Dredar Ragant, aboard the Nightfury, in orbit above Mygeeto
The Imperial corvette silently orbited the crystalline world, once more aligned with the Confederacy albeit a reborn one. The Knight Commander stared at the snow covered planet from his standing position aboard the bridge of the vessel. As Dredar's eyes gazed upon its jagged landscapes he felt a tinge of anxiety flow through him. As he steeled his nerves he felt the Force flow through him, as he reminded himself of the Imperium's natural advantage in the negotiations to come. This new Confederacy was in its infantile stages, while the Imperium could offer practically boundless supplies to aid them should they wisely accept an offer of alliance. He'd depart for the world shortly with a small assortment of dark troopers at his back. Hostilities would not occur here, he had nothing to fear from these upstarts. This planet was where the great Jedi master Ki-Adi Mundi had been slain, gunned down by his own clones on that unforgettable day of their betrayal. His own feelings on it had cooled down since then, though he'd never remove the image of Master Mitrin being similarly cut down from his memory. The helplessness the young Dredar had felt, the coldness which filled his soul as he rabidly ripped apart the clones.
"Knight Commander, the shuttle is ready. What do you command of the Nightfury
while the negotiations occur, sir?" Dredar was pulled from his memories by an Imperial officer, Captain Dystra. The stodgy commander of the vessel before its reins had been handed over to Dredar for the mission. The officer's hair had lessened in its amount and grayed in its tone, he'd been in service of the Empire for quite some time.
"I shall depart momentarily, captain. Simply keep the Nightfury
in orbit of the world, I will contact you if we need your assistance. I do not expect any rash decisions from the Confederacy, they know better than to try anything risky." He replied, as he glanced at the veteran officer then started past the man.
"Very well, sir." Dystra mumbled to the exiting Force user, then glanced at some of the subordinate bridge crew before he crossed his arms and glanced out the front view of his vessel. He was elated to be in control of the Nightfury
A short time later Dredar arrived in the hangar, where the Imperial shuttle awaited. A trio of TIE fighters would escort them to the surface, a small but effective show of force. The scream of TIEs was like music to his ears. As the Knight Commander strolled towards the transport he noticed a quintet of Dark Troopers gathered just outside of the ship. The Knight Commander donned his helmet, with each step his cape flowed behind him. The fearsome sigil of the Grand Imperium printed on its center. As he drew closer to the open back hatch back of the Imperial Lambda the exoskeletoned troopers saluted him firmly. He wordlessly stepped aboard the transport, then the five heavily armed soldiers followed him inside as he sat down. As the shuttle closed its hatch and rose off the hangar floor Dredar felt a smirk seep onto his lips as he thought of this resurrected Confederacy. They pulled themselves from the ashes like the Imperium had, now he hoped they two reborn factions would be able to align.
The three TIE fighters roared through the clouded skies as they followed in formation behind the descending shuttle. Headed towards the designated location of their meeting. As Dredar sat quietly in the back, flanked by the hulking dark troopers he heard the pilot speak through the ship's intercom. They would be landing very shortly, though the Knight Commander was unsure of who he'd be speaking with exactly. Lord Ozzel had instructed him to seek out the former Imperials at the front of this new Confederacy, made turncoats by that catastrophic day which splintered the original great Galactic Empire. Either way he had his approach planned, the Imperium holding the strong hand in these negotiations. His eyes drifted towards the dark troopers spread around him, uncomfortably cramped inside the transport. They were a wise suggestion by Ozzel, he had to admit if he was facing them down he'd feel more imposed by them than regular stormtroopers.
"Approaching the landing zone." The pilot stated through the intercom as the Lambda shook slightly, its landing gear deploying as its descent towards the surface began. Dredar rose to his feet as he turned towards the back hatch, ready to make his entrance on these negations. The TIE fighters landed first, the trio setting down a short distance away as the pilots remained seated inside.
Corrin Marks, surface of Mygeeto
Corrin shivered as the cold of the air worked its way into his bones. It was always cold no matter where you were on the planet and temperature control didn’t seem to have any effect. Rubbing his hands together he continued reading the datapad on the desk before him. The pad had a mixture of reports from the war front in the core worlds and a bit of information on the rest of the new Confederacy. A collection of new systems have pledged to the cause since the last he had checked. It also appears the captured Kuat Drive Yards have been working on overtime to provide ships for the new Alliance.
After reading that last report Corrin shook his head and slid the datapad away. While it was nice that their minuscule navy would be getting reinforcements, it also had the stink of politics. Just like in the Empire those with the navy would have the power, and in this case, have a higher chance of being nominated as chairman. The most powerful of the planets have been bickering amongst themselves for the privilege of leading the Confederacy. The leaders of Mygeeto had also wanted to join the competition before Corrin had convinced them keeping their strength hidden would come to aid them later.
With a beep on his communicator pulling him from his quiet complaining he rose from his chair and made his way to the entrance of the office. Corrin pulled a large jacket from a hook near the door and stepped into the hallway while pulling the coat over his shoulders. He had to watch his step as he walked through the tight passageway so as to not trip over any of his crew. He and his fleet had been given a collection of skyscrapers in order to let them off the Star Destroyers in orbit over the planet. His soldiers were scattered throughout the city normally with only a skeleton crew in the ships. While it did leave him open to an attack from outside forces it stopped his men from either going insane or mutinying him out of boredom. Nearly tripping over a stormtrooper on the ground painting his helmet he caught himself on the window that covered the outside wall and scowled at the man on the ground.
“Watch where you’re goin….” As soon as the trooper realized he had been scolding his commanding officer he jumped up to attention and waited to be yelled at. Corrin took a deep breath before he gave in to his urge to yell at the trooper and instead focused on reducing his scowl.“It’s fine, but I have a job for you. By the time I reach the exit at the bottom of the tower I want a squad of troopers waiting for me, ready for combat.”
Turning away from the man Corrin could hear him sprint down the hallway back to his sergeant with his new orders. Halfway through the long hallway, he reached the lift doors and pressed the button to go down. Tapping his foot he could now hear shouting and banging on metal as the sergeant was getting his men ready as fast as possible. The doors opened in front of him and Corrin stepped into the silent tube before it started its descent. Looking out the window he could see the skyline of the crystalline planet and took in the sights. While most of the city was basically the same he could see some new structures off in the distance. Since the Emperor’s death the banking clan had been remaking their droid factories, and they were now nearing full production levels. Looking towards the other side of the city he noticed the motion of fighters in the sky followed by a transport. The ships made their way to the landing platform near the bottom of the tower.
Reaching the bottom of the tower he stepped out of the lift and made his way towards the entrance. The lobby of the tower was filled with hundreds of imperial enlisted relaxing and talking amongst themselves. Before he could make it to the door he saw a squad of troopers exit the faster service lift to his right and jog towards him. Without saying a word they fell into step behind their CO and followed him outside. Once they got outside Corrin could feel the terrible cold drop to below freezing as he walked towards the platform. Picking up his pace so he could get inside as soon as possible he jogged towards the base of the platform then stopped. His men stayed in formation as he waited for the doors of the Lambda to open.
The shuttle doors came open with a hiss, as the warm air from the interior of the transport met the chilled air of Mygeeto. The Knight Commander was the first one to appear from the inside of the Lambda, clad in his distinct armor and helmet, lightsaber hanging from his belt. He was silently followed by the five exoskeletoned dark troopers, each with careful eyes for any surprises set by these new separatists. As Dredar stepped forward his eyes scanned at the greeting party before him, as they hung over the squad of stormtroopers parked behind a man clad in Imperial officer garb. He moved his hands upward and removed his helmet to meet the man face to face.
“I am Knight Commander Dredar Ragant of the Grand Imperium. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance in these troubling times.” The Force user stated with a nod as he clipped his helmet to his belt. His composed breathes were evident in the freezing cold air.
This officer was younger than he had expected, though it was not the most shocking turn of events. The more veteran officers were often the least likely to go rogue. As he glanced over the stormtroopers behind the man he caught notice of their armor, many having discarded the simple uniform designs in favor of more distinct, individualized armor. It reminded him of some of the clones he’d seen during the Clone Wars, where they tried to set themselves out from the masses of soldiers to showcase some personality. He was always intrigued by how these splintered Imperial remnants acted, some changed more radically like this one, while others, like the Imperium tried to maintain the core elements of the great Galactic Empire.
Corrin felt the urge to salute who in the old empire would have been lightyears above him in rank while he looked the man in the eyes. With a nod of his own he returned the greeting to the red armoured man.“The pleasure is all mine, even out here in the outer rim we hear about the heroic Imperial Knights who protect the Imperium. My name is Admiral Corrin Marks, and I am in charge of the task force stationed at Mygeeto.”
Corrin took a second to glance over the emissary's shoulder to peek at his guards. They appeared to be a new model of droid meant to imitate a stormtrooper, and they looked a good bit more frightening than the original. “If you wouldn’t mind I would love for us to head somewhere indoors, even after five years of living on this planet I still can not handle the cold. I have an office just a short walk away if you don’t mind the hassle.”
While he made small talk Corrin was going through the reasons for why the Imperium would send someone out here. Ever since the ship had jumped into the system he had been racking his brain for answers. The only reason he could think of was that Imperial intelligence had discovered the new Confederacy. Whether they were here to stop it or help it he had no clue.
“Of course, Admiral. Can’t say I’m a fan of the cold myself,” Dredar said with a short smile as he walked alongside Corrin. The dark troopers followed behind him silently as they headed inside. “You flatter me too much but it is pleasant to hear word of my Knights’ deeds has made it out here. The Grand Imperium has also heard word of a reborn confederacy, it is what led this meeting to occur.”
“The Grand Imperium seeks an alliance. We have much to offer you in the way of a partnership. The rebels and their damned ‘New Republic’ pose a threat to us both, they won’t stop until they’ve wiped out anyone who opposes them. The only way for us both to stand against them is together.” He added, putting on his most charismatic face to try to sway the remnant Admiral. “I also believe an alliance would serve as a powerful sign to the other scattered Imperial remnants. That all who once swore under the banner of the Emperor need to stand side by side in defiance of the emboldened rebels.”
Corrin felt a small weight lift off his back as he heard the Knight speak of an alliance. “That is a gracious offer I can’t say I was expecting. I am surprised the Lord of the Imperium has noticed such a small faction such as us. We have much to discuss.”
As the admiral reached the lift he stepped inside and turned towards his troopers. “Wait here and stand guard. Let everyone know the top floor is off-limits.”
Dredar made the same motion to the dark troopers, leaving his quintet of imposing guards behind. Then followed the man into the elevator to continue their conversation. The massive troopers stood in silence, waiting until the return of the Knight Commander.
As Corrin stood in the lift he let the silence hang in the air for a moment before resuming their conversation. “I am going to be honest with you, as profitable as it would be to become allies, that is something I can not accomplish. With the confederacy so young we have had to gather members from a broad spectrum of ideologies. Not an insignificant portion of them despise the empire, but distrust the republic as well. I do believe we can work some form of deal out though.”
“ I do understand your hesitation, Admiral. But the rebels will come for any threat they see that stands against them. Lord Ozzel is no fool, he will not wage wars he does not believe could be won.” Dredar stated calmly, after listening to the man’s words fully. His dislike of egregious ‘New Republic’ clear as he spoke.
“What is it exactly that you propose as a deal?” He curiously asked, as the lift continued its ascension upwards towards Corrin’s office.“I believe you are correct in your assessment of the New Republic, much like the past iterations of the republic they will not tolerate independent systems. They are so quick to speak of freedom and a righteous cause when they fight to restore a flawed system that caters to only the wealthiest of planets. While the empire had its issues, they only became true problems after the rebellion began to panic the upper echelon of the government.”
As they reached the top floor the doors opened to a large office with a large glass dome that let one see the dark clouds above. Stepping into the room Corrin gestured to a large circular couch on the left side of the room and made his way there. “We should be more comfortable over here than at my desk.”
After sitting down Corrin continued speaking, “What I propose is a pact of sorts, one that will hopefully prevent either of us being swallowed by the ravenous republic. In the case that either of us is in danger of being destroyed by the Rebels, the other must aid by attacking a vital part of their offensive. While that can mean a frontal assault that can also relate to cutting off supply lines. Anything that will force the republic to turn back from their attack. How does that sound?”
“We are both in danger of being destroyed, Admiral. The rebel scum will take note of your new Confederacy movement, the fact that an Imperial admiral is at the helm will only add to the attention,” The Knight Commander stated first, after having taken in Corrin’s suggestion. It was an interesting proposition. “So a defensive pact?”
“That does sound agreeable. The rebels are now the largest faction. The only way to hurt them is to strike where it will hurt them the most.” He added as he leaned forward in his seated position on the couch.
“It's no secret they will be coming for Coruscant. It is the crown jewel of the galaxy. To take that from the Imperium would be the ultimate statement of their power. Could we count on you in that scenario? If we do agree to this pact?” Dredar inquired, both men knowing how valuable Coruscant truly was. It had been the Republic’s capital for thousands of years for a reason.
Corrin nodded along as Dredar spoke of the importance of Coruscant, “I will have to discuss it with the future chairman of the Confederacy, but if my research is right he isn’t someone to get cold feet doing what must be done. Before you ask I can not tell you who it is going to be, I have to hold on to at least a few state secrets.”
The admiral cracked a smile at Dredar and leaned back in his seat. “If we are in agreement of this new pact, I believe our business is over. If you wish to stay the night you are welcome in our humble abode, but if you must leave I wish you good luck. Let's hope neither of us gets shot by a rebel before we next meet.”
“Excellent. I am delighted we could come to an agreement, Admiral.” Dredar replied as he extended a hand to shake Corrin’s. A conclusion to a fruitful meeting between the two galactic powers. “Thank you for the kind offer, but I must depart for Coruscant. I must inform Lord Imperium of our newfound pact.”
“I believe it will be us that will shoot any rebels before they are any wiser.” He added with a smirk as he rose to his feet. While they had not agreed to a full partnership he was glad they had at least established a defensive pact. It was a sound move for both parties in the face of emboldened rebels.