Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy, Sarah Riggs-Shute, and Michael Whittaker.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:2:29) in the Brentaal system: Warspite.
Major Kerrie Kiley, Captain Thaddeus Updike, Vice Admiral Claudius Rodney, Inquisitor Serine Thanor, Colonel Verus Theus, Major Min Traebor, General Davin Zethe, and Major Arden Zevrin.

Gracefully soaring above the planet Brentaal, the might of the Galactic Empire's Imperial Navy was represented in the form of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Warspite. The struggle of driving Rebel forces from the Oversector had not been fairing well as of late, with Brentaal proving to be a particularly pesky thorn in the Empire's paw. Deep within the recesses of the mighty warship, the Imperial commanders assembled to discuss what would occur next, and were likely to point fingers at one another as they looked for scapegoats for the recent setbacks.

Admiral Claudius Rodney sat at the head of a large, round table, staring down at a datapad that contained all of the recent Imperial reports for the Ringali Shell Oversector, where he served as Governor-General. The middle-aged Human male looked tired, and there were signs of strain visible on his venerable face that seemed to have aged several years since arrival in the region less than one year ago. His uniform was impeccably kempt, the product of having an overzealous support staff that fawned upon him and attempted to do their best to please him.

General Davin Zethe, the commander of the Imperial Repulsorlift Battlegroup assigned to the Oversector, sat to the right of Admiral Rodney. The inexperienced commander had recently been promoted when an additional four Regiments were deployed to supplement his forces. His command had suffered, by far, the most casualties of any of the commands represented here thusfar. He appeared nervous and quiet, looking lost in his datapad as he surveyed the latest data.

To the left of Admiral Rodney, the young and beautiful Major Arden Zevrin sat quietly in her seat. The cream white tunic of her uniform that she was in fact a member of COMPNOR, the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order. Both cunning politician and ruthless operative, Zevrin was one of the most feared officers aboard the vessel. Many who had crossed paths with the Imperial Security Bureau had never been seen from again, including Dagon Tong, the former Storm Commando commander whom the young Major thought she had so expertly dispatched.

To cause the maximum amount of discomfort, Admiral Rodney had assigned Major Min Traebor to sit in the seat to the left of Major Zevrin. The two sector officers had seen themselves at each others throats over the past several months, plotting against one another endlessly. Her red uniform clung to her body, offering a stark contrast from her dark hair. She had lost several officers recently, while the ISB had lost none. She began to consider if that fact were more than a coincidence as she offered Zevrin a polite smile.

Colonel Verus Theus sat to the right of General Zethe. The Colonel had only recently arrived in the Oversector, having tracked the Rebel Blockade Runner Argo to the Brentaal system. As he read the reports he knew immediately that the increase of activity had to be linked to their presence in the region. His hand moved to the scruff of his chin and with two fingers he scratched it gently, waiting for his opportunity to speak. His uniform matched Zevrin's, but unlike his politically savvy counterpart, he preferred a more direct approach. Theus represented the military arm of the Imperial Security Bureau, the elite soldiers of the Bureau's Tactical Units. While Zevrin was content to manipulate affairs and strike from behind the scenes, Theus instead took action against his foes. With the Oversector's Storm Commando contingent still in shambles following the loss of Dagon Tong, Theus found himself in the unenviable position being unsupported in the field.

Captain Thaddeus Updike sat next to Colonel Theus. As the commander of the Imperial Security Bureau Stormtrooper platoon dispatched to the Oversector, Updike was in the awkward position of one of his men being 'blamed' for the attack on Brentaal's garrison. He had served with Wilton for many years and doubted the veracity of the report. Whether or not he would speak up for his former colleague or not, he had yet to decide. In the back of his mind, he wondered if perhaps he should condemn his friend and claim he knew all along, to make himself seem more perceptive than he actually was. His black uniform was in sharp contrast to the others in the room, clearly indicating his connection to the Empire's elite.

The double doors leading into the conference room slid open to either side introducing Inquisitor Serine Thanor, adorned in dark crimson robes characteristic of those in the Inquisitorius. This would be the first time anyone on the Warspite would see her wearing anything other than her combat armorweave, although in actuality, she was wearing it under the robe. Serine was on time, everyone else had just arrived much earlier than expected, but even if she wasn't, it was impossible for her to be late... All of the main positions on the table had been taken and there were no extra seats, however, Serine already knew where she wanted to stand and it would be right behind Admiral Rodney. She had entered silently with a foreboding atmosphere as tension started to build in the air. Gray eyes scanned over the occupants with a scrutinizing gaze as she made her way to stand behind the Admiral. Serine was feeling animosity towards the man, thus decided to place both of her hands firmly upon the back of his chair while tapping all so lightly. It couldn't be seen by anyone in the room due to the perspectives of the occupants, but the soft vibrations could be felt by Rodney and they would continue throughout the meeting.

Major Kerrie Kiley slipped into the room, standing quietly towards the side of the double doors. Her eyes roamed to each of the individuals seated at the conference table with particular disdain in her glance towards Zevrin. Her eyes then moved towards the Inquisitor, with whom she had not yet been properly introduced and offered an icy stare. The position of respect behind the Admiral had always been her position and she resented anyone who dared to take it from her. The black uniform of the Stormtroopers adorned her diminutive frame, her mimicked Human features a genetically orchestrated ruse that hid her true reptilian, Clawdite nature. Her hand moved to the control panel, activating the locking mechanism as there were to be no intruders.

Admiral Rodney shifted forward in the chair to avoid the Inquisitor's gloved hands, cringing slightly as he attempted to find comfort despite her insistence upon annoyance. "Well, then..." the Imperial commander began as he looked towards each of the individuals seated at the circular conference table. There was clear disappointment in his voice, met with equal parts frustration and anger. "Let there be no doubt as to why we are gathered here..." he continued as he shifted to the right to face General Zethe. "General," he said without needed to be specific. They all knew about the events on Brentaal by now.

General Zethe cleared his throat before he spoke, suddenly unable to find any salvia at the moment as his nerves came over him. Perhaps it was the fact one of his battalions had been destroyed ... or perhaps it was merely the fact there was an Inquisitor standing no more than a meter from him. "You all have the report in front of you," he began, trying to dismiss the notion of having to explain it in any greater detail. "The 35th Repulsorlift Battalion was destroyed by an attack on our Brentaal Garrison. Not just the men, but also the vehicles and the facility itself..." he explained in grim details, the total loss of lives less significant to him than the fact that it was an entire unit. Men were easy to replace ... but garrisons and vehicles cost credits. "It was a total loss," he concluded, bitterly as he avoided making eye contact with anyone at the table, particularly the Inquisitor.

"Indeed, we already knew that General. Now instead of repeating common knowledge, I am more interested to hear the solutions you will propose." Serine interrupted as she glared at the man, painfully putting him on the spot. "What are the ways you plan to prevent this failure in the future?" The loss of that many lives and equipment was disgraceful. If there was not a plan in place, the events leading up to those mistakes could easily be recreated.

The inexperienced commander stammered as the Inquisitor began to question him, wondering what kind of response he could offer that would placate her before he ended up executed for his shortcomings. "In the future, no fuel will be contained within the garrison bases," he said thinking quickly. He was not entirely sure how the vehicles would operate, but at the moment it seemed like a good plan. "Additionally, the armory will be under a twenty-four hour watch by no less than a squad of military police," he added even quicker. To him that sounded like another excellent idea ... perhaps he was more competent than he gave himself credit for.

The General did happen to suggest ideas that were feasible, however, Serine was disgruntled it took a catastrophe to yield real results. "Those are all measures that should have been in place prior to this incident. It appears that you at least thought about a solution before hand, however, if I had been led to believe that you fabricated all of that just now, I would have been... extremely disappointed."

The Inquisitor could not have been more wrong. In fact, the General had only conceived of his stratagem in the instant before he spoke. His eyes moved away from her, looking back down towards the table. Perhaps he was off the hot seat for the time being. Finally, he was able to swallow and the lump that once dominated his chest seemed to slowly dissipate.

Without waiting to be introduced, Major Arden Zevrin slid seductively forward in her chair, her long blonde locks beyond Imperial regulation as they descended towards her shoulders. It was clear that this woman was prepared to use all of her assets to gain the information she needed. "My sources," her eyes moved past Rodney, bypassing him for the Inquisitor, "...indicate it was Lieutenant Ohmer Wilton who last had access to the areas effected." As she made the statement she moved her eyes towards Captain Updike. "One of your Stormtroopers, is he not?" she asked the young officer slowly, a grin slowly curling upon her sinister lips.

Captain Updike was visibly shaken by Arden Zevrin's quick accusation, causing him to his entire chain of thought. He stammered for a moment, his face reddening and obvious beads of flop sweat formed upon his forehead. "Lieu...Lieu...Lieutenant Wilton's residence was destroyed four days prior to the attack on the base," he explained, struggling to get the details out. The ISB officer made him uncomfortable, but Zevrin's femininity made the situation unbearable. "We believed him deceased in the attack as trace evidence of remains was found in the search of the rubble.," he added with a firm nod of his head, not to Zevrin, but to the Inquisitor. "I suspect the Rebellion used his identity to facilitate the attack. Wilton was a good soldier," he concluded, making the decision to stand by his former Stormtrooper unit member in the face of Zevrin's accusations.

"The Stormtroopers are not the only unit losing officers under mysterious circumstances..." the cold, calculating voice of Major Min Traebor began to chime in. Her eyes darted towards Major Zevrin, suspecting the woman of assassinating her junior officers in an attempt to limit her power. "No one has seen Lieutenants Irso and Korvac in more than a week," she bemoaned as her eyes moved from Zevrin towards the Admiral. If the old man were not so attached to that wife of his, she believed she could easily win the conflict with the ISB. She had already ordered his assassination once, and she was perfectly willing to do it again if she ever completely fell from favor.

Major Kiley's eyes shifted uncomfortably at the mention of Lieutenant Irso. She had served with him during her exile and the two had become close. It pained her to have to eliminate him, but it was the only way to keep the information about Jelena's involvement with the Rebel Alliance a secret. She shifted slightly, her eyes moving towards Zevrin once again. If she could eliminate but one person in the room it would be her, she would never forgive what she did to her on Coruscant several years ago.

"There has been a disturbing number of abductions and it is absurd to continue to discuss the issue without cultivating solutions!" Serine said in an irritated manner, she was more than a little frustrated. It pained her to ponder why was it so difficult for these people to think constructively. "There needs to be some creative problem solving... now, and that doesn't include pitiful excuses. The next report voicing incidents better also include ideas to fix them."

"My dear Inquisitor Thanor..." Major Arden Zevrin began, her voice rolling slowly across her lips as her blue eyes darted up to make eye contact for the first time. A small, but noticeable smile curled upon her lips, knowing full well no womanly powers would work here. "I fear it will be quite difficult to protect the countless Imperial officers scattered throughout the Oversector..." she said, her voice feigning disappointment as her mouth curled into a frown. Slowly, her eyes moved towards Major Kiley standing like someone's guard rancor at the door. "As it seems even the 'best' Imperial security precautions could not protect the Admiral's wife..." she said slowly, the words oozing with disdain as they slipped from her mouth and flew like darts into the vulnerable Stormtrooper. Any chance she had to wound her old lackey she would gladly take. It would seem she had not forgotten either.

The matter of Htaere's abduction was the one topic of discussion she would not allow another to criticize her for. The failure had nearly cost her her life and the rage still flowed through her. The fact that it was Zevrin, the one who took such joy in torturing her when she was captured by the Empire, made it all the more unbearable. She stepped towards her, her hand moving slowly towards her KYD21 blaster pistol as she eyed the blonde ISB officer. She was prepared to actually do it this time. She had sworn revenge years ago, but had always faltered, always found a reason not to ... but the line had been crossed.

"Kerrie!" the voice of the Admiral finally spoke as he angrily glared at her movements. This was unacceptable behavior in his meeting and he immediately thrust his hand out towards her. The same hand he had used to so severely beat her earlier that week. Despite his attempt to reconcile with the young woman, he would not allow her to murder one of his sector officers in broad daylight. "This bickering is pointless," he said as he slid forward in his chair, throwing a glance towards Zevrin.

Major Kiley froze in her tracks as she heard the tone in the Admiral's voice. She cringed, remember what he had done to her and her hand over the weapon began to shake. She looked towards Zevrin, desperately wanting to strike, but she could not. She offered a polite nod to Lord Rodney and then slowly backed up, moving towards her position at the door, the obedient servant that she was.

Major Zevrin could not help but offer a soft, barely audibly chuckle as she watched Major Kiley allow herself to get worked up, shaking her head at her in disappointment. She loved watching her come to a heel at the Admiral's command, remembering what a fearsome warrior she once was ... but that was another life. When the Admiral chastised her, all she could do was shrug her shoulders at him in the way only a blonde could, as if to say 'I didn't do anything.' But oh how she had ... and she would again and again.

It was no wonder why this sector was falling apart. Serine was dismayed as she watched the event begin to unfold and she was able to quickly gather why there was so much distrust and animosity towards Zevrin. The inquisitor also was feeling a vile vibe radiating from the blonde which disgusted her and she instantly recognized the other's type. "Major Zevrin, I've only been in your presence for less than a few moments and I already feel the strong desire to rip out your trachea and watch as you drown in a pool of your own blood. I can't speak for everyone here absolutely, but I can assume most of them would not lose any sleep at all knowing they never had to deal with you again. That isn't a good position to be in. I strongly advise you to rethink your strategy..."

Min could not help but smile towards Major Zevrin as she watched the Inquisitor dress her down, perhaps her stock would soon be rising despite her recent setbacks. If her involvement with the Pentax Facility proved worthwhile, she could soon find herself in the position to do away with her old rival. Her eyes roamed to the still overheated Major Kiley, wondering if perhaps she could find an ally in her quest to eliminate the ISB commander.

Major Zevrin was visibly shaken by the Inquisitor's reaction, sitting back in her chair and deciding to say nothing further unless spoken to. It was the first time she had spoken to in that manner, and she did not find it worth repeating. She had spent nearly the past year ingratiating herself with the Admiral and she would not allow herself to lose her place at his side, despite the fact the Inquisitor seemed intent to move against her. She had outlasted Tong and felt she could outlast Thanor too.

"Colonel Theus has recently arrived from Ord Mantell," Admiral Rodney explained as he extended his arm in a fluid motion to introduce him. "He has been pursuing a Rebel unit across the galaxy for quite some time and his chase has recently led him here," he explained as he noted most of his staff officers were unfamiliar with the gruff ISB commander. "He has asked for a moment to comment on the situation," he explained as he sat back in his chair and looked to Colonel Theus.

Colonel Verus Theus had bided his time as those in the room had engaged in their pointless squabbles and personal infighting that seemed to be causing the catastrophe in this strategic point in the Corel. To him such behavior was unacceptable, but unlike the Stormtrooper standing guard in the corner he did feel inclined to merely unholster his weapon and start executing rivals. Clearing his throat he looked towards the Admiral, ignoring the Inquisitor for the time being as she was neither military nor male. "I have been tracking a Rebel Blockade Runner named the Argo for quite some time now. These Rebels have been responsible for numerous raids throughout the Outer Rim. They are suspected of stealing Imperial data from Arzid, liberating a prison camp on Berea, running supplies to the Weequay rebels, seizing multiple Imperial transports, raiding the Eriadu sector's communications relay station, stealing Gunboats on Sluis Van, and so forth..." he concluded, unleashing an audible sigh. There had almost been too much to name. "I believe that vessel was the one that recently engaged this warship and I believe their presence here is the reason the situation has turned. These are skilled operatives. Not unskilled rabble," he was quick to point out as he presented his theory.

The inquisitor lightly shook her head in bewilderment. They must have all expected to complain to the Admiral and for him to make all of the decisions. There were no discussions of options, no suggestions of tactical advancements... all of the officers here were waiting with their mouths open for handouts from the Admiral. This wasn't a meeting, this was a bickering room full of expressed failures and zero solutions. What a disgrace... Serine was beginning to feel rather overwhelmed, she was expected to not only fix the many issues here and bring some sense of realism back into the ranks, but she also had other objectives to accomplish. Something drastic needed to change. Either these officers sharpen up, or there were going to be quite a few promotions very soon.

The Admiral carefully listened to the Colonel's report, taking in each and every word that he spoke with keen determination. "Very well, Colonel. As you are the only one amongst who has personally encountered this unit before you will stay and help us get control of the situation," he said with a quick nod before he turned his attention towards the others. "The remains of the garrison base will be pulverized. The new location will be further from the city with increased security precautions and the recommendations from General Zethe," he concluded as he nodded to his colleague from the Imperial Army. "Captain Updike, you will deploy your Stormtroopers in conjunction with Colonel Theus' ISB personnel," he said as he looked to the young officer who seemed to have calmed himself. "All other branches will support as needed. We will snuff out this threat and bring order to this Oversector," he commanded in an authoritative voice as he quickly rose from his chair, dismissing them.

A soft sigh of relief, at least the Admiral said something worth anything... he had a plan. Not much else could have been said for the rest there who were just wastes of space in Serine's mind. This improved Rodney's image with the Inquisitor, if only slightly so finally she decided to stop tapping on the back of his chair... She silently admitted to herself that those actions were a bit... rude, but she never denied that she could be bitter and vindictive. Once the rest of the occupants exited the room, the Inquisitor spoke to Rodney. "Well, Admiral, I would be lying if I said I wasn't at least a shred bit motivated considering you used deductive reasoning and command, something that all of those officers  together couldn't muster."

Claudius turned his attention to the Inquisitor as most of the officers began filing from the conference room, only able to stand so much of each other's presence for so long. "My dear, as like children the individuals in this room do not play well together," he explained to her with the nod only a father could give. "Individually, you will find each very effective in their position, but when placed beside one another the tensions build and they nearly crack," he explained as he began to move towards Kerrie, to whom he wagged his finger. She had been quite naughty in the meeting. With Kerrie as an escort, he began to move from the room when he stopped suddenly and turned once again to Serine. "Oh ... and Inquisitor ... next time you decide to cut off someone's head on my ship have the decency to put a towel down..." he said crisply as he moved from the conference room.

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