`Darth Lykaas stood at the helm of the Vigilant Phoenix, pondering the long day he had ahead of him. He had planned and replanned this operation for weeks. Nevertheless he feared the worst. What if the Republic values these "Adrenal refineries more than we realize or what if the Empire takes this as an act of agression against them as well as the Republic?" He pondered these dark thoughts the whole ride to Quesh, never once moving from the bridge. He had left behind the Ziost Shadow along with 2 other Harrower Class Dreadnauts and 4 Terminus class Destroyers, just in case this all went wrong. His invasion force consisted of 7 Harrowers,15 Destroyers, and a Harrower that had been retrofitted to be a housing vessel for the pilgramige to Amgaraak now served as a singular massive assault transport. "5 minutes out my Lord." said one of the ensigns. Lykaas showed none of the trepidation he felt he couldn't he was the commander he had to be a Paragon of confidence and bravado. He was in charge now, and in a way, he hated it.
"Prep all squadrons and have the landers on standby, signal the Thunder of Korriban to begin her approach, we'll be done with this rabble by the time she arrives." "Yes my lord" said the lieutenant at the communications console. Lykaas turned around stiffly and looked the admiral he had appointed. Admiral Kiern stood as stiff as a board with a face as calm as the deepest dark of space. " The stage is yours Admiral." Lykaas said quietly " Do the Emperor proud." Kiern smiled and said " I havent failed the Imperium yet sire, and I'll be damned if I let her down when we're finally getting some decent action!" Lykaas laughed and shook the old Imperials hand, " May the force be with you." WIth that, he walked to the lift briskly without as much as a sideways glance. He felt all the eyes upon him, all the expectations. He was pent up, " perhaps butchering some Republic scum will do me some good."
The plan was good they had all agreed on that. THe Emperor had simply told him to surround and take the planet from both the Empire and the Republic. That was a tall order for a fleet of that size, but it was more than doable. The issue would be the planet itself. The Emperor had marshalled a little over a million men for his use in this invasion from all walks of life. Mandolorian Clans, Imperial outcasts and others from every corner of the old Empire. Nevertheless 1 million men was not enough to invade an entire planet. Even with the additional Mandolorian ships and men from Hutta it would be close unless they were smart about it. They were going to come in on the Republic side of Quesh which will be in its night cycle. If Alettes agents were right the republic naval presence would be light and they could drop right on top of their headquarters within a few minutes of coming out of hyperspace. 3 of the 7 dreadnauts, and the Phoenix would spread out over the main area of Republic influence and blockade the planet while they deployed their troops to form a perimeter ring around the Republic. The Destroyers were going to run interception on any ships trying to come out around the edge of the ring. The other 4 would split into pairs and take out the Imperial naval force and their comms on the far side, which would be even less than the Republc...if Alettes agents were correct. The key to this first stage, however would be the Thunder of Korriban. it was one giant heavily armed and armored, troop transport. It would drop to a very low altitude of about 10,000 feet and deploy its troops directly on top of the Republics primary space port and the base surrounding. While the Republics main force was blocked in the few that may be outside the ring or even a few nasty Imperials would meet a very different foe. Lykaas had spent weeks assembling a new Legion of the finest the Imperium had. He lifted all the limitations for admission, the only things you needed to be recruited were skill, and loyalty. He called them The Vanguard, and they were his secret weapon. They would be deployed in heavily modifyed escape pods dropped from various ships in seemingly arbitrary spots. These 10 man teams would then begin operating in total comm silence doing what they felt was necessary to win. The ship suddenly shuddered as the fleet fell out of hyperspace. The board was set and Lykaas had made his move, now to see what the Republic was ready to do.
They came out right on top of the Republic fleet mere meters from a collision. Alette was right on the spot with her intel however, 2 Valor class cruisers and a few more frigates to compliment them. They'd be scrap well within the time frame before the Thunder of Korriban arrived. The 3 groups split and charged towards the planet as Lykaas readied himself in much silence as a battle would allow. he walked out onto the main hangar deck where nearly 5,000 Imperial Marines boarded various landing craft to be dropped off. All the Supremecy fighters were already out he had held none in reserve for better or worse he'd see within the next few days. He walked through as one of the Marshalling Captains called out, "Councilor on deck!" the whole detachment turned and saluted briskly dropping their gear all over the deck. "at ease troopers to battle, to glory, and to victory!" They cheered loudly at the phrase he'd rehearsed for days. He was glad it worked so well, despite how terribly cliche it was. It moved to the lower deck hatch where he entered the escape pods that had been retrofitted for 3 of his Vanguard teams. They all looked up and rose from whatever they were doing acknoleging him with nods and mock salutes. It was probably the best he'd get out of these soldiers and he didn't mind a bit, it was kind of refreshing actually. " Your ready for this?" he said to no one in particular. The all sneered a bit and one of the team leaders spoke up saying " Sir this is the kind of thing we were born to do." The others shouted their agreement in unison and went back to work packing away ammo weapons, supplies, and an incredibly absurd amount of high explosives. He left the pods and whatever fears he had were replaced with pity for anyone those fools would meet. He put on his helmet and went back onto the hangar deck. He didnt even shoot a sideways glance at any of the troopers gawking at his massive figure, or even the surprise of the marines that were on board the transport he hopped on to as it was lifting off for the first wave to the surface behind the Thunder of Korriban.
After 2 days of hard fighting Quesh was theres. The initial landing went beyond any of his hopes and dreams and within 10 hours the republic was decemated along with there base. Lykaas personally marshalled the troops and began a consolidated push towards the imperial holdings. THe imperials had tried to establishing a front and take the Imperium forces from behind just as Lykaas thought they might. The flight over had been a grizzly scene. Several places where the Imperial had tried to set up camps were craters. and more than a few of the planets massive flamable bogs had been ignited created giant firestorms that blackened the sky for miles, and left the scent of flesh and oil on the air. They reached the edge of Imperial territories without incident where they met a fierce resistance. Lykaas moved several units into position and had the remaining imperials totally surounded, on the ground and above. When he began his attack on the defensive line, it wasnt an hour before several positions began exploding from the inside. artillery and anti air turrets were wiped out within the first 2 hours and the bunkers and shallow trenches were full of corpses within 4 hours. They marched into the citadel of the imperial operations with hundreds of imperial troops laying down their with such wretched fear in there eyes that Lykaas pitied them.
Lykaas approached the Imperial commander who stood proud as a man who had been so soundly defeated could. " You pathetic seperatists, the Empire should have destroyed you long ago. " Lykaas removed his helmet, now turned black by soot and blood. " I'd like to see your dicrepit Empire try, fat old prick." The Imperiums letting Republic scum not just infect there ranks but LEAD there troops? pathetic.." Lykaas sneared " You'd really say that after such a sound defeat?" The fat old officer scoffed and said " Anyone can conquer a world with 100 to 1 odds. My 4 million soldiers died bravely and held you well for all your ships!" Lykaas was very confused all of a sudden. " What are you talking about?" The old man rose from his tall back chair and practically lept over his desk and approached Lykaas finger waggling all over the place. " Please go ahed gloat about how you raised such a massive force! But dont treat me like a fool! Youve been here two days and you conquered this whole planet which had over 10 million fighting men stationed on it if my spies in the republic are right!" Lykaas leaned against a nearby post and started to laugh uncontrolably. "Whats so funny!?!!" the general cried. " 1240." Lykaas weezed between breaths as he braced himself against the wall." " What? is that?" the general said now equally confused. " Up until about 8 hours ago yoru forces encountered 1420 troops across the fronts." THe general stood in silence as Lykaas laughed on. He'd have one hell of a report to send to the Emperor. Whatever the case the Imperium wasnt moving an inch off this rock of that he was certain beyond the shadow of a doubt." 20% casualties and 1 Terminus class critically damaged but salvagable. Damaged at the hands of the 3 harrowers over Quesh. As invasions go the casualties were below the lowest minimum he could have hoped for and he wasnt complaining. "I'd better attach an apology to that report...." he thought in ecstacy as his soldiers filed into the fortress, as the Thunder of Korriban flew proud overhead.