Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:6:2) in the Essesia system: Warspite.
Captain Tiberius Anson, Lieutenant Bethany Sheppard, Inquisitor Serine Thanor, and Doctor Pilaq Tohan.

The Inquisitor had found herself receiving no sleep at all the whole night, too emotionally driven to deface her rival Arden Zevrin, but to be honest with herself, she had not been this envigorated in years. The thought of ruining everything for that woman was nearly intoxicating, causing Serine to study the data log her apprentice had stolen from Zevrin all through the night. She had been preoccupied with other matters or she would have acted sooner on her acquired data, but she did not want to rush this time ... she wanted to savor this victory slowly and watch people's lives crumble before her. There was a small list of key personnel she wanted to ... educate regarding the abrasive opinions of the Major and watch with delight as the cruel hand of a dark fate surrounded Arden. Serine had made multiple copies of Zevrin's data held within disks. She planned on giving entire personnel folders to each individual that had received a boiling review by Arden, and it just so happened that everyone received a biting and scathing review. How thoughtful for the Major, making her demise so much easier for Serine. The Inquisitor decided to personally visit certain individuals she decided could do the most harm to that detestable woman. Her first visit would be to one that could very well have Arden's life in his hands. The door leading into the medical bay slid open as Serine peered inside looking for Pilaq Tohan. It was never wise to be on the bad side of a physician capable of leaving certain organs missing after an operation ... or 'accidentally' inserting a few medical instruments in the chest cavity.

Doctor Pilaq Tohan stood at an imposing 1.95 meters and was by the far largest occupant of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Warspite. Not wearing an Imperial uniform, he was instead clad in blue garments reminiscent of the Old Republic. When his large black eyes with the orange pupils spotted the Inquisitor he found himself quite puzzled. "Inquisitor Thanor," he began, speaking out both of his mouths that caused his voice to be somewhat stereophonic. "I trust you are unharmed?" he asked, relying on his walking stick fashioned from wood native to his homeworld of Ithor to assist him in covering the distance between them. He considered her just as likely to have injured someone as to have become injured herself, and he could not detect any obvious signs of trauma. Her visit was, needless to say, both unexpected and troublesome.

It was true that Serine would not normally be visiting the doctor unless she was injured or on the rare occasion be visiting an injured patient, but this situation was different. It was very apparent that there was another reason for her visit as Inquisitors do not just saunter around the hallways without purpose. She approached the other while looking at him respectfully, the good doctor being on the very small list of competent individuals serving on the Warspite ... a very small list indeed. "Doctor Tohan, I don't believe I have ever fully thanked you for saving my life after my encounter with that false Jedi." Her opening was said honestly, praise from the Inquisitor was so rare, one might not believe what they had just heard, but those words were sincere. However, it was just to lead the physician to the next point, and that of course was the datadisk. "But apparently not everyone on the Warspite trusts in your professionalism as I do. I have acquired the report that Major Zevrin was going to send to ISB regarding your work. I felt you deserved to know." Serine provided a small disk to the doctor, keeping a stoic demeanor lest she hint at what was to come.

The very mention of the name Arden Zevrin caused the mild mannered Ithorian to become agitated. He was well aware of what she had done to Htaere, and the horrific results that came as a result. The long digits of his hands reached and took the datadisk, and he slowly moved towards a control panel that was capable of reading it. Pilaq's large eyes widened as he began to scan over the report and what was contained inside. As a non-human, he was regarded with mistrust by the members of COMPNOR, and Major Zevrin had compiled data about his past life as a herd leader on Ithor. She viewed his presence here as problematic, and a sign that Grand Moff Rodney harbored dangerous ties to certain elements in the galaxy that did not subscribe to the New Order. While an excellent physician who had saved countless lives, his bedside manner was regarded somewhat lacking, and she felt he spent too many resources trying to save those who might be better off simply being disposed of. What would be a low groan for a human was amplified for him, due to the presence of two large mouths. "I thank you for enlightening me to this creature's true nature, Inquisitor Thanor," was all the Ithorian could muster, blinking slowly, and methodically after concluding his statement.

She gave the Ithorian plenty of leeway to excuse himself to read the data, and kept her distance as he did so. Serine had already read the logs so she afforded him the illusion of privacy as he delved into what Zevrin thought of his performances. "Thank you doctor." Said with a polite nod. "As you know, it is my duty to improve the inner workings upon the Warspite which includes weeding out the filth that worms around in an officer's uniform. If I come across any further report data I feel you may benefit from, I will inform you." And with that, she removed herself from the medical bay, satisfied with the damage that had been done here. Woe to the Major if she so much as stubs a toe and requires medical assistance. Once the Inquisitor was back into the hallway, she took a sharp turn towards the direction of the bridge. She speculated that the best way to ruin someone's career was to slander their name to commanding officers. Captain Tiberius Anson would be her next target of the soon to be infamous data leakage. Serine had to ponder how often she interacted with this man... and realized it was surprisingly little. She entered the bridge quite unexpected, no doubt concerned eyes would shift from work stations to rest on the Inquisitor as she walked with purpose, seeking out the captain. The last time she had made her presence known here was the unsightly confrontation with Augustus Hood ... and the time before that there had been a decapitation.

The junior officers contained with the crew pits tensed as Inquisitor Thanor marched down the command walkway, and they endeavored to do their best to seem preoccupied with the duties of the Empire. None of them wanted to end up on the business side of her lightwhip, as they had seen demonstrated twice before. Captain Tiberius Anson was at the far end of the catwalk, in front of the triangle shaped viewports that allowed him to study the traffic in the Essessia system. He was old fashioned and still liked to rely on visual scanning, in addition to what the ship's sensors were capable of. There was somewhat of a therapeutic nature to it as well, as he watched the seemingly endless swarm of craft pass by his vantage point. At first, he was oblivious to the Inquisitor's presence, until he heard her nearing him. He turned, not expecting it to be her, and forced a smile onto his Corellian face, somewhat covered with stubble. "Inquisitor Thanor, to what do I owe the pleasure?" he asked, attempting to engage in a charm offensive as his subordinate had been unable to do.

There was actually two important points of business the Inquisitor had with the Warspite Captain, which now seemed a little peculiar since Serine had never actually demanded his time before on a personal basis. The woman was only slightly shorter than the Captain which allowed for her solid gaze to be nearly eye level before she glanced him over as if she was appraising his value. "Captain Anson, I do not believe we have had the opportunity to speak since I have arrived on this vessel. That is unfortunate, is it not? I have a few matters to address that concern you." Said sternly as she pulled a datadisk from a small compartment on her belt. "But first I must mention the deplorable actions of Commander Hood who had been forcing pilots to self-inject stimulants at a constant rate. I trust this will no longer be an issue." Silver eyes narrowed at the man, wondering if Anson was the real culprit behind such despicable actions, but Randi had insisted that Hood was to blame so she kept her anger in check against the Captain. "Now, on to business." Said as she presented the Captain the datadisk with his name clearly written across the top. "You seem to have made an enemy with Major Arden Zevrin as she was planning on submitting to the ISB this report detailing what she considered leadership failures on your part. I found her underhanded tactics disgusting, and felt you may as well."

Tiberius trembled as he listened to the Inquisitor, wondering if this was merely the preamble to an offensive. "I assure you, Inquisitor. I have dealt with Commander Hood and the pilots aboard the Warspite will no longer be subjected to stimulants," he reiterated, offering a firm nod of compliance. When her tone shifted to the ISB his thoughts, like the others grew enraged as he listened to the tease of information that had been dangled for him to pursue. "And what must I do to avoid having that report turned in, Inquisitor? I assume that is your game..." he said, offering a sly smile, as his voice lowered somewhat so that the others in his vicinity could not hear.

"What are you insinuating Captain?" Said abruptly with a heated snap, though in a lower tone so that this dishonest near accusation was kept from prying ears. Serine had been completely surprised and insulted by his suggestion which caused her to lash out verbally in an instant. "I do not need such pitiful subterfuge to get anything done. If there is something I require, I demand it. Understand?! How dare you assume anything of that nature. Is this how you run your operations around here? Perhaps I should submit this report to the ISB." She threatened harshly though she had no real intention of doing so. "I came here to offer this with no strings attached and instead of appreciation, I get an insult." Serine was very upset because she did in fact want Randi to be promoted and that was going to be her next topic, but because of the tactless suggestion by Anson, now it would appear they were doing some under-the-table exchange if Serine even mentioned Randi.

Tiberius had been neutered in one swift strike by the Inquisitor, realizing that he had gone a step too far. "My apologies, Inquisitor. I was merely trying to present myself as a more reasonable alternative to the officers you have thus far encountered," he said, bowing slightly at the waist in a sign of submission. "I was wrong to have implied your methods were anything more than genuine in your earnest efforts to aid the Emperor," he said, firmly, as he raised back up to address her directly. "Of course any demand you make of this command will be fulfilled to the utmost capacity of myself and my staff, Inquisitor," he insisted, tactfully navigating this conversation as if it were a spatial obstacle.

Under that initial spark of anger and the flow of intensity that followed, there had been a verbal wound there, a blow. She had never even properly met this man and he assumed such a disrespectful thing, it had actually wounded her pride and she was masking it. There were quite a few things Serine prided herself on, and one was honesty. She was extremely straight-forward, usually with a lashing whip, but regardless, no lies passed her lips and she certainly was not going to deal black-market style in secrets like Zevrin did, manipulating people like puppets. That was not her style and it sickened her to no avail. It was the main reason she hated Arden with a passion. "Very well Captain, I will accept your apology. Do not let it happen again. I do not market information nor manipulate people with it." Said almost with a huff, Serine had been really unhappy with that initial accusation, now concerned that others may think that way. It was true that the Inquisitor wrote her own report and some things were painfully accurate, but she did not paint a dismal portrayal of individuals on a personal level to the extent Zevrin had. And it was true that Serine had showed at that time Admiral Rodney a rough draft of the report, but only to show him what they should be fixing. The majority of the scathing information never was finalized into the final draft. The Inquisitor wanted to fix the failings on this vessel, not undermine the work by slandering everyone, that was the key difference.

Tiberius took hold of the information from the Inquisitor, and proceeded down the walkway to an access panel where he could access the data. In an instant it flared to life and displayed information that the Corellian captain did not want put on full display. Surprisingly, Captain Tibiuerius Anson is a competent naval officer, but his experience in the Corellian Defense Force makes him a potential liability as the Corellian resistance grows. Commonly seen without a clean shaven appearance, it is his way of showing that while he is loyal, he is not a zealot. Possessing the libidio of the common Corellian male he has known to have engaged in a series of love affairs that could potentially pose a security risk. Further, he has intervened on the behalf of his daughter, arranging for her a naval commission. One of, perhaps a series, of children born out of wedlock through the women he has encountered in each port. He withdrew slightly after reading it, amazed at the honesty and the fact that the ISB had managed to subtly gather such information on him. "I...thank you for informing me of this, Inquisitor. I trust it will remain unseen?" he asked, his natural charm and composure falling by the wayside as this vulnerability was exposed.

She had fallen very quiet for some time as he read the report as her own comparisons between herself and Zevrin was analyzed in her mind repeatedly. Serine had lost many hours of sleep painstakingly reading every word of the sliced data, obsessed beyond measure and fascinated with the copious amount of personal and disturbing issues every single individual appeared to have haunting them. But even more than that was the pure honesty here. Some of it was skewed with bias, indeed, but the weight of the information was unfiltered and raw. How could the Inquisitor describe it ... refreshing? She loathed Zevrin, but she admired this unfettered and unhindered angle the Major seemed to capture with every sentence. The man's words before her snapped her to the current reality and she had a little difficulty focusing for a moment. Serine paused as she contemplated his words and reminded herself of her intentions here, but it all was very ... bothersome. The report was right ... the Captain was a security risk. "Perhaps you should be more careful with who you spend your private time with ... Captain." There was nothing preventing Serine from acting on this information, perhaps she should start cleaning up the mess Major Zevrin so effortlessly prepared in document form. The Inquisitor's purpose was beginning to waver and she could feel it happening ... it was getting more difficult to keep that rage going so she could ruin Arden as she had planned for months. "Now, there is one more matter to discuss ... and do not dare assume anything you suggested earlier! This regards Randi Trainor." Said deliberately so he understood they were moving to a new topic. "Despite the woman's antics, she has performed well above expectations. Perhaps you heard she saved my life on two occasions? These were not merely rumors to throw around the cafeteria. Being the commanding officer on this vessel, you of all people should know the circumstances behind her demotion those years ago, and understand how unjust it was. This needs to be reversed. Do I need to dangle threats in your face like some heathen?! Or will you do what is right, what should have been done long before? What you should have done! Does it need to be any clearer than that, Captain Anson?" Said with a standoffish tone that was purposely challenging.

Captain Anson listened to everything the Inquisitor had said, and immediately had thought of the perfect solution. "Inquisitor. The perfect thought has come to mind!" he said, looking as if a light had gone off inside his mind. "As I'm sure you no doubt read Lieutenant Trainor's file you're aware she once held the rank of Captain. At the end of the month I am due to submit several officers for promotion, and it would be an easy process to add her to the list. Yes, I think I'll see to it..." he said, nodding his head in agreement with the words that escaped his lips. "She will be taken care of," he concluded, as he removed the disk from the terminal so that no one else could see the scathing report.

"I'm pleased we came to an understanding regarding Randi Trainor." Much of that anger had been dissolved once the Captain showed semblance of a brain which diffused the situation instantly. If only everyone else on the ship knew how to use their words and were not so preoccupied with their pitfalls that Zevrin detailed so well. "You were not the only officer that received a scrutinizing opinion-based summary, nor were all of the reports seething with deficiencies. Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca had a glowing record and I believe she should be praised regarding her accomplishments. Trust me when I say positive recognition was practically absent in these reports. We do not have to give her the details regarding the more inappropriate bias in the report, you will see what I mean, but perhaps you can compliment her." Serine pulled out another datadisk from her belt ... there were quite a few still in there, and the Captain would no doubt wonder what the Inquisitor was scheming. A datadisk titled with the Chiss' unique name was handed to the Captain for him to review, and since the report was one of the only good ones, Serine did not feel it inappropriate. "See for yourself, Captain."

The Captain was well aware of the set of skills possessed by his Chiss tactical officer, and willingly took the ISB treasure trove from the Inquisitor. Entering the disk into the terminal, his eyes went wide as he read it over. Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca is perhaps the most competent naval officer in Grand Moff Rodney's command. Like most of her species she posses a mastery of tactics that proves that she is a critical asset in the Empire's naval strategy in the Ringali Shell. However, as a non-human, her loyalties will always be to her people first, and the Empire second. As a result, she is undeserving of promotion or great responsibility. He read the report, agreeing with every word of it, but feeling that the xenophobic rhetoric was out of place. "Unfortunate wording, but well evaluated, Inquisitor," the Captain said, as he turned his head over his shoulder to look at her.

"Indeed, that was the inappropriate content I was referring to. Omit that part when you speak with her. That concludes my business with you Captain." One more long gaze was given to the man, her expression unreadable, before she abruptly turned from him and exited. There were still individuals that she required to meet with and one of them would be likely in the crew pit. As Serine made her way across the catwalk, she scanned the occupants for Lieutenant Sheppard who was the Conn Officer but also the unofficial gossip queen. It would be extremely beneficial if the Inquisitor could somehow harness Bethany's creative skills in spreading rumors to her benefit instead of her detriment. It was so often that ridiculous gossip would form from the cafeteria and catch on like a wild-fire throughout the ship. Now all Serine had to do was give the Lieutenant some real motivation to properly direct her enthusiasm for scandalous slander. Serine made her way into the crew pit, no matter how terrified that would make certain officers. She did not want to waste time pulling Bethany aside, she could just simply slip her the data for the woman to review later, after her duties were concluded. It wouldn't take long before Sheppard would notice Serine stalking her from way up in the catwalk all the way down through the crew pits. The Inquisitor's intentions were harmless enough, but the way she always carried herself did not convey the difference between violence and indifference. "Lieutenant." Said with an air of purpose. "Review this datadisk when you have a free moment. Major Zevrin had some colorful choice words about your performance. But don't you dare neglect your responsibilities to this vessel and crew by reading it now."

Lieutenant Bethany Sheppard gasped when she saw the Inquisitor approach, scruching her head closer to her shoulders in an attempt to conceal her neckline. When the disk was offered, she instinctively turned to the nearest terminal. Despite the Inquisitor's warning, she immediately activated the disk, unwilling to wait until she was off duty to view it. It can only be by some error that Lieutenant Bethany Sheppard has found herself as flight controller of an Imperial Star Destroyer. More suited to operating a bulk transport in the Outer Rim, the young officer is more occupied with gossip than shipboard operations. Perhaps the most gullible officer I have ever seen, she is likely to believe anything she is told, only to amplify it to the next ear that comes her way. While the Lieutenant was reading this, no one was at the controls of the Warspite, and the vessel began to descend, dangerously nearing the atmosphere of Esseles. "Why that..." she muttered, before the alarm sounded, and she grabbed at the flight controls, regaining control of the ship and narrowly averting disaster.

Serine was about to turn and exit the area, completely satisfied that her web of influence against Arden was growing like a disease upon the vessel, but Bethany's inability to even wait a few moments to read the data snapped her attention back to the officer with fury instantly brooding. The Lieutenant had the audacity to review the data right in front of Thanor not but a few seconds right after she explicitly said not to! Serine might have been able to let the first failure pass, but not what it caused ... the entire vessel had began to drift near the atmosphere of the planet they were orbiting. Sheppard's recklessness nearly doomed them all! She could not believe this idiocy and despite her best intentions, she would have to make an example of the Lieutenant because everyone in the area heard Serine's orders and saw them being blatantly disregarded. An aggressive gesture was snapped to Meham'ohorovi'cloca and motioned to relieve Sheppard of her duties as the Inquisitor stalked back to the Lieutenant like a feverish and insane predator. Why did it appear as if everyone on this ship wished to force her hand... Perhaps she should just automatically punish every single person with a negative Arden review, it would certainly save her time pretending to give these ingrates a second, third, fourth chance. As Bethany reviewed the document, she would likely be so engrossed in the information that she would not realize what was happening behind her until it was far too late. In a flash of movement, lightwhip coils wrapped around Bethany's neck as the woman was literally ripped from her console and dragged through the crew pit isle so that everyone could witness the horror and shame. With every tug, the coils dug further into Sheppard's neck so that at the moment Serine stopped dragging the poor woman, she would be nearly unable to breathe at all. Thanor violently shoved Bethany to the cold durasteel plating, that movement made the pressure around her neck nearly unbearable. As all of this was taking place, Serine shouted to the audience that no doubt would be paying very close attention. "This officer just put everyone on this vessel in danger by foolishly disregarding a direct order by a superior!" She lowered herself to be closer to Bethany, a hand snaked into hair as she snapped that woman's head back to look at her. "You nearly killed us all!" Her voice irate before, now became murderously low. "Beg forgiveness." A haunting look of desire glinting in her eyes ... she wanted to kill that woman if she was unable to comply and made it all the more challenging, purposely cutting off Bethany's air supply with a final cruel tug of the lightwhip.

Bethany's eyes widened immensely as she felt the tug of the lightwhip around her neck. Was this it? she wondered, as her hands moved towards her neck instinctively, as she struggled to survive. She felt her feet lift off the durasteel deckplating and her brief life flashed before her eyes. "I'm..." she struggled, trying her best to breath, but each word made it more difficult to gasp for her air. "...sorry!" she cried out, her body going limp in the grasp of the whip as she felt herself beginning to lose consciousness.

While empathetic with the inexperienced Lieutenant's predicament, Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca's first responsibility was to the crew. Grabbing hold of the controls she maintained a standard orbit of Esseles, avoiding disaster, and preventing the ship from meeting with disaster. Her red eyes darted to the Inquisitor, and then to Lieutenant Sheppard, hoping that she would relent before taking the young girl's life. As the Chiss Lieutenant focused on the vessel, it seemed every other officer was focused on the Inquisitor's demonstration. Easily distracted, as if there were mere children in the drama that was unfolding before them.

Captain Anson ran forward towards the Inquisitor, "Inquisitor, I beg you, spare her life," the Corellian captain pleaded, a pathetic twinge to his voice as she spoke. His eyes darted down into the crew pit where the young pilot was losing consciousness and hanging on to dear life. "She is an excellent pilot and we need her," he pleaded, lowering his head in the most respectful of postures.

The Captain seemed to know exactly what to say to appease the Inquisitor, which impressed her immensely. The desire to snuff the life out of this woman was strong, but Serine's better judgements kicked in. She did not come to the bridge this day to ... remove obstacles, she had a completely different agenda and Bethany was still useful. Unapologetic eyes peered down upon the pitiful and helpless form of the Lieutenant who was quickly losing consciousness and close to death. The coils were loosened quickly, allowing the slightly injured woman access to air once again. "Let this be a lesson to anyone who dares to disregard orders!" Serine said as she peered about the entire crew pit, addressing them as one, all eyes were fearfully on her except from one woman. Meham'ohorovi'cloca was still diligently working to keep the vessel stable, seemingly not at all phased by the near death of her fellow officer. That was commendable! Serine was now getting the chance to see why Zevrin's report on the Lieutenant was so vibrant. "Now ... all of you back to your duties!" She shouted angrily. One final look was afforded to Meham'ohorovi'cloca with silent contemplation before the Inquisitor made her exit, leaving the unfortunate battered Sheppard to her own devices.

Lieutenant Sheppard fell to the cold, unforgiving durasteel deckplating below, and began gasping furiously for air like an aquatic life form pulled from the sea. A large stream of drool escaped her lips as she flailed about helplessly, glad that she had survived her encounter with the Inquisitor. She was now the center of one of her stories, and by the morning she would tell 100 crew members about her brush with death. The rest of the bridge crew scurried like lesser life forms as they watched the pathetic display, taking in every moment of the Inquisitor's display.

"Return to your duties!" Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca snarled at the inexperienced crew, who were more concerned with the Inquisitor and her strangulations than the operations of the ship. While not neglecting her temporary duty of navigating the ship, she crouched, placing her left hand upon the young Lieutenant Sheppard's shoulder sympathetically. "Breath, young one. You have survived," she said, without much emotion, as she navigated the ship into a secure orbit. The Inquisitor had quite disrupted the condition of the bridge crew, but as she left, it was clear not a single one of them would support Major Zevrin or the ISB.

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