Imperial forces, striking from far beyond the battle lines in the galactic north, have attacked and captured the New Republic stronghold and shipyards in the Fondor system. This comes just weeks after a surprise attack on the Bilbringi Shipyards left the New Republic fleet scattered and struggling to regroup.
Many are wary of this uncharacteristic aggression by the newly minted Imperial Remnant forces, but the choice of targets come as no surprise to the New Republic. Bilbringi, Fondor and their respective shipyard facilities were Imperial-held systems for decades before being taken by the New Republic, denying the Empire of valuable resources and shipbuilding capabilities. With Pellaeon eager to strengthen his position, this victory not only assures the Empire a way to repair its ships and replace losses more quickly, but also redefines Imperial borders dramatically.
Bilbringi is located close to the Core, and is only a short jump from the previous border at Orinda, but the capture of Fondor slices a line down the galactic west which the Empire has been quick to fortify. Popular stop-off points for trade, like Tsoss Beacon and Fresia, have been placed under Imperial protection, forcing the New Republic to skirt around the Deep Core to get to its southern territories.This move effectively puts the Empire in control of the majority of the Galactic West, from Fondor to the Unknown Regions (not including a southern cluster of independent systems like Hoth, Endor and their neighbors).
An Intense Battle
The battle of Fondor, though a victory for the Empire, was fraught with difficulty compared to the New Republic defeat at Bilbringi. The New Republic’s southern forces have overseen relative peace in the region for the past four years, keeping both its ships, soldiers and crew in peak operating condition. Relatively few ships were pulled from the Fondor region to participate in General Antilles’ counter-attack at Orinda, and the attack on Bilbringi placed the entire NRDF on high-alert.
Though Pellaeon’s flagship Reaper was absent (presumably still undergoing repairs after her encounter with the Lusankya), the combined power of the dreadnoughts Megador, Dominion and their battlegroup converged on the New Republic fleet guarding the shipyard and its many facilities.
The New Republic defense fleet was centered around a flotilla of MC90 and MC80 Star Cruisers supported by a potent mix of destroyers, frigates and a massive starfighter force. The fleet focused on eliminating the threat from Megador and Dominion before either of the two could get their main batteries in range of the shipyards and the fleeing civilian population, leaving the Golan defense platforms and starfighters to ward off attacks by lighter Imperial ships and TIE fighters.
To their credit, this tactic was successful in disabling the Dominion. Bombing runs from New Republic B and K-Wing squadrons drove a wedge in between the Dominion and her Star Destroyer escorts, opening a hole that allowed a line of heavily shielded Mon Calamari cruisers to drop the Dominion’s shields on one side, leaving her open to pinpoint torpedo runs by wings of New Republic fighters and missile cruisers. The attacks were successful in disrupting power-distribution throughout the Dominion, leaving the vessel adrift and in need of serious repair.
This unfortunately gave the smaller Star Destroyers time to form a battle line between the Megador and the larger New Republic vessels, preventing them from making similar attack runs on the remaining dreadnought. The New Republic attempted to make a fight of it, however, closing with the Star Destroyers and wreaking havoc on their lines before being subjected to the Megador’s full battery when it came into range.
As victory became less and less likely, the New Republic engaged protocols to sabotage the shipyard facilities under their direct control (leaving Fondor’s civilian shipbuilding capabilities intact). Any equipment valuable to the Empire was either rendered inoperable or completely destroyed, though the main structures of the shipyard remain intact. With losses beginning to mount and the civilians safely away, the New Republic commander gave the order to retreat.
Ultimately, the New Republic lost a small mix of vessels both small and large, leaving the core of its fleet intact. The Empire, on the other hand, lost a significant number of Star Destroyers, smaller line vessels and a respectable portion of its fighter forces. The Dominion, while salvageable, will takes months to repair without proper shipyard facilities. Though the battle was won, the immense cost could work in the New Republic’s favor.
President Organa-Solo released this statement shortly after news of the battle spread over the HoloNet:
It is with great regret that I confirm the news: Fondor has fallen to the Empire. The Empire has chosen to prolong this conflict, to work against the peace that this galaxy has sought for so long. And we, the defenders of that peace, must meet the challenge as we always have: With bravery, grace and honor.
This war will only end when the Empire understands that peace is not achieved through coercion and the spread of order, but through dialogue and mutual understanding. Until then, we will meet the Empire with all force necessary to protect the New Republic and its people. May the Force be with us.
Likewise, Supreme Commander Pellaeon remarked on the annexation of Fondor and other systems along the Western galactic border:
For too long, the lawless and decentralized nature of the Rebellion have allowed chaos to spread throughout the galaxy. They have no strong central government, a patchwork military force with varying degrees of training. Noble ideals and empty words cannot protect you. The discipline necessary to bring peace to this region is something only the Imperial forces possess.
Our analysts suggest that while the losses suffered by both sides will result in a momentary lull in the fighting, this is likely the beginning of a large-scale renewal of the Galactic Civil War, a conflict many believed was coming to an end. We urge our readers, now more than ever, to be safe.
We’ll be providing information and analysis on this emerging conflict as events unfold.
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