The first contact between the Empire and the extragalactic invaders is believed to have occurred at the planet of Bakura. A vessel of unknown design was spotted with what appeared to be observation equipment staying a fair distance from the planet. When the Carrack Cruiser Dominant went to investigate the ship, in launched some sort of probe droid towards the planet and fled into hyperspace. The droid was recovered before it reached the planet by the Dominant's tractor beam, and while technicians were able to deduce the droid's purpose, much of its architecture and technology was completely foreign to them. Having already encountered strange alien reconnaissance forces, believed to have originated from the Ssi Ruuvi star cluster, in the sector before, the Planetary Governor Wilek Nereus requested reinforcements to search for the base where the vessel had launched from.
A small task force under the Victory-II class Star Destroyer Intruder arrived to reinforce Bakura. The commander learned that several more unknown vessels had been sighted in the system, some appearing similar to the vessel seen before as well as other of similar size but with sleeker or more sinister designs. Beliving they might be Rebel or Pirate forces, the Intruder's task force began sweeps of the nearby systems.
Several light years from Bakura, a Tartan class Patrol Cruiser from the Intruder's discovered several unknown vessels, including several of the scouts observed at Bakura, in formation over a gas giant in an inhabited system. The group deployed fighters against the Tartan, which fired the first shots in self defense as it relayed the coordinates to the Intruder and micro jumped to an uninhabited planet.A few hours later, the Intruder arrived with a Strike class Cruiser, 2 Carrack Gunships, and a Lancer class Frigate. Against them were seven enemy warships, the largest about 1 kilometer in length, and was escorted by 2 cruiser sized carriers and 5 frigate sized vessels. The Intruder and the Strike Cruiser immediately launched TIE fighters to engage the enemy fighters that attacked them with physical projectiles and missiles. With some losses the TIE Fighters and the Lancer Frigate managed to destroy the enemy fighters and the task force engaged the starships. The TIE Fighters began to attack the largest vessel, which later sources would confirm to be a Trader Kol class Battleship, but as they engaged the ship fired several explosive mines that detonated in the middle of the TIE formation, destroying the entire first wave. The Intruder recalled its fighters and began to engage ship to ship. The Battleship engaged with a mix of crude but not ineffective physical projectiles, laser blasters and even energy beams, while the small escorts engaged with lasers and missiles.The Imperials appeared to be gaining the upper hand until a dozen warships of a different design, later revealed to be Vasari warships, jumped in to assist the unknown enemy. In addition to various sorts of energy blasts, it was the first Imperial forces encountered a new sort of weapon a Human Trader weapons expert I talked to called a Phase Missile, which have the ability to sometimes warp through a warships shields. Most unfortunate for the Strike Cruiser, one of these missiles happened to phase through its shields and detonate right in its Hyperdrive, preventing it from retreating with the Intruder. The remaining task force ships regrouped at Bakura, where Governor Nereus made a direct request to Emperor Palpatine for several Imperial Star Destroyers from Endor to supplement his defenses.
It is unknown if Palpatine ever intended to grant Governor Nereus' request, but regardless reinforcements never got a chance to arrive. Three days after the first engagement, over 100 enemy ships attacked Bakura, facing the Intruder, 4 Carrack Gunships, 2 Lancer Frigates, a Gladiator class Star Destroyer and about twenty smaller ships from Bakura's planetary defense force. While Governor Nereus began preparing for possibly evacuation soon after the first engagement, the enemy arrived sooner than he anticipated and in larger force, and the small Imperial fleet was ordered to buy as much time as possible. Hiding behind Bakura's few defense stations, the Intruder's task held out for six hours, enough time for the planetary garrison to evacuate and to destroy its bases, but at a heavy cost. All but nine warships were destroyed, including the Intruder. The new flagship, the Dominant, ordered all vessels with operational hyperdrives, both military and civilian to jump to Endor, where a large Imperial fleet happened to be guarding the hidden construction site of a new Death Star. Governor Nereus promised the civilian population that the Empire would soon return and crush these unknown attackers, but Bakura would be destined for nearly four years of occupation. It was the first inhabited planet to fall to the invaders.
At this point Emperor Palpatine happened to have arrived at Endor, not to personally see to defeating these invaders as is often thought, but to execute a plan to lure the main Rebel fleet to engage the second Death Star in a futile attempt to destroy it. However, at being presented with the size of the enemy fleet, which scouts have revealed to be growing by the day and spreading out from Bakura, it appears Palpatine changed his mind and decided to lure the new invaders into the same trap he planned to use against the Rebellion. While the Emperor's exact intentions during the last week of his reign are impossible to know, as Lord Darth Vader and Admiral Firmus Piett are the only still living individuals believed to have spoken with him (neither have responded to my request for an interview), what is clear is that several small recognizance ships began to use Endor as a base as they observed the invader's progress. All of the crew members of these ships I talked to said they received the peculiar order to allow themselves to be sighted by enemy forces before jumping into hyperspace in the direction of Endor. They had no doubt in their minds that the real object of their mission was to get one of the enemy ships to follow them so the enemy could “discover” the Death Star II and report it back to their main fleet.
Two notable events happened on the 25th of the month. The first is that an enemy scout did indeed stumble on the Death Star II. A certain Captain Phulik I talked to, who claimed to be serving on the Interdictor Star Destroyer Binder, which had just arrived along with dozens of other ships to reinforce Death Squadron at Endor, claims that the Commanding Officer ordered the ships gravity well projectors not to trap the ship, even though it was well within the gravity projector's range. This appears to confirm the thoughts of the scout ship crews that Palpatine planned to engage the enemy forces, whoever they were, over Endor where the massive firepower of the Death Star's recently completed weapon systems would ensure victory.In addition, several Imperial agents who were left underground at Bakura began to send back reports of events that had occurred since the Imperial retreat (it appears the invaders took some time to learn how to sever holonet communications). Among their strange report was that a good chunk of the enemy invaders appeared to be human of various cultures, as well as one previously unknown form of alien. These early reports are believed to be the source of some of the wild theories that the invaders were the long lost descendants of the Sith Empire that existed several thousand years ago, who had fled to wild space and for some unknown reason had returned. More alarming was the estimated size of the enemy forces that passed through Bakura. While the agents admitted many of the ships they observed appeared to be transports and not warships, they estimated over 10,000 ships of all kinds had passed through Bakura since its fall, a few thousand of these military vessels. One of my sources said the estimates were widely ridiculed among Imperial Officers who had clearance to read them, yet the Empire continued to order its spare ships to Endor in ever larger numbers.
On the 29th of the month one of the scout ship crewmen I talked to claims his vessel came across a large enemy battlegroup, comparable in size to the one that captured Bakura, was waiting a few lightyears outside the Endor system. He said several other scouts reported similar stories. Even among the battleships of Death Squadron, all the crewmen I interviewed claimed everyone knew that a battle was coming. The question was merely when it would occur and how large would the enemy force be. Most of the crewmen reported a naive sense of excitement at the thought of participating in what was expected to be the largest battle of the era, but not on the Executor, the flagship of the fleet where Darth Vader's personal presence appears to have kept the crew on their toes.
Edited by: GoaFan77