Hugo Award-winning author Timothy Zahn makes his triumphant return to the Star Wars(r) universe in this first of an epic new two-volume series in which the New Republic must face its most dangerous enemy yet--a dead Imperial warlord.
The Empire stands at the brink of total collapse.
- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: Sept 2013
From the book
Slowly, silently, its lights a faint glitter of life amid the darkness, the Imperial Star Destroyer Chimaeraglided through space.
Empty space. Oppressively dark space. Long, lonely light-years from the nearest of the tiny islands that were the star systems of the galaxy, drifting at the edge of the boundary between the Outer Rim worlds and the vast regions of territory known as Unknown Space. At the very edge of the Empire.
Or rather, at the edge of the pitiful scraps of what had once been the Empire.
Standing beside one of the Chimaera's side viewports, Admiral Pellaeon, Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet, gazed out at the emptiness, the weight of all too many years pressing heavily across his shoulders. Too many years, too many battles, too many defeats.
Perhaps the Chimaera's bridge crew was feeling the weight, too. Certainly the sounds of activity going on behind him seemed more muted than usual today. But perhaps it was merely the effect of being out here, so far from anywhere at all.
No, of course that had to be it. The men of the Chimaerawere the finest the Fleet had to offer. They were Imperial officers and crewers, and Imperials didn't give up. Ever.
There was a tentative footstep at his side. "Admiral?" Captain Ardiff said quietly. "We're ready to begin, sir."
For a moment Pellaeon's mind flashed back ten years, to another very similar moment. Then, it had been Pellaeon and Grand Admiral Thrawn who'd been here on the Chimaera's bridge, watching the final test of the prototype cloaking shield Thrawn had recovered from among the Emperor's trophies inside Mount Tantiss. Pellaeon could remember the excitement he'd felt then, despite his misgivings about the insane Jedi clone Joruus C'baoth, as he watched Thrawn single-handedly breathing new life and vigor back into the Empire.
But Mount Tantiss was gone, destroyed by agents of the New Republic and C'baoth's own madness and treason. And Grand Admiral Thrawn was dead.
And the Empire was dying.
With an effort, Pellaeon shook the shadows of the past away. He was an Imperial officer, and Imperials didn't give up. "Thank you," he said to Ardiff. "At your convenience, Captain."
"Yes, sir." Ardiff half turned, gestured to the fighter coordinator in the portside crew pit. "Signal the attack," he ordered.
The officer acknowledged and gestured in turn to one of his crewers. Pellaeon turned his attention back to the viewport—
Just in time to see eight SoroSuub Preybird-class starfighters in tight formation roar in from behind them. Cutting tight to the Chimaera's command superstructure, they passed over the forward ridgeline, raking it with low-power blaster fire, then split smoothly out in eight different directions. Corkscrewing out and forward, they kept up their fire until they were out of the Star Destroyer's primary attack zone. Then, curving smoothly around, they swung around and regrouped.
"Admiral?" Ardiff prompted.
"Let's give them one more pass, Captain," Pellaeon said. "The more flight data the Predictor has to work with, the better it should function." He caught the eye of one of the crew pit officers. "Damage report?"
"Minor damage to the forward ridgeline, sir," the officer reported. "One sensor array knocked out, leaving five turbolasers without ranging data."
"Acknowledged." All theoretical damage, of course, calculated under the assumption that the Preybirds were using full-power capital-ship turbolasers. Pellaeon had always loved war games when he was younger; had relished the chance to...