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[The Rebellion]
Events that occur from 2 years before to 5 years after the Battle of Yavin.

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This story is included in:

[Tales from the New Republic]

Tales from the New Republic

Interlude at Darknell
Timothy Zahn and Michael A. Stackpole
Bantam Spectra
Story published as:
Short Story (1999)

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Senator Garm Bel Iblis prepares to give a speech at the Treitamma Political Center on Anchoron that is going to rip the lid off what Emperor Palpatine really intends to do with the galaxy. However, he is called away from the center by an urgent letter from a Rebel named Aach. He is told that “Tarkin’s project” has been located. A “courier” with some inside info on the project will be in Darknell in three days. Bail Organa wants Bel Iblis to get this data tape. As they discuss this, the Political Center is blown to bits by a thermal detonator – taking Bel Iblis’ entire family with it. The Senator is traumatised, but Aach forces him to his senses – he was the bomb’s real target, and he had better get out of sight if he does not want to join his wife and children in death. Bel Iblis has always opposed the Emperor and his policies, but now…. now it is personal. He takes Aach’s offered ship and leaves Anchoron for Darknell…
Meanwhile, at a tapcafe on Darknell, a thief named Moranda Savich steals the datapack from the “courier.” And on Coruscant, Imperial Intelligence head Armand Isard sends his daughter Ysanne to get the datapack at all costs… 
Corsec officer Hal Horn arrives on Darknell searching for the infamous pickpocket Savich. Ysanne Isard arrives as well. Hal shakes down a junk dealer named Seb Arkos for info on Savich’s location. At the same time, Isard arrives. She passes herself off to Horn as “Katya Glase of Darknell Internal Security.” They both come upon Savich in the street. Isard’s partner Trabler moves to kill her, but Horn uses the Force to deflect the blaster bolt. Bel Iblis manages to drag the wounded Savich off in the confusion. Now certain “Katya” is not who she appears to be, Hal nevertheless continues the hunt with her. Moranda is treated by Garm, but asks for a way offworld before she gives up the datapack. He agrees, and she tells him she hid it in Isard’s rental speeder. Isard tries to have Hal killed, but he turns the tables – he will still help her, but he wants no more trouble. She adds one stipulation to that – a choke collar. They decide to resume their search at a nearby bar that stocks Moranda’s favourite drink. “Having been shot the way she was, she will be wanting some fortification.” 
The trip there reveals that somebody’s helping Moranda. Isard decides to hack into Darknell’s computers to track her down. Horn advises against it – the locals, particularly one Colonel Nyroska, would object to the Empire riding roughshod over them. Isard could not care less. Moranda calls Nyroska herself, lets him know what is happening, then offers to give him the datapack for a million credits. Observing Isard and Horn at the ClearSkyes boutique, Bel Iblis spots the choke collar on Horn’s neck. Moranda’s gotten to like Horn over the years, and agrees with Bel Iblis that he should not be sacrificed by Isard. She calls Isard by comlink and sets up an auction between her and Nyroska for the datapack at a warehouse north of town. Isard pulls some strings to send Nyroska’s men out of the way. Horn himself calls Nyroska at the same time, telling him that the lifter’s at ClearSkyes. In disguise, Moranda approaches Horn and disarms the collar. Nyroska arrives, and Horn, Moranda and Bel Iblis finger Isard as the datapack thief!! As he drags Isard off, Bel Iblis gets the datapack from her speeder and heads for the Alliance with it. 
On Coruscant, Armand harangues his daughter for her failure. Ysanne smugly informs him that the Emperor has read her report – the full report of what happened on Darknell. She declares her father a Rebel and a traitor – blowing up the Political Center to ensure Bel Iblis joined the Rebellion, as well as sending her on a suicide mission to Darknell to both get rid of her and ensure the Rebels got the tape about the Death Star. She has the Imperial Royal Guard drag her father off to certain death, and takes over his position at the head of Imperial Intelligence…

This story occurs approximately shortly before the Battle of Yavin.

Related Stories (in chronological order):

  • A New Hope
  • Interlude at Darkknell

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