SEVETTA SECTOR, KOWAK SYSTEM -- This is Shallx Hallani with Outer Rim News, reporting live from the planet Kowak. I am currently embedded with Blue Star Dominion forces, most of which have been engaged in sustained combat since their arrival in the system nearly one standard week ago. Files obtained by ORN show that on Day 331, a merchant convoy near the Woldona system intercepted several automated transmissions pleading for help. The convoy’s captain relayed the messages to Dominion authorities on Woldona I, who immediately launched a reconnaissance team to discover the origin of the mysterious signals. What they found horrified them.
“We didn’t even have a chance to land before we came under fire,” a shuttle pilot on the recon team told us. “Even without established anti-air batteries, there was enough heavy weapons fire and ordinance to make landing impossible. Our mercy mission turned into a military one in an instant.”
While the origin of this situation is still murky, Kowak’s story is all too common: a small Outer Rim world far from the popular hyperlanes, languishing in isolation and obscurity. Bereft of vital trade and infrastructure, the planet proved easy prey to slavers, smugglers, and criminal kingpins. With no allies, and its coordinates absent from many navicomputers, the denizens of Kowak were helpless to defend themselves and their home. When the Dominion’s leadership recognized the scope of Kowak’s trouble, they quickly called in their allies.
Within days, reinforcements and supplies arrived from numerous allied organizations including The Antarian Rangers, ARK, DOM Trading Company, The Exchange, Grand Duchy of Froz, Invid Order, Jedi Order, Mando’ade, Rebel Alliance, The Resistance, Rogue Squadron, Stryker Military Services, Ternion Corps, and TIEFE. Allied groups quickly began to share intelligence and equipment, with many soldiers using Dominion- or Resistance-issued gear until their own warships and frigates arrived. Sources from inside operations command expect heavy and coordinated incursions from various elements within a week’s time, although there have been very few violations of the travel restrictions placed on the system so far.
On the ground, the story is much different. Between entrenched criminal elements and ferocious wildlife, the fighting has been fierce. The Dominion’s Marine and Droid Corps combined with BN-DO and B1 battle droids provided by The Resistance made up much of the early infantry forces. While the first wave of troops often found themselves outnumbered, coordinated and aggressive offensives launched from a secured landing zone appear to be effective against the opposition. Blasterfire and the roar of tanks, speeders, and starfighters are constant day and night, and in some quarters deafening. Allied personnel are confident the planet can be liberated from the various gangsters and kingpins that currently rule, but the memory of past campaigns are keeping them sober.
“These pirates and terrorists are not the biggest threats we face on Kowak,” one commander noted. “The real challenge comes when we establish secure control of the planet and begin to work with the civilian population to build a stable and reliable government.”
Memories of Derra IV and the Hosnian system illustrate how seemingly-simple peacekeeping missions can quickly spiral into bloody quagmires, and an increasing number of galactic powers seek to influence events, whether directly or indirectly. The Void Wolves, one of the sector’s criminal organizations and an affiliate of the illicit Zann Consortium, has already announced its support for Kowak’s current regime, painting them as freedom fighters defending their home. If the Void Wolves or other criminal cartels, such as Eidola, decide to intervene directly, or should the Imperial Union decide to involve itself in the situation, Kowak may be in for a lengthy and brutal conflict that could decimate the otherwise-untouched world. While the Blue Star Dominion and Allied Forces seem to have the situation well in hand, only time will tell how long - and how costly - peace in the Kowak system will be. This is Shallx Hallani, reporting live from the planet Kowak, with Outer Rim News.