A few weeks ago, an unexpected revolt began to spread across the Corellian sector as multiple planets removed the Imperial magistrates from their ruling positions and declared loyalty to the organization known as the Flower Company. This change of allegiance was the result of the efforts of multiple current and former individuals under the Corellian Security Force (CorSec) banner, disillusioned with the promises made by the Empire. For this story, we focused on the individuals behind the change and their motivations for their actions. We also aim to add context to some of the claims made in recent publications by the Flower Company and their allies known as The Cooperative.
For those unfamiliar with the group, CorSec is owned by the Galactic Empire and has operated as the police force for the Corellian and Duro Sectors for at least the last 16 years. They are tasked with upholding and maintaining Imperial law within their domain. The Corellian and Duro Sectors are contained within the Ruby Region of Imperial Space, governed by Grand Moff Icarus Carinae.
About four years ago, Neria Derycke, who had bounced around management and military leadership positions across multiple groups such as the Tresario Star Kingdom, Tion Hegemony and Corporate Sector Authority, was appointed as the High Marshal and leader of CorSec. Derycke had built a reputation as a strong recruiter with seemingly boundless energy. However, she was also noted has having a degree of wanderlust along with some troublesome family ties that had led to her multiple transfers between organizations. Shili Free Press requested documentation surrounding the agreement put into place by the Empire when Derycke was installed as High Marshal, but the request was denied by the Empire, so many of the details of her exact charge are the result of reports from former CorSec members as well as inference from other information.
CorSec had been somewhat listless and lacking leadership and direction in the year or so prior to Derycke's appointment. It was assumed by many that her appointment was meant to stabilize and regrow the organization. With the title, she was granted direct control and authority over 23 planets within those two sectors of the Imperial domain, and wide latitude to reform CorSec and return the organization to prosperity. She diversified CorSec from a mere police force into more of a corporate enterprise to help back police enforcement actions. She built up a production and manufacturing arm to increase operational budgets. She also created corporate ties with other agencies to enhance their capabilities in systems for development. Although CorSec was Imperial property, Derycke steadfastly maintained that she was given independence from direct imperial rule throughout her tenure as leader, despite her growing personal ties within the Empire.
However, within the last year, her leadership capabilities came into question. Her ties with Ailon Nova Guard brought CorSec into the affair in Vectinia, but the results of her assistance were negligible, and in fact led to negative feedback about CorSec and its abilities. There were other recent minor fumbles in operations that also damaged to CorSec’s reputation and Derycke's leadership and reputation as well.
However, the real start of the Corellian Coup began with the hostilities in the Hosnian system. For those who do not recall our coverage of those events, please click HERE for an older report summarizing the Hosnian situation which is relevant to the current events. Once the Hosnian system was discovered and the mad dash for claiming territory began, CorSec responded on behalf of its Imperial controllers. However, as was widely reported at the time, Grand Moff Carinae's initial offer to Imperial aligned forces for their efforts was well below typical market value and many considered it insulting, and some of the offended parties founded the Flower Company as a result. The Empire offered CorSec members only about one eighth of the fee that other independent contractors were making for similar work in system. The Flower Company members left CorSec so they could be better financially rewarded and valued as independent contractors rather than just as an extension of the Imperial forces. During the remainder of the active Hosnian hostilities, the Flower Company claims they continued to provide intelligence to both Galactic Alliance and Imperial Union forces, although the vast majority of their terrain was sold into the control of the New Republic.
As the dust settled from Hosnian, and the after battle reports were collected and analyzed, those who remained within CorSec became disillusioned with their Imperial masters. In the months since Hosnian, Derycke took some leaves of absence, and during those periods, CorSec reportedly members felt isolated and ignored by the Empire. Multiple former CorSec employees stated that they had been waiting for months, if not years, on a formal agreement with the Empire regarding their roles, goals, and relationship, with no formal documentation produced. However, a source within the Empire confirmed that significant work had progressed regarding that relationship. Regardless, CorSec members began to touch base with their former compatriots now with the Flower Company and allowed the Company to start building up their influence on the planets within CorSec control.
Over the course of at least six months, the Company slowly created an infrastructure that would enable them to control each planet in CorSec's domain. In order to avoid detection, they used some archaic forms of communication that would be less easily identified and decoded by slicers loyal to the Empire. Constant communication was vital, because as soon as one cell on any planet made its presence known, the full weight of Imperial Security would drop on the Corellian Sector, effectively closing off their window for control. The Flower Company had plans for an even greater change of control in Corellia, but a disruption to their communication network led to one of their cells being discovered too early. This is the incident that the Flower Company instead blamed on a "trigger-happy Corellian" in their recently distributed explanation of the events. Once one cell was discovered, the Company had no choice but to make their efforts public, initiate the coup, and take control of as much territory as possible before Imperial forces flooded the sector.
Upon her return from a leave of absence, and upon becoming aware of this activity, Derycke could have ended the incursion before it had reached a critical state, but she did not choose to act. We spoke with her to attempt to understand her rationale for assisting in the coup, and she cited that the lack of communication from the Empire with her people during her absence, calling it inexcusable. She also lamented that in the approximately four years of her tenure, the Empire had never presented her with a formal contract for security operations in the two sectors, leading to uncertainty in her mind about the Empire's goals in the relationship between the two groups. These ideas, compounded with her long-running disillusionment with certain parts of Imperial law, such as the xenophobic racial class system, led her to not only willfully turn a blind eye to the growing control that the Flower Company was amassing, but to actively assist in the process of betraying the Empire.
Her position is somewhat baffling to understand. CorSec was given enough autonomy over 23 Imperial planets that full control over many if not all of them could be seized, suggesting a level of trust placed in Derycke's hands that is rare in the galaxy. One could easily argue that it might be entirely her fault, rather than that of the Empire's, that her people felt abandoned and neglected. And CorSec's mistreatment during the Hosnian situation perhaps could also be laid at her feet. True, the initial Imperial offers were staggeringly weak, but was she obligated to accept those lower offers? Could she not have obtained better terms for her people when others were being compensated by the Empire at a drastically greater rate? Perhaps, this coup is as much a case of Derycke's wanderlust pushing her into treason for the sake of change, rather than the result of any well-intentioned actions on behalf of her people.
Additionally, the recent news story by the Flower Company paints their actions as a liberation of the sector from Imperial oppression. However, this does not seem to be fully in line with the facts on the ground. It is reasonable to question how oppressive the Imperial oversight had been under Derycke's tenure. If the Flower Company was able to build their strength relatively unchecked for months, where was that Imperial oppression during that time? Relatedly, the Flower Company story included the complaint that CorSec territory being was being overly industrialized based on Imperial edicts. However, this seems to be blaming the Empire for the plans enacted by Derycke herself to revitalize CorSec via enhanced manufacturing and development. How could those have been Imperial edicts when Derycke often complained about the lack of formal direction from the Empire? It is possible that the Flower Company felt justified in calling their actions a liberation. However, it may be more accurate that Flower Company actually liberated these worlds from Derycke's mismanagement moreso than from Imperial presence.
The Imperial response to this coup has been rapid and widespread. The Emperor appointed loyal Imperials into the leadership positions of CorSec and instituted direct Imperial control over the sectors as a security precaution, rather than allowing for third party administration. In addition to ousting the former CorSec leadership, anyone even remotely linked to the old regime has been trade banned and blacklisted by the Empire. In some cases, loyal Imperial members were also blacklisted for a period, simply due to their contacts with the Imperial-owned organization.
Many of the planets in the Corellian and Duro sectors may be in for dark times. Because of the abrupt start, the Flower Company was unable to root out the Imperial presence on many of the worlds. Most importantly, the Imperial shield generator grids remain largely intact even in areas where the local governments have changed allegiance. The Empire has been able to maintain a large influence on many of the planets now loyal to the Flower Company simply by cutting off their access. The Empire has instituted blockades and on some planets is now actively contesting Flower Company control or securing their control on worlds where the Flower Company still seeks to gain ground. Planets now somewhat split between Imperial rule and Flower Company control will be hotbeds of instability for some time as both sides vie to unseat the other. The Emperor himself issued a trade notice identifying a list of planets where the conflict is expected to be the most intense. We advise anyone with interests in the region to review the Imperial trade notice and reconsider travel or investment in these areas until the conflict is resolved.
In future stories on this topic, we will delve further into the ramifications of the coup for individuals and corporations living and working in the area. We plan to report in depth about those most deeply affected by the shift and will continue to attempt to obtain additional Imperial views of the ongoing events, despite their reluctance to speak with us. Until then, we hope that everyone stays safe out there.