Captain Sarine, excellent as always. I once wrote a Buffy AU, the details don't matter. Suffice it to say, I had a strong start, but I grew too dependent on soap-opera type twists, big reveals and like that, and it was unsustainable. You've had all that in AGOH, but you've also kept up the story itself, and that gets you props from me.
It seems like this Empire is more pedestrian in its brutality, since it never had a facade of legitimacy to operate under, and needs to show people what was known and understood in canon. Its lack of overconfidence may be our heroes' undoing.