Colonel Maxon Tarven, 15th Armored Repulsorlift Regiment
Outside Tikirt, Exaron, Exaron System
"Identified! Twenty-five hundred meters!" called out Staff Sergeant Timel Hall, seated slightly below and in front of Colonel Maxon Tarven in the turret of the Colonel's S-1 Firehawke tank, letting the Colonel know he had targeted and ranged an enemy armored vehicle.
"Fire!" shouted Tarven, not bothering to check his Independent Viewer to verify the target before giving the order; he was busy monitoring his regiment's comm net, as well as that of his division, battletracking all of the Republic units with the help of one of the screens directly in front of him, below his Independent Viewer's screen. The S-1 bucked slightly as Hall pulled the trigger and fired the tank's heavy laser cannon.
"Target!" replied Hall, indicating that his round had hit. "Kill!" let Tarven know that the vehicle, whatever it had been, had been destroyed.
"Continue to engage!" ordered Tarven before keying his helmet mic forward and saying, "All Torches, this is Torch Six, we are approaching LOA. Prepare to bring your units to a halt and cease your pursuit."
"This is Sky Six, roger," replied Lieutenant Colonel Michaeu, 1st Battalion's commander.
"This is Hammer Six, roger," replied Lieutenant Colonel Karns, 2nd Battalion's commander.
"This is Lightning Six, roger," replied Lieutenant Colonel Okatef, commander of 3rd Battalion.
"This is Horse Six, roger," replied Lieutenant Colonel Gerend, commander of the Combat Support Battalion.
"This is Saber Six, roger," replied Lieutenant Colonel Young, the commander of Tarven's regiment's reconnaissance Squadron. The scouts had been screening to the north and south of the regiment as they had advanced, pursuing the fleeing Imperial forces out of Tikirt. The Republic had attacked eastwards towards Linert intending to seize Tikirt from the Imperials. Tikirt itself was an industrial city, an average target, but not the gem that the financial and banking city of Rywekh to the northeast would have been. However, capturing Tikirt had the added bonus of not only gaining control of a portion of the planet's sizable infrastructure, but also clearing a path towards the mountains to the north, where the Imperial planetary defense ion cannon facility lay. The ion cannon had been crucial in the Imperials' defense of their control of the orbit around Exaron, keeping any attempt by the New Republic to wrest naval control from the Imperials from succeeding.
Maxon felt his tank slow and watched as, almost in unison, all of the blue blips on his force tracker halted their advance across the screen and the last red blips disappeared off of the right-side edge. "All Torches, Torch Six, begin your consolidation back towards Tikirt," Maxon ordered. "Send me your BDA as soon as possible." As the regiment began to pull back towards Tikirt, along with the other Republic forces who had participated in the pursuit, he received the losses his Regiment had sustained thus far: seventeen tanks destroyed, and twenty-one more damaged but repairable. His scout squadron had lost ten SA-5 Hoverscouts, and the combat support battalion had lost two T-47s shot down. It was not bad, considering the damage that the 15th Regiment had dealt to the Imperials, but losing men was never a good thing. The 15th had been put in the vanguard of the Republic assault due to its elite status within the Republic Army as one of, if not the, finest Armored Regiment, and they had proved their worth. The point at which the 15th had attacked had crumpled under the heavy armored assault, and opened up a lane through which the Republic forces flooded, routing the Imperial defenders to both sides and forcing the defense to retreat. When the Imperials began to withdraw, the 15th had transitioned into an exploitation, chasing them down until they reached their limit of advance, at which point they were now turning back towards Tikirt. They would consolidate their defense and begin building battle positions against the expected Imperial counterattack in the coming days. Taking Tikirt was a big victory, and opened up a path to the ion cannon, but Maxon knew they had a lot of work to do before Exaron would be free.
Starcruiser MV Empire Miccol
Vratokh, Exaron, Exaron System
The ship touched down gently in the secure Imperial spaceport near the Imperial District of Vratokh. The ship had been thoroughly inspected and secured before its departure from Borleias, in order to prevent both unwanted knowledge of the MV Empire Miccol's secret contents, as well as to ensure those contents were not compromised in any way. The crew of the ship was regular Imperial Navy, but the handlers and guards for the contents were all from Imperial Intelligence, from the Operations Branch of that shadowy organization. The crew of the ship had known better than to ask any questions of the operatives, dressed head to toe in black combat suits with face-concealing masks, and the majority of the travel from Borleias to Exaron had gone in silence. Now that they had arrived, the crew of the Miccol was none too sad to see the agents depart.
The agents stood all at once, almost machine-like in their immediate preparations of the five crates which were secured in front of them. Several crewmembers cast curious glances over at the crates as they were slid open by the agents, but none could see what was being transported inside save for a small burst of condensed cooling gases being released upon the crates being opened. After a quick inspection by visual and scanner means, the agents sealed the crates back up. One of them turned to another and said, "Inform Major Vasilus that the cargo has arrived. We are transporting them to the Citadel now." His voice came out sterilized and mechanical through his mask, just as the Stormtroopers' did.
"Roger, sir," replied another Agent. The call was made, and the Agents activated buttons on the crates which powered up mini repulsorlifts and raised the crates up off the ground to be easily pushed. The Agents pushed the crates down the exit ramp of the starcruiser, pushing them towards a waiting armored transport speeder. They loaded the crates up onto the speeder, climbed inside the back, and informed the driver they were ready to go.