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|Positions||Retired Imperial Grand Moff|
Daelin Zerk is a former Grand Moff of the Galactic Empire and a controversial figure in Imperial history. Circa Year 5, Zerk served as the commanding officer of the Imperial Navy. He was promoted to the rank of Grand Moff and the position of head of the Imperial government in Year 6. During this period, his fractious relations with Imperial officers and enlisted personnel resulted in a petition for his removal. When Emperor Vodo Bonias declined to remove Zerk, the ensuing events inspired the exodus of many competent Imperial officers and citizens, who collectively formed the New Imperial Order in the Bothan Sector. Ultimately, Vodo removed Zerk and replaced him with Vero Thrawn as head of the Imperial government.
Admiral Zerk came into prominence during the reign of Emperor Greyson Uebles in the aftermath of the Battle of Beta. This battle was the culmination of a historic Imperial campaign against the Falleen Federation, which resulted in the cleansing of the planet Falleen, the deaths of many prominent Falleen leaders, and the submission of the Falleen people to the Galactic Empire.
When Vodo Bonias succeeded Uebles and assumed the Imperial Throne, he immediately introduced reforms for all the branches. He promoted Zerk and placed him in charge of the Imperial Navy while changing the old naval structure and modifying it with many improvements. After six months, problems arose in Admiral Zerk's navy due to conflicting management styles between Zerk and his fellow officers. Within a short while, many dissenting officers signed a petition to Emperor Bonias requesting Zerk's removal from the Navy. Bonias reluctantly agreed to their petition. He appointed Vice Admiral Goth, Zerk's XO, as head of the Navy, and promoted Zerk to Grand Moff of the Imperial Government. Despite his promotion to head of Government, Zerk maintained a major influence over Naval structure and policies, and he continued to clash with many ranking Naval Officers.
Due to repeated disagreements with Grand Moff Zerk, Vice Admiral Goth lasted only a few months as the Naval Commanding Officer. Ultimately, Goth was driven into retirement. Under normal conditions, Goth's executive officer would have succeeded him directly, but Zerk decided to go a different route, he chose to push for a series of reforms. For almost a month, the Admiralty and other senior naval officers debated possible changes for the new reform, Rear Admirals Crog and Slicer were the main voices in the debate, and when the dust settled they were granted a temporary joint leadership of the Navy while the reorganization took place. When the designated time was up, both were promoted to full Admiral: Crog was selected as the new NCO, and Slicer as his executive officer. Soon after their promotions, Slicer and Michael Pangborn regularly argued with Grand Moff Zerk over his faulty leadership as well as his often neglecting and sometimes abusive behavior.
By this point, many Imperial officers viewed Zerk as a power-hungry and bureaucratic individual who had wrapped the entire Empire in red tape. The Navy was immobilized, and the Army became completely non-existent. Government organizations worked against one another, and general dissatisfaction was felt everywhere. Near the end of Year 6, Rear Admiral Kaine who was universally admired throughout the Empire was murdered personally by Grand Moff Zerk who also sought out Kaine's niece, Saige Kippenbrock. These actions sparked a veritable powder keg in the Empire. Officers and enlisted alike from all branches came together to protest the actions of Zerk and to demand his removal from power.
Within a week, several leading Imperials representing the various branches came together privately to discuss their options. Among them were Slicer and Pangborn who represented the Navy at the meeting. Jointly a document was constructed that declared the injustices committed by Grand Moff Zerk and pleaded with Emperor Vodo to remove Zerk from his positions of power. In response, Emperor Vodo expelled all signers of the document along with suspected associates from the Galactic Empire. What became known as the Third Imperial Civil War had begun. However, following private talks between Slicer and Pangborn, Vodo capitulated to their demands. All were granted amnesty for a period of several months, any crimes were to be forgiven, any prisoners were to be released, and all privileges were to be restored. Bonias removed Zerk from his position as Grand Moff and he lost administrative power over most branches of the Empire.