Derek Atio was born on the planet
Kirrek in the last decades of the Galactic Republic. His parents
worked in the Empress Teta's vast carbonite mines, but dreamt of a
life beyond that for their young son. As he grew, he took a keen
interest in the various mining equipment that was an integral part
of his family's everyday lives.
As Derek reached manhood he was capable
of taking apart and reassembling most of the tools he had been
exposed to and planned to become a technician, following in his
parents footsteps like so many of his people. However, his parents
had noticed his aptitude with technology and had scrimped and saved
throughout the years to afford a university education.
Initially, Derek was disappointed with
his parents' intentions to send him to university … he had made
lasting friendships with the miners and looked forward to joining
them. A compromise was soon reached when he was accepted into the
University of Byblos, one of the galaxy's foremost schools for
The travel between the Empress Teta
system in the Deep Core opened Derek's eyes to the galaxy and the
wonderment of spaceflight. By the time he arrived at Byblos, he had
chosen to switch majors from mechanical engineering to starship
During his first two years at the
University of Byblos, Derek excelled in his studies and gained the
admiration of his peers and instructors. Unfortunately, the
sheltered life he led in the Empress Teta system ill prepared him
for the university lifestyle. The late nights he spent with his
friends drinking and debauching led to a rapid decline in his
academic standing. The final straw came when he was found passed out
and intoxicated in the university's quad and he was expelled.
Too ashamed to face his parents over
the expulsion, Derek traveled as far as Courscant where he found
work as an engineer aboard the AA-9 Coruscant freighter Castle
Lands. For the moment, he was unaware of the changing climate in
the galaxy as a multitude of worlds began withdrawing from the
Republic and joined with the charismatic Count Dooku.
As what became known as the Separatist
Crisis worsened, the Castle Lands found itself moving
displaced citizens from Coruscant to safe worlds as part of the
Refuge Relief Movement. The freighter began making regular trips to
Alderaan, where Derek met Commander Rhobert Dartanyn, an officer in
the Royal Alderaan Civil Fleet. Together, they toured Alderaan Royal
Engineers and developed a mutual respect for another as they
continued to work to accommodate the refuges.
Following the Battle of Geonosis and
the outbreak of war between the Republic and the newly formed
Confederacy of Independent Systems, Derek, compelled by his
experience with the refuges, chose to enlist in the Republic Navy.
With the rank of Petty Officer, he was assigned to the Repulse,
an Acclamator-class assault ship. As the Clone Wars raged on,
he worked tirelessly in the bowels of the Repulse, keeping her
engines operational as she participated in what seemed like a
never-ending series of battles. After two years, he found himself
caught up in the Battle of Skor II.
When Commander Dartanyn was appointed
executive officer aboard the new Venator-class Star Destroyer
Superb, Derek found himself promoted to the rank of
Sub-Lieutenant and assigned at his request. The war seemed to be
intensifying as General Grievous unleashed a series of strikes that
threatened the very heart of the Republic. The Superb was
among the vessels of the Open Circle Fleet that participated in the
culminating Battle of Coruscant.
With the war over and the Republic
replaced by the Galactic Empire, Derek was relieved of his
obligations and returned to civilian life. The war had changed him,
and while it had lasted but three years it felt as if it had been
thirty. Having served in the Republic Navy, he was accepted as an
engineer by Galactic Tours and settled into obscurity aboard the
For eighteen years Derek served as an
engineer aboard the Kuari Princess where he enjoyed the quiet
life and developed a leisurely lifestyle, but galactic events once
again plotted to disrupt his life. The tyranny of the Emperor's New
Order had caused worlds once again clash with galactic government
and a full-fledged rebellion soon broke out.
As the conflict spread, Commander
Dartanyn once again reached out to Derek and encouraged him to join
what was quickly becoming the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
Initially hesitant to withdraw from civilian life, he became
compelled by reports of Imperial devastation upon Mantooine and Fest
Derek joined the crew of the CR90
corvette Argo, a Rebel blockade runner commanded by Dartanyn,
serving as engineering officer. One of the Argo's first
missions was to secure a supply of bacta from the planet Thyferra,
but when their transponder failed the Empire soon attacked. The
bridge was smashed, killing Dartanyn and the senior officers. From
engineering, Derek was able to manually activate the hyperdrive and
save what remained of the ship.
With no time to mourn his friend of
more than twenty years, Derek was placed in command of the Argo
by General Roons Sewell despite having no command experience. He
committed himself to completing the goals his friend, and countless
others, had given their lives for.