Battle for Derra IV
|The Battle for Derra IV|
|Date||14.1 — 14.176 (CGT)|
|Result||Destruction of the First Sun Mobile Regiment, and the unleashing of the Great Animosity Plague and the Metamorphosis Virus on the galaxy.|
|First Sun Mobile Regiment|| Krath Dynasty|
| Galactic Empire|
Tresario Star Kingdom
|Commanders and Leaders|
| Colonel Ettrick Antalaha |
| Admiral Grevendar Togl|
Lieutenant General Chi Fo
| Emperor Guinar Ndengin|
Colonel Edward Canfield
Major General David Terrio
The Battle for Derra IV was a conflict during the Second Galactic Civil War, as both the Galactic Alliance and Imperial Union tried to restore peace to Derra IV after an outbreak of two dangerous viruses on the planet. It officially lasted from Day 1 to Day 176 of Year 14, but its aftermath rippled throughout the galaxy for the rest of the year. It was codenamed Operation Peacekeeper by the Galactic Alliance and Operation Sovereign Canopy by the Imperial Union.
Just after the fourteenth galactic standard year began, news broke of a growing tragedy in the Expansion Region. Virologists reported the discovery of a dangerous disease on the world of Derra IV. First observed in the tropical rainforests of the planet, the virus affected the parts of the nervous system that controlled anger, adrenaline, and fight-or-flight responses. By the time of its discovery, the virus had been transmitted between many different species of non-sentient animals, and to this day researchers debate its original host. Infected creatures were observed exhibiting increased aggression, territorial behavior, and a lack of inhibitions, leading them to attack anything in sight without regard for their own safety. Despite the rigorous safety protocols in place, the virus was able to jump from the carcass of an animal to one of the sentient researchers, an Imzig whose name was never made public. The team returned to a medical facility to monitor her condition. Two days after infection the Imzig became disoriented and aggressive, killing two doctors before she was killed. Within a week and a half, the turn of the new year, it was obvious that all efforts to contain the virus had failed. The virus, now officially dubbed the Great Animosity Plague, had reached Derra IV's most densely populated urban centers. The virus was declared a global pandemic and travel advisories were issued as most government and medical institutions succumbed to the unstoppable disease.
The First Battle of Barracks City
It did not take long for the galaxy to respond. Many different governments and non-profit corporations began sending medical professionals, scientists, food, and supplies. With the planetary government incapacitated, there was no single group directing the many different relief efforts, blockades, and travel restrictions. Chaos soon ensued. The First Sun Mobile Regiment, a mercenary group organized the previous year by Colonel Ettrick Antalaha, was one of the first military groups to arrive on the surface. They quickly deployed into the planet's capital and declared martial law on Day 14 in an effort to stabilize the situation. However, their declaration was not well received by the citizens of Derra IV or the galactic community. Reports were circulated accusing the mercenaries of abusing the use of force, gunning down locals who resisted their decrees, and denying humanitarian groups access to the city. First Sun spokespersons denied the charges, claiming that their edicts and tactics were crucial to stopping the spread of the virus. They also insisted that their operations on Derra had uncovered an underground criminal syndicate flooding the planet with cheap K-4 Security Droids - at once encouraging mass violence and chaos and then profiting from it. First Sun's aggressive, unilateral efforts were necessary, the representative claimed, if these cartels were going to be stopped.
The Ori'Ramikade, or the 2nd Fleet of the Krath Dynasty, arrived in the system shortly after First Sun forces did. They had been on assignment nearby, and were ordered to Derra immediately after the news of the virus broke to assess the situation ahead of the deployment of other, more distant Galactic Alliance forces. Admiral Grevendar Togl, commander of the fleet, ordered his forces to begin patrolling the grasslands and forests surrounding the urban areas to check on rural settlements and put down any infected animals that could spread the disease. After receiving news of First Sun's declaration of martial law in the city, Admiral Togl contacted Colonel Antalaha, offering the Krath's assistance and demanding First Sun rescind its declaration. It has been reported that tensions flared during the conversation, and Antalaha insulted the admiral's honor. Being an adherent of the Mandalorian culture, Admiral Togl gave the First Sun commander seventy-two hours to apologize for his comments and turn control of the city over to the Krath forces, acting as a representative of the Galactic Alliance. No records of any apology have survived, but it was widely reported that a plan for a peaceful transition of power was reached between the two parties. Whatever agreements were made, the peace deal fell apart in the final hours before the deadline, and Grandmaster of the Krath Tapar Cracken gave Togl the order for his fleet's full complement to deploy to the surface and move into the capital. It was soon nicknamed "Barracks City" by the Alliance infantry, because of the high concentration of troops stationed there during the conflict.
Krath forces met with tough resistance, but after the initial barricades were breached the majority of the First Sun forces that were not killed or captured were pushed back into a few defendable districts or otherwise disappeared into civilian homes or businesses to wage a guerilla war while the Krath patrolled the streets multiple times a day. Holos declassified by Galactic Alliance intelligence show roads leading to First Sun holdout districts blockaded by disabled sandcrawlers, forming bottlenecks where the few remaining First Sun defenders were able to hold off Krath Forces for days. During the standoff, First Sun executive officer Mandro Fluke, seeing his options for survival dwindle, surrendered himself to the Krath. In return for his freedom and safe passage from the planet, Fluke arranged to turn over a sail barge (used as a munitions depot), while First Sun 3rd in Command Mark Smythe was taking shelter inside. Fluke, promising to move the barge to a safe area, ascended into the atmosphere where he docked it onto a Galactic Alliance warship. Fluke was granted permission to leave the system, provided that he not return to First Sun, and Smythe was arrested. Just one week after declaring martial law on Derra IV, the First Sun forces had been driven out of the capital, with most of its leadership dead, defected, or detained.
The Situation Escalates
While Admiral Togl and the Krath's 2nd Fleet were sweeping through Barracks City, on Day 17 Cheda Quche was elected the 8th Chief of State of the New Republic, and soon Republic and other Galactic Alliance forces arrived to secure the Derra system. Because of his experience with the evolving situation, Admiral Togl was given operational command of all Alliance forces in the theater. While Alliance satellite networks and massive capital ships organized the anarchy that was the space around Derra IV, its ground forces were deployed across the planet's surface. Forward bases were established in the mountain and across the rolling prairies, and medical centers were set up in most populated areas. Alliance personnel faced off against Black Sun and other organizations, claiming their refugee camps were fronts for criminal enterprises, and other mercenary groups, pirates, and personal armies offered a perennial challenge to the fragile stability afforded by the Alliance's presence. The dire situation on Derra intensified when the neighboring "Stadium City" became engulfed in fighting after a second wave of the "Derra Virus" spiked.
Just days after the arrival of the Galactic Alliance, scientists working to cure the Animosity Plague at a local university announced that they had been experimenting with a strain of the Metamorphosis Virus and that several of its staff had begun showing early symptoms of the disease. The disease had been thought extinct since its last outbreak in Year 4, but soon similar cases were reported all around the planet as travel restrictions proved impossible to enforce. Where the Animosity Plague increased aggression in infected individuals, the Metamorphosis Virus was a fast-acting disease that targeted a being's immune system, attacked vital organs, and often transformed the race of those fortunate few who survived the ordeal. Alliance command had been struggling to protect their soldiers from the first deadly virus, and the prospect of protecting them from a second simultaneous pandemic seemed impossible. Little was known about this new strain. Whereas the outbreak a decade prior affected only human-like species, now all species were proving vulnerable. Even with secure supply lines, the Alliance was running short on protective equipment and the disease soon tore through their ranks, compromising their efforts to combat the Animosity Plague. With panic and tension even higher than it was before, the planet was soon plunged back into lawlessness and chaos as the Alliance desperately tried to regain its footing.
On Day 57, a month after the second outbreak, the Imperial Palace on Coruscant announced that a bounty hunter named Fleur`De Rouge had captured the New Republic Chief of State, Cheda Quche, and that he had been delivered to Coruscant where he was awaiting trial for a number of charges. Hours after the report, New Republic officials confirmed that their leader had gone missing while off-planet and was presumed dead. Those same officials also denied reports that the alleged captor, Rouge, was an Imperial agent, having demanded an exorbitant ransom for his safe release. New Republic Intelligence was unconvinced that their Chief of State was still alive in custody and refused to pay. Offering garbled transmissions from Quche while in custody, they believed Quche had ordered them not to pay the criminal and intended to take his own life. On Day 61, Imperial media showed footage of a sentient appearing to be Quche publicly executed by the Emperor. Republic officials deny that it was their former leader and that the Empire had arranged the spectacle to sow doubt and distract from the Alliance's success on Derra IV, possibly setting the stage for their own operations in the system.
Not even a full standard day following the announcement of Cheda Quche's capture, on Day 58 the Imperial 3rd Legion commanded by Colonel Edward Canfield came out of hyperspace at Derra and announced their intention to bring humanitarian and medical support to the citizens of Derra IV, and restore peace and order to the system. They immediately began to engage the Alliance blockade and demanded that Alliance forces withdraw. Breaking through, most of their forces took up positions in the mountains and forests around the planet's two largest cities. From their remote camps, a coalition of Imperial and Tresario Star Kingdom units surrounded the urban areas and waged a terrific assault upon the Alliance defenses. Unlike the match between the Krath forces and the First Sun, the Empire faced an equally well trained, well-equipped opponent that had over a month and a half to learn the terrain and fortify their positions, and their attacks were repelled with staggering Imperial losses. After Day 67, following over a week of frustrated advances, Imperial Union forces managed to breach the city's perimeter and engaged their foe in fierce urban combat. While they had broken through the Alliance lines at several points, the Imperials were still vastly outnumbered after suffering so many casualties during the initial waves, and as their ranks began to see their first confirmed cases of the Derra Virus. Reports have surfaced claiming that due to a shortage of stormtroopers, Imperial officers approved the recruitment of sympathetic local civilians and mercenary forces, many of whom were non-human, a striking departure from customary Imperial protocol. Imperial forces never secured a foothold in either Barracks Town or neighboring Stadium City.
Emboldened by their recent capture and execution of the New Republic leader, Imperial High Command officials, including Emperor Guinar Ndengin himself, soon made their way to Derra IV, eager to boost their forces' morale and witness what they assumed would be a quick victory as the Alliance coalition fell apart. The fracturing they anticipated, however, never materialized, and following several miscalculations and the arrival of New Republic air support, the Imperial dignitaries soon found themselves temporarily stranded on the front lines. The Imperial Royal Guard suffered casualties in subsequent days as firefights intensified, and while the dignitaries were not captured or killed, several, including the Emperor, were seriously injured when Alliance forces cornered them in a burnt-out tavern.
The Fever Breaks
While Galactic Alliance troops held steady against the encroaching tide of white-armored Imperial regulars, the New Republic elected its next Chief of State. On Day 76, Azzi Blackgate took the helm of the New Republic, but his mandate was not strong. He only garnered fifty percent of the popular vote, being elected only after his opponent withdrew from the runoff election. Morale across the Republic was beginning to crack as the population grew weary of the increased war effort and the higher taxes that it brought. Citizens were also afraid of the Metamorphosis Virus, which had spread beyond Derra IV to the rest of the galaxy. Several news agencies pinned the spread of the pandemic on Alliance soldiers withdrawn from combat on medical leave. Public trust in the military command was near an all-time low after the double pandemic and Quche's capture, and other areas of the economy were beginning to suffer as the government had focused its attention and resources on the Derra campaign. A month after his election, perhaps to rally public support, Blackgate announced the opening of the Galactic Museum, commonly held to be one of the modern marvels of engineering and design. Elsewhere in the galaxy, the flareup of the galactic civil war and the outbreak of two major diseases continued to send shockwaves. On Day 103, several governments which declared themselves neutral in the war organized themselves into the Galactic Concordiate and elected Trade Federation Viceroy Jacob Jansen as its first magistrate. The consolidation of powerful neutral economic and military strength put pressure on both sides of the war to slow the spread of combat into other sectors, as neither power would be able to fight both their opponent and the members of the Concordiate at the same time. Member states of the Galactic Alliance would clash with members of the Galactic Concordiate later that year on Jandur during Operation Deep Helm.
For the next month, Galactic Alliance forces continued to maintain control of most of the surface and space around Derra IV, successfully holding off Imperial assaults while helping local citizens rebuild their lives. Both viruses continued to rage, but the devastation was now mostly confined to the outlying regions. Both Alliance and Imperial Union troops grew demoralized. The pandemics continued to spread through their ranks with the diseases claiming as many if not more lives than combat did by several estimations. Imperial divisions grew despondent as their casualties continued to grow and their Emperor fled the system in a bacta tank. Alliance troops, fatigued after over half a year of constant warfare, disease, and trauma, saw no clear, achievable objective. With their doctors and scientists still unable to make headway against either pandemic, New Republic Lieutenant General Chi Fo, Deputy Chief of Republic Army Command, soon gave the order to begin a strategic drawdown of Republic forces on Day 140, and the rest of the Galactic Alliance still on the planet soon followed suit. On Day 176, as Major General David Terrio and the Imperial 2nd Legion arrived in system to relieve the battered 3rd Legion, the last of the Galactic Alliance forces pulled out of Derra IV. Lieutenant Colonel Rrah Lowurra, who had survived two episodes with the metamorphosis plague, was the last officer to withdraw after conducting rearguard actions to cover the Alliance retreat.
The Imperial Union's occupation of Derra IV fared no better than the Galactic Alliance's had. All efforts to treat, let alone cure either virus failed miserably. Effective vaccines for either disease continue to elude scientists to this day. Political problems offworld soon bled into the Derra crisis, too. Days after turning Cheda Quche over to the Empire on Coruscant, bounty hunter and hero of the Empire Fleur`De Rouge was captured by Syn and Squall Chitose, leaders of the notorious Eidola pirate gang. She was murdered shortly thereafter. Eidola and other pirates and criminals took advantage of the distraction that was the conflict on Derra to expand their operations and exploit the galaxy's fear. This surge in illicit activity came to a climax two months into the Imperial occupation of Derra IV when on Day 232, Syn announced to the galaxy that she and her infamous pirates had kidnapped Imperial Executor Seele on Ylesia. In what most of the galaxy took as a brazen and impossible request, the pirates demanded a Super Star Destroyer as Seele's ransom. The Imperial Throne agreed to negotiate for the life of one of its most valuable officers but refused to consider turning over one of its most formidable warships to the pirates in return. Yet shortly after Seele's release, Veritas Press published reports of an Executor-class destroyer, flying under the name "Ragnarok", under Eidolan command.
Trust in the Emperor faltered across Imperial territory, and the ramifications were felt on the front lines of Derra IV. On Day 256, Major Lane Rendell, decorated war hero and commanding officer of the 2nd Brigade stationed on Derra IV, denounced the Ndengin regime on a broadcast to all of Imperial space. In the broadcast, he accused the Emperor of nepotism and corruption, pointing to the ransom of Executor Seele at the expense of Imperial security. Rendell also charged the Imperial leadership with hypocrisy, comparing the Emperor's willingness to sacrifice countless Imperial citizens to hold Derra IV while equipping the enemies of the Empire to save one man. Rendell resigned his commission and went into hiding, while Imperial loyalty officers soon interrogated the 2nd brigade and all units that had served under or alongside Rendell in Derra. Such suspicions of treason within their own ranks and the charges of corruption in the High Command contributed to the erosion of morale and trust among the troops. As the year drew to a close, the Imperial 3rd Legion began to quietly withdraw from the Derra system, leaving its allies in the Tresario Star Kingdom as a rearguard before they too eventually pulled out.
Interstellar intrusion on Jandur cooled down following the Imperial Union's withdrawal. The Empire was reeling from the outrage surrounding Executor Seele's kidnapping and ransom. The New Republic was still struggling with conspiracy theories and shakeups as it recovered from the kidnapping and execution of its Chief of State, and the growing disappointment with his successor. The attention of the galactic media had shifted focus to Jandur, where Galactic Alliance member Bothan Media Services was battling The Avance Coalition, a member of the newly founded Galactic Concordiate, following the collapse of that planet's governing body. With the Metamorphosis Virus now a pan-galactic phenomenon and the Animosity Plague contained to the rural and undeveloped regions of the planet, Derra IV managed to reform their independent planetary government and return to a cautious sense of normalcy.
The Legacy of the Battle for Derra IV
There have been many battles during the Second Galactic Civil War, but none have left a bigger mark on the galaxy than the one that played out on Derra IV. The efforts to contain the Great Animosity Plague that precipitated the crisis and the subsequent reintroduction of the once-extinct Metamorphosis Virus have ultimately failed. During the conflict, cases of the Metamorphosis virus were recorded in nearly every sector of the galaxy, and an outbreak of a new strain of the 'Derra Virus' caused a massive loss of life on the planet Serroco (Planet) two years later in Year 16. As late as Year 18, New Republic scientists announced evidence that the metamorphosis virus was a weaponized Imperial recreation of the original Year 4 strain, pointing to the fact that since its reintroduction to the galaxy it had affected a disproportionately high number of nonhuman species. The Imperial Union has denied these claims.
The planetary government of Derra IV has struggled to come out from under the shadow of the pandemics, and the resulting conflict. Just shy of two years later, on Year 15 Day 342, the second annual Death Hunt was announced by The Death Watch Mandalorians. While this, and the Krieg's Run race that was to coincide with the hunt brought publicity, tourists, and credits to the war-ravaged planet, it only did so by drawing on the legacy of the 'Derra Virus' and violence. Despite their best attempts, no leader on Derra IV has been able to rebrand their planet to give it a reputation for something other than violence and destruction.
Finally, the greatest political fallout from this battle was a growing hostility between the Krath Dynasty and the Galactic Empire. Admiral Togl, Krath admiral and appointed commander of all Galactic Alliance troops on Derra IV, would never forget his battle with Imperial forces. The memory of the conflict was still powerful three years later when Togl, now leader of the Krath, led a fleet to the Derra system and transmitted a broadcast to the galaxy marking the third anniversary of his victory over the Empire, and, in what only can be seen as an act of gloating, challenged Imperial leadership to order their forces to Derra again to confront him. In Year 21 Togl, reflecting on that day, would say that his return there was meant to intimidate the Empire and deter further Imperial interference with Galactic Alliance and neutral worlds. This heightened animosity between the Krath and the Empire would continue to simmer until Year 21, when the Krath (under new leadership and no longer a member of the Galactic Alliance) and the Empire, now led by Emperor Seele, signed The Treaty of Kliap, restoring neutral relations between the two governments.