- "People assume that if they say nothing and do nothing they're not involved in the fight, but the fact is that their apathy is a tacit vote of support for the status quo. They have to be made to see that by making no choice they have indeed made a choice."
- ―Elscol Loro
The raid on the Dlarit estate, during the Bacta War, was an infiltration operation launched by the Ashern commandos and their allies against the Thyferran Home Defense Corps in 7 ABY on the planet Thyferra. The raid was planned and orchestrated by the mercenary Elscol Loro and her anti-Empire mercenary organization as a means of undermining Xucphra Corporation's Imperial-sanctioned regime on the planet.
Loro, whose organization helped resistance movements overthrow their local Imperial governments, had originally planned to infiltrate the Dlarit estate and assassinate Defense Corps General Aerin Dlarit to frighten allies of the Xucphra Corporation. Loro's ally, Iella Wessiri, voiced moral objections to the plan and convinced the mercenary that the public humiliation of Dlarit would not only be more merciful but have a stronger propaganda effect. Loro and her partner, Sixtus Quin, successfully launched the late-night raid by exploiting a weakness that they identified in the security sensor arrays placed around the estate.
Two Thyferran Home Defense Corps guards were killed during the infiltration, but Loro's team suffered no casualties. The mercenaries stunned Dlarit, stripped him naked, and took hologram images of him in his own personal office, which were quickly circulated to humiliate the Xucphran Corporation and the Defense Corps. The raid had exactly the effect that Loro and Wessiri had anticipated and proved to be a major source of embarrassment for the Defense Corps, both in the eyes of the Thyferran civilian population and their Imperial allies.
The Bacta War
- "Dlarit might seem harmless, but he's helping prop up a system that keeps the Vratix in virtual slavery. He's propping up a system that means billions of individuals suffer needlessly from diseases because they cannot afford the cure. He's got the blood of everyone who died because of a lack of bacta on his hands, as well as that of the families of the Alazhi's crew."
- ―Elscol Loro
Shortly after the New Republic took control of the Imperial capital, Coruscant, Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard dispatched her forces to Thyferra, the planet where most of the galaxy's bacta was produced. The New Republic was left in desperate need of the medical substances bacta and rylca to combat the Krytos virus, a devastating illness that Isard had unleashed on Coruscant before her departure. Believing that she could ensure that the virus would ravage Coruscant and destroy the New Republic if she seized Thyferra's significant bacta supply and denied the New Republic access to it, Isard supported a revolution on Thyferra that placed the Xucphra Corporation in charge of the entire bacta cartel and installed herself as Chief Operating Officer and Head of State of the planet.
Because the revolution was considered to be an internal Thyferran conflict, the New Republic Provisional Council was unable to order military action against Isard, as interference could frighten other potential member states away from joining the New Republic. As a result, Commander Wedge Antilles and his fellow pilots of the elite Rogue Squadron resigned from the New Republic to launch a private assault against Isard, thus starting what later become known as the Bacta War. Recognizing the complexity of overthrowing an entire planetary government, Antilles sought the assistance of Elscol Loro and Sixtus Quin, mercenaries who ran an anti-Imperial mercenary group that organized local resistance movements and helped citizens overthrow their Imperial governments. Loro had previously flown in Rogue Squadron under Antilles, while her ally, Quin, was a former commando with the Imperial Naval Special Forces. During the Bacta War, Loro and Quin worked hand-in-hand with the Ashern, a commando group of Vratix. As the native species of Thyferra, the Vratix had produced bacta for thousands of years before the Xucphra and Zaltin Corporation monopolies had vastly dampened their business efforts, and the Ashern had been subsequently formed to fight against Human control of the bacta cartel.
Targeting Aerin Dlarit
- "He's made himself an obvious target. If we take him out we will rock Xucphran society to its foundations."
- ―Elscol Loro
After the subjugation of Thyferra in 7 ABY, Isard created the Thyferran Home Defense Corps, a defense organization of Xucphra volunteers that worked in conjunction with ground-based stormtroopers to protect the planet. Aerin Dlarit, a wealthy and well-known manager with the Xucphra Corporation, was appointed a general with the Thyferran Home Defense Corps. Dlarit was primarily a figurehead who deferred day-to-day operations to Major Barst Roite, but he served a highly symbolic role hosting several functions and making many public appearances in his Corps uniform. Dlarit generated significant media attention, through which he assured his fellow Xucphra employees that conditions had improved and that the Ashern were under control. As a result of such a high-profile status, Loro and Quin determined he was a perfect target for assassination as a means to undermine the Xucphran regime's authority.
Iella Wessiri, a former New Republic official working with Antilles and Loro, was uncomfortable with the prospect of killing someone without any real military responsibilities and instead suggested that they undermine him by attacking other targets and discrediting his public statements. Loro, however, insisted that Dlarit's prominent public role made him the ideal target because it would rattle the Xucphra society and bring home the nature of the war. Loro planned to kill Dlarit, film the act with a holocam and circulate the footage throughout the planet; she further determined that the assassination would have an even greater impact if it occurred within Dlarit's own home, a strongly defended mansion within the remote Thyferran rainforests. Wessiri reluctantly agreed to participate in the plan, but convinced Loro not to kill any of Dlarit's children or staff if possible, arguing that it would demonstrate to the public that they were capable of mercy in ways Isard's forces were not. Although the more pragmatic Loro agreed, she also developed a backup plan: if the Dlarit raid failed, shooting random Thyferran citizens could prove to be an alternative though more ethically questionable way of instilling fear into the Xucphra population.
- "Any other philosophical objections, or can we get to planning?"
- ―Elscol Loro
By slicing into planetary computers and conducting surveillance using satellites owned by the Zaltin Corporation, a rival company to Xucphra, Loro and her mercenaries studied the Dlarit estate's security system, downloading real-time holograms of the estate and thermal images of the Human guard patrols outside the mansion. They gathered a great deal of reconnaissance information from this surveillance, determining that the estate was surrounded by G-003 Tri-Trackers and sensor arrays, and they also discovered weaknesses in the security. The Dlarit estate was surrounded by rainforest on all sides except the back, which was set against mountains with cascading waterfalls. The sensor arrays on the mountain side of the estate were muted so that the movement of water and sound from the falls would not constantly trigger alarms. Although the satellite surveillance revealed that the Human patrols were concentrated most strongly on the mountain side, the muted sensor arrays led Loro to identify that side as the most vulnerable spot from which to launch an attack.
The attack was planned so that the mercenaries would enter the estate between midnight and dawn, when most of the residents and staff would be asleep. The core of the commando team consisted of Loro, Quin, and three former members of the Imperial Special Navy Force, the same organization in which Quin had previously served. The rest of the group consisted of Wessiri, two Vratix, and four Human Zaltin refugees. Each of them was armed with a blaster, a blaster carbine, and a comlink, and they also wore dark clothing and a light-armor blast vest with armored plates. Although the armor would likely not stop blaster bolts, Loro hoped that they would deflect them enough from the body's midline to minimize the overall impact of any wounds.
- "I'm uncomfortable with assassinating him, especially in his home."
"The act has much more impact there."
- ―Iella Wessiri and Elscol Loro
Led by Quin and his SpecNav troops, the mercenary squad approached the Dlarit estate from the far side of the mountain and ascended the summit at dusk. Once darkness fell, they descended toward the mansion; staying as close to the waterfalls as possible, they rappelled down one of the larger falls and hid behind the curtain of water, which helped shield them from the sensors' range. Reaching the base of the mountains, they swiftly and silently moved along the fringes of the sensor's range and cut through the jungle in a winding path, with Quin and the SpecNav troops leading the way. As they reached the estate, Loro spotted two Thyferran Home Defense Corps guards on patrol, Quin and his men attacked from the shadows on Loro's signal. Unable to risk alerting others with the sound or blue light of a stun bolt, the mercenaries had no choice but to kill both guards, cutting their throats so that no noises would be made from shouts or shots being fired.
Once two SpecNav troops had confirmed that the solarium was clear, the rest of the squad proceeded that location. At the entrance to the mansion, the SpecNav troops used an electronic device to override the solarium's door lock, and the team entered the Dlarit estate. After fanning through the mansion's lower level and securing it without incident, the team slowly and silently ascended the stairway to the main floor, which was entirely dark except for light emanating from an open door in the large hallway. Wessiri inched slowly toward the door and took a quick glance inside, only to find Aerin Dlarit asleep, sprawled in his office chair, and wearing his Thyferran Home Defense Corps uniform.
Loro planned to shoot him and film the assassination with a holocam, but Wessiri stopped her, insisting that she had an alternative idea that would be just as humiliating and devastating. She proposed shooting Dlarit with a stun blast so he would not wake up, then strip his clothes and film him laying naked in his own office chair. She insisted that the embarrassing image would serve a stronger propaganda role than an assassination while demonstrating that the rebel movement was not a murderous and bloodthirsty one. Loro was initially hesitant, but when the normally somber Quin cracked a smile at the idea, Loro was convinced and agreed to implement the plan. After stripping Dlarit and filming him, the mercenary group left the Dlarit estate the same way they entered, taking Dlarit's dress uniform with them. Their party was not detected and suffered no fatalities or injuries.
- "Wait, I have another idea. One that may work even better."
"He has to die."
"With what I have in mind, he will, but a thousand times over."
- ―Iella Wessiri and Elscol Loro
The public humiliation of Aerin Dlarit had exactly the effect that Loro and Wessiri had anticipated. The holocam footage served as a major source of embarrassment for the Thyferran Home Defense Corps and, by extension, the forces of Ysanne Isard. Word of the raid on the Dlarit estate traveled quickly; Isard's Victory II-class Star Destroyer Corrupter was en route to Halanit for a planned attack while the raid was happening but received the news before arriving at Halanit. Dlarit's daughter, Erisi, was heading the Defense Corps fighter wing aboard the Corrupter when the news was received, and in addition to dampening both her own morale and that of her pilots, the news of the raid also fueled her desire to seek retribution against her enemies.
The raid not only damaged the reputation of the Thyferran Home Defense Corps among the civilian population of Thyferra, but also among Isard's Imperial forces. Many within the Empire already viewed the Corps as incompetent, idiotic, and inferior compared to the Imperials, and the raid on the Dlarit estate only strengthened that conviction—although the crew of the Corrupter knew that Aerin Dlarit was Erisi's father, they felt no reason to hide the news or their contempt about the Corps personnel from her, even as they were proceeding to a major battle. The New Republic ultimately defeated Isard's forces in the Bacta War and wrested control of Thyferra away from her.
Behind the scenes
- X-Wing: The Bacta War (First appearance)