- "Captain! Captain Devaad! Wait, we don't have a plan! He's got a plan -- or he wouldn't be out here!"
"Show some spine, Jedi! You're the one that likes it when people do something! Doing something I like."
- ―Kerra and Devaad arguing over tactics
The Capture of Devil Squadron was a brief starfighter dogfight in the Aquilaris Minor system during the brief Aquilaris campaign in 1032 BBY. It resulted in the capture of the entire Devil Squadron, a fighter formation of the pro-Republic Grace Command that was responsible for distributing Deluge spice under the guise of humanitarian relief operations in Sith-controlled space. Zodoh successfully lured his Republic opponents into a trap which culminated in the incarceration of the entire squadron with the exception of Jedi Knight Kerra Holt after the Hutt used his flagship Voracious tractor beam projectors to forcibly draw the surviving starfighters into his hangar bay. The Squadron's Captain Jenn Devaad was subsequently coerced into collecting the remaining shipments of Deluge on Aquilaris in return for the safe release of her crew. The battle eliminated all remaining opposition to Zodoh in the system and enabled him to deploy his flood-creating Stormdrivers on Aquilaris.
Details[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
- "Cap, you really think we ought to be flying with a Jedi? Things could get...tricky."
"I don't think so, Vahss. If she's a Vannar Treece production, she's all about the mission. You heard how she talked to that addict. Besides, if Zodoh is horning into the sector for real, we can use all the help we can get."
- ―Vahss and Jenn discussing Kerra's place within the Devil's Squadron
Following the Battle of Capital Cay, the Sith Daimanate-occupied planet of Aquilaris was pacified by Devil Squadron, a fighter squadron affiliated with the Republic's Grace Command. The squadron crew began distributing food and medical supplies while evacuating several Deluge spice addicts on the transport ship Mother Grace. However, their humanitarian relief was in reality a cover for Operation Deluge which aimed at inundating Sith-occupied space with Deluge spice to undermine the Sith war effort. In the process, many local societies were disrupted by the drug as the number of addicts accumulated. If Aquilaris fell back into the hands of one of the warring Sith factions, any Sith garrison would become affected by the drug. By 1032 BBY, much of Lord Daiman's military forces had become addicted to Deluge.
Similarly, the Hutt crimelord Zodoh had malevolent intentions towards Aquilaris. Based on atmospheric data collected by a Stormdriver ship, the Hutt crimelord decided to deploy his fleet of Stormdrivers on Aquilaris. These Stormdrivers were equipped with advanced vaporators capable of draining mositure from an atmosphere and using it to create artificial flood and storms. As part of his expansionist ambitions, Zodoh planned to flood Aquilaris as a means of forcibly coercing the local Sith Lords in the Grumani sector into becoming his business clients.
Unaware of either side's agendas, the Jedi Knight Kerra Holt enlisted in the Devil Squadron as a means of acquiring her own personal Fire Lotus-class starfighter, which answered to the call sign Devil Seven. This was possible because the original pilot Yades had rotated for flight duty aboard Mother Grace. She intended to assist her Republic allies in combating Sith influence throughout the Sector. Having accomplished their mission, the Devil Squadron departed Aquilaris. First, they escorted Mother Grace to a hyperspace jump-point in the Aquilaris Minor system. They then planned to depart to Heptooine to combat Sith Lord Malakite's forces. However, they were unware that Zodoh was aware of their movements and had planned a trap for them.
Dogfight[edit | edit source]
- "...It's been a long time. You left so suddenly, Jenn Devaad. What brings you all the way out here looking to be put to work again? Voracious -- launch all squadrons!"
- ―Zodoh communicating with Jenn over the intercomm
Immediately after Mother Grace had made a jump into hyperspace, Devil Squadron sighted a Hutt Intruder-class starfighter which Captain Jenn Devaad quickly identified as Zodoh's personal starfighter. Jenn and her comrades in Devil Squadron had endured five years of Hutt captivity under Zodoh following an ill-fated Republic Navy mission to Daalang. Devil Squadron were the sole survivors of this fiasco and had sworn to avenge their maltreatment in Zodoh's hands. Despite caution from Kerra Holt, a revanchist Jenn Devaad led her squadron on a fierce pursuit of Zodoh's starfighter through an asteroid field. Kerra Holt's suspicious that Zodoh was drawing them into a trap were confirmed when the squadron stumbled upon Zodoh's starfighter carrier and flagship—Voracious.
Over the intercomm, Zodoh goaded his adversaries and ordered the Voracious to launch all squadrons. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned by the Hutt fleet, the superior Fire Lotus starfighters outclassed their inferior Intruder counterparts in dog-fighting. Despite Jenn's optimism that they had bested Zodoh's trapp, Kerra disagreed that this had been Zodoh's trap, adding that he must have something else which he had not unleashed yet. Finally, Jenn shared Kerra's assessment and ordered her starfighters to disengage and jump into hyperspace. This was interrupted by the arrival of a large fleet of Stormdrivers which had emerged out of hyperspace, leaving Devil Squadron trapped between the massive starfighter carrier and a fleet of hostile warships.
The Fire Lotus starfighters were unable to penetrate the Stormdrivers' hulls since they were protected by deflector shields and their laser cannon defense systems were designed for flight configuration. Within minutes, several Republic starfighters including Devil Eight were shot down. During the dogfight, Kerra and Jenn argued over the intercomm system. Realizing that Zodoh had successfully baited them into a trap, Kerra advocated immediate disengagement to Aquilaris so that they could commence evacuation of the population to higher ground. Jenn disagreed, citing the lack of cargo transports and instead advocated continuing her personal crusade of shooting down Zodoh's starfighter. Jenn also derided the Aquilarians as undeserving of help due to their unwillingness to help themselves. Unable to reconcile their differences, Kerra disengaged her starfighter and returned to Aquilaris.
An enraged Jenn ordered Vahss to deactivate Kerra's computer and bring her back. However, Vahss's starfighter was destroyed by a wave of Intruder starfighters emerging from the Voracious. Zodoh was able to tap into their conversations over the intercomm and taunted his Republic opponent. He then ordered the Voracious to engage its tractor beam projector. All the remaining starfighters of Devil Squadron were caught in this net and dragged into one of the starfighter carrier's hangar bays. There, they were disarmed and taken captive by a gloating Zodoh who was pleased to recover his escaped slaves. The sole survivor was Kerra Holt who landed back in Capital Cay where she begun organizing a hasty evacuation effort to reach higher ground.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
- "...But I've moved to this sector to stay."
"As if this place didn't stink enough without you."
"Agreed! It is a vile pit -- the Sithlings here are a sorry bunch. But in that -- I see opportunity..."
- ―Zodoh having an audience with a captive Captain Devaad
The captive Devil Squadron crew were interrogated and tortured aboard the Voracious by Zodoh's entourage. Jenn herself was brought into Zodoh's command deck where he succeeded in coercing her into his services by threatening to torture her crew. In return for the safe release of her crew, he ordered her to retrieve the remaining supplies of Deluge spice on Aquilaris. With this small sample, Zodoh intended to synthesize his own stock of Deluge. He then intended to distribute food supplies laced with Deluge throughout the Grumani Sector to weaken resistance to his rule. Jenn complied and was assigned a shuttle to transport the Deluge containers. Meanwhile, the orbiting fleet of Stormdrivers blockaded Aquilaris without any opposition.
Kerra succeeded in organizing an evacuation effort and subsequently discovered the existence of Operation Deluge. She confronted Jenn and attempted to convince her to assist her evacuation efforts while warning her that Zodoh could not be trusted. However, Jenn was determined to save her crew and scorned the Aquilarians as unworthy of assistance due to their unwillingness to help themselves. Unable to reconcile, the two parted with Jenn departing on her shuttle to Zodoh's flagship. Meanwhile, the Stormdriver fleet unleashed a global deluge of rain and floods. Within hours, much of Aquilaris was flooded due to its flat landmass and since a large proportion of its surface was covered in oceans.
Many deaths were only averted through the efforts of Kerra, Padgett and Joad Kreel to evacuate thousands of Aquilarians to the safety of underwater Harvester stations. The Stormdrivers' global deluge was also interrupted by a series of explosions on the Voracious set off by Jenn during her escape attempt. While Jenn had honored her side of the bargain, Zodoh double-crossed her by murdering her crew. However, the Republic captain had anticipated this and had rigged the Deluge containers with explosives. In retaliation, she detonated the spice containers which killed several of Zodoh's entourage and disrupted the large data processing center coordinating the Stormdriver fleet. Undeterred, Zodoh was still impressed by the effectiveness of the Stormdrivers and decided to unleash them on Darkknell, the capital of Sith Lord Daiman's princedom. Jenn subsequently escaped the Voracious on a twin-seater starfighter and reunited with Kerra, revealing to her Zodoh's plans to flood Darkknell. The two women then departed on their starfighter for a climatic confrontation with Zodoh on Darkknell.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
The Capture of Devil Squadron was developed as part of the plot sequence within the Deluge arc of the Star Wars: Knight Errant comic series. It appeared in both Knight Errant: Deluge 2 and Knight Errant: Deluge 3, which debuted on September 21 and October 19 2012 respectively. Its story plot was developed by John Jackson Miller, who has been involved in several Star Wars Expanded Universe projects.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Knight Errant: Deluge 2 (First appearance)
- Knight Errant: Deluge 3
- Knight Errant: Deluge 4 (Mentioned only)