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Thyferra: Bacta Basics

Part 1: The Thriving Season

Compiled by Cory J. Herndon

Historical Notes

Decades before the Empire rose to power and placed de facto control of the planet in the hands of two companies, Thyferra -- homeworld of the insectoid Vratix -- was one of the most economically volatile worlds in the Republic, in no small part because of its uniqueness. Thyferra, of course, is the only known source of pure bacta, the miracle fluid that can heal almost any wound short of dismemberment or disintegration. (While Vratix colony worlds produce bacta in other sectors, few believe any of these colonies would last a single year without support from Thyferra and the Bacta Cartel.)

For hundreds of years, since at least the time of the last great Sith war, the Thyferran government was largely an extension of two major bacta-production corporations -- Xucphra and Zaltin, both owned outright by Human interests in the Core. Under these small bureaucracies, millions of Vratix labored to create bacta, ostensibly without complaint. Indeed, to most in the corporate world, the arrangement seemed too good to be true. The Vratix didn't need to be coaxed into doing the bulk of the work; the insectoids didn't even want to run things. And since the creation of bacta was impossible without certain natural chemicals produced by the Vratix themselves, they knew they could not be removed from the equation by force. It seemed a perfect arrangement, so long as the Vratix felt they were being treated more or less fairly.

Just before Palpatine was elected Chancellor, a string of scandals involving corporate payoffs to a nominally Vratix-controlled government erupted, followed soon after by the revelation that Xucphra and Zaltin corporations, the behemoths that together formed the Bacta Cartel, had sabotaged their own alazhi fields in an effort to hike the price of bacta galaxywide. These shocking events inspired the usually anti-bureaucratic natives to take a more active role in their planet's government, showing concern about Thyferra's standing in the galaxy at large in what even corporate opponents saw as an elegantly bloodless coup.

For about a ten-year period after the Trade Federation's defeat at Naboo -- a time called Alazhixazha (or "Thriving Season") by the Vratix, and the "Vratix Occupation" by galactic corporate interests -- Xucphra and Zaltin were forced to toe the Vratix line. The insectoids forced the Cartel to compete with a number of local companies and "alien" business interests, even the Hutts, in a freewheeling open market that saw consumer awareness of the wonder medicine skyrocket from the Rim to the Core.

For this single decade in the last thousand years, Thyferra's capital regained its ancient Vratix name, Xozhixi. Humans still ran many of the administrative bureaucracies on Thyferra, especially those involving business, but the Vratix watched them like hawkbats. And at least one Human worked directly for the Vratix revolutionaries who would one day be known as the Ashern or "Black Claw" insurgent group, still in its infancy.

The Thriving Season is still a popular and colorful setting for many gritty holoserials well into the New Republic period, but the most legendary tale is actually a true story. Not long after the Bacta War, the infamous Human spy still known only as the Bloodletter released his (or her) memoirs of life at the time, Thrive or Die. The following holotranscripts were read personally by Bloodletter via closed-circuit holo (Bloodletter's voice was disguised), transmitted from an unknown location, and they have recently gone on display at the New Republic Historical Archive on Coruscant. Though the Bloodletter is no doubt well into his or her golden years, his or her identity remains a mystery -- most likely on Thyferra itself.

This month, a section of the author's introduction to Thrive or Die.

Planet: Thyferra
Planet Type: Terrestrial
Climate: Tropical
Terrain: Forests, tropical jungles
Atmosphere: Breathable
Gravity: Standard
Diameter: 10,221 km
Length of Day: 21.3 standard hours
Length of Year: 479 local days
Sentient Species: Humans, Vratix
Language: Basic, Vratix
Population: 117 million
Species Mix: (Thriving Season) 84% Vratix, 12% Human, 4% other; (Imperial) 72% Vratix, 28% Human
Government: (Thriving Season) Planetary representative democracy; (Imperial) Corporate plutocracy
Major Exports: Bacta
Major Imports: Technology, foodstuffs
System/Star: Polith
Planets Type Moons
Polixi Barren Rock -
Loxizhra Desert 5
Polith Belt Asteroid Field -
Thyferra Terrestrial 2
Iqobal Gas Giant 54
Ferxani Gas Giant 33
Renas Ice Ball 3
Region: Inner Rim

Thrive or Die: Memoirs of the Bloodletter

Dear [REDACTED] Graduate,

You've put in the hardest six years of study in your life. And what have you got to show for it? Endless loan payments and a mountain of student debt. A "competitive" market for dead-end Hutt accounting jobs on the Outer Rim. And a family demanding to know how their investment in your education will pay off.

But you don't have to settle for a life of toil and struggle. Consider the Xucphra corporation, located conveniently on the tropical Inner Rim paradise planet Thyferra. We're always looking for qualified Humans -- and only Humans -- to join the Xucphra team. Recent events have led to a staffing shortfall, and we're offering an extremely lucrative hiring package for [REDACTED] graduates that fit your profile.

Please consider attending our informative seminar at [REDACTED] on [REDACTED]. We're sure we've got a position waiting for you.

The seminar had indeed been informative, more than Xucphra knew. Their methods were not noticeably different from the Zaltin recruiters, with whom I had met weeks before.

The Bacta Cartel is like a gargantuan broken family. They're forced to stay together for financial reasons, a joint operating agreement that chafed especially hard during the Thriving Season. It was all the two companies could do to share financial information and for corporate officers to remain civil. Hiring records, recruitment efforts, and employment figures were still held closely secret by each side.

It was the perfect time for a smart third-party operator to play both ends against the middle. And that's exactly what the Vratix wanted me to arrange. I accepted the job once they doubled my pay and offered me permanent asylum should anything go wrong.

But I would have done it anyway. I'm the Bloodletter, and I work for the side with the most credits.

Coming in Part Two of "Thyferra: Bacta Basics"

Stop back next week to meet the Bloodletter's secret Vratix contact, a scientist with a bold plan to return ultimate control of Thyferra to the natives once and for all.

Check below the lefthand navigation links for previous parts of "Thyferra: Bacta Basics," or return to the introductory page for the feature.

Even a Hutt doesn't want to get on Darth Maul's bad side -- a lesson Groodo learned the hard way. Get his story, along with that of a Hutt with connections in the highest levels of the New Republic government, in the fifth installment of "Hutt! Hutt! Hutt!"

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