- "I am Lumiya. You were charged with developing new spy satellites for Imperial Intelligence. I am here to remind you of your loyalties to the Empire, and will overlook consorting with the enemy just this once."
- ―Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith
An assault on the Epsilon Nine Communications Research space station was carried out in 4 ABY by Dark Lady of the Sith Lumiya on behalf of Imperial stewardess Ysanne Isard. In exchange for military resources, Lumiya was contracted by Isard for a mission to the Cron Drift that involved inspecting the progress of several top-secret Imperial research installations. The New Republic had recently absorbed one of the Cron Drift research facilities, Epsilon Nine, into its holdings, in an attempt to liberate the scientists there from Imperial authority. Lumiya's fleet was engaged by the New Republic defenders upon arrival in the Auril sector, and the Dark Lady released the might of her newly-restored armada to quickly neutralize the less-than-adequate Republic opposition. She then entered the research station herself to both crush the traitor's faith in the Republic's ability to protect them and to re-exert Imperial sovereignty. Lumiya's presence was enough to elicit fear from the Imperial defectors, and the threat of deadly force sufficiently compelled Epsilon Nine's staff into reinstating their loyalty to the Empire. Certain that her instructions would not be disobeyed, Lumiya and her fleet departed Epsilon Nine with the guarantee that she would return in several months to ensure Epsilon Nine's continued cooperation.
- "How could the Republic have known about this station, much less capture it?"
"Imperial Intelligence became aware of this very recently, Captain. Apparently, they have made a push into the Elrood Sector to acquire some of our technology for themselves."
- ―Captain Valek and Lumiya
Although the Galactic Empire had been crippled by their defeat at the hands of the Rebel Alliance during the Battle of Endor, many of their facilities still remained active and under Imperial operation in the months that followed; among these were several top-secret research installations sequestered in the Cron Drift. Knowing that the Rebel Alliance–turned–New Republic sought to undo the oppression by which the Empire operated throughout the galaxy, researchers of one particular facility in the Drift, the asteroid-based Epsilon Nine, attempted to sever their Imperial ties by offering to work for the Republic instead. Yet, the station's employees did not know that Imperial Intelligence agents had immediately learned of their treason.
Ysanne Isard, de facto leader of the Empire, was contacted during this time by Dark Lady of the Sith Lumiya with a request for resources following the decimation of the majority of her own fleet during the Nagai–Tof War. Isard committed a portion of Imperial naval strength to supplement Lumiya's ravaged fleet, though not without conditions. In exchange for her allotment, the Dark Lady agreed to travel to the Cron Drift on the Empire's behalf and observe the progress of the Empire's facilities and coerce them back into Imperial patronage if necessary.
- "Have the corvettes assault the station's laser batteries. Helm, turn us broadside to the station, but bring the turbo-lasers to bear on those fighters. Flight Ops, launch TIE Interceptor squadron Alpha. Have TIE bomber squadron Theta support the corvettes."
The Nebulon-B escort frigate Revenant served as Lumiya's command ship as she led her fleet to the Cron Drift. She ordered Revenant's Captain Valek to have the fleet maintain a reduced speed and to refrain from contacting Epsilon Nine after a low-level radiation pulse originating from the Communications Research Station was discovered. Furthermore, the station's comlink system had been reconfigured to transmit on New Republic wavelengths. The Revenant's scanners then detected nine T-65 X-wing starfighters swiftly bearing in on the fleet. Lumiya ordered the deployment of TIE interceptor squadron Alpha and TIE/sa bomber squadron Theta in response, while also ordering for Revenant to provide turbolaser support. Meanwhile, the Revenant's two escort CR90 corvettes, Wolf-Pack and Borealis, disabled Epsilon Nine's own defensive laser batteries. The X-wings were quickly destroyed by the combination of Revenant's attack and the sudden onslaught of TIE interceptors. Epsilon Nine tried to assail Revenant in futility, but Wolf-Pack and Borealis eliminated the space station's ground defenses along with the New Republic troops who manned them. Theta Squadron also ruptured an opening in Epsilon Nine's landing platform with a bombardment of proton torpedoes.
Wolf-Pack launched two assault shuttles carrying squads of elite red-armored stormtroopers who were specially provisioned for Lumiya's fleet by Isard, while Borealis dropped a pair of HAVw A5 Juggernauts onto the asteroid's surface in a direct assault of the station's central compound. The Juggernauts mowed down the opposition and created a clear pathway which allowed the stormtroopers quick access into the station. They confronted Epsilon Nine's own security forces and were even outnumbered by them, but the stormtroopers nonetheless outmatched and defeated them. With the station completely secured, Lumiya landed on the asteroid in a Lambda-class T-4a shuttle and prepared to take personal charge of the situation.
- "My garrison will insure your diligent work—and safety. I will return in eight weeks to witness your dramatic progress. Failure will not be tolerated."
The eradication of the entire New Republic military force, with no Imperial casualties save several injuries, resulted in a total mission success in the raid on Epsilon Nine. Lumiya received this report as she entered the command center and prepared to interrogate the scientists. One particularly indignant individual had his throat Force-crushed by the Dark Lady after he scoffed at her for being female. She discredited the remaining scientists as traitors but offered to still pardon their insolence, and she extinguished their morale by destroying a sigil bearing the emblem of the New Republic with her lightwhip. To discourage any subsequent attempts at mutiny, Lumiya ordered that her garrison occupy the station in her absence to make certain their commitment to Imperial service remained intact. Before departing with the remainder of her fleet, Lumiya promised to return in eight weeks with expectations that the spy satellites Epsilon Nine was originally commissioned to develop were completed.
Although the New Republic had been driven from the Cron Drift and the scientists of Epsilon Nine had been forced back into loyalty to the Empire, they maintained a semblance of hope in the possibility of an eventual rescue by Republic reinforcements. The station continued its broadcast of the low-level radiation pulse that was originally detected and ignored by Revenant, believing that when it reached the Cron Drift's satellite grid, New Republic operatives would detect the pulse—which was actually a distress signal—and send assistance.
Behind the scenes
The assault on Epsilon Nine first appeared in author Michael Mikaelian's short story Lumiya: Dark Star of the Empire, written for Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 3 and published in 1995 by Topps. An explanation for Lumiya's acquisition of Imperial warships and Royal Guards (red-armored stormtroopers) from Ysanne Isard is given in Abel G. Peña's 2006 online supplement for Star Wars Insider 88, titled Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties. Details of Lumiya and Isard's relationship are further discussed in Lumiya's entry in an article written by Juan Schwartz, Pablo Hidalgo, and Abel G. Peña for Star Wars Gamer 5, titled The Emperor's Pawns.
In Dark Star of the Empire, Lumiya makes reference to the New Republic attempting to confiscate Imperial technology being developed in the Elrood sector of space as her fleet approaches the Cron Drift. In other canon sources, however, the Drift itself is located in the Auril sector of the Outer Rim Territories. Whether Lumiya was speaking of other Imperial installations or a mistake was made on the author's part has not been clarified thus far, and Dark Star of the Empire makes no further mention about the Elrood sector.
- The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 111 (BRI2, Shira Brie) (Indirect mention only)
- (Indirect mention only)
- (Indirect mention only)
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Reader's Companion