Welcome to Base Talon. Your life expectancy is approximately 72 hours. Have a nice day.
—An Imperial officer 'welcoming' prisoners to Base Talon
Base Talon was a secret Imperial weapons testing and research facility located on Dathomir. It also served other purposes, such as a concentration camp, training facility, and factory. It was constructed circa 3 BBY in response to the growing rebel threat on the site of an old Republic outpost, and some components for the Death Star were designed and tested there. Nominally, some 6,000 Imperiall personnel were stationed there. It was built in front of a cliff, making it difficult to assail, and the rest was surrounded by shielded walls.
Some of the most brutal crimes of the Imperial regime were committed at Base Talon. It was notorious for its callous treatment of prisoners, both polictical and idealogical, and even personnel were forced to endure harsh conditions there. The Imperial administration in charge of Base Talon actively encouraged such atrocities, confident that they would never be discovered.
Fortunately for the prisoners there, Base Talon was assaulted by the New Republic shortly after the battle of Endor from information gleaned from various sources, and was eventually taken, bringing the cruel horrors that took place there to light.
Welcome to Section 1. Take a good look around, because it's the last thing you'll see of the rest of the universe.
—An Imperial to a batch of prisoners entering the base
Section 1 of Base Talon was essentially the main entrance, which was a gate guarded by turrets of various kind. Vehicles returning from patrols and supply craft would enter the base via section 1, and were almost always scanned upon entry. Several heavy vehicles, such as AT-ATs, were often positioned by the gate to intimidate those who approached the base, but were rarely manned. Section 1 was notorious for giving a deceptive impression to those first entering the facility, as personnel often relaxed there when off-duty, giving the feel that the base was a happy and social place. A few customs and guard buildings blocked off the prison camps deeper into the base. These buildings were staffed by outdated droids, which were notoriously unreliable.
The walls and gate of the base were also electrified to prevent any nightsisters or animals from trying to enter the base by knocking down the wall. However, one humorous incident occurred when, after a storm which resulted in the wall becoming very wet, a bolt of lighting struck the wall. The resulting static charge spread through the predominantly metal base and ruined the hairstyles of everyone at the base. This angered some of the vainer officers, who suggested to the scientists that they work on a weather control system. To humour the officers, the scientists responded by paying some stormtroopers to do a Soonaik sun dance during a parade. Needless to say, much embarrassment followed.
Thank the maker that those snobby officers aren't allowed in this area.
—A stormtrooper on section 2
Section 2 was the area of the base near the entrance were barracks and vehicle hangars were located. This area was strictly restricted from civilian personnel, as it was also used as a testing ground for products that were made in the base laboratories and workshops. Mess halls and entertainment chambers for the troops at the base were also located in Section 2, some of which made use of attractive human female prisoners. Makeshift vehicle factories were also located here, as well as infantry training pens. Worker droids were used in these factories, although most of them were outdated and unreliable, so as a result the administration often made use of prisoners, and forced them to work in dangerous conditions practically non-stop. Wookiee prisoners were often used in this area as slaves.
Slavery was not the only violation of sentient rights in this area. Prisoners and personnel who had violated regulations were often used as live target practice in the training pens, or simply as targets to test out new weaponry. Very few Imperial soldiers here voiced any objections to this, although many had quiet reservations. Nonetheless, constant propaganda hammered the notion that these prisoners deserved their fate was hammered into their heads.
Due to the boring existence of being a soldier at Base Talon, Imperial soldiers there would take any opportunity to have fun. Whenever new year or some other celebration-worthy event came along, parties in section 2 amongst the troops would go on all night, and even some prisoners would be allowed to join in. The officers disapproved of this, but could do nothing about it for fear of angering the soldiers. Alcohol suppliies at the base often came dangerously low during such celebrations.
Section 3, located further into the base, was essentially the adminsitrative area. The main command areas of the base were located here, as well as quarters for officers and other high-rankers. Compared to those of regular troops and personnel at the base, the officer's quarters at Section 3 were quite extensive and lavish, with the room for the chief of the facility rivalling rooms from luxury hotels. Personal kitchens and mess halls for officers were also located here.
The base's computer banks were also located in Section 3. They contained terabytes of sensetive data, ranging from the Holonet viewing habits of officers to prisoner extermination quotas. For this reason, special fingerprint-sensetive controls, designed to respond to the fingers only of high-rankers, were located in secret locations around the base, all of them connected to a self-destruct system in the computer bank areas. If necessary, this self-destruct system would be able to trigger a nuclear explosion. However, it was never used. And not all of the computer banks were designed for self-destruct; the banks with the most secret information were placed in a bunker beneath Section 3, and were designed to implode if tampered with by unauthorised personnel. Nonetheless, some of this data did fall into New Republic hands upon the base's fall in 4 ABY.
Communication arrays were also positioned in section 3. The strongest of these arrays could establish communications with a planet on the opposite side of the galaxy, and signals from all of these arrays were extremely encrypted to avoid interception. One array was more encyrpted than the rest, but surprisingly, it was for exclusive use of officers, who would use it for their personal communications and to view programmes on the Holonet, especially some of the more saucier channels.
So far, all projects are proceeding smoothly, but we request extra labour from the prison camps to accelerate research speed. Strong, stupid Wookiees are preferred. So are young, nubile humans and Twi'leks.
—Excerpt from a Section 3 memo
Section 4, located adjacent to Section 3, was the science and research areas. Laboratories, research centres, and quarters for science personnel were located here. Section 4 was were some of the cruellest atrocities of the Empire were performed; prisoners were used as guinea pigs when new forms of poisoined gas and ordnance were to be tested, and many died brutal deaths in the laboratories and testing pens. Bodies were disposed of by droids. Workshops were also built here for development of new craft. It was here that some of the superlaser focusing equipment for both Death Stars was developed and tested, using crystals acquired from Mygeeto.
The Onyx trooper project was also largely developed in section 4, with stormtroopers selected from the base garrison used to test out the suits on nightsister villages near the base. The tests were largely successful, and like in all of their projects, the scientists were dismissive of whatever death and destruction their projects and experiments caused. Prisoners were also used as test subjects during what came to be known as Project Onyx, and the researchers soon determined that Onyx trooper armnament was less effective against Trandoshans and repitilians.
A miniature particle accelerator was also located in Section 4, and was used to determine the total effect the superlaser of the Death Star would have, thus contributing to the production of what was then the most powerful weapon in the galaxy. It was also used in experiments to refine turbolaser power. However, this accelerator used up a lot of power, and thus the administration rarely granted permission to use it.
Section 5, tucked away in the shadow of the main command buildings, was regarded as the dark underbelly of Base Talon. Here were located several concentration and extermination camps, where dissidents, criminals and those regarded as lower life forms by the Empire were herded to and exterminated, in gas chambers or by firing squad. Antimatter ovens were also present here for disposal of bodies. Several camps were located underground, where oxygen and air was scarce. Prisoners were often forced to sleep together in piles, making disease rampant, and were barely feed anything, and even less if they were not useful as slaves. Fights, often to the death, were common, over meagre things such as scraps of food. The most attractive female prisoners, usually human or near-human, were designated euphemistically as 'recreation providers' for officers and troops.
Several riots and attempted breakouts occurred during Base Talon's time of operation. One attempted breakout of note was organized by a Bith who had been sent to the camp for distributing rebel propaganda, and managed to concuct a complex plan. This started with one Wookiee prisoner making so much noise that an officer sleeping in nearby Section 3 grew irritated and ordered stormtroopers to go in and silence him. A squad entered one the prison chambers and was promptly incapitated by some Trandoshans. Their weapons, armour, and keycards were confiscated and all the prisoners in the adjacent chambers were freed. The Bith managed to use a telepath amongst the crowd to organize the prisoners and make them sneak steathily through the camp to the vehicle garage. There, the prisoners took control of several vehicles, including a Juggernaut. However, the telepath could not control them, and the plan almost immediately fell apart. Most of the prisoners began rampaging around the base, causing moderate damage, but were subdued by elite Imperial squads. Despite this, the Bith and some intelligent prisoners successfully escaped in a transport. From then on, Vonmarkt ordered all prisoners capable of organizing such a breakout be isolated.
The best--hell, the only--place in this damn base where you can actually chill out.
—A stormtrooper on Section 6
Section 6 was the spaceport of Base Talon, where all incoming supply craft and transports would land. This was also where the base's complement of TIE fighters was located. During evenings and breaks, stormtroopers and personnel often hung out at Section 6, as few people actually worked there save for maintenance droids. It was capable of accommodating four Acclamator-class assault ships, and a dozen smaller sentinel-class landing craft. Two large landing pads, reserved for VIP shuttles, were located there, with two control towers built into them. The lax security here became notorious, as it allowed at least a dozen prisoners to stow away aboard the normally automated transports that landed and took off at Section 6. Fuel and other starship necesseties was located in several large silos and container pods along the edge of section 6, along with antennas that transmitted guidance signals to incoming ships.
Section 6 also became notorious as an easy method for enemy spies to infiltrate the base. One notable instance was when some independent terrorists, having learned of the base by hacking Imperial intelligence networks, hijacked a pizza delivery ship on its way to the base. Upon arrival, they poisoned the pizzas before distributing them, having disguised themselves as delivery beings. Their plan was scuppered when the poison caused the pizzas to turn blue, resulting in some Imperial officers inspecting the 'pizza delivery crew' and exposing them. From then on, a regulation was passed banning personnel from ordering food from non-Imperial sources, much to the anger of most of the base staff.
Shadowfeed intellegence reveals the existence of a Republic outpost on Dathomir. Military manoueveres to destroy said outpost are inadvisable; all evidence suggests that it is staffed by approximately five clone troopers and a plumber.
—Excerpt from a CIS intelligence report
What would eventually serve as the 'seed' of Base Talon was a Republic research post built by xenobiologists researching species on Dathomir, around the time of the Naboo Crisis. It was camoflagued to disguise itself from the local witches, whom the biologists feared would be unfriendly, and as a result had a surprising amount of firepower for a research facility, including heavy anti-armour guns designed to destroy tank armour. This arsenal was brought to bear only several occasions, such as when the camp was almost discovered by a herd of rancors. At one point, a HoloNet documentary arrived at the base to make a documentary on rancors and the local witches, which the scientists at the outpost strongly discouraged. The documentary went smoothly until the last day of filming, when they began filming of a Nightsister village. The filmmakers got too close to the village and were spotted by some witches, who gave chase. The filmmakers ran back to the outpost and successfully escaped, at the expense of the witches following them back there. Climbing onto rancor steeds, the witches attacked the outpost. To their horror, their first waves of attack were decimated by the outpost's guns. Resorting to sneakier measures, the witches used the force to try and bring a landslide down on the outpost. This also failed due to an antimatter shield that disinitegrated the rocks. Eventually, the witches gave up, and decided not to speak of this humiliation.
During the Clone Wars, Republic Intelligence feared that the CIS might conquer Dathomir and use the witches as force-sensetive warriors, so the research post was expanded into a fully-fledged military outpost, equipped with an anti-orbital cannon, vehicle hangars, and a barracks. Sensors were also placed in a ten-mile radius around the base, which would emit noxious gas if any witches or rancors approached. As a result, the witches regarded the area where the base was as cursed, and so avoided it, although some braver ones managed to have a closer look at it, only to get shot by sentry guns. The base, over the course of the war, developed into an elite training facility for Advanced Recon Commandos, Clone commandos, and elite non-clone Republic troops. Also, foreshadowing its future Imperial role, it would become a testing ground for some prototype Republic weapons. Soon, Republic High Command decided to erase the base from any official Republic military charts, fearing that CIS spies would infiltrate it and steal some of the valuable technology there. Despite their efforts, the base was infiltrated several times by CIS spies, and the Confederacy soon became vaguely aware of the Republic presence on Dathomir. Nevertheless, they staged no attempt to take or destroy it, feeling it too insignificant to bother with.
Upon the end of the war and the formation of the Empire, the base was disbanded and abandoned completely, as the Emperor no longer saw a need for it. Years later, however, upon the suggestion of Grand Moff Tarkin, a new base was built on its old remains, and was codenamed Base Talon. It was quickly expanded into a fully-fledged research centre, and thousands of Imperial soldiers and scientists were moved there. Karl Vonmarkt, an officer in the Imperial army, was put in charge of Base Talon. Under his direction, it also became an extermination camp for dissidents and those viewed as 'unworthy' by the Imperials. Prisoners there were treated cruelly and thousands died from malnutrition alone. Female prisoners were subject to regular abuse.
A year before the Battle of Yavin, as production of the Emperor's secret project ramped up, scientists at Base Talon were tasked with designing and producing several components for this new tool. A shipment of various crystals arrived from Mygeeto arrived and the scientists began work on various superlaser focusing devices and advanced targeting systems, without being told what these actually were for. Nonetheless, production of most of these components went smoothly for a few months. The scientists, under pressure from Imperial high command that their work be finished as soon as possible, began using Wookiee prisoners as labour to accelerate production of these components, mistakedly believing that Wookiees were mindless, ignorant brutes. However, the Wookiee slaves quickly worked out what the devices they were building were for, and began planning a systematic sabotage operation amongst themselves. Eventually, one evening, as they underwent their regular work shift, the slaves began subtely sabotaging the equipment they were making. Specifically, they added too much power focusing rods into one of the superlaser focusers, turning it into a bomb that would detonate in a few hours, destroying part of the planet. The scientists, who were busy lazing around on the opposite side of the laboratory drinking wine and flirting with some call-girls, remained unaware of the development. Suddenly, the Wookiee slaves began to commit suicide using their tools one-by-one, knowing that they would be tortured if their sabotage was discovered. The scientists were not too concerned, as suicide amongst slaves and prisoners at the camp were common. An hour later, and twenty minutes until the detonation of the sabotaged component, one of the lab assistants who was cleaning up noticed that the superlaser focuser was emitting unusual amounts of heat. A quick inspection revealed what was happening. Panicking, the lab assistant called for backup, only to discover that to his horror the rest of the science personnel at the camp were either going to bed or were occupied. He set about removing the power focusing rods, unconfident that he would succeed. Soon, with ten minutes remaining until detonation and only a few of the offending power rods removed, the assistant decided that manually removing the rods would not work. He loaded the superlaser focuser onto a high-speed hover sled and quickly sped over to Section 6, where an automated transport that had just dropped off the latest batch of toilet paper was about to leave. With six minutes remaining, he loaded the sled aboard the transport and then fled into one of the bunkers of Section 3. The transport took off, with five minutes left. Four minutes later, it exited and prepared to make the jump to hyperspace. Seconds later, it exploded in a spectactular moon sized blast. An investigation was made into the incident and the assistant took responsibility for the destruction of the transport, but defended himself by saying that he had saved the base. He was severely reprimanded for being responsible for the base having to wait longer for the next shipment of toilet paper, but was nonetheless given a medal.
Thanks to unusually efficient Imperial intelligence, the base remained largely unknown throughout the Galactic Civil War. A few rebel infiltrators would stumble across it, but few got out, and those that did were tracked down and killed by Imperial assassins. The Zann Consortium heard rumours of the base from its contacts of Dathomir and dispatched a few agents to investigate, but they too were killed. Tyber Zann then dismissed the rumours as fabrication. However, in 4 ABY, when the Rebellion, fresh from victory at Endor and Bakura, learned of the facility. An Alliance strikeforce, led by Lando Calrissian, assaulted the base, which itself was in disorientation due to the collapsing of Imperial high command. All of the base's defences were mustered, but the generals who were usually in command of the base had been killed at Endor or had been sent to places of turmoil in the galaxy. As a result, the Imperial defence was half-hearted, but the rebel taskforce still took heavy casualties as the Imperials began to unleash weapon prototypes straight from the science facilties, such as Onyx troopers. However, the rebels had the advantage of orbital supremecy, and used orbital bombardment to destroy the Imperials outside the base, and then burst through the gates. A large part of the Imperial troops inside the base, so used to quiet, surrendered. Vonmarkt, not wishing to be captured, committed suicide and the worst crimes of the Empire were finally made public. The base itself was converted into an outpost and basic production facility, and a memorial to Imperial atrocities.
Behind the scenes
Base Talon is based upon the extermination camps of Nazi Germany.