Rocks, rocks and more rocks, with some sand and scraggly shrubs tossed into the mix. A defender's paradise—if you know how to use the ground.
—Lieutenant Laera Reyolé, regarding Bad Alshir's terrain
Bad Alshir was the second planet of the somewhat remote Alshir system, located within Ojoster sector on the Outer Rim of the galaxy. Discovered in 3,994 BBY, it was situated on an old Taris-based hyperspace route. The planet itself proved to be unremarkable save for its close proximity to a significant number of strategic shipping lanes. An arid, post-garden world with little native life and few resources that were worth exploiting, it was generally unheard-of among most beings within the Galactic Republic. However, because of its position in the sector, the Republic Military saw it as an ideal place to set up a frontier garrison.
In the years after the Great Sith War, the Republic Marines sent a company of troopers from the 21st Marine Battalion there, later supported by the 5th Marine Starfighter Squadron. The planet was the site of one of the first battles of the Mandalorian Wars, a skirmish which helped to propel the career of Marine officer Laera Reyolé. Many centuries after the conflict the planet, which had been all but forgotten, was rediscovered by a group of smugglers. Bad Alshir then became a remote refuge for those fleeing from the Galactic Empire or other agents, such as bounty hunters, throughout the time of the Galactic Civil War and afterward.
In the orange glow of Alshir, its parent star, the surface of Bad Alshir was covered in a mottling of reddish browns interspersed with the occasional splash of light blue that marked a number of small, shallow seas. It was mostly an arid, post-garden world which possessed few native life forms. Primary terrain features included windswept and eroded mountain ranges, rocky hills and valleys, canyons formed by long-dead rivers, alkaline flats and large tracts of desert wastelands. The few plants and animals native to the planet lived along the shores of the few bodies of salty surface water that remained. The initial surveyor team that landed on Bad Alshir found ample evidence to suggest that the planet had once possessed a vibrant ecology, but could not determine what exactly might have caused the ecosystem to fail, though they did suppose that the lack of metal in the soil might have been a factor.
The surface gravity was slightly heavier than standard. Due to its slow rotation, the days were twice as long as those on Coruscant, and a planetary year lasted for four hundred three standard days. The planet's skies were a lighter shade of blue than most other nitrogen/oxygen worlds, and its atmosphere was somewhat oxygen-poor. Having little axial tilt, the planet had few differences between seasons, its temperatures tended to be fairly hot in the equatorial regions, less so in the temperate zones, and cool at the poles but not sufficiently so for polar ice caps to form.
For the vast majority of its history, the planet of Bad Alshir was either ignored or had not yet been discovered by the denizens of the galaxy. Millions of years prior to its colonization, it was a fairly verdant world with a thriving ecosystem that was relatively sparse due to the distance from its aging orange parent star. Eventually, however, the metal-poor soil became depleted and ninety-nine percent of the world's flora and fauna died out in a mass extinction event.
Along with its discovery by the Galactic Republic in 3,994 BBY, its strategic location near a number of popular hyperspace routes leading to and from Taris was realized. Thus, in the wake of the Great Sith War Bad Alshir was colonized, with a small outpost and spaceport erected on a promontory near its equator. In 3,989 BBY the Marine troopers of Cresh Company, 21st Marine Battalion moved in; accompanied by a company of Sentinel droids, they were tasked with defending the planet as well as monitoring the goings-on of the star systems immediately beyond the Alshir system. Later, during the buildup to the Mandalorian Wars, the Aurek fighters of the 5th Marine Starfighter Squadron were added to the already entrenched garrison. These units spent most of their time training in anticipation of a possible outside invasion. This was further encouraged by Lieutenant Laera Reyolé when she assumed command of one of the company's four platoons and later, when she was promoted in rank and given overall leadership of the garrison.
When the Neo-Crusaders finally attacked the Republic itself in 3,963 BBY, the Marines there were among the first to meet them in battle. The resulting siege was relatively minor in scale, involving a small invasion force of two reinforced companies of Mandalorian shock troopers, their transports, and a Jehavey'ir-type assault ship. The skirmish began when the 5th's Aurek fighters, conducting patrols along the most logical approaches to the planet, spotted the incoming force. Swarming over the unescorted capital ship, the Republic fliers destroyed it; however, the Q-carriers were able to make planetfall. The Mandalorians proceeded to lay siege to the garrison base, but for two days the Marines under Reyolé's command were able to hold the line against their attacks. Pinned in their docking bay by Mandalorian fire, their starfighters were unable to assist, and it was only as the attackers pulled back that the Aureks were able to assail their retreating transports. With their position untenable in the face of continued Mandalorian aggression elsewhere in the galaxy, Reyolé's Marines were evacuated Coreward.
During the Mandalorian Wars the planet was held by little more than a token force, as it was far too deep in occupied territory to be attacked by the Republic and of little strategic value. However, in the wake of the defeat of the Mandalorian clans at the Battle of Malachor V, the planet and its system were largely forgotten both by the Republic and the Mandalorians that had once occupied it. In 4 BBY, after the rise of the Galactic Empire, Bad Alshir was rediscovered by a group of smugglers. These outlaws, after finding the desolate remains of the ancient Republic outpost, refurbished it, making it into a refuge for those seeking to hide from the attention of government law enforcement agencies or bounty hunters. Throughout the Galactic Civil War and the conflicts that followed, the planet remained one of the deepest secrets of the galaxy's fringe.
After its discovery, Bad Alshir became home to a small military garrison, originally consisting of Republic Army troopers which were eventually replaced by Marines. In addition to its defenders a small enclave of civilians, whose primary jobs included maintaining the small spaceport and a trio of shops, lived within the heart of the garrison's base. In the centuries between the planet's abandonment by both the Republic and the Mandalorians and its rediscovery, no sentient beings set foot on its surface. As a safe world for smugglers and other fringe elements, the planet saw a minor influx of people from a number of species, including Humans, Twi'leks, Gran, and Bith.
Flora and faunaEdit
By the time of its initial discovery and colonization, Bad Alshir's ecosystem had been pared down to a shadow of what the fossil record indicated it had once been. The native life forms which remained were clustered around the planet's small, shallow seas. Plant life consisted of small, thorny shrubs, occasional stretches of flowering bushes, and short but hearty grasses; underwater, algae flows and zooplankton fed various species of small fish. The extent of the planet's remaining land animals was limited to small insects and rodent-sized omnivores.
During its occupation by the Republic and then by the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders, Bad Alshir had no government aside from the chain of command common to most military forces. With no sentient species native to the planet, there was no reason to have any sort of civilian laws; however, those who lived alongside the Republic force keeping watch there did form a small council consisting of the spaceport chief and the owners of the three civilian-run shops. After its resettlement by smugglers during the Imperial period, a loose collective of freighter captains kept the peace and the secret of Bad Alshir's location.
Nice place for a slugging match, this is. But if it's come down to such a battle, we're in a whole heap of trouble.
—Laera Reyolé's commanding officer, introducing her to the Republic outpost
As the only settlement on Bad Alshir, the outpost that was constructed by the Republic was the center of defense as well as all trade to and from the planet, which consisted almost entirely of war matériel. Situated on a bluff overlooking a rock-strewn valley, it was placed so that the only means of approach from the ground consisted of a single path up a medium-grade slope that could easily be covered. Permanent defenses included four air defense towers, each boasting a pair of rapid-fire blaster cannons, as well as an energy shield that could be extended to cover the base's inner perimeter. The outpost itself was divided into three main parts: the central control complex, the spaceport, and the outer defense positions.
The heart of the military outpost was contained within this structure. A three-level building with the lower two floors dug in underground, its exposed upper section was encased in reinforced permacrete. The lowest floor was a dedicated barracks, while the second floor consisted of a commissary and armory, the latter of which was capable of keeping the company-sized garrison and its supporting company of Sentinel droids fighting for a month. The upper floor contained the outpost's command and control center; from here the post commander issued battlefield orders, operators gave instructions to the defense droids, and starfighter activities were coordinated.
Tucked in next to the central complex, the civilian-run spaceport was large enough to host a squadron of Aurek-class starfighters, as well as a maximum of two transports. Craft capable of using the facilities there ranged in size from small packets and Ministry-class orbital shuttles to Dynamic-class freighters and T-32z Jarhead-class assault landers. Also located within the spaceport were a trio of civilian-owned shops; two of these provided offworld luxury goods to the base's military personnel, while the other catered to the civilian population itself as well as the crews of the freighters which brought in supplies.
The outer perimeter of the garrison base was divided into two sections: the far perimeter and the inner defense line. The far perimeter was centered around a quartet of outposts, connected by revetments that were little more than slit trenches, each of which was centered around a GP-22b infantry fighting vehicle and its medium laser cannon. During regular watches each post was occupied by a pair of troopers along with a half-squad of Sentinel droids. During battle, these posts would serve as bases of fire, with a full squad each of troopers and droids manning them, with more moving along the revetments in order to prevent attacking forces from pushing through unopposed toward the inner defense line. Beyond the perimeter were scattered a series of land mines, which could be set to detonate by remote or proximity trigger.
The inner line was based on a permacrete wall three meters high, which was interrupted at two points by air defense towers whose cannons could be depressed low enough to provide additional fire support against infantry and light armor. The wall itself served as a parapet for troopers wielding sniping blasters and other heavy weapons in support of the far perimeter, as well as a fallback point in case a fighting retreat and evacuation proved necessary. The wall was accessed by a pair of gates at the base of each tower, which were sealed with ten centimeter thick durasteel doors that could be opened wide enough to admit an armored landspeeder.
Behind the scenesEdit
The planet of Bad Alshir was initially created by fan fiction author Sean "Goodwood" Nash for his novella A Marine Went to Jedi Camp. Added in during a minor rewrite of Laera Reyolé's backstory, the world served as a backdrop for her first major battle. Nash has contemplated the possibility of writing a sort of offhand prequel story that would shed more detail on the Mandalorian attack and Reyolé's part in it. The planet made its first story appearance in the novel Impact Events.
Imagery for the planet was obtained from the computer and video games Mass Effect 2 and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, as well as a landscape photograph from Haleakalā National Park on the Hawaiian island of Maui.