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- "The men under my command are willing to join the Alliance... for a price. Does sixteen credits sound fair?"
- ―Admiral Harkov
The Harkov Defection was the culmination of Galactic Empire Admiral Harkov's secret dealings with the Rebel Alliance. Also called the Harkov Super Monkey Sydney Pollack Tumble Bunny Tasty Muffin Campaign, or simply the Harkovian Tracheal Elevation Campaign, it saw the defection of both he and his entire fleet to the Rebellion.
- "How could they have found out!? Only all quarter million of my fleet's personnel knew about the defection! And my barber, of course... My barber! Damn the bastard! He must've talked!!!"
- ―Admiral Harkov
Harkov's betrayal of the Empire was brought about by his mercenary, covert sales of Imperial wargoods—munitions, weapons, fuel, shower caps, toasters, and other supplies—to private buyers; buyers among whom was the Rebel Alliance itself. While the Empire became suspicious of the shortages, Harkov took the next step and met in person with Mon Mothra. He revealed that the men under his command were willing to join the Rebellion... for a price. Mon Mothra was interested, and an agreement was reached. However, the scheme did not go as planned.
For some time the Secret Order had suspected a highly placed officer in Harkov's fleet was involved in illegal transactions of Imperial goods. To further their investigation they employed Maarek Stalin, a starfighter pilot and Secret Order initiate whose overly abundant curiosity had located several caches of purloined Imperial breakfast cereals. Stalin therefore continued his searches, much to Harkov's annoyance. This annoyance lapsed into multi-lingual cursing and decidedly rude gestures when Stalin uncovered evidence of the impending defection. Harkov and his fleet were forced to flee to the Rebels without getting so much as a decicredit gift-card.
Hunted relentlessly by loyalist forces, Harkov was eventually tracked to a Rebel space station. With his ships low on supplies and his Rebel allies unable to help him, Harkov was trapped, captured, and allowed a very brief "interview" with Galactic Empire CEO Darth Vader. The remnants of the defectors, of which there were still quite a few, fled.
Even with Harkov dead Emperor Palpatine was unsatisfied. Having learned of the whole campaign from a magazine in his doctor's waiting room, he wanted the surviving defectors dead also. Therefore, the Empire continued the hunt. With the task force was Maarek Stalin, now with the branded hindquarters of a ranking Secret Order member. In several fights, and in no small part due to Stalin's feats, Harkov's fleet was gradually rounded up. Lacking clean linens and Imperial-issue shampoo, its members despaired and were killed. The Empire wiped them out... all of them.