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Trick
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  The Empire's Edge - An Overview
May 31, 2019 6:17:59 PM    View the profile of Trick 
OOC:
I wrote this up as a personal exercise to remind myself of what we did over in the EE spin-off writers' group, and to help me figure out how to adapt that canon for integration into the rebooted VE canon of 2019.  It's a pretty long thread, but if you're curious about the who/what/where/when/why of the EE, give this a look.


The Empire’s Edge - A Contemporary Historical Review of the Revolution that Revived the New Order

Written by Professor Yorg der Vreeble, Aostrolla University



Introduction


Today I ask you to consider our recent history.  Ours, collectively.  I promise you that this document is not a boring collection of contextless dates and of suppositions about long-dead societies.  No.  Here instead is a chronicle of the dramatic events which have led us all, inexorably, to this precise moment in time.  More than a chronicle, really… a reminder.  These are events that continue to live on in the memories of quadrillions of sentient beings who are still alive today.  Events of cosmic significance that have irrevocably altered the course of history.

The story of the past seventy-five years is a tale of a disastrous losing battle against chaos.  We must read that story carefully and often, combing through the narrative for mistakes from which we can learn and for insights which may prove useful.  Reading the story may be our only hope of turning the tide of the battle.

It is distressing to confront the truth that we are living through a period of unprecedented upheaval and uncertainty.  But it is also empowering to realize that our personal actions and efforts have the potential to restore order to the galaxy.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, dutiful, courageous citizens can change the course of history.  Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
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  RE: The Empire's Edge - An Overview
May 31, 2019 6:22:06 PM    View the profile of Trick 
Chapter 14 - The Empire’s Edge conspiracy


Thus far we have recounted:
  • The decline of the decadent First Galactic (or “Old”) Republic
  • The dark days of the Separatist crisis and the Clone Wars
  • The Declaration of a New Order and glorious ascension of Emperor Palpatine
  • The peace, prosperity, and progress of his reign
  • The emergence of the anarchic Alliance to Restore the Republic (or “Rebel Alliance”)
  • The rebels’ strategy of combining barbaric terrorism with poisonous propaganda
  • Their too-often-successful cultivation of traitors and turncoats
  • The culmination of their nefarious work at the catastrophic Battle of Endor, which marked the beginning of the Interregnum
  • The consolidation of the Rebel Alliance and its reorganization into the Second Galactic (or “New”) Republic
  • The fracturing of the suddenly-leaderless First Galactic Empire (or simply “Empire”) into petty successor states
  • The outbreak of the ongoing Imperial Civil War between these lesser states
  • The horrors of the Plague Wars
  • The particular history of the successor states located in the Galactic Southwest, including the Vast Empire

75 years of intergalactic political and military strife, distilled into 13 chapters.  I remind you again that this document includes an extensive bibliography and several appendices at the end.

Our review now leads us to the events which immediately precede our present: the populist revolution that united the remote Ejj Sector under Imperial rule (the “Empire’s Edge” conspiracy), and the subsequent founding of the Second Galactic (or “New”) Empire there.
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  RE: The Empire's Edge - An Overview
May 31, 2019 6:24:29 PM    View the profile of Trick 
The Empire’s Edge


After the precipitous collapse of the Vast Empire (see Chapter 13), the Galactic Southwest was plunged into chaos.  In the aftermath of their total military defeat, the surviving VE leaders were divided on the question of what to do next.  Without a clear chain of command, they began to scatter to pursue their own agendas.  Some struck out on their own in small groups, whether as humble freighter crews or as mercenaries-for-hire.  Some fled, alone, many of them branded outlaws by the victorious Thrawnist forces.  Most elected to remain in the core territories of what was formerly known as VE space, but to their dismay they frequently found themselves at odds with their former comrades.  With no central authority to rule the various planets, the worlds devolved to local governance, and each was driven by self-interest alone.  With organized crime already expanding into the power vacuum and piracy growing rampant, communal effort and civic responsibility were replaced by an “every being for themself” mentality.

But there were some among the diaspora who were determined to preserve the Vast Empire’s ideals.  Chief among them was the legendary elder statesbeing Kami Sharpe.  This former member of the Imperial Senate conceived an audacious plan: she would gather together like-minded Imperials, and together they would reunite the galaxy under a revived - and revised - New Order.

Sharpe’s vision was of a kinder, gentler Empire.  An Empire that embraced equal rights as a means to create unity.  An Empire that embraced unity as a means to create peace.  An Empire that embraced peace as a means to create prosperity.  An Empire that embraced prosperity as a means to maintain its own power.  An Empire which embraced the pursuit of power as a means to perpetuate the virtuous system upon which it was based.  A New Order, indeed.

To bring her dream to fruition, Sharpe divided the tremendous undertaking into three stages.  Her first goal was to establish a power base on the fringes of civilized space, and the remote Ejj Sector - adjacent to what had been Vast Empire territory - was a perfect target.  From there she could pursue her second goal, which was to create an ideologically-pure model society, free of the divisive influence of COMPNOR and their ilk.  Her government would prioritize maximizing the well-being of all its citizens.  This was calculated altruism: the peoples of the galaxy would envy her subjects and clamor for their quality of life, and the leaders of other governments might be forced to emulate her example or even voluntarily integrate their realms into her own.  Her strategy was not to conquer the galaxy by force of arms, but via the “soft power” of economic growth and cultural dominance.  Spreading her Empire’s way of life far and wide was her third and final goal.  By building internal consensus and external goodwill, Sharpe hoped that the galaxy could eventually be made to see that security was a prerequisite for happiness, and that centralized control and the guidance of an enlightened ruler were essential to maintain security.  Unity was the only bulwark against chaos.

In the months after the Vast Empire’s collapse, Sharpe used her considerable powers of persuasion to rally the most influential and powerful beings of the Galactic Southwest to her cause.  Political favors were called in.  Media connections were capitalized on.  Corporate leaders were courted.  And many former VE personnel were enlisted in the scheme.  The woman’s nigh-supernatural political acumen kept the unlikely, unwieldy coalition organized and on task.  But before she could set her ultimate plan in motion, Sharpe needed one last element: the backing of a highly-ranked military officer.  The military enjoyed pride of place in Imperial culture, and a martial hero of some kind could bring legitimacy - and ample firepower - to her planned coup d’etat.

After a prolonged search, Senator Sharpe settled on a somewhat unlikely candidate: Admiral Zev Trikarian, a minor warlord commanding a small fleet of ships which had been part of the Vast Empire’s Navy.  After years spent wandering in the wilderness - both figuratively and literally - the admiral gladly pledged himself and his forces to Sharpe.

And thus the conspirators had all been chosen and recruited.  They had committed themselves to building a new kind of Empire at the leading edge of political theory.  They had joined together as the tip of the spear that would carve out that new kind of Empire, and the edge of the sword that would defend it.  And they had resolved to begin their quest at the edge of the galaxy, in the frontier Ejj Sector.  Kami Sharpe christened their collective the “Empire’s Edge,” and under that codename the conspirators set about their work.
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  RE: The Empire's Edge - An Overview
May 31, 2019 6:27:35 PM    View the profile of Trick 
Revolution, Regency, and Revival


The Three-Hour Plan

The beings of the Empire’s Edge considered many possible strategies for success, but after a period of open debate Sharpe summarily ruled that her initial plan was the most likely to succeed.  Their egos somewhat assuaged, almost every member of the conspiracy fell in line.  Notably, the few dissenters did not appear at future meetings and planning sessions, and yet they never undermined the mission nor revealed it to the galaxy at large.

Sharpe’s proposed operation, developed in tandem with Trikarian, was dubbed the “Three Hour Plan.”  It was a comprehensive, meticulously planned coup d’etat, designed to be as non-violent as possible.  If everything proceeded according to the design, the members of the Emperor’s Edge would have de facto control over the Ejj Sector’s military, its political and judicial institutions, all of its major holonet communications systems and news organizations, and every major resource-extraction and -refinement site in the area, after just three standard hours.

Ultimately everything did not proceed according to plan, but by the time the dust settled all major objectives had been completed.  The only significant resistance was on the military front.  The sector’s main shipyards complex was alerted to the in-progress coup before all of Trikarian’s assets were in position to seize control.  With the complex’s holo-communications cut off they were unable to call for reinforcements, but the in-system defenses were ample enough to inflict heavy casualties on Edge forces.  Several special forces infiltration teams and multiple starfighter squadrons were lost during the ensuing firefight.  But hours after the operation’s planned timetable, the yards were at last secured.  The Three Hour Plan had taken nearly seven hours to execute, and the takeover had caused many more deaths than intended, but after years of planning and preparation, Kami Sharpe had gained absolute control over an entire sector of the galaxy.



Proclamation of Regency and Consolidation of Power

With her opponents either dead or under arrest, Sharpe immediately began to shore up her position.

Her first move was to make a direct address to the entire sector population, informing them of the change in leadership while simultaneously announcing sweeping populist reforms.  Extraordinary reforms.  She promised extensive changes to the criminal justice system: all political prisoners arrested under the old regime were to be immediately and unconditionally released; there was going to be an aggressive crackdown on corruption; bribery, fraud, and financial crimes were made capital offenses.  She promised to nationalize the major resource-extraction companies, and share the profits from the industries with the public.  She promised to tax the oligarchs and the corporations.  She promised to spend the new revenue on massive public works projects, and an unprecedented expansion of public benefits programs.  She promised a complete reformation of the Imperial military: the Army and Navy would phase out conscription and move towards a professional citizen-soldier model of service; the doctrine for the use of force would change as well, embracing high-tech, high-quality weapons platforms that would allow the military to prioritize the preservation of friendly lives over the destruction of hostile ones.  She promised to expel members of the speciesist Committee for the Preservation of the New Order and to extend equal protection under the law to all sentient beings residing in the Ejj Sector.  She promised to shut down the slave trade and eliminate piracy.  She promised an Empire that was better than it had ever been before.  To sum up, she promised that the people of the Ejj Sector could realize the late Emperor’s dream - his original, unadulterated dream - if only they worked together.

The revolution was obscured by revolutionary reforms.  Sharpe’s extralegal takeover of the government was rendered practically irrelevant, a small inconsequential detail buried under an avalanche of progressive changes.

It was a masterful performance.  Soaring oratory was juxtaposed with empathetic, personal touches.  An audience of billions was mesmerized, and primed for the climax of the address.

In a stirring emotional crescendo, Kami Sharpe styled herself as the spiritual heir to the imperial mantle, but one who was too humble to claim the throne itself.  She spoke of her call to greatness, and she called upon the people of the Ejj Sector to answer the same call.  And, using a similar choice of words and cadence of delivery as the Emperor had used in his Declaration of a New Order decades before, Kami Sharpe proclaimed herself the Regent of a New Empire.

Across dozens of worlds, trillions of beings cried out simultaneously in jubilation.

After the public address a flurry of behind-the-scenes negotiations with various special interest groups ensued.  Sharpe softened her populist rhetoric in private, but she also made clear that the sector’s elites had no choice but to submit to her rule.  Within days they all pledged to support the new status quo.

The transition of power had been orderly, and the victory complete.  In just days, Kami Sharpe had established a bastion of hope and resurgent Imperial pride at the edge of civilized space.



The Great Purge and Unification

But perhaps the greatest contribution Sharpe made towards the establishment of the Second Galactic Empire was, paradoxically, her exit from public life.  A few short weeks after the coup, disgruntled Thrawnist loyalists destroyed the new Regent’s shuttle in a shocking terrorist bombing.  Sharpe miraculously survived the explosion which had instantly killed everyone else aboard, but just barely.  She was left incapacitated, and rulership passed to her chosen successor, the man she’d named Supreme Commander of the SGE’s military: Admiral Zev Trikarian.

But despite the chaos it caused, the attempted assassination backfired.  Although Sharpe was forced into reclusive recovery, her assailants had unwittingly made her a martyr to the ideals she had so eloquently espoused.  The populace was outraged, and countless civilian vigilantes joined the manhunt to track down the perpetrators and their sympathizers.  With the Ejj Sector united as never before, Admiral Trikarian completed a thorough purge of the counterrevolutionaries.  And only a few short months later, with his powerbase secured and his government organized and operating smoothly, Trikarian was formally elevated to the Regency.

Thus the Empire’s Edge realized its goals, and the New Empire was born.
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  RE: The Empire's Edge - An Overview
May 31, 2019 6:30:22 PM    View the profile of Trick 
Chapter 15 - The Second Galactic Empire



Trikarian’s Reign So Far


The Second Galactic Empire has accomplished much during the young reign of Admiral Zev Trikarian.  The reluctant Regent has forged what is perhaps the most politically stable and economically prosperous - if also one of the smallest - interplanetary states in the galaxy.  Sandwiched between the still-unexplored Unknown Regions, the pirate-infested no being’s land of the former VE territories, and the borders of the New Republic, the Ejj Sector is surrounded by threats.  And yet the SGE has remained independent, successfully expelling invasions from both the Thrawnist Imperials and the New Republicans.  Indeed, Trikarian’s “New Empire” has steadily expanded its sphere of influence, annexing or vassalizing dozens of populated worlds in the few short years since its founding.

Trikarian has hewn closely to the private strategies and publicly stated promises made by his predecessor and partner, Regent Kami Sharpe, but his style of leadership is decidedly different than that of the charismatic former senator.  Eschewing the title of Regent except in formal ceremonies, Trikarian has continued to style himself as an admiral of the imperial navy.  He does not maintain a coterie of courtiers, but rather a staff of advisors.  He rules as a military man, and his government operates like the crew of a military vessel: the commanding officer gives orders and subordinates coordinate with each other to carry out those orders, within the framework of a rigid and efficient hierarchy.

Trikarian takes a hands-on approach to foreign policy and martial matters, but the day-to-day governing of the Empire is carried out by a Council of Moffs, each hand-chosen for their integrity, competence, and loyalty.  A legislative advisory group called the Imperial Diet includes representatives from every world in SGE space, and relays the concerns of the public to the Council for consideration.  Foreign governments that share a border with the Empire are allowed to send delegates to the Diet as well, to observe and even to contribute to debates, but these emissaries are not permitted to vote on resolutions.  And the judicial branch of government, while not strictly-speaking independent and impartial, operates efficiently and ethically.  Corruption and bribery are capital crimes, and nobody is above the law except the Regent himself.

The military-industrial complex of the Second Galactic Empire is worthy of special note.  The gross domestic product of the Ejj Sector rivals that of star nations twenty times larger in astrographical size, and the booming economy fuels a fearsome war machine.  The secret to this success isn’t talent though, it’s luck.  The Ejj Sector was largely spared from the cataclysmic conflicts that have swept the galaxy over the past 75 years, so Trikarian’s Empire has many assets to exploit that other governments in other regions don’t have access to.

Perhaps most importantly, the SGE has a thriving and ever-growing population.  The Ejj Sector was incorporated into Palpatine’s First Galactic Empire only months before his death, and was therefore thought of (not unfairly) as a backwater.  It was largely beneath the notice of the great powers during the Plague Wars, and remained untouched by large-scale bio-weapons attacks.  The local population was therefore never decimated by disease, and the local infrastructure was left intact.  As a result, the area drew refugees and immigrants from across the galaxy, a process which has accelerated under Trikarian.  The Second Galactic Empire has all the skilled technicians and cheap labor it needs, and a huge tax base from which to draw.

Similarly, the natural resources of SGE space are second to none.  Under normal circumstances, corporations would place bids for the star systems of a newly-minted Imperial sector, hoping to lease them for exploitation in exchange for submitting a tithe or taxes to Imperial Center.  But Palpatine’s death interrupted the bidding process, and local leaders were so distracted by the ensuing chaos that most raw materials remained untapped.  Kami Sharpe’s genius was to complete the auction in secret, in the lead-up to her coup.  By the time the Empire’s Edge conspirators had seized control of the sector, major corporations were ready to immediately begin construction of mines, farms, factories, and wells.

This material wealth has funded infrastructure and benefits programs, but more than anything else it has been funneled into the Second Galactic Empire’s military.  The original nucleus of the Imperial Navy was the task force Trikarian commanded during his career in the VE and then subsequently during his time as an independent warlord, but the institution has expanded at an ever-accelerating pace since taking over the Ejj Sector.  Trikarian seized control of local Thrawn-commanded forces during the coup, purged loyalist holdouts from the chain of command after the attempt on Sharpe’s life, and began a massive recruitment-and-training campaign thereafter.  With an upswell of nationalist fervor came a flood of beings eager to do their patriotic duty, and the steady supply of raw resources and refined goods has fed a huge military buildup.  Everything from personal armor to capital ships is produced locally, and mostly made from local materials.

And finally, although Trikarian’s military may look superficially similar to the Old Empire’s forces - the New Empire uses mostly the same weapons platforms and uniforms - their way of waging war is utterly different.  Whereas the Old Empire wasted men and materiel on swarm tactics and direct frontal assaults, the New Empire prioritizes the preservation of friendly lives by using smart tactics and a quality-over-quantity approach to the make-up of its forces.  And whereas the Tarkin Doctrine was an abject failure, Trikarian’s rules of engagement prioritize protecting any and all civilian lives, in a concerted effort to win hearts and minds.

And so, under Admiral Trikarian’s rule the SGE has become a haven for freedom and justice, an economic powerhouse, and a military juggernaut.  The large, high-tech military serves as an effective deterrent.  And as long as his realm is united and stable, Trikarian will remain free to pursue diplomatic agreements with neighboring polities, steadily expanding his influence and advancing his mission to spread his ideals.



Looming Threats


But unity and stability are difficult to maintain.  In recent months, the SGE has been forced to confront threats from within and without.

The greatest worry is a sudden influx of foreign agents operating within SGE space.  Spies and saboteurs have infiltrated all areas and levels of society, and as more and more interlopers are apprehended it seems increasingly likely that others remain at large.  Some of these intruders are familiar foes: assassins sent by Thrawn, passive operatives sent by New Republic Intelligence, etc.  But most of the arrestees seem to be agents of a new, more mysterious enemy.  Interrogations have yielded little, except for the hostile group’s simple, disquieting name: “The First Order.”

The escalating breaches of security have coincided with increased activity in the areas formerly held by the Vast Empire.  Admiral Trikarian has been observed to be particularly concerned with the reports of movement and accelerated comms traffic in the area.

Sources close to the Regent, speaking on condition of anonymity, have summarized the developing situation thusly: “This new enemy - the Order or whatever they call themselves - they are the greatest threat we’ve yet to face.  His Imperial Highness has vowed to protect the public from this kind of scum, but when the enemy has disguised himself as a member of the public that complicates things.  And now something’s going on over in VE space?  Of course the Regent is concerned.  Is this First Order building a secret base out there?  Are the pirate clans helping them?  Is it something as simple as a turf war between underworld gangs?  Or are the lowlifes gathering together under some charismatic criminal?  Our intelligence services think the most likely scenario is that some remnants of the Vast Empire are reuniting.  Which… fine.  But if they are, will they prove to be friends of the true Empire, or yet another foe?”

As we have seen, dear reader, we are living through a period of unprecedented upheaval and uncertainty.  But hopefully, by reminding ourselves of how we got to this point we will be better prepared to act wisely as we confront these new challenges.  Together we have the potential to turn the tide of the battle against chaos.  Together we may restore order to the galaxy.  For the only thing necessary to change the course of history is a small group of thoughtful, dutiful, courageous citizens.

For the Empire!
Naval High Command
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Decorations
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SM/DWR Trikarian/Dark Jedi/Shades/Raven L-04/DJO/VE [EoP]
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  RE: The Empire's Edge - An Overview
May 31, 2019 6:42:13 PM    View the profile of Trick 
OOC:
tl;dr

There is an Imperial successor state that calls itself the Second Galactic Empire, and it borders what was formerly VE territory.  Just like the VE, it is opposed to both the Thrawnist Imperials and to the New Republic.  And just like the VE, it subscribes to a version of Imperial rule that is based on noble principles rather than cartoonish villainy.

When the VE collapsed, several Dark Jedi decided to think of the setback as an opportunity.  They pooled their talents and formed what amounted to a rebel cell: the Empire's Edge.  The EE targeted a Thrawn-aligned sector bordering VE space, called the Ejj Sector, and seized control in a coup d'etat.

Since then, the SGE has become a galactic power, albeit one that is focused on internal affairs and dedicated to isolationism.

How will the SGE react to the VE's revival, and vice versa?  How will the encroachment of the First Order play out?  Let's have fun figuring it out!
Naval High Command
CNW/Rear Admiral Trick/NHC/VEN/VE

Second Vast Imperial Fleet
SCAP/RADM Zev "Trick" Tikarian/Interdictor-class Star Destroyer Subjugator/TF:A/2Flt/FC/VEN/VE

Decorations
[HNS][1NS][2NS][3NS][4NS][5NS][LSM][BWC][SWC][GWC][PWC][WM0][WM1][WM2][WM3][WM4][WM5]
[*IG*][*AO*][SoA][CoB.][VC:B][VC:S][VC:G][VC:E][SoV][LoM][DSM][NSM][E][NAR][CC:4][CNQST][NDM][MSMx2][NC][IGC]

(=*AE*=)(=*SAE*=)(=*TG*=)(=*SCFE*=)(=*FOCE*=)

SM/DWR Trikarian/Dark Jedi/Shades/Raven L-04/DJO/VE [EoP]
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