In his ready room aboard the ISD Chimaera, Thrawn receives a long-range transmission from his homeworld, Csilla in Chiss Space. The hologram was sent from an ally in the Ascendancy. He presses a few buttons to watch the hologram from his projector.
The Ascendancy sigil appears in space for less than 2 seconds, and then the hologram starts to play:
A massive battle between the known starships of the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet was caught in the planet’s gravity and pulled down to its surface, melting metal slag and covered in acid.
Large bug creatures are similar to the Killiks that fire lasers back to the alien beasts in space that appear impervious to the lava bombs that fire from an unknown vector. Suddenly, giant worm beasts bite the hulls of the CEDF starships as the Killik hives are blown shredded apart by gas explosions.
The ground scene is worse. Large tripod creatures spray fire on the warriors from the landing pads. Then, the image pans into the heavens and focuses on a single monstrous ship that floats in high orbit. It has 4-5 intercalating white and black stripes and orange cilia, which absorb electromagnetic atomic missiles into its scaly hull. The missile blasts are ineffective against the ship. The beast ship sucks up and eats projectiles like a baby who devours sweets gleefully.
Then the beast ship spits and vaporizes Killik warriors, which chokes them with a gas poison as they collapse to the planet below. Suddenly, the visual from the holocam melts and explodes, and the hologram stops.
“That’s the Chiss Ascendancy planet Catia.” Thrawn with his hand on his chin, mutters from the footage. He sits a long time, then reviews the hologram frame by frame and inspects the production credits when he decrypts a hidden message from his secret ally. He translates the Cheuhn to Basic.
“We decrypted the language registers of the Far-Outsiders who this beast ship a MIID RO-IK. It is 1700 meters in size and complements organic tripods and their large worm creatures. The cilia fire lava and throw lava bombs through their cannons. These ships destroyed the main city within 15 minutes. When will the Galactic Empire be ready?”
Thrawn sits back in thought when he receives a transmission from Grand Moff Tarkin.