- "We were besieged last night. They must have gone for the shuttle, and hit it hard, because at one point an immense fireball erupted over the jungle."
- ―From Doctor Lancer Brunou's journal
This Curich-class shuttle was part of warlord Moff Kentor Sarne's forces in 8 ABY. It was assigned to science team MS-133 and was used to transport the team and its equipment to the planet Aaris III in the Kathol sector of the Outer Rim Territories to conduct an archaeological excavation. During the expedition, the shuttle was destroyed while the team was under the influence of the Plaque of Victory—a sentient, inanimate lifeform that induced feelings of paranoia and violence into those beings it came into contact with.
One of many starships that were part of Imperial warlord Moff Kentor Sarne's forces, this Curich-class shuttle was assigned to MS-133, a science team that was charged with investigating and documenting the extensive ruins of an extinct civilization—known as the Aaris—on the planet Aaris III in 8 ABY. Commanded by a lieutenant, the shuttle was used to transport the eighteen-person team and all their equipment from the Kathol sector capital, Kal'Shebbol, to Aaris III. The vessel was landed in a clearing near a large site of metal ruins, and the team's base camp was set up by the ruins themselves, away from the shuttle.
The shuttle remained grounded for several months as the team carried out its excavations and explorations. On the sixtieth day of the expedition, the team uncovered a metal ingot known as the Plaque of Victory, a sentient but inanimate lifeform that fed off of the energy of beings in close proximity to it. The Plaque manipulated the minds of these beings, heightening their paranoia and driving them to violent and homicidal acts. The team began to become suspicious of each other and constantly felt like they were being watched by unknown forces in the jungle that surrounded the ruins. Members of the team disappeared, and the base camp came under almost nightly attack from the Aaris's primitive descendants wielding blaster weapons. After several deaths, the expedition leader, Doctor Lancer Brunou, ordered an evacuation of the planet. One of the scientists, Jelok, disagreed with the Doctor, stating that his work translating pictographs in a chamber they had uncovered was reaching a critical juncture. Brunou overruled him, ordering several troopers to escort him back to the shuttle. As the rest of the team packed up the base camp, the shuttle was destroyed; the resulting fireball rose high over the jungle canopy. With no escape possible, the survivors of the team created makeshift fortifications, sent out a distress signal, and awaited rescue.
The team suffered more casualties through attacks by the Aaris until only two survivors—Brunou and his research assistant, Solla Deremot—remained. They were eventually rescued by the New Republic CR90 corvette FarStar, which had picked up their distress signal and diverted to help them. The crew conducted an investigation into the shuttle's destruction and found that traces of detonite had been used to blow it up. The engines and engineering section had been completely destroyed, but the cockpit was relatively intact. The crew salvaged as many spare parts from the wreck as they could with the intention of using them either aboard the FarStar itself, or one of its support ships.
Commanders and crew
The shuttle was commanded by a male lieutenant, who was also the vessel's pilot and leader of MS-133's contingent of soldiers. He was killed on Aaris III during the events that led to the team's decimation.
Behind the scenes
This Curich-class shuttle first appeared in the RPG adventure Artifact of Aaris, which was published in The DarkStryder Campaign by West End Games. Although never identified as a Curich-class shuttle in the text—simply being referred to as a "shuttle"—one of the images in the adventure clearly shows the wreckage of the vessel to be a Curich-class shuttle. The Curich-class appeared in several West End Game products, including Classic Campaigns, which provided an image of the vessel.
While the adventure implies that MS-133 began turning on one another under the influence of the Plaque of Victory, resulting in deaths to the team's personnel and the destruction of the shuttle, The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia—published in 2008—confirmed that the team came under attack from the remnants of the Aaris civilization. However, since it has not been specifically mentioned that the Aaris were responsible for the destruction of the shuttle, this article does not speculate as to the perpetrators of the explosion.
- "Artifact of Aaris"—The DarkStryder Campaign (First appearance)
- "Artifact of Aaris"—The DarkStryder Campaign, Deluxe