- "You may win the occasional battle against us, Vorrik, but the Empire will always strike back."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon
Pellaeon was born in 37 BBY and began his career in the Imperial Navy, where he ascended the ranks and captained the assault ship Leveler. Pellaeon developed a strong attachment to the navy as an institution, and eventually served as second-in-command on the Star Destroyer Chimaera.
Gilad Pellaeon was born in 37 BBY on the planet Corellia, where he stayed long enough to develop memories of his homeworld. However, Pellaeon spent the majority of his formative years on Coruscant, the capital of the Galactic Empire. Pellaeon did not care for the planet, however, and always enjoyed departing it, never considering it his home. Pellaeon's father was abusive towards his mother and he grew to despise the man over the years. Pellaeon's great ambition was to become a naval officer, and to that end he submitted his application to the elite Raithal Academy. He was not yet of age to enter, being only fifteen years old, and had falsified the data on his application to give a suitable age. The deception was apparently not discovered, as he was accepted. Pellaeon performed respectably but without distinction at the Academy, sharing his class with Dren Jamer. He ultimately graduated with honors in the top third of his class and entered the Imperial Navy as an ensign.
His first assignment was commanding an escort craft for a convoy of transports destined for Gavryn. When pirates attacked the convoy over Gavryn, Pellaeon avoided capture by flying near the magnetic pole, where the pirate craft's sensors were disrupted. When the pirates began to board the transports, Pellaeon's escort craft sprang from hiding and pounced on the pirate ship, destroying it and saving the convoy. His quick thinking impressed his superiors, who rewarded the young man with a transfer to the Imperator-class Star Destroyer Executrix under the command of governor Wilhuff Tarkin.
- "The early clones, or at least those the fleet had faced, had been highly unstable, both mentally and emotionally."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon, recalling his past
Pellaeon would continue to serve under Tarkin as he and Imperial Knight Jard Dooku led the operation of forcibly taking Alderaan after they refused to sign the Treaty of Alliance. During the course of the crisis, Pellaeon and his fleet were forced into fighting unstable clones; some left over from the first Clone War.
After the ensign displayed his bravery on Alderaan, he received a series of promotions, causing a sharp uptick in what might otherwise have been an unremarkable career. Pellaeon had an eye for women, and pursued a series of casual relationships and rendezvouses. Such relationships were considered unsuitable by his superiors, and kept him from promotion into the admiralty. Pellaeon was in a relationship with Hallena Devis, an Imperial Intelligence spy with whom Pellaeon was highly enamored. Each kept their relationship secret, and they spent time together whenever they could. Pellaeon kept a private yacht, and sometimes took her sailing on it.
Serving the EmpireEdit
- "I remember those days well. In some ways, I'd prefer not to."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon to Leia Organa Solo
At some point, Pellaeon was introduced and assigned to an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer called the Chimaera as soon as it was built. He served as part of the command crew and was quickly made executive officer aboard the ship. During the years after the Empire's formation, the Chimaera sometimes undertook slaving raids to Kashyyyk on which Pellaeon served. During those years, Pellaeon had the opportunity to serve under such various and illustrious personages as Darth Vader and Admiral Firmus Piett.
Pellaeon had had a relatively promising career early on with promotions and command of a small task force, however, his career seemingly stalled. Pellaeon spent some twenty years aboard the Chimaera as second-in-command without advancing in the fleet. Pellaeon's career was hardly floundering, as Bail Organa was able to point Pellaeon out to his granddaughter as a promising officer when Pellaeon attended the Grand Alderaanian Gathering in 9 BBY, but Pellaeon simply never moved from his position aboard the Chimaera. Pellaeon would later look on these years without fondness, though there was little evidence of overt discontent; certainly not enough for Pellaeon to have defected. Pellaeon was above all loyal to the Fleet as an institution; his main quarrels with the government were in the form of perceived privileged individuals such as Darth Vader and Jard Dooku. He, along with many other officers, also did not care for the Death Stars, regarding them as bloated, inefficient expenditures that threatened the Fleet's position. However, Pellaeon's loyalty to the Empire overall did not waver. Pellaeon was sufficiently dedicated to the Imperial Navy to live life as a bachelor, considering the Navy his family. Around this period, Pellaeon reconnected with Hallena Devis, resulting in the birth of Miner Devis. He also may have fathered Victor Reige with another woman, though Pellaeon never confirmed Reige's ancestry.
Pellaeon's dedication to the Fleet was most evident in his expectations of his subordinates. He demanded that their conduct, discipline, and efficiency be worthy of the honor and prestige of an officer's commission in the Imperial Navy. He would not tolerate sloppiness, inefficiency, or casual demeanor from the Chimaera's crew but instead instilled his own sense of professionalism and pride in the Fleet within them.</ref>
Disaster at CoruscantEdit
- Pellaeon: "The Emperor was not directing the battle. Not in any way. I was there, Admiral—I know."
- Thrawn: "Yes, Captain, you were there. And it's time you gave up your blindfold and faced the truth, no matter how bitter you find it. You had no real fighting spirit of your own anymore, none of you in the Imperial Fleet did. It was the Emperor's will that drove you; the Emperor's mind that provided you with strength and resolve and efficiency. You were as dependent on that presence as if you were all borg-implanted into a combat computer."
- Pellaeon: "That's not true. It can't be. We fought on after his death."
- Thrawn: "Yes. You fought on. Like cadets."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon and Thrawn[src]
In 4 ABY, Pellaeon was present in the Coruscant system at the Battle of Endor. Intended to be the trap that would destroy the rebellious Alliance to Restore the Republic, the battle was anything but successful. The Alliance Fleet proved surprisingly difficult to defeat, and after the Rebels destroyed Death Squadron's communications ship, the battlecruiser Pride of Tarlandia, Pellaeon's commanding officer, Admiral Horst Strage, became second-in-command of the battle fleet and Chimaera the designated command ship in the absence of Executor. However, Strage was killed after an ion cannon strike overloaded his neural shunt, throwing the Imperial chain of command into chaos. In the confusion, the Alliance succeeded in destroying the flagship Executor.
Pellaeon watched, sickened, as the massive Star Dreadnought plunged into one of the Death Star's, taking thousands of the Fleet's most promising officers with it. When the Death Star's themselves were destroyed and Emperor Palpatine killed, the Imperial fleet's performance became disorganized, sloppy and were generally thrown into chaos. The Rebel fleet began making significant inroads, and even the return of Grand Admiral Osvald Teshik could not hold back the Rebels. With Coruscant now lost and the battle desperate and chaotic up in space, Pellaeon decided that the situation was untenable. In the chaos, the rest of the fleet may not even have known that Pellaeon's commander was killed; with the Chimaera as the designated command ship, Pellaeon was the one to relay the order to retreat to Annaj, the nearest sector capital, a two-day journey that left Pellaeon agonizing over whether he'd made the right decision. Teshik, meanwhile, held out in a doomed rearguard action.
At Annaj, the fleet regrouped. Dissension quickly emerged among the surviving commanders, however. Pellaeon urged a return to Coruscant, hoping to smash the battle-damaged Rebel fleet before news could emerge of the Emperor's death. Admiral Blitzer Harrsk, however, informed Pellaeon that with the battle over his tactical command was nullified, and command instead fell to Admiral Adye Prittick. Prittick dithered for so long over what decision to make that Harrsk chose to break with the fleet, taking a significant portion of Death Squadron's ships into the Deep Core until a clear chain of command could be established; he later set himself up as the warlord of Zero Command. Further defections to the Elrood sector followed. Prittick judged the remaining force insufficient for a counterattack and withdrew the fleet to Yag'Dhul to guard against an attack into the Core Worlds. Pellaeon served the rump of the Empire for years, even as more and more warlords broke away, first under Grand Vizier Sate Pestage and then his successor as caretaker of the throne, Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard. Pellaeon was popular among the fleet and had an excellent reputation, but Isard refused to promote him to admiral for unknown reasons. Nonetheless, Pellaeon remained an important part of the Imperial fleet and played a leadership role on Thyferra. Pellaeon did not see himself as a contender for leadership, but merely as a steward and caretaker of the Imperial Fleet and cooperated with other high-ranking officers to preserve it as best they could. He shepherded the remaining Imperial forces as their territory continued to shrink, hating the number of retreats he was forced to order. The phenomenon of warlordism nibbled away the Empire's strength on one side as the New Republic continued to grow on the other. Eventually, the Empire was pushed back to only one-quarter of its former territory.
Additionally, as the Empire lost ground, its sources of crewmen dried up. Instead of Academy graduates, Pellaeon had to make do with recruits trained on the job, and was even forced to order conscription raids to press men into service. Pellaeon was disgusted by such conditions, and the resultant decline in discipline and efficiency among his men. He made sure they were excellently trained, but they remained inexperienced and lacked a full, proper Academy education. Pellaeon was not optimistic as to the future of the Empire. Instead, he felt that all he had fought for was slipping from existence and that the Empire, despite having strength left to fight, was on the brink of extinction.
A new hopeEdit
- "I was overjoyed when he returned and I finally found a commander I could follow with a genuine hope of victory, rather than an endless string of defeats."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon, speaking of Thrawn
In 8 ABY, four years after the defeat at Endor, Thrawn finished his Unknown Regions campaign against Warlord Nuso Esva and turned his attention back to the known Empire. Thrawn's second in command, Voss Parck, was concerned that Thrawn would not find many allies in the disintegrating Empire, but Thrawn assured him there was at least one: Gilad Pellaeon. As the acting commanding officer of the Chimaera during Nuso Esva's only incursion into Imperial space, Pellaeon had impressed Thrawn with his competence, and Thrawn knew that after the death of Captain Calo Drusan, Pellaeon had turned the Chimaera into one of the finest commands in the Imperial Navy. Thrawn arranged for his Sith bodyguards to accompany him on his return, and signaled the Chimaera for a rendezvous.
Pellaeon was shocked and somewhat frightened to find a message incoming on the Chimaera's holopod unit, which was the one reserved for private messages from the Emperor or his closest subordinates. It had not seen use since his death, but now a message from the Unknown Regions was incoming, complete with the proper command codes. Nervous and expecting to see the Emperor risen from death, Pellaeon knelt to receive the message and instead found the image of an alien who identified himself as Grand Admiral Thrawn. The Grand Admirals had all been thought wiped out, but here was one, claiming to have returned from the Unknown Regions. The transmission included a set of coordinates at which Pellaeon should meet Thrawn. Pellaeon was stunned and overjoyed; hope for the Empire had returned.
Pellaeon eagerly proceeded to the rendezvous point, on the edge of the Unknown Regions. Thrawn's shuttle emerged from the mysterious territory and docked with the Chimaera, upon which Pellaeon first met Thrawn. In short order, Thrawn had command of the Imperial military and began to prepare it for a grand new offensive. Adding greatly to Pellaeon's prestige, Thrawn chose the Chimaera for his flagship, making Pellaeon his effective second-in-command. Pellaeon coordinated and oversaw all Thrawn's operations, save only his most personal and tightly held ones; even so, Thrawn never shared more information than was absolutely necessary. After the initial rush of enthusiasm, Pellaeon had a hard time getting used to the idea of an alien officer; whether because of speciesism or the simple novelty of such a thing under the Empire is unclear. Pellaeon was also unused to Thrawn's command methods as he had never before had a superior so willing to accept criticism and eager to hear different ideas from his own. Pellaeon initially could clash with Thrawn, as when the two had a lengthy and heated argument over Thrawn's use of difficult-to-coordinate and highly unconventional hyperspace microjumps as part of a battle plan. As Pellaeon gained more experience with Thrawn, however, he developed a strong respect for him and a firm belief in his tactical genius, appreciating the direction Thrawn was taking the military and revitalizing his confidence in the possibility of victory. Indeed, before the campaign had even commenced, Pellaeon was convinced that Thrawn could well be the greatest tactician and strategist the Empire had ever seen.
By 9 ABY, Thrawn's offensive was nearly ready to launch. He undertook his first major strike, an information raid on Obroa-skai. The actual raid was performed by scout ships which returned to Chimaera, and Pellaeon went to Thrawn's private chamber to inform him in person. It was only then that he discovered what precisely Thrawn had converted the former entertainment suite to and what he did in there: the chamber was full of art, including holographic representations of famous pieces. Thrawn studied it to gain psychological insight into his enemies. Thrawn barely had time to engage Pellaeon on the topic of art before an alert was sounded: a New Republic task force had followed the scout ships back to the Chimaera. Pellaeon heard the report of four Assault Frigates arrayed against them and, deciding the odds were against the Star Destroyer and its inexperienced crew, ordered a jump to hyperspace, which Thrawn belayed. Pellaeon watched in confusion as Thrawn deployed sentry ships, watched the response, withdrew them, and then ordered the Chimaera into a vulnerable position and deployed the TIEs in a Marg Sabl closure maneuver. The simple tactic allowed the Chimaera to utterly defeat the opposing force; Thrawn had found through the fleet's first response that it was commanded by Elomin and then exploited their psychological weaknesses by using a disorganized attack pattern. Pellaeon could only marvel at the Grand Admiral's thought processes.
After debriefing the pilots who had made the raid against Obroa-skai, Thrawn revealed to Pellaeon that the raid had given him the second piece for his master plan. The first was Myrkr, a world for which he had the Chimaera set course. The second was the location of Wayland, but Thrawn did not yet reveal what Wayland would provide him. When Chimaera arrived over Myrkr, Pellaeon sent down two shuttles to collect ysalamiri, unusual creatures capable of repelling the Force. He was, however, contacted by smuggler chieftain Talon Karrde, who had a base in the forest. Karrde volunteered his cooperation in removing the ysalamiri from their trees and demonstrated his rather extensive knowledge of the Empire, including Thrawn's return. Pellaeon, deeply suspicious, warily accepted Karrde's aid.
With the ysalamiri collected, the Chimaera made for Wayland. Thrawn explained that Wayland had been Palpatine's private storehouse, untouched since his death. He had, however, left behind a guardian, whom Thrawn expected to be a Dark Jedi. Pellaeon, Thrawn, and Thrawn's Sith bodyguard Rukh descended to the surface wearing portable frames on which the sessile ysalamiri dwelt. In the city, they met only an middle-aged man, who promised to take them to the Guardian. He led them to a mausoleum, explained that the Guardian was dead, and attempted to kill them with Force lightning. The ysalamiri dissipated the attack, saving Pellaeon's life. Former adversaries, Thrawn played to the man's vanity and was able to recruit him for his own purposes. Jorus Sabaoth, Jedi and Guardian of Mount Tantiss, was now one more factor in Thrawn's plan to defeat the New Republic. In Mount Tantiss, Pellaeon, Thrawn, and Sabaoth found the two final keys to Thrawn's plan: cloaking technology, and Spaarti cloning cylinders.
Pellaeon was shocked and disturbed to find why Thrawn wanted Sabaoth, however: he wished Sabaoth to use the Force to coordinate fleet actions, much as he suspected Palpatine had done. Pellaeon resisted Thrawn's argument that the defeat at Endor had happened as a result of Palpatine's death and the loss of his battle coordination, and disliked even more the idea that the Fleet had been under Palpatine's mental influence throughout his reign. When they returned to the Chimaera, Pellaeon went to speak with Thrawn, and warned him that he considered Sabaoth unstable and dangerous to deal with. Thrawn was convinced that he could control the man. Pellaeon began to think that Thrawn's supreme confidence might be overconfidence. Nonetheless, the Chimaera's bridge remained properly protected with ysalamiri.
The campaign beginsEdit
- "Never forget, Captain, that our goal is no longer merely the pitiful rear-guard harassment of the past five years. With Mount Tantiss and our late Emperor's collection of Spaarti Cylinders in our hands, the initiative is once again ours. Very soon now we'll begin the process of taking planets back from the Rebellion. And for that we'll need an army every bit as well trained as the officers and crew of the Fleet."
- ―Thrawn to Gilad Pellaeon
Thrawn had promised to Sabaoth that he would provide Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa Solo to him to train, but Pellaeon was forced to report to him the failure of the Sith strike team at Bimmisaari that was to have captured the pair. The bad news was ameliorated with a good report from the engineers left on Wayland: eighty percent of the Spaarti cylinders were working or could be easily repaired. Thrawn would soon have a clone army. Pellaeon received orders to prepare for the upcoming strike at the Sluis Van shipyards, but Thrawn was keeping all operational information extremely close to himself, and not even Pellaeon was allowed to see the whole picture. When Sabaoth, present at the meeting, clashed with Thrawn over the promise to deliver the Jedi, Pellaeon was the one who proposed a compromise. Rather than Sabaoth's demand that the Sluis Van operation not be undertaken until he could go and draw Skywalker to himself, he suggested that Imperial Intelligence find a world where Sabaoth could conceivably have remained hidden throughout the Great Jedi Purge and begin seeding rumors of Sabaoth's survival and reemergence. While that process began, Sabaoth could aid in the battle's preparations. Both parties accepted Pellaeon's plan as favorable.
That preparation came swiftly in the form of a multi-system strike carefully coordinated by Sabaoth. While Chimaera and her task force struck Bpfassh, Sabaoth mentally relayed orders with instantaneous effect to two other groups attacking at the same time. It was then that Pellaeon realized the test was of Sabaoth's skills and willingness to take orders. Becoming unnerved by the superb performance of the task force, Pellaeon called up previous statistics and compared them to the Chimaera's present performance. The crew was currently achieving a forty percent increase over its previous performance. Pellaeon could no longer deny the theory he had been so unwilling to believe. The operation was only to be a hit-and-fade; Pellaeon led the task force back into hyperspace after dealing significant damage to Bpfassh's defenses.
Pellaeon observed the Judicator's raid on Nkllon from a distance while Sabaoth guided the ship's crew. The raid went well, netting over fifty mole miners for the Sluis Van attack, but during the battle Sabaoth made mental contact with Skywalker and became convinced Skywalker would go to Jomark to follow up on the rumors. Thrawn ordered Pellaeon to arrange Sabaoth's transport to Jomark, and to then be ready to backtrack and ambush Skywalker along the route to Jomark. Pellaeon pointed out to Thrawn that killing Skywalker, as Thrawn was considering, could backfire and cause Sabaoth to end his cooperation and leave for Wayland, where he could wreak havoc on the cloning operation. Thrawn agreed with Pellaeon's assessment and modified his plans as a result. The ambush itself failed, however, when Skywalker reverse-triggered his acceleration compensator in a risky maneuver that caused the tractor beams to lose lock. To add insult to injury, they instead attached to a pair of proton torpedoes Skywalker had launched and drew them in, destroying the projector. When the tractor beam operator did not take responsibility for the escape and demonstrated an inability to think creatively, Pellaeon watched in surprise as Thrawn had Rukh execute him. Thrawn knew that Skywalker's hyperdrive would soon fail as a result of the maneuver, however, and had Pellaeon contact the local smugglers, including Karrde, and offer them a reward to pick Skywalker up while the Fleet was busy elsewhere. In addition, Thrawn's Mount Tantiss clones would require ships on which to serve. To that end, Pellaeon also was assigned the duty of contacting various smuggling and ship-thieving rings and putting out news of a reward for any stolen warships that could be funneled into Imperial hands.
In time, all was ready for the attack on Sluis Van. A freighter was inserted into the shipyards, busy with understaffed New Republic warships being used as cargo transports. Inside the freighter, in a cloaked bay, were several TIE fighters and the stolen mole miners. It gained entrance to the shipyards and then suddenly exploded, releasing the fighters and miners. At that instant, Pellaeon led Thrawn's task force into the system. As Pellaeon engaged the outer defenses, which put up stiff resistance, the mole miners burned their way into the bridges of the cargo-ferrying warships and deployed troopers to capture them. The plan went off without a flaw until Wedge Antilles, Skywalker, Han Solo, and Lando Calrissian observed a mole miner in action and were able to puzzle out Thrawn's plan. Calrissian had owned the facility the mole miners were stolen from, and used his override codes to start the mole miners' drilling equipment up once more, burning through the bridge's control systems and preventing Thrawn from taking control of the craft. Thrawn would not get the new warships he had wanted for his clones to staff. The Battle of Sluis Van, supposed to be the first victory which would set up the rest of the campaign, was instead a defeat. Pellaeon carried out Thrawn's order to withdraw.
During the preparation for the battle, however, Thrawn and Pellaeon had found that Karrde had recovered Skywalker and kept him imprisoned, but not turned him over. Eventually, he kept him from being taken in by the Imperials. After Sluis Van, the Chimaera went to Myrkr to deal with Karrde. The ground assault found the base deserted and bereft of usable evidence. Thrawn had predicted that Karrde would be watching from the cover of a distant asteroid, however, and only the Force-assisted precognition of his second-in-command, Mara Jade, allowed Karrde to escape before Thrawn's interdictor jumped into the system and powered up its gravity well projectors. Thrawn was decidedly unhappy with the outcome.
Resurrecting the Dark ForceEdit
- "I have the feeling, Admiral, that our final offensive against the Rebellion may be ready to launch a bit ahead of schedule."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon to Thrawn, upon hearing of the discovery of the Katana fleet
Pellaeon himself was later furious when Sabaoth disobeyed a direct order when Force-coordinating an engagement at Taanab. He had never liked having the willful and unstable Dark Jedi in a position of power, and his refusal of an order was one more sign to Pellaeon that the man was a loose cannon and should not be counted on. Thrawn explained to him that Sabaoth's coordination abilities were vital to the war effort and he could be kept under control with ysalamiri. He also said that if military discipline had to be bent to keep him involved in the war effort, it would be. Pellaeon did not like it and thought the whole affair could backfire catastrophically, but could not persuade Thrawn of it.
Pellaeon proceeded to Honoghr, the Sith homeworld, with Thrawn, who wished to make a show of power and remind the Noghri of their obligations. Too many Sith teams had failed in capturing Organa Solo. Pellaeon found the process of standing beside Thrawn as the Sith clan leaders made their ritual obeisances highly boring. The display was broken up when Lieutenant Tschel handed Pellaeon a report on an unusual occurrence: a Sith commando's ship had nearly been late in returning the recognition signal. Upon examination, further irregularities were uncovered. Thrawn noticed the minor commotion and, upon receiving the report, decided to pay a visit to the commando, Khabarakh, in his hometown. Pellaeon started a technical team on a survey of Khabarakh's ship, then joined Thrawn in the clan dukha where the Grand Admiral interrogated the commando. There were no obvious flaws in his story and the group departed, but Thrawn was convinced the Sith had lied.
When another, more detailed sweep of the ship produced results, Pellaeon brought them to Thrawn. He was, as ever, subject to Rukh's stalking practice in the antechamber of Thrawn's suite: with the lights off, Rukh would sneak behind Pellaeon and suddenly speak from just over his shoulder, appearing as from thin air. No matter how prepared Pellaeon was for it, it always spooked him, and he always rebuked Rukh for it and insisted he discontinue the practice. With that over, Pellaeon briefly discussed other matters with Thrawn before notifying him that Wookiee hairs had been found aboard Khabarakh's transport. Furious and convinced that the Wookiees had caught and interrogated Khabarakh on his failed mission to Kashyyyk, Thrawn insisted on making a show of power to remind the Sith where their loyalties lay. Thrawn arrested Khabarakh against the protestations of the local maitrakh, who was forced into submission by a display of orbital bombardment from Pellaeon's gunners.
When Thrawn received a report from a captured Mara Jade, he shared it with Pellaeon: Karrde knew the location of the long-lost Katana fleet, two hundred slave-rigged Dreadnaughts. Pellaeon had had youthful ambitions of finding it himself when it vanished into hyperspace early in his Imperial career; now the prospect of finding the half-legendary ships could swing the narrow balance of the war. She promised to bring the location, but Thrawn had the Chimaera follow her to Karrde, and began efforts to search for others who might know the location so as to expedite the process. Karrde was captured, but Jade returned with Skywalker to spring him from the Chimaera's brig. Pellaeon and Thrawn were unable to prevent their escape.
Thrawn was, however, not discomfited. He was confident that he had the location of an associate of Karrde who had knowledge of the location as well. The Chimaera proceeded to Pantolomin, where Hoffner was captured and brought before the Imperials. He gave up the fleet's location easily enough, and Pellaeon was soon coordinating the recovery and staffing of most of the Dreadnaughts. Some were still left when Karrde led the New Republic there, however. The Chimaera prepared to aid the Judicator, present at the Katana site, but Sabaoth suddenly arrived on a Lancer-class frigate, the crew of which he had under his mental control. The Dark Jedi demanded to talk and would not be dissuaded. Pellaeon was forced to send Peremptory to the fleet battle while Thrawn dealt with the increasingly dangerous Sabaoth, who declared himself in command of the Empire and insisted on taking control of the Mount Tantiss cloning project. Meanwhile, the battle was lost, but there were only a handful of Dreadnaughts remaining to the New Republic. The Empire had won the round.
Pressing the advantageEdit
- "History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."
- ―Thrawn to Gilad Pellaeon
With the Katana Dreadnaughts and Mount Tantiss's clone forces, Thrawn was ready to begin striking against the New Republic in earnest. One month after the battle for the Katana fleet, the attack began with an elaborate series of feints meant to draw forces from the New Republic base at Ord Pardron to the defense of various worlds under coordinated attack, then to hit Pardron itself, drawing the New Republic's full attention. Meanwhile, the Chimaera struck at the true target: Ukio, a major agricultural world. Pellaeon went to Thrawn's suite to inform Sabaoth that the assault was about to begin. Sabaoth used the opportunity of finding Pellaeon outside the ysalamiri bubble to mind trick him into joining his side, and then to forget such a thing had even taken place. Pellaeon could hardly believe it as he said things he did not at all believe, but Sabaoth's mind-twisting influence was too great for him to resist. Pellaeon stood by Sabaoth as the Dark Jedi coordinated the strike. The Chimaera fired upon Ukio's planetary shield. Cloaked dreadnaughts had been guided beneath the shield by freighters, and now they fired in sync with the Chimaera, controlled and coordinated by Sabaoth, and the beams appeared to pass through the shields. Terrified of this apparent new superweapon, the Ukians capitulated. Thrawn had Pellaeon coordinate the occupation.
Sabaoth was growing increasingly dangerous. He could be focused and calm at one moment, and toweringly furious at the next. Pellaeon considered it only a matter of time before he killed someone. Sabaoth came to Pellaeon and Thrawn and demanded an assault on Coruscant to seize Organa Solo. When his impractical order was refused, he threatened to kill Thrawn. Thrawn merely pointed out that he had a different plan in mind: an Intelligence team raid on the Imperial Palace to capture her. Mollified, the Dark Jedi left, but Pellaeon once more expressed his concerns over Sabaoth to Thrawn. The Grand Admiral was convinced that Sabaoth could still be manipulated and controlled for as long as they would need his services. They then discussed the false trail Thrawn was creating to convince the New Republic he was shipping his clone armies through various planets. Skywalker was the one following the leads, and the Chimaera nearly captured him over Poderis, but he escaped their tractor beams with a covert shroud gambit. It immediately sprang to Pellaeon's mind that the last time Skywalker had done so, the tractor beam operator had died. Thrawn spoke with the operator, Ensign Rejlii Mithel, and discovered that he had made an inventive, if ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to counteract the covert shroud gambit. Instead of punishing him, Thrawn promoted Mithel for his quick thinking and ordered him to begin developing new strategies to counter the covert shroud. It was then that Pellaeon, remembering the way Vader had often treated his subordinates, fully realized that Thrawn's Empire was a very different institution.
When some of Karrde's smuggler allies, recently stirred up against the Empire, destroyed a nearly-completed Star Destroyer in the Bilbringi shipyards, the Chimaera arrived to assess the situation. Pellaeon was surprised that Thrawn allowed the commander of the shipyards to keep his position, but even more surprised when Sabaoth barged onto the bridge. Furious that Thrawn's Intelligence team had failed, Sabaoth demanded an attack on Coruscant. Thrawn responded that he already had a raid planned against Coruscant. When entering the minds of the workers on the asteroids Thrawn indicated were to be used in the plan, Sabaoth came to the wrong conclusion, convinced that Thrawn would use them to destroy Coruscant. The Dark Jedi then took mental command of the Chimaera's entire crew, save Thrawn and Pellaeon, who were inside an ysalamir bubble. Sabaoth intended to take the ship to Coruscant and begin an attack, but when Thrawn pointed out how woefully unprepared Sabaoth was for such a battle, the Dark Jedi relented.
The attack was ready to go forward, and Pellaeon was worried about the Dark Jedi's ability to take over the ship and disrupt the attack in pursuit of Organa Solo, when Sabaoth strode onto the bridge. He demanded that Pellaeon prepare him a ship to travel to Wayland. Thrawn arrived on the bridge shortly and agreed to Sabaoth's request. With that out of the way, the task force jumped to Coruscant. There, they set up an interdiction field and took out Coruscant's communications, then weathered the New Republic counterattack until General Garm Bel Iblis, who had recently returned to the galactic stage after leaving the Rebel Alliance and hiding away from the galaxy, took command of the defense and withdrew his forces to the cover of Coruscant's ground-based weaponry. That left the Chimaera free to perform its real purpose in the strike. The Star Destroyers deployed twenty-two cloaked asteroids and performed dry firings simulating the launch of nearly three hundred asteroids overall, then withdrew. Without the ability to know where the asteroids were, Coruscant was forced to maintain its shields at all times lest an asteroid slip though, effectively blockading itself. Pellaeon and Thrawn then proceeded to the Kanchen sector and secured it for the Empire.
In order to detect the asteroids in orbit over Coruscant, the New Republic would need a crystal gravfield trap array. They did not have any, but the Empire had three, one of which was at Tangrene, another at Bilbringi. The New Republic began making a very subtle buildup around Tangrene, but Thrawn decided that it was a very convincing decoy and that the actual attack would be at Bilbringi. After Sabaoth arrived at Wayland, however, Pellaeon received shocking word from the garrison. General Freja Covell, whom Thrawn had sent along with Sabaoth, was dead and Sabaoth had taken over the garrison and issued odd orders. Pellaeon's mistrust of the Dark Jedi had been proven correct. Thrawn ordered the garrison commander to isolate Sabaoth, refuse to permit those soldiers Sabaoth had sent off on his orders back into the mountain, and attempt to secure it. However, they could take no direct action as it was time for the defense of Bilbringi, and the ambush of the New Republic fleet which did not expect the presence of Thrawn and his massive fleet.
- "The Empire is doomed. There is little more that need be said."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon, in his personal journal
Thrawn's Interdictors pulled the New Republic fleet out of hyperspace earlier than planned and began to engage it. His bowl-shaped formation enveloped the New Republic's cone and began a stiff exchange. Pellaeon was pleasantly surprised as he had worried constantly that Thrawn was gambling wrong in predicting that the Tangrene buildup was entirely false. Now Thrawn was proven right. A portion of the New Republic force broke off and began a run against the shipyards, forcing Imperial forces to their defense. Pellaeon and Thrawn were disheartened, but hardly defeated. A high-priority message from Wayland came in, and Pellaeon began to read it aloud; a New Republic force was attacking the facility and it included Sith. That was as far as he got, as Rukh suddenly lashed out and struck Pellaeon across the throat, stunning him and dropping him to the floor. Khabarakh had not been merely been captured by Wookiees. He had met Organa Solo and recognized her as the heir to Vader, the hero whom they revered for his "aid" to them. Khabarakh had brought Organa Solo to Honoghr, where she revealed that the Empire had kept the Sith in perpetual debt and servitude to them by continuing to poison their world under the guise of cleaning it of damage. Rukh had finally learned the truth, and with the Sith's aid to the New Republic thus revealed, he took action. Pellaeon strained to hit the emergency alarm, then turned to find Rukh's knife protruding from Thrawn's chest. Thrawn looked into Pellaeon's eye, smiled, and said his last words: "But it was so artistically done." As Pellaeon watched, his commander died. Pellaeon quickly assessed the situation. The New Republic breakthrough to the shipyards and the badly weakened position of the fleet had turned the odds against the Imperials. Thrawn could have been able to win the battle, he thought, but he was not Thrawn. Pellaeon ordered a retreat.
The fleet retreated to the border of the Unknown Regions, where Pellaeon took stock of the situation. Pellaeon could have been a kingmaker; he had been popular before Thrawn's return and his position as Thrawn's right hand had only increased his prestige. He could have attempted to seize control of the military himself or delivered Thrawn's battle fleet to any of the stronger warlords for reward. Pellaeon, despondent over Thrawn's death and what seemed to be the end of the last hope for a unified Empire, initially planned to go down fighting in a heroic last stand on the edge of the Unknown Regions. He had no desire to rule or to support warlordism, and wanted to show his devotion to Thrawn with a final battle in the shadow of the Unknown Regions. However, as the Imperial Ruling Council reestablished its control over the Empire, Pellaeon returned to it and looked for orders from the Empire's leadership; if there was central leadership in the Empire, he would follow it. The Imperial forces gathered in an immediate counterattack against Coruscant, hoping to take the New Republic off-guard. Suddenly, a new force swept into the chaos: Dantius Palpatine. The younger half-brother of the deceased Emperor, Palpatine took control of the Empire and unified it, even bringing in most of the warlords. Pellaeon swore loyalty to the new emperor. Pellaeon served in Operation Shadow Hand, taking back territory for the Empire. However, in the recapture of Duro, the Chimaera came under heavy assault. Most of the senior officers were killed, and Pellaeon was forced to abandon the ship he had served on for so many years.
Palpatine was eventually defeated, and the Empire passed into the hands of Carnor Jax, then Xandel Carivus. With Carivus's death, the Empire splintered, its leadership in chaos. To protect his crew amid the infighting in the aftermath of Palpatine's apparent death, Pellaeon joined the warlord Treuten Teradoc's Crimson Command, based in the Deep Core. Pellaeon hated warlordism and did so only reluctantly, but there was no longer a significant Empire for him to serve, and Teradoc had the largest fleet remaining. Pellaeon hoped that things would remain stable and secure in Teradoc's fleet until some sort of leadership emerged to unify the Empire's scraps. It never did. Teradoc promoted Pellaeon to Vice Admiral and gave him command of his fleet of seventy-three red-hulled Victory-class Star Destroyers, which Pellaeon led from the 13X. Teradoc was less interested in attacking the New Republic than in feuding with his fellow warlords, especially Harrsk. Pellaeon found himself raiding his former fellow Imperials more often than he did the New Republic.
Rebuilding the EmpireEdit
In 12 ABY, Admiral Natasha Daala, who had emerged from the Maw a year before, began an effort to reunify the squabbling warlords and turn their attention to destroying the New Republic rather than each other. While she happened to be appealing to Harrsk, Pellaeon executed a raid on Harrsk's forces, destroying his flagship Shockwave. In retaliation, Harrsk forced Daala to lead an assault on Teradoc's base. Pellaeon led his Star Destroyers out against the attack, but before the two forces engaged, Daala fired on Harrsk's craft, disabling it. She then issued an open communication condemning the infighting and began a self-destruct process that would destroy her ship and take Harrsk with her, claiming she no longer wished to serve in such an Empire. Pellaeon surrounded Harrsk's forces but did not attack. He admired Daala's desire to take the fight to the New Republic and her purity of intention. Pellaeon opened a channel himself and ordered a cease-fire. Teradoc rebuked him over the comm, but Pellaeon was now confident in his choice. He took a shuttle to Daala's Firestorm, where Harrsk was finally convinced to order a cease-fire as well. Daala took the Firestorm, accompanied by two of Pellaeon's Star Destroyers, to a secluded area to negotiate away from Teradoc and Harrsk. Daala explained that she wished to reunify the elements of the Empire, but had no ultimate desire for command of it. Pellaeon suggested that Daala call a conclave of warlords and, if nothing else, work out a truce and agree on a common attack strategy against the New Republic. Daala agreed and left it to Pellaeon to make the arrangements. Before he returned, however, she gave him a breath mask and told him he would know when to use it.
Pellaeon invited the thirteen strongest warlords to remote Tsoss Beacon, where Daala had prepared a room for the meeting. Many were recalcitrant; Pellaeon had to use all the credibility he and Daala had to convince them to attend. Pellaeon had to hope Daala's appeal would be effective. He arrived ahead of the warlords, who were only permitted to attend if they dismissed their fleets and bodyguards and came alone. Pellaeon stood at Daala's side as she convened the meeting. In short order, "Superior General" Delvardus attempted to walk out, and Daala activated a time-locked door. No one would leave for three hours. In that time, she ordered them to select a leader from among their number for the new alliance. Instead, there were three hours of feuding and arguing. Pellaeon's faith in the process slowly sapped away. Finally, when Harrsk physically assaulted Teradoc, Pellaeon pulled Harrsk off his former leader and threw him on the table. Daala had had enough. She proclaimed the warlords to be incorrigible, and released a nerve gas into the air. Pellaeon grabbed for his breath mask and watched as the thirteen most powerful warlords of the Deep Core died.
Pellaeon and Daala began the process of taking command of the disparate warlords' forces. They traveled from one base to another, consolidating their fleets and armies. Some resisted and had to be destroyed, but most of the warlords' subordinates willingly entered the new union. At Delvardus's base, Pellaeon and Daala brought his body back to his second-in-command, a Colonel Cronus, and delivered with it an ultimatum: join their new Empire or be punished as rebels. Cronus joined, and took Pellaeon and Daala to see Delvardus's secret advantage: a stealth-armored Super Star Destroyer known as the Night Hammer. Daala's fleet was suddenly much more powerful.
Daala and Pellaeon oversaw the rebuilding and rearming of Imperial forces. They revitalized production and boosted morale in their subordinates. Daala also actively recruited those groups who had been marginalized by the Empire: females and nonhumans. She had been marginalized herself in the past and would have none of it; Pellaeon had served alongside Thrawn and seen what nonhumans could bring to the Empire. Besides the Night Hammer, they amassed forty-five Imperial-class Star Destroyers and one hundred twelve Victory-class Star Destroyers. Cronus was given command of the fleet of Victories, while the larger Star Destroyers fell to Pellaeon, and Daala took the Night Hammer as her flagship.
Daala was eager to begin dealing damage and hated administrative details, but Pellaeon oversaw the rebuilding and urged Daala to have patience. Rushing into battle or neglecting the details of management would undo all the progress they had made. Daala brushed his concerns off, stating she was not interested in running the Empire but intended to pass control to Pellaeon or someone else once victory was won. Pellaeon was shocked; he did not consider himself as any sort of candidate for rule. Daala sought Pellaeon's advice in formulating their attack plan; she recognized that she had done poorly in the minor campaign she had waged upon departing the Maw, and wanted Pellaeon's experience and honest opinions. Daala was looking for a target which would provide a significant and morale-boosting victory, yet be unlikely to seriously damage their forces. Pellaeon suggested the same world Daala had in mind: Yavin 4, the site of the Jedi Praxeum. Pellaeon further suggested that Cronus take his ships and strike a variety of minor targets, sowing panic and tying up assets in the New Republic. Daala agreed.
In preparation, the two held a rally for the forces involved in which Pellaeon laid out the attack plan and stirred up the spirits of the troops, then introduced Daala to the crowd. A started outburst from one of the crowd, however, revealed two Jedi spies in the audience. The pair escaped, alerting the New Republic. In response, Daala moved up the timetable, launching the attack immediately. Pellaeon proceeded to the system with seventeen Star Destroyers, commanding from the bridge of the Firestorm. Daala would follow in the renamed Knight Hammer to mop up and strike a greater psychological blow. Pellaeon deployed a jamming net as he eagerly contemplated striking the first blow of a major Imperial campaign that would have a chance of making a serious difference. He ordered a landing force to be deployed, which the unarmed Jedi combated with the Force. Pellaeon was suddenly shocked, however, to find himself thrown across the bridge as his Star Destroyers were blasted out of the system. The Jedi trainees, working together, had used a massive thrust of the Force to knock Pellaeon's ships away from the jungle moon. None of the crew were quite sure what had happened, and it took time to recover and to bring the ships under control. The hyperdrive had been damaged as well. Pellaeon ordered his ships to proceed toward Yavin 4 on sublight power. Meanwhile, Knight Hammer reached the battle, supplemented by some of Cronus's Victories. Cronus himself was killed and the 13X destroyed by New Republic reinforcements, and Pellaeon only reestablished communications with Daala shortly before the Knight Hammer was fatally crippled. The battle was lost, and Pellaeon, sickened by the utter defeat of what had seemed to be a spectacular campaign, waited at the edge of the system, recovering what escape pods came his way. The last one was a command pod, and he found Daala inside. Upon climbing out, she immediately resigned and turned command over to him. While she departed, she maintained contact with Pellaeon, and let him know that if needed, he could recall her to service with the transmission of a drumbeat signal based on the Darakaer legend, which she enjoyed.
Ruler of the ImperialsEdit
- Daala: "Vice Admiral Pellaeon. In light of this disaster, I—I hereby resign my rank…and hand over command of all Imperial forces to you. I will be happy to follow your orders and assist with rebuilding the Empire in any way possible, but I feel that I am no longer capable of commanding so many worthy soldiers. They cannot be asked to lay their lives on the line, to swear allegiance to someone who has been beaten so many times."
- Pellaeon: "But Admiral, I can't accept this. We need you to rebuild—"
- Daala: "Nonsense, Vice Admiral. You must be strong. Follow your own convictions. We need an opportunity to recover from such a debacle. We need your strength. You are in command of the Empire now, Pellaeon."
- ―Natasi Daala and Gilad Pellaeon[src]
Pellaeon, now an admiral, had not wished for power, but was up to the task of wielding it. With the Deep Core warlord forces unified, Pellaeon decided the barren, remote, and encircled area held little future for the Empire. After making overtures to the Moffs, warlords, and fortress worlds of the remaining Imperial presence in the New Territories, he moved his fleets into the Outer and Mid Rims. There he offered the Imperial remnants his protection so long as they united behind his so-called "true Empire." One of those territories he absorbed was the Pentastar Alignment, which controlled the Super Star Destroyer Reaper; Pellaeon had found his new flagship. With his fleet bolstered and a new, more vital power base, Pellaeon took the offensive, building a strong Imperial state in the Mid and Outer Rim, plus isolated territories across the galaxy. The Moffs of the Imperial sectors formed the Council of Moffs, a deliberative body which retained most decision-making authority in the new government. Thanks to the support of Baron Ragez D'Asta, the Moffs unanimously recognized Pellaeon as the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet. Pellaeon retained command of the military and was party to the Moffs' decision-making process. He was technically subordinate to them, but his legal control over the military and personal popularity among the military and citizens gave him significant leverage over the Council of Moffs. Pellaeon also abolished slavery and took significant steps against any remaining anti-alien bias in the new regime; he wished to remove some of the excesses of Cosimo II's time in charge.
After six months of consolidation and preparation, Pellaeon felt secure in launching his first major offensive. Pellaeon's fleet massed near Agamar awaiting his arrival. When all was in order, he struck and captured the New Republic world Orinda. The New Republic was slow to respond, and Pellaeon followed up by taking six more systems as forward bases. General Wedge Antilles of the New Republic led the counterattack from the Super Star Destroyer Lusankya. In a month of battles, Antilles forced Pellaeon back to Orinda. There, the two fleets clashed, Antilles aboard the Lusankya and Pellaeon aboard Reaper. Pellaeon was able to destroy the fleet carrier Endurance, robbing Antilles of most of his starfighters. Antilles was forced to retreat; Pellaeon had won a major victory for the fledgling Empire. He held on to Orinda, and the New Republic settled for fortifying its holdings along the border.
By 13 ABY, Baron D'Asta arranged a conference with Admiral Pellaeon on Orinda with the hope of convincing the latter to arrange a truce with the dominant New Republic. However, after falling ill, D'Asta sent his daughter to the meeting as his proxy. Feena D'Asta announced D'Asta's full backing of an Imperial treaty, swearing that he would rejoin the Imperial ranks and intercede any potential rebellious Moffs who refused to adhere to the treaty's terms. He accepted and dispatched her and Zam Basdor to negotiate with Mirith Sinn of the New Republic, but the meeting was disrupted by stormtroopers of a dissident Imperial faction, the Restored Empire, who succeeded in killing D'Asta. Shocked by the death of Feena D'Asta and suspecting a New Republic betrayal, Pellaeon ordered the Imperial Navy to attack the Republic in retaliation, leaving the Imperial capital Orinda insufficiently defended. The ancient but massive Restored Empire fleet was able to destroy the small defense fleet and attack the planet. Ennix Devian, commander of the invading force, personally led a ground team to capture Pellaeon and convince him to swear allegiance to their cause. Basdor, who had been leaking information to Devian, was revealed to be a traitor. His suspicions about Basdor confirmed, Pellaeon executed him before being seized by Restored Empire stormtroopers. Pellaeon refused Devians offer to join him, knowing that Baron D'Asta's fleet was in the process of decimating the fleet of the Restored Empire. When Baron D'Asta arrived on the Orinda with Kir Kanos, Mirith Sinn and his daughter's clone, a firefight erupted between the two Imperial factions. Pellaeon escaped to safety in the ensuing commotion.
When the planet Adumar was rediscovered, it sent out invitations to both the Empire and New Republic to court its allegiance. A potentially powerful source of munitions, Adumar adored pilots, and Pellaeon sent as its delegation Turr Phennir and three other pilots from the 181st Imperial Fighter Group while Admiral Teren Rogriss ferried them there in the Agonizer. The planet was too important to fall into New Republic hands, and Rogriss was under orders to bombard the world if it chose to join the New Republic. Rogriss was deeply unhappy with his orders, and Antilles—the lead New Republic delegate—was able to contact Rogriss and convince him to defect. The world fell into New Republic hands. Pellaeon angrily took the Reaper to Adumar and bombarded the recalcitrant world. The offensive became bogged down, however, tying up some of Pellaeon's resources. The revelation during that campaign that Senator and Minister of State Q-Varx of the New Republic was a traitor, however, robbed Pellaeon of an extremely highly-placed spy. When the New Republic began pushing into the Antemeridian sector—a new addition to the Empire ruled by Moff Tol Getelles—it was able to roll over Getelles and into Pellaeon's territory. Pellaeon had to rush from Adumar and fight back a New Republic thrust which could have penetrated deep into his territory. He was ultimately successful, but lost the Reaper in the final clash at Celanon.
Pellaeon lost momentum, and the New Republic slowly nibbled away Imperial territory. Bright spots remained, as in the acquisition of four advanced Star Destroyers and the experimental weapons testbed EX-F in the aftermath of the Black Fleet Crisis, and the recapture of the Chimaera in the Battle of Gravlex Med, in which Pellaeon faced Gial Ackbar himself. In 17 ABY, believing an invasion imminent, the Moff Council elected to strike first, contacting Daala and her small fiefdom in the Deep Core to coordinate an assault. Pellaeon strongly counseled against the plan, seeing no chance of success, but obeyed the directives of the unyielding Moffs. Attempting to capitalize on the confusion of the Almanian Uprising, Pellaeon and Daala made their attacks in its immediate aftermath. Pellaeon launched successful surprise attacks on Adumar, Taris, and Champala, but the New Republic hit back hard, sending the Third Fleet—including the Super Star Destroyer Guardian—and Fifth Fleet against him. Pellaeon lost the Second Battle of Champala as well as engagements at Ketaris and Tangrene, facing the united forces of Ackbar and Bel Iblis; the latter had easily dispatched Daala's abortive strike. The conclusive battle was at Anx Minor, where Pellaeon again faced off against Ackbar. This time, Ackbar came away with a surprise victory, destroying the EX-F. The antimatter the experimental ship carried took six Star Destroyers with it in the explosion. That battle ended the hostilities, but the Imperials had been reduced to a mere eight backwater sectors along the edge of the Unknown Regions in the course of the campaign.
- "If we're destroyed—if we all die—the concepts and ideals of the New Order die with us. But if we surrender, we can keep those ideals alive. Then, if and when the New Republic self-destructs, we'll be positioned to rise again. Maybe then the galaxy will finally be ready to accept us."
- ―Gilad Pellaeon to Hestiv
In 19 ABY, Pellaeon took the Chimaera to the Imperial border with the Unknown Regions to test the new Computerized Combat Predictor. The system was intended to pick up on combat patterns and then allow a starship to predict an enemy assault; Pellaeon hoped to use it in conjunction with a cloaking field to allow a cloaked ship to make accurate attacks and so overcome the double-blind effect of the cloak. A formation of eight Preybird fighters made two runs against the Star Destroyer before Pellaeon had the Chimaera's Captain Ardiff bring up the cloaking field and turn fire control over to the Predictor. The Chimaera fired five hundred shots before the cloaking field was powered down, but its blasts only achieved the simulated destruction of one of the fighters. The Predictor was, as Pellaeon had feared, not good enough. Pellaeon's frustration with the state of the Empire bubbled into words, and he admitted what he was feeling: the Empire had lost the war. Ardiff insisted that they still had a chance, but Pellaeon pointed out the Empire's lack of serious military manufacturing infrastructure. Its position, he felt, was no longer tenable. Pellaeon ordered Ardiff to send a transmission summoning the Moff Council to meet on Bastion—now located in the Sartinaynian system—and discuss terms of surrender to the New Republic.
The Moffs gathered at Bastion, where Pellaeon outlined his argument for a peace treaty to them. The reaction was poor; the Moffs were unwilling to give up on the Empire or believe it could be beat. Pellaeon insisted that the reality did not match their bluster. Several, disgusted, moved to leave, but were ordered to sit down and hear him out by Moff Vilim Disra of Braxant sector, home of Bastion. Disra was the strongest of the Moffs, and the most virulently against the New Republic. Pellaeon again argued that a negotiated peace was the only way to ultimately hold out against the militarily and economically superior New Republic; with a peace now, they might lose some systems, but would likely gain the right to govern those New Republic member worlds who preferred to live under the Empire. Pellaeon was far from enthusiastic about the prospect, but he considered it the best of many bad options. After more than an hour of debate, the Council of Moffs ultimately agreed that a peace was in their best interests, before the New Republic turned its attention to eliminating the last few Imperial sectors. Pellaeon planned to send an envoy to General Garm Bel Iblis to discuss peace; Pellaeon respected Bel Iblis, an old military man and well-known tactician, and preferred to surrender to him over any other official. But before preparing the peace mission, Pellaeon went to confront Disra in his office after the meeting. He wished to know where Disra was getting the Preybirds with which he had been supplying the Empire. Disra refused to divulge his source, stating only that a private investment group had bought up the production line. Pellaeon pushed, and Disra finally agreed to transmit a list of the investors later, but the Supreme Commander remained convinced that Disra's connection to the source was less than honest.
Pellaeon sent his trusted aide, Colonel Meizh Vermel, to Morishim in a Corellian corvette. Bel Iblis was currently at the world. Unknown to Pellaeon, however, Disra had plans of his own. Disra had found a con man, Flim, who was able to assume an uncanny likeness to Thrawn. With Major Grodin Tierce providing the tactical genius for this triumvirate, Disra planned to seize power under the guise of Thrawn's return and carry the war to the New Republic. Disra sent Captain Dorja, to whom he had presented the impostor Thrawn, to Morishim under orders to capture Vermel's corvette. Dorja jammed Vermel's transmissions and captured the corvette before the New Republic could scramble against it, before disappearing into hyperspace. Instead of an offer of peace, the New Republic received only a cryptic, fragmentary message.
Meanwhile, Pellaeon was unaware that Vermel had been captured. He was on Muunilinst, the financial capital of the Empire, attempting to persuade its senior military officials to support the peace negotiations. He also used the opportunity to trace Disra's financial ties. He allowed the banker Lord Graemon, one of Disra's financiers, to enter the room and noticed General Jaron Kyte's brief reaction. Pellaeon had one more link to pursue, and when High General Sutt Ramic decided to support Pellaeon's treaty, Pellaeon knew the others would fall in line. The supreme commander continued his brief tour of the Empire, presenting the truce to the top levels of the military and digging into Disra's connections, putting Imperial Intelligence on the task of rooting out those connected to Graemon. During his tour, the idea came to Pellaeon that a copy of the Caamas Document could be powerful leverage in his negotiations; the discovery of an incomplete copy which implicated Bothans in the destruction of Caamas was currently the source of widespread controversy and dissension in the New Republic. Pellaeon resolved to search for a copy when his tour reached the Ubiqtorate base at Yaga Minor.
At Yaga Minor, Pellaeon met with the local commander, High General Hestiv, an old friend. Pellaeon again made the case for a settlement, and Hestiv accepted. Pellaeon also had Hestiv run a list of names that he had been able to associate with Disra through the system. Through a casual comment on Hestiv's part, Pellaeon also learned that Tierce—Disra's aide—had been to Yaga Minor recently. Pellaeon suspected that Tierce had altered records in the Special Files section—Cosimo Palpatine II's top-secret records, which not even Pellaeon could access. Pellaeon and Hestiv decided they would have to find someone who could slice into the records as Tierce had. Yaga Minor was Pellaeon's final stop, and it was time to head to Pesitiin, where he hoped to rendezvous with Bel Iblis. It had been three weeks since Vermel had left, and without any word, Pellaeon had to assume his aide had been captured. What Pellaeon could not be sure of was whether or not Vermel had managed to deliver the message. He resolved to take the Chimaera to Pesitiin regardless and find out.
At Pesitiin, Pellaeon found the rendezvous deserted. Not long after arriving, however, a small task force entered the system. The ships, marked with Corellian Defense Force insignia, attacked. Pellaeon did not believe the Corellian Bel Iblis to be as dishonorable as to ambush an opponent requesting a truce; to verify his identity, Pellaeon used a modified A-wing Slash against the attackers, striking with proton torpedoes from behind a decoy of Preybirds. The attack was completely successful, destroying the attacking Kaloth Battlecruiser and forcing the rest to retreat. Pellaeon knew then that it had not been Bel Iblis commanding the group; Bel Iblis had invented the A-wing Slash and would not have been fooled by it. Instead, the signs clearly pointed to some faction wishing to persuade Pellaeon that Bel Iblis had attacked and so disrupt the peace proceedings. Pellaeon determined to stay and wait for Bel Iblis. He sent a sensor-stealthed assault shuttle along the attackers' outbound vector. Within thirty hours, all damage the Chimaera had sustained was repaired, and the shuttle had found no trace of the attackers. Pellaeon had ordered a communications blackout; any transmissions would have to be routed through a relay, and that would give away their position and possibly attract more attention. Such a situation was not indefinitely sustainable; Pellaeon decided he could wait only two weeks for Bel Iblis before he would return.
Lieutenant Mavron, tracking the attack force, was able to check HoloNet transmissions. One, very shortly after the attack, was directed back to Bastion. Further, it was relayed from Bastion to the Kroctar system. Mavron did some checking, and found that at that time, Grand Admiral Thrawn had supposedly been present to accept a Kroctari petition to rejoin the Empire. Pellaeon was shocked to hear of Thrawn's return. Ardiff was inclined to dismiss it as a hoax, and Pellaeon very nearly was as well, but could not get over the possibility that it was real—and that Thrawn had bypassed Pellaeon entirely in making his return. Nevertheless, Pellaeon still hoped, though he did not truly believe, that Thrawn had returned. He would not, however, give up his mission of peace to rush back, nor would he lift the communications blackout to request details, as his authority to make peace could be revoked. Pellaeon would give peace every chance before departing to Bastion to get his answers and sort out Disra.
The Bastion AccordsEdit
- Pellaeon: "I'll get right to the point, Councilor. The war that began twenty-odd years ago is effectively over…and the Empire has lost."
Organa Solo: "I agree. Is this opinion shared by others in the Empire?"
Pellaeon: "I'm sure the average Imperial citizen has recognized that truth for quite some time. It's merely been the leadership who have clung to the hope that the inevitable could somehow be prevented."
Organa Solo: "And does that leadership now agree with the two of us and the average Imperial citizen?"
Pellaeon: "Yes. Reluctantly, but yes. I've been authorized by the eight remaining Moffs to open peace negotiations with the New Republic."
—Gilad Pellaeon and Leia Organa Solo[src]
Meanwhile, New Republic Crypt Chief Zakarisz Ghent was able to reconstruct the mostly-jammed record of Vermel's transmission. With Bel Iblis out of contact preparing for a raid on the Yaga Minor Ubiqtorate base in the hope of recovering a copy of the Caamas Document, Ghent recruited Caamasi Trustant Elegos A'Kla and rushed off to Organa Solo, who had taken a leave of absence from the presidency. They presented her with the message, and Organa Solo decided to undertake the negotiations. With A'Kla, Ghent, and her two Sith bodyguards, Organa Solo set off for Pesitiin in the Millennium Falcon. Pellaeon was dining with Ardiff and Colonel Bas—the commander of the Chimaera's starfighters and a man Pellaeon appreciated for his honestly and direct manner—and preparing to leave Pesitiin immediately after dinner when Tschel contacted him from the bridge. Organa Solo had arrived to negotiate.
Pellaeon greeted her party as they debarked the Falcon, but was quickly set aback when Ghent mentioned having reconstructed Vermel's message. Pellaeon was furious when he heard that Vermel had been captured by a traitorous Imperial element, but kept his anger under control. Pellaeon moved to start the negotiations, but the Sith, highly suspicious of the Empire, insisted the talks take place aboard the Falcon. Pellaeon went over the terms, requesting guarantees of territorial integrity, free movement and trade, nonaggression, and the right of systems to determine under which government they wished to live. He further offered a copy of the Caamas Document if the treaty was ratified. However, to get the copy, he admitted that he would need a highly skilled slicer to travel to Yaga Minor and attempt to retrieve the record from the Special Files section. Fortunately, Ghent was available. Pellaeon arranged for Ghent, considered among the best slicers in the galaxy, to be inserted to Yaga Minor under the supervision of Hestiv. The supreme commander also received confirmation of Thrawn's return during the meeting. Pellaeon sent Ghent off, Organa Solo departed to Coruscant to present Pellaeon's terms, and Pellaeon himself departed for Bastion to confront Disra.
Pellaeon returned to Bastion, where he confronted Disra with the evidence of the Moff's shady dealings, Commander Dreyf Ryker—the Intelligence officer Pellaeon had had perform the probe—beside him. Tierce arrived with a summons to the palace security room. Disra excused himself while Tierce remained. Pellaeon grilled the major about his visit to Yaga Minor, but Tierce innocently maintained that he had not visited. When Disra returned, Tierce departed, but in barely a minute Disra was called away again by something that Pellaeon could see had him terrified. Pellaeon took the opportunity of being left alone to have Dreyf pick the locks on Disra's desk drawers. The Intelligence officer found several high-security datadisks in a secret drawer and was able to confirm that all the incriminating information was within. Among the lists of transactions were several other orders, including one for the capture and detention of Vermel. Pellaeon took the datadisks and left immediately to free Vermel before Disra could order his termination. Disra would know the information had been taken, but Pellaeon was confident Disra could be dealt with later.
Pellaeon was extremely glad to free his trusted aide from imprisonment at Rimcee Station. With Vermel, he returned to Bastion to confront Disra, but the Moff had left. Pellaeon tracked Disra—with Thrawn—to Yaga Minor. He was preparing to follow when a strange alien ship entered Bastion space and hailed him personally. Aboard it was Talon Karrde, with datacards which provided the truth of Disra's scheming. Aboard Karrde's ship, Pellaeon and Karrde sneaked aboard the Relentless at Yaga Minor under the cover of the information raid the New Republic had launched and made their way to the bridge. There, Pellaeon exposed Disra's hoax, as well as the fact that Tierce was not Tierce at all, but a clone of the original Tierce with added flash-training attempting to recreate Thrawn's genius. Enraged, Tierce attempted to attack Pellaeon, but the clone was intercepted and killed by Shada D'ukal, a Mistryl Shadow Guard in Karrde's employ. With his authority reestablished, Pellaeon ordered the cessation of hostilities and had Bel Iblis, leading the raid, do likewise. Disra and Flim were taken into custody, and Pellaeon went aboard Bel Iblis's ship to negotiate with him, but on the way over Karrde proposed a new idea: the renowned information broker would set himself up as a middleman, an information-sharing agency between the New Republic and the Imperials. With an independent party providing and verifying information, it would be easier for each partner to trust the other. Just over two weeks later, Pellaeon and New Republic President Ponc Gavrisom signed the Pellaeon–Gavrisom Treaty, also known as the Bastion Accords, aboard the Chimaera in a public ceremony.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "What happens when we've bent the rules so far that they come around and stab us in the back?"
- ―Gilad Pellaeon
Gilad Pellaeon was a military man at heart, dedicated to the fleet as an institution. He spent nearly his entire adulthood in naval service, from entering the academy at age fifteen to his death, minus only six or fewer years in retirement. Pellaeon regarded the fleet as the closest thing he had to family, his son Miner Devis being the exception. He spent far more time in space than he did on the ground, and considered no world home, and ultimately no ship as his home either, though Chimaera came closest. He dedicated his life to the military, internalizing its values of discipline, order, efficiency, and obedience to authority, and respected the military as a prestigious and honorable institution. Pellaeon was a meticulous and efficient commander and expected the very best of his subordinates, and his ships were exceptionally efficient. Despite his discipline, however, he had a fondness for the female sex which resulted in his being something of a womanizer, though he never settled down with any one woman for very long. This caused some friction with the promotions board as a young man, but Pellaeon felt no need to conform to their standards. He was perfectly happy as a captain commanding a warship.
Pellaeon believed strongly in the ability of the Empire, and especially its military, to bring order and stability where the Rebel Alliance and New Republic could not. He willingly fought against the New Republic until he was convinced that the Empire could only survive through peace. Over time, as Pellaeon adjusted to the new situation, he came to see the New Republic as a government with which the Empire should not only be at peace, but allied. With it as the galactic government, Pellaeon felt it necessary to aid the New Republic against the Yuuzhan Vong. Pellaeon began to despair the New Republic's inability to bring stability as it crumbled in the face of the Vong invasion, but firmly saw that giving it his full support was the best hope for stability in the galaxy.
Throughout the course of his career, however, Pellaeon had served an Empire many found reprehensible, and participated in the taking of Wookiee slaves. He could have defected but did not, instead choosing to continue to serve such a government. Also, while aliens who worked alongside him, such as Kre'fey, sincerely felt that Pellaeon was not anti-alien, many of the highest members of Pellaeon's government were, and Pellaeon was willing to turn a blind eye to such sentiments, facing the political reality that they were widespread among Imperial officers. While Pellaeon was admired by many in the New Republic and Galactic Alliance for his "progressive" stances, others felt that, by knowingly and loyally serving the Empire at its worst, Pellaeon could not redeem himself.
Pellaeon himself demonstrated a strong respect for his counterparts on the other side, especially as the Galactic Civil War ended. Committed and dutiful military men such as Garm Bel Iblis, Wedge Antilles, Traest Kre'fey, and Gavin Darklighter earned Pellaeon's respect even before he joined their side. Pellaeon also demonstrated a strong respect for the Jedi, Luke Skywalker in particular. After the peace, however, even before Luke Skywalker helped save his life over Bastion, Pellaeon showed an uncommon regard for Skywalker, both as a religious figure and a former general. Pellaeon also built a strong working relationship with Leia Organa Solo, who was consistently the New Republic's choice to conduct negotiations with him. Pellaeon also came to respect her husband, even if he could not quite bring himself to endorse Han Solo's rather undisciplined methods.
As a young man, Pellaeon had loved war games, delighting in the exercise of strategy and the testing of new techniques. Over the years, however, Pellaeon lost that excitement as the grueling realities of war grounded him down. Pellaeon was still able to take some delight in the devising of tactics and their implementation, in testing himself against an enemy, but it was not an aspect of his personality which he was particularly proud of, and consideration of the potential human cost of battle easily cooled his excitement. Pellaeon had seen four galactic conflicts over the years, and had no desire to see any more. As he grew older, he desired simply to leave the galaxy a more orderly place when he died, lacking grand ambitions of empire.
Notes and referencesEdit
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- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Vision of the Future
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- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Heir to the Empire Sourcebook
- ↑ The Truce at Bakura Sourcebook
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- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 Dark Force Rising
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 The Last Command
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Last Command Sourcebook
- ↑ Dark Empire Sourcebook
- ↑ Star Wars: Council of Blood
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 Star Wars: Darksaber
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- ↑ Star Wars: Nightsaber
- ↑ Star Wars: Starfighters of Adumar
- ↑ Star Wars: Planet of Twilight
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