"Star Wars/Wing Commander: The Imperial March"

Table of Contents . . .




Leia Organa Solos personal flagship, the freshly commissioned MC Battle Cruiser Mediator, hung visibly in low orbit over the gas giant Yavins fourth moon. With one last hiss, Han and Leias Lambda shuttle touched down on the pyramid-like Great Temples central landing pad with repulsorlift aid beside the Lightning Rod and Rock Dragon. The Massassi-built structure of Lukes praxeum looked surprisingly durable despite the four thousand years it had stood with only minor repairs, through Imperial incursions starting with the Battle of Yavin.

The Jedi Academy trainees were below—"Lowie" Lowbacca, Tenel Ka, Zekk, Raynar, Lusa, Anja, and the older Jedi Knight "student trainers" Kirana Ti, Streen, Kam Solusar, Dorsk 82, historian Tionne, and Dozen-and-Two Avengers Squadron CO Kyp Durron were all eager to welcome Jaina back. 

"Hi, Zekk. Miss me?"

From the shuttles lowered ramp Leia and Han watched their daughter either shake hands with or hug her much missed friends, then give the black-haired Zekk a kiss on his cheek in front of all the others. They laughed, Zekk blushing profuselyexactly the effect Jaina wanted.

Zekk, wearing a big smile as he was unwilling to allow such a humiliation go unmet, swept Jaina up into a huge hug. Then, as she was totally taken by surprise, he kissed, fuller and deeper than she could have thought possible. As their kiss ended, she found herself staring into his hazel eyes, eyes which had a warmth and depth to them like shed never noticedor let herself noticebefore.

"Thats enough, you two," Han shouted at them from afar. "Break it up alr"

"Oh, leave them alone," Leia spoke, nudging her husband.

Han gave a chuckle. "Only giving my daughter a hard time, your highnessness. Its my right, damn it."

Zekk took a step back, suddenly nervous after making his move. The stares of the gathering of Jedi Knights and trainees were getting to him. "So... Jaina," he began, scratching the back of his head and adjusting his ponytail, "do you, uh... yknow... want to go out with me sometime?"

Jaina upped the ante again by returning his kiss. When they finally came up for air, she could only whisper, "Yes... oh, yes. I thought youd never ask, Zekk." She again stared into his eyes, realizing something that she had never realized beforethis was the one and only boy that had ever reached her in her deepest heart.


Leia and Han smiled as their two sons Jacen and Anakin Solo made their way through the gathering from the Great Temples auditorium, smiling at their parents before embracing their sister. Leia gave her husbands hand a squeeze.

President Gavrisom and High Councilor Borsk Feylya had already negotiated a settlement in good faith with the small Imperial faction since the Defiance and Falcon’s return—the only one still under the direct jurisdiction of the aging Admiral Gilad Pellaeonthat had not had any part in Jhediahs militant Third Imperium. The settlement gave the Imperials back their capital world of Bastion in addition to the Muunilist and Yaga Minor systems.

With the Third Imperiums entrapment and practical obliteration in the Milky Way Galaxy, there would be no further resistance to the state of peace between the remnants of the Empire and the New Republic.

As she looked over the joyful faces of her three children, then at her husband, Leia made a decision. Shed done her part as Mon Mothmas successoras councilor, high councilor, and chief of state. With the New Republic finally settling into a solid and much-deserved peacetime, she would renounce her chief of state title and devote her time to something she had been neglecting for far too long.



Twelve X-wings roared down into the bright afternoon sky of Kuan, a somber sight in an otherwise bright venue. They were painted a flat, jet black that seemed to absorb any sunlight that came in contact with them, making them seem no more than shadows flitting across the sky. However, most shadows didnt sport massive numbers of kill marks, unit insignia, or bright red pinstriping that proclaimed them to be the famed and feared Rogue Squadron. Tailing them, making the scene even more strange and incredible, were twenty-four TIE Defenders, also painted jet black. It was there, however, that the similarities ended. Eight of the Defenders had horizontal red stripes on the solar panels that were the distinctive markings of the defunct 181st Imperial Fighter Group that had once been Baron Soontir Fels. The balance of the force, as well as the Lambda-class shuttle tailing the fighters, had black fuselages and entirely red wings, markings of the once-famous Omega Guards Squadron. These three famous squadrons, Rogue Squadron, the 194th, and the 195th, had come to Kuan to pay respect to a fallen comrade, one of the most elite of the elites.

They set down amidst the ruins of one of the warehouse districts on the grim citys eerie landscape, two blocks from an isolated apartment where the fallen pilot had grown up. There, the pilots formed into a funereal procession with casket bearing the remaining mementos of a starfighter heros life, separating the Rogues and dignitaries that had flown in the shuttle up front from the Imperial pilots behind. There was the fallen pilots medals, his awards, his personal logs, and uniformseverything but a body. 

Imperial Major General Dara Glovyern acted as the drill master in front of the formation beside the lead New Republic pilot. "Detail, aten-shun!" she barked. "Foward, harch!"

The New Republic pilot had left his newly acquired XJ model X-wing atop one of the high-rise buildings behind him under the guard of his astromech R5-D2 droid, Gate, and had begun to travel the sidewalks on foot with the rest of the entourage. The city had once been a great metropolitan center before Kuans feud with its Bordal neighbor and the Imperial encroachment on the planet sometime around the Rebel Alliances escape from Hoth, he had heard, but now it was a gloom-ridden nightmare of urban decadence. Though no longer an Imperial-held world, it hadnt recovered. The pilot couldnt understand why Kuan hadnt joined the New Republic upon the numerous invitations it had received over the years.

Swoop planes howled overhead in the numerous races and competitions the world as General Wedge Antilles, resplendent in his full dress uniform with the Confederations Medal of Honor hed earned hanging like a brilliant golden sun from his neck, approached the apartment complex they sought. It was in a very lonely, very hidden part of the city. The entourage set off in lockstep, navigating the twisted streets behind Wedge and Dara. Hesitantly, General Antilles walked up a steep flight of stairs, small creatures scuttling underfoot as he climbed. Beside him, Dara jumped. They could both sense eyes peering through small holes in the walls and he grew more nervous with every step.

At the top of the stairs they found the apartment they was looking for. Holding his flight helmet in one hand as he exchanged a glance with Major General Glovyern, Wedge gave a knock. Several seconds later a flap slid upon on the door, two eyes inspecting him up and down, probably noting Wedges white-orange New Republic flightsuit. A moment later the door grinded open and he was facing a woman well into her eighties dressed in a black gown, with a look of confusion on her face that changed to shock when she took in all the pilots her midst. She cried out and tumbled against the door jam. Her cries cut off, and Wedge and Dara sprung forward, into the apartment.

"Marina Stele?" Wedge asked, grabbing her arm before she would fall.

The old woman winced, dormant fear lighting her sunken eyes. "Y-yes...?"

"Im General Wedge Antilles of the New Republic, maam," he introduced himself politely. "Rogue Squadron."

"Im Major General Dara Glovyern of the Imperial Navy," Glovyern introduced herself. She then gestured behind her. "These are my fellow officers and my XO, Colonel Davin Felth. Weve come here... ah..." Dara looked hopefully to Wedge.

"Oh my... what is all this about? What do you want with me?" Marina inquired. She narrowed her eyes. "Is this about Maarek?"

"Yes, maamyour son." Dara gave a solemn nod. "I knew him... well."

Her eyes fixed on Daras as she wagged a finger forward, Marina asked, "You loved him, didnt you?"

Dara suddenly faltered. "I-I... I..." A slight blush coming over her cheeks, she looked down.

Marina caught the flicker of surprise on the Major Generals face, then nodded understandingly. "Its okay, dear. Im sure he cares for you, too... but that stubborn boy always had such trouble expressing his emotions."

"I only knew your son as an adversary," Wedge then spoke, "but I had nothing but respect for him because he always acted with honor... and never forgot where he came from. Your son, Maarek... he attacked a group of Imperial Shadow Droids that had targeted my damaged X-wing. If it werent for him, I wouldnt be here today talking to you."

"Quite literally, Mrs. Stele, your son saved an entire galaxy," Dara added.

"I always knew my boy would be a hero." What had been a timid smile of pride on Marinas face abruptly faded into a frown, her frail chest heaving in a sigh. Her eyes looked off past Wedge and Dara, focusing on nothing. "I-I... havent seen him for over twenty years... not since he was plucked away by the Empire. And so soon after his father, Kerek... oh no... no..." The old woman suddenly shot Wedge a look of suspicion. The reality of the situation was finally beginning to dawn on her. "My Maareks all right, isnt he?"

His head hung low with the burden he had taken on himself, Wedge delivered General Maarek Steles mother the unpleasant news. At last he fulfilled Maareks final request.

Maareks mother knew her son had died a hero.


The cold night air chilling his skin, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker maintained a lonely vigil over the balcony of his spartan Imperial Palace suite. The suite had always been an infrequent haunt of his, though between tending to the Jedi Academy and rushing out to quell the troubles that would consistently arise in the New Republic every year or so, he came to Coruscant too seldom to frequent it much anymore.

"The Chosen One..." he thought out loud, remembering well Emperor Palpatines words. "Father, can it be me?"

For a moment he just stood there, leaning against the chest-high wrought stone railing and letting the cool night breeze ruffle his hair as he pondered the matters that troubled him. He stared at the bright lights and bustling air traffic of the seemingly infinite expanse of the Imperial City below, the lights of vehicles and streets intertwining to form a sort of flowing work of art. Overhead, lit by both the city lights and those of occasional airspeeders flitting through them, the low-lying clouds were a dim sculptured ceiling stretching in all directions, with the same apparent endlessness as the city itself. Far to the south, he could just barely make out the Manarai Mountains, their snow-covered peaks illuminated, like the clouds, largely by reflected light from the citythe only part of the terrain not covered with the skyscrapers of the city planets capital city.

He was gazing at the mountains when, twenty meters behind him, the door to the Palace was quietly opened.

Luke turned to see his beloved wife, Mara Jade Skywalker, the red-haired woman striding her way across the balcony to where he stood. In returning to their home galaxy via the Katrel System, though they had spent well over a month in the Milky Way fighting the Imperial-Kilrathi fleet, barely an hour had elapsed here. Mara should have been just returning from a diplomatic mission to Rhommamool on the Jade Sabre shuttlecraft hed built for her after the loss of her Jades Fire, the shuttlecraft that, for many years, had been her only true possession. What hed heard on the voyage back to Coruscant indicated the preliminary meeting pointed to there being little hope of bringing peace between the disputing Rhommamool and Osarian systems, but the New Republic still had to try.

"Luke..." she sighed quietly, wrapping her arms around his shoulders as she approached.

Luke smiled warmly, taking her hand as he looked into her inviting green eyes. What he shared with Mara had always been strong and meaningful, every bit as much so as the marriage his sister and Han still shared after seventeen years. "I know Ive only been gone a couple days to you," he spoke, "but its been... a little longer for me. I missed you, Mara."

"Yeah, you better say that." Mara gave a laugh and let her lips find her husbands. "I love you, Skywalker."

"I love you, too."

There was a long road ahead of Luke. Between getting the Jedi Academy to a point where it was autonomous and resurrecting the legendary Jedi Council on Coruscant, he would have little time to look back.

2681.022 A.D., THE MILKY WAY GALAXY. . .



Just after sunrise in the great grasslands of Taggarts grand Dumfuirlin residence, Commodore Christopher "Maverick" Blair and Major Todd "Maniac" Marshall took a walk beside Senator James Taggart, all three men dressed in normal civilian attire. In another hour Blair and Marshall would be taking an express shuttle to rendezvous back with the now-repaired Midway at the Fourth Fleet HQ in the Dakota System of Vega.

The Scottish Assembly Master, once known as "Paladin" to his wingmates, stroked his beard as he sucked on his corncob pipe, considering what the three had been talking about. "Its a victory, aye, but a hollow one at that."

Blair nodded in response. Only hours ago President Quinson had officially declared the state of war the Terran Confederation had been at to be over with on the TNC.

"Some big buncha hardasses from another galaxy team up with the Cats and try to kick our asses, then get shit kicked outta them... does that pretty much sum it up?" Maniac chimed.

"Aye, but there are still some Imperials out there... and those ships will eventually attempt another offensive sooner or later, you can be sure." Taggart regarded Blair with a concerned glance. "Are you okay, Christopher?"

Blair held the unignited lightsaber Luke had given him in his hand, staring at the handle with curiosity. "Fine. Just... just wondering about things."

"Aye..." Taggart nodded understandingly. "About your counterpart, Id wager."

"It was so... for lack of a better word... weird." Blair shook his head, trying to make sense of it all. "While Luke Skywalker and I were on that Super Star Destroyer fighting the Emperor, I really did feel what Luke called the Force. It was like what Karista was starting to show me on the hijacked Olympus when we were those Pilgrims captives almost thirty years ago, Maniac... but so much more."

Maniac shrugged indifferently. "If you say so."

"You know what I’m talking about, Paladin... you’ve got Pilgrim blood in you as well," he pressed. "You were there on the Olympus with Maniac and I, too... with Amity."

Taggart repressed a frown unsuccessfully, offering only, "Aye."

Blair turned back to Marshall. "And you, Maniac... youve lived quite the charmed life. Anyone who knows you or has even heard about you would say its a miracle youre still alive, the way youve flown out there all these yearsmaybe all this time youve had Force potential and not even known it."

Marshall scoffed at the notion. "Ho-kay, thats a great fortune cookie, Commodore War Hero. So Im lucky. Sorry Im not a cheap Pilgrim half-breed like your ass who can navigate quasars with a paperclip and a compass... no Jedi factor hereI make my own luck, bucko."

Blair smiled, repeating Maniacs earlier words, "If you say so."

"You made your final call on the Midways replacement pilots yet, Christopher?" Taggart asked minutes later, as they started passing through the residences lush vineyard.

Blair nodded emphatically. "Yeah, I did..."

F-106A PIRANHA 430


In the abyssal darkness of space, two identical F-106A Piranhas blazed toward their destination. Each majestic scout fighter had a thin fuselage, with two supporting wings jutting out from each side, with each pair connected to a threatening weapon array. The rear of each fighter bore a four-point star, with a white circle enclosing it. The fighters were small, barely holding the pilots, the systems, and the mechanisms needed for operation.

They were Piranha fighters of the Terran Confederation, speeding through the speckled black heavens.

"C’mon, Maestro. Lost your touch? I’ve been ahead of you since the last jump point!" shouted 2nd Lt. Lance "Frosty" Casey, piloting the Piranha that had, for the last few hours, been roaring ahead another lagging Piranha. Lance R. Casey, son of the late-but-honored Major Michael "Iceman" Casey of the TCS Tiger’s Claw, looked little like his father. He had wide eyes, a small frame, and brown hair that fit his innocent boyish appearance. His father had a more chiseled, more muscular stature, with thin lips and an appropriately stoic appearance. The entirety of Casey’s appearance was concealed beneath a thin flight suit that afforded him little comfort.

Racing Casey in his own Piranha was fellow 2nd Lt. Maxwell "Maestro" Garrett. He was not one for losing, and was confident that he would be the first of the two Confederation officers to touch down at their destination. His ruffled black hair, pasty skin and sharp appearance were also concealed beneath his thin, bothersome flight suit.

"Watch and learn from the Maestro himself!" the fellow 2nd Lt. responded with arrogant defiance. Maestro, a long time Academy buddy of Casey’s, pitched, yawed and ignited his afterburners just to get ahead of his comrade. However, Maestro’s actions worked with little avail. For a brief moment Maxwell was a few meters ahead, but he couldn’t maintain his speed. Frosty roared past him toward their destination.

Their destination: the TCS Midway.

First of her class and type the megacarrier Midway was the beacon of a new decade. The 2680s were going to be the beginning of an epoch without war, and a new pursuit of peace. According to the TNC, the Terran Confederation was finished with the "preliminary tests" of their most powerful capital ship, and her shakedown cruise was about to begin. The Midway was set to depart for her official maiden voyage.

Casey, who had valiantly reached the destination first, followed through the usual by-the-book regulations of docking clearance that had been drilled into him only weeks before in Flight School off Hilthros in the Sirius System.

"Just hope they got all the bugs worked out," Casey sighed, surveying the magnificent handiwork of the shipyard facilities on Orion Station at the L5 point while being summoned through the port-stern entrance.

"Relax," Maestro assured, a coy tone to his voice. "Confed hasn’t seen any action in years."


Güthrig gave the white fabric of his grand admirals uniform a slight tug, then turned away from the bridge viewports, away from the dizzying, mottling blur of hyperspace.

The Executor-class Super Star Destroyer Vacillator, though for the most part a badly damaged, skeletal hulk, limped along on a course adjacent to the ISD2s. Ridiculously slave-circuited to reroute its damaged nerve centers, about the only thing the vessel had at its disposal was a unreliably-working hyperdrive. Admiral Tschel was personally manning its makeshift bridge. When they had time to repair it the grand vessel would once again become Güthrigs flagship, but for the time being he had to be content with the also-damaged Imperial II Star Destroyer Deaths Head.

Morale was at an all-time low after the death of the Emperor over the planet Earth, but Güthrigs promises of renewed Imperial glory managed to bolster their spirits some.

They had entire archives worth of information on the Terrans and Kilrathitheir rich histories, their knowledge, and their technology. The Imperial Fleet of the Third Imperium would be more careful next time, treading lightly before next it would strike against the new enemies of the Empire in the Terran Confederation.

Güthrig himself had found hope for the Third Imperium in the histories of Confed and the Kilrathi. Within the circle of Admiralty of the Imperial Fleets commanding officers they were already plotting their ultimate strategy for the months ahead. The Terrans and Kilrathis past would become the Galactic Empires future... but such plans would have to wait until the Imperial Fleet was in suitable condition.

He would bide his time. He would wait for his chance. He would lay the groundwork for what was needed.

"Glory to the Empire," Güthrig spoke to the Captain and his executive officer.

Captain Cavanaugh, Commander Griere, Lieutenant Frejena, and Ensign Danaaris, along with the rest of the bridge staff promptly stopped whatever they were doing, stood, and shot their hands up in salute. They responded in heartfelt unison, "Glory to the Empire, sir."