Well, the story behind him, is that he hates jedi, and Sith. The empire was run by the Sith twice, and both times their corruption made them fall.
Hoth was going to be my 'primary' base, as it was very much abandoned after the Battle of Hoth, *dependent on Story Arch* and everything the rebles left would still be there, except for perhaps the equipment, which might have been scavanged by pirates and the like.
If the Ion Cannon is still there, that gives me a defensive cannon, and also, it would mostly be a research lab doing experiments with the Force. Merkillums goal would be to find a way to neutralize force powers, similar to the Vong.
That way, if the IR falls into the hands of a Sith again, or the IR 'ally' the sith, Merkillum would have ways to combat that, as well as a base to set up the true Empire, sith free :P