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Episode XX, Part 2 - Betrayal Amid the Clouds New

Arithmetician

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As the Imperium appeared to be approaching a state of imminent collapse, the Alliance’s federal partners agreed to meet to discuss strategies for finally defeating the Imperium, and what the future of the galaxy would look like, once a New Republic was formally established in its place.

The Lokken delegation proposed that the federation’s leaders meet in one of their habitats, orbiting high in the atmosphere of a gas giant in a narrow habitable layer, from it mined precious exotic gases from lower in the planet’s atmosphere. The habitat had grown prosperous from the exotic gas trade, and had plenty of amenities to offer the federal delegates as they carried out their negotiations.

As the Chancellor of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, P’Konori was obligated to attend the conference.


Cloud City Habitat.png


But idyllic as the setting was, she couldn’t help but have a bad feeling about it... Somehow, the Dark Side’s influence across the galaxy seemed stronger now than it had ever been, and it was making it hard for her to see the future with any sort of clarity.


“Mining this gas will bring the Lokken people prosperity and independence after so many years of conflict,” a Lok guide said as she led the Alliance and federal delegations through the city and its luxurious corridors, to a dining room where they would be offered refreshments before starting negotiations. “All we need is to ensure our continuing security, and we’ve found a partner who will guarantee that forever."

P’Konori now had a VERY bad feeling about this meeting.

Their guide pressed a button, and the door to the dining room slid open.


Moeder We Would Be Honored if You Would Join Us.png



Darth Moeder was inside, seated at the head of the table.

Besides P’Konori, Steve grabbed his blaster, perhaps thinking it was quicker than using his lightsaber, and fired several shots at Darth Moeder.

Moeder just raised her hand, and blocked the shots effortlessly, dissipating them with the Force, and then pulled Steve’s blaster from his hand and across the room, into her own gloved talons.

"We would be honored if you would join us,” the Sith Lady said, unperturbed. She turned to their ‘guide’. “Good work, Lieutenant Vox!"

A large Ork dressed in a white Imperial Security Directorate uniform stepped out from a side, backed up by a platoon of stormtroopers. P’Konori heard more troopers coming in behind them.

“Lieutenant Ketrill,” Darth Moeder said, “have your troops gather our guests' weapons. They will not need them here."

Ketrill’s stormtroopers had their blasters trained on the other Alliance and federal delegates. If P’Konori or Steve made any further moves, it would immediately turn into a one-sided massacre.

“Moeder wins this round,” P’Konori said to Steve.

He nodded slowly, and followed her as she took her seat at Moeder’s right. Steve sat across from her, at Moeder’s left. Lieutenant Ketrill gruffly took their lightsabers from them, and placed them on the table in front of Moeder.

‘Good!” Moeder said. “Lieutenant Ketrill, leave us."

The Ork looked at Moeder suspiciously, but knew better than to say anything, and did as he was told.

“Now, we have much to discuss together,” Moeder said to P’Konori and Steve.
 
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Well, that is problematic. Or, as Admiral Akbar would say... "it's a trap!"

I feel like this will end in a duel. Or perhaps Moeder is contemplating betrayal - it is the way of the Sith, after all.
 
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Episode XX, Part 3 - The Duel in the Clouds, the Alliance Fleet, and the Restoration of the Imperium New

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“I see you have begun training an apprentice, and that you have constructed your own lightsaber,” Moeder said to P’Konori. “And not only have you grown skilled enough since our encounter on Lendulla VIII to defeat the greatest of my Inquisitors, you have become the leader of the Alliance. You must understand the position that this puts you in, P’Konori."

“What, torture and execution?” Steve said. “Don’t think that you’ll frighten us. We’ve always put our lives on the line against your-"

Steve began choking, and put his hands to his throat, but it only lasted for a few seconds before he was released, leaving him gasping for breath.

“You have anger in you, Admiral Lynch,” Moeder said. “That is good. But I was speaking to your Master."

“Steve is still impulsive and learning the ways of the Force,” P’Konori said. “But he is a good man, and I do not take kindly to you hurting him, Moeder. Or should I say A’Nikori?"

“That name no longer has any meaning to me,” the Sith Lady said. "I destroyed her, just like I destroyed Opalwan."

“Then you betray how little you truly understand,” P’Konori replied. “You want me to join you on the Dark Side. You’ll probably tell me it is the only way to save my allies. But if I was to do that, it would be little different than me destroying them myself in the end. That’s how the Dark Side works. So what would be the point of that?"

“With our combined strength, we could end this destructive conflict, and bring order to the galaxy,” Moeder said.

“You say order, but it would still be tyranny,” P’Konori replied. “And the Imperium has already demonstrated that rule by the Sith will lead to infighting - it tore itself apart, even without the Alliance’s help. As long as you stand by it, and the Empress, you’re doomed in the end."

“You have only tasted the power of the Dark Side,” Moeder said, “and the Alliance ends today. There is nothing that can stop that now."

“And that’s where you’re wrong,” P’Konori said.

Using the Force, she made her lightsaber fly back to her. Steve did the same. Both of them ignited their swords immediately. The Alliance and federal delegates would be far enough away by now that there wouldn’t be an immediate massacre if they fought back against Moeder, but not so far away that they could not be rescued.

“So, you have chosen to pursue more... aggressive... negotiations,” Moeder said. Her own red lightsaber blazed to life. “As you wish. That is the way of Sith. The future of the galaxy will not be settled by words, but by strength!"

“Steve, I’ll hold her off,” P’Konori said. “Free as many of the delegates as you can!"

He nodded, and then turned, lightsaber still in hand as he hurried out of the dining room.

“You are unwise to challenge me by yourself,” Moeder said. “Powerful as you have become, you are still not a true Jedi yet."


Clash of Lightsabers.png


It didn’t take long for the dining room to be demolished by Darth Moeder’s fury, and as they fought through the corridors of city, their duel eventually led them to its industrial underside. P’Konori had willingly given ground; far fewer civilians would be endangered by their fight here than on the habitation levels, and she knew she had to conserve her strength for when she began fighting back against Moeder in earnest.

That time was now.

She met Moeder’s next blow without giving any ground, and then quickly counterattacked, forcing Moeder to take a step back. They exchanged several more blows, and now it appeared that Moeder was on the defensive.

“I see you took some of your advice from our last duel to heart, P’Konori,” Moeder said approvingly. “But we have only just begun."

Moeder struck back with renewed fury, and P’Konori realized that the Sith Lady was backing her up a set of stairs, toward the chamber used to freeze exotic gases for transport. She adjusted her footing, but Moeder sent her flying back with the Force, causing her to tumble into the chamber.

“All too easy,” Moeder said, with a touch of disappointment.

But P’Konori leapt out of the chamber, empowered by the Force, before Moeder could use it to immobilize her, and surprised Moeder with a strike from above that the Sith Lady only barely managed to block.

“Impressive,” Moeder said. “Most impressive."

P’Konori continued her counterattack, and this time it was Moeder who lost her footing, falling off the edge of the platform.

“Ugh!” Moeder grunted.

Fluttering gently down from the platform on her wings, P’Konori searched for Moeder. She could still feel the Sith Lady’s presence nearby.

P’Konori’s search led her thought a corridor, deeper under the city.

And then, out of the shadows, a red lightsaber appeared, as its wielder lunged toward her.


Moeder Emerges from Shadows Window.png


Channeling the rage of the Dark Side, Moeder relentlessly attacked.

“It doesn’t have to be this way, A’Nikori,” P’Konori said. “We may be years apart, and raised separately, but when it comes down to it, we’re sisters, aren’t we? Isn’t the fact that I’m standing here, still a Jedi, proof that there’s another way? You don’t have to keep serving our mother, the Empress, who sought to use both of us for her ambitions. You’ve long walked down a dark path, but you can always choose to return to the light!"

“Sisters? Is that what you think we are?"

Moeder violently struck, sending P’Knori crashing through the window behind her.

Clash on the Vane.png


P’Konori landed on a vane overlooking a reactor shaft for one of the exotic gas extractors, but Moeder was right behind her, more furious than ever as their lightsabers clashed. Realizing that she was going to be backed against the pit, P’Konori fought back with increasing desperation, and scored a hit on Moeder’s shoulder, though the heavy black armor, which must have been at least partially lightsaber resistant, prevented her blade from going all the way through.

Moeder instantly retaliated, and swung her blade faster than P’Konori thought possible. There was a sudden, searing, burning pain, and P’Konori’s lightsaber fell, along with her right wing, which had been severed from her body at the shoulder.

Join Me and Together We Will Rule the Galaxy.png


“We are Empress’s progeny,” Darth Moeder said, towering over the wounded P’Konori, who clambered onto the edge of the vane, away from the Sith Lady, hanging on for dear life. "But I am not your sister, P’Konori."

I am your mother."


“What?” P’Konori gasped. “But I thought-"

I convinced the Empress to try again. You were created, starting not from the Empress’s genetic template, but my own, improving upon it, so that you could succeed where I failed. And I saw to it that you were taken from Eeragol, and sabotaged the Empress’s cloning facilities there, so that she could not try again after you. But the bounty hunter I hired to deliver you to me, far from the Empress’s watchful eyes, had a change of heart, and dropped you off on Zynntooine."

Moeder raised her gloved hand, reaching out to P’Konori. “But now you can fulfill the role you were truly created for - destroying the Empress! She has foreseen this. It is your destiny! Join me, and together, we will rule the galaxy as mother and daughter! We can make things the way we want them to be. Together, we shall bring, peace, freedom, justice, and security to the galaxy! Nothing is beyond us, if we combine our strength, my daughter."

Moeder sincerely believed what she was saying, P’Konori was sure of that.

And how could she hope to defeat the Empress on her own, if she still couldn’t defeat Moeder, who she now knew to be the closest thing she had to a mother. Admittedly, that was less terrible than having the Empress as a mother - though still meant that the Empress was her grandmother.

“The Empress is more vulnerable than ever now, P’Konori,” Moeder continued. “She has at last had to abandon her original form and has taken the body of the Custodian Gah’uni as her own. We must strike before she acclimates to her new form. Come with me, P’Konori, and we shall destroy the Empress together! It is the only way."

P’Konori looked up weakly at her mother. She could hear Moeder’s pain, and desperate yearning to finally be free of the Empress and her cruel grip.

But she could not join her mother on the Dark Side without destroying herself, and as long as Moeder served the Dark Side, her mother would never be free either.

And so P’Konori let go, letting herself fall down the shaft.

Moeder looked on in silent shock, seeming to deflate as P’Konori became a vanishing speck below.

Clinging to Vane Cloud City.png


Strong air currents broke P’Konori’s fall, and with her remaining wing, she managed to grab onto one of the vanes at the bottom of the floating city before she could plummet to her death.

She could only hope that Steve had been more successful, and that she had managed to buy him enough time.

Reaching out to Steve in the force, she soon saw the Perennial Peregrine flying toward her position. It paused only briefly, to bring her inside, and then it was off again.

Escape from Cloud City TIE Pursuit.png


TIEs were in pursuit.

“P’Konori, you’re badly hurt!” Steve gasped.

“I’ll live,” she replied. “Did you manage to rescue the others?"

“A number of the delegates, yes,” Steve said. “But... most didn’t make it. There are only a handful of survivors, here on the Peregrine, and scattered among other ships. The Imperium has decapitated much of our federation’s leadership."

“Have the survivors gather at Backup Rendezvous Point Gamma-Nine,” P’Konori said weakly. The sense of loss she felt was terrible.

“I will,” he told her somberly. “Now get what rest you can, Chancellor. You’re going to need it."


Backup Rendezvous Point Gamma-Nine
Alliance Fleet, Medical Frigate


P’Konori sat in her bed in the medical bay, experimentally stretching her right wing and moving her talons... or rather, the cybernetic prosthetic that had replaced it, developed by the Association for Higher Learning on the behalf of the Alliance. From the outside, it looked indistinguishable from her original wing, and it seemed every bit as capable.

The thought of being part machine now was a bit unnerving to P’Konori, and would have likely been seen as blasphemous by more fanatical spiritualists throughout the galaxy. It made her more liked Moeder. But, P’Konori decided, there was a great difference between using a prosthetic to replace a part that had been lost in battle or an accident, as opposed to willfully mutilating the body that one had been born with to recklessly replace it with mechanism. She would not begrudge anyone of the former, and was grateful that Steve had managed to have her new wing made for her so quickly.

“Is everyone here?” P’Konori asked.

“Yes,” Veldanur told her. “And they are much better for wear than you are, Chancellor."

“Thank you,” P’Konori said. “I’ll go see them now.

She walked with Steve by her side, offering his support, to meet with the other surviving leaders of the Alliance.

The Rebel Alliance Fleet Rendezvous.png


Khennet Senator Odtepp An’nuun, Blorg General Anatoli Makarova, and Ork Admiral Reth Unddol stood across from her. In the viewport behind them, the galaxy stretched before them in all of its splendor.

The Imperium had launched surprise raids across the galaxy simultaneously with the trap at the conference. A great number of Alliance and federal leaders had been killed or captured, and countless cells had been all but wiped out. It was clear now that the Imperial Security Directorate had thoroughly infiltrated and replaced much of the leadership of the Lokken Resistance with Imperial loyalists, and then used the information gained from the Lokken’s extensive contacts with the Alliance and hacking into resistance networks to plan and carry out their decapitation strike against other resistance groups.

It was all over the Holo-Net that the resistance to Imperial rule had been supposedly all-but wiped out, and, with the coronation of Gah’uni (or as P’Konori knew from Moeder, Eerabik in a new body) as the new Galactic Empress on Keresia, it supposedly marked the complete restoration of Imperial power throughout the galaxy.

But that was just the official Imperial propaganda. And even now, P’Konori was heartened to see that more and more Alliance vessels were jumping to the rendezvous coordinates every moment.

There were so many of them.

“My friends,” P’Konori said. “I will not lie to you. We have been dealt a major blow today. The Imperium stands resurgent, and the Empress has returned, seeking to crush any hope of a better future. She thinks us defeated, and our unity shattered. But she is wrong. Look around you! Hope endures, and burns brightly in the galaxy, even among the darkness! Together we stand, all of different species and beliefs, we remain joined in our common purpose! Today does not mark the end of our Alliance."

“It marks the beginning of the end of the Imperium and the Empress’s tyranny."

Restoration of the Galactic Imperium.png


Future of the Alliance of Free Worlds.png


The Galactic Imperium Forms - Alliance.png
 
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(As a note, if anyone is familiar with Dutch, the reveal that Moeder is actually P’Konori’s ‘mother’ was telegraphed from the start. ‘Moeder’ is the Dutch word for ‘mother’, just as ‘Vader’ is the Dutch word for ‘father’).
 
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Episode XX, Part 4 - Imperial Security Directorate Reorg, and Return to Dagobax New

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Imperial Security Directorate, Keresia

The Imperial Security Directorate had needed to hastily relocate its headquarters to Keresia after Ymoria was conquered by the Caloctora, but their new headquarters had been built in much the same manner of the old one, and the conference room in which its supervisors now gathered was identical to the one on Ymoria.

There had been some changes among the ranks of the supervisors though. The Blorg Supervisor, Melvin, had defected to the Alliance years ago, citing how ‘unfriendly’ the culture of the Imperial Security Directorate had become in the resignation note he had left behind. The Tezekian supervisor was also gone, captured by the Alliance. In there place there was an additional Ymorz supervisor and a Scyldari supervisor, who now oversaw the political compliance of the leaders of the recently proclaimed ’New Scyldaria Sector Authority’, following the occupation of the former Scyldari Resistance by newly deployed Imperial garrisons. And the garrisons were sorely needed, as there had been a sharp increase in anti-Imperial insurgent activity throughout Scyldari space, frequently employing guerrilla and terrorist tactics against vulnerable Imperial targets.

The ‘Lokken Resistance’ was also now officially the “New Lokkur Sector Authority”, but its gradual infiltration and subversion by ISD agents led by Supervisor Vox had been going on for decades. An increasingly powerful shadow council of secret Imperial loyalists assembled by her had been making key decisions for some time, unbeknownst to most ordinary Loks, or even their former federal ‘allies’. Now, the Lokken Shadow Council openly pledged its true allegiance, to the Imperium, and to its new Empress, Gah’uni.

Imperial Security Directorate After Cloud City.png


“The operation was a clear success,” Colonel Yul’arne said, addressing the assembled supervisors and Major Praxagortas. “The federation of rebellious sectors that had joined against the Imperium is no more. But there are still certain sectors in the Outer Rim where our grasp remains weak, notably in the Galactic South, where the remnants of the Alliance and Khennet Resistance have their bases. I was speaking to our new Empress last night, and she demands that this be corrected immediately. Any sympathizers of theirs are to be made examples of and eliminated You may use any means necessary. She will not tolerate failure."

Meanwhile...

Dagobax


Return to Dagobax.png


“Long enough to return, took you, it did,” the Force spirit of Master Yodex Grogem said disapprovingly to P’Konori. “Ready to face Moeder again, you were not."

"No, I was not", P’Konori agreed, now wearing black Jedi robes, trimmed with white, any trappings of her office now absence. “And that’s why I’ve returned, to complete my training with you."

“Come with you, your friend did not?” Yodex asked.

“Steve’s with the fleet, and he’s busy working with Veldanur, a former Imperial droid that he reprogrammed, hacking into Imperial networks together."

“Unfortunate, that is,” Yodex replied. “Incomplete, your friend’s training remains. But no more training do you require, P’Konori. The greatest teacher, failure is. Grow beyond it, grow beyond your old Master, and grow beyond me, you will from it. The last true Jedi, you are now. But a Master, you yet are not."

P'Konori Yodex and Opalwan.png


Opalwan’s Force ghost appeared alongside Yodex’s. “Remember, P’Konori, we shall always be with you,” her old Master told her in his gravelly voice. “But you must eventually confront Moeder again, and the Empress she serves, if you are to become a Jedi Master."

“I used to think she was basically my sister,” P’Konori said. “Now I know that she’s my mother... or as close to it as one can come, given the circumstances. But... something changed in Moeder at the end of our duel in the exotic gas facility... she was... conflicted... I could feel that in her."

Opalwan let out a sigh. “My greatest failure with Moeder was that I was too hard and uncompromising with her. That is why I made sure to be more understanding with you, P’Konori, and to teach you to be able to forgive others, and yourself. But Moeder... I believe I’ve said it before: she’s more machine now than avian, twisted and evil. Her hatred has reduced her to little more than a husk of her former self, doomed to serve as a slave of the Empress and the Dark Side. I fear that she will reject any attempt to reform her... even from her own daughter."

“But... if there’s a chance that she could be turned away from the Dark Side... I can’t just kill her. And if I do so in anger, then I’ve already lost."

“Then the Empress may have already won,” Opalwan said. “Bury your feelings deep down, P’Konori, both for your friend, and for your mother. They do you credit, but the Empress could make them serve her."
 
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Well, Moeder and P'Konori have reached the Empire Strikes Back in their saga.

Did Opalwan just advocate the ignorance of feelings? This is a Jedi tenet - and one of the reasons why the Sith Code appears more reasonable than the Jedi one.

Did Opalwan teach Moeder? How? Isn't Moeder a creation of the Empress? Why would the Empress let go of anyone? (Still haven't read the prequel)

Are all of the individual resistances gone? The in-game screenshot seems to imply that.
 
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Von Acturus

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Oww I feel for you. Loosing an advanced level federation (and federal fleet, and diplomatic bonus and all that) when the galactic empire is proclaimed is a rude blow to any playthrough.

It will make for a very interesting story though, the true all out galactic Civil war against the galactic empire can now be put in motion.
 
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Arithmetician

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@HistoryDude

(The Sith Code may look reasonable on the surface, but the behavior encouraged by it, especially conflict and Social Darwinism, are highly problematic).

(Moeder doesn’t appear in the previous AAR, and is assumed to be a creation of the Empress in the years between AARs. While powerful, the Empress is not infallible. So she didn’t release a younger Moeder, so much as Moeder escaped, only to eventually fall back into the Empress’s clutches and the Dark Side, now holding her far tighter than before).

(The individuals nations of the resistance factions still exist in-game, but the federation that united them has dissolved, and some are in the process of falling under increasing Imperial influence).

@Von Acturus

(While the loss of my Federation was painful, the in-game formation of the Galactic Imperium, or narratively for this AAR, its restoration, was a major thing that I wanted to see in my playthrough, precisely because it would allow me to fight the Galactic Civil War, or, as it called in Stellaris, the Galactic Rebellion.)
 
Episode XX, Part 5 - Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Blorg New

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Spymaster Byn Cene.png


While resistance groups had been forced underground throughout the galaxy, the Alliance to Restore the Republic was still active and the most powerful among them. At the same time that it was massing its fleets and building new ones at the Mon Calamari Mega Shipyard, it was carrying out renewed espionage efforts against the former Ymorz Sector Authority, now known as the Imperial Core.

Spymaster Byn Cene, a member of the lithoid Ithill species, was in charge of the Alliance’s spy network within the Imperial Core, and worked closely with Veldanur and Admiral Steve Lynch to plan and coordinate anti-Imperial operations. There were setbacks, of course, but the Alliance was making progress in its operations nonetheless.

Weaken Imperial Authority - ISB Ketrill.png


And part of those operations was targeting Imperial Security Directorate supervisors to weaken the Imperial Core's ability to exert political control over the other nations under its control.

For Supervisor Ketrill, he was heading to work one day in his hover car, ready to present a new plan to crack down on remaining insurgent elements, when his hover car suddenly exploded with him inside.

Supervisor Ketrill was killed instantly.

Ketrill Hover Car 'Accident'.png


Tinker Tailor Soldier Blorg.png


Imperial Security Directorate Ketrill Death.png


Few of the other Supervisors were sad that Ketrill was dead, as they had long considered him a boor. In the case of a newly appointed Oxkox Supervisor, his death cleared the way for her promotion, and Vox was privately quite smug that Ketrill, her long time rival, was finally dead.

What they were alarmed and angry at was that the rebels had dared to attack the Imperial Security Directorate itself. There wasn’t enough left of the bomb that had caused Ketrill’s ‘accident’ to be able to trace it back to a particular group, but the intention behind the attack was clear. And if one of them could be assassinated by the rebels, any of them could be the rebel’s next target.

And Empress Gah’uni was furious! And so Colonel Yul’arne announced new waves of crackdowns to curb insurgent activity, while the Empress declared an emergency measure to found new Imperial Legions, stormtroopers would would be the most elite among their brethren, subjected to brutal training to make them fearsome and terrifyingly efficient enforcers of her will.

Imperial Legions Vote.png


The more the rebels resisted the Imperium, the tighter it would make its grip.

But, from the perspective of the Alliance, the tighter the Imperium made its grip, the more star systems would slip through its gripping appendages.

Tzynnia Sector Authority Protectorate.png


While the Empress enjoyed a rubber stamp in the Senate, the Alliance was still engaged in diplomacy behind the scenes. For many years, the Tzynnia Sector Authority had borne an increasing grudge against the Ymorz Sector Authority turned Imperial Core, and the Human Star Regime, which the Imperial Core seemed to favor over them. And so, while the Tzynn were slavers, they were so fed up with the Galactic Imperium that they agreed to secretly become an Alliance protectorate and gradually adopt reforms.

Silicron Network in Imperial Center Authority.png


Silcron Network Diplo.png


The lack of resources provided by the Imperial Core to help the Imperial Center Authority fight off a new machine uprising within its own borders, the Silicon Network, also produced tensions and a diplomatic opening for the Alliance.

Alliance Fleet Seb.png


Imperial Supervisors were alarmed when there were reports of a large rebel fleet in the Seb System, dislodging the Caloctora from the system. If such activity became known to the larger galaxy, it would put the lie to the propaganda claim that the rebel fleet had been destroyed and scattered.

Alliance Sentry Array Completed.png


As the Alliance advanced, it would take over a Caloctora Ringworld construction site in the Bingwen System, while it completed its own Sentry Array in the Irass System, allowing it to track the movements of Imperial fleets throughout the galaxy.

Hazbuzi Trade Deal.png


The Hazbuzi Resistance was also now firmly in the column of allies for the growing rebel movement throughout the galaxy, after the fall of Jabbex and his Death Star, and began to engage in a number of lucrative trade deals with the Alliance.

Supervisor Vox noted these developments with concerned as she reviewed reports in her office on Keresia. Yet even more significantly, she had noticed a sharp spike of electronic intrusions into Imperial networks. The Alliance was still busily searching for the Death Star plans, but it was also gathering intelligence that it appeared to be using in an ongoing plot to assassinate -

Supervisor Vox slumped face down on her desk, the smell of burnt gray matter wafting into the air. A hole had been melted into the window behind her.

She was dead.

Vox - ISB Agent Weaken Authority.png


Vox Assassinated Sniper.png


Too late, Vox had discovered the plot for her own assassination.

Imperial Security Directorate Vox Death.png


Vox’s death was a significant blow to the Imperial Security Directorate. Her replacement lacked her technical skills, making it far more difficult to breech Alliance networks, and was primarily a political appointment. Moreover, the Imperial Security Directorate was now facing a serious credibility issue, which was in turn calling Imperial authority into question.

How could the Imperial Security Directorate deal with the rebel infection that was slowly spreading throughout the Imperium, if it could not even protect itself?

The Empress was livid.
 
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Luthen and Gerrera would be proud of this new, more trigger happy alliance.

And another synthetic uprising! It seems the droids of this universe are less "Roger Roger" and "I am fluent in more than 8 000 dialects" and more "You will be terminated, do not resist." and "Beginning organic extermination in 2 hours and 24 minutes. Have a nice day!"
 
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Episode XX, Part 6 - Sparking the Rebellion New

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Operation Imperium Spark Rebellion.png


The Galactic Imperium was hovering on the brink of an open revolt. All that remained was to finally steal the Death Star plans, and unite the remaining resistance groups across the galaxy to launch a coordinated rebellion against the Imperium and its evil Empress.

Veldanur would play a crucial role in both tasks, hacking Imperial databases, and providing information security for the rebel cells as they coalesced together. The rest of the Alliance’s vast spy network in the Imperial Core would work to keep the Imperial Security Directorate busy and off Veldanur’s trail.

Opinion of the Galactic Imperium.png


Alliance intelligence analysts produced this map, illustrating the opinions of each nation’s governments toward the Imperial Core, with blue representing the Imperial Core itself, green nations that had positive relations with the Imperium, yellow those that were on the fence, orange those that were displeased with current Imperial policies, and red those that were deemed certain to rebel against the Imperium.

However, only time would tell how successful the Alliance would be in building its Rebel Coalition against the Imperium.

Spark Rebellion - Linking Up.png


Aided by the secured communications channels set up by Veldanur, and the diplomatic efforts of P’Konori and Odtepp An'nuun, rebel groups slowly began linking up throughout the Imperium.

Synthetic Evolution.png


Mechamorphs.png


To P’Konori’s horror, during this time most of the citizens of the Slephus Corporate Authority were made to commit what amounted to mass suicide, as their original organic bodies were discarded and left to die, while imperfect copies of their minds were uploaded to robotic forms. The synthetic beings that replaced them called themselves the Mechamorphs.

Corporate operations continued almost exactly as they had had left off, but P’Konori could still feel the gaping wound that had been left in the Force, and offered shelter in the Alliance to any surviving Orbisur and those fleeing being ‘upgraded’.

Spark Rebellion Threat Neutralization.png


But building the Rebel Coalition had to go on, in spite of the tragedy. While earlier Alliance efforts had focused on targeting Imperial Security Directorate supervisors, now all manners of Imperial counterespionage assets were being aggressively targeted and eliminated to prevent the Imperium from learning the true extent of the Alliance’s preparations for the impending rebellion. Information that Veldanur was able to provide to Alliance teams detailing the plans and movements of Imperial operatives was instrumental in this process.

Imperial Core Bombarding Caloctora World.png


It also helped that the Imperial Core was preoccupied with retaking systems from the Caloctora, distracting them from the Alliance’s own movements.

Spark Rebellion Positioning Asset.png


With Imperial counterintelligence capabilities degraded, the next step was to position Alliance and Coalition assets throughout the galaxy, attempting to persuade governments that might be friendly to the Alliance to join the Coalition, while preparing to launch planetary and sector-level coups against Imperial governors and occupation forces.

Founding of the Legions.png


This could not come quickly enough, as the Empress had already started founding her new Imperial Legions, dispatching them to reinforce her control over wavering sectors through terror.

Spark Rebellion - Final Preparations.png


The Alliance had made great strides building the coalition. The Imperium still did not appreciate the true magnitude of the thread facing it. But there was still a great feeling of trepidation among the Alliance’s leaders, as there was no way of knowing which star nations would ultimately stand with the Coalition until the war actually broke out.

Spark Rebellion Ready to Commence.png


But the die had to be cast.

On Yavin IV, as she prepared to board her transport, P’Konori transmitted the code phrase to cells throughout the galaxy that would signal the start of the rebellion.

But really, it was just one word.

“Hope."

Rebellions were built on hope, after all... hope for a better future.

And as the Alliance’s first act of the Galactic Rebellion, it launched a surprise raid on the Imperial Security Complex and Military Research Facility where Veldanur had located a complete copy of the Death Star plans.


Rebel_Fleet_above_Scarif.jpg


“This is Admiral Unddol of the Rebel Coalition! All squadron leaders, report in!"

“Admiral, this is Blue Leader, standing by."

“This is Gold Leader, standing by."

“This is Red Leader, standing by."

“The Ymorz will keep their Star Destroyers over the Shield Gate,” Unddol mourned, examining a Ymorz artifact in his hand. “And so they play into our hands.” He raised his voice again as he issued his next instructions. "Engage their Destroyers, and attack along the following trajectory."

Meanwhile, as Alliance ground troops landed to raid the Security Complex, Director Kren’nic could only look on in disbelief as his subordinates stared blankly at the explosions erupting across the tropical beach.


“Are we blind?! Deploy the garrison!” he shouted. “Move!"

Shield Gate Destroyed.png



In space, the Imperium’s forces were being devastated by the Alliance fleet. Just as Admiral Unddol had planned, the wreckage of one of the Imperium’s Star Destroyed had been sent careening into the Shield Gate, critically damaging the station, both allowing additional Alliance forces to land on the planet, and, more importantly, allowing Alliance forces and communications to get out.

Anatoli Scarif.png


“Onward, friends!” General Anatoli Makarova urged on the ground.

But Anatoli’s assault was a diversion, meant to lure out the Imperium’s forces from the main Security Complex.

The real raid was already taking place inside the Imperial Security Complex itself.

And the stormtroopers and combat droids guarding the facility were not up to the task of defending it.

P'Konori Steve Hallway Scene.png


A pair of figures advanced down the corridors of the Security Complex, effortlessly deflecting blaster fire with their lightsabers, and calmly laying waste to any Imperial forces that stood between and their goal, escorting a droid that had been clearly reprogrammed and occasionally assisted them by firing with a blaster of its own or lobbing grenades down the corridor. As the corridors filled with bodies and wreckage, even the hardened Imperial troopers started to become unnerved.

At the apex of the Security Complex, they reached their target, with the droid extracting the plans to the Death Star. Seeing what they were doing, Director Kren’nic tried to stop them where his troops had failed, but his blaster bolt got deflected and hit him in the side, causing him to slump over, too weak to move.

“We’ve got the plans!” P’Konori said into a comlink. “General Makarova, begin evacuating your troops! The Death Star is about to enter the system with Imperial reinforcements!"

“Are you sure, friend?"

“Yes. I can sense it! Get out of there, now!"

The evacuation could not have started too soon.


Death Star Arrives at Scarif.jpg


“Single reactor ignition. Target the Security Complex. Prevent the rebels from escaping."

Death Star Fires Scarif.jpg


“Fire."

scarif-citadel-tower superlaser.jpg


Kren’nic looked weakly up at the sky as he was vaporized by the super weapon that he had spent years building.

Meanwhile, on the Perennial Peregrine...

"We have the plans, but there’s a problem on the horizon,” Veldanur said.

“There’s no horizon."

scarif-destruction.jpg


They, along with General Makarova and a number of his troops, only barely managed to escape from the wave of destruction that the Death Star had unleashed. But many were trapped and perished on the surface, pinned down by Imperials and unable to reach their transports in time.

The Imperial Armada was also now jumping into the system, led by Darth Moeder.

But the Alliance fleet had no need to engage them now, when its primary objective had already been completed, and vanished into hyperspace.

Moeder stared out through the windows of her Star Destroyer’s bridge, feeling something she didn’t know how to describe.

But what she did know was that her daughter had slipped away from her once again.

And the war that P’Konori had just started would end either in the destruction of the Alliance or that of the Imperium itself.
 
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Episode XXI, Part 1 - A Galaxy Divided New

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News of the start of hostilities between the Alliance’s Rebel Coalition and the Imperial Core spread like wildfire throughout the galaxy, and in a matter of days, planetary and sector rebellions variously succeeded, swelling the ranks of the Coalition, or were brutally put down by Loyalist forces, forcibly keeping them in the Imperium.

P’Konori and the other leaders of the Alliance watched as reports came in.

There had never been any doubt that the Khennet Resistance would join the Coalition. The Imperium had never successfully established significant control over their space since the start of their resistance. Likewise, Hazbuzan space was mostly lawless, and that lack of Imperial presence meant that it was also easy for the Hazbuzan Resistance to join the Coalition.

Glebsig space had been almost completely integrated into the Alliance at the start of the war, so their joining the Rebel Coalition was a matter of course. A small megacorporation, Celimy Enterprises, which dominated the economy of its own planet and had a few branch offices elsewhere, but lacked the galactic influence of the Slephus Corporate Authority or Hazbuzans, also followed the Alliance into the Rebel Coalition, as they were grateful to the Alliance for aiding their civilization’s development of interstellar travel. The Alliance also honored its pledge to protect the Tzynn Sector Authority, which now formally seceded from the Imperium, from Imperial aggression.

But that wasn’t the only Imperial Sector to secede and join the Rebel Coalition.

“Commander P'Konori, we’re receiving transmissions from the leaders of the Imperial Center Authority, the Rothana Sector Authority, and the Chicora Sector Authority! They all wish to pledge their forces to the Coalition!"

Slighted by the Imperial Core, the now misleadingly named Imperial Center Authority had made a handful of reforms over the years, and while it still remained fundamentally authoritarian, it was willing to see the formation of a New Republic.

The Rothana sector was also authoritarian, and it, along with the materialist and militarist Chicora Sector Authority, wanted to join the Coalition not out of principle, but out of revanchist desires, as both had lost much of their territory to other Imperial Sector Authorities. Rothana was particularly interested in reclaiming its famed shipyards, but still held on to its engineering and shipbuilding. expertise. It promised that, if accepted into the Coalition, it would provide Star Destroyers for the Rebel Coalition's war effort and begin designing new models of Star Destroyers exclusively for the Rebel cause. Both Sector Authorities also pledged to support the New Republic that the Coalition planned to found after the defeat of the Imperium, provided that their Sectors retained significant autonomy over their own internal affairs.

P’Konori had thought that the Kuat Sector Authority could also be persuaded to join the Rebel Coalition, given their recent war with the Ymorz Sector Authority turned Imperial Core. But the Empress had acted decisively to keep the shipyards of Kuat from falling into rebel hands, and the Imperial Security Directorate had purged any pro-Alliance leaders there.

The Slephus Corporate Authority quickly pledged its fleets to the Galactic Imperium, but its branches offices continued to not-so-secretly do business with both the Imperial Loyalists and the Rebel Coalition. Officially, the managers of the branches in Alliance space were “rogue corporate officers”, and no longer affiliated with the broader Corporate Authority, a blatant lie that was only tolerated in the Imperium because much of the Galactic economy, Loyalist and Rebel alike, would enter a steep recession if they were unable to do business with the galaxy’s preeminent megacorporation.

A major disappointment for the Rebel Coalition was the failure of the Scyldari uprising against the Galactic Imperium. Recalling the fate of their ancestral homeworld centuries ago, and fearing retribution from the Death Star, too few dared to challenge the Galactic Imperium openly, allowing the garrisons of their Imperial governor and the agents of the Imperial Security Directorate to quash those revolts that did materialize across Scyldari space. The Scyldari Moff, who happily sold out his own people for power within the Imperium, then proceeded to draft large numbers of Scyldari citizens into his navy, with terrible consequences for the families of any who did not comply.

The New Lokkur Sector Authority enthusiastically proclaimed its loyalty to the Empress. While it nominally maintained a democratic government structure for its own planets, in reality its people had little to no say in the decisions of its ruling council, and most had long since given up on their belief in their ability to meaningfully change that.

The Sallurian Sector Authority, which had been remained largely untouched by resistance activity, protected the Imperial Core’s southern flank, along with the Human Star Regime, which had managed to retake most of its territory from the Shazarak. In a bizarre twist, the Shazarak also pledged their support for the Galactic Imperium, turning them and the Star Regime into bitterly reluctant allies.

Needless to say, the Eerabik Eternal Sith Cult continued to support its dark ruler and the Galactic Imperium.

And lastly, the Silicon Network had existed outside of the Galactic Imperium, and so it did not take sides in the Rebellion.

Thus, the galaxy had been divided.

Start of the Galactic Rebellion.png


(Map Key: Dark Red = Imperial Core, Light Red = Imperial Loyalists, Gold = Rebel Coalition)​

The Galactic Imperium and its Loyalists continued to control most of the Galactic North, along with the majority of the Core Worlds and Inner Rim, including many rich and economically powerful sectors. The hyperlanes joining its star systems together were mostly contiguous. In contrast, the bulk of the Rebel Coalition’s population, economy, and fleets were located in the Galactic South, headquartered in and with numerous bases scattered across the Outer Rim. Prices immediately began to rise on all sorts of resources, war materials, and commodities throughout Coalition space, as the Galactic Imperium immediately sanctioned the economies of the rebelling Sectors, cutting them off from accessing the Galactic Market and forcing the Coalition’s members to rely on their own internal markets.

Several member nations of the Rebel Coalition, including the Tzynnia Sector Authority, the Glebsig Exiles, the Chicora Sector Authority, the Imperial Center Authority, and the Rothana Sector Authority, were almost completely surrounded by Imperial Loyalist sectors, and several had only small fleets of their own. If the Rebel Coalition was to retain its credibility and support in these sectors, it would need to commit fleets to defend them from the Imperium.

Militarily, the Galactic Imperium and its loyalists had the edge over the Rebel Coalition at the start of the war, though its advantage was not nearly as large as the Imperium would have liked to pretend. According to the best estimates of Alliance intelligence and military theorists, the Imperial Loyalists had a “+8” relative advantage next to Rebel Coalition forces, on a scale of -50 to +50, though P’Konori thought this scale left much to be desired. Still, the Imperium’s advantage was hardly insurmountable, with proper tactics and strategy.

Rebel Coalition Members.png


The Alliance to Restore the Republic accounted for nearly 60% of the Rebel Coalition’s military assets, and it was more economically and technologically advanced than any other member of the coalition. This meant that the Alliance would largely set the Coalition’s military strategy and be responsible for carrying out most of the key offensives against the Imperium, while other Coalition members focused more on defending their own borders from the Imperium.

The Slephus Corporate Authority had a significantly higher level of technological development than the Alliance and any of the other Imperial loyalists, but thankfully it jealously guarded its technologies carefully as trade secrets, denying the broader Imperium what could have been a decisive advantage.

The Galactic Rebellion War Goals and Acceptance.png


Overthrowing the Imperium would be long and difficult. Countless Imperial-held worlds would need to be occupied to force its surrender. But it was a battle that P’Konori and her friends in the Alliance were fully committed to.

But there was another key development that could easily prove pivotal to the war.

Opening the L-Cluster.png


The way to opening the mysterious L-Cluster was almost at hand, and Alliance spies reported that it was a secret the Imperial Core was also working to uncover.

Whichever side gained control of the L-Cluster first would gain a crucial advantage first, as they would be able to access and control the galactic L-Gate network, providing their fleets with unprecedented mobility throughout the galaxy.
 
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The L-Cluster will see the first moves of the war.

The Empire isn't as stable as Eerabik would like...

The Galactic Civil War has begun, and the Empire has been harmed by the decisions that led to its infighting. Grudges might yet bring it down.
 
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Episode XXI, Part 2 - Opening Moves New

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Emerging from the Higma Wormhole.png


Moving through the Beta Refuge - Higma Wormhole, the Alliance launched an invasion of the Imperial Core.

L-Drakes Emerge Alliance.png


The Alliance also succeeded in opening the L-Gates before the Imperial Core could.

Centuries ago, there were fragmented records of thriving Imperial agricultural colonies hidden in the L-Cluster. No sign of such colonies could be found. The L-Cluster was barren, save for several strange “L-Drakes” which emerged from it, though they did not seem to be hostile, leaving the fate of the lost Imperial colonies a mystery.

But now, it was a scramble to actually map and secure the L-Cluster before the Imperium could.

Scyldari Front Lehmsa.png


Meanwhile, the Alliance was also pushing into the New Scyldaria Sector Authority, to protect its eastern flank, leading to a confrontation in the Lehmsa System.

Versus Scyldari Cruisers in Lehmsa.png


The Scyldari Moff had simply repurposed former resistance cruisers to serve as his navy, leading to Mon Calamari cruisers, blockade runners, and Nebulon-B frigates clashing against each other.

The Alliance easily won the battle, and continued its advance.

Imperial Core Mega Star Destroyer Vhellet Front.png


Meanwhile, the Imperial Core dispatched its Mega Star Destroyer, Naiss XV to former Vhellet space, attempting to reinforce its position along the Alliance’s western border.

Scyldari Invade Tavander Sector.png


The New Scyldaria Sector Authority had more success launching an invasion of the Tavander II Sector, which was largely cut off from the Alliance, and almost completely defenseless.

In the nearby Font of Knowledge Sector, the Alliance had stowed a Colossus that it had obtained when it had finished integrating the Glebsig Exiles into the Alliance. It was armed with a 'Divine Enforcer’ weapon, and P’Konori was firmly of the opinion that it should be promptly dismantled, but she was overruled in the Coalition Senate, which saw value in having it as a deterrent. However, she did extract promises, which she proceeded to have codified into policy, that it would not be used except as a last resort, and never against sapient organic beings.

Imperium Invades Terminal Egress.png


Forces from the Sallurian Sector Authority trespassed in Terminal Egress, which was not yet fully secured by the Rebel Coalition. They did not linger for long though, disappearing back through the L-Gate to a distant corner of the galaxy.

Human Star Regime Front.png


The Human Star Regime was situated along the Core and Inner Rim, bordering the former Caloctoran capital sector. In particular, the ecumenfpoli in the Sol, Sirius, Alpha Centauri, and Brallix Systems were major Loyalist population and economic centers. Capturing them would go a long way toward weakening the war efforts of the Loyalist cause.

And so the Alliance began to slowly but systematically advance.

Battle of Tunari Vortex Rebellion.png


Qwe'Pulci Fighters Attacking Acclamator Tunari Vortex.png


A small force from the Imperial Core slipped through the L-Gates to the Tunari Vortex, in Khennet Space, but a fleet of Qwe’Pulci pilgrims helped repel the incursion.

Invading Jakaro with Captured Imperial Warships.png


The first major Loyalist world to fall was Jakaro, held by the New Scyldaria Sector Authority, which the Alliance captured with the aid of ships seized from the former Tezekian Sector navy.

Scyldari Invade Trimus System.png


The New Scyldaria Sector Authority retaliated by occupying the Trimus System.

X-Wings Attack TIE Interceptors Adar.png


In the Anoat Sector, the Alliance clashed in the Adar System, fending off several Imperial Star Destroyers and their new TIE Interceptor escorts. The revival of a design that had once been common prior to the fracturing of the Imperium, TIE Interceptors had been unveiled by the Imperium shortly after the start of the Galactic Rebellion, as an answer to the X-Wing. Faster, more maneuverable, and with four laser cannons, one on each wingtip, compared to a standard TIE Fighter’s two, they were unshielded like other TIEs, but far deadlier.

Battle of Ymor Za.png


Ymoria, in the Ymor Za System, was one of the last Caloctora holdouts, and the Alliance took the planet as it moved en route to the worlds of the Imperial Core.

Battle of Marath vs. Slephus Fleet.png


The Battle of Marath was one of the largest fleet battles in the early days of the war, taking place in an uninhabited system between the Alliance and a fleet from the Slephus Corporate Authority. However, with a second fleet in the System providing artillery support form behind, Coalition forces outgunned the Mechamorph fleet by a little less than 2 to 1, leading to a clear coalition victory.

Kuat and Keresia Imperial center Front.png


And as the Alliance finished securing Terminal Egress with reinforcements from the Mon Calamari shipyards, it prepared to open another front against the Imperial Core - and challenge the fearsome Death Star itself.
 
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Episode XXI, Part 3 - On the Imperium’s Doorstep New

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Even as the Alliance prepared to open a new front against the Imperial Core, other campaigns were in full swing across the galaxy.

Invasion of Na'Simir Jabeth.png


Na’Simir, in the Jabbeth System, protected a key hyperlane protecting the worlds of the Human Star Regime from the south. The troops of the Human Star Regime were generally better equipped than many of their Sector Authority counterparts, but General Upadhyay led armies of psionically-gifted soldiers to quickly neutralize Na’Simir’s defenses.

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The Alliance also liberated the New Scyldon system, with its multiple habitats and refineries from the Imperium, to the relief of its citizens, who hated their Moff and his cruelty.

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Eyes of Grey won a battle in the Jinnium System, taking some casualties, but dealing significantly more damage to the enemy in the process.

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And heading through the L-Gates, Admiral Steve Lynch and Admiral Cheng Huang emerged in the Devil’s Maw, in Kuat Sector Authority space, and began pushing toward the Imperial Capital in the Siluj system.

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The Alliance took heavy loses in the Mindara System, as it attempted to breach the Human Star Regime’s defenses from the west as well, and Admiral Jenna Prefontaine was forced to retreat after her fleet was swarmed by smaller vessels and pummeled at range by the system’s starbase defenses
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Back to the front that Steve had helped open against the Imperial Core, his fleet encountered stiff Imperial Resistance in the Puntrazed System, which was just one hyperlane away from the Imperial capital.

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Smashing the first Imperial line of Broadside Cruisers, he quickly moved to outmaneuver the Imperium's capital ships in the rear with his frigates and cruisers, while X-Wings pounded their Imperial, Venator, and Victory-class Star Destroyers with proton torpedoes.

The Imperium could not let his victory on their capital’s doorstep go unanswered.

And so the Empress deployed the Death Star and her fleets, with instructions to recapture the L-Gate in the Devil’s Maw, and then to use it to travel to rebel worlds and begin systematically destroying them.
 
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