Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:2:30) in the Brentaal system: Warspite.
Lieutenant Mark Alexander, Lieutenant Allegra Ames, Vice Admiral Claudius Rodney, Inquisitor Serine Thanor, and Doctor Pilaq Tohan.

"Have you found your quarters comfortable, Inquisitor?" Claudius asked as the two stood uncomfortably in the crowded lift. The Admiral looked tired, his skin looking waxy and bags visible beneath his eyes. Since the conference the man had not eaten, nor had he slept. The situation in his Oversector was becoming untenable and with an Inquisitor literally over his shoulder he had begun to fear for his life. As he had been unable to conduct her tour of the bridge earlier in the week, the gentleman had offered to complete her tour with an inspection of the ship's engine room. It was one of the lest glamorous parts of the mighty vessel, but it was the heart from which the vessel's life flowed. He cleared his throat as he turned to look at her, waiting for her response.

"Yes, actually, though it is unfortunate that I've spent too much... time there." A less than content jab at the fact that Serine's visit to the Warspite has yet to lead to any real improvements due to the Admiral's negligence. "What I fail to understand is the necessity to tour the engine room when our strategic position in this sector has been severely compromised." Gray eyes narrowed slowly towards the man before she turned from him to stare at the turbolift door she expected to open any moment now.

Allegra stood quietly behind the Admiral and the Inquisitor, feeling quite privileged to have been asked to accompany them on the tour. Personally, she would have preferred to complete the tour on her own, but it was no matter. Allegra knew all too well that the Inquisitor might leave within a week and forget that she even existed, whereas she had invested considerable time tying her career to Admiral Rodney. As the turbolift door opened and they arrived at the engine room she peered between their shoulders to look out at the catwalk. It seemed clean, but she never considered Lieutenant Alexander the most professional of her colleagues.

"My dear Inquisitor," the Admiral began as he exited the turbolift and began walking onto the catwalk that ran atop the massive engine that powered the ship. "By changing our routine we give the enemy the benefit of knowing that he has affected our daily actions," he began to explain as his hand moved out in front of him, swaying side to side as he reasoned it out. "Our strategic position will only be compromised when 'we' allow it to be. As long as we continue to operate on our terms we maintain control," he concluded, finally turning his head to the Inquisitor in an emphatic nod.

"I can see your reasoning here, Admiral." The Inquisitor nodded once to the other, willing to debate when others had at least some argument, but of course she disagreed with him. "You rather do nothing to prevent the opposition from discovering they are making a dent in our operations. I, on the other hand, would rather completely stamp them out with overwhelming power to show them just how insignificant their pitiful rebellion really is." Serine visibly and audibly huffed which turned into a short inhale of breath as she had meant to continue her speech but felt she successfully made her point. Fingers absentmindedly curled softly around a coil of her lightwhip attached to her hip during their discussion.

Lieutenant Mark Alexander, seeming to be nearly as old as the Admiral, but still struggling as a junior officer in the bowels of the mighty warship. Another officer might have given up and retired, but not him ... he was a true engineer and would gladly spend the rest of his days working on an engine. Truthfully, he might have been promoted if not for his inability to strictly adhere to protocols. Having begun his career in the Corellian Defense Force, he lacked some of the discipline found in his colleagues. As he turned to the Admiral he offered up a grease stained hand in a casual handshake, never one for salutes.

The eyes of Admiral Claudius Rodney widened in dismay as he looked at the junior officer's hand hurriedly moving towards him. A quick step back took him out of the path of grease and narrowly avoided a hygienic disaster. He shook his head, sliding his hands firmly against his side. "I apologize, Lieutenant, but I do not know where those hands have been," he euphemistically explained as he turned to look over the rest of the engine room. It seemed clean, despite the Lieutenant's best attempts to present himself as a grease monkey.

She took a long drawn-out look around the engine room from her position directly to the left of the Admiral. There didn't seem to be any serious cause for concerns here... this was the first time she didn't find a reason to be disappointed. Despite the other not acknowledging her presence, she would speak to Mark directly. "Congratulations Lieutenant, this appears to be the most organized and functional section of the entire ship. I will be sure to mention this in my report to the Grand Vizier." Inquisitor Thanor was quick to issue out complaints and often even executions, but she was just as eager to give compliments when deserved.

Mark offered what seemed nothing more than a polite nod to the Inquisitor, whose role he did not fully understand. Mark was too focused on his engine room to learn the hierarchy of the Galactic Empire, believing it to be overcomplicated and filled with redundant departments that caused for losses in efficiency. If he were to compare the Empire to an engine, he doubted the performance rating would be very high. It was more than that, however, as he felt the engine room was a place best left to men. While he tolerated women like Lieutenant Ames serving on the bridge, he did feel comfortable when they entered his domain.

"Ah. Lieutenant, you may appreciate this..." Claudius said as he began to move down the walkway towards the data terminals, his eyes looking at all the readouts. For once, everything seemed to be in order. "Inquisitor Thanor and you serve in the same capacity," he explained as he looked over his shoulder towards the attractive young menace. "As you are responsible for maintaining the inner working of the engine, she is responsible for maintaining the inner workings of the Empire," he concluded with a polite nod to both of them. He was distracted by the events of the conference and felt his head begin to feel light. His vision blurred lightly and he had trouble seeing clearly. He desperately needed to eat.

Her eyebrows lifted somewhat in surprise as Rodney began to speak of her, comparing her to the engineer. With a brief moment of silent pondering, Serine could agree with his clever assessment. "And yet you seem to fight me every step of the way, Admiral." She said with a snide smile that slowly faded as she picked up on an oddity of Rodney's behavior. The man had just been hospitalized, and even though the Inquisitor believed it had been an excuse to neglect his duties, perhaps there had been some justification. "Perhaps you should sit for a moment." She wasn't concerned for his well-being in a caring sense, merely that his condition needed to be in working order or more neglecting would follow... and quite frankly, Serine was fed up with the lack of real progress due to these setbacks.

"Lieutenant Ames," Claudius began, his voice sounding a bit weary, as his hands moved towards the railing to boost his support. He turned his back to them, leaning forward over the railing as he struggled to remain standing. "Arr...arrange for my... for my... for my... lun..." he mumbled repeatedly as he felt himself begin to lose consciousness yet again. The tired old man fell forward, topping the railing head over heels as he began a plunge towards the powerful turbine below that would surely result in his demise. Perhaps he had returned to work too soon.

She motioned to Allegra while shifting her gaze to the woman causing her to miss the more woozy appearance of Rodney. "Arrange for a..." Her sentence was immediately cut off as she just barely witnessed the sight of the Admiral crumpling over the railing of the catwalk. With a gasp of alarm she rushed forwards to catch his left arm with both of her own but the sudden shift in her weight pulled her over the rail with him causing them to free fall towards an unsightly end. . Serine did not have time to panic, only to act quickly. She only had a split second to make a reaction. With her left hand clutching Rodney, her right snatched the hilt of her whip to fling it towards the metal descending steps that they were falling past at increasing speeds. She desperately grasped the coils of the whip, hoping that the hilt would catch between two steps. A split moment later, what she desired happened causing their combined weight to suddenly snap down upon the lodged hilt. The applied force involved consequently caused a sick popping sound. With the immediate halt in their decent, Serine's arm that was holding Rodney dislocated painfully as they idly dangled from death. Eyes grew wide and shallow for a moment with a gasp of pain before they focused upwards upon the hilt of her whip with a dread of realization. It was shaking slightly with their slow swinging motions causing it to ever closer shift upon the activation switch of the weapon. She didn't have much time... it would soon be physically impossible for her to hold on to the Admiral due to her dislocated shoulder, and even if she did not have that problem... her lightwhip was about to activate and she was firmly grasping the coils. There was a catwalk out of her reach but with a little swinging, she would begin to shift them back and forth towards that goal, however, those movements were dangerously close in causing the weapon to activate.

Allegra panicked when she saw the Admiral go over the side, immediately believing the two years she had spent manipulating him and ingratiating herself to him had been for nothing. She ran towards the control panel and slammed her palm furious against the alarm, sending an alert to every officer throughout the massive ship. "Medical team to engineering," she screamed into the comlink, losing her trademark calm. She could not afford to let anything happen to the man she planned to have make her career.

Lieutenant Alexander was horrified at the thought of the Admiral falling over the railing, but only because if a human body got caught in one of the turbines the engine would surely break and the mighty ship would lose power. As he hurried down the stairs toward the next level of the catwalk, he could get a better view of the dangling, unconscious Admiral. "Swing him over to me," he yelled to the Inquisitor as he could not quite reach the man. He extended both his arms over the railing, doing his best to grab the old man's body before he and the ship expired.

With one final swing, she let the Admiral go with enough power behind the motion to fling his dead weight across the gap in distance and arrive towards Mark, hopefully allowing the man to grab Rodney. Unfortunately, this last large movement snapped the switch of the lightwhip and instantly those coils glowed a dismal bright red. The gloves Serine wore were made from armorweave allowing her a few seconds but it wasn't enough for another swing to safety. She screamed as the coils burnt into her hand which forced her to let go to fall towards her demise. With a last effort, Inquisitor Thanor reached out with the Force to rip the whip's hilt from the steps and called it into her burnt but still functioning hand, all of which happened in one fluid motion. With a determined shout, she slashed towards the very last catwalk as she fell past it which was positioned right beneath Mark and Claudius. The coil wrapped around the railings, burning through half of it before Serine managed to deactivate the weapon. The sudden jolt of her quick stop snapped the weakened metal that the lightwhip burned into, causing it to begin to bend forwards with Serine's weight. There was nothing else she could hold onto... In vain, she attempted to use her dislocated arm but it wasn't correctly responding... and thus she hung there near helplessly as the metal continued to bend. She only had moments before falling into the generator turbine.

Mark reached out and grabbed the Admiral, pulling him over the railing with so much force that the two middle-aged men fell backward and collapsed in a heap on the walkway. He shook his head, a bit disoriented, as he looked at the developing situation with the Inquisitor. While the Admiral was unharmed, Serine's bravery would accomplish nothing if she fell into the generator and disabled the mighty Star Destroyer. The result of the Admiral's spill might single-handedly damage the ship in ways more powerful than anything the fledgling Rebellion was capable of.

"Ugh," Admiral Rodney groaned as he started to stir, shaking his head as he realized what had happened. Pilaq was going to kill him, he feared as he began to push himself off the deckplating. As he observed the situation with the Inquisitor he reached deep inside himself, using the same reflexes he used during his time as a member of the University of Alderaan shockball team. Fearing the death of an Inquisitor under his watch but would be the last nail in his coffin, he hurried down the stairs to the next level and began reaching for the Inquisitor. He could not reach. "Do not panic," the Admiral warned her, in his characteristic gentlemanly manner.

Lieutenant Alexander soon hurried down the stairs, coming up behind the Admiral and clinging to the leather belt that wrapped around his tunic. "I've got you," he said as he stained the back of the Admiral's finely pressed uniform. "Now you get her!" he said, issuing an order as this was his engine room. He planted his feet against the support beams of the walkway to prevent the situation from worsening.

With the engineer's filthy hands firmly intertwined with his belt, he extended his body over the railing of the walkway and attempted to grab at the Inquisitor. "Just a little more..." he said to Mark as he leaned forward and grabbed his hands around her waist, his hands grabbing at her waist as if he were inspecting the firmness of a piece of meat. "I assure you, my dear, that I am a married man and that the situation necessitates these actions," he said very dryly, seeming not to lose his call as he dug his hands into her sides and pulled her back over the railing to safety.

During the course of this event, Inquisitor Thanor had been collected despite the severity of the situation. "Admiral, I would appreciate it if you would..." Serine began to say slowly, deliberately with with a cool demeanor, but her voice quickly sharpened "...shut up and grab me!" She yelled at him with eyes glaring intensely, breaking what otherwise would have been an unfazed performance. The metal bent once again, dangerously close to snapping altogether. With much relief, the man lifted her from danger just as the integrity of the railing failed, causing small pieces of railing along with her lightwhip to clatter to the ground harmlessly avoiding the generator. She exhaled a deep breath heavily as she clumsily stumbled upon the catwalk. Honestly, this wasn't the first time she was close to death... "Don't misunderstand my motives here, Admiral. I am merely thinking of the livelihood of the Empire. You would have been a loss... and so would this entire ship."

Allegra hurried down the stairs once she sensed the danger was over, careful to avoid any direction action. After all, in her mind she was more important than the lot of them. "That was very heroic, milord," she said as she dropped down to one knee and placed her arms on the Admiral's back to support him. "I have called for a medical team..." she informed him quickly, her eyes darting towards the Inquisitor to see if there was any room for ingratiating herself with her as well.

She had not left this misfortune unscathed, though just by looking at her mannerisms it would be difficult to realize the extent of her injuries. Having been through vigorous years of training, learning to control pain had been a lesson drilled into her... gruesomely. However, she carried her dislocated arm awkwardly, unable to use it properly... and light smoke still drifted from the cavity within her right glove.

Claudius heaved deeply, trying to catch his breath as he looked towards the Inquisitor, noting she had sustained an injury. He turned to give Lieutenant Alexander a polite nod of gratitude before fixating himself on Serine. "Quite enough excitement for one day, my dear," he said with a slight touch of dry humor that Alderaanian nobility had been known for. "Let us get you to the medical bay," he said as he moved a hand to the small of her back, walking forward with her as they moved towards the turbolift. By now, Doctor Tohan would be on alert and ready to receive patients.

How could she not notice the fact that Rodney was taking special and unauthorized initiatives with handing her. He must feel that since he saved her life just then, he gets privileges. "Don't get too attached, Admiral, I don't want you weeping the day I am reassigned." Serine found it amusing, and since they had just been through a near death experience, she would let it go... and allow herself to be guided.

As the turbolift door opened Doctor Tohan and a team of medical technicians were standing by to receive their patients. The Ithorian's doctor's bulbous eyes locked onto the Inquisitor's obvious injury and he reached down and pulled out a medical device loaded with a pain killer. He reached out for her arm and grabbed it, without asking position and immediately injected the needle into the exposed skin and plunged the stopper down to inject her with the chemicals. His eyes darted to the Admiral, shaking his large, hammerhead, "Are you all right?"

Claudius let out a soft sigh and nodded his head to his old friend, clearly lying. "I am fine, Pilaq," he said as he moved forward and slapped his hand on his back rather firmly to reassure him. Moving forward, he sat down one of the open beds and observed the scene between his doctor and his menace, hoping her injury would not reflect poorly upon the crew. He wondered if he was getting too old for this. He did not feel like the man he was even a year ago, shaking his head in quiet dismay.

The Inquisitor resisted the urge to snap at the Doctor as he grabbed and injected her without even a warning. She did happen to respect him so she cooperated. The faster she could recuperate, the faster she could be back on the job... already she feared that the crew would slack off knowing she was hospitalized, if only for a day. "I wish to be released as soon as possible Doctor. I trust you will make that happen."

Doctor Tohan did not need advanced medical technology to realize the young woman had a dislocated shoulder and he considered the predicament for only a moment. "I warn you, young one," the Doctor said as his hands firmly gripped her upper arm. "This will hurt ... substantially," and with that he twisted her arm and forced it back into her shoulder blade. There was a loud, audible pop that he had heard countless times before and no longer phased him. It would hurt and appear a gruesome sight, but this man knew what he was doing.

Serine looked towards the doctor with amazement, of course it was going to hurt, but it was ridiculous to assume that she couldn't handle pain considering her background. A little impatient to be sure as she spoke to the other in an annoyed fashion. "Get on with it." As the loud pop caused her shoulder to snap back into place, her body jolted a bit to the right due to the sudden pressure as she sucked air through her teeth. This time she had been ready for it and thus managed to prevent any heavy cry of agony. "Most appreciated... Doctor." Said through gritted teeth.

Claudius took a few moments to catch his breath, and soon found the strength to get back on his feet. He smiled over towards Doctor Tohan and began walking towards the turbolift. He had spent quite enough time in the medical bay this week. As he brushed past the Inquisitor, he turned his head so that his face would be inches from her ear. "Quick reflexes, my dear. I wish I had you thirty-five years ago on my shockball team. We might have won a few games," he said to her with a kind smile as he strode into the turbolift. The doors closing quickly to give him the satisfaction of the last word. Once inside, he staggered back, leaning against the interior of the lift. He would have that lunch now, but clearly the situation with the Inquisitor had changed. Despite what she said, she had saved his life ... she he would remember that. He was exhausted, not senile.

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