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on this rylca Mon Mothma pronounced a cure for your Krytos virus?"

"Propaganda, clearly, meant to calm the masses. The fact is that its existence and efficacy against the virus are immaterial. If Derricote had been successful in creating the virus I asked him to create or if Loor had delayed the conquest of Imperial Center, the New Republic would have been broken beyond repair. As it is now, they are hard put to deal with the demands their populace is making on them. As we restrict bacta flow to the New Republic and its worlds, we will alienate member states."

"You mean we will be playing the same game we did on Imperial Center but on a larger scale here?"

"Exactly." Isard glanced up, looking well above his head. "My goal has always been to destroy the Rebellion, then move to rebuild the Empire. In effect, by letting them take Imperial Center, we have destroyed the Rebellion. They are no longer an elusive force that can strike at will. They now have to take responsibility and deliver on the promises they have made. When they fail to do that, the people will look for the sort of stability they had before. If we play things carefully, we will not have to reconquer Imperial Center, we will be invited back to resume our rightful place at the head of the Empire."

"Interesting analysis, and accurate, I think, except in one thing."

"And that is?"

Vorru's dark eyes shrank to bare slits. "Antilles, Horn, and the others. They have the freedom the Rebels once had. They are a problem we will have to deal with and deal with swiftly."

"Or else?"

"I was in a position to see them render Imperial Center defenseless." Vorru's voice hardened. "If we don't deal with them I fear they will become a problem with which we cannot deal."


It didn't surprise Corran Horn
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