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[The New Republic]
Events that occur between 5 and 25 years after the Battle of Yavin.

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Short Story
This story is included in:

[Tales from the New Republic]

Tales from the New Republic

Jade Solitaire
Timothy Zahn
Bantam Spectra
Published as:
Short Story (1999)

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Mara Jade and the crew of the Wild Karrde are taken prisoner by Ja Bardrin, who tells Jade that he will kill the others if she does not agree to go to Torpris to save his “beloved daughter,” Sansia (and his beloved ship, the Winning Gamble) from the clutches of his arch nemesis, Chey Praysh. She reluctantly agrees and goes to Torpris where she will be taken by Praysh as a slave. As she is being brought in, she is warned off by a Togorian named H’sishi, but continues to play to the guards. When the guards open a container she was supposed to deliver (which holds her lightsaber in a secret area), they toss it away to the local scavengers, and H'sishi picks it up. So much for weapons. Mara is taken to meet Praysh, where she is tested with whips, but plays the part of the victim very well. She is taken to the slime pits where the females are kept. There, she meets Sansia, who tells her that her father is most likely after his incredibly advanced ship, not her. The ship has capabilities such as the ability to automatically figure out a target’s defences and such, which makes it very valuable to Bardrin. Mara manages to fake an injury so she can use the Force to steal chemicals from the medical centre, which she then uses to cause a fire and have acid weapons to help her escape with Sansia. They are caught, though, and taken before Praysh, who already knows that Mara wasn’t there on behalf of the Mrahash of Kvabja as she said she was. His men usher H’sishi into the room, who shows part of the container Mara brought (the part holding the lightsaber inside it) to Praysh. It bears the sear of the Uoti Corporate, an enemy of Praysh, from whom he had recently stolen some valuable new technology. H’sishi then busts open the container, tossing the lightsaber to Mara. As H’sishi takes out hidden gunports, Mara takes out the guards in the room. Pyrash has escaped, though, and so has Sansia. Thinking that Sansia may be deserting them, they race to the landing pad, where they see Sansia use the Winning Gamble’s great weaponry to destroy every other ship before dropping down to pick them up and head off of the planet. Jade, H’sishi, and Sansia arrive back at Bardrin’s headquarters only to find Talon Karrde in charge, with Bardrin suitably subdued. Karrde had called in a favour with Leia Organa Solo and taken the headquarters with some Noghri. He reveals to Sansia that it seems that Bardrin purposely let Sansia be captured, so that the ship could uncover the defences of Praysh’s base. They would then rescue Sansia and use the information to destroy Praysh’s base and steal the Uoti technology. Sansia is none to happy about being used as bait, so she takes a controlling amount of shares in the family business from her father to give her control of the business and gives the Winning Gamble to Mara. She says she will pay Karrde back for his assistance, and he says he’ll be in touch. Later, aboard the Wild Karrde, Karrde offers Mara the chance to step out of her stressful role in his organization for a little bit and have him help her set up a legitimate business, so that when she returns, if she returns, she’ll be calmer and more ready to resume her command-level duties. She agrees. Karrde also tells her he will be taking H’sishi on as a crewmember. He tells Mara that H’sishi had found the lightsaber in the container and had no doubt that if she got to Mara, Mara would save the day. She is, 775 after all, a Jedi. Mara scoffs at the idea of being called a Jedi, but busies herself with naming her new ship. The Winning Gamble sounds too much like a Han Solo or Lando Calrissian vessel. Remembering her tactics with the chemicals, she christens the ship the Jade’s Fire.

This story occurs approximately 12 years after the Battle of Yavin.

Related Stories (in chronological order):

  • Jade Solitaire

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