Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Kit Gwynne, Christopher Levy, and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:2:11) in the Essesia system: Interrogator.
Commander Caligula Howe, Commander Kerrie Kiley, High Inquisitor Serine Thanor, and Colonel Mark Veller.

It had been a very busy week. Despite pressure from the High Inquisitor to begin the bombardment of Esseles immediately, Mark has stood his ground, explaining carefully to the High Inquisitor that many pieces needed to be fit together in order to make the mission a complete success.

The most time consuming part was working with Major Eona on the targets. He did admit he was probably responsible for a few of the Major's sleepless nights, though she seemed to enjoy the challenge. Yesterday, he had finalized all of the targets and been a bit shocked going through all of the possibilities. Esseles was practically riddled with pockets of Rebellion.

In a matter of hours, however, that would be changing. He regretted the civilian casualties that were sure to happen, one of the reasons he had hounded the Major on her data, but that was the price they paid for allowing the Rebellion to grow unchecked. He wanted to make sure each target actually had Rebels in it. As he stood on the command deck of the Interrogator, the point was now moot. The attack patterns were set in and each pilot had their targets.

At the mission briefing hours before, he had made it clear to the pilots that accuracy was required. He didn't want any excess damage to the planet or its population. Any resistance, however, was to be eradicated. The intel from the Major did not indicate any heavy artillery, but that did not mean it wasn't there. Mark did not like surprises and put plans in place to handle any heavy artillery.

To his Stormtroopers, he gave the task of eliminating any ground resistance that survived the bombing attack. If there were anti-aircraft installations, they would be in a position to take them out the fastest. Prisoners, he said, were to be taken where possible, but not at any great risk. The purpose of this strike was to demonstrate the overwhelming superiority of the Empire's forces and their ability to surgically strike.

Having nothing else to do besides wait until the appointed hour, Mark found himself on the command deck of the Interrogator. Though he wanted to lead the assault on the ground, his spot was here, coordinating the many strikes across the planet and making sure everything went well. He could not do that when people were shooting at him. After the mission was over, he would go planetside to inspect the results, better honing his tactics for the next strike. Until then, he was bound to the Interrogator's bridge.

Besides, Mark grumbled to himself, that damn doctor would not clear him for active duty, stating his ribs still not healed enough to take the stress of being in armor.

The High Inquisitor was extremely anxious to begin their assault on the rebel cells that had bore into many pockets of resistance on Esseles like the worms they were. It was time to expose and eradicate as many as they could in an impressive and shocking display that would likely garner fear and trepidation of the local populace and remind them the punishment for siding with the enemy. Serine was fresh off of her meeting with Major Zevrin and uncharacteristically energized and ready to begin these operations. The doors leading into the command deck slid open revealing a hastened Inquisitor with a prepared gleam in her eyes. She quickly made her way towards where Mark was with an impatience that was hard to mask. "High Colonel, how are preparations? I have last minute targets to include that are points of interest for the ISB." Serine flicked her wrist to gesture towards the officer that had been following closely behind her. "Report," she barked in an eagerness that was not typical behavior of the High Inquisitor.

Commander Caligula Howe was a weasel of a man with a face to match. He emerged from the large shadow cast by Inquisitor Thanor, and his attention currently shifted towards the High Colonel. "Ah. Yes. Colonel Veller," he began, as he produced a simple datapad that had an additional list of targets for the impending strike on the planet. "Major Zevrin has provided you with up to date intelligence from the Imperial Security Bureau on known and suspected Rebel cells and collaborators," he explained, as he extended the datapad to Veller. In reality there were no Rebels on the list. It was in fact a list of the political and business opponents of those members of the Esselian high order that supported Major Zevrin. The good Major was consolidating her hold on the Ringali Shell and, having eliminated her enemies, she had now moved on to eliminating the enemies of her enemies. "She requests you limit this assault to the Star Destroyer Interrogator, the 610th Legion, and the ShadowWhispers, which exist outside of the Cobalt Scimitar Command," he further explained, as he shifted his gaze towards the Inquisitor. "I am sure you will agree it is best to limit this to the elements directly under your purview, rather than involve elements from Governor Rodney's command and potentially turn this into a bureaucratic issue," he explained, with a firm nod of his head, to inform her that it was more than a *suggestion*.

Mark turned to face the High Inquisitor as she came onto the command deck. Coming to attention and giving her a short bow, he then stood at ease and nodded, "Yes, High Inquisitor, final preparations and countdowns are well in hand."

At the mention of new targets, his attention turned to the man who had followed Serine. His face went a bit more formal realizing the commander that stood before him was from ISB. But with good grace, he took the datapad and fired up the list, scanning it briefly. Walking over to a terminal, he plugged in the data, pulling it up on the main display.

A large holo of Esseles appeared with the confirmed target points in red, the new ones in yellow. The new targets were mostly in populated areas, many in within the heart of various cities.

He turned to the commander, "Commander, these new targets are in cities, Stormtrooper strike teams will be needed to take them out. I certainly hope these commandos are worth their pay. Given the rushed time frame, I cannot guarantee complete success with these targets. I've already committed half of the Interrogator's Stormtroopers to ground support for the bombing."

Mark's mind was working through a few scenarios. With the new targets, it was on the top of his tongue to request a delay in the operation in order to integrate the new orders. He could scramble the rest of his troopers, but without a bit more preparation, things were likely to be sloppy. It was hoping to allow the ShadowWhispers a few more days to acclimate to the Interrogator, but that was no longer possible.

"Commander Kiley to the command Deck," he sent the order out.

Serine nearly growled with Mark's pessimism, finding it rather annoying. With a rush of motion, the High Inquisitor slammed both of her palms upon the table as she focused her ire towards the man. "High Colonel, I am giving you tremendous amount of resources for this operation!" She barked at him angrily, finding it unacceptable that he found even a shred of concern for the mission. "We are the only Imperial vessel in the Ringali Shell with a company of Storm Commandos. Was I wrong to assume you could use them to their full potential?" She glared at Veller with the noxious question.

Commander Kerrie Kiley was lying comfortably in her bunk in the barracks that had been assigned to the storm commandos when word came down she was needed on the bridge. Releasing her grip on her stuffed bantha, she rose swiftly to her feet and began the process of dressing herself in her black Imperial uniform. She took a moment to stare at herself in the mirror to ensure she was presentable, and then began to hustle her way over to the turbolift that would take her to the bridge of the mighty warship. As the lift moved upward she took the opportunity to reposition her uniform, in particular she paid attention to the uniform cover upon her head. Clearing her throat as the turbolift doors opened she surged forward, coming to a stop in front of Colonel Veller. "Sir, Commander Kiley reporting as ordered, sir," she said, obediently, as she once again snapped her heels together. Her eyes moved to note the position of the Inquisitor, but she did not move her head away from facing her direct superior, the Colonel.

Mark looked over at the High Inquisitor coolly, "Milord, all these strikes must be coordinated or we risk losing some. My Stormtroopers are not specifically trained for this short a notice. However, with squads from the ShadowWhispers to lead them, we will have more success. Had I these targets 24 hours ago, there would have been enough time to brief and deploy the additional troops, as it is, we have to improvise," Mark not quite glared at the ISB Commander for the last minute targets, while trying to politely tell his commanding officer to leave the details of running an army to the one trained for it.

Nodding to Commander Kiley as she entered, Mark said, "At ease, Commander. I had hoped to give you and your troops a few more days to adjust to the Interrogator, but new orders require your involvement. New data relayed to us have given us targets within most of the major cities of suspected rebel activity. I need your commandos to spearhead those attacks." He handed Kerrie the datapad received from the Commander, "Here are you targets, Commander. Inform me of any additional troopers you will need and I will get them assigned. Your troopers leave in three hours."

Mark looked over at Kerrie, nodding his approval of her uniform state, "The mission is to destroy rebel outposts, deny them resources. Those who get in your way, you are authorized to kill. Take prisoners where you can, but not at the expense of Stormtrooper lives," he paused, "I understand there will be civilian casualties, I will take exception to unusually high casualties. Is that understood, Commander?"

Kerrie exhaled, her legs separated slightly, and her arms more loosely fell at her sides as the order was given to 'at ease'. She reached out with her gloved hand to take the datapad, and almost immediately began looking over it. Her eyes narrowed and her brow furrowed as she studied what appeared to be a list of civilian and commercial target. Her eyes momentarily rolled upward to look towards the weasely ISB officer, but she said nothing. "They will be ready, sir. I will personally lead them," she declared, before tucking the datapad beneath her left arm in order to provide her subordinate, Captain Updike, a chance to peruse the data. She wanted to say she did not expect to get resistance from the corporate executives and secretaries on the datapad provided by the ISB, but she decided it was in her best interest to say nothing. "Understood, sir," she reported, in complete obedience, as she reluctantly came to accept the hold the ISB had taken over the Oversector now seemed to go as far as the Inquisitor. There was *no one* left to check Arden Zevrin.

"I will need a report in two hours of your readiness, dismissed Commander," he said to Kerrie, turning to the High Inquisitor and Commander Howe, "If you will excuse me, Milord, I have a major attack to orchestrate." With a short bow to the High Inquisitor, he turned his back and walked over to another station to get some more readiness reports. Unless the High Inquisitor was going to come over and hound him for more answers, he prefered not to have to explain why it took longer to plan an attack than a scramble a defense.

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