- "His rescue at our hands could show other Imperial leaders that they don't have to be devoured by a crumbling state."
- ―Doman Beruss
Following Grand Vizier Sate Pestage meeting with Leia Organa on Axxila, Director of Imperial Intelligence Ysanne Isard informed the Cabal of Pestage's treason. However, he managed to leave Coruscant and fled to Ciutric IV. However, upon reaching the planet he was arrested by former Moff turned pirate Leonia Tavira. She agreed to bargain Pestage's life with Isard and the Ruling Council then sent Admiral Delak Krennel to reclaim Pestage.
Meanwhile, a Rebel intelligence agent on Ciutric IV informed General Airen Cracken of Pestage's situation and the New Republic Provisional Council decided to send a rescue team for Pestage. Rogue Squadron was to team up with Aggressor Wing and a ground force, Commando Team One, to get Pestage off of Ciutric.
X-wings and Y-wings provided air support while the commandos infiltrated the city where Pestage was hiding. Several commandos extracted Pestage from the city and proceeded to escape in an evacuation transport. Escape from the planet, however, was prevented by a pair of Star Destroyers under the command of Admiral Delak Krennel, the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Reckoning and Interdictor Star Destroyer Binder that just had arrived in the system.
Aggressor Wing was able to escape to hyperspace, but Rogue Squadron, the commandos, and Pestage were caught in the Interdictor's gravity well and forced to go to ground on the planet's night side. With the retrieval force trapped on the planet, a squadron of TIE fighters ambushed the team, killing Ibtisam before being wiped out by the remaining Rogues.
The following day, Rogue Squadron launched a desperate attack against the Imperial forces in orbit. As the battle was beginning, Aggressor Wing returned, along with Mirax Terrik's Pulsar Skate, destroying many of the TIEs. The reinforced Republic force returned again to the surface to refuel and plan their escape.
With the Skate and X-wings providing support, the Y-wing squadrons fired volleys of proton torpedoes at the Star Destroyers, knocking out the Binder's gravity well projectors and causing artificial gravity to fail on the Reckoning. Both Destroyers retreated, clearing the path for the Republic forces to escape.
On the surface, stormtroopers and All Terrain Armored Transports attacked Commando Team One before their Bantha-class assault shuttles could launch. However, both shuttles managed to escape in the fighting.
- "She gave up her future to us. It is an investment in who we are and what we value. What we do with it, what we make of it will determine the ultimate value if what her life will mean. So to you, Ibtisam, and all our comrades, farewell. Though our struggle with the Empire continues, you brought it that much closer to an end. And when it is gone, you and your courage will be remembered and live on forever."
- ―Wedge Antilles, speaking at Ibtisam's funeral
In the confusion, Pestage fled his rescuers, intending for Krennel to command the Ciutric Hegemony in his name. Krennel instead strangled Pestage with his artificial right hand and seized complete control of the Hegemony. On Coruscant, Ysanne Isard assassinated and imprisoned the leaders of the Cabal, becoming the undisputed leader of the Empire.
Behind the scenesEdit
The cover of X-wing Rogue Squadron 32: Mandatory Retirement, Part 1 incorrectly shows the Eidolon during the battle.
- X-wing Rogue Squadron: Mandatory Retirement (First appearance)
- X-Wing: Isard's Revenge (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 23 (Indirect mention only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 139 (PES4, Sate Pestage)
- The Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (see "Ciutric")
- The Essential Atlas