As the crew of the Embar navigated their way through the asteroid field on their way to the asteroid designated as 7785, another ship intercepted them. This other ship appeared to be a cross between a light freighter and a starfighter. In any case, the ship made straight for them! Captain Ryku ordered evasive maneuvers and full engine power, hoping to outrun them.
Suddenly, a pair of droid-piloted mining ships appeared and fired upon the Embar with militarized mining lasers! Charl managed to outmaneuver them while Tyron blasted away with the turret gun. Their ship took some light hull damage, but the real problem came when the sublight drives overheated from the stress of barreling through the asteroid field at high power. And then a solid hit by the mystery ship took out the Embar's shields. The captain ordered 4Q2 to go down and fix the shields. The droid protested, "Sure, send the robot! This is the worst kind of discrimination!" but after Ryku threatened him, the droid did as he was told. Neo went to check on the engine, which was steaming and sparking dangerously.
Two more mining ships showed up, all firing lasers at the Embar while the mystery ship fired its ion cannons. 4Q2 wasn't able to get the shields up, so Ryku had to go down there and do it himself. Neo replaced the heat sinks and got the engine working at full power again. Meanwhile, Charl weaved and dodged around asteroids, trying to evade their attackers and give Tyron clear shots with the turret.
The crew managed to destroy or disable all four of the droid mining ships, and Tyron's precise shots also took out the mystery ship's ion cannon. The ship veered away and disappeared from view. Charl ran the scanners twice but couldn't locate their foe.
Asteroid 7785 loomed ahead. After landing their ship inside a huge cave, Captain Ryku asked everyone except 4Q2 and Doctor Doyaahb to disembark and check it out. Atmosphere generators within the cave provided some safety from the vacuum of space. Tyron Corso led the way into the darkness. Ahead, he noticed a faint red glow.
After exploring the cavern complex a little bit, the crew discovered a damaged droid lying in the middle of a large open area. At the rear of the cave, partially hidden behind rubble, they found the entrance to the Royal Palace — a door made of finely-engraved metal.
Without warning, a dozen stormtroopers showed up, filing into the cave and aiming their blasters at the crew! A blonde woman wearing all black armor demanded that the crew lay down their weapons and surrender. Ryku tried negotiating with her, and in so doing learned that she was in fact an Imperial Intelligence Agent named Shira Elan Colla Brie.
Neo gasped when he recognized her, and she seemed to recognize him as well.
Charl drew his blaster pistol and shot the disabled droid, which caused it to explode, incinerating half the stormtroopers and knocking the rest of them away. The entire cave rumbled and shuddered. As the dust settled, blasterfire filled the cavern. Tyron chucked a demolition charge and caused more explosions. The stormtroopers retreated back into the previous cavern where the Embar was docked, and where the rest of the stormtroopers moved in to reinforce their comrades. Charl radioed for 4Q2 to take off so their ship wouldn't be compromised. Tyron set off another demolition charge that caved in the tunnel leading back there, thus separating the crew from the rest of the stormtrooper platoon.
As the cavern rumbled some more, and stalagtites and chunks of rock fell from the ceiling, the crew looked to the Royal Palace door as their only hope of escape.