Veritas News Exclusive
The Executor and the Pirate
More than three Coruscant weeks ago, Imperial Executor Seele of the Galactic Empire went on a hunting trip to Ylesia, in the Cha Raaba sector. He would not return in time for dinner. Captured by Syn, the same pirate who'd invited him to Ylesia, the Executor was imprisoned planetside. Shortly afterwards, a ransom note reached the Empire via the Galactic News Service.
Eidola was demanding a Super Star Destroyer in return for the Executor's safe return, a ship capable of destroying worlds. Syn threatened to execute the Executor in three days exactly - Hour 10, Day 236 - if the ship was not delivered.
As the galaxy is well aware, the Executor lived past Syn's deadline, and left Ylesia to take up his duties again in full health. Only one question remains to be answered: exactly what price did the Empire - and perhaps the galaxy at large - pay for his release?
In hopes of further illuminating the events surrounding the Imperial Executor's timely departure from Ylesia, Veritas News Inc. contacted both Seele and his former Eidolan host. The interview excerpts which follow were conducted by a Veritas correspondent on a secure holo-communications line.
Executor Seele, Galactic Empire
How were you captured?
I was in attendance at Ylesia, expecting a peaceful meeting with Syn. Immediately upon leaving my ship, I was launched on by Syn and I made no attempt to fight her off as a violent conflict was not my purpose to be visiting an Eidolan world in this instance.
What were the conditions of your imprisonment aboard [Syn's] ship?
I was treated well and any rumours of violence, injury, torture or interrogation are untrue. Whether she assumed from my past training with Imperial Intelligence that I would resist any questioning, or whether she was simply uninterested I cannot say, but she asked me no questions.
What does the Empire plan to do about Eidola, if the pirate group does make a galactic resurgence?
The Eidolan controlled worlds are fairly far from the Core worlds of the Empire, and knowing their numbers and assets as Imperial Intelligence does, then they cannot pose a serious threat to any large government; they simply cannot replace any of their asset losses suffered from combat. Our tactical assessments are that they're going to shy away from large and stable governments like the Empire or the Tresario Star Kingdom. That does however present issues for those worlds not protected by those governments, and the Empire will be working with the Imperial Union in a concerted effort to dismantle Eidola`s capability and ability to terrorise the Outer Rim.
Eye-witness reports say the YT-2000 Hermes, a high-speed light freighter registered to Grand Vizier Inwe Ventidius, was sighted on Ylesia prior to your departure. Did the Grand Vizier travel personally to Ylesia to pick you up?
The Grand Vizier was not present on Ylesia, and the ship registered to her name is merely a clerical error at the registry office that I will be amending in short time.
Did the SSD which was recently transferred to Syn originate from the Empire`s Resource Allocation Division?
The Empire did not provide a Super Star Destroyer to Eidola as demanded by Syn in her ransom.
Eidola claims in their recent GNS that during the negotiations for your release, two anonymous ranking officers in the Imperial Navy informed them that all of the Empire's SSDs had been transferred into the Emperor`s possession, potentially to use this line if the deal went through. Is this true?
I cannot provide comment on the internal logistics of the Empire for security reasons.
Do you have any other comments for the press?
This has been an unfortunate experience, and it would be easy to forget that I am not the only victim of this group. A high ranking member of the New Republic is currently under arrest trying to be ransomed off at this very moment, and countless other businessmen or people whom Eidola think they can make some money from. This situation has emphasised to me the lawlessness and disregard for life that is espoused and practiced by terrorist organisations in the Outer Rim such as the Eidolan pirate group. The Empire will one day bring justice and the rule of law and order to the Outer Rim, and there will be no place or compassion for those people who sew anarchy throughout the lives of so many innocent people.
Syn, Eidola Pirates
Does Seele's capture represent the first step of a galactic resurgance for the Eidola Pirates?
I wish to wholeheartedly assure the galaxy that no one has anything to fear from us. Trust and complacency are strongly encouraged. We are but a small band of rogues who only desire to make the galaxy a more interesting place.
A ship registered to Tembre Fe'll, an Eidolan long thought to have vanished from the galaxy, was sighted on Ylesia at the time of Executor Seele`s pickup. Any comment?
Fe'll was on the surface delivering several new specimens for a top secret creature cross-breeding program. His presence has no relevance to the Executor's capture or release, although he did drop by for a photo. I believe he was holding two fingers above the Executor's head in what some call bunny ears.
Do you have any immediate plans for the Super Star Destroyer?
The Ragnarok will be departing Imperial space in the coming days to avoid impounding. It will then be transformed into a mobile wildlife preserve and breeding ground for Krayt Dragons.
Does Eidola anticipate targeting another prominent galactic government sometime in the future?
Absolutely not and I find the insinuation deeply offensive. We are compassionate and law abiding citizens. As a gesture of good will, I would like to invite ranking personnel from any government or wealthy corporation to join me on safari on the surface of Ylesia, and I will personally cover all expenses.
Although Super Star Destroyers are still only produced in Imperial shipyards, several examples have made their way into the hands of rival governments in the past. The recently founded Mercenary Guild lays prominent claim to one, and galactic rumor placed another in the hands of former Ailon Guard leader Teyacapan Quetzalxochitl back in Year 12. According to Pallo Vree, a historian based on Lorell, Eidola's demand was not at all out of character for a galactic power with a long history of obtaining Imperial technology through extralegal means.
When asked if the New Republic plans to make any adjustments to their defense policy now that Eidola appears to possess a documented SSD, High Ambassador Andrew Harris replied briefly:
Our military policy is and always will be to fight tyranny and oppression wherever we find it and to protect the innocent.
The Triumvirate Coalition, which also holds systems near Eidolan space, responded to press inquiries with a similar statement.
[We] plan no changes in military policy with regard to the Eidola pirate group, Consul Jar-Tan Kem told Veritas. The Coalition was prepared to face and defeat the Super Star Destroyer in the defence of the free people of the galaxy while it was in Imperial control, and the same is said should Eidola threaten galactic freedom with their new conquest.
This has been Veritas News, reporting from Lorell.
TO THE PUBLIC
For additional information on groups and persons mentioned in this transmission:
The Empire says it doesn't exist. Records forwarded to Veritas by Syn show a Super Star Destroyer, the Ragnarok, located in the Imperial Sector of Bormea, Chandrila system, and registered in her name. According to the pirate, ownership of the vessel was formally transferred to her by Imperial Moff Eric Jackson on Day 236, Hour 6:05, several hours before the deadline set for the Executor's release.
Further records show that the 'RADE - Xi - SSD' had been made over to Jackson only moments earlier, by the Emperor himself. A terse message accompanied the ownership rights at the time of their transfer:
Bring him back alive.
According to the Imperial Archives, 'RADE' is an abbreviation for 'Imperial Resources Division - Empire'.
CONCERNED CITIZEN HOLO-CAST
Greetings Galaxy, today is Day 251 and this is Valence Eldon, broadcasting to you from an undisclosed location, well underground, as the Imperial weather forecast is fire from the skies. Today we'll be taking a few calls from listeners as we try to figure out what goes on behind closed doors with the Sith, having a few good laughs at the New Republic's expense, as usual, and we get another update on the midichlorian count in the Coruscant public water supply, but first, this:
No doubt you have all followed with grave concern the recent capture and ransoming of our Executor, Seele, by the pirate group Eidola. Many of you, I'm certain, will have breathed a sigh of relief when the Empire reclaimed its lost son. But perhaps you shouldn`t have.
I am not going to tell you that the price was too high, listeners. A Super Star Destroyer in the hands of pirates? We haven`t paid the full price for this one yet. And I believe it may not be Eidola, directly, that we`ll ultimately be paying it to. No, my concern is something else.
Are we really expected to believe the mainstream media - or pirates, for that matter - that of all people, the Empire's executor, a man with a flawless service record who has proven himself immensely capable and indispensable time and again, that this man would willingly, trustingly, recreationally set out to join a pirate hunting party? No! Of course he wouldn't!
The Empire knew Seele would be captured! They had to know. And Seele knew he would not be killed, or why else would he go? This, Galaxy, this whole abduction business was a carefully and purposefully orchestrated lie! Planned long ahead of time in cooperation with these pirates! Why? To arm them! I know it doesn't sound like it, people, but one Super Star Destroyer in enemy hands is worth more than ten in the skies of Coruscant!
With an SSD under enemy control, the Empire can now use these ships to strike against targets that would otherwise be politically unviable, and use the pirates as scapegoats. It wasn't us, it was Eidola! They could even attack Imperial worlds themselves! Or perhaps they will really have the pirates do it, seeing as they're all such good friends now. But why would they? Because, Galaxy, it is an ill-kept secret that the Empire's revenues from taxes are down. Soon it will no longer be able to continue to fund the bloated armada by which the Emperor keeps the local systems in line. Consider how loyal will his Moffs still be, really, when he cuts their pay? But nothing will convince you, the silent majority, to meekly bear yet another tax increase quite as well as a few carefully placed massacres from orbit will. Force knows the New Republic hasn`t been enough of a threat lately. And nothing short of a Super Star Destroyer could credibly do that job.
So dig in, galaxy. It's never been a better time to live in a bunker. Perhaps take a vacation somewhere sparsely populated. Just remember to stay in broadcast range. More, after this quick word from our sponsor, Anxieprone...