To the casual COMPNOR observer, I served the Empire with loyalty and distinction. And I did. However, inside, I had an emotional turmoil, after seeing almost all of my comrades either die or defect. Did I have some private, traitorous thoughts? Perhaps, but none showed, and I served the Emperor to the fullest.
—Kaijin Harrak recalling his Army service
Kaijin Harrak was a Human pilot in the Imperial Army of the Galactic Empire, the Zero Command, and later Imperial Remnant. Born on Eriadu in Eriadu City, the capitol, he used his father's friendship with Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin to get into the prestigious Raithal Academy. However, he quickly proved himself worthy of attendance and was noted by Commander Orlok to be a skilled walker and tank driver. Orlok had the young pilot join his unit, a garrison on the planet of Daluuj. After a skirmish on the planet with Rebel forces, he was transferred to the 3rd Heavy Armor unit. By 3 ABY, however, he was reassigned to Thundering Herd, the elite All Terrain Armored Transport squadron of General Maximilian Veers, in which he served as the pilot of Veers' AT-AT, the Blizzard 1. As part of the elite Blizzard Force, they took part in the assault on the Alliance to Restore the Republic base on the ice planet of Hoth.
A loyal Imperial, Harrak continued serving the Empire even after the deaths of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader at the Battle of Endor. However, during the battle, he was stationed aboard the Star Destroyer of Admiral Blitzer Harrsk, who later went rogue, becoming the first Imperial warlord. Harrak was forced to become part of his faction, Zero Command, in the Deep Core. He fought in Harrsk's campaign against other warlords and the New Republic. Harrak eventually began serving in the Imperial Remnant when Harrsk was killed by Natasi Daala and Zero Command united with other factions in 12 ABY.
Alright, well if that is what you think your destiny is, than I'll see what I can do.
—Kaijin's father referring to the Raithal Academy
Harrak was born on Eriadu, a planet in the Outer Rim Territories, sometime before the Clone Wars. He came from a family of individuals with background in business, which was why they were surprised when Harrak announced his decision to join the Imperial Army. As a teenager, he saw many different Imperial recruitment posters and military parades put on by Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. Harrak was impressed by the different Army vehicles he saw during the parades, and was awestruck by the Empire itself (never hearing about the atrocities it committed). He enlisted in the Army and was sent to the Raithal Academy, a prestigious officer school, due to family connections, as his father was a friend of Tarkin. The Moff stated he was always willing to help a "young patriot of the Empire".
At the Academy
Well done, Cadet Harrak. I expect you will have a promising career in the Imperial Army.
—Commander Orlok to Harrak
During his time at the elite Raithal Academy, Harrak was trained as an Imperial Army Pilot, after demonstrating skill in piloting an All Terrain Armored Transport to superiors. There, he met fellow cadet Kyril Mogurk, and they became friends and roommates. Unlike Harrak, Mogurk was training to become a gunner, not a driver, though both received training in the opposite field as well so that they knew the basics. Harrak enjoyed training there, and often battled other cadets in holographic simulators. He scored several victories, and had a positive win/loss ratio. That was noted by his instructors.
Later, in 0 ABY, Harrak was given a test. During what he was told was another drill of piloting skills with the AT-AT, the commander left the command cabin of the walker and disappeared. Minutes later, several T-Wing Interceptors appeared on the horizon and began attacking the war. Trying to keep calm, he tried to call the instructor in the back of the walker, but was ignored. He then decided to focus on the craft. As they came around for another strafe run, he quickly gunned down all of them with deadly accuracy. The commander reappeared moments later and told him it was a test of his reactions and skills. Harrak passed, and later met Commander Orlok. The commander was impressed and gave him a promotion when he and Mogurk graduated, making him a lieutenant.
I joined the Army for this?
—Harrak on Daluuj
At first, Harrak felt honored that Commander Orlok selected him to serve in his unit, which was at the Imperial Training Center on Daluuj, a backwater planet in the Outer Rim. However, after a few weeks on Daluuj, he regretted thinking that and wished that he had not come to the attention of Orlok. The rainy and swampy backwater world was an insignificant and eventful assignment. There he tried to pass the time inside the base and out of the rain, trying to shelter himself. However, Harrak still occasionally practiced driving the only vehicles at the base: the small Imperial ground-skimmers. He noted that it was ironic that a training base only had small craft like those.
However, not too long after the Battle of Yavin, Admiral Gial Ackbar and several other Mon Calamari passed through the star system on their way to Yavin IV, to help the evacuation of the Rebel base. As they were passing through the system, their vessel was ambushed by TIE fighters and they were forced to bail out in escape pods. Their distress signal was picked up by the base, and Commander Orlok composed a task force of ground-skimmers and stormtroopers to investigate. Harrak was assigned to his small task force as the pilot of Orlok's ground-skimmer. The commander told them that an important Rebel leader was aboard, and Harrak, like Orlok, hoped that capturing him would get them off the planet.
On the way there, Harrak noticed that their instruments detected a ship passing overhead, and informed the commander. Orlok remarked that they must be crazy for attempting to fly through the planet' constant atmospheric storms, but nonetheless, both of them knew that there was a race to recover the Mon Cal. What neither of them knew, though, was the fact that the ship passing overhead was the Millennium Falcon, and it was carrying Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Chewbacca, who were intent on reaching the stranded admiral and recovering him. The Falcon was able to beat Harrak and the Imperial task force to the location of the downed escape pods, but was forced to land on a mud lake due to the lack of a clear spot for landing. After they did so, Harrak, who was observing them through binoculars of the skimmer, witnessed several giant lake worms drag the Falcon into the lake. The Rebels managed to swim to safety, but were now trapped on the planet without a transport, and the Imperials were getting nearer. He also remembered to avoid any bodies of water due to the worms.
Harrak and the other two ground-skimmers then reached a large fog. The lead skimmers stopped it's advance, and when Orlok demanded why, the pilot reported that their scanning equipment was malfunctioning due to the distortions and echoes caused by the fog. He warned that proceeding any further would risk wrecking the vehicles or moving passed the Rebel position. Nonetheless, Orlok said he was going to take the lead himself. He left Harrak's skimmer, ordering them to wait there, before going on to the lead one. However, Solo, Skywalker, and their Wookiee companion ambushed the lead skimmer before Orlok could reach it, killing all of the troopers inside, but the commotion alerted Orlok and Harrak of their presence there. When the fog cleared, Orlok devised a plan: his stormtrooper squads would move to a nearby bluff to ambush the Rebels from there, while the two remaining ground-skimmers moved onto the lake, covering the stormtroopers' movements with the engine sounds.
The stormtroopers began firing down at the Rebels at Orlok's command, however, they were able to escape to the abandoned ground-skimmer that they cleared earlier. Speeding away, Solo drove and was able to avoid the shoots, but was driving towards Harrak's and the other ground-skimmer. He prepared to engage, but the Rebels rigged it with explosives earlier and set it off, bailing out. After it blew up, Harrak and the other skimmer received orders to follow the Rebels and engage. He complied, and began firing at them as he reached the shore of the lake, with the Rebels making it to the opposite side. They took up a good position, forcing the skimmers to move onto the lake to pursue. He remembered the worms, but had little choice but to follow when the other skimmer went into the lake. As he expected, the worms attacked, though Harrak jumped out as they were taken down. By the time he swam to the shore, Harrak looked up an saw the Falcon flying away.
On the wet hike back to the base, Orlok punished them by yelling at them that his one ticket off Daluuj escaped. As he did that, though, Harrak was not listening. Deep in thought, he was thinking about the fact that several personnel and stormtroopers were lost just now for virtually nothing; the Mon Cal and his comrades escaped. For the next several weeks, he carried on the routine of sitting inside and occasionally patrolling in the ground-skimmers. But eventually, on the planet of Nishr, a general requested reinforcements for putting down an uprising.
Insurgents to the right, take 'em out!
—Harrak to his gunner
The Governor-General of Nishr had overlooked the many abuses his garrison was committing to the population, and did nothing to stop them. So the aliens rose up, and attempted to overthrow him. The general, Vin Kollis, called for reinforcements against the insurrection. Harrak and half of the Daluuj garrison were deployed to the planet. Harrak was assigned to a repulsor tank, part of the Imperial mobile force. Initially, it was going well, with the aliens retreating. Harrak and his unit, however, were lured into combat by a Rebel Alliance Special Forces team. They first destroyed much of the Nishr insurgents that were aiding the Rebels. During the skirmish, Harrak and the others were tricked into getting into a bad position, allowing their rocket launchers to destroy the tanks. He jumped out and survived, but most of the mobile force did not. Retreating back to the base, General Kollis announced his offensive plan to retake the planet from the Alliance special forces. The walkers would proceed into the capitol city, where infantry would be deployed from inside and would overwhelm the Rebels and their alien allies.
The Rebels had control of most of the planet, since the remaining Imperials were ordered to return to base. Neither side came out to attack each other for a while. Breaking the stalemate on the early morning of one day, Lieutenant Harrak was the second in command of a column of AT-AT walkers that advanced onto the capitol city, carrying full complements of stormtroopers and Imperial Army troopers. As they did so, the Rebel commandos spotted the advance, and got the local Nishr resistance to put up a feeble but determined defense of the city. Harrak was the pilot of the lead walker, under Captain Mato Julstan. The column then was hit by fire from rocket launchers while nearing the capitol, but lost no walkers, as the armor of them was too strong. Harrak wondered why the Rebels were going so far to rescue a small population of aliens that were insignificant (in his view). During the battle, a Star Destroyer fought against the Rebel Navy above, but was defeated and crashed into a lake near the city, shocking Harrak. The battle continued, and Captain Julstan moved out of the walker to the infantry. Then, from his position in the AT-AT, Harrak spotted, in another part of the city, the infantry force of General Kollis that was attempting a flanking attack was being beaten back. The Rebel commandos and large numbers of locals were there.
He informed Captain Julstan that General Kollis and his force needed assistance, but the officer said it did not matter and to keep fighting. Harrak, encouraged by his gunner, who wanted to see some action, disobeyed orders and headed to the general's position. Many of the insurgents fled at the sight of their behemoth, something which gave Harrak a good feeling of superiority. His gunner proceeded to ruthlessly kill off the commandos and insurgents who stayed. They continued advancing with Kollis' forces to meet up with Julstan. Minutes later, they had arrived in the city center, destroying a Rebel command center. The battle was a triumph for the Empire. Though Julstan was angry, Kollis was grateful, and said that if Harrak did not come, his force would have been overwhelmed and the battle would have been a disaster. He then gave the pilot and the gunner promotions, making Harrak a captain.
Assault on Shayin
It could have gone better . . .
—Harrak recalling the battle
The planet of Shaylin 18 was a small and desolate planet covered in desert canyons and the occasional forest. The Rebel Alliance made a base in one of these canyons, a fortress. The majority of it was used to hold supplies, which were mainly from the Yavin base after the Alliance was forced to abandon it. As a member of the 3rd Heavy Armor, Harrak was the pilot of the personal AT-AT of the commanding officer, General Zakar. Their unit was to move up the canyon with AT-ATs, as well as older All Terrain Tactical Enforcers left over from the Clone Wars. After the vehicles neutralized the enemy artillery, they would deploy Army troopers and stormtroopers to break into the base, storming their defensive positions.
They were landed by several Kuat Imperial dropships outside of the canyon, and unknown to them, Rebel scouts were monitoring their assembly. They had views of the Imperial attack lines, and knew exactly how many walkers the Empire was going to use to attack. Hours later, Captain Harrak led the column of AT-ATs, which were also old and left over from the Clone Wars, hence their boxy appearance (prototypes of the walkers were used in the late Clone Wars). Harrak noted that the conditions of the walkers showed signs that they were not very well kept, and wondered why the Empire would give them faulty equipment for such an important assault. Nonetheless, the column continued advancing through the lower canyon, monitored by Rebel snipers. As they advanced, groups of AT-TEs followed up behind, being closer to the ground and scanning for enemy infantry. He noted that as they proceeded closer to the stronghold, the more trees there were in the way, giving a great cover for an ambush.
About twenty minutes into the advance, Rebel infantry began firing at the walkers, and, as Harrak predicted, they were using the cover of the trees. The targeting systems of his old AT-AT were not very useful in the situation, his gunner noted, but still, the walkers were able to take out many Rebel soldiers who attacked. What was somewhat difficult for Harrak was navigating through the forest, while being attacked. He was worried for a bit that the base had so many trees by it that the walkers would not be able to reach it. As they continued, he was able to get them through, and eventually they came under attack of small Rebel tanks. They were actually a threat, unlike the enemy infantry, who Harrak realized were probably only placed there to distract the Imperials while the tanks moved in. The gunners were able to destroy most of them, but in the process, one AT-AT was too heavily damaged by concentrated tank fire to continue. Meanwhile, two AT-TEs were lost from tanks and infantry armed with rocket launchers.
As they got closer, there were emplacements firing at them as well as tanks and several other vehicles. The AT-AT column was forced to stop, so Harrak just watched as his gunner, and those of the other walkers, battled the advancing enemy armor and infantry, as well as the emplacements. However, several airspeeders that attacked them from the base managed to take down almost all of the AT-ATs, leaving his and one other one. After that, the infantry leader reported heavy casualties, and they were ordered to fight a retreat to the dropships. The Rebels did not follow them back, and instead regrouped at their base. After the failure, they returned to an orbiting Star Destroyer.