In the year 0 ABY, the Alliance to Restore the Republic privateer frigate Far Orbit attempted to apprehend the Imperial freighter SPF 14897 near the planet Brentaal IV. However, the freighter was the lure for a trap set by Imperial Captain Vocis Kenit, and as the troopers hidden inside SPF 14897 attempted a counter-boarding, Kenit's naval task force arrived. Though the Imperial forces tried to capture the Far Orbit in the resulting battle, the privateer vessel managed to escape after the Far Orbit damaged one of the gravity wells of the Interdictor that was keeping the Far Orbit from withdrawing.
In 0 ABY, amidst the events of the Galactic Civil War, fought between the Galactic Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic, second-officer Dhas Fenoep Vedij of the Imperial Navy's EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Far Orbit led some of its crew to mutiny. Seizing the frigate from Captain Vocis Kenit because of Vedij's disillusionment with the Empire, Vedij took the helm of the Far Orbit as its captain as it became a privateer ship for the Alliance. Meanwhile, Kenit was placed in command of the Imperial forces charged with capturing the rogue vessel; Kenit's life depended on the outcome of his mission, as Emperor Palpatine himself had learned of Kenit's loss of the Far Orbit, and the Emperor did not tolerate failure. Kenit's first attempt at revenge against the Far Orbit came when the Imperial captain pitted the Far Orbit against the pirate group known as the Solar Terrors through manipulation, though the Far Orbit prevailed.
Kenit's next attempt to snare the Far Orbit was to use the Imperial Mark III bulk transport SPF 14897 as bait for a trap. SPF 14897's crew were all expendable CompForce Observers, while the cargo hold was filled with twenty-four stormtroopers, ten SpecNav Force troopers, and eight storm commandos. The stormtroopers were all experienced in counter-boarding operations, while the commandos' specialities ranged from technical skills to assault and sabotage. The troopers were under the command of a trio of Imperial officers and the Imperial Security Bureau agent Bannish Kolow. Meanwhile, an Imperial task force led by Kenit idled mere minutes by lightspeed away, waiting for the Far Orbit to fall into their trap.
The Far Orbit did indeed come across the bait. In the space near the planet Brentaal IV, located in the Core Worlds' Ringali Shell, the Far Orbit encountered SPF 14897. Posing as Imperials, the crew of the privateering frigate were given a cargo manifest by the captain of the ship, Mils Lolinc, before they docked with the Mark III and carried out a raid on the ship.
As the privateers opened the cargo bay doors in SPF 14897, a hypertransceiver signal was activated, which sent a signal to the Imperial task force, alerting them to the fact that the trap had been sprung. Additionally, the troopers stationed in the cargo bay, under the command of Kolow and the officers, attempted a counter-boarding effort against the privateering frigate.
In the resulting fight, the officers of the Far Orbit sent in reinforcements to cover the retreat of their privateer boarders, who had lost ground rapidly to the Imperials and their tactics. Despite the opposing reinforcements, the stormtroopers managed to insert some of their troops on the Far Orbit in a counter-boarding. Just then, the Imperials' fleet arrived. Composed of Kenit's Nebulon-B Stalwart, the Strike-class medium cruiser Hammer, two GAT-12 Skipray Blastboats designated SB-109 and SB-32, and the Immobilizier 418 Interdictor Claw, the fleet aimed to capture the Far Orbit if possible.
The Imperial ships closed in on the privateers, with the Interdictor's gravity wells focusing on the Far Orbit to prevent the frigate from jumping to hyperspace to escape. Kenit hailed the Far Orbit, demanding that the crew turn over Vedij to the Imperials in exchange for lenience in the privateers' trial, though that prompted Vedij to order the Far Orbit's crew to prepare for battle and to repel boarders. With no way to take control of the rogue frigate without force, the Hammer and the Stalwart launched their complements of TIE/LN starfighters until their combined force of thirty-six was in space, while the two Skiprays flanked the Far Orbit. The entire taskforce began pummeling the Far Orbit with ion cannon fire, save for the TIEs and the Stalwart, which lacked ion cannons but instead held on to the Far Orbit with its tractor beams to keep it stationary. Despite using its tractor beams on the Far Orbit, the Stalwart and its commander, Kenit, hung back while the other ships dealt with the privateers.
Faced by an overwhelming force of ships, and with the stormtroopers from SPF 14897 in its corridors, the Far Orbit tried to break for the Claw to disable it so the Far Orbit could flee. The Far Orbit used its own tractor beams to grab a few of the TIEs, and used them as shields to protect itself from the Skiprays. That forced the Imperials to switch from ion cannons to turbolasers, and they started to target the rogue Nebulon-B's shield module and engines, while the TIEs were sent in as well. The Far Orbit managed to get close enough to the Interdictor to engage, and after surviving the Claw's armament, succeeded in destroying one of the gravity wells. That allowed the Far Orbit to quickly jump to hyperspace, and escape from the trap.
Though the Far Orbit escaped, it was heavily damaged, and Vedij ordered the privateers to a nearby shadowport for repairs and restorations. The ship later came back to Brentaal space when it was fully repaired, and dispatched a landing party of privateers to receive a valuable datacard from an Alliance contact on Brentaal IV.
Behind the scenes
The battle first appeared in The Trap, an adventure scenario in 1998's The Far Orbit Project, by Timothy S. O'Brien. The book was a supplement to West End Games's Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game and had the same theme of the previous publication Pirates & Privateers, as it followed the privateering vessel Far Orbit. It is never mentioned how the crew of the Far Orbit deals with the stormtrooper boarders during the battle with Kenit's fleet.
In the initial confrontation with the troopers from SPF 14897, the officers of the Far Orbit, controlled by the players, can choose to retract the docking tubes used to board the Mark III and leave all the privateer boarders there. However, though this saves the ship from Imperial troops, it kills the morale of the crew members. The other option, and the one this article goes with, is that the officers send in reinforcements to extract the privateer boarders, which is good for the morale of the crew members, though it leaves the ship open to counter-boarding attempts. In the battle with the fleet, there are multiple paths that can be taken. One such path is where Vedij surrenders himself to Kenit in exchange for letting his privateer crew go, though Kenit plans to betray Vedij and kill them if this happens. However, in this case, this does not occur, as the Far Orbit attacks again as Vedij is shuttled over, and manages to escape the trap. The privateers then vow to rescue their captain.
Another possibility is that the privateers battle to the end, and manage to destroy or drive off all the opposing ships. This, however, is unlikely, and damages the Far Orbit severely, though the privateers can scrounge for spare parts from the destroyed Imperial vessels. This course of action draws significant Imperial attention, and a whole fleet, including some Star Destroyers, are sent after the Far Orbit. This causes the relief and supply station they use, StarForge Station, to forbid them from coming there in order to prevent the Imperials from finding it. In another path, the Alliance sends a task force to rescue the Far Orbit, composed of twenty-four X-wing starfighters and ten CR90 corvettes. They buy the Far Orbit time to escape, though the cost of the rescue means that the Alliance will not be rescuing them again.
The last possible path, and the one that this article goes with, is the option where the Far Orbit damages the Interdictor so it can escape. This is because this option does not harm the Far Orbit's later adventures in certain ways, such as having Vedij captured by the Imperials or StarForge Station rendered off-limits for them. The path can go further, as it is possible for the Far Orbit to take out all the Claw's weaponry by slamming the fighters that the privateers have in their tractor beams into the Claw's armaments. The Far Orbit can then use the crippled Interdictor for cover. However, this part of the option is avoided because it would seriously damage or destroy the Claw, which appears later in canon in the 1999 video game Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance.