Important Message From The Emperor

We interrupt your daily routine today to bring you a message from the Emperor, transcribed earlier today at the official ceremony celebrating the newest hero of the Empire. These honors are not given lightly, having been earned by years of dedication to the Emperor’s service. However, in light of the recent kidnapping attempt on his majesty, this hero’s efforts must be rewarded. So take a moment and attend to the Emperor’s message honoring the newest Imperial Ace pilot, Maarek Stele.

“We are here to honor one who has served the Empire. Colonel Maarek Stele has flown for several years with the Imperial Navy, having originally come from a home on Kuan in the outer rim. Despite his significant piloting skill, he initially enlisted as a mere mechanic. His workmanship was excellent, of course, but his talents demonstrated themselves when he learned of a stranded Imperial shuttle during one of his test flights, and the young man singlehandedly fought off two enemy starfighters and their reinforcements. With no knowledge that his superior was aboard, young Stele made it very clear that he was a servant of the Empire, and no terrorist attacks would go unpunished. Admiral Mordon, were he alive today, would be very proud of the accomplishments of the man he enlisted into the Naval Starfighter Corps.

“Of course you have all heard by now of the treachery that befell me only five days ago above this very planet. It was Colonel Stele’s heroics that have earned him the position he is receiving now: the first commander of an elite starfighter force named The Emperor’s Sword. Few could have pulled off what he accomplished, and even fewer would have accepted the task, even accompanied by the lord Darth Vader. But Colonel Stele has been fighting the enemies of the Empire since the destruction of the Death Star, earning his accolades by hunting down insurgents and pirates collaborating in the wake of the Battle of Hoth, by ending the Sepan Civil War, and by routing the treasonous Admiral Harkov. It is regrettable that the Colonel has found himself working under so many traitors: Major Trace, Admiral Harkov, Grand Admiral Demetrius Zaarin. Yet these trials have failed to break the stalwart will of such a commendable and irreplaceable pilot as Maarek Stele.

“If you have heard of the new TIE fighter class that Zaarin developed, you should know that Colonel Stele was directly responsible for much of that ship’s design and capabilities. It was Colonel Stele that directed the incorporation of the starfighter-compatible tractor beam technology, and he who oversaw the prototype testing of the new TIE Defenders. In fact, it was one of those prototypes that he flew during my rescue from the traitor Zaarin, Delta One, and its success has secured it as a ship we will soon be making available for the Empire’s most elite pilots. That Colonel Stele will be directly responsible for the allocation of these new TIE Defenders should illustrate just how indispensable he has become to our Empire’s security.

“Admiral Zaarin may have escaped the battle in which he attempted his mutiny, but thanks to Colonel Stele, his losses were severe. Equipped with only a loadout of Advanced Concussion Missiles and four of the new TIE Defenders, one of which was flown by Lord Vader, Maarek Stele led an assault on Zaarin’s forces and located the shuttle that they held me on. While Vice Admiral Thrawn’s corvettes and star destroyers assaulted the traitor’s forces, Stele, Vader, and their two wingmen singlehandedly cleared the skies of enemy fighters and secured my escape. I owe him my life, and the Empire owes him its gratitude.

“Now, it is my honor to grant the most illustrious of awards to Colonel Stele, The Emperor’s Will. With this medal he will also receive command of a new elite starfighter squadron, The Emperor’s Sword, and the peace and security of our great Empire will grow as these rebel insurgents are once and for all put to rest.”

In light of Admiral Zaarin’s kidnapping attempt on his majesty, all inbound traffic to Coruscant will be delayed by heightened inspection until the traitor’s forces are located. Vice Admiral Thrawn has been dispatched to hunt down Zaarin, but if you know anything of the traitor’s whereabouts or his accomplices, report to your local Imperial Security Bureau headquarters immediately. For those with priority information for the Emperor himself, we have created an open channel on which to send information.

Thank you for your time.

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