Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:4:5) in the Essessia system: Warspite.
Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, Vice Admiral Claudius Rodney, and Inquisitor Serine Thanor.

Inquisitor Thanor had been appalled that the Admiral was not only missing during the rebel attack on what she felt was an unwarranted leave of absence, but that he was gone for a few days after that when she wished to talk to him urgently. Frustrated and all but given up hope on the man, Serine left a datapad with a rough draft of her no doubt soon to be infamous report on this sector's woes upon his desk. So if he should finally arrive and decide to perhaps attempt to do his job, he would come across it in his office. She was not at all required to give Rodney any indication of her report, nor did she even have to tell him it was due in less than one standard galactic week. But her perhaps misleading judgment and shred of remaining loyalty to her charge swayed her emotionally to at least give the Admiral one more chance. Perhaps knowing what she will be reporting directly to his superior would snap him out of his delusional downward spiral. If he was so inclined, he would find the report extremely detailed. Every significant event that happened since Serine arrived was explained to the fullest. The facts were laid out in painful elegance, which was what was so terribly sad, as seen through the point of view of the Inquisitor. Some of the wording was almost remorseful. The most notable entries that were so colorfully worded was the Admiral's wrestling with his officer, his drunken stupor nearly resulting in death and his complete shut down nearly resulting in his death and the destruction of the engine room. The report was not all slander on the Admiral, there was a whole section praising the Captain, Randi, Allegra, the spotless condition of the engine room and countless other recommendations and praises. Serine did not even spare herself and there was a comprehensive section of her tussle with Major Kiley and all its disgrace. Despite it being a rough draft, the writing down to the last sentence was carefully thought out and emotionally charged.

Admiral Claudius Rodney stood on the bridge of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Warspite, arms folded over his chest as he sternly looked down into the crew pits as he supervised the repairs. His eyes scanned at the viewport and he grit his teeth sharply as he stared at the planet Esseles in the distance. They needed to get back to Brentaal, and the technicians at Damorian Manufacturing were simply taking too long with the installation of the replacement shield generator. "Captain, alert me when we are ready to test the new shield generator. I'll be in my office," he explained with a sharp nod of his head before pivoting on his feet to walk down the corridor to the turbolift. Once in the privacy of the turbolift he brought his right hand up to his temple and rubbed at his head slightly, feeling the fatigue of pulling overtime supervising the repairs. As the lift arrived on the level where his office was he hurried inside, his hand moving to his tunic to unfasten it, draping it on a chair as he moved to take a seat behind his desk. He let out a deep, tired sigh as he settled into the chair before his eyes trained on the datapad. "What's this?" he muttered to himself tiredly before he began scanning it over. It was difficult to read as his vision was slightly blurred, but he managed and slowly his anger began to rise. His hands and teeth began to clench as his face grew flushed. "I cannot believe this..." he cursed, as he tossed the datapad across the room angrily. His left hand curled into a fist and slammed down on the comm panel, "Inquisitor Thanor. Report to the conference room," he snarled, as he rose from his seat and began to place his tunic back on. Grumbling, he bent over and picked up the discarded datapad and exited the office towards the nearby conference room.

The Inquisitor was not even aware the Admiral was on board and hearing his apparent loathing voice over the comm system surprised her. He must have read her report, that thought brought a small smile to her face which was such a rare occurrence. So he wished to discuss the matter, so be it, she had nothing to hold back and the words within the datapad were the truth, actual facts. There was no misinterpretation there, black and white, though perhaps the tone was threaded with disappointment, concern and disgust, but that was bound to happen when her presence was ignored and her advice was brushed away with disrespect. Ah, the conference room... she reminisced the many such fine occurrences that transpired within as she approached it. Serine was prompt, professional and stoic as the doors drifted open before she made her solemn entrance. "You wished to speak to me, Admiral." Said detached and emotionless with a regard to protocol, not at all hinting the reason she was summoned. She stood at attention with her arms clasped behind her back as she awaited no doubt perhaps something else to add to her report last minute.

The Admiral had both of his hands pressed firmly against the shiny black surface of the conference table, hunched over it slightly and staring down at his reflection. He said nothing for a moment before grabbing hold of the datapad and waving it in the air at her in deep frustration. "What is the meaning of this?" he asked as he looked over her, sizing her up in his head. "Do you have any idea what the affect of such a report will be?" he asked, sounding incredulous as he placed the datapad back on the conference table. He began to slowly walk around the conference table, navigating the large, circular piece of furniture until he finally arrived in front of her. "Are you trying to destroy this command?" he asked sternly, shaking his head at her disappointedly. It was another in a series of problems that he had to deal with that were sidetracking him from the real objectives.

So the Admiral was finally considering her properly, thought perhaps that was the only way, only when your command, your life, your very reputation could be on the line does things suddenly become priority. "That, Admiral, is a rough draft of the full field report I will be giving Grand Vizier Sate Pestage ... personally." She kept her stiff attention as he approached her, unwavering, but it could be inferred that the Inquisitor was enjoying this, taking pleasure in Rodney's sudden realization that this young woman could make or break his entire life in one week. But she was not doing this to threaten him or dangle his very essence in front of him cruelly, she honestly wanted to give him another chance to do something she approved of, anything to at least soften the blow this report could hold against everything the man was trying to accomplish. "I am not purposely trying to ruin your command, Admiral, and yet you yourself make my report difficult to write in any other light." The Inquisitor wanted to make her intentions clear. "Make no mistake, I was not required to give you a rough draft." It was terribly obvious that Serine wanted to continue, to fully explain in all of the detail required. "And yet, I was personally compelled to warn you despite your refusal to take my station here seriously. My advice meant nothing to you as you viewed me barely qualified. I can see it in your eyes. My report is the compilation of the frustration and indignity I had to endure under this command."

Admiral Rodney's nostrils flared as he listened to his diatribe, turning his back to her as he walked over towards the water cooler. He said nothing, silently fixing himself a cup of filtered water. He drank of it quickly, and then crumpled the paper cup harshly, throwing it into the refuse casually. "This region was pacified!" he exclaimed, finally breaking the silence as he began back towards her. "Then the Empire had to send in that fool Lord Tion," he continued, his face visibly reddening as he ran over the serious of events. "And what did he do? Well, he only bombarded Ralltiir into a forgotten age..." he said bitterly, shaking his head in disgust as he moved towards a chair. "That madman stirred up a hornet's nest that won't easily be contained," he concluded as he sat down on the chair, leaning his elbows on the conference table as he looked up at her. "The former Senator of Chandrila is one of the leaders of this uprising," he continued, letting out a tired sigh as his fingers began to tap in anger against the table. "I am doing everything I can to keep the rest of these worlds from declaring for the Rebellion. There have been setbacks, but these Rebels have amassed considerable resources and can not simply be written off," he concluded, slamming his fist upon the table to emphasize his point.

The Admiral pacing around was a fascinating thing to watch, she was quite drawn to his sudden burst of emotion, spilling what he really felt about the situation, but that didn't cover any of her complaints that were in the report. Serine continued to stand at a military attention as she analyzed the other. Curious that he was being honest with her now, he should have been more open in the past. "I am not at all disagreeing with you Admiral, my complaints were of your personal and professional conduct, not of your military and political strategies." She considered him for a moment, there has to be something hidden there she would be willing to loyally advise, but he continued to brush off her complaints... again. "Your points are valid, but I cannot defend your actions lately. They were truly disgraceful Admiral, I've never seen such behavior from a senior veteran such as yourself. You are letting personal matters dictate and interfere with your progress. Was my report not honestly written? How else could I conclude the dealings of this ship when my superior is rolling around on the floor with his officer or mysteriously being absent when needed the most? I want to work with you, but those feeling are not mutual apparently."

Claudius slowly pulled the leather gloves from his hands, slapping them down on the conference table as he aired out his clammy hands. He intertwined his fingers and cracked his knuckles, as he attempted to alleviate some of his tension. "I am responsible for six planets, Inquisitor. I cannot be expected to be in every hot spot at once," he explained to her as his hand went to his head, pulling his cap from his head and placing it in a makeshift pile with his gloves on the table. "It was COMPNOR who forced me to bring my family into a warzone when I received this assignment," he continued, bitterness and resentment hanging on each of his words. "Do you think I enjoy what my family has been subjected to since being assigned here? Interrogations, kidnappings, bombings! They live like prisoners and I had to deny my daughter the opportunity to attend university..." he continued, growing increasingly more frustrated with every word. "And why? Why? So COMPNOR could market the region as 'safe' because my family lives here!" he exclaimed, as he looked down slightly, breaking his eye contact and shaking his head dejectedly. "Well its not safe damn it!" he exclaimed, slamming his hand on the conference table. "This conflict is destroying my family and its weighing heavily on me, but it is what I am ordered to do ... and I am a good soldier," he said, muttering under his breath as he rose from his chair and began walking towards her again. "Well damn you my family is important and they take up my time. I've sacrificed enough," he finished, looking her directly in the eye as he tried to explain his rationale to her.

Such passion... the Inquisitor was nearly transfixed on the seething outburst, as if she wanted to absorb it, quietly observing with a yearning gaze. Any normal attendee would be terrified, the Admiral having an emotional breakdown with a whiplash of anguish, but Serine was reveling in it, though it was impossible to tell with her perfectly placed awn, except for her pale silver eyes that so willingly peered towards Rodney, capturing every wild exclamation. So, in the face of adversity, the Admiral erupted, just short of a rampage, though it would be so foolish to do anything... hasty. Despite the display of bitterness that so captured her attention, she was disappointed they were failing to come to some sort of understanding, she did not give him her report to completely destroy him even before he had a chance be destroyed. There was a soft humming sound, gentle and yet... vile, the room was so supercharged with negative energy, the dark side was easy to evoke. With simple gesture, the datapad sitting on the table literally flew right into her hand, perhaps Rodney was aware of the mystical powers of the Force, perhaps not, but the datapad was in Serine's hand all the same. She brought it up to show him as if making a point, it being carefully held between a thumb and forefinger. "The situation here can go one of three ways Admiral, in either case, I can easily assist, even be the catalyst if you so desire. This datapad is the collection of everything that I dislike about you, but it doesn't have to be. It could even be a safe haven for you, depending on what you choose, and you will choose one of these options." She paused for a moment, allowing the weight of situation to sink in before she continued. "If you feel the stress of running this operation is too great on you and the threat too detrimental to your family, then all you have to do is tell me and this datapad will be rewritten not to negatively impact you, but to redirect you in a new light, one of reassignment." A meaningful look stared deep into the Admiral, that was option one. "If you feel you wish to stay and weather the storm, if you truly desire to see your task completed successfully then I demand you drop all pretenses and work with me personally, as we were meant to work. This datapad..." She wavered it in her fingers just a little. "...could then recommend your family be moved to allow you to focus, the negative reports of your conduct removed." Second option was nodded to the other. "However, if you do not choose one of those, then you by default decide on the current and present action. I give this report, as is, to your superior with all appropriate intent of shaming you, not on the fact alone, but by no other option because this datapad is full of truth, the ugliest kind." She finished her speech while looking at him intently, awaiting his fate to be decided, all while never breaking her military posture.

Claudius brought his hand up to his mouth and he pulled the palm of his hand down over his mouth slowly in exasperation. "Inquisitor," he began, turning his back on her to walk over the table. He places his palms back on the table and leaned down on it for support once more. "I understand you are here to 'assist' me, but I simply do not think you are equipped for the task," he began, attempting to be as honest with her as possible. "The situation here is very delicate. I am trying very hard to keep these planets in line with the Empire. That is done through diplomacy and negotiations," he said to her, speaking very politely as he tried to reason with her. Slowly he turned again to look her in the eye again. "These people will not response to force and intimidation. Your methods will only push these people into the hands of the Rebellion," he said as he extended both hands from his body, stressing the importance of what he was saying. "Give my methods a chance. They will hold these planets in the Empire and buy us the time we need to deal with the Rebel threat in the region..." he said, imploring her as his eyes roamed to the datapad in her hand. "That report will only serve to undermine all of the work that has been done here and set back the Empire's efforts here in the Ringali Shell," he conceded, his voice growing very weak as he sounded quite exasperated at this point.

Serine was not without compromise, it was obvious she was attempting to force his hand, but every time she felt nearly inclined to side with him, he had to remind her just how much he felt she was unqualified and unnecessary, and that stirred up defiance. "Merely advice, Admiral, you are allowed to disagree of course, but you are at least requested to listen." The datapad was tapped thoughtfully against her shoulder as she listened to the other, it almost sounded like a desperate plea for reconsideration. However, he did want to stay and fight, to win the sector, it was admirable. "Then you have made your decisions. I'll make recommendations that your family be moved to a safe sector, to keep your mind at ease Admiral." Of course that wasn't what he said, but that was the answer Serine will hear, it was logical to suggest that allowance be made for Rodney's family to be relocated. He had an important job to do, one that was being overridden by his fear of the safety of his wife and child... his drunken stupor was testimony to that. She would rewrite the majority of the harsh entries pertaining to the Admiral. Though... there were a few instances that perhaps would be reworded in her report, but would remain intact. That was for her to know and perhaps Rodney to find out.

Claudius ran his hand through his neatly kept curly black hair as he considered her words carefully. "I thank you for your offer of help regarding my personal affairs, Inquisitor, but I have had enough input from outsiders on the management of my family. This is where they are, and this is where they will stay..." he shared, somewhat reluctantly as he shifted to more important subjects. "I would request that you amend your report accordingly. If you want to be useful, I suggest you echo my requests for additional warships and personnel in dealing with the threat..." he said to her as he moved to the tactical readout on the far wall. "We simply do not have enough resources to cover six systems effectively," he admitted as his hand swept over the display, motioning to the poor distribution of starships and troops. "We are doing the best job with what we have, but we simply can not stand around claiming we are fighting a bunch of poorly equipped savages..." he said emphatically as he entered a few keystrokes to bring up the tactical display of a Rebel X-wing starfighter. "These people have more resources and more skill than we give them credit. Our underestimation of them is what is hurting our war effort," he paused to turn to look over his shoulder at her, "...not my personal life."

"I will amend the report appropriately, Admiral." Indeed she would, but a few things would remain. Due to his reluctance to listen to reason, Serine was still aiming to include a section recommending the relocation of his family from this sector. Her eyes washed over the holographic image of the X-wing starfighter, remembering those ships clearly in the rebel attack upon Warspite. The Inquisitor was among the many that believed the rebels to be ill equipped terrorists, but her first hand account of their tactics, manpower and skill had swayed her initial opinion. "I will have to agree with that assessment for now, it will also be included in my report." Though she agreed with the Admiral about the rebels, she was not at all convinced his poor management of his personal life was not influencing his professional one, and her defiant stare to him, challenging that single statement was proof of her feelings on that matter. We'll see. Silently she thought to herself before she once again looked to the tactical display. "Have you had a chance to look over the military defensive victory of that surprise attack?" Serine shifted a bit uneasy in place, repositioning her weight as she stood at attention, rather uncharacteristic of her... something was bothering the Inquisitor. The damage to the vessel had been immense, the rebels were nearly successful in crippling Warspite.

Claudius calmly listened to her words, his attention again shifting towards the tactical display. "Yes. We suspect they're using the abundance of civilian traffic that passes through the Brentaal system to plot our location..." he began to explain to her as his hands moved over the control panel. After a few key strokes the planet Brentaal was visible on the display, with the Perlemian Trade Route and Hydian Way highlighted for full effect. A series of readouts showing the daily shipping that passes through the two trade lanes was displayed, indicating it was among the most active spaceports in the Galactic Empire. "Unfortunately, short of shutting down all space traffic, there is little we can do to correct against it," he explained as he brought up a second readout, showing the small number of Imperial starships that were available for line duty in the system. "We have considered withdrawing the Warspite out of scanning range, but that would simply negate her effectiveness in the system. If they cannot scan us, we cannot scan them ... so we might not even be there if we were to employ that tactic..." he explained to her, his eyes turning to the woman to look her over carefully. He was not sure if she was capable of understanding any of the stratagems he was outlining to her, but nevertheless he would do his duty and attempt to explain it to her.

It was a nice change of pace for the Admiral to actually be discussion strategy with her, since that was in fact his job that he has failed to do since her arrival. Perhaps the threat of his entire career imploding into itself in a shameful catastrophic meltdown was enough to refocus his attention meaningfully. Serine seriously doubted he believed her to be qualified for this position, but at least he was pretending to give her mind now. It was a start, though it didn't solve the real issues at "Perhaps a bit more pro-active thinking, Admiral? What about wreckage recovery... surely there was enough intact pieces of those starfighters remaining that their assembly origins could be determined. Someone is designing and providing craft to the rebels. Would that not be something worth investigating?" If they couldn't prevent rebels from sniffing them out in the sector, perhaps they could start striking back where it would matter. "These rebels are being outfitted." She said with a tilt of her head. Serine was far more willing to seek out and destroy threats. Just waiting for them to mount an offense was not what she considered a winning strategy, nor was merely reacting to being attacked. It would be all the better to be attacking them first.

"We have used our recovery shuttles to obtain what we can," Claudius explained with a firm nod of his head as the display cycled back to the technical readout of the Incom T-65B X-wing starfighter. His hand motioned to the display as he pointed out several key features that he considered significant. "As you can see they have four laser cannons to our two..." as his hand flicked over the points of each of the four S-foils. "They also have a shield generators and that has proved the real advantage in the system..." he concluded with a firm nod as the display removed the shield generator from the readout and produced a detailed tactical readout of the unit. "We can outmaneuver them and that's really about it, to be perfectly frank..." he concluded, with a rather grim assessment as a comparison readout of the TIE/ln starfighter was shown adjacent to the X-wing. "Thus far we've been unable to find any identifiable markings or metal signatures to ascertain the source of the craft, but reports from the Outer Rim seem to indicate that region as the likely source of most Rebel men and materials..." as he concluded the lights in the conference room dimmed considerably as the red emergency lights activated. The tactical display went to static, flickered for a moment, and then faded into oblivion. Claudius attempted to use the comm panel, but it failed to activate. "Blast it all..." he muttered to himself as he pulled a comlink from his belt and attempted to reach the bridge. "Report," he sneered angrily into the comlink, uncertain if any of his brilliant officers would have the sense to be listening in to their comlinks.

After a blast of static the familiar voice of Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca was heard on the comlink. "I am sorry to report Admiral that we attempted to bring the new shield generator online. It overloaded our power circuits. Lieutenant Alexander expects to have power restored within the hour..." she replied, devoid of any emotion as she made her report in cold, blunt military precision.

"I apologize, Inquisitor, but I must get to the bridge," Claudius said to the young woman as he awaited her acknowledgment to leave. His gloved hands clenched in frustration as it was yet another problem he would have to deal with. He distinctly remembered ordering the bridge not to bring the new shield generator online without his permission. His hand went to the back of his neck, rubbing at it tiredly as he considered the events of the meeting and the calamity on the bridge.

She blinked twice in annoyance as the lights flicked for a moment and the holo display powered down. The scrambling to get everyone online and functioning once again is proving to be an uphill battle. Inquisitor Thanor nodded politely to the other in acknowledgement. "Of course Admiral." She said as she dismissed herself from the room, taking her cue. This meeting had been fruitful she believed and rather insightful. Now she had to adjust her report with these tidbits, the datapad clutched possessively in her hand as she traversed the hallways that were still in disarray. Serine was a tad disappointed that she didn't get a full opportunity to discuss the matter of her own performance in the battle, and the very peculiar few moments of perfect synch the vessel had in battle, but she was eager to finish her report, in which she would diligently within the confines of her room.

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