Imperial Special Projects
Table of Contents:
Prologue: "The Interrogation"
Assault on Freedom’s Runner
"The Seven. Always seven. We are faceless. Nameless. If one was to fall, another would take its place as if nothing had happened and the regular soldiers would be none the wiser. But that rarely happens. We are given the best training. The best tech.
That, and the fact that we don’t fight the normal fights. We never just march right into any of the major conflicts. We didn't even exist before the Treaty of Coruscant, despite what the reports always say.
The written exploits of our little elite group have been highly exaggerated. Sometimes we are even tied to events in different sectors of the galaxy that happened on the same day. This all just contributes to the myth. We are stationed aboard capital ships. Interact with the common soldiers. Maybe they know about the falsified reports, maybe they don’t.
Our exploits are seeded across Republic and Imperial channels alike, to make our presence known and at the same time do exactly the opposite. Know us. Know of us. Always wondering. Instill fear and intrigue about some unknowable, unkillable foe. You know how these things work.
But the soldiers who knew the truth, the real truth, understood what we did. Because behind all the myths, once you strip away the veneer of hype perpetrated by Imperial Intelligence, there still existed a team capable of astounding accomplishments. Despite the rumors, we don’t specialize in black operations. After all, secret missions with no witnesses don’t exactly suit what we are trying to accomplish.
Gray operations on the other hand… Missions designed to leave just enough of a message. Just the right information, given out in measured quantities that, in the end, serve to further the Empire's agenda.
We are a strike force. Pure and simple. Clear cut objectives. Hardly any room for in-the-field decisions. Our success comes from planning. That and the fact that we are only given assignments with less than a ten percent perceived failure chance.
We are good, but we aren’t gods of the battlefield. We aren’t allowed to take unnecessary risks. After all, we are sporting arms and armament worth hundreds of thousands of credits. Each.
Now you see where the myth begins to fall apart. One could argue that any trooper with our resources could accomplish what we have. We are given easy missions on purpose, all to bolster our record. In the end, all people care about are the headlines.
So what if the bunker had an insufficient security force. So what if we boarded and detonated an already derelict capital ship. Our purpose was to produce results. Just not directly. The power of misinformation.
The Seven are first and foremost an experiment in mental and military thought. Charts and graphs my friend. Statistics. Imperial Intelligence wanted to see if they could create a force that could alter the outcomes of battle with words alone.
'Your request for reinforcements has been acknowledged. The Seven are on their way'. 'Alert: The Seven have joined up with the ground forces. Proceed with your original objectives'.
It’s amazing the kind of impact a few simple words can have if you send them out over the comm channels. Opposing forces might show the slightest increase in disorganization. A group of defenders might hold out for just that much longer.
And that was our purpose. An artificial psychosomatic form of battle meditation. At least that what the squad and I jokingly called it. Though, in truth, it wasn't too far off.
That is our true purpose. To alter the course of a battle without actively participating in it. The kind of tactical manipulation that only someone in the Sith Empire could think was worth funding. But in the end, it works. Either that or we've just been attached to one long string of happy coincidences.
But honestly, judging by my recent luck, I'd feel pretty confident in ruling that out. I mean, here I am, prisoner aboard a Republic cruiser. Hands cuffed behind my back. Stripped of my gear. Figuratively naked. Who knows? Maybe we're not the unstoppable force we're made out to be."
"Interesting story Mister… Aurek was it? Rarely is my job as on-board interrogator so easy. Imperials are usually prone to withholding information, especially when it comes to secret intelligence involving the Ministry. This information… regarding 'The Seven', doesn't exactly sound beneficial to the Empire to let it slip out. What's the story? One of the higher ups must have majorly pissed you off at some point, right?"
"Quite the opposite, actually. My last report possessed some rather choice words for some rather sensitive military advisors. That's how I ended up on my current mission."
"You mean the mission we captured you during?"
"Oh, no. The mission of being caught."
"Oh, yeah. This capture? Planned. I wasn't lying when I said our success stemmed from proper planning. The rest of my speech, well, that's a bit fuzzy. You see, I know you got some people on the other end of your comm just eating up this information. Digesting it. Wondering how a group that sounds this incompetent could possibly be this effective. Or how we could have survived this long. Wondering just how it is that they might not have even heard of The Seven. The right amount of bleeding between reality and fiction. That is our goal. Our purpose. The power of misinformation.
That bit about how we were just an experiment to see how the course of a battle could be changed by words alone? You think the experiment stopped? Just because you happened to have gotten me alone on your ship. No. Instead, you won't know how to properly react when my squad storms this cruiser and rescues me."
"Your squad? You mean a group of seven soldiers is going to attempt a rescue? Oh wait, since you’re here that means there will only be six. Unless they've already 'replaced' you that is."
"No, no. They wouldn't do that while I'm still alive. After this mission, though, who knows? We might need a new 'Cresh' though. He seems to be the agent with the highest mortality rate. Me though, I'm sure I'll be fine."
"So, you're all but sure you're somehow going to survive, while you sit here… restrained… in the detention center of a major Republic cruiser?"
"Well, we were sure to pick a ship that was understaffed. And you didn't exactly follow strict, or even proper, security protocol when detaining me. No armed guards, no detention fields. You honestly could just not believe the catch you made when I agreed to come along quietly. You were so overconfident that the information I had for you would be so intrinsically valuable, so beneficial to your career, that you wanted to be the one solely responsible for 'extracting' my 'confession'. And yet we find ourselves in a situation unlike anything you've ever encountered or could even imagine.
Plus, managing to undo your restraining cuffs is much easier when your hands are hidden behind your back and your interrogator is far too focused on a rather capricious monologue."