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Subject: Dantooine, Dantooine … the rebel base is at Dantooine rss

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Subudai (Pete) Khan
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[Editor's note: this is the concluding chapter to a recent trilogy that includes the stories 'a noble sacrifice' and 'Hate leads to suffering']

Dear Comrade,

It is with a heavy heart I write to advise that our secret rebel base is no more. Last night, horror was inflicted upon our here-to-for unknown facilities at Dantooine. The evil Lord Vader, in company with his equally sinister henchman Soontir Fel, coordinated a ‘planetary assault’ on the four units of rebel troopers defending our base. Despite the best efforts of General Madine, the imperial ATAT regiment, ATST regiment and two units of storm troopers that descended upon us brought overwhelming firepower to bear on our poor people. All four of our troop units were gunned down in the first round of surface combat. We shot back and wiped out the storm trooper units, but the shields of the imperial armoured units proved impervious to our fire. Even then, all was not lost. Aloft was a rebel transport with a Y wing fighter squadron as escort, positioned there to give us time to reorganise then evacuate our key personnel. Even then, at the end of GT7, despite the loss of all our ground units and defences at our base, we thought we may have survived.

Alas, we were not aware that the evil jackal Soontir Fel had the ability in the assignment phase of GT8, before we could take the first operation in the command phase, to undertake a scouting mission to Dantooine with four Tie fighter squadrons. Why hadn’t we planned GT7 to move our people, or at least station more substantial forces at our base? Alas, the empire had cruelly manoeuvred forces and ships to all our alternate relocation options except three, and adjacent to those three they had stationed overwhelming firepower. Our only hope was to retain control of Dantooine and reposition ships from Mygeeto and Mandalore before the empire could strike. Alas, we never got the chance. Yoda trained Jedi Luke Skywalker did all he could, shooting down two of the incoming four Tie squadrons, but our transport and Y wing squadron were themselves annihilated. The last chance to save the republic and establish a new base had been torn from us. The rebellion, for now, is over!

How did we come to such a pitiful state? Yes, I know my friend that republican administration of the galaxy after we won the first and then second imperial interventions was nothing short of abysmal; hence, is it any wonder that for a third time the people lost faith in us. But surely they, the people, should have realised that ‘order’ is just another by-word for imperial tyranny! To think that Naboo, Kashyyyk and Mon Calamari were all who were prepared to stand by us immediately when hostilities again broke out. I know that we lost Corsucant, Corellia, Saleucami and Mandalore to the empire because of their self-interest. I also understand that imperial garrisons at Mustafar and Sullust ensured subjugation of those systems too; but I was certain our decision to station all but a troop transport and one squadron of our fighters at Mon Calamari was going to do so much for our cause. Oh how I wish we had looked to initially basing ourselves at Utupau instead, where we would have been constructing twice as many capital ships.

If I am honest about our management of things, I suspect we all knew that third war might be way more difficult than our fights with the empire twice previously. This time I suspected we were in trouble as soon as the emperor himself intervened in the ‘build alliance’ attempt made by Mon Mothma at Utupau on GT1; Palpatine’s presence and his threats were enough to counter the most eloquent attempts of Mon Mothma to convince the citizens of Utupau to join us. At least Leia, somehow, was able to contact and convince Master Yoda that this was indeed ‘our most desperate hour’. We now had a tremendous opportunity for someone to receive Jedi training soon. Nothing, however, could stop the subjugation of Naboo by that brute Vader and his henchmen. Nor could we stop the diabolical General Tagge from undertaking nefarious ‘research & development’ at Corellia.

GT2 we at least saw off the attempt by the emperor himself to subjugate Mon Calamari. Oh what a day. Despite the emperor proclaiming that things would unfold, ‘according to my design’, General Dadonna saw to it that events proved otherwise; he saw off the attempt at subjugation. What a tragedy we lost the Corellian Class corvette ‘Defender’ in the fight. We would rue her loss deeply, but drew some solace from the fact that two of the three storm trooper detachments Janus Greeatus had earlier raised as a show of ‘public support’ at Saleucami were then wiped out at Mon Calamari. We were heartened too that the star destroyer ‘Imperial Vengeance’ took heavy damage before uploading and fleeing with the remainder of imperial ground forces back to Saleucami.

Luke himself, having joined us, undertook training with Master Yoda at Dagobah, becoming a fully-fledged Jedi Knight in the process. Leia and General Reeikan undertook a ‘Hit and Run’ attack that destroyed two Tie fighter squadrons at subjugated Sullust, then narrowly escaped capture by that villain, Darth Vader. Despite the reassuring presence of General Reeikan, only the timely intervention of Leia’s R2D2 droid saved the princess from certain capture. Worse, where we made gains, we also had losses. Mon Mothma, for example, went and successfully ‘built alliance’ at Nal Hutta, but we were saddened when Grand Moff Tarkin took it upon himself to subjugate Felucia. The empire now had not one, but two systems from which to mount future assaults on Mon Calamari. Nor were we at all happy that once again General Tagge was reported GT2 to be undertaking ‘research & development’ at Corellia. I shuddered to think what that might produce.

GT3 I hoped our fortunes would improve. Initially, I was not to be disappointed. That lovable rogue Lando Calrissian pulled a wonderful stunt, this time undertaking an ‘independent operation’ that convinced the imperial surface forces at Naboo that a ground worm plague threatened to devour them all if they did not immediately evacuate the system (so they did, to distant Mandalore, where, ironically, for the remainder of the war they remained in situ). Unfortunately, our humour was short-lived. Admiral Ozzel, newly reporting for duty with the empire, promptly advised he was ‘proceeding as planned’, his efforts seeing the laying down of a super star destroyer.

Militarily the grand council of the republic knew we needed to act fast to stave off impending doom at Mon Calamari. Hence, Jedi Luke Skywalker took our four fighter squadrons and launched an immediate attack on the star destroyer ‘Imperial Vengeance’ and her single squadron of Tie fighters at Saleucami. Infuriatingly, despite taking heavy damage, thanks to the ship fighting skills of Moff Tarkin, the ‘Vengeance’ was able to flee to neighbouring Felucia. Whilst Luke lost his two X wing squadrons achieving this outcome, at least the chaos induced at Felucia by Tarkin’s retreat precluded any imperial attack GT3 from Felucia on Mon Calamari (so we would at least get to lay down a second Mon Calamari Class cruiser). I have to confess, given their past behaviour, I was expecting the empire to be aggressive militarily, but we were shocked (and should have been very concerned) when, in place of further subjugation, General Tagge was ordered to ‘construct factory’ at Corellia, a move that led to the laying down of another out of schedule star destroyer. This effort was diabolically complimented by Admiral Ozzel announcing that the empire would also ‘construct a super star destroyer’. In the space of a GT we now faced a massive imperial fleet in the near future. What a tragedy we never got the chance to organise a ‘rogue squadron raid’ or any similar style of attack before this armada deployed with various imperial fleets.

The empire was outbuilding us militarily by a significant margin, but worse was to come. Once again the honeyed words of Mon Mothma to ‘build alliance’ proved useless against the threats offered to the citizens of Utupau by the emperor’s lackey, Janus Greeatus. Nor were Leia and General Reeikan any more successful when they attempted to sabotage the Tie fighter construction yards at subjugated Mustafar; Lord Vader’s intervention put a stop to that effort. Adding to my sense of disquiet at the time, the emperor himself then arrived at Sullust and, despite the efforts of General Dadonna to persuade them otherwise, by threatening to ‘rule by fear’ the Sullustans buckled, becoming totally loyal followers of the imperial creed (and thereby giving the empire an ATAT manufacturing facility). Perhaps all this explains why politically we were getting nowhere. No matter what we tried to do, we could not achieve a single one of our many objectives.

GT4 I sincerely hoped our luck would change. The assignment of General Madine to our ranks and the empire’s ability to only recruit the likes of Moff Jerjerrod to theirs was a good start. Leia and General Reeikan had fantastic success ‘planting a false lead’ in the imperial archives at Mustafar; thanks to them, we were able to scrub imperial records – for now – of any thought that Bothawui, Rodia, Dathomir or Toydaria were the rebel base. General Madine later joined the team to sabotage the imperial production facilities, whilst Luke himself topped off our efforts, concentrating four new rebel fighter squadrons at Mandalore, hoping again to ambush and blow up an imperial star destroyer. Infuriatingly, Admiral Ozzel, despite his ship the ‘Emperor’s Decision’ taking significant damage, once again escaped our clutches (Ozzel retreating to adjacent Felucia). Worse news soon followed. Moff Tarkin subjugated the citizens of Bespin and then this military occupation was followed up by a later visit from Palpatine’s propaganda minister, Janus Greeatus. I do not know what threats or inducements were offered, but we were stunned when the citizens of Bespin declared their open loyalty to the imperial cause. The emperor himself later led the re-subjugation of Naboo from Sullust, whilst Moff Jerrod led a task force from Coruscant to Ord Mantell that also subjugated that system.

It was a dark time indeed; and we were desperate for new ships, which is why General Dadonna led a Y wing squadron from rebel Nal Hutta to neutral Toydaria. At least, after her third effort, Mon Mothma too was finally able to ‘build alliance’ with the people of Utupau; but I worried the securing of that mighty shipyard was all way too late, especially given what Palpatine had just done in Naboo. When General Tagge visited Corellia and announced he was to ‘address delays’, we learnt that the empire had begun construction of no less than their eighth star destroyer! They already had two super star destroyers nearing completion. Our collective mood within rebel headquarters was not improved when Lord Vader again sought to capture Princess Leia, this time at Mustafar. Once again her incredible luck held and she escaped, but it was a near run thing. At least we finally achieved one of our objectives, demonstrating to the galaxy that we could ‘defend the people’. Public opinion of our reputation climbed from 14 to 13 points.

GT5 we were able to recruit that great naval tactician Admiral Ackbar to our cause. Of course, we had to live with the assignment of Soontir Fel to imperial ranks. That period in time was perhaps a true high point of our success. General Madine led a group of commando teams to subjugated Ord Mantell, where they caused so much mischief the imperial storm trooper garrison was wiped out, as was a Tie fighter squadron. Ord Mantell promptly declared her neutrality, despite the circling presence of the imperial assault transport ‘Blightrunner’. Of course, our success at Ord Mantell was immediately countered by the unwanted subjugation of Utupau by Moff Tarkin. Despite the best efforts of Admiral Ackbar and the Mon Calamari Class cruiser ‘Senator’, our ground forces were crushed and our good admiral, given the impending arrival of a super star destroyer, thought it best to retire on Geonosis. But at least we had the satisfaction of knowing those yards would not produce a single vessel for the empire; Leia and Lando, working together, led commando teams to Utupau that later sabotaged the newly subjugated yards.

I should be honest and admit that we were deeply fearful of imperial power by this point in time. General Reeikan, for example, took to our base and there commenced planning for ‘rapid mobilisation’; planning we later did not implement. Mon Mothma sought to bolster our pitiful space forces by winning the loyalty of Toydaria, successfully ‘building alliance’ with that neutral system. Unfortunately, by GT5 the empire was ready to drop the proverbial hammer. Admiral Ozzel sailed the star destroyer ‘Imperial Might’ and two Tie fighter squadrons to Mon Calamari to blockade the space production facilities in the system. Only later did we realise we had also inadvertently put in place the largest self-sustained prison camp in the galaxy. Not one of the members of our two air speeder regiments or five rebel troop units stationed at Mon Calamari ever served in a combat role with our forces ever again. Worse followed when Janus Greeatus conducted ‘trade negotiations’ at Utupau, that inducement enough to see that system abandon its loyalty to the republic and declare its neutrality (I often ponder if our own sabotage efforts played a part in that outcome). Lord Vader sailed an imperial task force from Corellia to subjugate Cato Neimoidia. Nor did the bad news end there. The emperor led the star destroyer ‘Dominator’ from Felucia to garrison the remote moons in the Yavin system, prohibiting any establishment of a base there. Worse, Moff Jerjerrod redeployed further imperial forces from Sullust to Naboo, clearly preparing the forces that could begin subjugation operations against Ryloth, Tatooine, Rodia and later Bothawui. General Tagge capped a bad year for us by undertaking further research and development at Coruscant.

We were a little deluded by our own success at this point in time and our delusion was reinforced by what immediately followed. We managed, through our sabotage efforts at Utupau and Mustafar, along with our blockade of Mandalore, to ‘cut supply lines’ amongst imperial forces. So, despite our setbacks, public regard for our reputation climbed again, this time from 13 to 12 points. However, unbeknown to us, thanks to their probe reports, already by this early stage in the war imperial intelligence had determined that Nal Hutta, Dathomir, Toydaria, Dagobah, Bothawui, Rodia, Endor and Hoth could not be the rebel base. Imperial forces had begun the war in control of Coruscant, Corellia, Sullust, Mustafar, Mandalore and Saleucami. They’d invaded (albeit unsuccessfully) Mon Calamari, and at various times subjugated Ord Mantell, Utupau, Naboo, Cato Neimoidia, Bespin and Felucia, as well as established outposts at Yavin. Had we thought things through more thoroughly, we might have questioned ourselves as to just how successful our operation to ‘plant false lead’ at Mustafar had really been. Hindsight is such a useless gift.

This perhaps explains why, in GT6, when Admiral Ackbar led two fighter squadrons from Mandalore to Ord Mantell, there blowing up the assault frigate ‘Blightrunner’ despite it being the lead vessel in Admiral Ozzel’s task force, we thought we were on the pathway to victory. Only the Death Star and a few Tie fighter squadrons defended the space at Coruscant. Could we really strike at the ‘heart of the empire’? General Madine thought so, which is why he led a rebel team into imperial Saleucami and there undertook ‘misdirection’ intended to block a future mission by Princess Leia. That mission was one to ‘build alliance’ at Mygeeto, which now gave us a major system in the western rim of the galaxy. We were then thrilled when Mon Mothma established ‘trade relations’ with Ord Mantell, that system too not only joining our cause as a loyal member of the republican federation, but placing on the build queue a Corellian Class corvette as well as an air speeder regiment for our forces.

Of course, the empire was not idle as we shaped our own plans. Moff Tarkin demonstrated the precarious situation we faced in the outer rim territories when he led the super star destroyer ‘Dark Malice’ and the star destroyer ‘Galactic Justice’ to Geonosis to battle General Dadonna and our Mon Calamari Class cruiser ‘Senator’. It was a very lopsided engagement; the ‘Senator’ took very heavy damage and only just managed to limp away to adjacent Tatooine. Worse, in the face of overwhelming imperial space and ground combat power there was nothing our surface forces could do to prevent the imperial subjugation of Geonosis itself. Things further declined when Lord Vader then captained the star destroyer ‘Imperial Revenge’ and an ATST regiment to Rodia, his action immediately leading to the subjugation of that system. Moff Jerjerrod began to close the gate behind us when he led the star destroyers ‘Exterminator’ and ‘Executioner’ and a surface task force from Saleucami to Toydaria; our rebel troop unit garrisoning the recently loyal rebel system were annihilated and Toydaria too became subjugated. Janus Greeatus then instituted ‘rule by fear’ at Toydaria, the system abandoning its pledge of loyalty to the rebel cause and declaring its neutrality.

So what you may well ask? Well, with Toydaria and Utupau subjugated and Mon Calamari blockaded, our only remaining major shipyard was that at Ord Mantell. We were lucky that an attempt by Soontir Fel to ‘hunt them down’ at Ord Mantell, an operation that involved targeting our fighter squadrons, failed. We were less lucky when the emperor himself moved the star destroyer ‘Dominator’ and a storm trooper unit from adjacent Yavin to Dathomir. Things got more complicated when General Tagge decided to ‘oversee project’ at Dathomir; the empire promptly deployed an ATAT regiment to augment their garrison in this unpopulated system.

Still, we were feeling happy with ourselves when our political analysts reported that, as we now had the loyalty of six systems in the galaxy, there was ‘popular support’ for our cause; our reputation climbed again from 12 to 11 points. It’s probably at that point we made our fatal error. GT7 the rebel council ordered Jedi Luke Skywalker to lead a newly assembled task force consisting of the Mon Calamari Class cruiser ‘Defender of the Republic’ and the Corellian Class corvette ‘Peacemaker’ from Mygeeto to Dathomir, there to engage the imperial star destroyer ‘Dominator’ and Admiral Ozzel in battle. Oh how close we came to almost destroying one of the hated bastions of imperial power. Alas, Ozzel managed once again to oversee a successful escape of his ship, leaving his surface forces behind (which we thought was a major mistake, but we were to learn – to our cost – that there was method in seeming imperial madness). Little did we appreciate how badly we needed to have won that battle to enhance our reputation. We were completely deluded when General Tagge, in light of our deployment of a Y wing fighter squadron at Ord Mantell that brought our forces there to three squadrons, in reaction to the imperial retreat at Dathomir, then seemingly because of fear moved the Death Star from Coruscant to Corellia. We complimented our state of delusion when Admiral Ackbar used our Mon Calamari class cruiser at Tatooine and some fighters at Bothawui to attack the star destroyer ‘Imperial Revenge’ at Rodia. The emperor himself appreciated the political impact of our tactics, personally assuming command of this fight and skilfully extricating his ship and therefore imperial reputation to Naboo, leaving behind surface forces consisting of an ATST regiment and a storm trooper unit. At least we finally achieved some success when Mon Mothma later ‘incited rebellion’ at Rodia, the uprising leading to the destruction of the imperial garrison and the end of subjugation in what became neutral Rodia.

However, despite our best efforts, three times we were thwarted in our attempts to advance our reputation in the combat phase and we now paid a heavy price for our failure. Whilst General Reeikan looked to establish ‘base Defences’ at Dantooine and Princess Leia did ‘build alliance’ at Bothawui, Moff Jerjerrod took the star destroyer ‘Galactic Justice’ and an imperial storm trooper detachment and subjugated Ryloth. Lord Tarkin subjugated Kessel. Lord Vader and Soontir Fel then stunned us by staging a ‘planetary conquest’ at Dantooine! The empire gambled that ILum was not our base. Although Lando moved our three fighter squadrons from Ord Mantell to Mygeeto, the rest of the story you know (except that imperial probe droids GT7 did confirm Ilum was not our base).

Flee my friend. Go immediately to some corner of the galaxy and hope the empire cannot find you. All is darkness, all is lost. The rebellion, for now, is over!
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