The Verge Flotilla, Chapter One: Refuge or Ruin?

War never changes. A constant in the galaxy since the 400-year darkness ended and interstellar powers began to expand once again, ever-grasping, war shaped the lives of countless trillions in the sixty years that followed. Few have been more affected than the victims of the One Sith and their successors, the Sith Empire. Planets have been devastated, and entire species driven to the edge of extinction, as a result of the Dark Lords' unending quest to achieve dominion over known space. There were billions of refugees from Sith tyranny long before the devastation wrought by the Imperial Civil War, long before the terrifying Bryn'adul began their genocidal purge.

All of these factors combined, however, served to cut a huge population of refugees and outlaws off from the democratic governments of the galactic core, leaving them stranded behind the lines of monsters and conquerors. Out in this Tyrant's Verge at the edge of the galaxy, desperation reigned. There were too many displaced people, and too few resources to go around. Pirates, cultists, and warlords preyed on this vulnerable population at will. They robbed, they killed, they took slaves. There was no one to stop them. Faced with these evils, starship captains throughout the Tingel Arm began to band together for mutual protection. The Flotilla was born.

As word spread of this mass of refugees, all looking out for each other, the growing vagrant fleet needed a place to hold position while people sought it out. The Council of Captains chose the Revyia system, at the edge of Sith space. It was a peaceful system, seldom raided and home to the Revwien Thuwistens, priests of a compassionate Force religion. The leaders of the Flotilla were counting on the Tyia priests to be patient with the disorganized mass of refugees, drifters, and outlaws, and they were... for a time. But as the fleet grew and grew, consuming more and more resources and causing more and more trouble in the system, that patience wore thin.

The Council of Captains knew that the Flotilla needed to move on... but that wasn't proving easy. One of the fleet's Big Five ships had to be recovered from pirates before it could join up. The other ships of the fleet were old and worn down, prone to mechanical failures, and none were moreso than the Tears of Taloraan... which happened to carry some 300,000 refugees. After a catastrophic engine fire which required commandeering an ancient outlaw shipyard to fix, plus a hyperdrive failure that forced the Fleet Marshals to make a dangerous deal with Rychel's swoop gangs, the Tears was finally ready to move on... and not a moment too soon.

The Flotilla was practically driven out of the Revyia system, and although the Council was able to get all of the ships out, their departure had been extremely abrupt. Unfortunately, that meant very little time to build up supplies, which soon proved to be a dire problem. With nearly a million refugees aboard the ships of the fleet, feeding everyone was a logistical nightmare, and soon the limited food reserves were depleted. As the Flotilla drifted over the barren world of Rychel, just about the worst possible place to look for food, riots broke out as desperate people tried to seize what little sustenance remained, forcing the Fleet Marshals into desperate action.

Between the Home Team containing the riots and the Away Team gathering emergency food, the uprising eventually came to an end. But many good people were dead, and pressing questions had been raised about the Flotilla's ability to provide for its people. The Fleet Marshals were forced into desperate measures, such as stealing from the Offworld Mining Corporation, in order to get the credits they needed to buy supplies. Fortunately, the fleet also made allies at this critical time; they met with representatives from the Underground resistance movement, who promised to help them with food, medicine, and the other basic essentials.

But as the Flotilla made its way toward Altora and its food-rich ranches, determined to resupply, much about its future remained uncertain...