Shili Free Press has recently been tracking and teasing a story that finally resolved itself, in a manner that was not expected. We can now present the story to you. Please note, this is as accurate as we can make it. There are certain details and personal motivations that we assume to be true but may never be able to confirm.
The threads of this tale begin a bit over 5 months ago, when Diabolus`ut Persolvo of Kerdos Company, and Corey Vildras from the Archduchy of Tolonda and on behalf of Oshora Pharmacology had a deal fall apart. Shili Free Press did not report on this story at the time, as the facts were a bit too murky. But, the result of that deal relevant to our tale is that Kerdos felt robbed of about 5000 units of bacta by Tolonda and Oshora.
Months later, following Corey's death and other chaos within Tolonda, Kerdos and Persolvo managed to gain access to approximatelyo130 of Tolonda's x-wing fighters and dock them within a ship owned by Persolvo in retaliation for the bacta theft.
To make use of the fighters, someone would need to convince Tolonda, adrift in their own issues, to transfer ownership of the craft to someone Persolvo would trust to allow access to his ship. So, the fighters then became a centerpiece for a deal between multiple parties to get the ships into circulation.
Deals of this sort are rarely straight forward and tend to take many turns to get things worked out. In its entirety, the deal ended happening as follows. Adam Hughes, Director of New Republic Intelligence, was drafted in as a party that Uther von Kalderon would trust with ownership of the docked fighters. As Hughes was getting the fighters transferred to himself, Kyota Navic of Zann Consortium was negotiating with Persolvo to determine the final ownership of the fighters, specifically how many fighters Zann and Hughes would get to keep for their efforts in obtaining ownership. The result was that Navic and Persolvo would roughly split the bulk of the fighters, getting about 60 each, and Hughes would get 11 for his assistance. Persolvo also sent 1 ship to the middle that was used to sort out the final details, as a tip.
Typically, deals of this sort don't always get the attention of news organizations. The ones losing the assets don’t like to admit failure. And the one negotiating the deal rarely wish for their tricks to be public knowledge. However, in this case, two events allowed keen eyed observers to see that something had happened to the docked fighters.
First, unable to contain the joy from the successful retaliation, Persolvo told a few too many people about getting ownership of the fighters, causing people to ask questions about how ownership was obtained.
Second, the ships briefly appeared in the Nimban system during the feud for the zoos, meaning that thousands of sensors and observers were in the system to log their appearance and the changes to their transponder codes following the ownership changes.
Members of the o`Cuinn family were on the list of people Persolvo bragged to about the ships. The o`Cuinn family also had assets in place in Nimban to see the transponders of the fighters change as ownership changed hands. When they saw over 100 fighters pass from Tolonda into Hughes' ownership and then into the hands of a member criminal organization like Navic, they started asking questions, bringing the deal into the light of day.
The biggest question to be asked, however, is why the Director of New Republic Intelligence would help transfer restricted technology to a criminal? For reasons that will be clear later, we may never know for sure.
Navic claims he approached Hughes to broker the release of the ships from Tolonda as a test of loyalty. Navic believed that the Director was willing to defect to Zann, due to Hughes’ continued frustrations about so called allies using the Republic for access to technology, then slandering and hindering it later. Hughes certainly could have brokered a deal like this using his position as a means of entering Zann. However, Hughes also had access to virtually every asset in the New Republic. One could think that a larger bounty would have been easily possible with Hughes’ aid.
The other possibility is that Hughes saw this situation as an opportunity to curry favor with and attempt to infiltrate Zann. This also has issues as a theory. Why would the Republic send one of its longest serving intelligence officers, who is also an accredited diplomat and high-ranking naval officer, on a scheme that would be so perilous and risky, and have a limited chance of success?
In any case, as the attention on the deal escalated, Navic, believing Hughes was willing to defect, sent members of Zann to Hughes to help him defect, as is reportedly their custom. Once Hughes was on board the Zann ship, Navic has stated that Hughes attempted to kill Ximaro Jix, but failed. As a result of this treachery, Zann took Hughes’ life. Outnumbered and on an enemy ship, Hughes was quickly and easily subdued and killed by the Zann operatives who had arrived, thinking to assist in his defection.
However, when pressed to provide proof that Hughes had attempted to kill Ximaro, Navic refused to offer any proof. It appears clear that Adam was taken by Zann and killed. But it is unclear whether Hughes went willingly to defect, or whether the tales of the attempted murder of Ximaro are true.
A few different theories for the entire tale of Hughes' motives and actions have surfaced. But only Adam only knew for sure which, if any, if these are true.
Maybe Hughes really wanted to defect, but Zann was still unsure of his loyalty or thought he was a loose end they needed to tie up?
Did Hughes want to defect, but quietly, and the attention the x-wing deal received ruined his plan to leave without blemish on his record, and a weak attempt at Ximaro was his attempt to redeem himself?
Was this really was a plan to try to disrupt Zann? And if so, given how quickly it came together from the time Persolvo docked the fighters to when Hughes was killed, how well was this operation vetted and how likely was it to work?
Some have also connected this murder of Hughes to the nearly completed trial of Shu Shei Dael. Could Hughes’ death be a Zann retaliation for Hughes finding and eliminating a source of theirs inside the New Republic Senate and Military?
Many of you may feel that such speculation at his motivation is irrelevant. Typically, Shili Free Press would also be hesitant to do so. However, Zann has already made it clear that his motivation may have lasting impact. It should be known that Adam on behalf of the Republic, and Zann have had a tenuous truce for years. This truce ensured that Zann would largely not attack the Republic, and the Republic would also not aggressively pursue Zann criminals. Both sides benefitted from the arrangement, as it provided safety for Republic assets and sentients, and Zann was given a relatively safe space in which to operate. Zann is calling Adam's attempt on Ximaro a breach of this truce, which would open the Republic up to a new wave of Zann attacks. If this event was entirely staged by Zann as a pretense for attacks, it would be a bold first strike by Zann in a new war with the Republic, making the most of the opportunity presented to them. If this truly was an attempt by the Republic to attack the core of Zann, they have risked a great deal for a missed opportunity. Either way, the long-term impact of this death may take months to fully realize, depending on the speed and ferocity with which Zann attacks the republic, or if the truce can be restored.
Adam Hughes in a year 19 stock photo
On a personal note, Adam was a colleague at one time. He was, in large part, responsible for my safety when I was still within the Republic, and someone I argued with on occasion as well. I saw, first hand, the level of effort and dedication he put into his work. Regardless of his final acts and motivations, I personally will remember that he spent countless hours and days fighting for the safety of those he served. In my meager opinion, that alone is worthy of respect from all corners of the galaxy, regardless of political and personal views. To give selflessly of one’s self for the good of others is the essence of the highest ideal, not only of the Republic, but of most of the governments of the galaxy.
But now, his watch has ended, he can rest peacefully in the embrace of whichever God or gods he may have followed, or in the force itself. He is free of the vigilance that dominated his living days.
Rest in peace, Adam. And to the rest of the galaxy, please, stay safe out there.