Operation Dark Disease was the code name for a military operation carried out by the Dark Order of Korr, a faction of the Imperial Remnant. It was designed mostly as a psychological weapon used by Jaden Korr in an attempt to regain lost influence in his organization.
As the Dark Order War went on, Jaden Korr had seen his supporters and influence, never great to begin with, slipping away. As his accomplishments were steadily eclipsed by his underlings, most notably General Persia, his power base was visibly failing and aligning with one of the various power blocs being formed within his organization. Seeing a potentially impressive victory as his chance to rally back lost support, Jaden planned and carried out Operation Dark Disease personally. He hoped to pull off a superlative success that would solidify his power.
Jaden's fear of a coup d'état steadily began to grow after his forces lost control of Kuat. With his grip on the control of his organization slipping over time, Korr engineered Operation Dark Disease, hoping to win back lose support and set himself above the military commanders, who were beginning to overshadow his accomplishments. While reviewing records of previously executed Imperial campaigns, Jaden found information on the Dark Trooper Project, a program devised by an Imperial General named Rom Mohc early in the Galactic Civil War, which was essentially the development and construction of battle droid stormtroopers on board a factory ship known as the Arc Hammer. Although the Arc Hammer—and with it, the project—was destroyed by Kyle Katarn shortly after the program began, the droids had been demonstrated to be highly effective anti-infantry units at Talay and other engagements. After reviewing the success of Mohc's project, Jaden was inspired to devise a similar plan.
In order to put the campaign in motion as fast as possible, Jaden ordered all available resources to be placed into the construction of a factory ship, which would serve as the base of the operation. Simultaneously, an equal amount of materials were put into the construction of several industrial facilities on the surface of Bakura, a Dark Order-controlled planet. The factory ship was of the same design as the Arc Hammer, and like its predecessor, was created for the purpose of constructing and, more importantly, quickly deploying the dark troopers on New Republic planets. The factories built on Bakura were also designed for the production of dark troopers, primarily because the factory vessel was planned to exhaust its dark trooper complement faster than it could produce a new one on its own. The factory ship, christened "Infector" by Jaden, was built in orbit of Bakura. The project was costly, but fortunately for the Order, a rare material used in the armor of the dark troopers known as phrik was in large supply in storehouses on Eriadu, having previously been extracted from a mine on Lamaredd.
The main difference between Mohc's project and Jaden's own was that Operation Dark Disease was meant to use the dark troopers as more of a weapon of psychological warfare rather than for direct attacks on strategic targets. This was due in part to the fact that the Imperial Remnant did not possess the materials required to execute the Dark Trooper Project as it was first intended. The general plan for each attack of the operation would begin with the Infector exiting hyperspace over a target world, escorted by a fleet. It would then deploy its complement of battle droids onto one or more of the planet's cities, utilizing its dark trooper capsules to quickly bypass most defenses and land in short order. The droids, programmed to kill anything encountered, would then lay waste to the area, killing large amounts of civilians and Republic infantry. After deployment, the Infector and its escorting ships would quickly escape into hyperspace. Although the dark troopers would eventually be destroyed, the amount of casualties they would inflict beforehand was hoped to successfully kill Republic morale. In case the target world possessed a planetary shield, the fleet would be accompanied by a Torpedo Sphere for the purpose of neutralizing any such defenses. The premise of Operation Dark Disease sounded promising to Jaden's underlings, but they remained skeptical of whether or not it would be worth the assets required.
The first attack of Operation Dark Disease was carried out on the Republic's capital planet of Coruscant. Once they were launched, the dark troopers killed approximately one million civilians before they were defeated by Republic security forces. The attack caused a panic throughout the New Republic, impressing Jaden's underlings with the initial success of the operation. Hoping to compact their slowly returning confidence in him, Jaden traveled to Bakura to personally oversee the production of the dark trooper factories there.
The terror campaign's first strike alone served to outrage the New Republic leadership. Utilizing information on Operation Dark Disease stolen by a Republic agent named Heglark Ress, Supreme Commander Dagmar Morlev began formulating a plan to find and destroy the Infector. Although Heglark Ress had managed to compile a partial list of planets that were planned to be attacked in Operation Dark Disease, it was unknown in what order or when they would be targeted. Meanwhile, a second assault was staged at Taris, which was also a success. As a result, the New Republic was subjected to severe internal political pressure, with worlds across its entire territory beginning to fear being the site of the Dark Order's next attack.
The Republic fleet was unable to counterattack until over a week after the Battle of Taris. When Republic covert operatives captured an Imperial Communications facility on Bakura, it was discovered that the Infector and its escorting fleet was traveling to an asteroid field near a Deep Core planet known as Byss, where it was to rendezvous with a freighter, carry a shipment of resources. The New Republic then quickly dispatched a fleet to the area. They then used interdictor cruisers to force the Infector out of hyperspace, where they ambushed the vessel. The entire Imperial fleet was destroyed in the resulting battle, putting an end to Operation Dark Disease.
Although the initial success of Operation Dark Disease impressed the leaders of the Dark Order of Korr, it rapidly turned into a costly failure, further strengthening the growing image of Jaden as simply a Dark Jedi with more anger and talk than talent. Jaden's influence in his organization sank even lower than before, due to the vast amount of resources wasted on the project. Despite this, the Bakura Dark Trooper Factories still remained active for a short time, until they were destroyed in the Second Battle of Bakura.