Star Wars: Another Longshot
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The Longshot was one of the oldest Venator-class Star Destroyers that fought in the Clone Wars. She served as part of General Kenobi’s Open Circle Fleet under the ship-designation Redemption. With the launch of the Imperial Navy, it was re-commissioned as the Stalwart and patrolled the Outer Rim for almost twenty years. Eventually she was sent to a boneyard in Ord Radama for decommissioning.
During the days of the Galactic Civil War, an Alliance battlegroup attacked the Ord Radama boneyard and stole the ship, renaming it the Longshot. Hobbled with only a back-up hyperdrive and no weapon systems, the Alliance battle group hop-scotched the Longshot from system to system, across a quarter of the galaxy for fourteen months. Refurbished in a shipyard berth in the Dac system, the Longshot could not be restored in time to affect the Civil War, but served the New Republic as a goodwill ship, bringing aid and assistance to the beleaguered masses in the Outer Rim who still suffered under Imperial Rule.
In the year 17 ABY, the New Republic warship Longshot continued it’s post-war mission as an ambassadorial ship and a symbol of the new government. It cruised the hyperlanes in the Outer Rim seeking to establish new alliances and resources for the New Republic. The Imperial Remnant was still a threat, so the Longshot sought out allies to help keep tabs on their territory and to find new locations for military outposts.
Among those assigned to the mission was a freelance explorer named Hagen. Hagen had worked with the Longshot for decades as an advanced scout and procurement specialist. During one of his jaunts he stumbled into a previously unrecorded sector of the Outer Rim, and arrived in the Keosh System. Quick surveys revealed a formerly-civilized world with evidence of others nearby. After determining that none of the planets were colonies from any recognized government in the galaxy, Hagen dubbed the sector The Hagen Sector and returned to the Longshot. After confirming his discovery, the Republic ordered the Longshot to make contact with the local governments and explore the sector. During this mission, the Longshot was surprised to discover several inhabited worlds with human and other Core-World species populations. They opened a dialogue between these worlds and the New Republic.
As the Republic sent more representatives to continue negotiations with the worlds in the Hagen sector, the Longshot continued to explore the vast, mysterious “Hagen Sector”. The ship left the construction site for Port Rasper after delivering several main habitat modules and then jumped into hyperspace, seemingly never to be heard from again.
Over the years, sightings of the Longshot were the tales of drunken, down on their luck captains and idealistic fortune hunters. It was rumored that the Longshot carried a great deal of wealth in her holds, from rare minerals to priceless works of art intended as tributes to the New Republic. Also on-board was one of Grand Master Luke Skywalker’s most aspiring Jedi Masters of the New Jedi Order, sent to the Hagen Sector to seek new potential Jedi. Priceless Jedi artifacts are included in the tales of the Lognshot’s wealth. For over a century, no one has found any evidence of the Longshot’s final resting place, leadng many to assume it miss-jumped into a star or passed to close to an uncharted black hole. An unfortunate end for such a storied warship.
What Actually Happened:
The Longshot passed near a nebula cluster Hagen named after the ship’s former captain, the Cerean strategist Gan Sha Tal. The Longshot emerged from hyperspace in an uncharted system near the cluster. Long range sensors detected a badly damaged refugee ship with several faint lifesigns. Bringing the few survivors aboard, the human-like beings spoke of a nearby planet that was under siege. An invading fleet was in orbit, bombarding the world with lasers, torpedoes, and even nearby asteroids. The Longshot moved in to render aid to the refugee’s nearby homeworld, D’rogos.
In orbit around D’rogos was a large flotilla of relatively antiquated ships. These warships proclaimed that they belonged to the “vast and powerful” Dread Legion, and that they were to destroy this world’s inhabitants for refusing to join their union. Interference by the Longshot would not be tolerated. The warships then returned to their bombardment of D’rogos’s cities.
After brief consideration by the command staff, the Longshot elected to interfere.
The New Republic Star Destroyer launched it’s full complement of 36 starfighters and dove at the largest warships in the Dread Legion fleet with Turbo-laser cannons blazing away. The starships of the Dread Legion were inferior to the Longshot and her fighter complement, but there were many more Legion ships. The Longshot was able to destroy three enemy cruisers and severely damage two others before being forced from the fight due to heavy damage. The Longshot’s three fighter squadrons accounted for one cruiser of their own, as well as a 4:1 kill ratio on enemy starfighters but were eventually overwhelmed by superior fighter numbers. Few of the Longshot’s fighters made it back to her hanger bay.
While the Longshot was forced to retreat, it’s actions had incensed the enemy commander that he ordered all remaining ships to pursue the Longshot and destroy her. The Longshot led the enemy fleet on a merry chase through the D’rogos system. After several hours of pursuit, the enemy fleet closed in for the kill and the Longshot was running out of options. The captain ordered their procurement specialist, Captain Hagen, to take his freighter the Smokey back to the New Republic and bring help. The Longshot was going to jump into the nearby Gan Sha Tal Cluster and hide there until they could shake their pursuers, and then would try to make it back to Keosh.
As Hagen’s ship jumped into hyperspace, the Longshot attempted a jump of it’s own into the Nebula, but miscalculated due to damage sustained to her systems. She escaped the Dread Legion ships, but skipped too close to a neutron star within the cluster and was knocked off-course. The ships main reactor suffered a breach, and the ship had to leave hyperspace. Emerging near a planet, the warship was pulled into the atmosphere. After several jarring minutes, the Longshot crash landed on the unknown world.
The survivors were relieved to discover that the planet they crashed on had a breathable atmosphere. The Longshot came to a rest partially buried and on a 15-degree tilt to the Port-side. Of the 9,000 crew, passengers, and troops aboard the Longshot 2,600 survived the battle and the crash landing. The damage suffered by the ship’s electrical systems caused a cascade feedback failure, destroying the navicomputer and most of the communications array. The dorsal launch doors were warped in their tracks, unable to open due to damage, so none of the Longshot’s surviving shuttles or fighters could be launched.
After several weeks of no word from the Smokey, the crew began to worry. None of the cruiser’s starfighters survived the crash, and only one shuttle could be made space-worthy. The crew elected to try to learn all they could about their surroundings before using the shuttle as one last ditch attempt to go for help.
It became quickly apparent that something in the hills surrounding the crash site was interfering with communications. Any transmissions beyond 1 kilometer were being distorted by the interference, and completely undetectable after 2 kilometers. The world they had crashed on was mostly semi-arid steppes with several large salt-water oceans and polar caps at both poles. The system’s red dwarf star warms the planet just enough to support hearty flora and various species of fauna. There are few large creatures on the planet, but there are some very deadly mammals and insects.
Three months after the crash, the surviving senior staff of the Longshot elected to send out the last operational shuttle to try and go for help. In the mean-time, the crew had unpacked and set up all the semi-permanent shelters they could and started to cultivate the area for additional supplies. With the loss of so much of the crew, they determined they had enough food supplies for a decade or more, but with such a small chance of the shuttle finding anyone no one wanted to take any chances.
The shuttle left in search of help, and never returned.
The crew of the Longshot held out for a long time that someone would come for them, but eventually they gave up and accepted their fate. For the most part the crew and their descendants have stuck together. There was an uprising by several crewmen and their children about 25 years after the crash, but they were allowed to take several supplies and leave. They have not been heard from in quite some time.
With a few exceptions of crewmen from long-lived species, the original Longshot crew are long dead and buried. The crew has cannibalized and manufactured what structures they could out of the wrecked vehicles and lighter bulkheads of the cruiser and made quite a makeshift town. 70 years ago someone figured out that a process to make sturdy buildings out of mud-composites, and most of the community moved out into the area surrounding the crash-site.
The Longshot itself is now part town hall, part storage, part fort, and part temple. It’s vast corridors covered in dust, dirt, and debris never cleared. Battle damage from the Battle of D’rogos remains half finished or never started, leaving sections of the ship exposed to the elements and occasionally populated with local animals. Most of the ship’s systems have been cannibalized to maintain the few vehicles and generators the town has, or re-purposed for more civic-minded services.