High above Dromund Kaas, the Imperial seat of power, the newly assembled 13th fleet hovered in tight formation as the last transports of troops and supplies made the short shuttle ride from the Imperial space station to the four awaiting Harrower-class dreadnaughts. Metallic predators of the stars, the wedge shaped vessel bore a gap running along the center of the hull that looked much like a gaping maw, ready to devour weaker ships.
These four ships were not alone. As per Imperial naval regulations at least one fleet remained in orbit at any one time to defend Dromund Kaas in the off chance of an enemy incursion. The current fleet on defensive maneuvers, the 3rd fleet, flashed their warning lights in timed intervals as their ships passed, interstellar code wishing their departing comrades good luck.
From the bridge of the Tiamat, flagship of the 7th Legion, Varixx Tarnok nodded in approval at the gesture in camaraderie before turning around to look first at his bridge crew, asserting their readiness before giving the holo terminal in the center of the bridge his full attention. Rising like spectral ghosts from the base of the machine, holo transmissions of the three other officers that made up the upper tier of command stood smart, ready for action.
Varixx squared his shoulders, felt the stress bleed away and excitement take its place. “All ships Report operational status.”
Operative Ric stood calmly and when Varixx’s eyes addressed him, the man inclined his head respectfully. “Precipitous reports green for combat operations Lord Tarnok. All hail the Empire.”
Next Yaskel, a potent inquisitor came to stand the forefront of the trio. A predatory smile emanated from the darkness of his hooded cloak and he raised a fist. “Vigilant prepared for battle! Unleash us!”
Varixx looked last to Felnix, the powerfully framed bounty hunter nodded decisively. “Insurmountable green and ready. Lets get this show on the road.”
Varixx nodded. “Tiamat is green and ready. Very well gentlemen, let us begin. I’ll address the fleet and then we will depart. Inform your ship captains to prepare sub light engines and follow our exodus out of system.”
Varixx turned and point to his communications officer who killed the transmission with the flick of a switch on his console and nodded to Varixx, activating voice and audio mass transition to every station and ship holding 7th Legion members. “Whenever you are ready, my lord.”
Varixx turned back to the holo display. “Soldiers, sailors, and mercenaries of the 7th Legion. This is your commander, Lord Tarnok. Our time has come at last. The droll months spent training and preparing are over. Tonight we begin formal operations. Tonight we show the Republic the price it must pay for allowing the Empire to remobilize in glorious resurgence.”
“Fifty thousand strong we span the galaxy. From Balmora to Nal Hutta, many of our companies are already stationed on key worlds, ready to engage in violence so that our citizens might finally know satisfaction for the horrors they endured over a thousand years ago. Here, above Dromund Kaas, a quarter of our strength stands ready as our fleet prepares to cut into Republic border territory. I have no doubts as to your mettle and resolve. This sham peace cannot last. When it finally collapses, when the cold war heats up, I know all of you will do your part to bring this war to a successful conclusion.
“We are but a single groove in the long blade of the Imperial war machine, but I assure you that we will cut deep into the bloated husk of corruption that the Republic has devolved into. The Jedi and the seasoned Republic soldiers stand ready to resist us on every front. Worthy foes to be sure, but in the end they will also be broken. Show them the saber, the blaster, the cold steel. Do this, never waver, and victory will be ours!”
Varixx paused and looked directly into the holo transmitter that was broadcasting him throughout the fleet and various 7th legion operational hubs across the galaxy. He allowed a few seconds of pause to allow his next words, words he’d waited so long to utter, to finally flow from his lips.
“Warriors of the 7th Legion! This is my first command: Prepare for battle! The eyes of the Emperor are upon us!”
The four ships slipped into hyperspace without further fanfaire. Cutting off the transmission, Varixx turned around to watch the trip through hyperspace as it unfolded beyond them. Silently reciting the Sith code, Varixx basked in the calm before the storm.
For him and the 7th Legion, the war had returned. He smiled. "Peace is a lie, there is only passion..."