The Dacan Pandemic was a galactic crisis that struck over ten thousand populated systems throughout the Outer Rim, Mid Rim, Inner Rim, and Expansionist Regions in early 14 ABY. A viral strain originating on Mon Calamari (or appropriately, Dac) spread rapidly along the spacelanes and afflicted much of the known galaxy.
Millions would die as a result of the virus, and the political boundaries of the galaxy would be changed.
An Imperial Plot Edit
Danik Kreldin, a High Admiral at the time, was in the planning stages of the Imperial Blitzkrieg. To start off the Blitzkrieg, and to gain a decent amount of territory with relatively little losses, Kreldin engineered a plan around a new type of virus under development in Imperial labs.
The virus did not discriminate. It affected nearly every species, and with a vicious ferocity — death was expected within just a few days. It was perfect with Kreldin's plan, and the virus was quickly finalized and ready for deployment in just a few short months.
Kreldin's plan depended upon an independent outlet to deploy the virus, since he did not want any association or implication to be linked to Imperial sources. The Imperial Privateers, led by Captain Jacob Astor, were "recruited" for the insidious task.
Jacob agreed to the mission, on the conditions he was well-paid and his crew made immune to the virus's effects, and set out to Mon Calamari with his crew.
The Delivery Edit
The Privateers arrived outside the Dacan System in their Carrack-class Light Cruiser, the Privateer, their vile cargo at the ready. They crept into the star system, and waited amongst the outlying planetary orbits for a quarry suitable for their aims. One such ship, a large modular freighter, fit the bill perfectly, and the mercenaries struck.
Attacking with precise swiftness, Astor's ship bore down on the vessel, destroying first its communication transmitter, and then pummeling it to the point where the vessel's crew heaved to. Thinking they were to be "respectfully raided", the crew stood unprepared for the cold, sterile savagery Astor's men had in mind for them. The Privateers raced through the ship with an almost symphonic coordination, killing the crew of the vessel and doctoring up the scene to give no indications that anyone else had been aboard. A lone crewman, Tibor Stasio, was struck comatose, kept alive so as to be triaged when the vessel was encountered by recovery personnel. A degradeable capsule, containing a dose of the virus, was then implanted in him, and the privateers packed up to leave. They put two more bodies in the bridge along with Stasio, raced back to the cargo hold to plant delivery nodes among the goods packed in there, and then withdrew to their cruiser. Their technician had installed a one-time remote initiator on the hyperdrive with a set of coordinates near the Dac Shipyards, and after another barrage to "rough up" the exterior of the cargo vessel, and one well-placed shot to vent the crew compartments to space (leaving the bridge and cargo holds intact), they spurred the stricken ship on its microjump.
A short while later, the ship dropped out of hyperspace over Dac, and drifted listlessly. New Republic coordinators took the vessel as an escapee of a pirate attack, and promptly dispatched a retreival team. Just as expected, Stasio was interred and rushed to a medical center. The ship was impounded, but the cargo modules, which, by all accounts appeared innocuous and untainted, were offloaded and put in among the thousands of other common cargo containers in the storehouses. The now-dissolved capsule had released the virus in Stasio, and within hours, the virus was starting to spread.
Galactic Pandemic Edit
Travellers aided the spread by picking up the virus in the starports of Mon Calamari, as well as merchants and shippers handling the tainted cargo modules. Soon, the virus was seeping across the galactic trade routes, from system to system, infecting millions. Imperial citizens were not impervious to it, although Kreldin purposefully allowed for this to happen.
The New Republic, with such a heavy constituancy in the Outer Rim and Mid Rim, was hit hardest by this pandemic. Somehow, the Bothan Federation received the greatest saturation of the infection, and Republic scientists were pressed to find a cure as quickly as possible.
The Empire Steps In Edit
Kreldin, however, had already made sure the Empire possessed the antidote. He ordered a substantial quantity to be cultured, prepared for deployment at a moment's notice. After a calculated wait, Imperial news outlets announced that the Imperial labs had discovered a cure, and were underway in the innoculation and rescue of the Empire's populace. The Corporate Sector Authority was sold a quantity of the vaccine as well, but theirs was of a variety that could not be analyzed and copied. Kreldin did not want this cure to become too available, not just yet.
Independent worlds soon were seeking out the remedy, and buying it at a high cost (oddly, though, Caspia and Hapes both were scantly affected by the Pandemic, primarily because they have extremely few dealings with the Mon Calamari, and they closed their borders as soon as hints of an epidemic hit the HoloNet). At this point, the Empire made a tempting deal to the Republic member states — denounce the Republic, rejoin the Empire, and receive the cure.
Many systems capitulated, some with great reluctance. The toll was too great to ignore, and dismay in the overwhelmed New Republic scientists' lack of immediate results just made the decision too easy. Most notably, the Bothan Federation turned over all their territory and forces. The Empire was able to increase its size with relatively little bloodshed, with the exception of its own citizens it had sacrificed during the Pandemic.
Eventually, however, the Republic engineered its own cure, but by then many systems had already joined the Empire, and the damage had been done. The Imperial Blitzkrieg started just a few weeks later.