“The Force is with us, my Lord,” the black robed figured, standing a full head taller than his
Master, spoke. “The Galaxy is fully under the command of the forces of the Imperial Order.”
Walking among great statues of Dark Lords that came before them, the night lights of Imperial City shining around them, Ged Larsen, Emperor, stopped and turned to face his trusted confidant, Naizarian Kamin, his Executor.
“Never forget, my friend, wherever the Imperial Order spreads distinction and honor, there will be those will that breed disorder and chaos.”
“Admiral?” Captain Onassis said quietly as he approached, his boots clicking on the metallic deck plating. “The Seventh Fleet is standing by and awaiting your orders, sir.”
Larsen turned his head to look at his second in command. Onassis was not a physically imposing figure, but his aquiline features and superior mind gave him a commanding presence. “Yes, Captain, I know,” Larsen replied, almost nonchalantly. “I gather that you want us to go charging blindly to Endor, or Coruscant perhaps?”
“Sir, that is not my decision, but yours alone. You are the Fleet Commander,” Onassis’ voice implying immediate action.
Larsen’s’ dark eyes bored into Onassis’ face, his voice going cold, “I know full well my duty and position. You would do well to remember yours, Captain.”
Onassis visibly swallowed and turned his face away from the Grand Admiral. After what had just happened to Emperor Palpatine, the Death Star and the Imperial Fleet, how could they sit idly by like this? The Rebels would pay for this outrage!
“And indeed they will,” Larsen said coolly, extracting his Captain’s thoughts through the Force. “But not today; and on my terms, not theirs.”
Larsen then ignored his Captain for the moment and thought about the last time he saw the Emperor….
“Emperor, I feel that would be an unwise move,” Larsen said. He was seated at a large conference table in the Imperial Palace. Around him sat the other Grand Admirals, with the exception of Thrawn, who was still on his mapping expedition of the Unknown Regions. Palpatine was seated at the head of the table on a raised dais, Darth Vader standing behind him and to his left.
“There’s no need for you to be there personally,” Larsen continued. “Lord Vader is already set to go to Endor himself to oversee the final details. I do not see why you should put yourself at risk. If you do go, do so after the Rebel Fleet has been crushed.”
Several of the other Grand Admirals were shocked to hear Larsen speak so bluntly to the Emperor, even though he had done so on previous occasions, albeit in private. Only two others nodded silently in agreement. Then Lord Vader spoke.
“He may be right, my Master. Do not underestimate the Rebels, as Tarkin did at Yavin. No super weapon is invulnerable,” the Dark Lord stated.
“Do my ears deceive me, or am I hearing the words of cowards speak?!” the Emperor shouted, his yellow eyes staring hard at Larsen.
“Coward? Never, Master. I merely point out that it would be safer, not only for you, but for the Empire as well, if you waited until after the battle has been won,” Larsen said with finality. “We must put ourselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then gain the opportunity of defeating the Rebels.”
“That is precisely what I have done. I will personally command the final destruction of the Alliance and the end of this insignificant Rebellion,” Palpatine snapped.
Larsen saw no point in further argument. The other two Grand Admirals, who had shown support earlier, now had their gazes fixed firmly on the table. Even Lord Vader had gone silent, his mechanical breathing the only sign he was alive.
The Emperor once again turned his gaze on Larsen. “Lord Larsen, since you do not approve, you will return to Ryloth immediately. The Seventh Fleet and your forces will not be participating in the Battle of Endor, nor will you be there to observe the Rebel’s downfall from the bridge of the Star Destroyer Executor.”
Little did the Emperor know, but he saved Ged Larsen’s life that day….
“Sir?’ Larsen was brought out his Force-induced memory, Captain Onassis still hovering at his side.
“The Fleet, sir? Your orders?”
“Have all ships – “ Larsen did not finish his order. All around the ship, klaxons and alarms began to wail; the Rebel Fleet had arrived….
One year later…
The four ships came out of lightspeed in perfect diamond-vee formation on the outskirts of the Ryloth system; the Lambda-class shuttle, escorted by a trio of TIE Defenders oriented and set a course for the third planet.
Vice Admiral Jaycon Dungron, an older gentleman, was seated behind the pilot’s station. Since he had been diagnosed with Kuchen’s disease a few months ago, his health had steadily deteriorated. The outlook was grim; Kuchen’s had a ninety-five percent mortality rate. Still, in the face of death, he would serve the Empire with full loyalty and vigor. Releasing his seat restraints, he leaned forward to speak with his commander.
“So is this where you’re finally going to let me in on this secret project of yours, sir?” Dungron inquired a tinge of unease creeping through his body.
Seated in the co-pilot’s chair, resplendent in his white uniform, Grand Admiral Larsen, Fleet Commander, turned his head to address his Executive Officer. “The rebirth of the Empire begins here, my old friend, as you shall soon bear witness. Granted, the Ryloth system is a basic second-rate planet, but its production of Ryll spice has generated enormous profits for the Empire. Specifically for the ‘secret project’ you just mentioned. In fact, it should be coming into view within moments.”
The group of ships continued on toward Ryloth III, an orange-brown terrestrial planet; one that had been shrouded in mystery and high security for well over a year. As the planet began to rotate fully into view, the beginnings of man-made structures in orbit could be seen. While they were still a few hundred kilometers away, the structures were massive; massive enough to hold at least -
“Is that what I think it is?” Dungron gasped.
“I see your eyesight has not yet failed you,” the Grand Admiral chided. “Yes, it is what you think it is. And…Its sister should be coming into view right about now.”
Dungron did not think his jaw could drop any lower, yet it did. “You mean you built not one, but two, Super-class Star Destroyers? What? How?”
“All in good time, Vice Admiral, your questions will be answered,” Larsen replied. “May I present my new command ship, the Super Star Destroyer Executor II, and its sister ship, your ship, the Super Star Destroyer Banshee,” Larsen stated with a wave of his hand towards the forward viewport. He then motioned to the pilot, “Take us in, Lieutenant, I believe we’re expected…”