JULIA HIPORI, CEO, DEAD IN 'TARGETED ATTACK' AT HEART OF THE EMPIRES DEFENSIVE INDUSTRY
Reknowned CEO, Julia Hipori has been confirmed dead in a 'targeted terror attack' directed at the Imperial defensive industry, Imperial sources have confirmed. The attack, which is the latest in a slue of attacks carried out by what the Empire claims are targeted strikes by a mercenaries from the Hutt Cartel, took place earlier today.
The exact death toll has not been confirmed, and reports that it has lead to a distruption in Imperial supply lines have been played down by the Empire, who claimed they have 'strategic reserves in place in the event of sudden or unexpected disruptions to our capabilities'.
Speaking to the Herald today, the Empire confirmed that the board of Imperial Czerka had been replaced following the death of the CEO, in 'partnership with the ISB', leading some to express doubts as to the nature of this attack - claiming it was an ISB operation intended to 'centralise power to the security services'.
Ms Hipori, who is survived by her husband and two children, Jason and Tion, had a long career in business and politics. Born on Corellia, Julia lived on the streets following the death of her parents, before joining the Blackwell MegaCorporation, where she rose through the ranks to become a member of its board.
From there she was to join the Government of the ISC, where she served as Secretary for Intergalactic Affairs at the outbreak of the AMS pandemic. A close confidant of President Thorne, she was to co-found Canto Hyperspace Logistics with him, a business she is understood to still hold an interest in upon the occassion of her death.
She was an investor in the Systech Corporation, and leveraged her shares there to buy into Czerka, spinning a section of the company off and working a deal with the Emperor Emer-Drast to found a new form, Imperial Czerka, which she was the founding CEO of.
Considered by her peers to be one of the most brilliant minds in galactic business, she served as a Senator for the Corporate Sector, and latterly for the Empire. She is the first Imperial Senator to die in office. Julia died at the age of 52. Leaders from across the Galaxy have paid tribute to the 'titan of commerce', with President Thorne, and the Blackwell CEO Newton, expressing their condolences in statements broadcast as the news broke.
The attack, which struck at the heart of the Empire, is understood to have taken many lives, and to have rendered the Imperial Czerka HQ on Raxus Prime 'inoperarable'.
Azar sat up straight, his heart thundering against his chest. The Imperial Knight had done it. He actually acted on Azar’s influence. He watched the footage of the explosions, the smoke and fire that was all that remained of the Czerka HQ. Stock prices were in freefall and there was utter chaos. This would be a strike to the Empire and its economy.
The Pureblood gave a laugh. One that he didn’t bother covering. His laugh would echo throughout the grand halls of the palace he was in.
Shortly after that, he opened up a comms line to Nor’baal the Hutt. Due to the nature of his intel, he was able to reach him directly.
His holographic display would project for the transmission, a hood hiding the upper hemisphere of his face, “Great and esteemed Nor’baal the Hutt,” He said smoothly, “I offer my kind regards with the gift of the destruction of both Imperial Czerka and of its CEO,” Azar said, “I have heard you recognize and appreciate efficient tactics and reward generously.”
From the control room inside the Zaa Fenn penthouse, Kara watched the news with an open mouth. There were things she had thought impossible. Force-users like Raze and Renfry would rise and fall again and again. Kriff, now there was Tempest. The only true constant in this galaxy was the might and influence of the corporate world. Or so Kara had believed.
"Julia Hipori dead?" she repeated it to herself, before then turning to the slicer next to her, "Does Preef know yet?"
Years ago, when Julia Hipori was first appointed a role in the Independent Systems Consortium, Preef had used Kara as some kind of message girl. She had brought an encrypted communicator to Julia and was allowed to sit in on the meeting as the then Crymorah Syndicate boss bought -for the second time- the future CEO of Imperial Czerka for services rendered and services still to be rendered. Diplomacy and Corruption was the way the galaxy worked the closer you got to the Core. Bribes, tit-for-tats and for some seeming immortality.
When Kara had finally dared to get out of hiding after the attack on the Quick-draw Cantina, the first contact she dialled was Julia. The corporate whale didn't even turn her away. The then Blackwell Galactic Executive even pointed her in the right direction, too. Without her the Zaa Fenn Crime Family would never have been back here on Eriadu.
Kriff, Kara unplugged herself and got up from her console. There were only two flight of stairs between her and a fully stocked bar with many young and good looking distractions, but instead of her usual cure she walked into the silence of the apartment, pulled an exclusive bottle of scotch from a drawer and poured two shotglasses of it. "Kriff, Julia," Kara sighed, realizing that her own personal mantra of "what would Julia Hipori do" had lost some of its splendor.
"To you," she clinged the two glasses and slung back her shot of exclusive scotch. Only the best for Julia Hipori. Kara hoped she didn't suffer, in the end.
Emryc was not normally a man of emotions. With the loss of Raze, he was able to express them easier, but his half Sephi heritage still kept him largely muted on that front. However, when news of Julia’s death broke, he sat in stunned silence for a long time. He thought of the early days of meeting her back when he was a fledgling in the politics arena. He remembered her being one of the first individuals that believed in him, long before he ever became a galactic titan and the head of the most powerful government in the galaxy. Julia was one of the earliest people he relied on not just for support, but also for guidance while he learned the ropes.
He decided instead of sending generic condolences, he would make a statement. Emryc Thorne took the stand, “Today the galaxy has lost one of the most innovative and brilliant women of our generation,” He said firmly, “Julia Hipori was one of the critical foundations upon which the Independent Systems Consortium was built. Without her efforts, we would not be who we are today. Her business acumen and the strategic corporate decisions she made allowed for entire paradigm shifts across the economy on a galactic scale,” His tone was sincere and genuine, “Julia was there with me before the rest of the galaxy ever knew or believed in the ISC. Through the years we had developed a powerful bond of not just professional partnership, but one of friendship.”
“On behalf of the ISC, we are deeply devastated at the loss of Julia Hipori, and we will provide her family any and all support necessary through these trying times.”
Emryc wouldn’t go as far as to get tangled in the war, but he would say his piece out of respect. Once off camera, he made a few calls to offer to have the surviving Hipori family moved into ISC territory until the war was resolved.
A statement from the office of the CEO of Blackwell Technologies. "Julia Hipori was one the most foremost, prolific, ingenious, andinfluential people of the century. Julia exceled in many arenas: Politics, business, public relations .etc. She has done it all and has many accolades and had has had her hand in shaping the galaxy with Blackwell, the ISC, the Corporate Sector, and Imperial Czerka. I remember working with her closely during her time as Blackwell. Accomplishing some great things as we rose through the ranks together. Those were great times...
"Truly, the galaxy is lesser with her loss. What transpired at the Imperial Czerka HQ was tragic. I give my most sincere condolences to all affected. I am also prepared to give support to the Hipori family at this critical time." Julia has earned that.
End of Statement
When news first broke out about this, even Newton couldn't believe what he heard and read. There was no way, right? Although Imperial Czerka was very much a competitor to Blackwell, Newton had an amicable, friendly, and professional relationship that presisted even after she left Blackwell. Newton didn't take it too hard. Julia simply did what was best for Julia and he did and still doesn't fault her for that.
Newton remembers when he and Julia ventured forth to M4-78 and established a branch office on the droid world. They did it together, it was the start of their blossoming partnership. Newton is not known for showing much emotion, but truly this did bum Newton and he taken aback about her murder.
As for the murder itself. Now that this happened, he is going to increase security, and also enlarge his personal guard retinue. More droids, more powerful ones at that.
From deep within his main Palace on Nal Hutta, Nor'baal watched the announcement with barely concealed glee. The Imperials couldn't decide who would replace the CEO of one of their major suppliers! Chaos was rampant across the Empire, the dogs of war across the Galaxy moving quickly to get a slice of the actions, and to earn the favour of the Clans. Naturally, he took the call as soon as it came it.
He certainly did recognise efficiency, and he nodded as the Sith spoke. <You shall be compensated most handsomely for your efforts.> he agreed, mulling over precisely what he could send to the man in payment, something to tantalise the Sith with the prospect of more riches to come.
Checking his datapad he scrolled through a number of possible options. Mere credits would not suffice, he needed to send the man something that would keep the credits rolling, and something that would wed him to the way of the Clans if needed. Finally he stopped on a disused space staion, one outfitted for the manufacture of death sticks.
Assigning that with a compliment of slaves, and a few overseers from the extensive deathstick manufactories under his own command, he could dispatch the station to the Sith within days. A place of business, that was what he would offer. <A station, outfitted to manufacture death sticks, complete with slaves to staff it and overseers from my own operations to manage it for you.> he verbalised his offer <But, I will also ensure my smugglers sell your produce directly into imperial space, causing further challeneges for the Imperials to deal with, ones no doubt you can exploit?>
He boomed a laugh, the deal offered.
All would know that the Hutts, unlike the Empire, paid for services rendered, and paid in full.
From the corporate offices of Systech Corporation on Etti IV a similar statement was issued as that which had come from the Blackwell Megacorporation. A much smaller company which had consolidated the shares of two former shareholders, namely Levik Karn and Julia Hipori herself, a few years ago it had been remarkably unremarkable since.
"It is with great sadness that I learned of Julia's passing," the Chief Financial Officer, Mik Deluto, had been forced to pause a moment as the emotions overwhelmed him slightly. A local newsreporter had found him in the corporate skyscraper's cafetaria having lunch by himself. Systech only owned a floor and not an entire building, so its employees were often seen taking their means in the shared cafetaria. "Earlier this year we also lost another pioneer on the forefront of peace and medical research, Jana Kang, or Senator Kang I suppose she was better known as," he referred to the late senator who had perished as the Force-created monsters of Darth Raze had attacked the planet Byblos. "and now losing Julia, whom I considered a dear friend," mister Deluto shook his head and took a drink of his bantha milk, or so the reporter wrote down, "makes painfully clear that all these wars impact and kill countless civilians indiscriminantly." both Julia and Jana had advocated for galactic peace in the senate. Both Mik had considered to be close friends. There was something very hollow about surviving..
"Now if you'll excuse me," Mik took up his tray and pushed away from the table, "I need to figure out how to get life-saving adrenals to yet another area of conflict."
His emotions betrayed to all that he was going to miss Julia dearly. There was nothing he could do, or afford, to keep himself protected if Etti IV ever came under attack. He owned no armed spaceship of his own. His first priority was to the factory on Quesh and that the shipments of adrenals weren't being stopped by Imperial patrols or cartel pirates.