"I see you're a stranger -
Well, where are you from?
Long, long is the dark of the day.
You look like young Johnny,
When Johnny was young.
Long is the dark of the day."
--- Long Is The Dark ---

Battle of Delrakkin

In the wake of the destruction of the Death Star, Imperial forces were in turmoil. Orders that had overconfidently been issued in anticipation of the eradication of the Rebel Alliance headquarters were followed in the confusion, panic-stricken officers took their ships away from their posts, falling back on Core Worlds for "defensive maneuvers", as if the Alliance was about to mount a massive offensive penetrating through to Coruscant. Alliance disinformation within the Navy accounted for some of this confusion but it was essentially pouring accelerant on a fire already raging.

A few short weeks after the destruction of the Death Star, the naval presence in the Delrakkin system, consisting of the Star Destroyer Liquidator and a long-range Carrack Cruiser departed the colony there without explanation or relief for the two thousand colonists or six hundred garrisoned Imperial Army troops on the surface of the jungle world. Because the HoloNet relay had never been completed, they were truly on their own far from home. And the colony was in possession of nearly four thousand tons of alzahi, a botanically produced and very expensive precursor chemical to bacta. (Alzahi is often mispelled and mispronounced as 'alazhi' due to an early ethnolinguistic droid transposition error that has been perpetuated so long that there are even degraded dictionaries that contain the 'alternate spelling'.) Alliance High Command approved an immediate surprise attack on the garrison in an attempt to capture and make off with the alzahi.

The circumstances of this battle were unusual, Alliance troops having the edge in training and surprise, Imperials having a fortified position and better equipment, but numerically equal. The main obstacle to the heavy freighter Ko Lam III making off with the alzahi was the massive ion cannon controlled by the garrison. Although it could not hit the infantry transport shuttles that brought Alliance ground troops to bear, without the heavy freighter, the alzahi would stay in Imperial hands. Thus, the ground forces were tasked with taking out the defenses and shutting down the ion cannon so that the Ko Lam III could land.

Although the colonists were loyal to Palpatine, they had no sympathies for the garrison troops who they perceived as unfair taskmasters and connected primarily to the abandonment of the colony by the Liquidator. They stayed out of the battle and were not considered likely recruitment candidates by the Alliance.

Squad 16782 acquitted itself well in this battle, securing the landing site, utilizing guerilla tactics to distract the defenses of the south bunker, and then clearing and securing that bunker against further attack while other infantry and Naval forces cleared the garrison hanger and loaded the alzahi.

An accident involving unexploded ordnance required that Tasia Snowen's eye be replaced with a cybernetic version.

Additional Materials

  • Squad 16782 Operational History Index
  • 'Alazhi', One Droid's Neologism And Why It Must Be Stopped, Professor Flyrya Bellanguzz, Journal of Galactic Ethnolinguistic History, vol. 9, ref. 913-21.

    Questions From The Committee

    Q: Why had the Liquidator abandoned the system?

    A: The Imperial Navy records we have obtained are somewhat contradictory. The short answer is that the captain of the Liquidator and the associated fleet believed that he had been ordered by the Emperor to assist in cleanup operations after the destruction of the Rebel Alliance at Yavin. This destruction did not occur, but it is unlikely that the Outer Rim naval force had a full picture of just how badly things had gone.

    Q: Was it really the grenade thrown by Private Quinn that exploded and hurt Private Snowen?

    A: Truthfully, we can't be sure. It is true that the grenade he threw did not explode. However, the explosion that claimed Private Snowen's eye happened when the rest of the squad was watching the descent of the last TIE Fighter, and Private Snowen herself does not clearly remember what happened due to shock. Faulty grenades were commonly issued to Alliance troops due to their black market origins. In this case, I prefer the term 'poetic license' to 'dramatic license'.