|Previous battle: Battle of Farlex|
|Next battle: Battle of O'paal|
|Second Battle of Etti IV|
|Conflict: Galactic Civil War|
|Date: 14 ABY|
|Place: Deep Space, Etti IV|
|Outcome: Imperial Pyrrhic victory|
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The Second Battle of Etti IV was the largest naval confrontation between the Galactic Empire and the New Republic since the Third Battle of Sluis Van. The battle was fought in neutral Corporate Sector territory, over the Authority capital of Etti IV, and saw the destruction of several prominent and iconic warships in both the Imperial Navy and the New Republic Navy, and the deaths of thousands of servicemen on both sides of the conflict.
The New Republic had assembled a task force of four Republic-class Star Destroyers, six MC80 Star Cruisers, nine Republic Assault Frigates, and numerous other support craft in an attempt to destroy the flagship of the infamous Imperial Task Force Hammer and icon of the Imperial Navy, the HIMS Conqueror, and to kidnap its most prestigous resident, the Imperial commander Danik Kreldin.
New Republic agents fed false info to the Imperial Navy, saying that the Republic's own champion, the NRS Crusader, was near Korriban, probing for a possible invasion of that region. Danik Kreldin, who had a personal vendetta against the Crusader, took the opportunity and sent Conqueror, HIMS Dauntless (under the command of Captain Strenge Lehmann), and two Lancers to hunt down the Crusader.
Acting as bait, the Republic-class Star Destroyer allowed the Imperial flotilla to approach her orbit around Korriban, and then sprung the trap. An entire task force, anchored by the Mon Cal Starcruisers NRSC Deliverance and NRS Alderaan, encircled the Imperials, cutting off any route of immediate escape. Captain Antal Brencis promptly ordered the Lancers to escape (acting in lieu of Kreldin, who had decided to fly his customized Interceptor into battle), and turned Conqueror to take on the Republican attackers.
Throughout the battle, Brencis executed a series of brilliant manuvers, all while giving and receiving fire. He knew that the best thing was to evade from this situation, but he was committed to doing so in a manner that his admiral, Kreldin, would be proud of. With Dauntless out front, Brencis prepared Conqueror to clear the gravity well, having given the Republicans a spirited fight. However, mere moments from opening up the hyperdrive, a spread of proton torpedoes fired from X-Wings of Crusader's Ghost Squadron slammed into the command tower of the Star Destroyer. With shields having been knocked offline ten minutes prior (a real testament to Brencis' handling of the ship), the strikes blew gaping holes all along the face of the tower, with one blowing out the bridge. Brencis, and the rest of his command crew, were killed instantly.
Command of Conqueror fell to Lieutenant Doniger, operating from the secondary bridge. Calculating a quick hyperspace solution from known "large" coordinates, Doniger kept the hyperdrive spun up, contacted Dauntless of the coordinate change, and executed the jump. The two ships rendevoused near Telos, with Conqueror in dire shape. There, Doniger met up with Kreldin, who had escaped aboard the Dauntless, and apprised him of the situation. Instead of risking several linked jumps to get back to Imperial space, wherein Conqueror's hyperdrive may fail at any one of them, Kreldin ordered Doniger to make a single jump along the well-traveled Hydian Way to get to neutral CSA space and the repair facilities that were assuredly there. Doniger did so, but not before Kreldin sent word to 1st Fleet's headquarters to assemble a task force to head to Etti IV to rescue the Conqueror.
The New Republic, to their credit, remained hot on their quarry's trail, and had arrayed a screen of recon and picket vessels throughout the region. Reports came in about a damaged Star Destroyer near Telos, and departing for points down the Hydian Way. Republican ships made all possible speed to the famed trade route, and started homing in on stricken vessel's trail.
Etti IV Edit
Limping in on a faltering hyperdrive, Conqueror arrived at Etti IV some six hours before advance New Republic units caught up to her. Because of this cushion, Doniger was able to appeal to CSA officials and be granted full rights of neutrality. The Star Destroyer was just tying up to Theseus Station when Republican vessels arrived in-system and were confronted with CSA security ships blaring neutrality laws on every frequency. In a dramatic scene of spite and disdain, Captain Moralis Rodriga of NRSD Crusader docked his own warship at Theseus Station as well, while the rest of his fleet arrayed themselves throughout the system to ensure that Conqueror would not again perform one of her famed disappearing acts.
The Imperials immediately set to repairing their ships, not leaving their branch of the station. Two days later, Fleet Admiral Drayson Honos arrived with the task force, and the tension level escalated substantially. Now equipped with more might than a sector fleet, Kreldin shuttled over to the Super Star Destroyer HIMS Malevolence to meet with Honos and better inform him of the situation. After several days, Honos left on his personal shuttle, leaving Danik in full command of the task force. Contact between the two sides on the station were strained, with a terse, unexpected meeting between Kreldin and Rodriga taking place in the station's central restaurant. This meeting, however, was a followup to Kreldin's previous meeting with Enb'Zik Ikhisa, which merely made the Imperial-Republic truce official. Following that meeting, and armed with the knowledge that his favorite warship would be several more days in repair, the Imperial commander devised another insidious scheme.
The Battle Edit
Ever devious, Danik Kreldin's plan was to infiltrate Crusader and breach the "rules of neutrality" imposed by the CSA here at Etti IV. Two days later, an Imperial shuttle arrived from Dreven, bearing "important components" for the repair effort. Unbeknownst to the Republicans, the crew of that shuttle were none other than the same commando team that had hijacked and turned NRSD Templar several months prior at Sullust. Putting the operation in the hands of his agent, Sandor Woden, Danik charged the team with infiltrating the Crusader through Theseus Station accessways and conduits, wearing stolen Republic uniforms, and using Republic maintenence protocols. Once inside, the team was to disable the fire control linkage between the fire coordinator and the starboardside gun emplacements, and install a "drone" controller. This controller would, at the determined moment, cause the starboardside turbolasers to fire a salvo at an Imperial warship (agreed on to be the HIMS Malignant). This "unprovoked attack" would breach the CSA's rules of neutrality, and not only give the Imperials every right to counterattack, thus "defending themselves", but would further strain, if not sever, all relations between the New Republic and Corporate Sector.
The plan went underway, the commando team successfuly infiltrating the Crusader. Three hours later, with Malignant in full view of thousands of civilians and workers on Theseus Station, Crusader's guns opened fire. Within seconds the Imperial fleet was responding, as was the Republic fleet, and an all-out battle erupted over Etti IV.
Danik, having shuttled back to HIMS Malevolence, coordinated the "response" from its bridge. He made sure to concentrate heavily upon the Crusader, wishing to fulfill his age-old vendetta. However, the first blow was felt by the Empire; the HIMS New Order, one of the oldest ships in the Imperial Navy, was destroyed by concentrated fire from several NR warships.
Conqueror, in the meantime, was dropping her docking lines, and was extricating herself from the station. Still heavily damaged and lacking a working bridge, and under the command of Commander Lynae Caiton, the famous Star Destroyer intended to make every effort to slip out amongst the chaos. Kreldin had ordered, though, that if Conqueror experienced any hinderance to leaving, Caiton was to use "any means necessary" to eliminate Crusader. As Conqueror backed away from the station, Crusader wrenched free from her own docking lines, and pointed dead-on at her hated rival, going to full speed to get in close and finish her off. Kreldin, observing Crusader's actions, and unable to put fire onto her at this point (Malevolence was in her own duel with two MonCal cruisers), put Conqueror to rest in his mind, and dispatched Caiton to use his once-treasured ship in Crusader's destruction. Ruthlessly efficient, Caiton ordered "Abandon Ship" and oriented the Destroyer head-on with the oncoming Republican. Doniger ran the engines up to full flank speed, locked in the controls, and evacuated the ship with the rest of the crew. All too late, Crusader realized what was to befall her as escape pods burst off both vessels. In a tremendous, shattering collision, the two rivals locked into a death-embrace. The majority of both crews managed to escape the ships as they lost all power and began to drift. Even the commando team escaped, having narrowly dashed their way to one of the station's docking lines before Crusader dropped them, and later locating a CSA maintenence tug to buzz their way back to an Imperial warship. One unfortunate casualty, however, was one-time New Republic General Beaubos "Skeezix" Calhoun, who was killed in the collision.
The battle raged on and Imperial casualties, however, continued to mount. An immense amount of starfighters were destroyed, and towards the end of the battle, the Malevolence had lost her shields. The Imperials began concentrating on the iconic NRS Deliverance, and reduced the cruiser to near slag. Finally, the Republic task force started retreating, until the Malevolence microjumped and blocked their hyperspace route to Mon Calamari. The Deliverance neared destruction, but amazingly, managed to slip by the Malevolence with the rest of the surviving task force and retreated to Mon Calamari.
Despite succeeding in forcing the retreat of the Republic task force, and destroying the Crusader, the Imperials suffered heavy casualties, including the their famed Conqueror, and heavy damage was done to the Malevolence, all for a battle that, in the end, achieved absolutely nothing. The number of Imperial starfighter casualties were staggering, marking this titantic space melee as an Imperial Pyrrhic victory.