- "Everyone here has been slain, yet there are few signs of battle, no carbon scoring, no blaster fire. This place has been hit by assassins of a different sort."
The Harbinger was a Hammerhead-class cruiser that served the Galactic Republic shortly after the Jedi Civil War. Originally assigned to patrol Republic space and deal with local troubles, the Harbinger was sent in 3951 BBY to the Outer Rim Territories to pick up the Jedi Exile and ferry her to Telos IV.
When the Harbinger diverted its course to investigate a battle between a Sith warship and a light freighter, it was captured by Sith under the command of the Sith Lord Darth Sion. Sion took control of the vessel and piloted it to Peragus II in search of the Exile, who had been abducted off the ship during the earlier crisis. Surik and her companions were forced to travel through the vessel to reach their own ship, and when they attempted to flee, the Harbinger opened fire. In the ensuing fight, the volatile Peragus asteroid field was destroyed, with the Harbinger caught in the middle of the explosion.
The Harbinger was a Hammerhead-class cruiser. The ship's deckplan was the mirror image of another Hammerhead-class cruiser, the Endar Spire. The hull of the Harbinger was mostly white, with red and yellow decoration on the bow and around the engines.
The vessel held at least three strike teams of Republic soldiers which could be used for boarding enemy vessels. Around three-hundred crewmen were aboard and killed when the Sith attacked the vessel, including the warship's captain. Other members of the crew at that time included a female medical officer and an HK-50 assassin droid that had been posing as a protocol droid. A number of guns were located amidships, with others flanking the bridge and on the ends of the "hammerhead" portion of the vessel. Behind the hammerhead, on the exterior of the ship, sat a small golden dish, its purpose unknown. The Harbinger was also equipped with an umbilical, to aid in boarding other ships.
The hallways of the Harbinger were colored navy blue and gray, and illuminated panels lined the walls providing light. The halls, doors, and most walls in the vessel were curved, and the outermost hallways had viewports looking out into space. A series of blast doors divided up the halls of the ship; after the attack, several of these were damaged and unable to be opened, and others were magnetically sealed. Computer consoles were located throughout the ship, many of them bearing the insignia of the Republic.
The command deck, located in the bow of the ship, was home to the ship's bridge and navigation computer, which was located at the foremost point of the bridge. The bridge held a number of stations along its outer walls, several along a bank of computers in the middle, and a sunken console-lined pit in the center that held a pair of back-to-back chairs. A large viewport stretched around the bridge, giving a view of space on three sides.
The command deck could be entered through an airlock which sat directly aft of the ship's side-mounted guns. A briefing room was located aft of the bridge. It contained a conference table with a computer console, and more consoles lined its walls. The escape pods were also located on the command deck, and could be locked down if needed.
Crew quarters and medical bay
There were a number of cabins aboard the Harbinger for crew and any passengers. Each contained a pair of beds, a pair of couches, two desks with computer consoles, and storage containers where personal items were kept. The Jedi Exile was assigned to one of these cabins during her stay aboard the ship.
The medical bay was near the middle of the ship, aft of the cabins. It held twenty kolto tanks, a medical droid, and a lab station. Darth Sion would be kept in, and later break out of, one of these tanks. The medical bay was also equipped with a camera system to monitor the kolto tanks. Camera records were accessible through the medical console in the center of the room, which could also read treatment requests and dispense chemicals. A maintenance room and droid storage room were located aft of the medical bay. The latter held a number of deactivated utility droids and a protocol droid that had been sabotaged.
In the stern section of the Harbinger were the warship's massive ion engines, accessible via a turbolift from the crew quarters deck. The vessel's maintenance routines allowed crewmen to enter the engine room and access the ship's fuel lines via a computer console. Another maintenance room was located on this level, as well as a storage room. Unlike the rest of the ship, the halls of the engine area were barren of decoration, and instead lined with pipes. Red lights illuminated the insides of the engines. Towards the middle section of the engines was the Harbinger's fuel intake. The system was usually covered by a set of doors on the outside of the hull, which could be opened so a fuel pipe could be attached to the ship.
A mission from Admiral Onasi
- "I have some reservations about turning the Harbinger into a passenger liner, but the orders were clear."
- ―The Harbinger's captain
After the Jedi Civil War, the Harbinger was assigned to patrol several regions of Republic space, one of a scant few ships left to do so. In 3951 BBY, the ship was en route to Onderon to deal with the unrest on that world when it was ordered by Admiral Carth Onasi to divert its course to the Outer Rim. Admiral Onasi gave the mission highest priority, and though the captain had doubts about it, Harbinger soon picked up a passenger—the Jedi Exile, recently returned from outside Republic space. With its new passenger aboard, the Harbinger then set a course for Telos, intending to reach the world within ten days. It was meant to aid in the recovery effort on that world.
One of the beings aboard the Harbinger had other plans, however—an HK-50 assassin droid posing as a protocol droid, one of many scattered across the Republic fleet. The captain asked HK-50 to keep watch on the Exile, and the droid complied, though for its own reasons. The HK-50, along with all the others, was hired by the crime lord Goto to capture the Exile and bring her to him so she could help him in his quest to protect the Republic from being overthrown by other powers such as the Sith.
The Sith ship and the freighter
- "Your ship was attacked. You were the only survivor…"
- ―Kreia, to the Jedi Exile
On its way back to Telos, the Harbinger picked up a distress signal coming from a freighter, indicating that it was under attack by Sith forces. Since they could not match the ID signature of the vessel to their own databanks, the crew of the Harbinger forwarded it to the Republic and requested permission to investigate. Admiral Onasi recognized the freighter as a ship he had once traveled on, the Ebon Hawk, and gave permission to the captain of the Harbinger to divert his course. Once it had investigated the Sith presence and found all it could on the Ebon Hawk, the Harbinger was to resume its course for Telos.
The Harbinger found the Ebon Hawk and a Sith warship when it arrived. Attaching an umbilical to the Sith ship, they dispatched three strike teams to investigate it. An initial sweep turned up no one. This was, in fact, because the ship had held Sith assassins, who possessed stealth abilities and were therefore able to cross back into the Harbinger without being detected. The sweep later uncovered another passenger of the Sith ship—a seeming corpse, its body displaying thousands of fractures and scars. The medical technicians of the Harbinger were unable to determine whether it was alive or dead, and so it was placed in a kolto tank.
As for the freighter, an initial sweep of it turned up nothing but a T3-series utility droid and several corpses. When the crews turned up nothing else, the Harbinger tractor beamed the Ebon Hawk over to itself. It, too, brought an unexpected passenger—Kreia. The Sith had been busy in the meantime. Crewmen began missing shifts, some were unable to be reached on the comm, and some even felt that they were being watched. The medical officer prepared to perform autopsies on the corpses recovered from the Hawk.
The already-compromised Harbinger then received another blow. HK-50 had arranged for a cascade failure in the ship's communications, weapons, and engine systems. The Harbinger was left crippled, drifting through space. The Jedi Exile, meanwhile, had been administered an excessive dose of sedatives during a routine medical examination, and HK-50 stashed the unconscious Jedi in the ship's cargo compartment, intending her to remain there until the help he had summoned arrived. Kreia, however, boarded the Harbinger in search of the Exile. She found her in the cargo hold, and took her aboard the Ebon Hawk. HK-50, recalculating his plan, joined them.
The Sith "corpse" had meanwhile proven to be quite alive—it was in fact a Sith Lord, Darth Sion, who burst from his kolto tank and announced his desire to take the Exile. The bridge, alarmed, sent a security team to the medbay, but they were quickly killed. Sion went in search of more of the Harbinger's crew, and his assassins began decloaking and joining him. The Sith soon seized control of the vessel, and as the Ebon Hawk pulled away from the Harbinger and the Harbinger's systems began to go critical, the capital ship fired on the freighter, hitting it as it leapt to hyperspace.
Sion comes to Peragus
- "I don't believe this—there's a ship coming in, sending a docking code. I have a bad feeling about this."
- ―Atton Rand
Somehow, the Harbinger was able to recover from its systems failure and set a course for Peragus II, where the Ebon Hawk had fled. Though no living crew could be seen on the Harbinger's bridge, the ship was filled with invisible Sith assassins, and Sion remained there as well in a meditative pose. With the asteroid drift charts stored in the ship's navicomputer, the Harbinger was able to dock at Peragus Mining Facility. The station's airlock extended a walkway to the Harbinger's own airlock and a fuel tube was extended from the fuel depot to the ship's engines, which were running at minimal efficiency.
Kreia sensed the arrival of the Harbinger and realized that she had been followed by the Sith. The Exile, Kreia, and their companion Atton Rand boarded the Harbinger through the airlock, hoping to find a way to either escape the station on the ship or get to the Ebon Hawk, which was in the locked-down station hangar. When they realized the crew of the ship had been slaughtered, the former idea became unfeasible, and they learned that the Harbinger's escape pods were locked down as well. The group determined that they could reach the hangar by going to the ship's engines, then getting back into the station through the fuel pipe. They also retrieved the drift charts from the navicomputer, without which they could not escape from the asteroid field. The group then made their way through the halls of the ship to its stern, fighting off the Sith assassins who began decloaking around them. Along the way, the Exile stopped briefly at her former quarters to retrieve what possessions she had left there.
When they reached the stern, however, they found Sion waiting for them. Kreia engaged the Sith Lord in a duel, and the Exile and Atton escaped back into the station through the fuel line. Kreia eventually escaped the Harbinger, and the three departed the station in the Ebon Hawk. The Harbinger set a course to pursue, however, and began firing upon the Hawk. In the firefight, a stray shot from one of the vessels impacted one of the asteroids, which set off a chain reaction of volatile chemicals. The Peragus asteroid field exploded, and the Harbinger was caught in the midst of it, though Sion survived. The Republic later sent the Sojourn to search for the missing Harbinger and investigate the destruction of Peragus.
Commanders and crew
The Harbinger was commanded by a single captain, a Human male, following orders given by Admiral Carth Onasi and contained a complement of at least three military strike teams while on its mission to Telos IV. It had specific medical, mechanical, security, and navigational crews; all headed by a specific Human officer who reported directly to the captain. Every member of the ship's crew was given their own room to live in while aboard and this courtesy was also provided to guests. A fully-staffed Hammerhead-class cruiser had around 300 crewmembers to keep it functioning properly, each wearing standard Fleet uniforms denoting they worked as either a soldier or simply a member of the ship's staff. Regardless of rank, the entirety of the Harbinger crew was killed by Darth Sion a few days after he was brought aboard for treatment. After that, Sion took command of the vessel and piloted it himself.
Behind the scenes
The Harbinger is one of the playable levels in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Composed of three separate maps—the command deck, crew quarters, and engine room—it is part of the game's introductory sequence in the Peragus Mining Facility.
As the Harbinger pursues the Ebon Hawk from Peragus in The Sith Lords, the player is presented with the opportunity to return fire and risk hitting the volatile asteroids. At the player's whim, the Ebon Hawk can fire the shot that destroys the asteroid field and the mining facility. The player can also choose to take evasive maneuvers instead, which results in the Harbinger destroying the field. However, the player choosing to fire the shot does not effect the outcome of either the TSF or the Republic's investigation into the destruction as the game still plays as if it was destroyed by Sion. The only differences are the cut scenes, and, when questioned about the destruction, the player is given the option to lie, and say that it was Sion.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (First appearance)
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Prima Official Game Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- ↑ 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 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide A Hammerhead-class has a crew of about 300 men and women.
- ↑ Layout of the Endar Spire from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic