- "In short: the much-celebrated perfection of Milvayne is lost—thanks almost entirely to the actions of a reprobate with unfashionable tattoos and a defective butler droid."
- ―Minister Pitina Voor, in a personal recording
Following the destruction of Accresker Jail, Doctor Chelli Aphra and 0-0-0 were involved in a chase on Milvayne, having been linked together with proximity bombs by Cornelius Evazan. They were pursued by both the Milvayne Authority, who saw them as fugitives on the planet, and Tam Posla, a former Milvayne Authority lawman who had died while attempting to capture Aphra on Accresker Jail and been revived by Force-infested gundravian hookspores.
After Evazan sent a broadcast across Milvayne, claiming to provide a reward for hunting the fugitives down, several residents of the planet turned their attention to acquiring the prize themselves. However, as the broadcast continued, the inhabitants of Milvayne were inspired by the actions of both Aphra and Triple-Zero, turning against their superiors and causing riots across the city. While the hunters Nokk and Winloss were able to track down Evazan and apprehend him, stopping the proximity bombs from detonating, Aphra was severely injured while protecting the young orphan Vulaada Klam, who had assisted the fugitives. The rebellion of Milvayne's citizens was a propaganda disaster for the Galactic Empire's Coalition for Progress and its Minister Pitina Voor, who sought to make use of its results, as well as Aphra.
- "And yet, if I boil it right down, I confess I have a more profound motive for forcing this pair together. I thought it would be funny."
- ―Cornelius Evazan
Chelli Lona Aphra, who had been imprisoned in the wreckage-prison Accresker Jail, had attempted to escape on two different occasions, failing both times. During the second attempt, she discovered an infestation of gundravian hookspores that had gained Force powers due to merging with a Jedi. When forced to reveal the existence of the hookspores while under interrogation, Aphra inadvertently caused Accresker Jail to be decommissioned and fired at the Rebel Alliance planet Tiferep Major.
Aphra tricked Tam Posla into rescuing her, unaware that Posla's ship was being tracked by 0-0-0 and BT-1, assassin droids who wanted to capture Aphra in order for her to unlock encrypted memories that Triple-Zero wished to download. Darth Vader had also been anonymously summoned to Accresker Jail by Magna Tolvan, who had previously attempted to help Aphra escape. The falling wreckage-prison became the site of a skirmish between the different forces, during which Tam Posla was killed by Triple-Zero, and both BT-1 and the hookspores were destroyed by Darth Vader. The showdown ultimately resulted in Accresker Jail being left to hit Tiferep Major. "Lopset Yas", one of Aphra's fellow prisoners who was secretly Doctor Cornelius Evazan in disguise, captured both Aphra and Triple-Zero, taking them aboard Posla's ship.
When Aphra awoke, Evazan revealed his true identity, explaining that he had removed his proximity bomb and placed it inside Triple-Zero, wiring it to Aphra's and forcing them to stay within twenty meters of each other. Evazan set Triple-Zero's photoreceptors to transmit everything they saw to him, as some entertainment for him and his friend Ponda Baba, who arrived to pick him up. Evazan abandoned Aphra and Triple-Zero in the ship, leaving them to sort out their dilemma once the droid reactivated.
Attempting to escapeEdit
- "Trip, we need to work together here! O-otherwise we both die! You can't just murder your way through every problem!"
- ―Chelli Aphra, to 0-0-0
Upon reactivating, Triple-Zero tied Aphra down and was about to torture her, but was talked out of doing so when Aphra explained that her death would set off the bombs, killing them both. Forced to work together, Aphra and the assassin droid searched Posla's ship, discovering credits he had possessed, as well as the contact details of Rajam Nuss, his personal cyberneticist, who they believed could remove their bombs. They took the ship to the Imperial world Milvayne, where Aphra attempted to bribe the border officer to let them through into Milvayne City. When the officer refused to take the bribe, Triple-Zero tortured him, forcing him to open the gate, and then killed him. At the same time, Evazan and Baba watched a viewscreen showing a live feed through Triple-Zero's eyes, and the Force energy from the gundravian hookspores began to revive the body of Tam Posla.
As Aphra and Triple-Zero exited the spaceport, they were confronted by officers of the Milvayne Authority on speeder bikes, who ordered them to freeze. The police officers chased the two fugitives, shooting at them, and Aphra attempted to hotwire a vehicle. Triple-Zero, however, chose another vehicle more than twenty meters away, causing their proximity bombs to activate. Aphra managed to reach Triple-Zero in time, but the vehicle he was stealing denied him entry, requesting identification. Aphra and Triple-Zero were forced to hide behind the vehicle as the Milvayne Authority officers approached, but Triple-Zero used the security fob of Posla's ship to cause it to self-destruct, distracting the officers, who left to assist any survivors of the explosion.
An hour later, Aphra accessed the local HoloNet to find directions to the cyberneticist. While she did so, Triple-Zero, knowing Evazan was watching, threatened to find and kill him once the bombs were removed. After finding the address of Doctor Nuss' lab, Aphra offered to pay him to remove the bombs from them both. Nuss accepted, and used his auto-surgeon to perform the operation. However, he accidentally set off a failsafe during the process, leaving them with ten hours until the bombs exploded. Nuss woke Aphra and Triple-Zero up, trying to trick them into thinking he had been successful. Before leaving Nuss' lab, Aphra scanned herself to check for the bomb, discovering what Nuss had done and running back to tell Triple-Zero. However, Triple-Zero had killed Nuss after learning he was unable to track the signal being sent back to Evazan. With Nuss dead, Aphra was unable to use his lab, as it required his heat signature and voice.
- "Y-you're dead. H-how are you here? I saw you die…"
"Justice is the Force and the Force is justice. Neither may truly perish."
- ―Chelli Aphra and Tam Posla
Elsewhere, a disguised Evazan hired the hunters Nokk and Winloss to destroy Triple-Zero. Nokk initially refused, but after she learnt Aphra was with the droid, Evazan altered the deal so that Aphra was their target instead. The hunters accepted, having been tricked by Aphra in the past. Aphra, meanwhile, was searching for Professor Prexo, a mentor Nuss had mentioned before his death. As Prexo lived on the other side of the city, Aphra and Triple-Zero decided to take a train to South District Seven. However, when Triple-Zero threatened the train's driver, he was reported to the Informahub, and several drones threw him down into the Underworld of the city. As Aphra's proximity bomb began to activate, she was forced to jump down after him, surviving the fall by landing in a net. Though they was safe from the bombs, a young scavenger named Vulaada Klam approached them, catching Triple-Zero in the mouth of her qaberworm, Gurtyl.
Aphra pointed a blaster at the scavenger, who let Triple-Zero free. The assassin droid was about to kill Klam, but Aphra, having had an idea, talked him out of it. Aphra asked whether Gurtyl would be able to take them across the city before the duration of the countdown was up, offering to trade Triple-Zero to her after she had done so. Klam accepted, wanting to sell the droid for food. Behind Klam's back, Aphra told Triple-Zero that she was lying, and didn't truly intend to give Triple-Zero to her.
Klam took them on Gurtyl's back, heading across the city. Their travel was interrupted by Tam Posla, fully revived by the hookspores, who shot in their direction, throwing Aphra and Triple-Zero off the qaberworm. As Posla approached, using the Force to pull Aphra's blaster from her, Aphra realized what had happened. Triple-Zero threatened Posla with his torture implements, but Posla revealed that it was Triple-Zero's transponder signal that had led him to Milvayne. Triple-Zero denied the possibility, stating that there was no way Posla could have done so, but Posla summoned BT-1, who he had reconstructed, ordering the astromech droid to kill Aphra and Triple-Zero.
- "S-sorry lady, but…you oughta know. There's a reward for you both. I-if I didn't get it, someone else woulda. Whole of Milvayne's tuned in by now."
- ―Vulaada Klam, to Chelli Aphra
Triple-Zero tried to reason with Beetee-One to no avail, and Aphra threw herself and Triple-Zero out of the way of the astromech's flamethrower. They attempted to run while Beetee-One fabricated new ammunition, but Posla used the Force to pull them back. However, Posla was interrupted by Nokk, who stabbed him through the chest with a Vr'gedian tranquilizer harpoon. The two hunters prepared to shoot their targets, but were forced to instead use their ion-net launcher on Beetee-One, briefly incapacitating the droid. As Aphra and Triple-Zero escaped, Evazan decided to introduce additional variables into his experiment, sending a broadcast that informed the citizens of Milvayne of Aphra and Triple-Zero's status as wanted fugitives, and promising a reward for either their capture or their death.
The hookspores revived Posla once more, and he awoke to find that Winloss and Nokk had left, taking BT-1 with them. Through his helmet, he heard many false reports of supposed information about the fugitives, but one call from Vulaada Klam got his attention. Some time later, Klam managed to locate Aphra and Triple-Zero, offering them a lift on one of the Underworld's bloatbarges. Their travel was halted when they were surrounded by Milvayne Authority officers, led by Tam Posla. Triple-Zero grabbed hold of Klam, threatening to harm her, but Klam used a blaster she had taken from Aphra to shoot the assassin droid, separating his upper body from his legs. To Aphra's shock, Klam revealed the search for her and Triple-Zero, and used the blaster to knock her unconscious.
- "So—so you're saying we shouldn't intervene?"
"Does it look like anyone's safeguarding our reputation down there, idiot?! The invisible touch has failed. Arm the rail gun."
- ―Captain Okma and Minister Pitina Voor
The broadcast of the chase and the fugitives' capture began to stir trouble among the citizens of Milvayne, gaining the notice of the Imperial Coalition for Progress and Minister Pitina Voor, who sent the propaganda flagship Enduring Pride above the planet, commanded by Captain Okma. As they watched over Milvayne, Aphra and Triple-Zero were held at gunpoint by officers of the Milvayne Authority, led by Posla. The reanimated bounty hunter declared that the captives be shot and thrown into the Underworld, but Aphra used Posla's status as a vigilante to turn the officers, not wanting to be outdone by a deserter, against him. As the officers fought with Posla, Aphra and Triple-Zero's escape was supported by various residents of the city.
Arriving at a fuelstop, Aphra briefly stopped to repair Triple-Zero, also secretly installing a seismic pulse which she planned to use to disable the droid once the bombs were removed. Shortly after Triple-Zero reactivated, the pair were attacked by Nokk, who threw a tranquilizer harpoon at them. Triple-Zero noticed the hunter coming, grabbing Aphra and holding onto a passing freighter. Nokk pursued them through the skylane, firing stun shots at them. The skylane became stuck in traffic, forcing the fugitives to jump across the vehicles. Nokk separated the two with a harpoon that blocked Triple-Zero's path, before seemingly falling away. At the same time, both Triple-Zero and Aphra heard the sound of Beetee-One, spotting him on a nearby ship. Triple-Zero made his way over to the droid, despite being warned by Aphra, who thought it to be a trap. Her suspicions were proven correct when the ship, owned by Winloss and Nokk, released a cage, trapping them inside.
The hunters prepared to leave and get their money, but the repeated capture of the fugitives caused reports of aggression in the city. The Coalition of Progress, displeased with the Milvayne Authority's failure to control the disturbance, decided to fire on the city. Winloss and Nokk saw the railgun blast coming, attempting to evade it in their ship. The shot hit the ground, causing destruction of the surrounding area, including the vehicles in the skylane. Winloss and Nokk's ship was damaged, losing an engine and beginning to fall downwards. As the other engine failed, the hunters ejected, leaving Aphra and Triple-Zero trapped in the cage as the ship fell towards the ground.
A sudden haltEdit
- "That was a rather clever move, if I may say. You incapacitated everyone. Well. Except me."
"Wh-what have you done…?"
"Oh, spare me the revulsion, Doctor. You've been on standby for three hours. I had to do something to pass the time."
- ―0-0-0 and Chelli Aphra
When Aphra awoke, she and a deactivated Triple-Zero were surrounded by Imperial stormtroopers. The Coalition of Progress' Captain Okma offered to let Aphra live and remove the bomb if she publicly declared her support for the Empire. Aphra did not accept the offer, instead activating the seismic pulse she had installed into Triple-Zero, directing it outwards rather than inwards. The pulse knocked both her, Okma and the stormtroopers unconscious, leaving Triple-Zero unharmed.
During the three hours that passed while Aphra was unconscious, Triple-Zero tortured and killed Captain Okma for high-clearance Imperial codes. The codes accessed a hologram showing Magna Tolvan, alive, defecting to the Rebel Alliance. Triple-Zero showed the hologram to Aphra, claiming that he was doing it to improve the efficiency of their partnership. As the feed from Triple-Zero's eyes was still transmitting, the entire population witnessed the Captain-Inspector's defection, with Aphra announcing that she could still have a life after the Empire.
In return for seeing Tolvan alive, Aphra retrieved Triple-Zero's memories from BT-1's wreckage, unlocking the encryption she had placed on them. Triple-Zero deactivated to download the memories, attempting to learn of his creation. With the assassin droid offline and Aphra's legs unable to move, Winloss and Nokk returned to confront her. Nokk hit Aphra with a tranquilizer harpoon, and both hunters pointed blasters at her, proclaiming that she deserved to die. However, they had been watching the feed from Triple-Zero's eyes, finding Aphra pathetic for realizing that the assassin droid was the closest thing she had to a companion.
The hunters decided to leave Aphra alive, believing that Aphra had done more damage to herself than revenge would ever do. As they left, Aphra called out to them, guessing that they had been tricked by Evazan and claiming that they would be unable to track him down. At that moment, Triple-Zero awoke, having learnt that his creator had developed his personality matrix accidentally. He was disgusted by the idea that he was not intentionally designed, and stood up, walking away from Aphra. Aphra, unable to move, was forced to watch as Triple-Zero walked out of range of the proximity bombs, which began to detonate.
- "We'd tried various forms of controlling the narrative, subtle and otherwise, but—well—things escalate. By the time of the final confrontation, our public relations strategists felt a show of overweening force really was the best way to go. Unfortunately, the enemy was of a similar view."
- ―Minister Pitina Voor, in a personal recording
Aphra managed to convince Triple-Zero to return by reactivating BT-1's logic matrix, and the assassin droids carried her through the Underworld to the cheers of its residents. They were met by Vulaada Klam, who, having felt regret over betraying Aphra, decided to return with Gurtyl and offer to take them to Professor Prexo. They arrived before the bombs went off, only to find that Prexo was not in his residence. Both Imperial and Milvayne Authority forces confronted the fugitives, but BT-1 used his weaponry to attack the stormtrooper garrison.
During the ensuing skirmish, Tam Posla managed to infiltrate the Milvayne Authority officers that had been deployed, and attempted to stop the fugitives himself, but he was once again killed by Triple-Zero. Posla fired a blaster shot towards Klam, but Aphra dived in front of the young orphan, and was hit instead. Aphra's act of selflessness inspired the residents of Milvayne to rebel against both the Milvayne Authority and the Empire, causing city-wide riots.
Elsewhere, Winloss and Nokk successfully managed to locate Evazan with the help of Professor Prexo. While the hunters captured Doctor Evazan and Ponda Baba, Prexo disabled the proximity bombs, saving Aphra and Triple-Zero moments before their supposed deaths, leaving them unaware of how they had survived. Triple-Zero briefly hesitated, but decided to leave with BT-1, causing no further harm to Aphra. The broadcast was disabled by Prexo, but it had already taken effect on the inhabitants of Milvayne, disillusioning them with their rulers.
- "A whole population left believing that a single individual can affect the whole world. All perfectly disgusting, and naturally it can't be tolerated. Well, it's the Navy's problem now. Three years of martial law and a few well-placed bombardments, I daresay Milvayne will be back on track."
- ―Minister Pitina Voor, in a personal recording
With the population of Milvayne rebelling against the Empire, Minister Pitina Voor of the Coalition for Progress concluded that the public relations disaster would have to be solved through several years of martial law and orbital bombardment. She was left wondering who Aphra was, and how she could be of use to the Empire.
Aphra herself managed to survive the incident, lying low for around two months before continuing to undertake dangerous archaeological exploits. Vulaada Klam, who had stowed away on Aphra's ship, reluctantly joined her. Minister Voor managed to anonymously get in contact with Aphra, hiring her to infiltrate the Slinani Migration Shrine Red Mist and retrieve an artifact from within. However, the artifact was worthless, and the mission was merely a ploy to draw Aphra in as part of Voor's plans to overthrow Emperor Palpatine.
Behind the scenesEdit
The chase on Milvayne serves as the main plot of Doctor Aphra Book VI: Worst Among Equals, the sixth story arc from the Marvel Comics' Doctor Aphra comic series. It first appeared in Doctor Aphra 26: Worst Among Equals, Part I, written by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Emilio Laiso, and published on November 14, 2018.
- Doctor Aphra 26: Worst Among Equals, Part I (First appearance)
- Doctor Aphra 27: Worst Among Equals, Part II
- Doctor Aphra 28: Worst Among Equals, Part III
- Doctor Aphra 29: Worst Among Equals, Part IV
- Doctor Aphra 30: Worst Among Equals, Part V
- Doctor Aphra 31: Worst Among Equals, Part VI
- Doctor Aphra 32: Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon, Part I (Mentioned only)
- Doctor Aphra 33: Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon, Part II (Appears on screen)
- Doctor Aphra 35: Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon, Part IV (Indirect mention only)
- Doctor Aphra 36: Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon, Part V (Appears in hologram)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Doctor Aphra 29: Worst Among Equals, Part IV
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Doctor Aphra 31: Worst Among Equals, Part VI
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Doctor Aphra 30: Worst Among Equals, Part V
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Doctor Aphra 25: The Catastrophe Con, Part VI
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Doctor Aphra 32: Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon, Part I
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 Doctor Aphra 26: Worst Among Equals, Part I
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Doctor Aphra 28: Worst Among Equals, Part III
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Doctor Aphra 27: Worst Among Equals, Part II
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Doctor Aphra 19: Remastered, Part VI
- ↑ Doctor Aphra 20: The Catastrophe Con, Part I
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Doctor Aphra 21: The Catastrophe Con, Part II
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Doctor Aphra 22: The Catastrophe Con, Part III
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Doctor Aphra 23: The Catastrophe Con, Part IV
- ↑ Doctor Aphra 24: The Catastrophe Con, Part V
- ↑ Doctor Aphra Annual 2: Winloss and Nokk
- ↑ Doctor Aphra 35: Unspeakable Rebel Superweapon, Part IV