- "Enough of this charade, Gamma 1 is the Emperor's stool pigeon!"
- ―Admiral Harkov
The Battle for Honor was a campaign by the Galactic Empire to bring the traitor, Admiral Harkov, to justice in the Parmel system. Following the Aftermath of Hoth Admiral Harkov agreed to defect to the Rebel Alliance with ample imbursement. The Secret Order of the Emperor knew the crimes of Admiral Harkov thanks to assistance from Ace Maarek Stele. Stele fought extensively during this campaign, greatly contributing to the final apprehension of Admiral Harkov himself.
Following the Conflict at Mylok IV, and the armistice in the Sepan system Admiral Harkov began solidifying his arrangements with the Rebel Alliance. During a secret meeting with his top advisors, Harkov received information about the recent transfer of a new pilot aboard Victory-class Star Destroyer Protector. Harkov expressed his concern about the pilot, suggesting he be a spy, furthermore inquiring his aid, Vondruln, for a solution to this problem. Vondruln, being the source of the information assured the Admiral, "There will be an accident sir", further elaborating with "He will not survive his next mission".
Prophets of the Secret Order had arranged to return Imperial Ace Maarek Stele back to the Protector. Stele's prowess and knowledge of Admiral Harkov made him a valuable asset to the Order. Prophets informed Stele that the suspicious Imperial equipment and munitions found during the Sepan campaign had a strange correlation with supply shortages on Harkov's flagship. Order agents assured Stele of foul play, moreover that Stele was key to the success of closing the net on Admiral Harkov.
Maarek Stele's first mission aboard the Protector entailed showing two rookie pilots how a hotshot clears a minefield in an unshielded craft. Order agents warned Stele of the unnecessary risk this assignment posed to him; moreover, to stay alert, and not hesitate to call for reinforcements as they had prepared "special arrangements".
Stele departed Victory Star Destroyer Protector in TIE Interceptor Gamma 1, escorted by two other Interceptors. Stele proceeded to destroy the minefield around four cargo containers. Admiral Harkov came across the comlink as Stele blasted away Type A mines. Harkov suggested that Stele should move along, as his loyalty was in question. Growing frustrated, Harkov declared an end to the farce. He called Stele "the Emperor's stoolpigeon" then ordered Stele's supposedly "rookie" wingmen to destroy Stele's starfighter.
Stele called for reinforcements as his wing-mates opened fire. Nebulon-B2 frigate Osprey answered that call, emerging from hyperspace. Protector began launching TIE Avengers and TIE/sa bombers, swiftly answered by loyalist TIE Interceptors from the Osprey. Imperial fighters clashed in a fury of laser fire as Stele dumped all power into his engines to escape the string of pursuers.
Calamari Cruiser Margaret arrived as Gamma 1 neared the safety of the Osprey's gun range. Shuttle Lambda exited the Protector's hangar moments after Margaret arrived. Frigate Osprey ordered Stele to inspect the Lambda, curious of its cargo. Stele obeyed, hoping that the fully raging melee among Imperial starfighters provided a shred of safety. The passive inspection by Gamma 1 revealed an Officer aboard the Lambda, heading for Cruiser Margaret.
Stele turned his Interceptor back toward the Osprey, six kilometers away, through as maelstrom of Imperial and Rebel starfighters, all the while in an unshielded craft. Nearing the Osprey, Stele contributed to the battle for a short time, eliminating some of Harkov's fighters with the aid of Osprey's laser batteries, and by dumping his laser generator power into his engines to catch much faster TIE Avengers. Once safely in the hagner of Osprey, a Secret Order agent met with Stele; assuring him they now had irrefutable proof of Harkov's treachery.
Aboard the Protector Admiral Harkov was livid. Harkov berated his advisors, Vondruln in particular. Harkov spat in anger, Stele having escaped, the Empire discovering his traitorous plot, moreover the fact he now had no leverage to assure payment from the Rebellion with the Empire now on his tail. Having met his limit, Harkov drew his blaster and executed Vondruln with a bolt to the chest. Harkov finished by barking at his men to clean up the mess and make themselves scarce.
Assault Gunboat reconEdit
Having rescued Maarek Stele, a member of the Secret Order, Imperial forces set out to locate the fleeing Admiral Harkov. Imperial commanders dispatched Assault Gunboat patrols to locate Harkov among Rebel outposts, presumably taking on supplies after the disconnection from Imperial logistics. Assault Gunboats from flight group Mu located the Protector after inspecting cargo containers near XQ1 Platform DS 5. Following the reconnaissance of Harkov's logistical necessities Gunboats Mu proceeded to destroy the precious supplies. As a more remote installation, DS 5 deployed aged Z-95 Headhunters, but also mustered a group of B-wing fighters to intercept the encroaching Imperial scouts. As ordered, the Assault Gunboats proceeded to leave the system upon the arrival of the Protector, easily motivated by the swift introduction of TIE Avengers from Protector's hangar.
Upon locating Harkov, Gunboats from Mu returned the system near Rebel outpost DS 5. Imperial Intelligence reported the transit of various cargo vessels bound to Harkov's location. Assault Gunboats Mu received the assignment to inspect and destroy all incoming cargo craft. Equipped with Heavy Rockets, the Gunboats emerged from hyperspace almost twenty kilometers from DS 5 and the Protector, lying in wait for anything that may arrive to re-supply the traitor Harkov. Three bulk freighters from Karflo arrived first, immediately seized by the four Gunboats from Mu, aided by four additional Gunboats from Rho. In the moments to come, Imperial Gunboats destroyed two Modular Conveyors SoroSuub, Container Transports Morgath 1 & 5, and two CR90 corvettes Sundog. By the time Imperial starfighters could destroy the arriving convoy, TIE Avengers from Victory Star Destroyer Protector had closed the distance on Gunboats Mu and Rho. Outclassed and out gunned Imperial fighters offered a brief show of force by destroying a few of the far superior Avengers, then escaped to the safety of lightspeed.
Imperial forces stranded Harkov's Star Destroyer Protector following the successful interdiction of the Rebel supply convoy. Imperial leaders chose this time to eliminate Harkov's fighter screen of TIE Avengers. Keeping the pressure on, Gunboat pilots from Mu integrated themselves into fresh TIE Avenger starfighters, leveling the playing field against Harkov's relentless waves of Avengers in previous missions. Avengers Mu returned to the system near platform DS 5 with orders to destroy as many enemy TIE Avengers as possible, at least fifty percent of Harkov's squadrons, to pave the way for the next phase of the attack. Agents of the Secret Order had instructed at least one pilot from group Mu to inspect any transport craft that may enter the system, hoping to establish Harkov's exact location. Imperial pilots noticed two Cargo Ferries laying a minefield around DS 5 as they squared off with incoming Avengers H-Beta. In the moments to follow, Imperial starfighters collided in a maelstrom of missile and laser fire. Having finished the minefield, Harkov's Cargo Ferries entered hyperspace as rogue and loyalist TIE Avengers continued their furious dogfight. As loyalist starfighter pilots gained the upper hand, a single fighter disengaged to inspect the new arrival from the Protector's hangar. Emerging from the Protector, Shuttle Toten headed to platform DS 5, while the Protector subsequently prepped its hyperdrive engines. Avenger Mu 2 passed Shuttle Toten just before it entered the hangar, revealing Harkov inside. Imperial fighters had successfully eliminated the required first half of Harkov's Avengers as two Alliance Assassin-class corvettes Wurger arrived. Mu 2 again diverted to inspect Wurger 1 and 2, moreover upon discovering troops aboard, Mu 2 proceeded to destroy corvettes Wurger single-handedly. With the successful destruction of countless Avengers and Corvettes Wurger, Imperial starfighters left the system to prepare for the final assault.
With Admiral Harkov trapped aboard the platform, Imperial forces immediately dispatched Alpha-class Xg-1 Star Wings for an all out assault on the station. Gunboats Mu again emerged from hyperspace near DS 5, closely escorted by TIE Avengers from group Alpha. With intent to capture Admiral Harkov, the Imperial Gunboat's primary mission was to disable Platform DS 5, and any fleeing transport craft, while Avengers eliminated any intervening starfighters. Three minutes after Imperial starfighters arrived, Assault Transports Omega would join them to disable and capture any remaining craft. Imperial fighters met Rebel A-wing and B-wing fighters moments after arrival. Dividing their forces, Gunboats and Avengers tackled incoming Rebel fighters while still proceeding onto DS 5. The first transport craft attempting to flee was YT-1300 Geddawai. Gedddawai swiftly met the unrelenting barrage of Ion cannon fire from an Imperial Gunboat. Passing over the disabled Geddawai, Gunboat Mu 2's passive scanners revealed Harkov onboard. With Geddawai disabled, Traitor Shuttle Toten lifted off from the platform, soon followed by Transport Kolermigon. Again, Imperial Gunboats diverted, disabling Toten and Kolermigon with extreme prejudice. Shuttle Toten held only a decoy; however fleeing rebels occupied transport Kolermigon, destined to meet Imperial Stormtroopers. Assault Transports Omega arrived right on schedule. With transport craft disabled, Imperial starfighters saw to the remaining rebel fighters and the class C minefield around the station, further aiding Omega in capturing DS 5. With DS 5 disabled, Imperial-class Star Destroyer Garrett arrived from hyperspace. No sooner had Imperial forces began cycling back to the Garrett to re-supply, than Nebulon-B frigate Olinor entered the system. Olinor launched Z-95 Headhunters in a last ditch effort to rescue the impending doom of Admiral Harkov. To make matters worse more Corvettes from Wurger arrived, soon joined by additional X-wing, B-wing, and A-wing fighters. The rebel force desperately attempted to thwart the capture operation, but to no avail as Assault Transports had already moved into position. After sustaining heavy damage to her shields, Frigate Olinor broke contact from Imperial Star Destroyer Garrett and fled the system, soon followed by Corvettes Wurger. Meanwhile, Rebel starfighters lingered in the system, swiftly destroyed by Imperial pilots.
Following Corellian Transport Geddawai's arrival to Imperial Star Destroyer Garrett, Imperial Stormtroopers escorted Admiral Harkov directly to Lord Vader. With the ever-ominous mechanical sound of his respiration, Vader greeted Harkov as Stormtroopers held him in the hatchway. Vader proceeded to question Harkov about the location of his fleet, receiving no reply. Through use of the Force, the Dark Lord lifted Harkov from the deck plates informing him of the impending punishment for treachery against the Empire. With the closing of Vader’s fist and subtle scream, Harkov slumped to the deck, motionless.
Behind the scenesEdit
- The Battle for Honor is battle five in Star Wars: TIE Fighter