Nichalus Dreadstar was born on Corellia to the parents of a very successful Transport Business. Nichalus was always a very outward and caring being, and had a sense of humility about him that was unusual for a boy growing up on Corellia but it was his sense of adventure and exploration that made him deny his role to someday take over the family business, and joined the Imperial Navy. His father was unhappy with the decision, but knew that he could not stop his son, and in the end decided to aid him, with his many contacts, in getting him accepted into the Imperial Academy.
It was there that he met and befriended another young and eager Officer Candidate Delth Ardin. The two became the best of friends.
After graduating from the Academy, Nichalus was assigned to Grand Admiral Thrawn's command. It was there that Nichalus continued to earn the respect and admiration of officers and crewman alike during the battles against the Rebel Alliance in the early years of the Rebellion. It was also when Nichalus began seeing signs of what Emperor Palpatine was truly after.
Nichalus continued following the orders of the Grand Admiral, mostly hoping that his growing suspicions about Palpatine were wrong, and rose in the ranks of Thrawn's command. Cited for Valor in many engagements with the Rebels, he still continued to show mercy and restraint against the Rebels. He was one of the few Imperial officers that allowed Rebels to surrender and be taken in as P.O.Ws, little knowing that once he had turned them over, they were summarily executed by Imperial Intelligence.
Poise and Dedication Under Fire
Finally the time came, and Nichalus was given his own battle group to command in Thrawn's fleet. Officer's and recruits alike were clamoring to be assigned to his group, as his reputation as a fair and understanding Imperial officer were circulating through the rank and file of the Imperial Navy. Those that were lucky enough to be assigned were rewarded by Dreadstar, as with all his engagements with the enemy, he showed great poise and regard towards all under his command.
During a campaign against the Nebulon Alliance, the Nebulons surprised Dreadstar's group during a Recovery Operation. Intelligence had reported that there was to be no 'significant' resistance at the operation site, and depending on that information sent only his own MK I Star Destroyer, and a group of transport ships to the site. When the six Corellian Gunships and a full squadron of old HLAF-500 attack fighters Nichalus was most definately in a bad position.
The fighters immediately began attacking the Transport ships bringing civilians and his own recovery teams up from the surface of the planet. Nichalus immediately commanded his crew to pull his own flagship between the planet and the attacking Nebulon ships, to help take the brunt of the attacks while the transports delivered the civilians and his own people.
Stories and legend after the battle claim that Nichalus had his ship so close to the planet that the bottom hull was actually skipping off the atmosphere of the planet, and that the transports and shuttle never even had to make orbit to land. Nichalus has neither confirmed or denied these stories, and his report of the day has been locked away in the Imperial Intelligence archives since.
The Nebulons were eventually defeated and retreated, but Nichalus's ship took heavy damage, and it took many weeks for a repair group to get to them. During this time, Nichalus often toured the triage areas that were now camped in the hangars of his Star Destroyer, and visited with each and every member of his crew that were hurt during the attack, and aided in making sure the civilians were taken care of.
Due to his and his crews actions, his ship and crew were awarded The Valor Under Fire Citation, and Nichalus himself was awarded The Emperor's Will medal for the saving of the Imperial civilians. It was during the award ceremony that Nichalus first met Darth Vader himself, whom was the one that presented the award on the Emperor's behalf. When Nichalus first was approached by Vader, it was then and there, looking into the darkened orbs of the Sith Lord's helmet, that he knew the Empire was not what he thought at all.
He never wore the medal, unless it was at formal Imperial meetings where such an ommission would be seen as subversive against the Emperor.