The Push Towards Coruscant
That peaceful period was brief, just not to say practically non-existent. Worrying news came from the Mantara Sector. The Empire was withdrawing it's forces from the area, likely considering the sector of little strategic value and, in all likelihood, needing to consolidate their military resources. In doing so, it seemed determined to execute a scorched earth policy on the planets being abandoned. A task force composed of several star destroyers, escort frigates and other support ships had launched a violent and vicious onslaught on the planet Talonis, causing terrible damage to that planet's natural and industrial resources and taking a heavy toll on the civilian population. By the time the Wolf's Lair arrived to the system, there was no trace of the aggressors. When aid for the devastated world was in the initial stages of being organized, another anguished call for assistance was received from another planet in the system. There and then started a frantic run to locate the Imperial punishment fleet before the whole of the sector fell victim to these attacks. But these efforts were continuously hindered by a mysterious series of disasters on the Wolf's Lair--disasters that could hardly be explained by the fact that the ship was a prototype and had been commissioned for service without finishing field tests. Between the strike carrier's bulkheads, a spy and saboteur was hiding. The tale of this first mission for the Wolf's Lair, which ended with the now-famous Battle of Mantara, is available in the Reading Room under the title Forged Through Fire.
With barely any time to repair bodies and machines, the Wolf's Lair received orders to head to the Viayak Cluster, a region that, like Mantara, had recently been abandoned by the Empire. After the departure of the Imperial troops, several serious conflicts had started throughout this area, spawned by the rebirth of never-forgotten hatred and nationalism, between those worlds that wished to join the New Republic and those dedicated to remaining loyal to the Empire. The last place where the violence had exploded was the planet Seibergia, former capital of the sector under Imperial domination. There, the Balanish minority was the victim of cruel ethnic-cleansing operations orchestrated by the Seibergian government and answered by the Balanish guerillas in no less savage ways. The New Republic had established a partial blockade around the planet in an attempt to prevent both sides from receiving weapons from out-system allies or sympathizers, but the Seibergians struck back by deploying mines along the main spatial routes used by Balanish refugees escaping the massacre. While patrolling in search of disguised ships that could be carrying mines, several of Wolfshead Squadron's fighters were involved in a serious incident that caused the death of more than fifty refugees and which put the Corellian worlds, traditional allies of Seibergia, on the brink of declaring war on the New Republic. All of this took place with the background of the humanitarian catastrophe suffered by the Balanish refugees the New Republic had come to protect. From everywhere in the galaxy, accusing fingers were pointed at Wolfshead Squadron's pilots, presumed guilty of the dramatic escalation of the crisis. From heroes to criminals, all that happened in Seibergia is told in the novel Collateral Damage.