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"You did excellent work on Poln Major. All of you did."
―Thrawn complimenting the Hand of Judgment and Vaantaar on their performance[src]

Skirmish in Whitestone City was a small scale ground battle that took place at the same time when Senior Captain Thrawn and Warlord Nuso Esva waged their own, larger scale battle in the same starsystem. The skirmish was part of Esva's plan to lure Thrawn into a trap and destroy the Chiss's military career in the Galactic Empire by murdering Governor Bidor Ferrouz of Candoras sector and putting the blame on the Rebel Alliance. The plan failed as the Emperor's Hand, Mara Jade chose to leave the Governor alive and the Hand of Judgment defeated Nuso Esva's ground forces during the three attacks they performed against the renegade stormtroopers. The skirmish ended when Jade secured the Governor's wife and daughter, the Troukree—who had allied themselves with the Hand of Judgment—defeated the last troops threatening them and then abducted the stormtroopers.

HistoryEdit

BackgroundEdit

At some point around eight months after the Battle of Yavin, an alien Warlord, Nuso Esva, organized the kidnapping of wife and daughter of Governor Bidor Ferrouz of Candoras sector. The Warlord also contacted a high-ranking Rebel leader, Alderaanian Vestin Axlon, claiming that an Imperial Senior Captain called Thrawn had secretly been behind the destruction of Alderaan and luring him to become one of his contacts—he also promised to give his military might to help the cause of the Rebellion. Governor Ferrouz started negotiations with Axlon under Esva's orders and arranged equipment to certain locations on Poln Minor for the Rebels to find.[1]

When the Rebel representatives—Vestin Axlon, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Chewbacca—arrived to the Whitestone City, the Imperial retribution of Ferrouz's treason was not far behind: Emperor Palpatine had sent his agent Mara Jade to dispose of the treasonous Governor. Jade had recruited a group of renegade stormtroopers known as the Hand of Judgment to help her. Jade made a plan to enter the Governor's palace with the help of the stormtroopers and execute the governor as a punishment. When she arrived to Ferrouz's office, she learned how Esva had been manipulating the Governor and chose not to kill him before finding out more about the Warlord and his plotting.[1]

The riotEdit

"Say again? A riot?"
"Affirmative. Some insane flash riot, kicking off without any lead-in that I saw. And you'll never guess who's in the middle of it: Luke Skywalker."
―Daric LaRone and Joak Quiller[src]

While Jade and two members of the Hand of Judgment—Daric LaRone and Saberan Marcross—were inside the palace, the other three stormtroopers, Korlo Brightwater, Taxtro Grave and Joak Quiller, were on guard outside. Axlon had also ordered Skywalker to stay outside the palace grounds to prevent an Imperial assassin from entering—in truth Skywalker had been set up to be blamed for Ferrouz's assassination. Dors Stelikag and his team of rioters—hired by Nuso Esva—got the word from Axlon that Jade had entered the Governor's office, and started the riot pulling unsuspecting Skywalker in the middle of it, shouting that the young Jedi had murdered the Governor with his lightsaber. When the three stormtroopers informed LaRone about the turn of event, the leader of the Hand of Judgment ordered them to rescue Skywalker and his lightsaber.[1]

At the same time Jade, Ferrouz and Axlon found themselves under attack from another team of Esva's troop inside the palace, but the two members of the Hand of Judgment helped them. Axlon concussed the Governor—telling Jade that Ferrouz had been hit by a ricochet—and then helped Jade and the two stormtroopers to transport the Governor out from his office through a hidden passage. With her lightsaber Jade opened a way to the sewers of the city and led them to a tapcafe Whistling Wind, which the two stormtroopers quickly emptied from customers. With the Governor and the Rebel negotiator the Hand of Judgment settled into the basement of the establishment while Jade returned back to the palace to find out who had done what in the kidnapping of Governor's family.[1]

While Jade was away the members of the Hand of Judgment found out that Axlon had been in contact with Esva, but the Rebel shot toward Grave and Quiller, wounding both stormtroopers. LaRone spoke to Axlon and distracted him enough to give Brightwater a chance to kick a knife—which they had gotten as a gift from a group of Troukree they had met earlier—to Quiller, who killed Axlon. After the Rebel had been dealt with LaRone contacted other Rebels—Skywalker and Chewbacca who they had dealt with several months previously—explaining the situation and asking the Wookiee to bring their sub-miniature bacta tank to the tapcafe. They also sent Brightwater out to meet with the Troukree they had befriended earlier and ask for their help in defending the Governor—Vaantaar, the leader of the Troukree accepted and brought four of his kind along to help.[1]

First attackEdit

"Let's hope the next one is that easy."
"It won't be."
―Saberan Marcross and Daric LaRone[src]

When Jade found the cave where Governor's family was being held and reported the findings to the Hand of Judgment and to Ferrouz, the Governor called Major Pakrie—a member of his staff, who had been revealed as one of Esva's contacts—telling him where he was hiding with his protectors, so there would be fewer enemies between the Imperial agent and his family. The first attack against their sanctuary came soon after. Esva's troops also set up a comlink jammer near-by, which prevented the defenders from calling for help. The attackers first tried to sneak up on them, but as the stormtroopers had been expecting them, they were prepared.[1]

Before Esva's troops got into the basement LaRone and Marcross went out to face them in the tapcafe instead of waiting for their enemies to come to their prepared bunker downstairs. The closest attackers fell fast, but there were others settled in with better cover farther back. The seasoned stormtrooper pair cut down all but two attackers, who managed to get out of the tapcaf. Stelikag's team, who were guarding Governor's family, got the word that the attack against the stormtroopers had failed, which drew out a portion of the group. Skywalker—who had hitched a ride on Stelikag's landspeeder and located the hiding place around the same time Jade had—waited for something to happen and soon Jade triggered a booby trap the kidnappers had set for her on the other side of the cavern.[1]

Second attackEdit

When he saw the explosion across the cave, Skywalker believed that the other person who LaRone had told was searching for Governor's family, had walked into a trap. Jade had not perished in the explosion, however, but used it to distract the kidnappers while she jumped on top of a crane that ran across the cavern and gave her access to a small building where the Governor's family was held. Thinking the other rescuer had died, Skywalker started out to find the Governor's family, but Stelikag and his thugs noticed the young Jedi and attacked him. Seeing Skywalker in trouble, Jade threw her blaster to the man, but the act gave away her position to the kidnappers and they started to shoot at her, too.[1]

While Skywalker and Jade attempted to rescue Governor's family the Hand of Judgment and their Troukree allies defended Ferrouz against another attack by Esva's troops. On the second attack the attackers had several members of Esva's own Chosen to support them as well as an E-Web heavy repeating blaster. The attackers send a scout down to the basement, where the defenders had set up their sanctuary, but one of the Troukree was able to dispose the scout before all of their positions had been revealed. The heavy blaster, however, posed a threat and its cover offered a possibility of sending down another scout, and it was essential for the defenders to destroy it. LaRone wanted to use a grenade to blow up the blaster, but in order to do so he would need to place the explosive directly underneath the tripod supporting the heavy weapon. From his position in the basement, the only way to succeed was to cross the firing arch of the E-Web without having the grenade hit by the fire or dying in the attempt. When LaRone started toward the firing arch two of the Troukree, who had come to their help with Vaantaar also headed toward it. One of them stopped farther away hauling the other one up into air, throwing his companion across the firing arch above LaRone's head and thus protecting the stormtrooper from the heavy blaster's fire.[1]

The destruction of the E-Web stopped the attack, allowing a moment of silence to fall down to the basement. Troukree's sacrifice struck deep into the hearts of the stormtroopers, who had not expected the aliens to give up their lives in such a fashion to save a Human. In the silence they noticed that Grave—who had been unconscious in the bacta tank before—had regained consciousness and was willing to join their defense as much as his wounds allowed. Despite them being unable to use comlinks to contact Jade or anyone else outside their sanctuary, the Hand of Judgment was certain there would be another attack against their hiding place.[1]

Third attackEdit

The third attack against the basement of the Whistling Wind tapcafe followed soon. As the Hand of Judgment expected the attackers started by destroying a supply lift that led to the back alley, and dropping down through it. When the main attention of the defenders was directed toward the new breach in their defenses, another group of attackers tried to enter their position from the other way. The stormtroopers had known to expect such a tactic and one of the Troukree was positioned accordingly and able to stop the attackers before they could join the fight. While the three still healthy stormtroopers were making as much noise as they could, Grave—still lying in his bacta tank—shot several of the attackers from behind them, as they had passed him by without considering him to be a threat.[1]

After the Hand of Judgment and their four remaining Trourkee allies had disposed of the attackers who had made their way to the basement, LaRone had a short shouting conversation with the leader of their attackers, who safely remained in the alley with some of his troops. While the stormtroopers conversed among themselves, after the change of threats with the attackers, two of the Troukree headed out through the remains of the supply lift, joining another group of Troukree, who had been outside and together with them killing the remaining attackers. When LaRone and Marcross made their way up to the street, they found out that the Troukree were the masters of the field. The aliens had also turned off the jamming the attackers had been using.[1]

Around the same time Jade had made it to Governor's family which was held in an overseer's office in the cave. She was able to protect them from the closest kidnappers, while Skywalker fought the others on the cavern floor. Stelikag was killed, when he tried to cross a pool of flammable liquid and Skywalker ignited the substance—the fire also forced the remaining kidnappers to retreat. Skywalker then left the cavern while Jade and Governor's family waited in the building until the fire burned down enough for them to leave.[1]

AftermathEdit

After the fight Vaantaar, supported by his Troukree companions, confronted the Hand of Judgment about their past and their status as renegades. He demanded them to follow him, taking them to the spaceport, where they used one of Esva's Whisperlikes to get on Senior Captain Thrawn's ship, the Admonitor. When the wounds of Grave and Quiller had been healed Thrawn offered the Hand of Judgment a position among his own stormtrooper force, as trainers for a new strain of warriors. They chose to accept the offered job and began building their new version of the 501st Legion.[1]

Skywalker headed out from Poln Major with the rest of the Rebels before the Imperials could divide their attention from the battle against Nuso Esva's troops enough to stop them. Jade returned Governor Ferrouz's wife and daughter to the man, deciding to pardon the Governor from the accusations of treason—while the Governor had been dealing with the Rebels, Jade was willing to let it slide. She then returned to the ship she and the Hand of Judgment had used when arriving to the planet. For a short time Jade wondered what had happened to the stormtroopers, but soon she returned to her duties as an Imperial agent, taking the Suwantek TL-1800 freighter and storing it for a possible future use or to be returned to LaRone and his companions if they ever came back.[1]

AppearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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