Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy.

One year before the Battle of Yavin (34:2:34) in the Bilbringi system: Kwai and Warspite, in the Brentaal system: Mediator, in the Eriadu system: Eriadu (Eriadu City: Eriadu Governor's office), and in the Ringali nebula: Ringali Station.


Captain Tiberius Anson, Major Adwin Carrington, Flight Lieutenant Fenig Durak, Major Pek Eklon (death), Ensign Derek Furlong (death), Major Kerrie Kiley, Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, Flight Lieutenant Bival Rhett, Vice Admiral Claudius Rodney, General Cassio Tagge, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Lieutenant Tristian Thorn (death), Flight Lieutenant Randi Trainor, General Vernan, General Akilist Volkov, and Major Arden Zevrin.


Major Pek Eklon sat nervously in his seat in the cockpit of the elderly space cruiser Mediator. He watched with anticipation as the vessel emerged from hyperspace and he could finally see his destination in the distance: the planet Brentaal. He swallowed, wetting his palette before he addressed the naval officer seated beside him, "Report."

Lieutenant Tristian Thorn took note of the cockpit displays and casually glanced out the view port before stating the obvious to the Major, "We have arrived in the Brentaal system."

The Mediator streaked towards the nearby planet Brentaal. The vessel was ancient by conventional standards, having entered service over a decade before the start of the Clone Wars. It was one of the many holdovers from the Republic Judiciary, which had preceded the mighty Imperial Navy, and the twice the age of its young Pilot undertaking his first command. Its insignificance was precisely why the Empire had chosen her for this important mission. For the mission to succeed, the Mediator had to go unnoticed.

The plan to transport Major Eklon was perfect, or so the officer at the Imperial Security Bureau would have liked to believe. Unfortunately, the Empire had filed a counterfeit cargo manifest for the Mediator, believing it would help her blend in with the busy traffic in the region. The Empire erroneously reported she was carrying medical supplies, which just happened to be the one thing the rebels needed most.

Lieutenant Thorn looked down at Ensign Derek Furlong, the Mediator's co-pilot, "Is there any sign of our escort?"

Ensign Furlong checked the sensor display and detected no other craft in the vicinity, "Nothing on screen..." The young Ensign's report was interrupted by a series of beeps emanating from the display he had just checked, "I have four fighters coming in at ... one-four-zero."

Lieutenant Thorn was not overly concerned, as the Imperial Governor of Brentaal had arranged for the Ringali Shell Security Force to provide an escort, "Can you confirm that they're from Brentaal?"

"Attempting to confirm that now, sir," Ensign Furlong selected the lead starfighter on his display and pressed a button to scan for the craft's identification, friend or foe (IFF) code. Nervously, he swallowed before reporting his worst fears, "Negative, sir ...they're rebel craft."

Lieutenant Thorn moved his hand to rub his right temple gently, "Blast! Where is our escort?"

Major Eklon's face turned from confused to angry as he considered the situation, "Rebels? In this sector? Impossible!"

"I'm afraid it is possible, Major," Lieutenant Thorn informed him, before taking control of the situation, "Setting a course for Brentaal IV and accelerating to maximum speed." He adjusted a series of controls directly in front of him and the Mediator's engines roared to life as it headed towards Brentaal IV, the primary planet in the system.

Lieutenant Fenig Durak, one of the fledging rebellion's new pilots, examined the Mediator running for its life through her cockpit. She piloted one of the alliance's new X-wing starfighters, recently brought over by rogue designers from Incom. Incom billed the X-wing as the best starfighter in the galaxy. She was not ready to go that far yet, but it was a step above of her old Y-wing. She activated her comlink to the other starfighters in her flight, "Lock s-foils in attack position." With the order issued, She herself toggled a switch on her overhead control panel. The wings of the four new starfighters slowly opened to form the distinctive X that gave the starfighter its name. "Accelerate to attack speed," the Lieutenant issued order over the comlink next.

"Copy, Corsair Three," Lieutenant Bival Rhett replied over the comlink. This would be Lieutenant Rhett's first mission for the rebellion, and he was eager to see his first battle.

"Remember ... we need to capture her, not destroy her!" Lieutenant Durak warned over the comlink.

The flight of four X-wings accelerated to attack speed and headed towards the Mediator. The elderly vessel was no match for four state of the art starfighters, and they would soon be upon her.

In the cockpit of the Mediator, Major Eklon continued to fill with rage, "This is intolerable ... absolutely intolerable! How could this happen?"

Lieutenant Thorn turned to the Major again, "It would seem the rebels have established a larger presence in this region than you have led us to believe."

"I assure you, Lieutenant," Major Eklon responded in a condescending tone, "Our intelligence is nothing short of perfect." Just as he had concluded his statement a flash of light illuminated the cockpit as Lieutenant Durak conducted her strafing run on the dorsal hull of the Mediator.

"Right..." Lieutenant Thorn replied to the Major in a sarcastic tone.

"Our shields cannot sustain another hit like that, sir," Ensign Furlong reported, watching the shield readout flash on his displays, "This ship just isn't built for combat."

"Target her engines," Lieutenant Durak interjected over the comlink, "We need to disable her before she can reach that moon."

"Copy, Corsair Three," Lieutenant Rhett responded, "I'm beginning my attack run now."

"Fighters coming in!" Ensign Furlong exclaimed. Losing his nerve, he turned his head away from the display to look at Lieutenant Thorn directly.

"Evasive!" Lieutenant Thorn ordered as he pushed down on his flight controls, sending the elderly Mediator into an accelerated dive.

Lieutenant Rhett squeezed the trigger of his flight stick, launching a proton torpedo from the nose of his craft. "Torpedo away!" he exclaimed over the comlink.

The torpedo slammed into the Mediator's port engine, causing a violent explosion that destroyed much of the vessel's aft section. In the cockpit, the crew shook violently as the vessel came to a sudden, abrupt stop.

"Report!" Lieutenant Thorn yelled to Ensign Furlong.

Furlong had yet to turn back to face his displays. Looking at a readout of the ship's hull, the gravity of the situation became clear. "We've lost our port engine, sir. We're dead in space," Lieutenant Thorn reported grimly.

"We have no choice," Lieutenant Thorn instructed his co-pilot solemnly, "Get them on the comlink. Inform them we intend to surrender."

"No!" Major Eklon interjected angrily, "Belay that order! There will be no surrender!"

"We're dead in space, Major," Lieutenant Thorn reported, trying to reason with him, "There is no point in us all dying here."

"We will repel the boarders," Major Eklon instructed defiantly, "That is an order."

"Repel boarders?" Lieutenant Thorn questioned, "With what? This is an unarmed transport vessel Major, just like you requested."

"I cannot be captured," Major Eklon stated bluntly, "I am too important to the Emperor's plans in this region."

"She's finished," Lieutenant Durak said over the comlink, "Why haven't they surrendered?"

"I'll make another run and finish her off," Lieutenant Rhett informed his flight leader.

"You can repel the boarders then, Major," Lieutenant Thorn replied, "We are surrendering."

"No ... you are not," Major Eklon informed him. Eklon removed his blaster pistol from his holster and immediately fired a shot at Lieutenant Thorn.

"Ugh," was all Lieutenant Thorn could say as the bolt of energy hit his chest. He slumped down in his seat, dead.

"Now," Major Eklon said unfazed, "Prepare to repel boarders."

Lieutenant Rhett squeezed down on his flight stick several times, unleashing a series of laser blasts at the already damaged Mediator. One of the bolts smashed through the cockpit of the Mediator, instantly killing Eklon and the young co-pilot. The explosion that began in the cockpit soon spread throughout the entire vessel. In a bright flash of light, an explosion ripped through the entire ship and the Mediator was destroyed.

"Damn it!" Lieutenant Rhett exclaimed over the comlink, frustrated by the accidental destruction of the transport.

"We needed those supplies," Lieutenant Durak replied in a disappointed tone, "All craft return to base. Repeat. All craft return to base."

Across the galaxy near the planet Bilbringi, Admiral Claudius Rodney stood on the bridge walkway of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Warspite. Rodney stood quietly, watching hundreds of small craft head to and from the massive Bilbringi shipyards. Defending the shipyards was different from the planetary suppression missions his squadron recently completed, but it was a welcome respite.

The silence was broken when Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, the Warspite's Chiss tactical officer looked up from her display. "Captain Anson," she reported, "There is a priority transmission for the Admiral."

Captain Tiberius Anson, the Warspite's respected commanding officer, walked down the walkway towards the Admiral. "Sir," he said quietly to avoid disturbing him, "There's a priority transmission for you."

Admiral Rodney nodded to Captain Anson without speaking. He turned on the heels of his feet and walked down the walkway to the holonet transceiver. He stood there quietly as the holographic image of General Cassio Tagge.

"Admiral," General Tagge began, taking no time for formalities, "There has been an incident. Ready your squadron for immediate departure. Then, take a shuttle to Eriadu where you will receive your orders personally."

"At once, General," Admiral Rodney responded dutifully.

The holographic image of General Tagge faded away just as suddenly as it appeared. Admiral Rodney threw a quick glance to Captain Anson, who had positioned himself to overhear the transmission, "Alert all commands. Prepare for immediate departure. Then, ready my shuttle."

"Right away, Admiral," Captain Anson responded, and then turned to begin issuing orders to subordinates.

Admiral Rodney entered the turbolift and selected the hangar bay as his destination. He paused for a moment wondering what the incident General Tagge referred to might be. So much for a quiet defensive assignment, he thought to himself.

In the hangar bay, Lieutenant Randi Trainor hurried aboard the Lambda Shuttle Kwai. She had received her orders to ready the Admiral's shuttle only moments ago. Settling into the cockpit, she began flipping several toggle switches, beginning the vessel's preflight warm-up. "Why are these things always so short notice?" she asked, although she was the only one in the cockpit.

Also receiving her orders that day was Major Kerrie Kiley, Admiral Rodney's right-hand man, or woman as was the case. The young woman was dressed in a near black Imperial uniform, indicating she was in one of the Empire's more elite branches of service. Rarely did Admiral Rodney travel without her lurking behind him.

"Ah, Major," Admiral Rodney said with a slight smirk upon exiting the turbolift on the deck of the hangar bay. "Has Ran got her ready yet?"

"Just about, Admiral," Major Kiley replied, looking over her shoulder at Lieutenant Trainor in the vessel's cockpit, "Can you give me any more information on what is going on? Captain Anson was not at all specific."

"I'm afraid you know just about as much as me, Major," he said while walking up the ramp of the shuttle.

"Strange," Major Kiley replied, following the Admiral up the ramp.

Major Kiley sat down in the cockpit next to Lieutenant Trainor, with the Admiral taking a seat in the more spacious rear compartment.

"Ready?" Major Kiley asked.

"Ready," Lieutenant Trainor replied with a nod.

Major Kiley activated the comlink, "Warspite control, this is the Kwai. Requesting clearance to depart."

Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca's familiar voice responded on the comlink, "Kwai, you are clear to depart. Inform the Admiral that the squadron will be ready to depart on your return. Warspite out.

"Acknowledged," Major Kiley replied, "Kwai out." She then nodded to her counterpart, Lieutenant Trainor.

With Lieutenant Trainor at the controls, the Lambda Shuttle Kwai lifted off the hangar bay inside of the Warspite. As it dropped out of the hangar, the wings began to descend until the vessel formed the shape of an upside down Y. When the Kwai increased its distance from the Warspite, she activated the vessel's hyperdrive and sent the vessel streaking across space towards Eriadu.

Lieutenant Durak removed her helmet as the cockpit of her X-wing raised. She looked across the hangar at Lieutenant Rhett. She was disappointed with herself. She should have known the extent of the damage to the transport and stopped another attack run.

Lieutenant Rhett climbed down the ladder from his cockpit dejectedly. He really did not want to have to deal with anyone. Lieutenant Durak approached him, preparing to do her best to console the young pilot.

"Look," Lieutenant Durak said reassuringly, "It could have happened to anyone."

General Akilist Volkov, the hardened warrior who had been tasked with commanding the rebel base inside the Ringali Nebula, rushed down the stairs towards the group of pilots. He had heard they returned much sooner than expected and was eager to find out why.

"What happened?" General Volkov questioned Lieutenant Durak.

"Well," Lieutenant Durak began, unsure of how to report their failure.

"I..." Lieutenant Rhett began, looking to take responsibility.

"We," Lieutenant Durak interjected to spare the younger pilot, "Failed to realize the extent of the damage to the transport and it was accidentally destroyed."

"Destroyed?" General Volkov questioned. His face sunk with disappointment, the alliance needed those supplies.

"I'm afraid so, General," Lieutenant Durak reported, "It could not have been avoided."

General Volkov sighed, "Very well, Lieutenant. I'll expect your full report on my desk this evening. High command isn't going to like this."

"Understood, General," Lieutenant Durak said.

Once General Volkov had returned up the walkway, Lieutenant Rhett moved closer towards Lieutenant Durak. "Why did you do that?" he asked.

"You're a good pilot, Rhett," Durak said reassuringly, "It was an accident."

"Thanks," Rhett replied as his attitude seemed to improve, though his inflection left Durak unconvinced that he believed her.

Admiral Rodney and Major Kiley walked down a long corridor towards Grand Moff Tarkin's office on Eriadu. When the doors opened they saw Grand Moff Tarkin, General Tagge, and a female Imperial Security Bureau official.

"Admiral," Grand Moff Tarkin said as he rose from his chair, "A pleasure to see you again. I just wish it were under better circumstances."

"What circumstances would those be, Governor?" Admiral Rodney inquired, as he and Major Kiley walked towards the group, "The transmission was rather vague."

"Yes," Grand Moff Tarkin said quietly, "It is not something we like to advertise over open channels. Please, take a seat and I will explain."

Grand Moff Tarkin returned to his seat between General Tagge and the ISB official, while Admiral Rodney situated himself next to the General, with Major Kiley seated beside him.

"An Imperial transport was destroyed near Brentaal today," General Tagge informed the group, "It was attacked by the rebels. It would appear that they have positioned themselves nearby. From there, they can strike at the entire Ringali Shell. Not to mention the Perlemian Trade Route and the Hydian Way."

"There's more," Governor Tarkin interjected, "The transport was carrying an ISB operative. He was going to begin monitoring Brentaal's government and recommending certain changes to bring that planet into line. You are going to deal with the situation."

"Me, Governor?" Admiral Rodney questioned.

"Yes, Admiral," Governor Tarkin replied, "You are uniquely qualified. These Brentaal nobles will respect you. You are practically one of them. Do not forget who your father is. In addition, should the situation worsen you have experience in suppressing worlds."

"Well, hopefully it will not come to that," Admiral Rodney commented.

"Right," Governor Tarkin replied, "You will take full control of the region. All Imperial forces in the region will answer directly to you. You will have to maintain a careful balance, Admiral. You must know precisely what level of force to apply in each situation or the entire sector could crumble into open dissention. I am counting on you to handle the situation."

"Of course, Governor," Admiral Rodney replied, taking a moment to consider the situation that the Grand Moff had just placed before him.

"This," Grand Moff Tarkin said, motioning to the female officer next to him, "Is Major Arden Zevrin from the Imperial Security Bureau. She will be your liaison to the ISB and direct their forces in the region under your control. Now, return to your command and move your ships to the Ringali Shell immediately. Find and destroy the rebel base. Pacify the local population."

"Understood, Governor," Admiral Rodney replied, sending a nervous glance to Major Kiley.

"Bad news, General," the holographic image of General Vernan, Chief of Alliance Intelligence, said to General Volkov.

"Isn't it always bad, General?" General Volkov replied.

"That transport your pilots destroyed," General Vernan continued, "It wasn't carrying medical supplies after all."

"What?" General Volkov questioned in a confused tone, "My contacts on Brentaal assured me it was."

"That is what the Empire wanted everyone to believe," General Vernan explained, "It was carrying some important Imperial bureaucrat. Apparently he was going to start clamping down on Brentaal's government."

"Well," General Volkov responded, "Isn't it good that we got him before he could accomplish his task?"

"I'm afraid not General. All hell is going to break loose in your sector. Word is the Empire is sending an entire squadron to your region. High command is of the opinion that the Ringali Nebula base should be evacuated," General Vernan reluctantly informed him.

"No," General Volkov replied, "We have invested too much time in setting up this base. We'll be safe inside the nebula. From here, we can strike at them throughout the entire region. Besides, if the Empire mismanages this we'll be needed here to coordinate the increased support."

"General Volkov," Major Adwin Carrington, the Alliance Intelligence officer for the region, interjected as he stepped into the room with him.

"Yes, Major?" General Volkov asked, turned his attention away from the image of General Vernan briefly.

"Sensors indicate an Imperial fleet has exited hyperspace," Major Carrington reported, "At least thirty ships, including a Star Destroyer."

"General..." General Volkov began to inform General Vernan.

"I heard," General Vernan informed him, "I am confident you are up to the task, General. Good luck and may the Force be with you."

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