The Galactic Empire rules the known galaxy. When numberless rumors of the dangers and possibilities of the "Red Rock" reach the ears of Emperor Palpatine in 2 BBY, the Imperial Emperor dispatches a secret task force known as Royal Red under the direct command of poster-boy and loyal Imperial, Imperial Security Bureau Investigator Hilick Soal to naturalize the threat and collect the Red Rock for Imperial military research development.
While the Emperor never felt that the rumors of the legendary and mythical Kingdom of Jod being in the known galaxy, engaging long-lost dead Beast forces from thousands of years prior, to be true, the Emperor had enough evidence to flex his military might and give an excuse to remind the galactic populace that the Empire was in control. While Investigator Hilick Soal shared the Emperor's prejudgements, both would be proven wrong when Hilick Soal came across debris of a strange alien looking craft (later identified as a King-class Battleship) while investigating a piece of Red Rock being on a remote planet. While planet-side, Imperial ground forces engaged hostile Beast forces and in orbit above the planet, the Royal Red Task Force's command ship, the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Darkest Night engaged a Beast cruiser above planet in 2 BBY alone toe-to-toe. When the Empire won both the planetary and space engagements, and discovered the rumored piece of Red Rock, the Emperor authorized the creation of Project Zero in 2 BBY to research and discover the Red Rock. Over the next 2 years, Project Zero and the Royal Red task force would engage Beast forces and find few clues to the mythical Kingdom of Jod's involvement in the matter as Imperial forces under Hilick Soal recovered pieces of Red Rock and gave fuel to enlarging Project Zero from a research project to forming the long-lost Red Rock Planet through missing Red Rock debris throughout the galaxy to build a weapon more powerful then the Death Star: the ability to bend time, heal the wounded faster, and have a unlimited energy source.
Nine months prior to O BBY, the Empire's hopes of securing the last piece of Red Rock are dashed by accident when, unknowingly, a mercenary group known as the Mercs leaves with the coveted Red Rock piece from the planet of Watava, the site of "The Last Battle of the Red Rock Kingdom" thousands of years earlier. Chasing the Mercs down, Hilick Soal gives the Mercs' Captain Rick Taller a chance to surrender in a recent debris field of a destroyed Rebel fleet by the hands of Hilick Soal's Star Destroyer alone, the Darkest Night. Hilick knew that Taller was a high value target for arrest even before the run-in with the Red Rock---as did Rick Taller himself---but Hilick Soal was amazed at how the mercenary vessel Johnny Boy and her 3 starfighters escaped his trap of 3 Star Destroyers in the debris field.
Hilick would chase Taller and the Mercs to the ends of the galaxy, failing to capture them and the Red Rock both at Asteroid One and near-victory at Desert Planet 22-52A. Finally, Hilick was able to deliver a crushing blow to the Mercs with Darth Vader's help in a trap set-up for the Mercs and the Rebel Alliance known as the Convoy Mission. Despite the Mercs' narrow victory, the Mercs lost heavily and would stagger into a series of ill-fated events that exposed them to a rogue Rebel Alliance heavy cruiser Red Ocean, the Kingdom of Jod and near fatal trap by the Empire once again that, while the Mercs escaped once again and critically damaged one of Soal's 3 Star Destroyers, the Mercs would not recover from the damage.
While the Mercs seemed disappear, as did the Kingdom of Jod, Soal took this time to recommits himself to the search of the Red Rock. After capturing two Merc crew members while the Mercs try to free prisoners from the secret Imperial prison known as The Block to aid in their battles against the Empire, Hilick Soal was finally able to capture the piece of Red Rock he had been chasing down the Mercs for 9 months over. With victory in his hands and the Empire seemingly unstoppable in completing the final stages for Project Zero, Hilick Soal commits his stretched out forces to chasing down and destroying the Mercs. When a near-capture ends with the Mercs once again escaping in the Greater Javin---although not without losing one of their allied King-class Battleships---Hilick Soal retires his war weary forces to protect Project Zero and the final stages of the project, thinking that whatever the war weakened Mercs and Kingdom of Jod can throw at Project Zero, will not be enough to win the day.