It is a time of great strife for the Galaxy, Ten years have passed since the days of the Republic. The Jedi have been wiped out after the clone wars, and the few survivors live their lives on the run. The Imperial Navy still reels from it's decimation of its officer corps by the Emperor. The newly appointed Grand Moff Tarkin knows it will be another decade before his battle station sees completion, while Darth Vader travels the Galaxy hunting down reports of a new rebellion. Thousands of Sectors now fall under the dominion of Palpatine. Political prisoners of every species flood the dockyards surrounding the Death Star, as Tarkin contemplates how to defend his new weapon from the Emperor himself.
Yes I Know I don't own Star Wars, George Lucas does, but Thank you Mr Lucas for letting me play in your Universe from time to time
Central Drafting Bay-LQ Flagship Havelon, Equatorial Orbit of planet Despayre, Horuz System, Atrivus Sector
Millions of workers were stretched out across the Horuz system, surrounding him in their effort to fulfill his vision. There were few beings in the galaxy that wielded his level of power, and yet he craved more. His soul felt the need to find ways for him to seize that power. Unfortunately the means to that end seemed fraught with setbacks and disappointment. New and secret efforts that only he had dreamed of were in motion, but it was his battle station's construction that had taken up such a monstrous portion of his life and energy. But Wilhuff Tarkin was a man with plenty of energy to spare
Ten years spent in secret Imperial construction sites spread across the Outer Rim were starting to wear on him like a dozen lifetimes, and he was beginning to believe it could be another ten years before his indestructable battle station was operational. It had been just over a decade since the Separatist's plans had passed into his hands, so that they could be crafted into a reality. A tiny part of him burned at the thought of the time wasted when he had discovered that the blueprints had been his friend, Raith Seiner's, all along. His anger rose when the memory of the two of them presenting the plans to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine all those years ago returned to his wandering mind. When the Emperor moves he moves in mysterious ways the Grand Moff reminded himself in order to cool his raising ire. The station was his now, and when it was complete he wasn't losing it again.
Below him dozens of engineers and designers worked quietly at their stations, every now and then looking up at him before quickly averting his gaze. Weeks ago a drafting error that had left two focusing lasers out of alignment had necessitated the redesign of over one hundred and forty decks of his battle station. Many of the Imperial Engineers who had been here days before had paid for that mistake with their lives. When the Emperor had heard of the delay he had sent no less a personage than Grand Vizier Sate Pestage to personally oversee the executions of the last of his Geonosion designers left over from the days of Poggle the Lesser
Grand Vizier, Tarkin inwardly mused, fancy name for chief toady. From his observation deck's giant transpiristeel viewport he could look out upon the largest construction yard ever built in the galaxy, since perhaps the possible construction of the Corellian sector by the mysterious Celestials. Thousands of starships converged on this corner of the Horuz sector with the single purpose of creating the most fearful weapon the Galaxy had ever known. The Emperor however, was growing more and more concerned with the site's security, though Tarkin failed to see how most of the Empire didn't already know about its construction. There wasn't even a credible threat since the end of the Clone Wars as far as he could tell. Maybe the Ssi-rukk or the Chiss Ascendancy, threats the Galaxy at large didn't even know of, yet, but his battle station would put an end to those emerging dangers as well. Discussion of other threats amused him; the Emperor's rhetoric of an emerging rebellion was nonsense as far as he could tell, though the growing number of sabotage incidents on his construction yard was a ongoing concern. As such he had twenty Star Destroyers on station at the moment, since they had recently completed phase two of the battle station's construction and its brand new reactor was still exposed to the open vacuum of space. A cataclysmic disaster waiting to happen, he told himself.
Tarkin sneered as he observed the necessary evil of two white uniformed ISB personnel, who chatted quietly as they moved between the drafting tables below. The Grand Moff regarded them as a male Rancor would regard another bull that had entered his territory, competition or dinner.
Their presence had spread thoughout the Imperial Fleet in the past few years like a virus. Tarkin had been so entranced in the first few stages of his pet construction endeavor that he never noticed until one of their Majors handed him his cup of caf one morning and started spouting on about how the Tarkin Doctrine had changed his life. The man's off-white uniform had the same cut as the Fleet's blacks and greys, but it was the way the man carried himself and approached Tarkin that had set him apart. As if it was an everyday occurrence to chat up a Grand Moff, it shocked him even further when he discovered that they weren't even under his command, but answered to others on Imperial Center instead. A troubling thought indeed as Tarkin remembered just how few allies he had left on the capital.
In the years following the end of the Clone Wars he had feared that Palpatine would somehow install his own form of Order 66 for his battle station and the Internal Security Bureau had been that fear come to life as far as Tarkin could decipher. Thankfully his position had allowed him to choose all of the commanders on board what was more and more being called the Death Star. He had quickly seized upon the appointment of Lieutenant Colonel Wollf Yularen as head of ISB on the battlestation. Yularen had served as an admiral in the Republic Fleet ten years ago. Not only had the man fought alongside of the Grand Moff and owed him own life at least twice, but he was also extremely malleable to Tarkin's wishes, a trait that endeared the officer even more to the Grand Moff.
Tarkin was not a man without his own plans however, and his mood improved as he remembered that some of those plans were in motion and entering the system at this very moment. A low chime rang on his chromo and he turned around to face the drafting deck once more. A hundred designers avoided his gaze as he left his observation station above them and entered the corridor outside. As he made his way to his own quarters he passed dozens of viewports. His mind was so concentrated on his own schedules that he barely noticed the hundreds of construction spacecraft orbiting his wonderous creation outside.
Four Imperial stormtroopers were standing guard outside of his executive suites, and snapped to attention as they noted his approach. He crisply returned the salute their sergeant gave him as he passed through the white armored troopers.
His personal suite had several various sections including a well stocked library, spacious quarters, and one of the best stocked gallies in the fleet. But it was the presence of two brown suited intelligence officers, armed with Blastech E-10s and stationed outside his conference room that showed where his guest was lurking. The men had the look of trained killers to them, and sized the Grand Moff up for any hidden weapons as he approached. The bodyguards averted their eyes as the doors to the room slid open to reveal their master, Armand Isard.
The Director of Imperial Intelligence was dressed in a brown Admiral's uniform that as far as Tarkin knew was only worn by him. In a way it put him much more at ease than the ISB's white. Isard pretended to be studying a piece of Ghormanian artwork the Grand Moff had collected during his earlier service to the Emperor.
"A beautiful piece of art, my friend. Almost as stunning as your other special work I've seen outside this very starship." Isard observed, as he cheerfully greeted Tarkin. Armand seemed to love small talk, which he used to extract information out of the unsuspecting. It was an old trick that Tarkin had no time for, and was well aware of from their earlier dealings. He gestured for the Intelligence Director to take a seat as he walked around the cold, gray, circular conference table.
"Yes, the Emperor has gone to great strides to insure the functionality of this battle station, but it was I who set the aesthetic of its design to not only be a work of art, as you said, but to be a work of fear." Tarkin said with great pride.
"Yes, the Tarkin Doctrine," Isard took a seat across from the Grand Moff. "I have been seeing it take hold more and more throughout the fleet as well as back home on Coruca…Imperial Center." Isard caught himself. They were both of a generation that would probably always have trouble not remembering the Empire's former name for its capital, but if they both wanted to keep their current levels of standing within that Empire, they would do well to remember it when not behind closed doors. "I was recently at a dinner party there, one your wife attended. She thoroughly terrified the other spouses that were present."
"The woman has terrified me on more than one occasion," it was the closest he would come to humor, "but it is good that she is keeping busy while I have been away." Tarkin's mind flitted to other ways he had been keeping busy, and thoughts of Captain Daala appeared and disappeared just as quickly. This meeting was of dire importance, and it wouldn't pay to be distracted.
"And who is spreading the doctrine throughout the fleet?"
"Our bullying boys in the white suits, and I'm not talking about the Stormtrooper Corps." Isard answered with much concern.
"Ah yes, The ISB's even here on my construction site."
"I heard about Pestage's visit. Took care of the Geonosions did he?"
"He did, but he left almost five thousand of those ISB troopers scattered amongst the crews of my construction and security vessels. The Tarkin Doctrine was not supposed to be aimed at the fleet itself, but at the Empire's enemies."
"I know, they're even encroaching on my territory. Lord Vader has them doing interrogations in his fleet, the Vader's Fist, instead of my intelligence agents, and I'm sure it won't be long before that policy is military wide."
"The Dark Lord has always been a harbinger of things to come with Palpatine also, I'm afraid." Tarkin mused.
"I remember just yesterday most of my resources were directed at tracking down the last of the Jedi for what they did to us during the Clone Wars, but now it seems the Emperor is seeing rebels and traitors everywhere, and Imperial Intelligence wasn't set up for that."
"That must be the Emperor's reasoning for the ISB." Tarkin was careful to not point out the other man's failings within his own department. "Speaking of rebels, I am positive that someone knows of the location of this site once again. Sabotaging activities have increased over the past months."
"I will double our efforts here. If this site falls, so will a lot of heads." Isard conceded with a lot of concern. Perhaps knowing his head would be one of the first on the chopping block.
"Indeed." Tarkin was tired of fearing Palpatine. "But we are not here to discuss security in the Horuz are we?" He redirected to the real reason he had called for this meeting.
"Is this room completely secured?" Isard knew both of their men had swept it for bugs several times before the two men had met.
"Absolutely. Tell me of the progress of Tarkin's Fist."
"Four of the ten sector fleets you designated have been completely secured for our efforts."
"My efforts. Let us not forget whose reputation is truly on the line with this plan."
"Yes, I couldn't agree more." Isard was obviously more than happy to distance himself from Tarkin's scheme in case it went south. "I would have liked a fifth, but that seemed like a tremendous amount of starships, and most of the Admirals would have nothing to do with the plan when my agents felt out their loyalties. Especially after the purge of the Navy at the end of the war."
"You have done exceedingly well. When I contacted you I had the highest hopes for perhaps three, but would have gone ahead with two."
"By the way how many fleets do you control in the Oversector Outer? I have men serving aboard twenty-seven of them under your banner."
"I have that many attack fleets, but the service fleets they protect bring the numbers to thirty five." Tarkin lied, knowing the Intelligence Director probably knew his true numbers better than him.
"So why these fleets? Most of them seem to be older ones with very different commanders."
"I have my reasons. Do you have a list of the four fleets which have been purged of the ISB's stain?"
Isard handed him a datapad which Tarkin punched in a code only the two of them knew. Isard asked, "When will you be implementing this action?"
"It's already in motion; Admiral Yos's fleet should be entering the outer part of this system within the hour."
"Well away from the construction site?"
"Yes, but I'm sure that their presence won't go undetected by the starships here."
"Easy enough to cover for though, being Grand Moff and all."
"Indeed, these other three fleets will be contacted quickly enough. I will have them all present here in the system within the week or I will know the answer why."
"That's a lot of warships for one system."
"They won't be here long."
"I still don't know where you're sending them." The look on Tarkin's face told him he wasn't going to find out either.
"I want to thank you for all your efforts on my behalf, Director." Tarkin rose from his chair signaling an end to the meeting. He grabbed the datapad from the table. Isard's eyes narrowed for a brief second at the action.
"I believe it will be a success, not one that can bear fruit for many years though if I'm not mistaken." Isard let the Grand Moff guide him to the door.
"I truly belief that as well, but once the Death Star is complete most of our scheming will be for naught anyways."
The doors to the conference room slid open and the guards outside snapped to attention. Isard turned to him for one last inquiry. "Then why do this, Wilhuff?"
"Because I can, Armand." Tarkin replied with all his arrogance. Isard gave him a slight understanding nod and parted company, trailed by his two Intelligence troopers. Tarkin turned to his executive suite and unbuttoned the neck of his uniform. He poured himself a glass of Corellian Chardai wine and slowly walked to the nearest viewport. All the while contemplating the wheels he had put in motion. Secrecy he was sure of, even the ISB hadn't caught a whiff of his doings yet. Speed would be essential for guaranteeing that, but there was still a lot that could go wrong. So many unknowns that Tarkin still had to work out. By force of will alone, Tarkin would raise his place in this galaxy once again.
For a brief moment Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin stared out of the nearby tranpiristeel viewport into the abyss and wondered if it was staring back.
So how was it? This is a ten person POV story, from slaves to stormies to Fleet Admirals, so let me get each character introduced and then the real action can begin. And please feel free to leave a review