Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Scott Farnham.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:8:6) in the Chandrila system: Chandrila (Hanna City: Cole Duine's cantina) and in the Essesia system: Retributor and White Rose.
Cole Duine and Major Sierra Rodney.

Major Sierra had seen the news on the HoloNet. The Zabrak who she had dismissed earlier in the week was now attempting to make an impression on Chandrila. Sierra sat at her desk aboard the Retributor, staring at a datapad as it played his latest speech during the opening of his new shelter. People on Chandrila had difficult lives as of late. As the video cast out a wider view, she could see that the audience was lapping up every single one of his words. Her fingers massages at her temples "There is no shame in asking for what you need, huh?" Sierra repeated. She picked up another datapad showing how long it would take to full recover power on Rhire without using sources from Esseles. It was ... disappointing. It wasn't good enough either. She knew Cole Duine had resources...but did she have the kind she needed? Sierra believed that she had not misjudged the Zabrak, but she felt she could use him to help solve problems that were plaguing her husband's sector. "I have to meet with him again," she admitted with a long sigh. The man had raised her hackles. Sierra had learned to trust her gut, but today, today she was going to try something else.

She picked up a small recording device and turned it on. "Hello Mr. Duine," she began in a calm, level voice. "I've seen your recent actions on Chandrila. They have made me reconsider. Perhaps I misjudged you in our first meeting. I allowed the accusations against you to cloud my judgment. At your earliest convince, please return to the Retributor so we can meet again. I see that you are looking to help the people. I may have something in mind that will boost the public's opinion of you should you chose to take the bait." She reached over to the recording device. "I will see you soon, Mr. Duine." With that, the device stopped recording. Sierra picked one, unlucky, Ensign to use as her messenger. "Take this to Cole Duine on Chandrila. Only return once you are sure it is in his hands." She instructed as she turned back to her work. Sierra had decided to take initiative. If everything worked out, then Rhire would find itself in a better position rapidly.

Cole Duine could be found at his Cantina, upstairs in his office. Sitting at a metal desk he was swiping his hand through a holoscreen going over his books for the Cantina. Something he has someone usually do for him but he always skimmed them over to make sure no one was skimming him. A knock would be placed upon his office door and it opened to reveal one of Coles guards. "Sir, you have a guest. Says he had a message only for your." Cole raised an eyebrow, if he had one and made his way downstairs. Upon meeting with the man, a data message was given for him to hear from the empire. Giving the man a few credit chips he made his way upstairs to listen to the message. Grinning widely he yelled downstairs. "Get the White Rose ready, I have a meeting of great importance.

After roughly two hours went by, Cole was aboard his ship and on his way to the Retributor. He would send a signal to let them know he was coming along. He wore his dressy attire for this meeting.

Major Rodney had low expectations for Cole Duine. Despite her message, she expected that he would keep her on the line for days, or even weeks before he made any sort of response. So, she resumed her daily activities. The Vice Admiral had left a lengthy report with her that she was still digesting. There was much for her to do in the coming days. It was to her surprise, that one of the Stormtroopers positioned outside her durasteel doors confirmed that Cole Duine had arrived and was waiting to be seen by her. Sierra's eyebrows furrowed. She glanced beneath her desk at her infant son, who had fallen asleep in his bouncer. "Mommy wasn't expecting guests." She whispered to the little boy. She sighed, using her comm to speak to the Stormtrooper. "Please send him in." She said, dropping the comm to her desk. The doors to her office opened.

A smile formed upon his face as he nodded, walking past the Storm Trooper. His green eyes following past him towards the Major. He walked over, holding out his cybernetic hand. He spoke in a polite manner as the same was before but with a slight cool sense to him. As if authority figures didn't bother him. "Always a pleasure, Major. I'll be honest with you...I didn't think we would be having a meeting again."

At his entrance, Sierra slowly rose from her seat behind her desk. She offered Cole a small smile while grasping his cybernetic hand and giving it a slight shake. "I'll be honest with you, neither did I. I suppose times are changing, aren't they? I have to say, your recent shelter stunt caught my attention." She began to slowly sit down. "I, too, did something alike to it on Delaya. I created a shelter for the Alderaan refugees. Alderaan was my home planet. My family had power and influence there. When we lost Alderaan, I felt the necessity to take care of my people." She explained to him.

"It is a shame what happened to that planet. To wipe out an entire race of people...well that is a low I would never understand going too. " He shook her hand then would move over to the chair. His hands moving to unbutton his suit coat and take it off. Resting it against the seat and slowly taking a seat, should she follow suit. He would then add. "I saw a need for the people of Chandrila and found I was the man to fulfill that need. " He offered a grin as he leaned back against the chair. He truly didn't care much about the people of Chandrila. It was their influence and power he needed. A planet that was war-torn, they needed a savior. He wished to be such a man. This would also aid in keeping him in the 'right' spot light.

"Indeed, those on Chandrila are in need of help. As much as I wished I had all the answers to solve their problems, I do not." She crossed one leg over another once she was seated. "There is another planet in need of help...which is exactly why I've called you back to my office. Rhinnal's capital city, Rhire, was recently attacked by the Rebels. They successfully knocked out two hydroplants and have taken power away from the city. I have done what I can to ensure that those in medcenters have been moved to other cities, but due to limited supplies, I can't bring power back to those people for a month or more." She told him. "Do you have the sources to fix such a problem?"

"A month or more? My could have an epidemic on your hands...disease would spread like crazy. Heck, the criminals and looting alone would take a major hit on society. " He lifted his hand and brushed his thumb and index finger against his chin before continuing. "Would certainly be a good gesture if I was to help...perhaps even be largely in the empires favor, hmm?" He paused to let that sink in then added. "What exactly would you require? Help with the power, or medical supplies...or both?"

Sierra had looked at this problem from every angle. She knew what a month would do to Rhire. As a woman with too big of a heart, she didn't want to see those people suffer for so long. As an Imperial, she wanted to give the people of Rhire a reason to believe in the Empire after the Rebel strike. "You understand where this is going, Mr. Duine. Best case scenario would be that you can help with both. The power needs an immediate fix. Something that won't take a month. If you are to help, I believe that the gesture will strongly impact the public's opinion of you. You strive to be a politician, Mr. Duine? Then help these people out." Her blue eyes briefly flickered beneath the lip of her desk. Her son was beginning to stir due to the sound of her talking, but he did not wake.

He offered a grin as he heard the child begin to wiggle. He knew she was a mother, he knew plenty about her. "I will help with this problem of yours but it will take me a few days to put things in motion..." He shifted in his seat while he thought for a moment. Thinking about how to spin this story for himself. He didn't want to portrait that he was an empire sympathize so perhaps he would spin it as helping people in need by any means necessary. Either way, this would look good he was sure. "Any details can be sent to me..."

She placed a booted foot on the rungs of the bouncer that enabled her to manually bounce it while she continued with her meeting. Sierra was an overprotective mother. She frequently brought her young son aboard her husband's vessel to keep him comfortably close. "A few days? Even if you took two weeks, it would still be better than the current timeline for Rhire. I appreciate you doing this for me. We can consider this a friendly I owe you. When you need help, you can call on me and I will see what I can do." Sierra turned. She reached across her desk towards a lone datapad. She collected it, offering it to him. "All the information you need is here. Feel free to take that with you. Please keep me updated." She knew she would need to keep an eye on him. There seemed to be more to Cole Duine than meets the eye.

He smiled as he heard her child begin to move about. He lifted his hand to rest upon the table and he leaned forward.. "I must ask...the empires power reaches vast and well. I must ask. I know I probably could get my hands on a beat up one but think you can get your hands on a specific droid for me? " His eyebrow raised, curious as to what she was to say.

This meeting was going infinitely different from the last. Sierra was a woman with a strong moral compass. Her association with the Empire made her have to do things at times...things that didn't entirely align with that compass. In the end, whatever ended the war was worth it. He perked her interest at his question. "Possibly. What model are you looking for, Mr. Duine?" Sierra preferred to pay her dues to the man up front as a sign of good faith. If he successful and quickly restored power in Rhire, he would make a powerful ally in Sierra Rodney.

"A KX-series security enforce droid...I have had my eyes on one of those for quite some time. Think this is something you can manage?" He offered her a charismatic smile, with his pointed teeth protruding from his lips and zabrak appearance actually made him more intimidating then anything but she probably dealt with the nefarious type. Of course, once he obtained such a Droid he would change things a bit on it. He was sure he could steal one from the empire but if he could get one off the assembly line well, that would be perfect.

Her eyebrows rose. She knew about the KX-series security droids. They were manufactured by a company called Arakyd Industries and, more importantly, they were used within the Empire as security droids. Cole's exterior didn't get a rise out of her. Unlike many people within the Empire, she felt nothing negative towards alien races. She employed a Clawdite and a Mandalorian to protect her children. There was a Chiss tactical officer that she frequently talked to aboard the dreadnaught. "A KX-Series security droid? Yes, I can manage to get you one. Like you, I'll need a few days to arrange the transport of the droid. I'll need you to leave me with a location for it to be delivered to." She smiled softly.

"Excellent, well then I must say this shall be productive for the both of us. I'll make sure I'll get the supplies shipped as soon as possible. Some of my contacts deal in some interesting medical advances...medicine...drugs...etc. This problem of yours should be taken care of relatively soon. Though I am curious how we might be able to make sure the public doesn't think I'm doing this purely for empire support. I hope you understand. I can't have the rebels making an enemy of must look like it's only for the people's sake."

"Indeed. You've been a reasonable man." Major Rodney had not come to the table with much, but she was prideful and wouldn't beg him for anything. "Send me an update as soon as possible. It will take a weight off the Empire's shoulders to see Rhire taken care of. As I told you, I saw the broadcast about you. There are people who are suffering. Manipulate the situation and they'll be eating out of your hands. Isn't that the way politics work?" By that time, her son had enough. The small boy didn't want to be confine to his bouncer anymore. Sierra gave in, leaning beneath her desk to unhook him. She cradled the boy to her chest. She didn't try to explain the situation to Cole. It was right before his eyes. "Remember our arrangement. You are going to want powerful allies as you seek out more power. If you burn me, there will be repercussions. So, let's make this the beginning of something good."

"I see no issues with this, Major. Such a cute child. " Was said as he looked over her son. "I do think he will grow to be a strong boy. I don't suppose you train your children in hand to hand combat at the time they learn to walk?" He curiously looked to her. His race was a strong warrior based people. Probably why he was such a thrill seeking junky who would probably die at a young age in battle. A path that he honestly didn't have any issues with.

Sierra blushed softly. "I apologize. I honestly wasn't expecting you for days. He would not have been here if things had worked out differently." The boy looked much like his mother. His blonde hair was identical to his mother's. He also took after his father in many ways... Like in his curiosity. He couldn't resist trying to look at his mother's guest. "Thank you. No, it isn't common to train children in combat after they are capable of walking. That's especially true of me and my husband's families. Nobles are much more interested in teaching their children how to be prim and... pompous." She smiled by way of making a joke. "It's different for Zabrak, is it not?" She gave in to Bruce's struggling and adjusted him to face Cole.

"It is different, yes. Iridonia is filled with many beasts that wish to kill you...even other Iridonians. Or Zabraks as we are also called. " He smiled, waving his cybernetic hand to the child. "Combat and war is common place. A right of passage is getting these tattoos marked upon the body at a young age signifying the type of man you are. " He gestured to his face. Anyone who knows tattoos knows this would be painful, expecially All over the body. "Makes for a good conversation piece."

Bruce was observant, especially for a two month old. He watched the Zabrak with big, brown eyes while his mother continued to speak. She looked to Cole's face. Zabarak was a race she did not know much about. In truth, she had never seen a white one like him either. "That's a hard life, Mr. Duine. I couldn't imagine." Sierra had been both physically and mentally abused throughout the entirety of her childhood. She understood survival and fighting for her life more than she wanted to admit, it simply wasn't the same way as he had. She chuckled, nodding her head. "That's one way to find the silver lining. I'm sure you could recommend a great artist." Sierra was relaxing, and so she let her true nature show. Association with the Empire didn't make you a bad person.

He chuckled "that is actually one of my many talents. Could make your son intimidating towards the other kids if your ever interested. Surely they wouldn't mess with him." Was said with a smirk, his eyes falling to the little one again. Making funny faces at him in attempt to make him laugh. Though who knows what a baby would think of his face. Even though he all ready knew about her husband, he would ask anyways. "So where is the father?" His eyes moved back to the Major curiously.

She laughed. "Tattooing? Really? Oh, I think he'll be intimidating enough. Anyone who dares touch my boy will have to deal with his mother." She laughed more. The boy liked the attention. He stared at the man. At first, he watched. Finally, the Zabrak male made Bruce smile. How he was interacting with her son brought Sierra to the conclusion that Cole wasn't as bad as she suspected. "My husband?" She raised a hand, pointing a finger toward a set of doors separating her office from the Grand Moff's. "He's never far. Her hand fell back to her son's back. "I'm sure you already know that. *Everyone* knows I'm the Governor's wife. Fear not. It doesn't change how I do my job. I will see that you receive your droid."

"I can't wait to have one of those running around with me...don't worry the paint job will be fixed up..." He couldn't wait till he got his hands on the droid. He would then change the subject. "So how does the empire treat it's employees? I must say they aren't the highest regarded over the last several years...destroying your home world...don't get me wrong, I don't care who runs who."

"Parenthood is something I absolutely recommend. Best decision of my life...well, second best decision." The first, obviously, was saying ‘yes' to the man who was clearly her soul mate. She didn't object to the shift in subjects. She seemed to visibly cringe as he brought up Alderaan. She had been told...convinced...that Alderaan had been destroyed by the Rebels until a Freudian slip from a fellow Imperial had brought the truth to her attention. "Ah, I'm treated well, for the most part. I enjoy working for the Empire and striving for peace. One day, we will end the war." She spoke like she believed her own words. With the current state of things in the Ringali Shell, that confidence was beginning to weaken. "What is your goal, Mr. Duine? The shelter and hydroplants will do much to boost your reputation. What are you going to do with that?"

"I doubt I will ever get the chance to know what children are like." He said as a matter of fact in response to her statement. He would pause for a moment, eyeing the Major before answering her question. "I wish to...legitimize myself. Become a predominant politician of Chandrila. Of course, we both know our paths tend to catch up with ourselves."

She said nothing in regards to his gloomy statement. Cole was only slightly more than a stranger to her. She wouldn't delve into his personal problems at their second meeting, only speculate as a woman who had once been a psychologist might. She nodded her head. Everyone had their goals. She had to respect his, for his path was made to be difficult. "Well, I wish you luck. Chandrila is a difficult planet, as you understand. We are doing everything we can to improve the situation there."

"Well I am sure you and I can work something nice out to where the future will look prominent for the both of us. Oh before I forget...for that droid, could you send some scrap parts along with him? In my experience people around me tend to get shot at . I want to make sure repairs will be easy." of course he planned on upgrading the droid so he needed the extra parts to make that happen. "So how long have you been married to your other half? You seem happy. Not often seen in marriages." He offered a joking smile. His green eyes moved back to the child, winking at him. His body shifted slightly, trying to get a little more comfortable.

Sierra adjusted herself, crossing one leg over the other. She propped her son up against her chest. One hand remained around him for support while the other reached towards her datapad. She quickly wrote up notes on their meeting. He wanted a KX-series security droid with extra parts to be delivered to an undisclosed location. "I can do that. Where would you like me to have it sent to? Or will you be coming here to pick it up?" She grew bashful each time he brought up her husband. Sierra let out a soft laugh. "Isn't that the truth? I used to be a psychologist for the Empire. I've seen the point where marriages crash and burn from the front row. We have been married for six months." She said. She didn't mention that she had given birth prematurely as a result of the evil Inquisitor. "He does make me happy. I am a fortunate woman. At this point, everyone in the galaxy knows what I came from." She was referencing the physical abuse videos that her mother had leaked across the HoloNet. "I doubted that I'd ever find happiness, let alone someone who would accept me for who I am. We married quickly which makes it easy to assume that what we have is fake. However, I made my vows knowing that it was forever." She smiled. "What about you? Is there anyone special in your life?"

He listened to her words carefully, taking in everything she said and making mental notes. "It can be delivered to the Hanna space port. I'll take possession from there...ahh is there someone in my life? " He smirked his head tilting slightly. "That has yet to be determined. Currently, we are not exclusive. "He said with a chuckle. "I have never had what you have, that I can say for sure. In my life things tend to go hyperspeed. It's hard to settle down when your constantly moving, ya know?

Hanna space port. She notated it and set her datapad down again to cradled her son close. "I will send you a notification as soon as it is shipped out." Sierra was a woman of her word. She would see to it that this was quickly taken care of. The conversation had become casual, but she wasn't uncomfortable with it. He had crossed no lines as he asked about her personal life. "Oooh. You two aren't ready to ‘label' it, huh?" She lightly teased him. "I understand. I couldn't handle that kind of instability. There's enough insanity associated with life without having to be on the move all the time as well. I hope that you are able to call Chandrila home and finally stop running." She smiled.

" labels." He chuckled and smiled to her. Offering another remark. "It's as home as home can be I suppose. You know, I used to doing bodyguard work for Imperial politicians. Funny how things change over time. He now was positioning events like chess in order to make himself one. Of course he was also running a criminal syndicate so he was much different then the guy he was hired to protect at the time. He tried thinking of the politicians name and couldn't grasp it.

"We all have to start somewhere, don't we? Your droid will do well to serve you. I've heard good things about the KX-series. Let's try to keep our new friendship mutually beneficial. If you need something, feel free to reach out. I will help where I can." She didn't know that he was running a syndicate. The information on Cole Duine had been limited. Only time would tell if she was making the right move with him...or allowing herself to slip up because she didn't want the people of Rhire to suffer anymore.

"I look forward to what we can do together. There is no sense to have people suffering if they don't have too." Was said as he leaned against the chair, his eyes curiously looking her and her baby over before speaking again. "You don't happen to know if the Empire plans on using that fun little toy they have in the sky to remove Chandrila do ya? If hate to get occupied on a planet that well..isn't going to be there in the future. It's bad enough the people are too 'free thinking'." He chuckled at the thought of how the people of Chandrila are.

Sierra seemed to visibly tense when he spoke of Chandrila meeting the same fate of Alderaan. At this point, Sierra had been manipulated into believing that Alderaan was destroyed by the Rebels. An ISB officer had perfectly orchestrated believable facts to hurt both Sierra and the Governor. They were not aware of the ‘Death Star'. Her only reason to doubt that the Rebels had destroyed Alderaan had come from a treacherous man who hated her...hardly a good source. "I don't know what you're talking about. I pray that no more planets fall to the same fate as Alderaan." She replied. It may have been easier to wipe out Chandrila, but it wasn't going anywhere.

"Hmm, of course. " Was all the man said. He would press the matter, he knew better. He wasn't on his planet or his turf so to speak. She honestly could have a blaster bolt put in his head and no one would probably think twice besides Htaere might be wondering why he didn't show up for a dinner date. His cybernetic hand lightly tapped the table, the metal fingers clinking with every thump. "Well I must say this meeting went well, better then before. I was curious as to whether I would be making it back after our last meeting. " He chuckled.

Sierra laughed. "Well, I'm glad to see I finally have the scary Imperial officer thing down. Unless you give me a reason, you'll return home from our meetings. I'm sure I don't have to define the line to show you where it stands." If he tried to hurt her or anyone in her family, she wouldn't think twice about seeing him dead. However, he had been exposed to her son and done nothing more than try to make the boy laugh. "I'm sure we will be meeting again very soon. There is a war to win and even the Empire needs help at times." She became comfortable again as the topic left the realms of destroying planets.

"Well don't let me keep you from your duties much longer. I did enjoy our conversation. " He slowly stood, his hand moving to scoop up his coat. His green eyes moving back to her. "That is, unless you wish something else to be discussed?" His hand taking ahold of the datapad. Looking over the information once more to make sure he understood everything before leaving her side.

"I did as well." Sierra replied honestly. It had gone infinitely smoother than she could have ever expected. She rose from her desk to see him out. "I'm all out of topics for now, Mr. Duine. If you need anything, you know how to reach me." She stood at her door. "If we are able to keep our conversations as calm as this one, then you will find a friend in me." She cuddled her son. Perhaps he could help make Chandrila fall into line again.

"If you can help make sure the Black sun remains off my rock, I shall deal with the rest. " He offered a smile, his cybernetic finger playing idly with the little boys hand before he offered a smile, offering a handshake to the major. "It was a pleasure, I'll get those supplies to you soon."

"I'll see what I can do. I can make no promises when it comes to the Black Sun. Your security droid will be much more helpful." She looked down. Her overprotective nature was obvious. Given her husband's position, Bruce could become a target just as easily as any of her family could. The boy seemed trusting; happy. Sierra adjusted her son to grasp Cole's hand in a firm shake. "Your droid will arrive shortly. Good day, Mr. Duine." With that, she released his cybernetic hand.

Shaking her hand with a smile, as he turned his smiles faded. The hard demeanor of a war torn man showing once more. Leaving the thought of was it a ruse or simply did he not want others to see his humane side. Holding the data pad in his left hand he made his way out of the room and began his way back to his ship, the White rose. His hands adjusting his suit as he walked.

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