Now, many on Spacebattles wondered how and why Tarkin would be on the Rebellion's side. This is how it started.
by lord Martiya
Year 0 of the Empire: Tarkin discovers Palpatine's duplicity
Right after the Separatist defeat at Coruscant, admiral Wilhuff Tarkin had been on the bridge of the Venator-class Star Destroyer, the Invincible, when it happened-a message from his wife including a coded communication that an Aquillian Ranger had delivered a package from none else than Mace Windu. While the Rangers existed to do whatever the Jedi needed them to do, it was rare for Windu to actually call upon them-and yet this one had provided the required codes, with the Ranger only knowing the password to open it was the entirety of the Nexus coordinates. Of which he knew only half-neither him nor Ahsoka Tano had been present when the other revealed their half of the code to the Chancellor and the Jedi Council, no need for that back then.
Now, however, he needed that, and if someone as reckless as Windu was taking such precautions he couldn't just ask the Chancellor to reveal it, there was the risk of some leak. On the other hand, Tano's status after being expelled from the Jedi was quite peculiar, and fleet admiral Tigellinus owed him a few favors-not that he'd have to actually use them, he actually had a logical explanation for his impending request to the headquarters.
"Why am I supposed to work for you?!" Tano demanded through holocommunication.
"As the communication stated, you're still a commissioned officer in the Republic Navy, the Jedi High Council having no power to strip that from anyone and you having been aquitted from all charges." Tarkin replied from his office, where he had chosen to take the communication to mask the fact he was actually signing to her in the old telegraphic code with his finger. Something he knew Skywalker had trained her to understand, allowing her to see his real message-"urgent, package, password, Windu, OOC". "And as the Eighteenth happens to have discovered what seems to be old Rakatan technology, your particular skillset makes you necessary. You or another technical-minded Force user, but you're the only one in the Navy. Hopefully after that we can give you a proper command course and a starship, such as one of the new Imperators. You have proven yourself more than I could have ever imagined, in skills and sense of duty."
"... I suppose..."
Suddenly, the other holoprojector, the one to be used only for certain situations, activated with a tune announcing the Chancellor had been authenticated as broadcasting. And indeed he appeared, wearing a hood and showing some impressive facial scars, before pronouncing words that the entire military was likely hearing at that same moment, words that made Tarkin's blood run cold: "Execute Order 66".
"What has Windu done this time?!" he whispered.
"What?!" Tano exclaimed, having received the message herself. Then she looked around, lit her lightsaber, and deflected a blaster shot before running away, chased by Clonetroopers.
Tarkin remained silent, but was wondering what was happening. First the package, then Contingency Order 66 was issued, and for some reason the 501st Legion was trying to kill Tano, who was not a Jedi anymore. Something strange was happening, and he didn't like it.
"I commend your skillful initiative, commander." Tarkin stated as he saw Ahsoka Tano, wearing a Navy commander uniform and accompained by a Clonetrooper with captain markings on his armor that was likely from the 501st and without the now infamous biochip (that had nearly sparked a mutiny once it had been deactivated, the Clones having taken it as a breach of trust. For their sake, he hoped the Kaminoans gave the Empire justification to invade them, that was something even he at his worst wouldn't do to his worst enemy), appeared in his home during a brief leave before he was slated to go to Coruscant and finally receive his appointment as Moff.
"We need to know what happened, and I take your package could do that." Tano replied, not having much courtesy for the man who had once tried to get her executed on what had turned out to be false charges. Considering that and the current situation, Tarkin let it slide and produced the package.
"The password are the Nexus coordinates." he said. "If you please, captain..."
Being a soldier, the Clone captain understood and stepped out. It was time to find out what Windu's package contained.
"Well, that's it-we're the Sith Empire now." Tarkin commented after reviewing the information-the entirety of Windu's investigation about the mysterious Darth Sidious, of how they had tracked him down to 500 Republica before the Separatist attacked, and the various hints and evidence-and adding it to recent events to realize Sheev Palpatine was the Dark Lord of the Sith and had been running both sides. Trillions killed, entire worlds razed, only for the ambition of one man and the vendetta of some Force Users on others who had good reasons to be paranoid about them.
"We must expose him!" Tano exclaimed. "We must-"
"Wait until a better moment."
"His Majesty set us up-right now, popular opinion is fully for him and against the Jedi, and this evidence not only just points to the Sith hiding among the Chancellor's staff, it's tainted by the Jedi having discovered it. We'll need to wait. And prepare. It'll be ten, or maybe twenty years, but if he acts like Sith usually do then in a few years he'll be vulnerable. And then, we'll strike. We and others, commander."
In a rare gesture, Tarkin extended his hand to Ahsoka Tano. By military ranks she was his inferior, and he was a human-centric speciesist, but he was also a pragmatic man, and could recognize that for now the Togruta was his peer in the secret fight against the Empire. And recognizing it, Tano took it.