In a sad turn of events for the beleaguered Corellian state, an unprovoked attack on a civilian liner has left hundreds of innocent people dead, and very few answers. In the wake of the tragedy, Diktat Rostek Horn has pledged to launch a full investigation into the matter, assuring the public that CorSec will not rest until the culprits are brought to justice.
Details on the identity of the attackers are still scarce, and though the Corellian government has its suspicions, it is as yet unwilling to divulge them to the public.
The liner, owned by Corellian tourism firm Corell Tours, Inc. was a hybrid space/atmosphere vessel conducting a sightseeing journey around the system. Dubbed Jewel Of The Stars, the vessel made planet-fall on Drall around mid-morning, heading towards the planet’s famous boiling sea. Jewel’s itinerary planned for a full day’s rest on Drall, allowing passengers to sample the cuisine and conduct some off-ship tourism. Sadly, the vessel and her passengers never made it to their destination.
There were just over eight-hundred people on-board Jewel Of The Stars, crew included.
At an indeterminate point between the atmospheric entry and their planned overland route to the dock, communications from Jewel became frantic and confusing. A sample has been released:
Unidentified Voice: Captain, please cut your engines and slow to a halt. We will be escorting you to a new destination.
Captain: Negative. I haven’t been informed of any changes in flight plan. Are you with Drall planetary security? Please identify yourself.
Unidentified Voice: *static* Yes…*garbled*, with security. This area is…dangerous. We’ve b…*static*…tructed to bring you *static* …ecure location. You will offload valuable cargo for… safekeeping there while you continue your journey.
Captain: I’m going to require some validation from Drall’s CorSec office.
Unidentified Voice: That is *static*…cessary. Comply or be destroyed. *Sounds of blasterfire.*
The communications end after that final sound, and all telemetry being uploaded by the Jewel to the planetary satellite network ceased shortly thereafter. Authorities believe that the blasterfire heard in the clip was targeting the vessel’s comm. array, leaving only short-range devices working. Unfortunately, that leg of the Jewel’s flight plan had it far out in Drall’s frontier lands, out of comlink range of search and rescue or even the nearest militia outpost.
It is unclear what occurred after the last satellite transmission was picked up, but police, fire and medical crews rushed to the vessel’s last known location after a tip from a local farmer who noticed the high-altitude blaster shots.
Upon arrival, a search of the local area found a flame and smoke engulfed Jewel only a short distance away. As of now, no survivors have been found.
Authorities believe the vessel tried to flee into the upper atmosphere in an attempt to throw off their attackers who were likely not equipped for space-flight. However, preliminary ballistics reports indicate that the attackers disabled the engines, but inadvertently knocked out the vessel’s repulsorlift system.
Given the supposed altitude of the Jewel at the time, a free fall to the planetary surface below would have been absolutely fatal to anyone on board.
The identity of the attackers is unknown, but speeder piracy is not unheard of, especially in the more remote areas that the Jewel was traveling. Families of the victims are calling for both an investigation into the attacks, and also for CTI to determine whether the vessel’s captain followed the proper protocol.
In the wake of the incident, Diktat Horn has indicated that he believes the attack on the Jewel was another facet of the coordinated criminal element working to undermine Corellian authority. He has authorized Corellian Security to conduct a full-scale, long term investigation into the matter, and has assured the families of all those affected that Corellia will not rest until all those responsible are brought to justice.
GNN Asks: If you have any information regarding the destruction of Jewel, please send GNN a message!