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The Battle of Ciutric occurred in 9 ABY. It was the final battle in a New Republic campaign against rogue Imperial warlord Delak Krennel. The battle was staged by former Imperial Director of Intelligence Ysanne Isard in an attempt to distract the New Republic while she attempted to reclaim the Super Star Destroyer Lusankya from Bilbringi. It resulted in the death of both Krennel and dissolution of his Hegemony, the death of the clone of Ysanne Isard who had been advising him, as well as the liberation of the prisoners from the Lusankya.
The New Republics invasion of the Ciutric Hegemony had drawn to a halt after evidence had emerged that Krennel had been developing and building a next generation 'Death Star' dubbed the Pulsar Station. When Rogue Squadron had gone missing on a Recon run through the most likely system to house the weapons shipyard, apparently destroyed in an ambush by his forces, Krennel seized the chance to regain the initiative, aggressively raiding the New Republics foothold into his space and working to keep them on the back foot by ambushing supply convoys destined for the invaders forces.
Unknown to him, Rogue Squadron had not been destroyed in his ambush, but saved by two TIE Defender squadrons who had arrived at the height of the fierce battle to help turn the tide, before escorting them to a nearby base. There, Wedge Antilles was taken aback to find himself face to face with none other than Ysanne Isard whom he had thought to be working hand in hand with Krennel. Isard quickly explained that the person working with Krennel was in fact a clone of herself that she had activated and tasked with scattering the Lusankya prisoners during the Bacta War to deny the Rogues their prize should they win. The clone in question did not realize she was in fact a clone however, and had managed to survive the team Isard sent to eliminate her once her job had been done. Claiming to have simply grown tired of trying to restore the Empire, Ysanne promised to help the New Republic both capture the Hegemony and recover the prisoners they had been searching for in exchange for being allowed to simply 'retire' peacefully and invisibly.
Although loathe to trust the woman, Wedge agreed to her terms as a necessary evil to end the war quickly and decisively. He and the rest of the Rogues would train against the Imperial pilots who rescued them until they had become proficient using the TIE Defenders Isard had acquired, then taking on the persona of an Imperial Squadron looking for a home, take employment in the Hegemony as an elite unit under Krennels command. Shortly after this, a full scale New Republic assault force would attack Ciutric IV and during the chaos, the Rogues 'on the inside' would disable the planetary shields protecting the world, allowing an Imperial Commando unit under Isards command to storm the prison containing the prisoners whom she had located - as her clone was using security procedures she was naturally perfectly familiar with. The New Republic would gain the planet and the prisoners in one fell swoop.
Betrayed by IsardEdit
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Isard had no intention of either helping the New Republic or going into retirement, simply using them to serve her own ends. While Rogue Squadron, now identifying as Requiem Squadron, infiltrated into the service of the Hegemony with smooth ease thanks to Isards careful planning, the former director of Intelligence had little use for either the Hegemony or Rogue Squadron beyond hopefully eliminating her clone for good. She leaked information of the planned attack on his space to Krennel in the hope that the New Republic fleet and Krennels would destroy each other, but more important for her, the attack pulled the closest response forces away from her true objective; the Bilbringi Shipyards and her former Star Dreadnaught Lusankya.
As such, when the New Republic Assault force reverted from Hyperspace, they were surprised to find that in addition to the expected presence of Reckoning, Decisive, and Binder, Krennel had also called in the Victory-class Star Destroyer Emperor's Wisdom, giving his fleet a significant advantage in firepower thanks to its array of Concussion Missile launchers. Neither did the promised Imperial Commando Team show up after Requiem Squadron took out the shield generators covering the prison area, and with little choice, the Rogues landed a ground team of their own under the cover of the firepower from the airborne Tie Defenders, pushing grimly into the prison as best they could.
The Thrawn PincerEdit
In space, Admiral Ackbar had started a withdrawal shortly after emerging from hyperspace. With a pair of Imperial Star Destroyers and a Victory class Star Destroyer to his single Star Cruiser and Star Destroyer, Ackbar was apparently outgunned. Several of his escorting Frigates and Corvettes were damaged after the first exchange of fire and although Home One and Emancipator both scored hits on Reckoning, the battle was clearly firmly in the favor of the Imperial defenders. With relish, Krennel ordered Binder to bring her gravity well generators online to prevent Ackbar escaping as he moved to press the attack, unknowingly dooming himself by doing so.
What Krennel did not realize was that Ackbar had a contingency plan in place. With no trust for Isard, Ackbar had a reserve force of two Victory Class Star Destroyers under the command of Garm Bel Iblis waiting just outside the star system. Copying the tactics used against him recently by the deceased Grand Admiral Thrawn, as soon as the gravity wells had come online, Ackbar gave the order that sent the two Star Destroyers into hyperspace, on a vector that would intersect the gravity well projected by Binder - bringing both Star Destroyers out in a perfect position to the rear of both of Krennels, where General Bel Iblis promptly gave the order to open fire, focusing each ships eighty Concussion Missile launchers onto Krennels flagship, inflicting massive damage to the suddenly beleaguered ship. One concussion missile actually overshot its target and came around to try again, its path happening to intersect the bridge of the ship where Krennel had been overseeing the battle personally, killing him and ending the battle .
The Death of Isards CloneEdit
Even as the battle in space came to a sudden and dramatic end, the battle at the prison waged on. Corran Horn had managed to lead a strike force into the prison and find the prisoners, but became bogged down as the defending Stormtroopers rallied and moved in. Rogue Squadron intercepted and destroyed a ground convoy moving to support the prison, before Wedge moved to intercept an Assault shuttle also moving in. On a hunch he opened a channel to the shuttle and was unsurprised when none other than Isard - or more accurately her clone- responded, before firing a pair of concussion missiles at the prison to destroy it. Wedge managing to intercept one of the two missiles before impact and luckily the second did not strike the prison block holding the prisoners and ground team.
Quickly, the Rogues rounded on the Assault Shuttle in their TIE Defenders, Wedge following his instincts and having the pilots use their fighters sensor systems to detect and then triangulate all communications signals to and from the shuttle as it was pushed away from the prison and steadily hit with ion cannon fire. Simultaneously, Wedge taunted the clone with the truth that she was in fact a clone, causing the other to apparently suffer something akin to a mental breakdown before Wedge closed the channel filled with her screams of horror and finished the shuttle off.
Seconds later however, he had triangulated the origin point of the datalink from which the clone had been remotely flying the shuttle, having recognized the same tactic that Isard herself had used to fake her death at Thyferra, and send a volley of Concussion missiles into the building, killing the clone instantly.
Simultaneous with this, Kapp Dendo who had come in with the New Republic fleet landed at the prison with six Noghri Commandos, who promptly set about doing what they did best and tore into the Stormtroopers with their typical ruthless efficiency, essentially ending the battle.
And leaving only the question of where Isard was now
- X-Wing: Isard's Revenge (First appearance)
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 232 ("Krennel, Prince-Admiral Delak")
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- (First identified as Battle of Ciutric)
Notes and referencesEdit