[ Disclaimer: Project NRG is not part of Star Wars lore. It is pure creation. ]
The Project NRG (pronounced ‘Energy’) or Project Nanotechnological Re-Generation was an operation run by the Exchange’s chapter on Nar Shaddaa since around 3654 BBY. They would kidnap children from the poorest slums and they would train them to become assassins, thieves or slicers. The children would learn the basic knowledge of all three. Around the age of five and seven, the children go through several surgeries and are turned into cyborgs. The rehabilitation could and should take years, but the children were only given a maximum a year to get used to the cybernetics.
As a cyborg, her physical and mental capabilities are enhanced by 10% above peak human condition. Her enhanced condition are attributed to her cybernetics located in her brain, around her cranium, in her eyes and her fingers.
One of the cybernetics that all NRG cyborgs have in common are the bionic or cybernetic enhanced eyes they have. The main common function is their enhanced sight. As a slicing spec cyborg, her eyes also function as scanner to register or to research anyone she meets in her database. Her iris changes color depending on certain factors. Naturally, her eyes are hazel/pale brown. When the emotional regulation program is running, her irises turn light gray (near white at 100%). Her irises will also change color if she is using one of her primary functions as a cyborg (or slicer, or medic).
- Red: Kill mode (Bloodlust)
- Blue: Scan mode (Memory Photobook)
- Green: Slicing mode (Hacker)
- Yellow: Analytic mode (Information Database)
- Pink: Medic mode (Combat Medic)
- Violet: Tech Mode (Mechanic)
When it comes to the killer mode, her bloodlust is enhanced and she goes into a frenzy or is tasked to assassinate someone. Of course, she is quite limited in that department. Her other program (or function) is the emotional regulator (blocker). One of the main weaknesses of the NRG slicers is that their emotions get in the way slowing them down when they are hacking. Therefore, willingly or unwillingly, the emotional blocker is used to temporarily stop them from feeling. The other program that they have is pain suppression. It is a cybernetic in her brain. Her last program is enhanced multi-tasking, but it is strictly present when she is slicing.
Slicing Specs.The Exchange used brain cybernetics to turn their slicers as a computer-like sentient being. As a slicer, she is capable of performing daily tasks can do when she is connected to a computer. She is a prodigy in terms of hacking. In her brain, she has an intellectual database where knowledge is stored. She can download the knowledge or acquire knowledge in a more traditional fashion (teaching or reading). She has another database where information by contractors, bounties, connections, and people she has met is stored in it. She often scans people.
Another specification was something that she was interested in. She showed her interest mainly when she joined the Imperium. Her medical database is still mostly knowledge thus why she has become an apprentice under the head medical officer, Evra Floare. Later on, she learned more about medicine under the wing of her aunt, Xi'nodow.
Experimental Upgrades.At almost 17, Lliara received new upgrades and updates to make her up to par with most NRG cyborgs. However, most of these upgrades were not approved and certified by the original scientists linked to Project NRG or the Hellfyre Underground. She asked to be a lot more computer-like making herself a walking computer even going as far as telling her mechanic Saw-Hands: "F-ck it, I'm a cyborg anyways". Within her arm, she has a holo-projector in a right arm. She is capable of interacting with the holograms that come from it. Her electronic eyes that she used to only use to scan individuals and to have a better vision than most became better. In a sense, she explained it has seeing in an augmented way. She processes the information and look at the world in a HUD way. She barely uses it outside of combat or reconnaissance. Her eyesight became much better as she would say that if she concentrated enough she could almost read people's body language and adapt accordingly. With the latest update (Version 0.1.17.1), Lliara would get a minor buff when in contact with a surge of data making her more powerful while hacking. She would sense to detect digital activity around her. She also got a personal energy shield implanted in her left arm.
To become a lot more independent, she decided to learn more about engineering. As a mechanic, she is no
longer simply a slicer, but also more proficient as a cybertech, armormech and armstech. Her software update (Version 0.1.17.1) made easier to understand mechanics. She is also more crafty and proficient when it comes to weapons. She also is more proficient at programming and is able to connect herself and program the computers or droids she is connected to. A holo-monocle appears in front of her left eye in that mode.
As a cyborg, her main weakness is that, just like any droids, terminal or computer, she can be sliced. She is very vulnerable to electricity and EMPs. It is important to note that her cybernetics are mainly around her head and within her brain. It means that attempting to short-circuit her could be fatal. Her emotions cloud her judgment; therefore, she needs the emotional regulator to be at her peak efficiency as a slicer. Many programs can only run temporarily such as pain suppressors. Using her capabilities for an extended amount of time can cause her to overheat or to crash. She also is prone to headaches and emotional detachment.
Along with the weaknesses that she was prone in her earlier version, the new version has new weaknesses. The experimental upgrades drain her more quickly before and force her to sleep and to recharge. Her sight, sometimes, glitches, which leads to her not being able to see for a couple of seconds. Most of her upgrades can only run when her emotional inhibitor is at 75%-90% minimum or else she cannot concentrate (her holo-projector can be used at her normal 50%).
Lliara Shayde was possibly given another name when she was born, but the records were lost along with the identity of her biological parents. She was born in the slums of Nar Shaddaa. Rumors as it that Lliara’s mother could have been a ‘dancer’ and gave her away to a local rundown orphanage. She did not stay very long, because, at the age of 3, she was taken away by the Exchange.
As one of dozens of children taken off the streets to be groomed as the Exchange’s grunts, Lliara had to fight for her survival. Any weaklings were eliminated. They taught the little toddlers how to use their charms to get credits from kind souls as well as the arts of pickpocketing. Coming back home with nothing was punishable by severe beating. Repeating the same failure resulted to one’s disappearance. The children also received the bare minimum to keep themselves alive. Those who shined the most would be selected for the Exchange’s special ops group for the young and gifted. Head it by a mad scientist who believed that the best cyborgs had to be turned as children, the NRG Project was founded by Hutt money and protected by the Exchange. It was a massive operation and Lliara was selected when she was six.
“The kid’s weak, but she’s smart and quick-witted,” one of the supervisors told the ‘selection board’.Little Lliara could have landed in two out of three specialization: slicing and thieving. They thought that it was best to use her mind to the fullest. Six year old, pure and innocent, they brought her into the operation room and put her under. The surgeries were extensive. Perhaps the most dangerous had to be the cybernetics implanted around and on the surface of the limbic system as it was the part of the brain in control of memory and the emotions. To be more precise, the surgery targeted the amygdala and the entorhinal cortex.
During her convalescence, the young human-turned-cyborg would often daydream about a life away from this. If anything, she was terrified by fighting, which was why she was not originally cut to be an assassin. Slowly though, the Exchange would condition her to accept her violent reality through severe abuse and reinforcement. As a result, she grew up with a broken moral compass spending her days acquiring knowledge and slicing through the Republic and the Imperial networks. To cope, she also forcefully locked away her triggering memories.
When she was nine, only eleven kids out of the dozens from her cohort (NRG-09) survived. Some died on the operating table. Some died due to malfunctions. Some tried to escape. Some failed to meet expectations. It was actually at nine that the Exchange finally felt that she was worthy to be given a name. She was no longer “NRG-09XB12” or “B12” for short. She was “Umbra” as a slicer and “Lliara Shayde” as a person. She was finally deployed to slice for the Exchange with her own setup. It was no longer basic hacking such as retrieving information from databases. It was now slicing and causing actual damage.
The next four years of her life were tumultuous and thrilling in the life of the young girl. While she was spec-ed as a slicer for the syndicate, she also did train to have more experience as an assassin and a thief. She wanted to feel valuable in the eyes of the Exchange. She was eleven when she finally completed an entire mission all by herself. She had sliced into a target’s communication and found their location. Then, she waited and shanked her target. It was her first time using triggering her killer mode. The bloodlust was so intense that she killed two other unassuming passerby. It was fun. She had to go under the scalpel for an additional cybernetic to tune the killer mode.
The Exchange’s chapter on Nar Shaddaa was heavily hit when she was twelve. It had to do with a deal gone wrong between the Hutt Cartel and the Exchange. It escalated into a turf war between the two biggest crime syndicates on the moon. As part of the slicer group, Lliara, along with other kids, were confined into a big room and their stations. Day in and day out, they were forced to constantly slice and cyber attack the Cartel’s allies. The more advanced slicers would be mandated to directly slice the Cartel in hopes of finding money trails and, even insanely enough, empty any accounts they could find. The Exchange did not care about their needs at this point as they were surviving on artificial sleep (being plugged to a generator constantly) and frugal meals.
One day, a fight broke out near the room. That was when they all learned that they were expendable. Before the Exchange was overrun by an unidentified force, the goons came in and started to kill them off one by one. Just like many others, Lliara did try to flee. She does not remember much about that day. According to her medical file that she had with her new employer was that some of her cybernetics were removed, she had to go under surgery for a tracheobronchial injury and she might spend the rest of her life with a rebreather. The medical team who took care of her did not want to put her under for more invasive surgeries which meant that she would deal with tracheomalacia. She did research and kept notes on her research especially the lasting effects considering that she should have been operated as quickly as possible for it:
“Tracheomalacia is a process characterized by flaccidity of the supporting tracheal cartilage, widening of the posterior membranous wall, and reduced anterior-posterior airway caliber. These factors cause tracheal collapse, especially during times of increased airflow, such as coughing, crying, or feeding.” ([])She knew that in her case it was because of the tubing. Perhaps, she had to be intubated for quite a long time before the surgery. Lliara guessed that it was most likely during the trip from where they find her to their medbay where she was taken care of. She always wondered if being put in a Kolto Tank would have done the trick, but there were limitations even with Kolto. From that point on, she was going to survive with a rebreather which she could barely remove except for eating. At least, she could still talk, which she deducted that her case was not as severe as most. She was also fortunate that it was not misdiagnosed for other illnesses such as asthma.
She had her first hug when she was twelve. There was this light-haired lady who appeared one day and gave her a hug. At the time, she was still going by two names. Her brother, Lucien, would often say that she was “Eirene” but the rest of the syndicate would refer to her as “Iclyn”. She was not often there though. If anything, Lliara tracked down her whereabouts and pinpointed that she resided in Tatooine. The Exchange who the Underground managed to rescue were given a choice. They could remain with the Underground or they could live the normal lives they dreamed of. Most of them decided to remain with the syndicate since the crime world was all they knew.
Unlike with the Exchange, they had rights and were well taken care of. From what she understood at the age of twelve was that they posed as a trading company. In reality, the Hellfyre Underground owned warehouses on Nar Shaddaa, Tatooine, Zakuul, Corellia, Rishi, Mek-Sha and Port Nowhere. They would store and deliver goods for anyone willing to pay. It could be anything from food supplies to ammunition to people. As long as they were getting paid, the package was to the discretion of the client. They would smuggle and trade as well as they could find what their clients need. They also had multiple safehouses where they would keep people willing to pay for protection or for new identities. That was where Lliara was often employed. She would forge identities and take care of bounties. She had found a semblance of happiness this way. Happiness for her was to have free time for herself, to sleep eight hours a day and to have as many flatcakes as she liked. Of course, she was actually getting paid and she was allowed to swindle to get by.
Lliara was fifteen when Iclyn came up to her and told her that she needed her expertise. It had been three years since she had been in the Hellfyre Underground’s slicer team. If anything, she was one of the best as she was capable to hack into the Republic and the Imperial databases with ease. For some reason, the Imperial was the easiest of the two. According to Lucien, it had to do with the Imperial Intelligence not being as efficient as the Republic Strategic Information Service. In Lliara’s opinion, they both were quite similar, which meant that anyone with decent slicing knowledge could access both.
At the time, Iclyn was merely a Sith Lord for what Lucien called a cult. She had an apprentice under her care who had bounty troubles. Iclyn contracted the family business to take care of the bounty at least as a temporary fix. Lliara was enlisted for the job and decided that the best course of action was a botched operation. It was specified in the bounty contract for ‘Rhalae’ that she was needed alive. Lliara took one of the people that the Underground was tasked to make disappear and had them have plastic surgery to look like the girl. Then, Lliara chased after the fake ‘Rhalae’ through Nar Shaddaa until she executed them and they fell off a platform. With the amount of witnesses and video footage to back the murder up, the bounty was taken care of. Lliara sent the video to a certain Darth who had put out the contract. Of course, the contract had been voided and, obviously, the bounty was not paid. It did not mean that Lliara did find a way to get these 500,000 credits.
Afterwards, Iclyn decided to bring Lliara over to the Imperium. It did cause a bit of an argument between the two siblings. Lliara, fifteen, decided that she would follow Icy, but she would also remain loyal to the Hellfyre Underground. At this point, it was family for her.
When she arrived to Solaria with Iclyn, Lliara did not follow the other around. It was a bit hard to do so considering that Iclyn had her life and a boyfriend at the time. The cyborg gave the other some space while she found her way around the Imperium. She would make a rudimentary camp on the shores near the capital. Then, she would go to that odd place name the Wine & Chiss. It was a cantina, but it look far more gorgeous to what she was used to on Nar Shaddaa. Most of the time that she was around, the owner was never there. The human personnel of the time, who would be later replaced by droids, would let her stay around and, like a cat, Lliara would nap wherever. Then, the fated encounter happened where she met Fo’nodow. She was on the counter waking up from a nap and sitting there. Lliara could not understand why a stranger, let alone a Chiss, would worry over her. He had her stay to his place the moment she told him that she only had a temporary shelter, because she did not want to bother Icy after all the young woman did for her. It did not fly so well.
The first dress she ever wore was given by Fo’. She was not one to like girly things, but she held on to the dress. Later on, she was given a drink that she needed to take. Then, there were papers that were signed. She was officially his daughter and he was her father. She also gained seven other relatives who were her father’s siblings.
During the civil war, Lliara played a role in the rescue of the Wrath, Azu'lae Vizsla, who had been arrested and imprisoned onboard the maximum-security prison ship, the Itinerant. The cyborg, having a background as a slicer, hacked into the Law & Justice database to find the trajectory of the moving ship. Unfortunately, she was captured after she performed the deed by the Usurper and former Hand, Darth Vaguest Orion.
The cyborg was mostly mentally-tortured, sliced into and reprogrammed by the traitor R'thugar, an Imperium agent who defected to the Usurper. Following the torture, her hair changed to a greyish tone and her bubbly experience was no more. Her emotional regulator was locked to 95%-100% making erasing her humanity. In this state, she showed no remorse when she pushed Rhinall Bloodstrider to suicide after telling him that she could not wait to probe into his mind.
She was eventually rescued, but not until the Resistance had to fight her onboard the Usurper's supply train. Eventually, she was subdued and successfully reprogrammed back to normal. Before the Usurper and R'thugar arrested her, she had managed to back-up and to save her memories and personality in forms of encrypted and locked files. It also protected the Resistance from being found through her.
Since the conclusion of the civil war along with growing up in the Imperium, Lliara would start feeling that she had become useless. She was fed up in being treated like a little kid when the other teenagers closer to her age would have the opportunity to do more. When she reached her boiling point (witnessing her father, step-mother and the alor of Viszla go into a heated argument), Lliara simply left the Wine & Chiss. It was hours later that it was revealed that she had left Imperium space.
Her first stop was on Nar Shaddaa where she obtained upgrades and updates. She was propelled to do so after encountering another cyborg and felt that completely outdated and weak in his presence. Some additions were experimental while others were necessary. She also tried to do her best to evade anyone who aimed to track her (changing her hair and rebreather for instance). She received from the mechanic a delivery mission (which was later revealed to have not been reviewed or accepted by the Hellfyre Underground).
She left for Rishi and things went downhill. Although she succeeded in delivering the package attached to the original delivery, she got entangled in a gang's plans. She, also, unintentionally led other people in a wild goose chase to find her (Drossix, Ral'reero and her family). Eventually, the teenager was rescued. Drossix lost his eye and almost died and so did Ral'reero. As a punishment for running away, she was stripped of her privileges and had to go through basic training similar to what her father went through growing up.
The Exchange Kids (Project NRG) are not part of the Star Wars lore both canon and legends. These are the pages used as inspiration for Lliara's Bionic physiology and Cyborg capabilities.
- Cyber Mind
- Hacking Intuition
- Emotion Regulation
- Electronic Eye
- Pain Suppression
- Enhanced Condition
- Living Database
- Bloodlust Empowerment
- Technology Augmentation
- Body Language Analysis
- Computer Operation Intuition
- Hologram Interaction
- Adaptive Mind
- Supernatural Vision
- Optimal Finesse
- Digital Empowerment
- Digital Detection
- Heads-Up Display
- Mechanical Intuition
- Weapon Proficiency
- Special Ops Mastery
- High-Tech Exoskeleton (built over the span of three years)