Agents of Chaos: Hero's Trial
|Cover artist||Rick Berry|
|Series||The New Jedi Order|
|August 1, 2000|
|Preceded by||Dark Tide: Ruin|
|Followed by||Agents of Chaos: Jedi Eclipse|
Agents of Chaos: Hero's Trial (also released as Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial) is the first novel in a two-part story by James Luceno. Published and released in 2000, it is the fourth installment of the New Jedi Order series set in the Star Wars galaxy.
As the Yuuzhan Vong continue their invasion of the galaxy, their recent conquest of the library world of Obroa-skai yields them much information of the galaxy that they are invading. They learn of the potential threat that the Jedi pose against them, and decide to send in an infiltrator in the form of their Priestess Elan. Elan's mission will be to carry lethal bo'tous spores (a bio-weapon developed by Nom Anor) in her lungs so that she will unleash it upon as many Jedi as she can. To do that, she will have to pose as a defector from the Vong who sees the error of her species' ways. Coming with her is her pet and familiar, Vergere.
Meanwhile, Han Solo is still grieving over the loss of his best friend, Chewbacca, who perished on Sernpidal back in Vector Prime. In his grief, he separates himself from his friends and family to be alone. His isolation brings him into contact with his smuggler mentor, Roa, who tells him that he has information regarding a new galactic party called the Peace Brigade. The Brigade strives to help the Yuuzhan Vong against the New Republic in whatever way possible. One of Han's fellow smugglers, Reck Desh, is a leader of a Peace Brigade cell. To find out about Desh's whereabouts, the two of them travel to the Jubilee Wheel, a space station in orbit over the planet Ord Mantell. There, they meet with their contact, Fasgo. Fasgo divulges that one of Reck Desh's next operation will be at Bilbringi. The trio, however, are then harassed by a rival of Han's, a rival named Bossk and his cronies. Bossk provokes Han into a bar fight after saying something bad about Wookiees, particularly about Chewbacca. Roa and Fasgo are forced into the fight as a result, and they, along with Bossk and his group, are thrown into a jail cell for their trouble. Han, Roa, and Fasgo are soon released by Boss Bunji, another comrade of Han's in his glory days. Bunji released Han because he felt that he owed him after his wife, Leia, killed Jabba the Hutt more than two decades earlier, toppling his empire and allowing Bunji's business to grow. Before any more can happen, however, Ord Mantell is attacked by the Yuuzhan Vong in order to help further Elan's ploy that she and Vergere are defectors from the Vong (Elan previously divulged to New Republic Intelligence that Ord Mantell would be a target). The Jubilee Wheel is soon attacked by one of the Vong's creature-weapons, an ychna, which sucks up many people from the Wheel, including Roa and Fasgo. Han is able to escape aboard a weaponless shuttle craft with Droma, a member of a species called the Ryn and several other people. Han uses his piloting skills and the structure of the Jubilee Wheel against attacking Yuuzhan Vong coralskippers to destroy them, and land it safely on Ord Mantell when the Vong retreat to give the illusion that they have given up in their attack. Han then takes a pleasure yacht called the Queen of Empire, as it is heading to Bilbringi, so that he can confront Reck Desh. Meanwhile, New Republic Intelligence sneaks Elan and Vergere aboard the same yacht for Coruscant.
However, Reck Desh is soon informed by an anonymous source who tells him of Elan and Vergere's whereabouts. However, both Desh and the source are unaware of Elan and Vergere's true allegiance; thus, they believe that Elan and Vergere are genuine traitors to the Yuuzhan Vong. So, at the Queen of Empire's stop at Bilbringi, Desh's Peace Brigade forces attack the pleasure yacht and attempt to kidnap Elan and Vergere. Han and Droma, who have become mutual friends during their stay aboard the Queen of Empire, are handed over Elan and Vergere by the NRI members guarding them after informing them of the situation. Desh nevertheless captures Han, Droma, Elan, and Vergere, and leaves the former two to die by dropping them down a turbolift shaft while kidnapping the latter two to return to their masters. Meanwhile, the Yuuzhan Vong soon find out that Desh's operation will foil their plan against the Jedi, so they send a sizable force in to try to prevent Desh and his forces from taking away Elan and Vergere. The New Republic military soon arrives to deal with the threat brought on by both the Yuuzhan Vong and the Peace Brigade, launching the First Battle of Bilbringi.
Back aboard the Queen of Empire, thanks to Droma's tail, he and Han survive the fall down the turbolift shaft. Then they go after Desh's ship with the Millennium Falcon, brought to them by Luke Skywalker, his wife Mara, and Han's wife Leia amidst the battle. They dock with Desh's ship, only to find the entire dead of some kind of infection and Elan and Vergere still alive. Han and Droma bring Elan and Vergere aboard the Millennium Falcon, but it isn't long before Han deduces Elan's true allegiance after picking up subtle clues that divulged that her loyalties still lay with her masters. Thus, Elan tries to kill Han by using the last of her bo'tous spores on him, acknowledging her mission to kill as many Jedi as possible a failure, but Elan is denied even that victory when both she and Han stumble into a sealed room and Han pulls on a breathing mask that protects him against the spores. Elan dies while Vergere escapes in an escape pod; but not before she gives Han a vial of her tears, which she tells to give to Mara Jade Skywalker to help her heal from her disease. With that, the Millennium Falcon escapes from getting blasted to atoms by the Yuuzhan Vong forces who are now aware of Elan's death and return safely to the New Republic forces.
After the New Republic is informed of Elan's deceit, Han agrees to help Droma find his family, who are now refugees scattered across the galaxy thanks to the Yuuzhan Vong War.
- Nom Anor; executor (male Yuuzhan Vong)
- Malik Carr; commander (male Yuuzhan Vong)
- C-3PO; protocol droid (male droid)
- Reck Desh; Peace Brigade mercenary (male human)
- Droma; spacer (male Ryn)
- Elan; priestess (female Yuuzhan Vong)
- Harrar; priest (male Yuuzhan Vong)
- Belindi Kalenda; New Republic Intelligence (female human)
- Raff; battle technician (male Yuuzhan Vong)
- Roa; captain, Happy Dagger (male human)
- Major Showolter; New Republic Intelligence (male human)
- Luke Skywalker; Jedi Master (male human)
- Mara Jade Skywalker; Jedi Master (female human)
- Anakin Solo; Jedi Knight (male human)
- Han Solo; captain, Millennium Falcon (male human)
- Leia Organa Solo; New Republic ambassador (female human)
- Tla; commander (male Yuuzhan Vong)
- Vergere; Elan's familiar (female Fosh)