Deception on R'alla is a novella by Atarumaster88. It is within the Yanibar Tales as part of the Force Exile Series. Deception on R'alla follows the continuing story of the Kraen family in 5 ABY after Force Exile IV: Guardian.
Welcome, my friend, to a galaxy far, far away. Enter the realm of Jedi and bounty hunters, soldiers and droids, rulers and beggars, aliens and humans. From Stackpole’s Corellians to Traviss's Mandalorians, immerse yourself in a universe with the exotica of Zahn, the wit of Allston, the grimness of Stover, the daring of Ostrander, the imagery of Luceno, the detail of Wallace, and most importantly, the vision of George Lucas, to whom we owe it all. And if you listen close enough, you’ll hear the sweet sounds of John Williams’ score in the background. Welcome to Star Wars.
Greetings, traveler. What brings you here to our remote corner of space? There’s little of value here if you’re after money, and little action for a thrill-seeker. After all, what significance does a dusty Outer Rim world have to the big galaxy out there? No, we’re a simple folk here on Yanibar, content to mind our own business and let the galaxy minds its own. Now, what did you say you wanted? Stories? Ah, you want to know if the scattered myths of three hundred years ago are true, if the legends of a great power that once lived here are more than old wives’ tales. They are. Once, this world was home to a great people-nothing special by themselves, but united, capable of great things. They lived and died here, all those years ago, as surely as you and I are standing right here. So, pull up a chair, grab something to drink, and I’ll tell you some of the old Yanibar tales.
A year after the Battle of Yanibar and the events contained in Force Exile IV: Guardian, Selusda, Sarth, Milya, and Cassi Kraen, along with their families and their friends Annita and Jorgesoll Knrr, have finally managed to get away from Yanibar for a much-needed vacation. They travel to the Corporate Sector world of R'alla, spending their leisure at a remote seaside resort. However, what they don't know is that R'alla harbors dark and dangerous secrets of its own, ones which will soon plunge them deep into the heart of a hidden and hideous conspiracy.
Smelling the aromatic steam from her cup of tea, Fiolla settled in for an evening spent in a welcome respite. An hour later, she was drowsy; though out of halfhearted interest she lay awake, watching the holodrama. She was so engrossed that she didn’t notice the ringing of the door chime, nor the three figures that approached one of the several windows in the hexagonal room. Only after one of them tapped insistently on the window did she take notice, jumping with surprise. She considered ignoring them, or telling the servant droid to send them off, but they seemed persistent and she’d already powered down the droid.
Slipping off the bed, Fiolla scowled and pulled on her long trenchcoat from its rack in the corner, which contained her holdout blaster. Walking over to the window, she motioned the two figures to a side door that led directly into the bedroom, but stayed out of its line-of-sight. Her free hand strayed to her blaster’s grip. Activating the house intercom, she decided to find out just who they were first. Fiolla had survived too many attempts on her life to not be a little cautious.
- Hart-and-Parn Gorra-Fiolla of Lorrd, Corporate Sector Authority official
- Annita Daowot Knrr, shipping magnate
- Bryndar Knrr, student
- Jorgesoll Knrr, shipping magnate
- Akleyn Kraen, student
- Ana Vondar Kraen, nurse
- Cassi Trealus Kraen, teacher
- Jasika Kraen, student
- Director Milya Tayrce Kraen, Yanibar Guard Intelligence
- Sarth Kraen, corporate executive and engineer
- Supreme Commander Selusda Kraen, Yanibar Guard
- Sheeka Tull Kraen, starship pilot
- Rhiannon Kraen, student
- Located at Deception on R'alla
While on vacation on the world of R'alla, the Kraen and Knrr families enjoy an idyllic beach resort. During their stay, they spot a badly-injured alien floating in the ocean. Selu and Milya fish him out but he expires shortly after being pulled to shore. They notice drastic surgical incisions on the alien, a Wroonian. Shortly thereafter, their bungalow is visited by a pair of ostensible patrollers, but the Kraens and Annita deduce they are impostors. Having denied knowledge of any aliens to the impostors when questioned, they decide to investigate. Sarth and Cassi, along with Ana Vondar Kraen, seek out Fiolla, a Corporate Sector Authority official who is staying nearby to enlist her help.
Meanwhile, Selu and Milya Kraen and Jorge and Annita Knrr travel down the beach to investigate while the children stay behind, watched over by Sheeka Tull Kraen. Unbeknownst to them, young Rhiannon Kraen diverts Sheeka's attention long enough for the other children, Akleyn Kraen, Jasika Kraen, and Bryndar Knrr, to escape and do some investigation of their own. The four adults find a hidden Imperial laboratory and begin fighting their way through the front door, while the three escaped youths also find their way into the laboratory. Akleyn slices into the lab's computer systems to help Selu, Milya, Jorge, and Annita, but is discovered in the process. Having obtained Fiolla's help, Sarth and Cassi return only to find their son Akleyn and the other youths held hostage. However, Selu arrives and incapacitates the Imperial troops guarding them in a surprise assault. While Sarth and Cassi lead the young people out of the lab, Selu rejoins Milya and finds her confronting the research laboratory's commander, a sadistic man named Colonel Ios Meongula, who reveals he has been experimenting on the Wroonians in an attempt to turn them into Humans. Meongula also reveals that he impregnated a Wroonian woman in order to use the child as a research subject. Threatened with the destruction of his efforts, he shoots the pregnant woman, only to be quickly incapacitated by Milya before he can inflict further harm. The Wroonian dies, but the child lives. Selu then frees the rest of the Wroonians and offers them asylum on Yanibar. Fiolla also offers to help the Wroonians and agrees to both destroy the lab and not reveal the actions of the Force exiles. Their vacation cut short, the Kraens and Knrrs depart R'alla shortly thereafter, but not before the children finally learn the true history of their parents.
Behind the scenes
Deception on R'alla was released in July 2009 as the sixth entry in the Yanibar Tales. At approximately 20,400 words long, it is above median length for the Yanibar Tales. Deception on R'alla is the first of the Yanibar Tales to be set after Return of the Jedi.
Deception on R'alla was not originally one of the stories planned for inclusion in the Yanibar Tales. Instead, Force Exile author Atarumaster88 planned to introduce Akleyn and Bryndar in another short story called Healer's Hands, which would have involved school violence between children of Imperial and Rebel sympathies. He also planned to portray the Imperial lab and its Wroonian captives in a separate story called Spared, which would have featured Selu and Morgedh clan Kel'nerh. This would have allowed him to dabble in the horror genre. However, feeling that Force Exile IV: Guardian was already too dark and the next stories would be similarly dark in mood, he canceled both of those stories and merged them into Deception on R'alla instead. Another reason for doing so was also being able to write the character of Fiolla.
Significant changes were made during the writing process of the story. Ana Vondar Kraen was not originally set to accompany Sarth and Cassi, but Atarumaster88 decided to include her after remembering her's and Fiolla's Lorrdian heritage and also to give her a larger role in the story. The Wroonians in Deception on R'alla were originally supposed to be Omwati.
As is typical with Force Exile Series works, Crossroads has numerous references and homages contained within its prose. Many of these references are to other canonical Star Wars works. Selu's use of Electric Judgment to revive the Wroonian was inspired by a similar act by Dooku performed to save Grievous. The mention of Fiolla's involvement with a Corellian smuggler years earlier by Milya is a reference to the events of Han Solo's Revenge. Milya's line of "we spring the trap" is a quote of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith. Akleyn Kraen utters the famous line "I have a bad feeling about this" as a nod to all the other times it has been used in Star Wars and his slicing commands were reminiscent of computer commands available to the player character in Knights of the Old Republic. The introduction of the Imperial Department of Redesign and its experimentation was inspired by the short story Payback: The Tale of Dengar. Lastly, the beginning of the story Selu tells the children is a nod to the opening line of each Star Wars movie.
Outside of Star Wars references, the role of Akleyn and Bryndar, as well as Jasika, in the story, was a veiled nod to famous young adult detective literature, including the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. Selu's telling Milya to cut off the Imperial officer's fingers is a reference to a similar bluff made by Selu in Force Exile III: Liberator. Sarth's use of the old code in referring to Selu as Mr. Green is another reference to Force Exile III.
Recognition and reception
Hard Code currently has no awards or featured work status.
Notes and references
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