Thrawn had downloading the information retrieved from Shioshi‘s brain by T3-M4. The Cult of Illviii had finally revealed itself, and the time for the attack had come. The information downloaded by this astromech has revealed the location of the Cult’s true base of operations, a barren, charred planet atop which a chain of lights span in a circle across nearly an eight of the planet. Skora, an uninhabited world, off course of any hyperspace thoroughfare, and of no strategic or resource value, or so it was thought. The Empire of the Hand discovered that this information had been tampered with to prevent the planets exploration.
The lights atop the planet were the primary target, a capital city, of sorts. In reality, it was a massive factory of some kind. Thrawn‘s remote probes had revealed that these lights were not city lights, but volcanic ports opened to the planet’s core, used for power, and as massive forges. Whatever was being built was massive in size or quantity.
At the very center of the massive complex was an array of satellites and comm relays, which was built above the Cult of Illviii‘s central core. The majority of the planet’s defense systems were located around the entrance to the core, and a powerful defense shield was in place preventing direct assault. The Empire of the Hand began to land ships at the perimeter of the shield system, sending forces in to destroy the shield generators from the ground. And at the head of their forces was a tank commanded by the mercenary group who had become central to this mission, including the jedi Raxar Kun and Paxis.
The assault initially seemed too easy, the Battle Droids fielded by the Cult of Illviii seemed to be less concerned with stopping the forces then merely stalling them. As the battle raged, several of the mysterious Droids who had attacked during the peace meeting between Thrawn and Revan. These droids burrowed up into the Tanks, destroying their engines and killing their crews. Aboard the mercenaries tank, they were able to repel the assault, but the tank continued to accumulate damage, and as they reached the Shield Generator, the ground erupted as a number of the odd Droids burst from the ground, merging with one another to form larger and larger Droids, until finally merging into the final Gestalt form that was Grez. The massive Grez destroyed their tank, assaulting the mercenaries and the men they lead, impaling them with its claws and massive bladed tail. Of the Empire of the Hand’s soldiers, only one survived, nicknamed Lucky by the mercenaries. But even against the massive threat of Grez, the group prevailed, destroying the 2nd of the Cult of Illviii, and disabling the Shield generator, enabling them to enter into the core of the facility, for the final confrontation.