a freighter pilot and her mother was a sculptor, and after discovering her Force-sensitivity, the pair decided to hide Volta within the hold of a starship, for fear that she would be discovered by the Jedi Order and taken away. She lived inside the cargo hold until she was ten years old, past the age when the Order would consider accepting younglings as initiates. After this, she studied to be a hyperspace engineer, hoping to plot new space lanes so that people like her father could travel more safely.
The Clone WarsEdit
- "Do the records admit that the Republic cut off supply lines to my homeworld? Do they describe my mother's face collapsing as she starved to death? Do they show you my simple wedding on the ice floes? Or how bright my husband's blood was against the snow when the fighting spilled out of the cities?"
- ―Shonn Volta
When the Clone Wars broke out, engulfing the galaxy, Volta's father was killed by clone troopers from the Galactic Republic who wanted to commandeer his ship. The Republic then cut off supply lines to the Voltas' homeworld, which caused Volta's mother to starve to death. Around this time, Volta was married upon the ice floes of her world, but her husband was killed shortly after as violence erupted within the cities and spread outward.
Volta then joined the Confederacy of Independent Systems as a captain, and at some point was given an artificial heart by Count Dooku. As a sniper, she learned to use the Force and was able to guide blaster bolts into her targets. At some point, she was sent to assassinate Senator Riyo Chuchi, but was arrested by Jedi Master Kit Fisto and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker before she could complete her mission. Volta was then sent to The Prism, where she was imprisoned with other highly dangerous individuals.
Service to the EmpireEdit
- "But those are the details you should know, when you are assessing whether I'm fit to defend your Emperor. Those are the details that tell you why I hate the Republic and the Jedi. And they should tell you that I would give my life for the man who overthrew my enemies."
- ―Shonn Volta
In 19 BBY, the Republic and the Jedi Order both fell beneath the machinations of the newly-crowned Emperor Palpatine, who created the Galactic Empire in their place. Shortly after this, however, Headmaster Gentis orchestrated a coup, hoping to kill the Emperor and end the Empire's warmongering ways. Palpatine was indeed wounded in the attacks, and was rushed from Coruscant by Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader, Moff Trachta, and Lieutenant Laurita Tohm. The trio brought Palpatine to the Prism, knowing it to be one location where Gentis's men would never find them. While the Emperor was attended to by the facility's medical droids, Tohm devised a plan to take back Coruscant: if Vader would allow it, they could release the prisoners in order to create a small army. Vader appreciated Tohm's plan, but altered it to suit his needs, and instead had 207 of the prisoners released into the prison yard with orders to kill anyone they could, Tohm and Vader included.
The fighting that erupted was brutal, with bodies accumulating quickly. Tohm was attacked by another Separatist, General Ur'Loach. The general had wrapped his long tongue around Tohm's neck and was attempting to draw him into his large maw, a move that he was known for—beheading his enemies with his own teeth. As Ur'Loach knocked the blaster from Tohm's hand and prepared to kill him, Volta pulled the blaster toward herself and shot Ur'Loach through the mouth, killing him and saving Tohm's life. Tohm thanked her, but she told him that it was a self-serving act, and that if they worked together, they'd both live and he could pardon her sentence.
In the end, only thirty-three prisoners survived in fighting condition, and Vader ordered Trachta to tell the survivors what it meant to serve the Empire. He told Volta and the others that their crimes were now forgotten, but their reasons for committing them were not—they would now serve an institution not beholden to the "selfish" senators of the Republic, nor the Jedi Order. The prisoners knelt before Trachta and the others, yet Volta remained standing. Vader commanded her to kneel as well, but she instead asked why the prisoners were needed. Vader took his lightsaber from his belt, but Tohm stepped in front of the Dark Lord, telling Volta that they had been betrayed, and that with her service she may become an Imperial or even go free. Volta accepted, and knelt before the pair. Trachta then told the survivors that their training would begin that night.
Volta later met up with Tohm again, standing on a platform outside the prison. There she expertly shot the heads off of five 2-1B surgical droids while talking with Tohm, who was reading her prison files for the mission records he was compiling. Volta angrily informed him that the prison's records were not complete, and told him of the terrible things the Republic and the Jedi had done to her and her loved ones. Tohm then told her that he wanted to be a pilot too, like Volta's father, but that he no longer could. He then realized that Volta's experience with hyperspace study may allow them to save Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, who was soon to fall into a trap laid by Gentis.
- "Stay close to me, Lieutenant."
- ―Volta, to Laurita Tohm.
Tohm and Volta used her hyperspace expertise to find Tarkin while he changed hyperspace lanes at the nexus of several trade routes. Successfully finding and hailing his vessel, the Imperials and freed prisoners secreted themselves within Tarkin's shuttle. As they landed, Volta told Tohm to stay close to her.
Gentis amassed his cadets to greet Tarkin's shuttle, planning on finally cementing his hold on the Empire. Tarkin disembarked along with his stormtroopers, but was immediately surrounded by the cadets. Gentis confronted Tarkin, wanting him taken alive for interrogation, and told him his reasons for the coup. Tarkin, however, did not care about the hundreds of innocent cadets who had died under his command. When Gentis told Tarkin that his own sons had been killed by the policies of the Emperor, he was told by Vader that he would see them again soon.
Gentis looked up in horror as Vader emerged from the shuttle alongside Volta, Tohm, Trachta, and rest of the deadly ex-prisoners. Though Gentis's forces outnumbered the attackers by eight to one, there was no accounting for the disparate skills Vader's group brought to the fight. Vader himself unleashed a violent Force wave while the prisoners slaughtered the cadets. Caul Gentis, Gentis's son, ordered Koh, a demolitions expert, to hit their attackers with grenades. Volta shot Koh before he could throw the armed explosives, which detonated in the midst of the cadets, killing many.
Caul retreated among the scattered and wounded cadets until he heard Tohm call out to him. Thinking that Tohm was still on their side, he was happy to see him, but Tohm shot him in the stomach, killing him. Gentis saw his son fall and ran to his side, horrified that he'd lost his final child. Gentis begged for Caul not to die, then promised to keep his son safe. Suddenly, he was wracked with Force lightning, attacked by the Emperor himself. As he screamed and clutched his son to his chest, his body was ravaged by Palpatine's dark side power, and he was left a charred husk.
- "I hope you'll serve under my command. I couldn't have survived without you."
"It would be my honor."
- ―Laurita Tohm and Shonn Volta
In the aftermath of the battle, all those who had been loyal to Gentis were rounded up and executed without trial. Tohm himself oversaw the executions, allowing the bodies to pile atop one another as a warning to all who had betrayed the Empire. The Emperor rewarded Tohm for his service by being promoted to Admiral, and given a command in the Outer Rim Territories. Trachta was rewarded as well, promoted to Grand Moff as well as the new Headmaster of the Imperial Academies.
Unknown to Volta and the other surviving ex-prisoners who had helped to save the Empire, as they were celebrating their victory and impending reward, the Imperials that they had fought beside were at that moment trying to determine their fates. Trachta believed that they owed the prisoners a debt of gratitude, and that they should honor their promises to them. Vader thought that they should all be executed, to prevent them from becoming enemies in the future. Tohm created a third option, and the prisoners were told they would be set free but they had to exile themselves to the Corporate Sector. Before they left, they were met by Tohm, Trachta and Vader, and the details of their release were once more gone over. Nax Cirvan agreed to all of the parts of the deal, and Trachta wished him luck.
As the ship ascended over the Coruscant cityscape, it detonated, killing Cirvan and all those aboard. Tohm and Vader had betrayed the agreement, as well as Trachta, who was horrified by the dishonorable massacre. He railed against Tohm and Vader for their duplicity, but both men were unapologetic. Tohm lied to the cyborg, telling him without emotion that the old ship must have malfunctioned. Trachta, disgusted, left Tohm to Vader's care, no longer willing to try to take the young man under his own wing.
In addition to his promotion to Admiral, Tohm managed to secure a pardon for Volta, sparing her the fate of the rest of the prisoners. Now in Imperial uniform, she was given the rank of captain, and Tohm asked her to serve under his command while they met in his new apartment. Tenderly touching the burned side of his face, Volta told him that she would be honored. They were to leave the following day for the Outer Rim.
Tohm then received an invitation from Vader, and met the Sith Lord upon a balcony high above the city. Vader asked if Volta had accepted her new position, and Tohm excitedly told his new mentor that the two of them would be leaving soon. Vader then told Tohm that he had only one more lesson for the young man, and Tohm again grew excited, telling Vader how much working with him had meant. Vader then hefted Tohm by his uniform and told him that one should never accept the existence of rivals. Tohm pleaded with Vader, but the Dark Lord was unmoved, and threw Tohm from the balcony, sending him plummeting into the depths of Coruscant.