- "You are truly gifted, Viqi. On the day of our victory, your reward will be beyond imagining."
- ―Tsavong Lah
Viqi Shesh was a female Human politician from the Kuat system who attained galactic infamy due to her collaboration with the invading Yuuzhan Vong species during the Yuuzhan Vong War. Obsessed with power, Shesh rose to prominence as the representative of Kuat in the New Republic Senate. When the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong invaded the New Republic in 25 ABY and inflicted heavy defeats upon the government and the military, Shesh soon decided that her best chances of survival lay with the winning side. Over a two year period, the Kuati senator passed vital information and military intelligence to Yuuzhan Vong spymasters with the intention of encouraging the invaders to spare Kuat and provide her with a position of power in their administration.
A skilled politician, Shesh managed to secure herself the position of administrative senator for the Senate Select Committee for Refugees, whereupon she channeled millions of displaced persons to worlds she knew would be targeted by the Yuuzhan Vong, such as the planet Duro. When Warmaster Tsavong Lah, the military leader of the Yuuzhan Vong, came to spearhead the invasion, Shesh maintained personal contact with the fierce warrior, unaware that she was being used and was ultimately intended to be discarded. A vocal opponent of Master Luke Skywalker's Jedi Order, Shesh aided the warmaster in his vendetta against the Jedi by pushing for their exile from the New Republic and championing the betrayal of the Order to the invaders in return for peace.
The full extent of the Kuati woman's collaboration with the Yuuzhan Vong went undiscovered and, although the suspicions of her colleague Leia Organa Solo led to Shesh's loss of her seat on the refugee committee, she remained prominent in the Senate, presenting herself as a rival to Bothan Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya. Warmaster Lah later promised Shesh the position of puppet Chief of State with the proviso that she arrange the assassination of Fey'lya. Shesh's attempt failed and she was soon thwarted in her efforts to divide the New Republic Senate by Luke Skywalker, who formed an alliance with Fey'lya and the New Republic military in opposition to her anti-Jedi policies.
The Kuati politician was forced to turn to espionage and abduction to prove her worth to Tsavong Lah, becoming increasingly distanced from her life as a high profile senator. Under Lah's orders, Shesh targeted Han and Leia Organa Solo, as well as their nephew Ben Skywalker. A bungled attack on the Solo residence, however, resulted in the revelation of Shesh's identity as a Yuuzhan Vong spy to the New Republic and the Kuati politician was sent fleeing into Coruscant's underbelly. In a last gamble to appease the Yuuzhan Vong, Shesh attempted to kidnap Ben Skywalker while the warmaster's armada attacked and conquered Coruscant in 27 ABY.
Shesh was foiled in her scheme shortly thereafter and was left with little choice but to present herself to the Yuuzhan Vong empty handed. Openly known as a traitor to the New Republic, Shesh was of no further use to Tsavong Lah and was sentenced to execution by the warmaster. Providing the warrior with advice in return for her continued survival, Shesh spent a short time acting as Lah's spymaster, directing Yuuzhan Vong agent Tam Elgrin to spy on a New Republic base on the planet Borleias before being dispatched to the ruined surface of Coruscant to hunt down Jedi alongside a team of Yuuzhan Vong warriors.
The former senator spent the last days of her life clinging to survival, alternately pursued by a deranged Dark Jedi or monitored by Yuuzhan Vong warriors assigned to ensure her obedience to Tsavong Lah's directives. Traveling across Coruscant's despoiled cityscape in search for a means of escape, Shesh's chances were further complicated by the arrival of Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker, along with a New Republic insertion team. When she was finally outmaneuvered and confronted by her numerous enemies, Viqi Shesh chose to commit suicide, plummeting to her death in the shadows of Coruscanti buildings that she had helped to topple.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Behind the scenes
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Sources
- 6 Notes and references
Rise to power
- "Politics is a practical profession. If someone has what you need, then you do business with him or you go without. And personally, I've always been more interested in business than I have in politics."
- ―Viqi Shesh
Viqi Shesh was born into a wealthy shipbuilding family on the prosperous world of Kuat, a planet famed for its shipyard industries. Shesh's opulent lifestyle ensured that the Human woman became used to the trappings of luxury and her upbringing led her to believe that power was her birthright. The Shesh family, in whose veins ran the blood of Kuati royalty, had strong ties to Kuat Drive Yards. Their heavy involvement with the shipbuilding industry brought tribulation, however, when the head of Kuat Drive Yards, Kuat of Kuat, committed suicide in 4 ABY, destroying 20% of the planet's orbital shipyards in the process.
During the subsequent reconstruction efforts, Shesh's family lost social and political status and turned to the New Republic, secretly forging ties with the new government, which installed itself on Coruscant in 6.5 ABY. By the time the New Republic wrested Kuat and its shipyards from the Galactic Empire in 8.5 ABY, the Shesh family's secret betrayal of Imperial interests reaped vast dividends. Deluged with offers from eager clients affiliated with the New Republic, the Shesh family became accustomed to contracts worth upwards of a billion credits. The young Viqi Shesh was able to find a job in Kuati corporate marketing and, despite her indifference toward the work, learned much about society and how beings could be manipulated by their fears and hopes. Ultimately, however, Shesh's apathy with her corporate post encouraged her to seek a career in the public sector. She desired power and influence and had the ambition and resources to attain both.
In 19 ABY, Shesh began a political campaign to become elected to the New Republic Senate as the representative of Kuat, utilizing her family's wealth for funds. Shesh's inexperience as a senator, rather than being viewed as a weakness, was taken up by the media as a sign that the Kuati woman was a new breed of politician who could breathe life into the New Republic's political system. Prominent at Shesh's side was Staff Chief Victor Pomt, who aided the senator in day to day life as her aide, keeping track of her schedule and helping to arrange her political appointments.
By 23 ABY, four years after Shesh entered galactic politics, the Bothan politician Borsk Fey'lya had won the election to the position of Chief of State, replacing the Human Jedi Leia Organa Solo. Two years later, Shesh had manipulated the media into portraying her as a fair-minded, just and caring woman, largely due to her encouragement of broad coverage of her efforts on the behalf of refugees. Countless new stories arose of which Shesh was the subject, mostly concerning her economic patronage of impoverished worlds and her concern for the less fortunate citizens of the galaxy.
Along with a seat on the Security and Intelligence Council, Shesh was also closely tied with the running of the Coruscant Planetary Defense Force. The Kuati senator also had a seat on the Senate Select Committee for Refugees (SELCORE), although Shesh was not known within SELCORE circles for providing much in the way of aid. Nevertheless, the senator from Kuat was considered the rising star of the New Republic and due to the vast media attention paid to her, Shesh became almost as well known as Chief of State Fey'lya himself. For her part, Shesh remained amused that she had cultivated an image so far removed from her true desire to attain power at any cost.
- "The New Republic is going to lose this war, and there's nothing to be gained by being on the losing side."
- ―Viqi Shesh
In 25 ABY, Shesh was present at a convocation of the New Republic at which former Chief of State Leia Organa Solo, acting as an envoy from the Outer Rim world of Dubrillion, delivered a report which claimed that a hitherto unknown alien species had launched an extragalactic invasion. Despite Organa Solo's willingness to provide evidence of the invasion and her vocal statements concerning the danger faced by the New Republic, a bloc of non-Human senators, including the Quarren Pwoe and the Sullustan Niuk Niuv, ridiculed the former Chief of State for what they assumed was an attempt to regain political notability. Little support was provided by Chief of State Fey'lya, who was highly dubious of Organa Solo's claims that this unknown species utilized advanced biotechnology. With Caamasi senator Elegos A'Kla acting as Organa Solo's only supporter, Shesh watched as the Human woman left the chamber in disgust. Contrary to what Pwoe and Niuv believed, Organa Solo was not making a bid for power; the threat of the alien Yuuzhan Vong was real. This fact only became obvious over the next months, as a host of planets in the Outer Rim Territories were lost to the seemingly relentless advance of the Yuuzhan Vong fleet. The greatest shock came with the destruction of Ithor, a well-known planet on the edge of the Mid Rim.
Senator Shesh began to take stock of the situation as she observed the New Republic slowly mobilizing itself to take action against the invaders. Despite the New Republic's ratification of the Universal Conscription Bill and the galvanizing of, among others, the Kuat shipyards, Fey'lya's government appeared unprepared. Anti-Jedi sentiment was rife, as Luke Skywalker's Jedi Order were often blamed for taking matters into their own hands, and rumors circulated of a rogue Bothan admiral, Traest Kre'fey, who operated with impunity and without Senate guidance. Shesh soon came to the conclusion that the New Republic would lose the war and that if this happened, she would lose everything she had fought to gain.
The Kuati woman began to look toward alternative means of holding power. As one of the six members of the Security and Intelligence Council, Shesh had access to a wealth of knowledge on the New Republic's defense capabilities, from the strength of planetary shields and the disposition of fleets to the top secret workings of New Republic Intelligence. The Kuati politician also remained prominent in the New Republic Senate, paying heed to the progress of the invasion and deciding on her course of action.
Following the fall of the library world Obroa-skai, Bel-dar-Nolek, Director of the Obroan Institute, traveled to Coruscant to address the Senate in the Grand Convocation Chamber. The irate director made vocal condemnations of Fey'lya's handling of the war, claiming that the New Republic Defense Fleet was not being deployed to protect worlds such as Obroa-skai and that instead the government was defending the Core Worlds. While Sergeant at Arms Mif Kumas attempted to keep order, Shesh saw her opening for publicity and intervened in the discussion. She reminded Bel-dar-Nolek that a wealth of cultural documents had been saved from libraries of Obroa-skai and that the Defense Fleet was maximizing its defense of strategically important worlds.
Bel-dar-Nolek refused to be mollified and spoke of a separate peace with the Yuuzhan Vong before turning to anti-Jediism and blaming Skywalker's Order for exacerbating the conflict with the extragalactic invaders. As Fey'lya and Bel-dar-Nolek argued angrily, Shesh decided to make her move, delivering a short address on the importance of unity and solidarity, vocally lending her support to the Jedi. In this way, Shesh gained political credibility and trust, inveigling her way further into the confidence of Fey'lya and the public. All the while, however, she was keeping an eye out for opportunities. Before long, news was received that a Yuuzhan Vong defector, a priestess known as Elan, had been taken into New Republic custody following a skirmish in the Meridian sector.
Elan was transported to Wayland, a little-known New Republic world that was nevertheless soon attacked by the Yuuzhan Vong in an attempt to retrieve Elan from the hands of New Republic Intelligence. A meeting of the Security and Intelligence Council was called in order to discuss the defection and how Elan and her companion could be returned to Coruscant for debriefing. New Republic Intelligence Operative Belindi Kalenda delivered a report on the attack on Wayland; the senator paid careful attention to details. Elan was at that time located on Myrkr, where NRI operatives were preparing to transport her to Coruscant. The route to be taken was from Myrkr to Bilbringi, thence to Jagga II, Chandrila and finally to the galactic capital. More importantly to Shesh, Kalenda spoke of an organization known as the Peace Brigade that was pursuing a collaborative relationship with the invaders. The senator saw a possible opportunity to approach the Yuuzhan Vong through this medium and asked whether NRI was observing the group closely. The files on the Peace Brigade and one of its leaders, the mercenary Reck Desh, were made available to Shesh. As the meeting continued, Shesh asked Kalenda what the defector wanted in return for the information she carried; the NRI operative informed the council that Elan had asked for a meeting with the Jedi.
Luke Skywalker, who was present at the meeting along with his nephew Anakin Solo, was interested by the notion; when Kalenda informed Shesh and her fellow council-members that Elan had provided information on the Yuuzhan Vong fleet's next target, Ord Mantell, the senator became convinced that by facilitating Elan's return to the Yuuzhan Vong through the medium of the Peace Brigade, she could initiate her plan to open contact with the invaders. Once the Yuuzhan Vong attacked Ord Mantell and were repulsed by New Republic forces, Shesh decided to contact Reck Desh and inform the Peace Brigade of Elan's impending transfer to Coruscant.
Before she took the step of contacting Desh, Shesh had the New Republic Intelligence's network sliced into and made sure that surveillance on the Peace Brigade was discontinued. The senator then contacted Desh via comlink anonymously, requesting that the collaborator travel to Kuat City and meet with someone who could furnish the Peace Brigade with vital information. The location of the meeting was to be the Nebula Orchid, a popular Kuat diner with several private booths. Equipped with an expensive voice scrambler and disguised as a Kuati telbun, Shesh waited for the ex-smuggler to arrive, keeping a cautious eye on her surroundings. The eatery was bustling and, as Shesh had made certain, similarly attired telbuns were all around, enabling her to vanish into the crowd should the need arise.
Seating herself in booth seven, the senator waited until Desh had sat down in booth six before revealing that she was his contact and telling him to order the two associates he had arrived with to stand down. Desh was cautious and demanded knowledge of the senator's true allegiance, identity and purpose, but Shesh was not forthcoming. She informed the collaborator of Elan and that the Yuuzhan Vong would doubtlessly pay a high price to see the defector returned. In return for the information, Shesh asked her new contact in the Peace Brigade to keep her apprised of any of the organizations dealing with the Yuuzhan Vong. Having passed over the top secret information concerning the route by which Elan was scheduled to be transported and explained her motives for doing so, Shesh warned the ex-smuggler to refrain from passing on knowledge of the meeting even to the Yuuzhan Vong. With that, the senator left the diner and walked out into a courtyard filled with identically clad telbuns, easily throwing off Desh's attempt to follow her. Confident that she had taken the first steps towards a possible collaborative relationship with the invaders, Shesh returned to her duties as a senator. Before long, Desh and his cohorts acted upon her information and attacked the Queen of Empire, the passenger liner transporting Elan, on the outskirts of the Bilbringi system.
The true nature of the defector, however, was something for which Shesh could not have accounted. Elan was in fact an assassin, dispatched as a false defector to eliminate members of the Jedi Order. The entire scheme, the defeat in the Meridian sector and the losses at Ord Mantell, had all been a ploy to lend Elan's defection credibility. This was proven during the Battle of Bilbringi, during which NRI learned, as did Senator Shesh, that the Yuuzhan Vong vessels had not attempted to retrieve Elan. Nevertheless, Shesh's actions had not gone unnoticed by the Yuuzhan Vong, while on the New Republic end, Desh's death during the battle at Bilbringi and Shesh's earlier precautions in contacting the Peace Brigade meant that the senator's involvement went undiscovered. Despite the failure of her plan, Shesh's attempts to send out tentative feelers to the Yuuzhan Vong were far from finished. Due to her prominence in the Senate and her parlaying of Kuat's wartime importance, she was elected onto Borsk Fey'lya's Advisory Council.
The Chief of State came under fire for appointing Shesh, as elements of the media felt that their favorite young Kuati senator would become Fey'lya's corrupt stooge and that she had been elected due to the Bothan's desire to keep Kuat on his side. Shesh took the Advisory Council position, along with a spacious office overlooking Commerce Way and the New Republic Obelisk, as it enabled her to provide further aid to the invaders. It soon emerged that the Hutt race, a species traditionally known for its amorality and criminality, had forged a separate peace with the invaders, exchanging Yuuzhan Vong access to their territories for amnesty. The Yuuzhan Vong struck at Gyndine from their new holdings in Hutt Space, causing further panic and prompting the question as to which system would be the next target. Shesh observed the progress of the war, paying particular attention to the rearming of Centerpoint Station, an ancient space station in the Corellian system with vast destructive capabilities.
Communicating through conflict
- "Senator Shesh, there's a Pedric Cuf here to see you. He admits to not having an appointment, but he claims that you have been trying to contact him for the past few months."
- ―Viqi Shesh's secretary announces the arrival of Nom Anor
While arranging the decoration of her new office, the senator received a visit from Commodore Brand of the New Republic Defense Force. The Defense Force wished to entice the Yuuzhan Vong to send a fleet to attack the Corellian system, whereupon the invaders could be trapped and routed. In order to do so, Brand and his superiors needed Corellia to appear undefended, a falsehood to which they hoped to lend credibility by encouraging the Advisory Council to direct fleets to protect the Bothan sector, among other worlds. Shesh cottoned on rapidly; she was being asked to tip the Advisory Council vote towards sending the fleets to protect Bothawui, leaving Corellia apparently under-defended and ripe for a Yuuzhan Vong attack. The senator also realized that she was being offered an opportunity to forewarn the Yuuzhan Vong and essentially save the invaders an entire fleet.
Feigning allegiance to Brand's scheme, she not only promised to swing the vote towards Bothawui, but also claimed that she would visit Consul-General Golga Besadii Fir, a Hutt politician still present on Coruscant, and inform him that the Yuuzhan Vong would benefit from an attack on Corellia. Shesh and Brand agreed that the consul general, whose Hutt masters were in league with the Yuuzhan Vong, would then inform the invaders. Ostensibly, Shesh's visit to Golga Besadii Fir was therefore in the interests of the New Republic Defense Force and its scheme. In reality, Shesh intended to use the consul general as an intermediary by which she could communicate her collaborationist intentions to the Yuuzhan Vong.
Meanwhile in the military theater, the Inner Rim world of Tynna fell to the Yuuzhan Vong, following the suspension of Hutt spice deliveries to the Tynnani system. The NRDF leadership believed that the next system to which the Hutts suspended spice deliveries would be the target and, when Bothawui and Corellia both exhibited evidence that the spice trade had slowed, Brand and his cohorts realized that the time to lure the Yuuzhan Vong to Corellia had come. Shesh traveled to the Hutt consulate, located in the penthouse of the Valorum Tower, and asked to meet with Golga, who granted her an audience despite his imminent departure for Hutt Space. Discussing the treaty that the Hutts and the Yuuzhan Vong had made, Shesh became convinced that she could use Golga, who was a relative of the Hutt leader Borga Besadii Diori, as a means by which she could contact the invaders. As the consul general was essentially being hounded off Coruscant by an irate New Republic government and its citizens, Shesh saw no harm in informing him that the Defense Force wished to lure the Yuuzhan Vong to Corellia in order to destroy them with a reactivated Centerpoint Station. She asked him to deliver this information to Borga the Hutt, whom she hoped would in turn communicate with the Yuuzhan Vong, along with a message that she was "righting an earlier wrong"— a tacit reference to the Elan affair. The Hutt realized that the senator intended to provide information to the Yuuzhan Vong and asked Shesh if this was the case. The Kuati woman easily dodged the question and left the consulate, reporting to Brand that her meeting had gone well.
Unfortunately for Shesh's designs, she had not made her message for the Yuuzhan Vong detailed enough with regards to Centerpoint Station. Her information was received, but the full extent of the ancient construct's destructive capabilities remained unknown to the Yuuzhan Vong, who were in any case intending to attack neither Corellia nor Bothawui, having instead set their sights on the shipyards at Fondor. Shesh, the Hutts and the New Republic remained ignorant of this fact, however, and the Kuati senator prepared to play her role as the meeting of the Advisory Council was convened in order to discuss the redisposition of the Defense Force fleets. Shesh traveled to the evening meeting several days later to hear Brand's report along with the other members of the Advisory Council. Chief of State Fey'lya was openly skeptical and dismissive of Brand's opinion that the fluctuations in the Hutt spice trade signified anything of importance.
As the Defense Force Commodore broached the subject of fleet redisposition and called for a task force to be put together to defend the Corellian system, Fey'lya became outraged, just as Brand and Shesh had predicted, and accused the Defense Force of abandoning Bothawui and trusting poor intelligence. Before long, Fey'lya was railing against Jedi involvement; Shesh watched as Fyor Rodan of Commenor and Niuk Niuv of Sullust sided with the Chief of State on behalf of Bothawui, motivated mainly by anti-Jedi sentiment. Arrayed against Fey'lya's bloc were Chelch Dravvad of Corellia, the Alderaanian Cal Omas and the Wookiee Triebakk of Kashyyyk. As the matter of which world should be defended was put to the vote, the two blocs voted for Bothawui and Corellia respectively.
Quarren councilor Pwoe, hostile to the Bothan shipbuilding industry and the competition it posed to Dac's own shipyards, voted for Corellia's defense, while the Rodian Navik lent his support to Bothawui due to Rodia's proximity to the Bothan sector. As there were nine councilors, it fell to Shesh to deliver the deciding vote. True to her promise to Brand, Shesh tipped the vote to Bothawui's favor and Fey'lya promptly ordered Brand's task force to be dispatched to defend the sector, leaving Corellia undefended as planned. Shesh had succeeded, therefore, in gaining allies among Fey'lya and his bloc, the New Republic Defense Force and the Yuuzhan Vong in one move. The fruits of Shesh's labors revealed themselves over the next few days but, as with Elan, she had once again misjudged Yuuzhan Vong designs. The invaders ignored Kuat, Bothawui and Corellia, instead launching a devastating attack on Fondor.
Furthermore, Shesh's warning to the Yuuzhan Vong commanders, delivered via the Hutts, was not informative enough; the reactivated Centerpoint Station was fired upon the Yuuzhan Vong fleet at Fondor in a last ditch attempt to save the shipyards there. The resulting shockwave wiped out half of the invaders' armada, along with a Hapan warfleet that had been acting as New Republic reinforcements. The result of the Defense Force's careful scheming had been a disaster and the Senate Justice Council was convened to investigate the situation and determine how the sneak attack on Fondor had come about. Some blamed the Jedi and their intelligence sources, others sought to condemn the senators involved, and many attacked the Defense Force for its handling of the situation. Admiral Sien Sovv—Commodore Brand's superior—was forced to inform the Justice Council that the Advisory Council meeting precluding the battle had been a farce and, in light of this evidence, Shesh was asked to appear before Justice Council chairman Ta'laam Ranth and give an account of the briefing.
Two weeks after the Battle of Fondor, the time came for the inquest. With a trio of legal representatives and instructions to allow her lawyers to do most of the talking, Shesh planned to answer sparingly. The hearing was a closed-session but a sizable crowd was present in the amphitheater where it took place; Shesh responded deftly to Ranth's questions, revealing only that she had discussed scenarios with Brand and had spoken with Consul-General Golga Besadii Fir in order to acquire information from the Hutts. Fortunately for Shesh, court protocol stipulated that she could respond only to a narrow range of questions and she was able to exonerate herself of any blame for the blunder. As her questioning reached its conclusion, Shesh was asked to comment on the Jedi. Having attained a great amount of power through her maneuverings thus far, the Kuati senator made her break with pro-Jediism and stated that Skywalker's Order was not infallible. As she left, Shesh was mobbed by the media but only gave a couple of interviews, refusing to answer most questions, before she made her way back to her office. Once Shesh had returned to the office, she watched a holorecording of herself being interviewed outside the hearing, pleased that she had gained more publicity from the episode. Her entertainment was interrupted by the arrival of a man identifying himself as Pedric Cuf, whom Shesh instructed her secretary to send through into her office.
Cuf introduced himself as a businessman and, with subtle references to the process of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, indicated that he was in fact a disguised Yuuzhan Vong agent. As this became clear, Shesh became excited by the fact that her long attempts to contact the invaders had been successful, but remained cautious, in case Cuf was a New Republic Intelligence agent. When Cuf made reference to Shesh's good-faith involvement in the Elan affair, the senator feigned ignorance and Cuf prepared to leave. It was only his mention that he had learned of her goodwill toward the Yuuzhan Vong through a meeting with a Hutt that encouraged Shesh that Cuf was genuine. She invited the Yuuzhan Vong agent to remain and talk a while, insinuating that she should be provided with a similar disguise to that which Cuf was wearing so that she could begin her work as a full-blown collaborator. Cuf, in reality Yuuzhan Vong spymaster Nom Anor, had other Yuuzhan Vong agents furnish Shesh with ooglith masquers, which she soon began to use to move around incognito, despite the pain their attachment caused to her skin. The senator was also provided with a communications device by which she could contact a high-ranking Yuuzhan Vong warrior, Warmaster Tsavong Lah. For her services, Shesh was offered payment in credits that had been obtained by the Yuuzhan Vong, which she directed to her personal accounts through convoluted channels to disguise their source.
Duro and the Jedi
- "She's practically the head of SELCORE."
"I know, and SELCORE isn't exactly keeping its commitments. Think about the way she was standing, too. And that falseness in her tone of voice…The way she held herself, and that strange little smile. They reminded me of the holovids I've seen of another senator."
"I hate guessing games."
"Palpatine, pre-Empire. When he was on his way up, and he didn't care who or what he destroyed to get there."
"And she's the one who delivers what we need to survive."
"She's also the one who put us here. Who decided Duro was safe."
- ―Jaina and Jacen Solo discuss Shesh following their communications with her
Having finally obtained direct contact with the invaders, Shesh made use of her various political positions and the resources available to her in order to facilitate the Yuuzhan Vong advance. Maneuvering her way to a position of political primacy in SELCORE, the senator was able to direct the rising flood of refugees to whichever worlds she chose. Working alongside the Yuuzhan Vong, Shesh arranged for the refugees of hundreds of planets to be directed to Duro, a polluted planet on the outskirts of the Core. In return for attempting to restore the ruined ecosystem, the refugees were promised asylum by the Duros High House in settlements on the surface. As the administrating senator of SELCORE, Shesh in fact did little to help the refugees, largely due to the fact that she knew of the planet's impending fate.
The refugees were to be sacrificed to the Yuuzhan Vong gods and the Duro Starshipwright Shipyards were to be destroyed. Before long, corruption had riddled SELCORE's system contractor, CorDuro Shipping, whose leadership began to collaborate with the Yuuzhan Vong and the Peace Brigade as well. Shipments were frequently delayed or rerouted, communications problems were rife and defense shortfalls multiple. As the Yuuzhan Vong fleet advanced up the Corellian Run on the way to Duro, seizing Falleen, Druckenwell, Kalarba and Kubindi in a series of swift conquests, criticism was also directed against Chief of State Fey'lya and his management of the war. Once Rodia had fallen to the invaders, a meeting was convened at which members of the Defense Force, along with Jedi Masters Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker, discussed the situation. For her part, Shesh remained silent as she gleaned information.
While Corellia was being discussed, Chelch Dravvad informed the Advisory Council that Centerpoint Station had been rendered inactive following its latest firing. As Fyor Rodan and Borsk Fey'lya criticized rogue Jedi activity, Shesh noted Luke Skywalker's response that many Jedi, such as his nephew Jacen Solo, were in fact pursuing a pacifistic approach to conflict. The Kuati senator noted both pieces of information for future reference but ultimately decided to withhold the knowledge of Centerpoint Station's inactivity from the invaders. Worried that the Yuuzhan Vong would strike at Coruscant before Shesh had earned herself a position of power under their administration, the Kuati senator instead promised the invaders that she would set agents at work to ensure that Centerpoint Station was disabled.
It was only a couple of days later that Shesh was in fact contacted by both Jacen Solo and his sister Jaina from Duro, who wished to locate their mother, Leia Organa Solo, on the planet. Shesh feigned interest and politeness, earning Jacen Solo's scrutiny as she did so, and promised to use her resources to find Organa Solo. The transmission was interrupted on the Duro end by a Hutt, Randa Besadii Diori, who urgently beseeched Shesh to send troops to aid the Hutts, currently fighting for their lives against the Yuuzhan Vong following the failure of their treaty. The senator cut the transmission off but before long was contacted by Warmaster Tsavong Lah for the first time on Yuuzhan Vong communications device—known as a villip—that she had been given. Shesh was surprised and shocked to witness the full extent of the warmaster's mutilations but regained her composure and set about making herself clear.
The advance on Duro was not an issue for the senator, but Shesh found the proximity of her native Kuat to the Duro system worrisome and wished to ensure that the warmaster would not subsequently attack the Kuat shipyards. She made apparent her desire for peace and requested that Lah reassure her of the impending cessation of the invasion. Mollified by the warrior, Shesh was reminded that she would be greatly rewarded when the time came and the Yuuzhan Vong stood victorious. When Lah brusquely brought matters to a close, Shesh decided to gain further favor with the warmaster by announcing that she would be able to orchestrate the abduction and delivery of a young Jedi Knight who was present on Duro, as she was aware of the warmaster's military interest in Force-sensitives. Shesh was referring to Jacen Solo, and although she mentioned that the young Human was not making use of his abilities, the Kuati senator did not mention Solo by name. Once Shesh had revealed this information, she was silenced by the warmaster and the transmission was ended. The senator continued to lead her double life, maintaining cautious measures to ensure that no knowledge of her duplicity ever leaked.
Her servants swept the office three times a day for listening devices and she ensured that, other than her contact with Tsavong Lah, her illicit affairs were coordinated through third party contacts. Due to this approach, Shesh's carefully cultivated reputation remained intact. The senator did maintain a pretense of interest in the doomed refugee efforts on the surface of Duro due to her lofty position in SELCORE. Contacted by a Tynnan and a Human pair of technicians from Gateway settlement, Shesh was discussing matters of the colony when the transmission was once again interrupted by Randa Besadii Diori. The excitable Hutt informed her that a Yuuzhan Vong agent was operating somewhere on Duro and that she needed to send support urgently. Shesh immediately asked whether the Hutt had actually succeeded in unmasking the infiltrator; once he admitted that he had not, she fobbed him off with the promise that she would have Leia Organa Solo, whom Shesh had learned was the administrator of Gateway, investigate the claim.
Once the Hutt had left, Shesh concluded her business with the communications technicians and contacted Tsavong Lah to inform him of what had occurred. A short time later, the warmaster advanced his forces upon the planet. Jedi liaison Kenth Hamner came before Borsk Fey'lya to plead the case for a defense of Duro. As the last step in the process of sealing the planet's fate, Shesh delivered a persuasive address stating that no warships should be spared to aid Duro as this would weaken the defenses of other worlds. Unknowingly aiding her and the Yuuzhan Vong, the Quarren Pwoe also reminded the senators that false alerts had been called in on Duro before. Fey'lya and his council voted against Hamner's proposal. The warmaster's armada struck at Duro with overwhelming numbers, destroying all but one of the Duros population's orbital cities along with the shipyards. The vast majority of the refugees whom Shesh had directed to the world were captured or killed. In an unexpected turn of events for the Kuati senator, however, Jacen Solo rescued his mother from captivity, injuring and humiliating Tsavong Lah in the process. Outraged, the warmaster issued a galaxy-wide address to the New Republic, proclaiming that the invasion would stop at Duro, so long as the Jedi Order was surrendered to the invaders. Emphasis was put on the capture of Jacen Solo. All over the galaxy, a fearful citizenry responded to the warmaster's demands.
Shesh and Kuat remained closely connected to the activities of the Peace Brigade, who were central in the pogrom against the Jedi. The senator was able to point the Peace Brigade in direction of the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, which was later attacked and destroyed. Supplies were sent from Kuat to the Yuuzhan Vong and the Peace Brigade, although Shesh set up several companies as fronts so the true source of her aid to the collaborators could never be determined. Alongside her continued support of other collaborators, Shesh put a new plan in motion to eliminate the threat of the Jedi on behalf of her Yuuzhan Vong masters. Despite the success of the Peace Brigade and other factions in turning individual Jedi over to the invaders, the senator recognized that she was well equipped to strike at Luke Skywalker's Jedi Order with the power of the New Republic government, if she could accrue enough support in the Senate. The Kuati woman began to agitate increasingly vocally against the Jedi, aided in her campaign by her Staff Chief, Victor Pomt. Shesh drew up an outline for the Peace Vote, a Senate motion that would outlaw the Jedi and mobilize the New Republic judicial system against the Order, allowing the Yuuzhan Vong to neutralize the threat with ease. First, however, Shesh was determined to eliminate Leia Organa Solo, whom the senator believed had witnessed too much of the corruption that had riddled CorDuro Shipping and the possibilities of Shesh's duplicity to be left alive. She entrusted the task to Staff Chief Pomt who mobilized resources against the injured Jedi, whom Pomt soon learned had been taken to a hospital in Coronet, the capital city of Corellia. Shesh's staff chief dispatched assassins against Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo and later a task force of starships, all of which failed.
Meanwhile, Shesh announced her proposal for the Appeasement Vote to the New Republic Senate, striking a deal with Fey'lya which ensured that the body would vote on the matter by the end of the week; Tsavong Lah's ultimatum had prejudiced many against the Jedi Order, especially senators from worlds as yet untouched by the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. Unfortunately for Shesh, the Solos evaded the assassination attempts and made their way to Coruscant, retaining the evidence of Shesh's close ties with CorDuro Shipping. As the Duro corporation had been openly outed as a collaborationist organization, which Shesh had contracted in her position as administrative senator of SELCORE, the implications risked exposing the Kuati woman. Furthermore, Leia Organa Solo contacted Senator Kvarm Jia and called for a meeting of the Corruption Panel to investigate Shesh. The Kuati woman was under pressure to accrue enough support for the Appeasement Vote to prevent the results of the hearing from impacting adversely upon the anti-Jedi movement. As such, she continued to solicit support and instead sent Staff Chief Pomt before the Corruption Panel and its chairperson, the Bith senator E'noro. Before doing so, Pomt initiated a last ditch attack on the Solos as they approached Coruscant that resulted in failure. The Solos arrived at the Senate Inquiry Room for the Corruption Panel hearing in time to present the evidence of Pomt's assassinations attempts to E'noro; Pomt scorned the accusations, but the damage was done. Shesh's staff chief was stripped of his position pending further investigation. Shesh was interrupted from a meeting by news that E'noro was attempting to contact her. When Shesh responded to the irate Bith senator, she was rebuked and informed that her senatorial privileges were revoked until an investigation could be held in the next month.
Furious at the setback and aware that Pomt knew too much of her dealings, Shesh dispatched an assassin to eliminate her staff chief. The assassin killed Pomt several days after the hearing and arranged matters so that the staff chief appeared to have committed suicide. A message was left with Pomt's corpse claiming sole responsibility for the attacks on the Solos; with him went the evidence of Shesh's collaboration with CorDuro Shipping. The case against Shesh was dropped following Pomt's death. Nevertheless, Organa Solo's efforts to expose the senator had called Shesh's integrity into question. With knowledge of Shesh's possible corruption now public, the Appeasement Vote lost support and attained only a third of the votes in the New Republic Senate—a significant number, but not enough to outlaw Skywalker's Order. Leia Organa Solo's accusations, although lacking evidence and undermined by Pomt's faked suicide, also damaged Shesh's reputation.
The Kuati woman was rotated off SELCORE. Before long, however, Shesh had regained her senatorial status and managed to attain a position on the New Republic Military Oversight Committee, a body of senators that oversaw the operations of the New Republic Defense Force against the Yuuzhan Vong. Once again in a position to observe the top secret workings of the Defense Force, Shesh was equipped with a chilab, a Yuuzhan Vong observation device, with which she was instructed by Tsavong Lah to record NRMOC meetings and report back to him. The Kuati woman provided Lah with a steady flow of sensitive information. She also attempted to inset sensislugs—other Yuuzhan Vong observations devices—into the NRMOC meeting chambers, but was unable to do so as she inadvertently killed the fragile creatures when deploying them. Meanwhile, Shesh passed on information concerning the disposition of the Coruscant Planetary Defense Force over the galactic capital.
- "I've spent all morning talking to Core senators. We don't have the votes to win a no-confidence call, but I'm convinced that were Borsk to meet an untimely end, the next chief of state would be less favorably disposed toward the Jedi."
- ―Viqi Shesh, to Warmaster Tsavong Lah
Although Shesh's Appeasement Vote had failed, anti-Jediism was still rife. Furthermore, the Yuuzhan Vong had their own methods for dealing with the Jedi and before long the senator was contacted by the Yuuzhan Vong with a request. During the conquest of the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, Yuuzhan Vong bioscientists had learned of the vornskr, a creature native to Myrkr that hunted Force-sensitives. Shesh was asked to procure some of these creatures for study; the senator duly dispatched a number of captured vornskr to the Yuuzhan Vong, whose scientists were able to crossbreed with the fero xyn to create voxyn. Bred specifically to hunt Jedi, voxyn were unleashed on space stations and planets across the galaxy, whereupon they tracked and killed Force-sensitives. Four Jedi were eliminated in quick succession. To complement the voxyn scheme, Warmaster Lah arrayed a billion refugees in orbit over the planet Talfaglio, demanding the surrender of the Jedi and the location of their secret base in return for the safety of the refugees. In the resulting political climate, the anti-Jedi and pro-Jedi blocs came into mass conflict and the New Republic Senate was split by partisan. Shesh was called to an NRMOC closed-session meeting at which Leia Organa Solo was scheduled to deliver a report on the Talfaglion refugees and Tsavong Lah's ultimatum.
When Organa Solo arrived with her son Jacen, Shesh did not waste time before delivering her first criticisms of the Jedi and embarrassing her political enemy. She called attention to the tactical quagmire faced by the Defense Force—if the Talfaglion refugees were to be liberated, the Yuuzhan Vong fleet massed in the nearby Jumus system were in a prime position to fall upon any attacking forces. Senator Kvarm Jia backed Jacen Solo's proposal that a trio of Star Destroyers could be sneaked in via Deep Core hyperspace routes to rescue the refugees but Shesh lambasted the suggestion, claiming that the three Star Destroyers would be lost along with any number of planets, all in order to save the Talfaglion refugees militarily when a diplomatic solution—the surrender of the Jedi—was possible. The former Chief of State put a halt to the resulting uproar by requesting that the matter be put to vote, whereupon it passed marginally in Organa Solo's favor. Despite the vote, Chief of State Fey'lya, in Shesh's opinion manipulated through her anti-Jediism, refused to allow the Star Destroyer strike to go ahead, however, stating that a military study was first necessary. As Shesh had hoped, Fey'lya planned to stall for time by requesting that a Yuuzhan Vong envoy be sent to discuss terms.
Soon after the NRMOC meeting, Shesh contacted Tsavong Lah with the news of the impending New Republic request for an envoy and informed him that the extra time she had won the warmaster could be used to prepare a counterambush to the Star Destroyer strike. The senator was surprised when Lah announced that Pedric Cuf was also present with him on his flagship. The warmaster asked her to recount the information to Cuf and Shesh did so obediently, exaggerating her role in the NRMOC proceedings. Lah decided to send an envoy, selecting Nom Anor, whom Shesh still did not know was the undisguised Pedric Cuf. On Coruscant, the Kuati woman was asked by the media to comment on the envoy's impending arrival in the Senate; Shesh used the moment to reiterate her stance against the Jedi, whom she blamed for placing their own safety above those of the Talfaglion refugees. The New Republic Senate prepared for the visit with mixed responses. The Ithorians boycotted the envoy's visit along with numerous others, leaving close to one hundred senatorial balconies empty in the Grand Convocation Chamber. Fey'lya lost a great deal of support for agreeing even to countenance negotiating with the Yuuzhan Vong. Nevertheless, the Talfaglion consular staff and other prominent politicians supported Fey'lya's efforts. For her part, Shesh stood alongside the Chief of State with Fyor Rodan of Commenor in a show of solidarity.
The chamber was packed with security and media as the galaxy prepared to watch Fey'lya's address to the envoy via the HoloNet and, as the envoy entered, the three politicians moved forward to meet him. As Nom Anor revealed himself, demonstrating the Yuuzhan Vong slight to the New Republic in sending such a prominent agent of destruction as an envoy, Fey'lya collected himself and went on the offensive. As the Wookiees—fervent supporters of the Jedi—voiced their approval of Fey'lya's assertive stance, the Talfaglions and their bloc attempted to shout them down. Shesh left Fey'lya's side to restore order, as she knew she would waste a prime chance for publicity if the negotiations were derailed. To her shock, however, the Bothan Chief of State failed to behave as she had hoped. Fey'lya tricked Anor into revealing that the Yuuzhan Vong saw New Republic lives as meaningless, which proved a bitter blow to those who believed that the invaders were a species with which peace was possible. It became clear that Shesh's superior was intending to strengthen the failing ties between the Jedi and the New Republic by affirming their solidarity in such a public arena, thus winning support from the pro-Jedi bloc, while he convinced the anti-Jedi bloc that negotiations were futile.
The last thing Shesh wanted was Fey'lya to reunite the disjointed New Republic government. She intervened, stating that Fey'lya was not making himself clear but, to her chagrin, the Bothan silenced her and dismissed her from his side. Shesh's scheme to split the Senate had failed; Fey'lya began to mock Anor and assert the New Republic's support for the Jedi, prompting hundreds of senators to rise in his support. Once the session had ended, Shesh set about salvaging the situation. She met with members of the anti-Jedi bloc, most of whom, like her, represented the threatened Core Worlds, and encouraged them to move for a Vote of No Confidence in Chief of State Fey'lya. Unfortunately for Shesh, she could not scrounge enough support for the motion to pass and gave up on the idea. She contacted the Yuuzhan Vong warmaster and informed him of her efforts, indicating that if Fey'lya were to be eliminated, she could rise to prominence as the most viable candidate. When Lah responded to this suggestion by directing Shesh to kill the Bothan personally, the shocked senator refused, earning the warmaster's ire and placing them both in a stalemate, with Lah threatening to reveal her as a spy and Shesh reminding him of the importance of inside knowledge on NRMOC. Relenting, Lah informed her that Bjork Umi, a Yuuzhan Vong assassin, would soon contact her for details of Fey'lya's movements. Once Umi came into contact with her, Shesh issued the Yuuzhan Vong warrior with a list of ideal times and locations at which assassination could be attempted. As days went by with no news, the pressure was on Shesh to find other means of proving her worth before the Yuuzhan Vong took Coruscant and decided to stop retaining her services.
Fall and revelation
- "Viqi Shesh paid us a visit. She had a squad of infiltrators with her."
"They were after Ben?"
- ―Leia Organa Solo and Luke Skywalker
Tsavong Lah continued in his attempts to orchestrate the destruction of the Jedi, dispatching Nom Anor to the New Republic Senate once again. Having been uninformed of the reasons behind Anor's second visit to the Senate, Shesh traveled to the Grand Convocation Chamber in order to observe the situation in her capacity as a senator. When the Yuuzhan Vong executor arrived, Shesh was alarmed by the amount of support Fey'lya appeared to have attained since his pro-Jedi stance during the last meeting with Anor. The Kuati politician was further surprised when Anor announced that Warmaster Lah had agreed to extend the deadline for the surrender of the Jedi. Querying Anor on the subject, Shesh was stunned when the Yuuzhan Vong envoy stated that seventeen Jedi had been turned over to the Yuuzhan Vong the previous evening. Among the captured Jedi, Anor announced, were Jacen, Jaina and Anakin Solo. Shesh observed interestedly as Anor reacted in a shocked manner to the common knowledge of the fact that Jacen and Jaina Solo were twins. Realizing that this was seemingly a significant matter to the Yuuzhan Vong, Shesh believed she could capitalize on Anor's ignorance and gain favor with Lah at the executor's expense. Anor continued with his address, demanding that a similar number of Jedi was to be surrendered every ten days. Despite Borsk Fey'lya's attempts to silence the Yuuzhan Vong envoy, Shesh ensured that the New Republic Senate and the media remained privy to the new ultimatum. In response, the Bothan Chief of State rounded on Shesh, speaking of Yuuzhan Vong diplomacy.
The Kuati woman observed in horror as Mif Kumas and a trio of security droids approached, certain that her status as a collaborator was about to be revealed to the galaxy. Her attempts to leave thwarted, Shesh sat transfixed as Fey'lya stated that an assassination attempt had indeed been made upon his life—Umi and his cohorts had acted without Shesh's knowledge—and asked her to speak up on the matter. Shesh initially believed that Umi must have been interrogated and divulged her involvement but when Fey'lya began to mention Kuat, she realized to her vast relief that the Bothan knew nothing of her status as a spy and was instead attempting to chastise her for believing that the Yuuzhan Vong were a reasonable species with whom a bargain was possible. Displaying contrition, Shesh admitted that in her opinion the Yuuzhan Vong were clearly untrustworthy. The Chief of State ordered Kumas and the security droids to arrest Nom Anor, who rendered Shesh unconscious, along with the rest of those present in the Grand Convocation Chamber, with a sleeping gas before fleeing Coruscant.
Days went past without contact from Tsavong Lah and the Talfaglion blockade ultimatum was soon thwarted by Luke Skywalker and the Jedi Order. It transpired that with the aid of Generals Wedge Antilles and Garm Bel Iblis, respectively commanding the Star Destroyers Mon Mothma and Elegos A'Kla, the Jedi had broken the Talfaglion blockade, absconding with the refugees and inflicting a massive defeat upon the Yuuzhan Vong defense. It was a political victory for Fey'lya, whose pro-Jedi stance was vindicated, as well as for Luke Skywalker, who was asked to appear, alongside his sister Leia Organa Solo, before the New Republic Senate shortly after the battle had occurred. Shesh was aware that there was still anti-Jedi sentiment to be exploited; by the time Skywalker arrived, without his sister, she had marshaled her facts.
As Antilles and Bel Iblis had technically participated in an unsanctioned fleet operation, the official story was that the generals had been conducting a shakedown cruise and had happened upon the Battle of Talfaglio, subsequently entering the fray alongside the Jedi. Shesh was quick to seize the moment and ridicule this story and, despite Fey'lya's retorts, insinuated that the Jedi had performed mind tricks on Antilles and Bel Iblis in order to secure their support. She found allies, as she had intended, among the senators representing the threatened worlds of the Inner Rim, such as fellow Advisory Council member Fyor Rodan, who obstructed Fey'lya as Shesh continued to pour forth scorn upon the Jedi. Skywalker challenged Shesh's claims with calmness but the Kuati politician was unwilling to back down, demanding that the military cooperation with the Jedi Order cease immediately. It was a step back from the Appeasement Vote she had championed in the weeks prior but Shesh's demand had the intended effect of removing the focus from the Jedi victory at Talfaglio and splitting the New Republic Senate along pro-Jedi and anti-Jedi factions. As Fey'lya remained engrossed in his personal vidconsole, however, Shesh decided to propose a motion that the Jedi were to be regarded as dangerous persons to the war effort. Fey'lya interrupted the Kuati politician with the news that leading figures in the New Republic military had contacted him demanding that he ignore Shesh's motion and allow the war effort to proceed with Jedi involvement. Fey'lya issued an executive order that overrode Shesh and her planned motion. As the military was the last hope for the Inner Rim senators, they preferred to follow Fey'lya's lead rather than attempt a Vote of No Confidence and lose the support of the New Republic Defense Force. Shesh realized that Fey'lya and Skywalker had undone her; she lost her seat on the New Republic Military Oversight Committee, thus being stripped of much of her political power.
For Viqi Shesh, it was therefore time to abandon the New Republic government and the Senate as her vehicles for proving her worth to the Yuuzhan Vong leadership. Lah recognized this as well, instructing Shesh to locate the secret Jedi base from which the Order were harassing his military operations and accrue as much information as possible on the new technology the Jedi were utilizing. Meeting with a Yuuzhan Vong contact, the Kuati woman obtained another sensislug but refused the offer of an ooglith masquer, preferring to use a New Republic Intelligence disguise kit to mask her features. In order to ascertain the location of the Jedi base, Shesh targeted Han and Leia Organa Solo. She discovered from an informant that the Solos owned a private residence in the Eastport administrative district. Heavily disguised and throwing off the pursuit of a young Jedi, Shesh made her way to the Solos' Eastport apartment, intending to insert the Yuuzhan Vong spy device into the residence. While she was trying to formulate a plan to enter the apartment, Shesh was forced to hide when the Solos arrived with their droid C-3PO, the infant Ben Skywalker and a TDL nanny droid. Once she had thrown the sensislug onto C-3PO's back and turned to leave, however, Shesh ran into Adarakh, one of the Solos' Noghri bodyguards. As the group's scrutiny of her intensified, Shesh acted as though she were senile and mad before shuffling away.
Over the next days, Shesh made use of a number of contacts to ascertain the nature of the Jedi technology such as the telekinetically hurled torpedoes wreaking havoc among Lah's forces. Shesh also passed on the technical readouts of the gravity well projectors installed upon the Mon Mothma and the Elegos A'Kla as well as the disposition of the hyperspace mines being laid between Coruscant and Borleias, the latter of which had recently fallen to Tsavong Lah's forces. The warmaster was pleased with Shesh's rapid progress and instructed her to carry out another task—the kidnapping of Ben Skywalker. Eager to exact revenge on Luke Skywalker for the part that Shesh felt he had played in her political downfall, the Kuati senator nevertheless realized that Lah's request that she distract the Jedi by abducting Skywalker's son meant that the warmaster intended to move upon Coruscant imminently. Due to this belief, Shesh decided to conduct her abduction of Ben Skywalker without bothering to disguise herself. Analysis of the security surrounding the Solos' Eastport residence indicated that any attempts to mask her appearance would be in vain. Shesh also felt that Luke Skywalker should know who had kidnapped his son in retaliation for her political downfall. The Kuati woman coordinated a group of six Yuuzhan Vong, led by the warrior Ingo Dar, and hatched her plot to abduct the Skywalker child. Ingo Dar instructed his warriors to disguise themselves as members of the Municipal Health Bureau and followed Shesh to Eastport. Meanwhile, Shesh had a hoversled placed below a balcony attached to the Solos' apartment for her swift getaway.
Approaching the Solos' apartment from the front entrance, Shesh triggered the sensislug with an ultrasonic whistle to release a cloud of sleep-inducing spores. With Ingo Dar and his warriors behind her, Shesh was surprised when the GL-7 droid at the door greeted her and invited her inside. Deciding to make use of the Solos' apparently poor security, Shesh went inside where the protocol droid C-3PO shocked her by announcing that her arrival was expected. Utilizing the previously discovered sensislug against Shesh and her Yuuzhan Vong team, C-3PO knocked out several of the infiltrators while the Noghri Adarakh opened fire with a T-21 repeating blaster. The Yuuzhan Vong were cut down and Shesh fled, dodging a second Noghri while wielding her hold-out blaster. The Kuati woman dove over the balcony onto the hoversled and escaped the scene of the failed kidnapping attempt. Making use of an ooglith masquer, Shesh went into hiding in the Coruscant underlevels. The HoloNet broadcast her status as a Yuuzhan Vong spy and as a traitor to the New Republic to the galaxy, bringing Shesh's political career to an end. Shortly after her allegiance to the Yuuzhan Vong was made public knowledge, Lah contacted Shesh briefly to inform her that if she failed to deliver Ben Skywalker, she would not be spared during the imminent conquest of Coruscant. The news of Shesh's collaboration spread across the galaxy and had profound consequences for Kuat Drive Yards. The company suffered a public relations blow in the resulting fallout.
Second kidnapping attempt
- "Viqi Shesh. I would've thought you'd be down in the grotto levels waiting for your masters with the rest of the granite slugs."
"Leia—always the proper word for every occasion."
- ―Leia Organa Solo and Viqi Shesh face off during Coruscant's fall
Shesh took the warmaster at his word and set about developing a new plan to abduct the infant Skywalker. While disguised in her ooglith masquer, the former senator spotted a young boy, Dab Hantaq, pickpocketing a salt-drunk Arcona. Shesh approached Hantaq with a proposition. The young Anakin Solo had at that time recently died during a mission to Myrkr to eliminate the voxyn queen from which the voxyn creatures were being cloned. Shesh decided that in order to have a chance of abducting Ben Skywalker from the Solos and their entourage, she would need to create a doppelgänger of Anakin Solo to distract her opponents, who were still grieving over the death of their youngest child. Dab Hantaq, although over four years younger that Solo, agreed to undergo extensive cosmetic surgery in return for the safety of his mothers and sisters, whom Shesh promised would be safe aboard her private yacht, the Wicked Pleasure. Modeling Hantaq as Anakin Solo cost Shesh a small fortune but the end result, after a few days of intensive surgery and bacta treatment, was exactly as she had wished. Shesh instructed the boy to introduce himself as Tarc Kether to the Solos, whose involvement she did not mention, while she would masquerade as Welda Kether, a Human woman who had lost her husband Ran Kether at the Battle of Kalarba, the same battle at which Shesh knew Jaina Solo had been injured in 26 ABY. Ran Kether had indeed died at Kalarba, and to Shesh's knowledge had been a member of Rogue Squadron known to Han Solo.
Meanwhile, Warmaster Lah's fleet emerged in the Coruscant system and besieged the galactic capital. The world was soon thrown into chaos as the military fractured and the New Republic Senate began fleeing the planet, taking with them sections of the defense fleets. The mass evacuation that followed occurred during orbital bombardment and aerial dogfighting that Shesh knew would force the Solos to attempt to flee. With the young boy in tow, to whom she gave a thermal detonator, Shesh disguised her voice with Yuuzhan Vong biotechnology, armed herself with a vibroblade and a blaster and set off for the Eastport Docking Facility. There, her own yacht was berthed in Docking Bay 3732, crewed and awaiting her arrival. Before long, Shesh spotted the Solos near Gate 3700, which was itself in close proximity to where the Millennium Falcon, personal starship of Han Solo, was located in its own docking bay. Shesh informed the young boy that the Solos were to be the target and together they approached the family through the crowd. Shesh introduced herself in her Welda persona, greeting Han Solo and quickly gaining his trust by referring to Ran Kether and the Battle of Kalarba, while distracting Leia Organa Solo with Hantaq, whom she eagerly displayed before the family. The disguised Kuati claimed to be seeking passage on the Byrt, a starferry taking on refugees at the docking facility. Having taken a liking to "Welda" and her son, the Solos promised Shesh and Hantaq asylum on the Millennium Falcon. While attempting to gain access to the Millennium Falcon, Hantaq hurled the thermal detonator on the ground and ran. Shesh blocked off Leia Organa Solo's escape route with a blaster and pandemonium ensued.
The crowd attempted to flee from the explosive while YVH 1-507A, one of the Solos' security droids, tried to prevent the device from detonating. Meewalh, the second Noghri bodyguard, pursued Hantaq while Adarakh hurled herself at Shesh, biting deep into her arm and forcing the Kuati to drop her blaster. Shesh managed to unsheath her vibroblade just as Adarakh ripped the ooglith masquer from her face. She stabbed the Noghri deep in the torso, killing him. The Kuati then attempted to kill Ben Skywalker by hurling the vibroblade, following a brief exchange with Leia Organa Solo. Shesh fled, covered in blood from the forcible removal of her ooglith masquer, to the Wicked Pleasure in Docking Bay 3732. Han Solo fired upon her from one direction while his wife pursued closely. The crew of the Wicked Pleasure managed to keep the Solos at bay but when Leia Organa Solo used the Force to hurl her lightsaber at Shesh while she raced up the boarding ramp, the Kuati was unable to prevent the blade from slicing deep into her back. The former senator was dragged onboard the yacht by her crew. The Wicked Pleasure left the Eastport Docking Facility and pursued the starferry Byrt into orbit—Shesh discovered that in the confusion, C-3PO had been swept onto the Byrt while carrying Ben Skywalker in his arms. Recognizing that she could still salvage the situation, Shesh alerted the Yuuzhan Vong fleet that she needed support in boarding the Byrt. The Kuati drugged herself up on painkillers and watched as the Wicked Pleasure pursued the starferry into the chaos of Coruscant's mass evacuation.
Despite the attempts of Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker to recover their son by pursuing the Byrt themselves in their X-wing starfighters, Shesh was able to lead the Yuuzhan Vong warships to the starferry, which she boarded along with a large force of Yuuzhan Vong warriors who interrogated and tortured the bridge crew and began searching for Ben Skywalker. While the Kuati led a rushed search for the Jedi infant, entrepreneur Lando Calrissian, a family friend of the Solos and the Skywalkers, boarded the starferry with a force of Yuuzhan Vong Hunter war droids and began cutting down warriors aboard the starship. Shesh led a party of over two dozen Yuuzhan Vong warriors to an escape pod launching bay where she soon heard a wailing Human infant. Just as a YVH war droid appeared behind her team and eliminated a number of them in a matter of seconds, Shesh spotted C-3PO in Escape Bay 14 hiding with the infant while taking cover herself. The Yuuzhan Vong warriors released singularity mines to delay the war droids and flooded into Escape Bay 14 to capture the Jedi child. C-3PO was in an escape pod from which were emerging the sounds of an infant wailing. Shesh and her cohorts rushed to the pod, under heavy fire from a large number of Calrissian's YVH war droids.
Scrambling into the pod, Shesh and the surviving warriors shoved the golden protocol droid out of the escape pod as a YVH droid raced to prevent their departure. Just before the YVH droid could reach them, the escape pod hatch sealed and it was blasted out into space. Only then did the wounded former senator realize that Ben Skywalker was not in the escape pod—C-3PO had used his voice function to mimic the sound of a Human infant and the real Jedi child was safe in a locker in Escape Bay 14. Shesh was now into the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong without anything to show for her efforts and with the knowledge that Lah had promised her execution for failure. Kept alive during the rest of the Battle of Coruscant until her audience with the warmaster, Shesh's wounds were treated by the Yuuzhan Vong with neathlats, which acted as a living, uncomfortable bandage. Coruscant fell to the Yuuzhan Vong warmaster—just as Tsavong Lah had always intended—and Shesh's earlier efforts to appease the invaders by delivering Duro and the Jedi were shown to have been futile. In his office, Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya committed suicide with a proton bomb, eliminating 25,000 Yuuzhan Vong warriors in the process. The Yuuzhan Vong had no intention, however, of installing Viqi Shesh in the Bothan's place.
- "I am killing you because you are no longer a resource, Viqi."
"But I am. My most powerful weapon is still with me, Warmaster—my brain."
- ―Tsavong Lah and Viqi Shesh
Once the Yuuzhan Vong were firmly entrenched in the Coruscant system, Shesh was taken into custody and transported to the worldship Domain Dal, Tsavong Lah's new flagship in orbit over the conquered capital. Escorted by two Yuuzhan Vong warriors to what Shesh believed would be her final moments, the ex-senator was in a state of quiet terror, although she nurtured the hope that she could bargain with the warmaster. Once she was before Lah, however, the warrior wasted no time in informing Shesh that she was to be imminently executed and that only through contrition could she choose the manner of her passing. Desperately, Shesh alighted on a means by which she could evade execution. She took note of Lah's failing warrior implant—a radank claw the warmaster had had attached in the place of his left arm following the conquest of Borleias.
The newly-grafted limb was diseased and rotting, so Shesh concocted a plausible story—which was in fact, unbeknownst to her, the truth—that the warrior was being manipulated by the Yuuzhan Vong bioscientists who had grafted the radank claw onto Lah's arm. Shesh informed the warmaster that he was going to be encouraged by his shapers and priests to carry out certain courses of action; if he listened to this advice, the shapers and priests would allow his arm to heal. If not, his condition would worsen. Shesh was confident that the story would enable her survival while Lah investigated her claims, during which time she could escape her masters. As she expected, Lah allowed her to live. Silently triumphant, the ex-senator was led from the chamber.
Tam Elgrin, a young holocam operator who worked alongside historian Wolam Tser, had been captured and suborned by the Yuuzhan Vong and ordered to accompany Tser and gain intelligence. Lah ordered Shesh to direct Elgrin's progress via villip. The former senator was not afforded any trust, however. She was followed at all times by Denua Ku, a Yuuzhan Vong warrior who observed her every move. Directing Elgrin and spending time in her quarters proved tedious for Shesh and she soon chafed under the terms of her survival. Several days after her close encounter with Tsavong Lah, Shesh received a new report from Elgrin: the young Human was on nearby Borleias, where elements of the New Republic Third Fleet had set up a defense in the aftermath of Coruscant's fall. She instructed Elgrin to plant listening and transmitting devices around the base on Borleias, to gain the trust of scientist Danni Quee and learn of her research and to sow discord among the command staff. Once she had finished communicating with Elgrin, Shesh asked Denua Ku to allow her to study Yuuzhan Vong technology, aware that her time was running out and that she needed to prove herself useful in other areas. Lah granted Shesh's request. The direction of Elgrin remained her primary assignment, however, and Shesh communicated frequently with both the Human and the Yuuzhan Vong present on Borleias. With the knowledge that Tsavong Lah still wished to possess Jaina Solo, who was present at the garrison on Borleias, Shesh arranged for Elgrin to receive a number of Yuuzhan Vong devices with which he could track the Jedi's starfighter and ensure that Solo would be captured. Once Elgrin contacted her and informed her that Solo's starfighter had been affixed with one of the tracking bugs, Shesh ordered him to apprise her of the garrison's reaction to Solo's capture.
As it happened, the Yuuzhan Vong forces in the Pyria system, where Borleias was located, were unable to capture the young Jedi and a few days later, an attack was launched on Domain Dal from the outskirts of the Coruscant system. Lah had Shesh brought before him and ordered the former senator to discover how the Borleias garrison had seemingly fired a powerful laser beam at Domain Dal from the Pyria system. Shesh in turn instructed Elgrin to find out this information by breaking into Danni Quee's office on Borleias and communicating the results of Quee's research to the Yuuzhan Vong. Once the intelligence was returned to her, Shesh went before the warmaster, alongside Supreme Commander Maal Lah, to deliver her report. With visual evidence of Quee's research provided by Elgrin, Shesh posited that the laser beam had been fired by a superweapon constructed by the New Republic in the Pyria system, through Quee's apparent merging of New Republic and Yuuzhan Vong technology. Silenced by the warmaster for this statement, as the discussion of hybrid machine and organic technology was considered heresy for the Yuuzhan Vong, Shesh allowed Maal Lah to continue. The supreme commander informed Lah that such a merging of technology was possible and the warmaster subsequently communicated with his father, Czulkang Lah, who was commanding Yuuzhan Vong forces in the Pyria system. Lah, trusting Shesh's report, ordered his father to launch a full scale attack on the garrison.
The attack failed. Elgrin had in fact been identified as a spy and fed false information. The young Human went on to rebel against his conditioning and turn himself in to the New Republic. Shesh's assignment had resulted in failure, although the ex-senator's time as Lah's agent had not yet come to an end. Before long, Shesh was brought before the warmaster again. In the face of her expectations, Shesh discovered that her concocted story about Lah's shapers and priests conspiring against her had actually been true. The warmaster had weeded out the conspirators and, as such, Shesh's bid for time had brought her less than she had wanted. The former senator had no escape plans in mind as such and, as Lah informed her of her next assignment, Shesh became even more terrified that her death was soon to be upon her. Believing that Jedi were active on the surface of Coruscant—which had undergone a vast terraforming process and now consisted of a ruined cityscape overgrown with Yuuzhan Vong growths—Lah ordered Shesh to travel down the surface of the planet along with Denua Ku, a search party and a pack of voxyn, in order to locate, kill or capture the Jedi. The panicked Kuati woman was stunned into silence, aware that her survival chances as an adviser to a warrior party on Coruscant were just as slender as they were on the Yuuzhan Vong worldship.
- "Yuuzhan Vong can't kill me. Noghri can't. Jedi can't. You're all beneath me. There's only one thing in this universe that can kill Viqi Shesh."
- ―Viqi Shesh to Denua Ku, moments before her suicide
With no other choice except to obey, Shesh accompanied Denua Ku, ten Yuuzhan Vong and two dying voxyn to the ruined surface of Coruscant. It was soon clear that Jedi, or at least a team of insurgents, were present on the planet. Raglath Nur, the Yuuzhan Vong warrior in charge of the hunting party, continually called upon Shesh for advice; the former senator used her rudimentary knowledge of explosive devices and Coruscanti architecture to guide Nur and his warriors, all the time fearful and searching for a means of escape. Eventually, the party found themselves on the trail of what seemed to be, according the behavior of the voxyn, a group of Force-sensitives. Forced to run alongside the hunting party, Shesh became increasingly incensed about her dire predicament. Before long, she noticed a room full of dead bodies floating in stagnant liquid. Perceiving that one of the corpses was in fact a living Human feigning death as the search party passed, Shesh ordered Denua Ku to drag the young male out of the liquid for interrogation. Shesh demanded to know where the Jedi were; the young man claimed that he knew nothing and in his panic passed her a small remote, before the voxyn scented their prey and the hunting party went on the move. Denua Ku snapped the young man's neck and Shesh was left with a remote for which she did not know the purpose. Shesh was forced to pocket the device and follow Nur and his warriors into the ruins of an Elegaic Fabrications manufacturing plant.
Inside the plant, the hunting party discovered the presence of a Force-sensitive. Observing from a distance, Shesh watched in horror as a giant figure dispatched a voxyn with a telekinetically hurled block of machinery, before a wave of Force-induced despair and rage assaulted her psyche. In the throes of loathing and pain, Shesh listened as the hunting party met its demise at the hands of the unknown assailant, who utilized several lightsabers to dissect them. Despite the compulsion issued through the Force to attack the being, Shesh's instinctive desire for survival triggered her desire to flee. Pursued by the Force-sensitive, Shesh escaped the manufacturing plant in a state of pure terror. Dashing through ruined buildings with her pursuer close behind, Shesh came face to face with two fugitives who held her at blaster point and discussed killing her and eating her remains. The not so distant pursuer caught up with her, however, and Shesh scrambled to escape while the two fugitives were torn to pieces by his lightsabers. The former senator escaped into a maintenance shaft and climbed as fast as she could. Compelled by her fear and terror, Shesh managed to elude her pursuit before collapsing exhausted in one of the tunnels and falling to sleep for a time. When she awoke she activated the remote and discovered that it provided her with a map of her surroundings and directions to an unknown object. Shesh decided that her best chances of survival lay with the object and set off for her goal.
Shesh arrived eventually at a family's abandoned apartment. Formerly a place of luxury, it was decayed and derelict following the orbital bombardment of Coruscant. The former Kuati senator explored the apartment and used the remote to discover the identity of the unknown object. When a hidden room opened and she discovered a private spacecraft, the Ugly Truth, intact and filled with ration bars, Shesh could not believe her luck. Over the next days, the former senator worked at removing the debris that blocked the Ugly Truth's escape chute and studied the starship's controls, eager and desperate to escape the ruins of Coruscant. Always cautious to go about her days quietly in case she attracted undue attention, especially from the coralskippers she observed on patrol in the skies, Shesh was shocked when she was accosted by Denua Ku in the apartment. Ku revealed that he had tracked her down by means of an organic subcutaneous implant known as a nisbat, which had been inserted into Shesh's body in case she escaped. Having assumed the warrior dead at the hands of the rampaging Force-sensitive, the former senator was forced to lie to explain why she had not contacted the Yuuzhan Vong since her disappearance. Denua Ku did not believe her claims that she had been unable to do so and ordered her to accompany him and a new party of warriors to kill the Force-sensitive before returning to Domain Dal in orbit. Shesh abandoned the apartment, dejected and promising to herself that she would return.
The lone voxyn that Ku had acquired for his new hunting party was soon on the trail of the Force-sensitive. In a large chamber, Shesh watched as the voxyn discovered the giant Force-sensitive male and led the warriors to face their foe. Twenty-five warriors went up against the man; within seconds eight were dead. As Shesh watched two new figures approaching the giant Force-sensitive, however, she was shocked to discover that they were none other than Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker. The former senator realized that whoever the victor was in the impending three-way battle, she would be the loser. As she escaped, however, she was seized by Kell Tainer and Garik Loran, two New Republic operatives who had accompanied the Skywalkers to Coruscant. Shesh was put in binders and had her remote confiscated, before she was forced to follow Loran and Tainer as they located a dormant construction droid and activated it in order to help the Jedi. In the resulting chaos, Shesh made her escape. She moved up a floor to find Denua Ku impaled by a metal bar and still alive. Laughing at the warrior's request that she tell the Yuuzhan Vong that he had died well, Shesh fled the scene for the Ugly Truth.
She was soon able to find a way to cut her binders and made her way to the apartment where, to her horror, she discovered that the starship was gone. In its place was an air taxi and a mocking note from Tainer and Loran, who had arrived there ahead of her and left a pile of rations. The distraught ex-senator collapsed in tears. For a time she remained in the ruins of the apartment bemoaning her misfortune, until the Ugly Truth came into view outside the apartment, hovering near a shattered viewport. Shesh realized that the Skywalkers, who were onboard the spacecraft, would grant her mercy if she begged. Preparing to board the spacecraft and seek clemency, the Kuati woman was shocked when Denua Ku once again appeared behind her, mortally wounded and vowing that he would kill her. The former senator for Kuat realized that she could never reach the spacecraft hatch in time and, determined to exercise the last power she had remaining, voiced her opinion that her death rested in the hands of one person alone—herself. Resolute, Shesh stepped out through the shattered viewport and fell to her death.
- "If the New Republic lost the war, a possibility that looked increasingly likely, Shesh wanted to head the collaborationist government."
- ―"Treachery in the Senate, 26.2 ABY", a section of the compendium of galactic history compiled by historian Voren Na'al
Unbeknownst to Shesh, she had been selected by the Yuuzhan Vong leadership as a possible new leader of the Peace Brigade; the organization was lacking coordination and Nom Anor had decided to make use of the former senator's services. Her death rendered this possibility moot. The New Republic that Shesh helped to topple was reorganized following the defeat of Warmaster Tsavong Lah at the Battle of Ebaq into the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances under Chief of State Cal Omas, Shesh's former colleague on the Advisory Council. For its part, the Yuuzhan Vong Empire was defeated two years after its capture of Coruscant. Borsk Fey'lya, whose position Shesh had hoped to usurp, entered into both Bothan and Yuuzhan Vong legend for his sacrificial suicide during the Fall of Coruscant. The Kuati's woman's one time rival was venerated on the rebuilt galactic capital with the Borsk Fey'lya Center.
Ben Skywalker grew up to become a prominent Jedi Knight in Luke Skywalker's Jedi Order, which survived the war having lost half its members. Anti-Jediism remained prominent, however, especially following what were seen to be Jedi excesses in later years. Dab Hantaq, the young boy upon whom Shesh had cosmetic surgery performed in order to create a doppelgänger of Anakin Solo, was taken into the care of the Solos and later became a protégé of the holodocumentarian Wolam Tser, before going on to become a journalist and a Galactic Alliance marshal. Despite Shesh's actions, Kuat and Kuat Drive Yards remained prominent in galactic affairs over a decade after the end of the Yuuzhan Vong War. In the historical records of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, published by historian Voren Na'al nine years after the Kuati woman's death, Shesh's collaboration was well-documented. Much of the truth concerning her wartime discussions with agent Nom Anor became known and her status as a traitor was committed to history.
Personality and traits
- "In the end, Shesh stepped out a window to her death rather than face a life without power."
- ―Historian Voren Na'al
By the time she began her political career, Viqi Shesh had learned the value of manipulation in achieving her goals. With no ideals of her own and a belief in an overriding necessity to accrue power, the Kuati woman entered politics as a means to realize her desires. When her future as a powerful New Republic politician was threatened, Shesh switched sides in order to ensure that she instead became a powerful Yuuzhan Vong asset. She viewed politics, therefore, as a pragmatic means by which she could rise to prominence and power, claiming that it was a form of business and exchange. As the Yuuzhan Vong advance appeared to pose a risk to Shesh's ability to retain power even under her new masters, the senator attempted to broker deals whenever she was able, in order to prove her worth and guarantee her survival along with any position of influence. Once her use to the Yuuzhan Vong in the political arena had expired, Shesh turned to other methods, becoming a field agent and assassin for Tsavong Lah.
The Kuati woman was loyal to no being other than herself and was willing to go to any means to ensure her own survival. This was proven not only by the assassination of those who were not only close to her professionally, such as Victor Pomt, but also by the lack of interest and care for the billions of lives that Shesh put at risk for her own gain. From the kidnapping of an infant to the surrendering of planets, populations, governments and star systems to the Yuuzhan Vong in exchange for the promise of power, Shesh's actions had effects ranging from the personal to the galactic. She did, however, wish to see Kuat preserved due to her personal attachment to her homeworld. Her survival instinct and desire for self-preservation was so strong that it was able to override even the Force-induced despair and rage projected by Irek Ismaren in his Lord Nyax persona. The pursuance of power dominated Viqi Shesh's life; once all power was lost to her, she fell into despair and misery. When death was imminent, the Kuati woman preferred to commit suicide, remaining resolute in her convictions that only she had the power to end her own life.
Viqi Shesh was a deceptive woman, a fact that few ascertained during her time in office. She deliberately encouraged the media and the public in their beliefs that she was a philanthropist and an idealist by supporting various charitable causes in which she had no real interest. Through carefully staged mannerisms, Shesh was able to project the image of a caring woman interested in bettering the state of affairs, utilizing this falsehood to mollify doubts and concerns. This deception was successful in beguiling the vast majority of those with whom she interacted; up against the Jedi and their ability to wield the Force, however, Shesh's true motives became more apparent. The Kuati woman recognized this when she went after Ben Skywalker; aware that she would have to reinforce her acting ability and disguise as "Welda" in order to fool the Solos, Shesh made use of Dab Hantaq, presenting the young boy as a doppelgänger of Anakin Solo. The Kuati woman's faith in her talents of manipulation and deception were such that she felt she was misleading even her Yuuzhan Vong masters into granting her power and influence whereas Shesh was, in fact, a tool of Tsavong Lah and Nom Anor throughout her time as a collaborator and was scarcely trusted as an informant. Shesh was able to manipulate Lah's fears on Domain Dal and encourage the warmaster to spare her life but by this time the former senator was little more than a captive Yuuzhan Vong servant. Each lie only kept Shesh alive for a little while longer once her position of power and comfort had been lost.
Alongside Shesh's arts of deception and manipulation lay her cunning. Utilizing convoluted methods to approach the Yuuzhan Vong, the Kuati senator sent out tentative feelers to the invading species before committing herself fully and did so only once she was absolutely certain that "Pedric Cuf" was a Yuuzhan Vong agent. With regards to the New Republic Defense Force's deception of the Advisory Council and her brief alliance with Commodore Brand, Shesh purported to be operating in collusion with the military while she in fact utilized the situation to her advantage and approached the Hutts via Golga Besadii Fir. The senator ensured that she kept a distance between herself and the evidence of her collaboration, making use of various front businesses and bank accounts and entrusting Victor Pomt and a coterie of assassins with the groundwork. Shesh attempted to retain some control over the process of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, such as when she withheld the information of Centerpoint Station's continued deactivation in order to slow Warmaster Lah's advance upon the Core Worlds. She attempted to bring the weight of the New Republic government against the Jedi Order and utilized all means possible to split the Senate and capitalize on anti-Jedi sentiment, making use of her talent for oratory and rhetoric to achieve her goals. Shesh grew frustrated, fearful and despairing when matters failed to proceed as she intended, but prided herself on her ability to outmaneuver her allies and opponents in order to ensure her survival. As events progressed beyond her control and the senator found herself immersed in subterfuge and assassination, Shesh nevertheless brought her intellect to bear in situations that were foreign to her, engineering two elaborate plans to kidnap Ben Skywalker.
Shesh was also a woman who delighted in luxury and fine living, having been born into a royal Kuati family and subsequently grown up in high society. This led to a materialistic streak—Shesh enjoyed decorating her workplace and apartment with antiques and plush furnishings and was often seen in high quality garments. Shesh similarly ensured that she was seen to travel in style, possessing a sleek yacht, the Wicked Pleasure, of which she made use during the Battle of Coruscant. She comported herself with pride and dignity, aware that she was naturally beautiful in terms of Human standards and was also flirtatious at times, such as when she dealt with the mercenary Reck Desh. Even at her nadir, during her desperate flight across Coruscant, Shesh attempt to retain the dignity of her Kuati descent. Her pride also extended to a sense of superiority, as well as a vengeful streak which manifested itself when she felt wronged, such as when she took delight in abducting Ben Skywalker in retaliation for his father's opposition toward her in the New Republic Senate. Shesh also had a taste for attractive young males, whom she often treated as her playthings. She disliked interacting with "inferior" males due to her upbringing in Kuati society. The politician's real attraction was toward beings of power. When faced even with members of other species, such as the Bothan Borsk Fey'lya or the heavily scarred Yuuzhan Vong warmaster, Shesh found herself attracted to them due to the power they wielded, a characteristic that caused the Kuati woman some secret shame. Despite a youth spent in luxury and spending much of her adult life as a political figure, Shesh was not above combat and feats of physical exertion; she fled the deranged Irek Ismaren, vanishing into the Coruscant underworld and was also able to best a Noghri, traditionally recognized as skilled fighters, with a vibroblade.
Behind the scenes
- "I always try to write two sides in pursuit of conflicting goals."
- ―Troy Denning on writing Star by Star, a novel in which Shesh featured prominently
Viqi Shesh was a significant character in The New Jedi Order series of novels and was developed by several different authors throughout her character's story arc. Although introduced in Michael Stackpole's The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught, Shesh's character was further expanded upon, and her nature as a collaborator revealed, in James Luceno's Agents of Chaos duology. In a scene set in Kuat City during which Reck Desh meets with an individual disguised as a Kuati telbun in Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial, it is not specifically stated in the novel whether or not this individual is Shesh; this was only confirmed in The New Jedi Order Sourcebook and the The New Essential Guide to Characters. In The New Jedi Order: Balance Point and The New Jedi Order: Star by Star, two other novels in which Shesh featured as a supporting character, her treasonous actions against the New Republic were closely followed, acting as a source of dramatic irony as other characters remained unaware of her true loyalties.
Balance Point, published in 2000, the year after Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace was released, features a scene during which Jacen Solo compares Shesh to Emperor Palpatine in the days of his rise to power, reflecting new links between the prequel trilogy and the Expanded Universe novels. In his Enemy Lines duology, Aaron Allston brought Shesh's arc to its conclusion, with the former senator's suicide occurring at the finale of the Mission to Coruscant section. Her prominent role in the series earned her an entry, as mentioned, in The New Essential Guide to Characters, written by Daniel Wallace, as well as in the 108th installment of The Official Star Wars Fact File. In The New Essential Guide to Characters, Shesh, portrayed in the novels as an attractive and refined woman, was illustrated by Michael Sutfin, providing the only canonical image of the senator to date.
A mistake was made in "The New Essential Guide to Characters" when it stated that, during Viqi Shesh's second attempt to kidnap Ben Skywalker, Mara Jade shot down the Senator's ship.
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught (First appearance)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse
- The New Jedi Order: Balance Point
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Recovery (Voice only)
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory II: Rebirth (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Ylesia (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Outcast (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Outcast audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Allies (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Allies audiobook (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 57 (MAR10, Mara Jade Skywalker)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 108 (SHE1-2, Senator Viqi Shesh)
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Reader's Companion
Notes and references
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Chronology
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star
- The New Jedi Order: Balance Point
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 108
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- Hard Merchandise
- Making a Full Recovery
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory II: Rebirth
- The New Jedi Order: Recovery
- The Essential Atlas
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
- The New Jedi Order: Ylesia
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- The New Jedi Order: Traitor
- Legacy of the Force: Invincible
- Legacy of the Force: Fury
- Fate of the Jedi: Outcast
- Legacy of the Force: Inferno
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species