Martha Wells Razor's Edge: Star Wars Legends

ISBN 13 : 9780345545251

Razor's Edge: Star Wars Legends

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9780345545251: Razor's Edge: Star Wars Legends

When rebels clash with renegades, it’s the Empire that may claim the final victory.

Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal.

But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: the fierce marauders come from Leia’s homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star. These refugees have turned to pillaging and plundering to survive—and they are in debt to a pirate armada, which will gladly ransom the princess to the vengeful Empire . . . if they find out her true identity.

Struggling with intense feelings of guilt, loyalty, and betrayal, Leia is determined to help her wayward kinspeople, even as Imperial forces are closing in on her own crippled ship. Trapped between lethal cutthroats and brutal oppressors, Leia and Han, along with Luke, Chewbacca, and a battle-ready crew, must defy death—or embrace it—to keep the rebellion alive.

“[A] rollicking Star Wars adventure . . . a book that keeps you eagerly turning pages.”—Roqoo Depot
From the Hardcover edition.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :

Martha Wells was born in 1964 in Fort Worth, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in anthropology. She is the author of more than a dozen science fiction and fantasy novels, including the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer, as well as a number of short stories and nonfiction articles. Her books have been published in seven languages.
From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

Chapter One

Leia Organa had a bad feeling about this.

“At least their timing is spot-on,” she said, watching the transmission download on the comm screen. She and General Willard were on the Gamble’s small bridge, where Captain Denlan and Lieutenant Esrai occupied the pilot’s and copilot’s seats. They had just exited hyperspace, the starfield steadying in the viewport as the ship slowed to sublight speed.

Captain Denlan said, “If we’d been a little later taking off, or if our hyperdrive hadn’t been tuned just right, we would have missed it.”

“Well, we didn’t,” Leia said, more sharply than she had intended. If only the Rebel Alliance could have afforded to equip all its ships with the comm equipment necessary to receive hyperwave transmissions, this vulnerable moment could have been avoided. Still, so far the mission had gone as planned. There was no reason she should be on edge like this . . . but she was. At least, she told herself, they wouldn’t have to wait around for long.

“I’m just glad fleet command got the time conversion right,” Esrai said, her hands making quick adjustments to the control board. “That would have been embarrassing.”

“Embarrassing is one word for it,” General Willard commented. He was standing next to Leia’s comm station, his attention on the percentage-complete bar on the download screen. He was a tall, spare human with short graying hair, and Leia knew him well enough to see that he was uneasy as well. “Princess?”

“We have it.” Leia turned her chair around to face the computer console and checked the log to make certain the entire message had been recorded. It had. Now they just needed to decode the transmitted coordinates and program the jump to the meeting where they were to negotiate the purchase of raw materials for the construction of Echo Base, the new secret headquarters of the Rebel Alliance.

With the base so near to completion, the last couple of months hadn’t been easy. So many things had gone wrong, and the Alliance was dangerously short on resources. Leia would allow herself to breathe a little easier only when this mission was over and the materials secured.

“We’re done here,” she said. “Captain—”

“Wait.” Esrai’s voice was sharp. “I’ve got a sensor contact. It’s pretty far out but—”

So much for breathing easier. Every nerve in Leia’s body told her something had just gone terribly wrong. They were in the Mid Rim, at the farthest edge of an uninhabited system called Eschaton. With nothing more than a scatter of cold barren planets and one glowing ball of a striped blue gas giant, the system should have drawn little to no traffic; there was no reason for any other ships to be here. She snapped, “Take us into hyperspace—now!”

She started to turn her seat forward. Then something hit her from behind and slammed her into the console. The safety straps ground painfully into her chest. Her ears rang and her eyes watered; heat washed against her neck. A heartbeat later she realized it had been a blast impact.

She twisted around to see Denlan and Esrai slumped over their consoles. The controls sparked with stray energy, the metal blackened with the force of the blast, and smoke streamed into the air. Leia fumbled for the straps with numb fingers, opened the buckles, and pushed to her feet. She took a step forward and fell to her knees. She landed next to General Willard, who had been thrown into the base of the comp-console.

She said his name aloud but couldn’t hear her own voice. Her ears still rang with the ship’s alarm klaxons, strangely distant. The general’s face was bloody and his eyes were closed, but as she put her hand on his chest she felt him breathe. She gasped in relief, then grabbed her chair and pulled herself upright again.

Through the viewport, all she saw was a wheeling starfield; the ship was in an uncontrolled tumble. Every readout on the bridge was either redlined, blinking in an emergency setting, or blank. She stumbled to the pilot’s seat and gripped Denlan’s shoulder. She started to pull him up off the sparking console and then froze, her stomach twisting. The control panel directly in front of him had exploded and blown a hole in his chest. Gritting her teeth, she let him go and turned to Esrai, who was slumped over sideways. Leia felt for a pulse at the lieutenant’s throat, and her hand came away slick with blood. Dreading what she would see, she lifted Esrai’s hair aside. There was shrapnel embedded in her temple. Esrai’s dark eyes were open but fixed, dead.

Leia squeezed her own eyes shut, willing her stomach not to turn. Then the deck thumped and shuddered under her, and she grabbed the back of the copilot’s seat. They were still taking fire. She looked for the sensor screen to get some idea of where their attacker was.

One of her ears popped, and the din of klaxons grew louder. But one alarm was close at hand and particularly insistent. It came from one of the few functioning readouts on the command panel and showed a rapidly dropping percentage. bridge containment shield failing, Leia read, and her gaze went to the viewport. There was a deep, ragged crack in the lower quarter.

Leia swore and lunged across the bridge. She hit the release on the hatch and leaned down to grab Willard. The only reason she wasn’t breathing vacuum right now was that the containment shield had automatically covered the port when it detected the breach; she didn’t know how long until it failed, but the alarm suggested that could happen at any moment.

She pulled Willard into a sitting position and then realized the hatch wasn’t open. She stood and hit the release again. No response.

“Oh, you have to be joking,” Leia snarled, and popped open the plate for the manual release. The containment-shield warning screamed in her ears as she pulled the lever for the manual override. She felt the hatch’s locking mechanism click, but it still didn’t slide open. She dug her fingers between the seals, braced a boot against the comp-console, and put all her strength into dragging the doors open.

Slowly the hatch moved until she had just enough clearance to force her shoulders through. From the increasingly frantic shrieks of the containment alarm, she didn’t have time for any more. She leaned down, clutched the back of the general’s jacket, and started to pull his unconscious body through the opening.

Right at the point where she thought she was going to get both of them stuck and they were going to not only die, but die in an extremely undignified position, she heard boot steps pound toward her from the corridor.

“Here!” Leia yelled, her voice sounding harsh and desperate to her own ears.

A crew member appeared in the compartment door, took in the situation, and lunged forward. She grabbed General Willard under the arms and threw her weight backward. Leia lifted his legs and squeezed through and out of the bridge, then pointed toward the compartment blast door. “Hurry, the hatch won’t seal, no time—”

She knew her words were coming out incoherent, but the woman understood her. Together they dragged the general across the compartment and out into the corridor. As soon as they were clear, Leia dropped his legs and flung herself on the door control to hit the emergency seal. It slid shut just as the containment alarm shrieked one last time, then abruptly went silent. Leia felt a rumble and a thump through the metal as the bridge’s port gave way.

Breathing hard, the woman asked, “The captain and Esrai are dead?” She was a tall human, with dark brown skin and braided dark hair pulled tightly back. She would have been lovely except for the haggard worry in her expression. Her nose was bleeding and the skin around her eyes was bruised, as if she’d had a face-first encounter with a console or a bulkhead.

Leia nodded. “When the first blast hit.” The deck rumbled under her feet, a vibration from a near-miss blast impact. They needed to get the ship away. There was a comm panel near the hatch, and she pushed the all-ship alert. “Han Solo! Han, can you hear me?”

At first the only reply was the rumble of the firefight. Then another comm answered. She heard yelling in the background and a voice said, “He’s operating the guns with Barani, Your Highness. Are you all right? The bulkhead doors to the upper deck are down, we can’t get to you—”

That was all Leia needed, the pilot most experienced at this sort of desperate situation locked out of the control deck. “The bridge is depressurized,” she said. “I’m going to engage auxiliary control and take the ship into hyperspace. Just try to hold them off a little longer.” She had no idea who “they” even were, though it was safe to assume it was an Imperial ship. She didn’t want to admit over the open comm that she hadn’t even gotten a glimpse of their attacker yet.

“Yes, Your Highness,” the voice said, and Leia heard him yell, “She said to keep shooting!” before the comm switched into standby.

“We need to get to auxiliary control.” Leia hesitated, looking down at Willard’s inert body; he was breathing, and there was nothing she could do for him until the ship was out of danger. She started down the corridor, the other woman following. Leia wanted to run, but the deck rolled underfoot, a sign that the grav controls were beginning to fail.

She looked at her companion. “You—” The woman wasn’t wearing any insignia; because of the mission, no one aboard was wearing anything that might identify them as Rebel Alliance, and most were dressed in plain fatigues or as civilian spacers. But Leia vaguely remembered seeing her in the Independence’s fighter bay. “You’re a pilot? Can you fly this ship?”

“I’m an X-wing pilot. I’ve flown slow cargo transports, airspeeders, but—I’ll try.”

That was all Leia could ask for at the moment. The Gamble was a small converted freighter with a crew of twenty, no fighters, but far more quad lasers than its size and cargo space warranted. The conversion and installation of the extra armament had left the ship’s corridors narrow and the layout a maze. Esrai had said the controls were as jury-rigged and altered as the rest of the ship, and Leia’s vision was starting to blur. “I’m sorry, I don’t remember your name—”

The deck pitched and threw them both into the bulkhead. The other woman took hold of Leia’s arm and, pushing off with her free hand against the wall, towed her down the corridor. “I’m Sian Tesar. I was down in engineering when you came aboard.”

“Oh, good. I always try to meet the entire crew, so I don’t have to ask someone if she’s a pilot while we’re in the middle of a firefight.” Leia was dizzy, and her head was pounding.

They reached the shaft that led to the auxiliary control, and the gravity held on just long enough for them to climb down and into the little cabin. There was no viewport, just a screen for the sensor data. It was blank, hopefully only because the controls were powered down.

Punching in the command override to transfer control from what was left of the bridge, Leia held her breath. If this didn’t work, they were dead. Everything seemed to hesitate; then readouts started to light up, and she breathed in relief.

Sian dragged herself into the pilot’s seat and hit the master to power up the boards. She winced as the screens came to life. “Our deflector shields are down, and we’ve got turbolaser fire incoming. I can’t see what’s shooting at us.”

Leia wrestled herself into the second chair and fastened the straps. “If it was anything close to the size of a cruiser, this would be over by now.” She powered up the navicomputer and was relieved to see that the hyperdrive was still there, at least for the moment. But capacity was down nearly 50 percent, she realized, checking the diagnostics screen. That’s a problem. The blast that had sent such deadly energy through the bridge controls must have gone through the engine systems, too, meaning the Gamble couldn’t jump directly back to the fleet. She also couldn’t program a jump to the conference location, because the coordinates hadn’t been decoded yet.

As Sian coaxed the sublight engines back online, Leia had the nav system check for valid coordinates nearby. They could look for a port later—right now, they just needed to get away. She glanced at the screen just as the sensors caught an image of their attacker. “It’s a light corvette,” she told Sian. Which meant the Imperials hadn’t known about this mission for long. If they had had the time, they would have sent something much bigger.

Sian swore and pushed the control yoke forward. “If they get us in their tractor beam, they could board us.”

“Then don’t let them get us in their tractor beam,” Leia said, making her voice cool despite the pounding of her heart.

Sian flashed her a sudden grin, proving Leia’s estimation of her correct. “Can do.”

As Sian turned their uncontrolled tumble into a deliberate spiral, Leia adjusted what was left of the shields to compensate for the failed sections and directed more sensor data to the screen. She had to fumble for controls that weren’t where she expected them to be; fortunately Sian was a quicker study and seemed to adjust rapidly to the layout of the console. The ship shuddered again at a near miss; on the weapons screen Leia could see the Gamble’s turbolasers still returning fire.

Sian put the ship through an evasive maneuver that made all the failing systems redline. She flew the converted heavy freighter like an X-wing, a strategy that Leia highly approved of, even though it was probably the only way Sian knew to fly. Then suddenly the ship swung out of the corvette’s kill zone and into a clear starfield.

“Come on, come on,” Leia muttered, glancing at the navicomputer. The alert pinged as it finally fixed on a set of coordinates. She confirmed them and configured the jump, narrowing her eyes in concentration, trying to think past the aching pain in her head and make sure she didn’t tell the computer to drop them into a star. “We’re going into hyperspace,” she said, and slid the control levers down.

Leia felt the engines stutter; then sudden power surged through the ship and the starfield blurred into streaks of light.

The readouts jumped between redline and normal, then finally settled on a range Leia interpreted as “not great but not likely to explode anytime soon.” She slumped back and put her pounding skull gently against the worn headrest. That was the kind of excitement she could have lived without.

Sian let out a long breath. “We made it.” She glanced at Leia. “Sort of.”

“Yes, sort of,” Leia agreed grimly.

While Sian went to see if she could get the blocked blast doors open to the lower decks, Leia took a moment to find a data card in the supply case in the auxiliary control locker. She checked the navicomputer and saw it had the transmission, copied over from the main console in the bridge when she had transferred control here. She saved the transmission to the data card and then deleted the original from the system.

The comm was starting to buzz with reports of wounded. The Gamble had a small medical unit and a medic, whom Leia hoped could handle the injuries until they could get to a safe facility with a medical droid.

And she needed to find out who had told the Imperials where the Gamble would be coming out of hyperspace. It was tempting to think that the intel coul...

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Description du livre Del Rey Books, United States, 2014. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. When rebels clash with renegades, it s the Empire that may claim the final victory. Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal. But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: the fierce marauders come from Leia s homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star. These refugees have turned to pillaging and plundering to survive and they are in debt to a pirate armada, which will gladly ransom the princess to the vengeful Empire . . . if they find out her true identity. Struggling with intense feelings of guilt, loyalty, and betrayal, Leia is determined to help her wayward kinspeople, even as Imperial forces are closing in on her own crippled ship. Trapped between lethal cutthroats and brutal oppressors, Leia and Han, along with Luke, Chewbacca, and a battle-ready crew, must defy death or embrace it to keep the rebellion alive. [A] rollicking Star Wars adventure . . . a book that keeps you eagerly turning pages. Roqoo Depot From the Hardcover edition. N° de réf. du libraire ABZ9780345545251

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Description du livre Del Rey Books, United States, 2014. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. When rebels clash with renegades, it s the Empire that may claim the final victory. Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal. But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: the fierce marauders come from Leia s homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star. These refugees have turned to pillaging and plundering to survive and they are in debt to a pirate armada, which will gladly ransom the princess to the vengeful Empire . . . if they find out her true identity. Struggling with intense feelings of guilt, loyalty, and betrayal, Leia is determined to help her wayward kinspeople, even as Imperial forces are closing in on her own crippled ship. Trapped between lethal cutthroats and brutal oppressors, Leia and Han, along with Luke, Chewbacca, and a battle-ready crew, must defy death or embrace it to keep the rebellion alive. [A] rollicking Star Wars adventure . . . a book that keeps you eagerly turning pages. Roqoo Depot From the Hardcover edition. N° de réf. du libraire BTE9780345545251

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