Red Moons Spotlight
Encouraged by her parents, both recognized medical specialists in the Entralla system, Brixie enrolled in one of the prominent universities there to pursue a medical career of her own. After several years of intense study, Doctors Mari and Praxis Ergo were on their way to attend their daughter’s graduation ceremony when they were taken by agents of the Pentastar Alignment. Brixie never heard from her parents again.
Enraged and overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness, Brixie was encouraged by some politically-active students to reach out to the Red Moons. Accused of paramilitary activity, the Red Moons and its leader—Colonel Andrephan Stormcaller—were said to be former Rebel Alliance infiltrators-turned-mercenaries. Stormcaller denounced the Pentastar Alignment’s occupation of his home world of Entralla. Dismayed by a lack of action from the New Republic, he and his associates took matters into their own hands. They sabotaged Alignment starships and bases, raided convoys, and liberated surrounding systems. If anyone could help Brixie free her parents, it might be them.
The young graduate’s attempts to contact Stormcaller were fraught with peril. Instructors warned her against it while friends either went into hiding or disappeared. Close acquaintances of her parents begged her to stop trying. The Alignment was simply too big, too powerful and controlled nearly everything on Entralla. Picked up and intimidated by Pentastar agents, they finally let her go, hoping she would lead them to the elusive Red Moons.
The agents, watching her by remote drone and security sniffers, tracked Brixie to a hurried comlink call directing her to a warehouse near the capital’s spaceport. The agents arrived with a heavily-armed squad of stormtroopers. They burst into the warehouse ready to arrest the student and the traitorous mercenaries, but found themselves locked inside—with a hungry trio of rathtars waiting to devour them.
Brixie, grabbed from behind and thrown into the back of a utility van speeder, was driven madly through the streets and tossed out near an alley between two commercial buildings in the worst part of the city.
“Don’t bother looking for us again!” the disguised driver warned her. She had been saved and turned away at the same time.
Dejected and roughed-up from her wild ride, Brixie was about to wonder how she was going to find a way back to her campus housing when she nearly stumbled over a drunken man in the alley. Cursing her clumsiness in a host of languages (none of them civil), the man shouted that she had interrupted his sleep. At the end of all patience, Brixie almost ran off in terror. But the man’s dismal lot in life and her chosen profession moved her to at least offer to help him.
“This is a terrible place for someone to sleep. Please come with me, sir. I’ll find you a shelter with a real bed.”
The drunkard’s surly voice changed to something surprisingly calm and observant.
“You’re a long way from the comforts of the city, Brixie Ergo, student of the medical arts.” The man got his feet and tossed aside the filthy raincoat he had been cocooned in. He removed a wig from his head and a set of plastic layers that disguised his face. “A long way to look for a name.”
“I am looking for someone!” Brixie was startled. How did this man know her? “Someone named Stormcaller.”
“Congratulations, my young lady.” He waved at his smelly self. “You found him.”
Colonel Stormcaller and the Red Moons had been keeping Brixie under surveillance, determining if she was truly in need of help or simply another plot by agents of the Alignment to trap them. Hearing firsthand the story of her parents and their forced induction in the Pentastar Alignment’s secretive medical corps, the colonel offered Brixie a working arrangement. He and the Red Moons would do everything in their power to locate and rescue her parents, and in return, Brixie would train to become a combat medic for the Red Moons.
The young graduate tentatively agreed, putting off her medical internship on Entralla for a uniform and a barren moon to begin training with the mercenaries.
Her time with the Red Moons was wearying and frustrating. Her parents were constantly moved around and kept just out of her reach. Though she became close friends with the core of the Red Moons, particularly unit leader Sully Tigereye and demolitions expert Hugo Cutter, she didn’t believe she was much of a soldier. There was plenty of violence and death as the war between the Moons and the Alignment for Entralla escalated from random piracy and sabotage missions to explosive battles in the historic quarter.
The only person Brixie felt she could confide with among the Moons was the least likely among them: a thief and data slicer named Ivey Deacon. Ivey was nearly the same age as Brixie, but grew up in the grim plexes of Contras Gola’s hive cities. Ivey was curt, crude and could be brutally honest. She took to calling Brixie by the nickname of “Princess” because of her safe, cultured, Entrallan upbringing. When Brixie and the Moons were in a tight spot, it was Ivey who squashed security protocols and reprogrammed enforcer droids to open fire on their own troops. Once the battle was over, it was Brixie who patched up the survivors so they could fight another day. Tigereye, noting Brixie’s own cheerless tendency to keep to herself, kept pairing her up with Ivey on some of her wilder escapades: thieving supplies and information right under from the Alignment’s nose.
The idea of participating on one of Ivey’s “shopping expeditions” stirred Brixie with excitement. Ivey was more grinning outlaw than soldier. The two took to their work with glee, Brixie playing the meek girl in need of help from Alignment troops while Ivey drove off, waving to them, in their military speeder.
At last, Brixie was given her first mission. She was to accompany her instructor, Sully Tigerye, and two other experienced members of the Red Moons: Hugo Cutter and Lex Kempo. Their target: a slaving operation on the jungle moon of Gabredor III.
Cutter was considered a former prodigy of the Imperial Engineers Academy, that is until his father tried to have him reconditioned by the Empire. Young Hugo brought down the Academy’s famous bell tower on Corsucant without injuring a single person. He was swept up by the Rebel Alliance where he put his skills to work as a demolitions expert. Brixie spent her time on the mission carefully keeping an eye on Hugo and watching out for his somewhat erratic behavior. Lex Kempo, aka the “Mad Vornskr”, was a former scout trooper for the Empire and a seasoned merc. He took it upon himself to instruct Brixie on the finer details of mercenary life.
Brixie’s first foray as a field medic was fraught with danger. The Red Moons’ ship malfunctioning, forcing a landing by lifeboat pod. Brought down some distance from the camp, Brixie and Hugo Cutter ran into several slaver scouts mounted on raptors. One of the beasts, its rider killed, charged into Brixie. Only her vibroblade saved her from being trampled.
The mission could have been hailed as a success: two important children taken by the slavers were rescued and many slaves were freed. But the toll on Brixie was almost too much to bear. Kempo sacrificed himself knocking out a heavy weapon bunker that had pinned Brixie and Hugo down.
The mercenary life was full of danger…and death. Brixie began to question what her personal crusade to rescue her parents would cost in the lives of others–especially her friends.
More on Brixie and the Red Moons can be found on Wookipedia.
Some of this material appeared in the character synopsis for “Blaze of Glory” by Tony Russo, Star Wars Adventure Journal Vol. 1, No. 8, November 1995, West End Games. Original artwork credit: Mike Vilardi.
“Blaze of Glory” is also available in Star Wars: Tales From the Empire, edited by Peter Schweighofer.