MID RIM NODE - A Republic courier ship reported being fired upon when traveling in Andoan space, an alarming development that some Senators are calling a "prelude to war."
Captain Kendra Tissido of the ship Quickwit
met with reporters after being debriefed by Republic security officials. As she explained to reporters, she and her crew of five reverted the Quickwit
from hyperspace outside the Ando system to recalibrate navcomputer settings.
"I thought I was far enough out from Ando that it wouldn't be a problem," said Tissido. "They don't have a space force, so I wasn't too concerned. Then this big blip shows up on my scope, and I realized I wasn't alone."
Tissido described the ship as under 250 meters in length, probably in the frigate-class. "I didn't stick around to look too closely," she said. "It let out about five droid starfighters and I knew I had to get out of there." Tissido was able to outmaneuver the fighters by jumping into hyperspace, though her courier ship did sustain some light damage.
Tissido's testimony sent a current of alarm through the Senate session today, since Ando has been without an armed planetary security force since the Republic demilitarization of the planet. Tissido's citing of "droid starfighters" suggest that modern weaponry has found its way into Aqualish hands.
"This is nothing short of an open act of warfare. I would ask the Senator representing the Trade Federation if he would agree with my perception that somebody somewhere is making a profit here by arming our Aqualish neighbors," said Senator Rasit Brun (Rintonne).
"What the Senator from Lambda sector is insinuating is outrageous!" countered Trade Federation Senator Lott Dod, via comlink from his recuperative ward at the Fobrini hospital. "You are constructing slander from the anecdotes of a frightened delivery girl." The Senate then broke into a disarray of arguments before order was restored by Speaker of the Senate, Mas Amedda.
Republic security officials are currently examining Tissido's sensor logs to determine the extent of Andoan's military build up and identify the model of droid starfighter involved in the pursuit.
"I had hoped we had seen the last of open, unprovoked hostility at Antar 4," said Senator Eeshrin Ot'Hyne (Caamas) "This event has, sadly, proven me wrong."