Star Wars ASD: The Imperial Civil War

Chapter 1: Break

ONE YEAR AGO

"I'm sorry, excuse me?" Baron Soontir Fel asked.

"You heard me." Captain Turr Phennir said with a smile. "Someone actually broke your record for most kills in the simulator, boss. The newest recruit from Anaxsis. Turns out to be an incredible flyer."

Baron Fel reached over to pick up the report. "That's impossible, my record was at the max limit of kills the simulator would…." He paused as he read the report over. As his eyes travelled down the report, he actually started to feel amazed. "Incredible. Not only did this pilot destroy the simulated fighters, he also was able to fly into the hanger bay of the enemy battlecruiser and destroy the main capital ship! Then, in another simulator over a planetary surface, not only did he destroy the squadron in the air, he made several runs on the surface while avoiding incoming fire and destroyed several ships on the ground… why didn't I think of that?"

"So you see why we need this kid, boss. I've met him. He's young, quiet and… surprisingly quite shy." Turr said. "He's not like any TIE pilot I've ever met. We're all loud, boisterous, and enjoy bragging about our flight skill. If I had broken your record, I'd be bragging about it to every pilot I met… but not Xander. He just acts like its an average score, and he actually said he would try to do better!"

Baron Fel reached over and picked up the personal information report about this phenomenal pilot.

"Name, Xander Willows, from the planet Anaxsis. Age 18, top scores in the Academy in academics and mathematics, Parents are Arden and Villa Willows, has a little sister named Ylena. Says here he flew an old airspeeder as he was growing up on his mother's estate. " Fel's eyebrow raised up as he read more. "Father Arden Willows is a Hero of the Clone Wars, Captain of the Venetor Class Star Destroyer Obsidian, who led the charge against General Grievious Silent Hand Squadron during the Battle of Coruscant." Fel slapped down the file. "Why isn't this kid on the fast track to his own squadron?"

Turr's sly grin grew mischievous. "Because he has personally requested to be a part of the 181st. Seems he has a bit of hero worship for you." He chuckled. "His greatest dream is to fly for the 'legendary' Baron Soontir Fel."

Fel sighed. "Well, is he here? I would like to meet the pilot who devastated my record."

Turr smiled, and stood up. He went to the door, and leaned out. After a moment, a surprisingly small, very young man stepped into the room. If Fel had to chose a word for him, it would be effeminate. Small, petite build, and standing a head shorter than Turr of himself. It looked like the kid hadn't even reached puberty yet.

The young pilot snapped to attention and saluted the moment Baron Fel stood up from his desk. "SIR! PRIVATE XANDER WILLOWS REPORTING AS ORDERED, SIR!" the young cadet said loudly.

Fel looked at the eager young pilot, "At ease son." and chuckled. "Son, where are we?"

"SIR! ON THE STAR DESTROYER ADMONITOR, SIR!" the boy bellowed again. Turr, behind the young kid, was wincing at the loud voice, trying not to laugh at the kid's eagerness.

"Son, we are in a meeting room, not in the training field. So please refrain from shouting at the top of your lungs, private." Fel said, glancing at Turr with a small smile.

The boy blushed hard, and actually trembled a little. "SI…. Sir, I apologize sir."

Fel shook his head. "How old are you, son?"

The boy hesitated, and then answered. "18, sir."

Fel now got into the boy's face, his nose a centimeter from his. "Nice try. Should have said 17, I'd have believed that." He watched the terror spread through the boy's eyes, and nodded slowly. He placed his hands behind his back and walked around the young cadet. "I've been hearing nothing but good things about you, Private Xander Willows. You not only passed every one of your exams for the academy with flying colors, says you also have an idetic memory… you also broke the record for most kills in a Simulator! I heard you even survived and even excelled in the Requiem Scenario!"

The boy blanched, trembling and starting to sweat. "Sir… I… only did as I was instructed sir."

Turr had to hold his mouth, his eyes closed tightly behind the boy as his body shuddered to the silent laughter. Fel glanced at Turr for a moment and then back to the boy. "Son, no one, no one survives the Requiem Scenario… Four Squadrons of fighters supporting the Star Destroyer Requiem… and not only did you manage to survive, you actually flagged the Requiem for a kill! I would have loved to have seen Instructor Davis' face when you pulled off that little stunt."

The boy still trembled a little, but did not say anything. Fel smiled again, walking around the boy. "I would like to know, how did you tag the Requiem?"

The boy's eyes darted around, figuring out how to put his actions into words, and then spoke softly. "Sir, I flew the squadron over the top surface of the Star Destroyers hull. I fired my weapons at supply door number 17-61 on the refuse line from the nose of the ship. When the refuse exploded outward, it destroyed several of the fighters pursuing me, and blinded the rest. I turned to avoid the bridge… they did not… sir."

Turr couldn't hold it anymore. He left the room, and shut the door behind him so Fel wouldn't hear his uproarious laughter. Fel looked at the young boy in disbelief. "So you… technically… destroyed an entire Squadron of fighters… and the Requiem itself… by throwing garbage at them."

The boy was now terrified. "Sir… yes sir!"

Fel looked at the boy in silence and then allowed himself to laugh. "That is the most hilarious thing I have ever heard son! I bet Instructor Davis had a nexu kitten right there on the floor!"

Xander flinched a little at Fel's laughter, but nodded. "Sir… Instructor Davis' was rather at a loss for words, sir."

Fel slapped the young boy on the shoulder. "In light of your incredible abilities, I will overlook your age problem." He offered his hand. "Welcome to the 181st, wingman."

Xander couldn't believe it. "Sir?" He looked down at Fel's hand, and tentatively grabbed it. Fel shook his hand and smiled. "My last wingman was taken down over Orias, so I need a new one. I was thinking of promoting one of my older pilots, but they are comfortable where they are. I need a fighter pilot who can keep up with me… think your up to the task, son?"

Xander voice changed. Before he sounded rather girlish and prepubescent, now he sounded proud and eager to prove himself. He shook Fel's hand hard and said. "Sir, yes sir!"

NOW

The black and red TIE Interceptor flew in a corkscrew maneuver designed to throw off the targeting locks of the TIEs behind. Energy beams passed less than a hands length from the wildly elusive fighters wings as it fired its own weapons at the twin domes of the rival Star Destroyers shield generators.

The shield generators bulged outward and exploded a split second after the red-stripped marked TIE interceptor flew past. The explosion destroyed the pursuing fighters, and left the now shieldless Star Destroyer vulnerable to the heavy guns on the Super-battlecruiser Shadow.

"Target destroyed, sir." Commander Xander Willows, also known under the callsign Fel's Wrath, said through the comm, turning his TIE interceptor around in a tight loop to rejoin his fellow squad members. The 181st was now under the direct command of Vice Admiral Thrawn on the new Super-battlecruiser Shadow, and were even now locked in the battle of Kuat.

Traitor forces calling themselves the Zaarin Ascendency, who were under the command of Grand Admiral Zaarin were attempting to take over the Empire. They had simultaneously struck at nearly every major ship building facility in the galaxy. Vice Admiral Thrawn had returned to Kuat to rescue his close friend Grand Inquisitor Kael, and had been attacked by three Star Destroyers on the Ascendency side.

Now the Super battlecruiser blasted its heavy guns on the Star Destroyer Imperiator, while the other two enemy ships, the Implicator and the Chimera fired on its other side.

Baron Soontir Fel swung the 181st towards the Implicator and smiled. "Good job, Wrath. One, Other, support Wrath on his attack run. Confessor, Axe, your with me. Darkside, you take Strongarm and Prettyboy towards any fighters trying to intercept Wrath… keep em honest, boys."

His fellow squadmembers all acknowledged their orders with clicks on the comm. Fel looked at the destruction surrounding them, and his face grew grim. The Empire faced its greatest threat… itself.

It was Civil War.