In what can only be described as a bold and shocking move by Gilad Pellaeon and the Empire, The New Republic shipyard facilities at Bilbringi have fallen to a surprise attack by the Imperial Navy. Below, we provide details on the battle and what this may mean for the future of this conflict.
Imperial Forces Invade
Only days ago, the Battle of Orinda concluded with a crushing defeat to the New Republic that pushed their forces into a full retreat from the sector. With the bulk of their forces deployed elsewhere, Bilbringi was an unfortunately easy target.
In the early morning hours (local time), a flotilla of Imperial ships led by the Star Dreadnought Megador arrived in the system, met only by a token New Republic defensive force. A handful of smaller Mon Calamari cruisers, Nebulon-B frigates, Corellian Corvettes and transport vessels covered the valuable shipyard facilities while New Republic personnel were evacuated.
The Imperial fleet sent waves of fighters through the dense asteroid field to meet the harried defenders as the larger vessels closed in on the former Imperial shipyard. Thankfully for the New Republic, their fighter forces and point defense systems did a formidable job of holding off the TIE attacks. Their escape from the shipyard was fraught with difficulty, however.
Due to the nature of Bilbringi’s asteroid fields, larger transports must use lanes through the asteroid field that are carved out using repulsors. This forced the defenders to cover the exits of the lanes until the transports could make the jump to lightspeed. Imperial ships converged on these exit lanes and laid waste to the New Republic defenders. Though the majority of the shipyard’s military and civilian personnel managed to escape, nearly all of the New Republic’s defense fleet was wiped out by the invading Imperial forces.
The Big Picture
The Orinda campaign proved one thing above all else: Gilad Pellaeon’s Imperial Navy is an experienced and deadly force, the likes of which the New Republic hasn’t faced since its struggle with Grand Admiral Thrawn four years ago. In that time, the New Republic has steadily gained ground, ships and manpower, but has become stretched all too thin due to the size of its borders, political pressure from its member states and other outside threats.
The force mobilized by General Antilles’ to meet Pellaeon at Orinda was thought to be enough to counter the threat. However, the discovery of an additional two dreadnoughts, Dominion and Megador, significantly changed the balance of power in the conflict. Antilles simply had no reasonable option but to retreat, regroup and hope to redeploy his forces across the Imperial border in a defensive posture to meet any future incursions. Despite it being the first significant Imperial push in years, most New Republic leadership believed that the Imperial hostilities would be short-lived.
Admiral Ackbar offered his remarks on Bilbringi’s lack of defenses during a press interview this morning:
“Our intelligence suggested that despite their push forward, the Imperial goal was ultimately to retake Orinda and dig in there. Bilbringi is much farther to the galactic east than we believed the Empire would attempt to cross. That they would risk so much on a target like Bilbringi suggests a larger strategy may be in play here. It may, dare I say it, be a trap.”
When pressed for details on why Bilbringi was so ill-prepared for an Imperial invasion, the veteran Admiral was more tight-lipped, suggesting only that the loss of life was minimal and that a response is already in the works.
Meanwhile, a message from the Imperial Supreme Commander’s office was sent to all major news outlets, including Galactic News Network. In the message, Pellaeon states that:
“The Bilbringi system and its shipyards were rebuilt, modernized and maintained during the early days of the New Order, with money provided by Imperial taxpayers, labor provided by Imperial citizens and was protected for decades by the Imperial Navy. With all due respect to the New Republic and its valiant defenders, Bilbringi is, and shall remain an Imperial system.“
A response from President Organa-Solo maintains that Bilbringi was a Republic facility for thousands of years prior, and the Empire, like with so many other systems and industrial installations, illegally used it to maintain a stranglehold on the galaxy.
Updates on this story will be posted as information becomes available.
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