Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy and J. Kate Stasiak.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:6:19) in the Agomar system: Tenacity and Essesia system: Tenacity and Warspite.
Lieutenant Artorius Garak, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, and Captain Rhiannon T'Jarell.

There were very few deplorable things Rhiannon T'Jarell could think of at this moment, and one of them happened to be being forcibly relocated. Emperor's bowels, she swore under her breath as the orders came through once again, confirmed for the third and final time. So much for Kabak's faith in her abilities. Going back to the Core was the worst thing in the universe for her now, given the fact that things were going so well in Seswenna sector. Was this her 'reward' for getting the job well done? Supposedly there wasn't much else for her to do in the Outer Rim at present, but even so, Rhia was hoping to get some time off to visit her family on Hapes. Infernal orders! Just what exactly was so important that the Empire could not do without one flimsy female at the helm of a ship?! Disgust painted itself vividly upon the young woman's delicate features, creating a striking contrast between serene beauty and welled up anger.

The calm before a storm.

A soft chime resounded behind her as she stood facing the viewport attempting to forget the present. "Come." There was a determined 'swoosh' of an opening door and a single pair of footsteps accelerating into her ready room. "Whatever it is, say it quickly and go. I'm in no mood for any further idiocy." Silence. Still, Rhia would not turn, still wishing the unwelcome entrant away. More silence. Pivoting on her heel at long last, she turned to face the hapless ensign who held a small datapad. Forcing down her anger, the Hapan officer stepped forward and reached out with one gloved hand, nodding in acknowledgment. "Well? Give it here." The young man saluted and did as bid, barely blinking at his superior. "Leave." The voice was gentler now, but still resolute and firm. Waiting until the footsteps receded, Rhia glanced to the datapad in hand, then tossed it onto the desk without hesitation. She then proceeded to take a seat behind her desk and punching in a series of keys into her personal computer: Esseles. Claudius Rodney. Warspite.

That would do for the time being. That ... would do.

Up until a year-and-a-half ago the planet Esseles had been a typical Core World, basking in the prosperity that had been afforded to the human populated worlds since the end of the Clone Wars. That all changed of course with the presence of the Rebel Alliance deep within the nearby Ringali Nebula, which had brought the Galactic Civil War to the region. Gone were the constant streams of freighters and transports conducting commerce along the Perlemian Way and Hydian Trade Route; in their stead was a large Imperial military presence consisting of an assortment of frigates, cruisers, and uncountable starfighters. No change was more notable than that of the deployment of an Imperial Star Destroyer ... flagship of the recently promoted Grand Moff Claudius Rodney. With the Imperial Senate disbanded and restrictions placed upon the local government the population was uneasy and no one could better sense the unrest than the Alderaanian governor ... a tipping point was near.

It took another two days before the VSD Tenacity arrived in the Darpa sector, making its way with a slow, deliberate purpose toward Esseles and the ship that pulsed in orbit of the planet. At the head of the bridge, Captain Rhiannon T'Jarell stood rigid and silent, feet shoulder width apart, gloved hands clasped behind her back. In the face of the sullen mood that had befallen their commanding officer, the crew of the Tenacity remained watchful and silent, waiting for a mere word from their Captain as they went about their routine tasks. Yet commands fell few and far between from Rhia's lips; she was far too lost in intense thought, pondering what it was she was about to walk into. The information on the newly created Grand Moff was sparse to say the least and the data on the Essesia system, disconcerting.

Suddenly, a proximity indicator resounded, breaking the listless silence. Rhia's head snapped upward as she took a report from a nearby deck officer. They were nearing their intended destination, the Tenacity now in comfortable transport range. "Ready my shuttle," came a brief command as Rhia left instructions with Commander Garak. The officer looked at her somberly, a questioning look on his face. "Something amiss, Commander?" she asked with a smirk teasing her lips. He undoubtedly noticed something amiss and it bothered him. Good. "Out with it," she urged him on, while Garak sighed. "Permission to speak freely, ma'am?" Rhia nodded slowly, taunting the poor man with the smoldering gaze of her deep brown eyes. "You plan to visit the Grand Moff ... as you are?" Tickled pink at the obvious anguish painted in her first officer's features, Rhia tossed back a mane of mahogany silk and laughed. "Indeed, Commander. Now do as I asked. If I don't return within twenty-four hours, you may assume that I've been arrested for my lacking taste in fashion."

Garak stared at her for a moment, pale blues still harboring pained disbelief, then clicked his heels together and left promptly to carry out his mistress' orders. Left to her own devices, Rhia walked off the bridge and headed for the shuttle bay, a simple datapad in tow.

Deep within the bowels of the star destroyer Warspite, Claudius Rodney sat at a sleek, black desk that reflected the minimalist lighting from above. A stack of datapads that threatened to topple over and bury the man dominated the landscape ... governing two sectors without the bureaucracy was indeed proving to be quite the task. The Rebellion was on the verge of overwhelming him, with Ralltiir in open revolt, Chandrila being the birthplace of the leader of the Alliance, and a cell on Brentaal unleashing particularly deadly results. In the time since he had taken command in the region he had aged a decade, and the war weariness could easily be read upon his tired face and furrowed brow. His uniform still remained impeccable, as he still received competent help from a valet; unfortunately, the staff tasked with aiding him in the war effort were too concerned with advancing their interests and petty squabbling. To that end, he requested a competent advisor to renew his convoy defense, and Fleet Admiral Kabak, a former shipmate, informed him he had just the tactician. And so the rapidly aging Alderaanian better suited to politics than war sat and waited, but for what he was unsure.

After what seemed like an eternity in a limbo filled with roaring wampas and screeching kowakian monkey lizards, Rhia finally made it to the private office of her new commanding officer. She was ushered inside without a word and left alone to ponder the next few minutes of her existence in near-darkness. The subtle stream of light that barely illuminated the desk Rhia saw ahead did little to improve her mood or lift her unease, although she did take a few steps toward it, curious to discover the presence looming behind its obsidian expanse. Once she could make out the lines that formed a rigid frame of a man, the Hapan stood tall and offered a brief, customary salute before speaking in a low, husky tone.

"Captain Rhiannon T'Jarell of the Victory-class Star Destroyer Tenacity reporting for duty as ordered. Sir." The final bit was added almost as an afterthought, a reflection on her proud cultural heritage. The final word fell, dissolving into silence as the young woman proceeded to wait for acknowledgment from the man across from her. Undoubtedly, it would take him a while to process her late arrival as would her unprecedented and unorthodox, appearance - for there was nothing 'Imperial' about this captain, beginning with the state of her loosely cascading hair and ending with the lustrous sheen of her skin-tight bodysuit.

Was this her way of protesting the sudden shift in duty, in being ordered to the most undesirable post in the Galaxy?

Her eyes now used to the dim light, Rhiannon stared at the man across from her in what seemed to be, perfect serenity. Their color was a brilliant swirl of mahogany and midnight, and they studied Rodney a moment, the fine crescents of her brows arching, as if trying to remember whether she had come across this person - one of the most powerful men in the Galaxy, before. She showed no sign of fear but merely childlike curiosity, as if the Grand Moff's proximity to her was entirely acceptable. The delicate perfection of her was only the beginning, not at all deterred by the severe adult trappings of her curve-hugging, suggestive bodysuit. Her hair spilled across a supple form in a glossy dark cape, its lustrous strands rippling over the slope of her back like fine dark ale. She considered speaking again, but the ability to do so had deserted her, so she simply stood and waited - rigid and uncommonly tall - lost in the depths of silence that had momentarily enveloped them both in her indiscriminate and deceptively soothing, embrace.

Claudius momentarily glanced up at the 'girl', still quite focused on his datapad, so much so that he failed to realize neither her beauty nor her attire. Slowly, as if a spark had been lit inside his mind that would lead to an inevitable explosion his mind began to the process the imagery he had just glimpsed. No ... that cannot be right, he thought silently to himself, placing the datapad awkwardly upon the table that caused a clattering that shattered the silence that had existed since she addressed him. Clearing his throat he attempted to swallow, for he was quite dry and had forgotten to remain hydrated during his lengthy review of the reports that had piled up throughout the day.

Slowly his head began to tilt upwards, his eyes moving faster and arriving at her level two brief moments before the rest of his visage. Despite his age, he was still a man, and his vision was quite well and it could be both understood and forgiven if he lingered somewhat. This had to be someone's idea of a joke, he thought to himself, unwilling to accept that yet another young, presumably inexperienced female had been assigned to his command. Captain? he asked himself, as he bit down upon the innards of his lower lip. Surely this mere 'girl' could be no more than a Lieutenant. A well connected mistress perhaps? he speculated again, unaware of how the silence had lengthened to an almost awkward level.

"Your transfer orders?" Claudius asked, as he remembered the dignity of his position and returned to business. Perhaps there was an error, or yet still this may have all been a prank on the part of a demoralized staff that sought to improve the morale. It would have been understandable and in his youth he had been part of such stunts. Perhaps his old comrade Admiral Kabak had read the reports of the setbacks in the Ringali Shell and felt a concubine was more needed than a strategist ... either way, he would get to the bottom of this and set things right.

Rolling her eyes with the subtlety of a Lorrdian warmaster, Rhiannon reached for the datapad stuffed under her left arm then reached out to hand the device to the Grand Moff. "It's all there. Password: Delaya." At this point, she emitted a subtle grin and stepped back the moment the device left her possession. She could not help but wonder whether he was displeased at having her here and merely covering well - or whether his ire was already brewing and ready to explode at any moment. Either way, Rhia was sure he would soon tip the scales to reveal one or the other.

Cute, Claudius thought concerning the password and began to access the file, giving it more than the usual cursory glance that he would routinely give transfer orders. "Hapan?" he spoke aloud, although at that moment in time he thought he had said it internally ... no matter. Perhaps his wife had some part to play in this as yet unrealized drama, but he then tempered himself and accepted that she was too naive to take part in such a scheme. "I see that you've experienced combat ... Captain," there was a lengthy pause before he uttered her rank, and the way in which he uttered that last word would make it abundantly clear he was somewhat skeptical as to her rank. "It is does not state so in your service record, but ... I assume your last assignment was somewhat ... covert?" he asked, moving his right hand up and down slowly, clearly directed her non-regulation attire. "I trust that you were simply so eager to report to your new assignment that you arrived before your uniform?" he asked, before rising from his seat and slowly navigating the table in order to more closely address her. Tall, was his initial reaction, and he had to cant his head up slightly to continue to maintain eye contact.

"I thought I'd present a pleasing image," Rhia responded evenly, her eyes never leaving his. "If you prefer the dull, drab grays, I shall always make sure to assault your senses with them whenever we meet, sir." Of course, this was just an inch short of insubordination. Wasn't it? Hmm, maybe it was time to try harder. Miserable and weary of all this, the Hapan was getting to the point where it did not matter what kind of words fell from her lips. She wasn't interested in playing nice. She was interested in going home. Only one problem: did the Empire actually offer honorable discharge? And would this Claudius Rodney stand behind such an offer, given how horribly she was behaving just now? "Look... Sir. Your Excellency, or whatever you prefer to be called," she began, stifling a sigh and straightening her posture. "Let us be frank. You don't really want me here. I am obviously not what you asked for, and you are the last thing I asked for. So it stands to reason, that we would have an awful time working together. Wouldn't we?" Since it was a rhetorical question, Rhia wasn't about to let him answer and catching a quick breath, continued prattling on. "I know I don't look like a Captain. I get it. I look like a very pricey streetwalker. Yes? Let's not mince words. You don't think I can do the job and I do, but that doesn't mean you're about to let me stick around. I am not politically correct and I'll likely end up being a very big thorn in your bu- ... side," she corrected herself quickly, covering a smirk by biting her lower lip. "But I'd like to avoid the firing squad if at all possible, so just lay down the law and let's see if we can make the best of it, shall we? Please?" Lowering her gaze to the floor, the Hapan let her chin drop so the Grand Moff would not see the playful grin that briefly flashed across her delicate features.

Instinctively, Claudius took another step back, and then yet another to reinforce the point. He had survived long enough to know how to sense a predator ... and he had no intention of being her prey. "I can tell your last command was somewhat more ... familiar, Captain," he said, tilting his head to one side to further survey her. Perhaps there was some tell he could read upon that young, unspoiled Hapan face that stood so cavalier before him. "I'm not sure what Che- Admiral Kabak's game was, but I will tell you we are not ones for theatricals here," he said, as he approached her at swift and steady pace, only to brush right by her to a large display that dominated the entirety of the wall. "Viewer on," he said, and a blue holographic image of the six planets of the Darpa and Bormea sectors that combined to form the region of space known as the Ringali Shell. "And what am I supposed to do with you, T'Jarrel?" he asked, shaking his head with a rather obnoxious snicker. "Wrap you in a bow and send you back to Sesswenna with a return label on?" he asked, the sarcasm dripping from him in a way that betrayed his stature. "You are here and you will do your duty..." he began, his voice growing serious and into a commanding tone. "We will do our duty ... now come learn something," he commanded, as he extended an arm in her direction, his attention returning to the display.

"Aye, sir." There was nothing left to say after that display of rigid fortitude. The Grand Moff was made of the strongest durasteel, or so it appeared. He did, however, seem to possess a somewhat 'whimsical' side as he did not choose to begin her new post with a bout of discipline she appeared to need in spades. Or maybe she was merely appearing this way to test his boundaries? Regardless, they were about to embark on a journey together - and Rhia's fate - at least for now, was sealed. She stepped forth in the direction of his extended arm, suppressing the urge to take it. Something about imagining it happen nearly caused Rhia to burst out laughing but she contained the urge and stepped up beside Claudius, dark gaze lifting to the holographic display. "I am ready for the first lesson, now," she murmured, her voice deceptively soft.

A hint of color rushed to Claudius' cheeks at the clever way she phrased that, and he began to speculate as to how a creature such as her might have advanced so swiftly in rank. But, he was not that kind of officer. Privately, he wondered if he was about to waste his time briefing young the officer, but there were those who despised his noble stature when he entered the navy two decades earlier. As such, he viewed her as somewhat of a kindred spirit ... no matter how unorthodox she might seem ... and decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. "The problem should be quite clear," he began, his hand raising to motion towards the large and foreboding representation of the Ringali Nebula. "Our sensor scans cannot penetrate, and every craft we have sent in after them has yet to return," he said, his head shifting slightly to spirit his glance back to her, attempting to read her like one of the great novels he approached in his youth with the earnest hope of prying loose some shed of a motive in her. "They're in there ... and they've shown no indication of simply packing up and leaving. We cannot drive them out and so we have a stalemate. They prick at us ... like an insect sucking upon a large, lethargic beast," he said pessimistically, shifting his entire body to face the statuesque Hapan. "...and we present quite the bloated hulk for them to feast upon," he concluded, his head lowering as if the battle had already been lost ... and to this point it in fact had.

Listening closely to every word the Grand Moff was imparting, Rhia's countenance suddenly changed. It shifted into a mask of absolute concentration as she focused her gaze upon the Ringali Nebula and then calmly turned to face Rodney. Her head canted slowly, as if she was about to lean upon an invisible pillow for comfort. In truth, it was a mannerism she executed without realizing it, just before unleashing a possible solution to any puzzle that seemed at first, to be an inexplicable ... mess. "When something is hiding from you, and you can't go in to get it have to make the prey think it is more dangerous to stay where they are, than to make a run for it." Taking a small step backwards as if to put more space between the Grand Moff and herself, she continued quietly. "Now, I am fairly positive that depending on the nebula, some form of charges could be used to set the nebula off. If you could successfully ionize the gas within, it would then be possible to detect where your prey is hiding and subsequently fire upon them with some degree of success. Capital scale missiles might do the trick if properly configured." Falling silent at last, Rhia straightened her posture and lowered her gaze to lock with Rodney's, giving him a moment to think and possibly offer a rebuttal.

Claudius listened to her stratagem intently, and immediately a sense of disgust began to flow through him. It seemed he had misjudged the officer unfairly by her appearance ... he had thought he was better than that. Perhaps he was guilty of xenophobia and preconceived bias as a result of his past experience with Hapans. His hand pressed against the image of the Ringali Nebula, causing it to flicker somewhat from the force of his hand. Then suddenly a *crack* as the screen broke under the force of his hand and the image shorted out. It had been a difficult campaign and even the most novice of body language interpreters could read that something was wrong. "Very well, Captain T'Jarell," he said as he moved back towards his desk. "...but we have no idea what they have in there," he said, and rather than sit in his chair he found himself taking a seat on the edge of a desk. "You know when I was a child on Delaya I came upon a hornet's nest. All day long I watched as the hornets came and went on their missions ... not unlike all that space traffic you might have encountered on your way in system..." he paused, bringing his left hand up to scratch at his neck slightly, adjusting the collar of his tunic along the way. "I smashed that hornets nest..." he continued, laughing at the follies of his youth. "And for my trouble every one of those hornets emerged and stung me. So much so that I nearly died..." he explained to her, as he replayed the narrative of her plan in his head. "Do you not see the similarities? I wonder, my dear, what might emerge should you smash that nest..." his voice trailing off a bit, taking a moment to study her more closely as his left hand instinctively tapped against the tabletop he currently resided upon.

Rhia studied the Grand Moff for a moment, seeing before her, not a man in his prime - but a little scared boy on Alderaan. Men. There was a reason why Hapan society was matriarchal. A pang of pity tugged at her heartstrings and still, she would ignore it. This was not the time nor the place for such foolishness. Plus, there was also the ridiculous fact that Claudius Rodney could have easily been her father - the age certainly fit - and then some. Still, Rhia would have been utterly shortsighted to ignore the opportunity that had presented itself before her now. An opportunity to win his trust. "Do you want me to smash the hornets' nest for you?" She walked with a steady gait, stopping just short of the front of his desk and canted her head to one side, studying him once more. "It is safe to assume that whoever is in there chose the nebula because it is relatively safe for them, and difficult for you." The scenario was already playing out in her brain, unveiling itself in front of her eyes: they could do a combination; some mines would be designed to do damage or set off volatile gas - others, the ionizing charges would make it easier to detect what was actually hiding within the nebula. They would hold the latter off till later, once they had the enemy cornered. Setting them off early would reveal the other mines' location- "Do you want me to smash the hornets' nest for you?" she repeated with a soft, genuine smile.

Claudius was cautious ... perhaps too cautious, and it had been spoken about in some circles that it could have been the cause for the Imperial setbacks in the Ringali Shell. If he had not broken the display, he would have showed her the disposition of Imperial forces in the region. It might not have been what she was used to in the Outer Rim, as Grand Moff Tarkin had procured near limitless forces for his more volatile, prioritized command. "Very well, Captain..." he said with only a trace of confidence. "But you are new here so be forewarned ... that firing squad you fear may very well materialize if you fail, but it will be Rebel forces pulling the trigger!" and with that declarative statement he shifted his hand over her transfer orders once again. With a single keystroke he confirmed them ... perhaps sealing both their fates.

"There is much contained within this file, Rhiannon," Claudius began, as his tongue awkwardly washed across the upper row of his teeth in a desperate play for moisture. "But not so much as I think as what is not here..." he said, the first sign of a smile dancing upon his weathered face, as he slid the datapad away from him. "How does a member of the Hapan nobility end up in the service of the Imperial Navy?" he asked, genuinely interested, as she was about as far from his wife as one could get. "My experienced with your species ... limited such as it is ... would not have led me to believe such a thing would be possible," as his eyes moved across the skintight bodysuit that adorned her perfectly toned flesh. Perfect was an adjective he had derided, but it was something he had noticed could oft be described a Hapan ... if only their exterior.

"Species?" An elegant brow lifted in response to the word Rodney used. "Sir, if I may, we are all 'human' under the skin, are we not?" How she loved her rhetorical word usage. "My parents are of the extremely ambitious sort. They felt it was wiser to send both their daughters to the esteemed halls of the Imperial Academy of Carida than to have them married off to some squabbling diplomats. Their 'sacrifice' was done not just for our good - my sister's and mine - but for the good of the Empire. Would you not agree with their assessment, Sir?" she grinned, her hands moving to clasp across the low of her back.

A roar of laughter escaped Claudius' lips that was completely unbecoming for a gentleman. His cheeks flushed red, and his torso began to rumble furiously as he turned in on himself, almost as if he was cradling his own body. He struggled to breath as the much needed laugh escaped his tired form and brought some levity to his otherwise monotonous day. After a few moments ... perhaps a few too many ... he regained his composure and the natural color returned to his complexion. Once the moment had passed a look of concern came upon his face, realizing that he had most likely given horrible offense. "Allow me to apologize, Captain..." he said, as he rose from the desk back onto his feet, stopping only to let out a subtle groan as a man of his age was likely to make. "But you see I am something of a 'squabbling' diplomat myself..." he explained, raising his right hand and placing it firmly upon her left shoulder without much thought. "And last year my parents ... who also are squabbling diplomats ... even more so than me in fact ... arranged by marriage to a Hapan woman of your approximate age," he continued, hoping she would understand why he found her assessment so humorous. "So perhaps I alone am in a position to understand the unique nature of your upbringing," and with that he gave a reassuring squeeze to her shoulder, not at all pleased with the non-regulation attire he was now in direct contact with.

The soft synth-skin Rodney came in contact with gave way to the immediate pressure he imparted and Rhia could feel the force of his fingertips as if he were squeezing her bare flesh. Something inside her nearly caused her to shudder, but whether from unexpected pleasure or dismay, she could not tell just yet. "No apologies are necessary, sir. Allow me to congratulate you on the occasion of your marriage. I hope you and your wife have many years of happiness and love, ahead of you. As a fellow Hapan, I am somewhat surprised that she married outside of her sphere, but I am certain your singular virtues have made you an irresistible ...catch."  There was something about the end of that phrase that nearly made the young woman cringe on the inside. Though she spent many years in the company of near-humans and other aliens, Rhia was still very much a xenophobe at heart even though she refused to admit it. Getting through the Imperial academy was hell, surrounded by males whom she was brought up to consider inferior - and now she was serving these same males, the majority of which were not even Hapan. It was ludicrous - but it was, her life. "As for my upbringing, a part of me is relieved to have left Hapes for the time being - though I do miss my family very much," she admitted, her glance sinking to the floor. "But at least while I serve the Empire I don't have to be subjected to a matchmaking union. And that, in itself - is reward enough."

Rhia's words struck Claudius like a dagger and he noticeably sunk at her utterance. His face grew cold and his lips curled downward slightly as he withdrew within the quiet recesses of his mind. Never before had he looked at his marriage as something he and his wife had been 'subjected' to, but perhaps the newly arrived Captain was profound in her words. He was quiet for several moments, but his eyes continued to move as if his brain was processing data at a frenzied pace. "I'm ... very sorry," he stammered, as he turned his gaze from her and withdrew his hand. He suddenly felt as if he needed a drink and moved towards to the other side of his desk, and immediately crouched down. He began tossing aside various files before he emerged with a bottle of Alderaan ruge, which he had planned to save, but at moments like this such thoughts quickly fell by the wayside. A moment later he pulled up two glasses and filled them both to the brim, threatening to cause an overflow onto the nearby datapads. He walked towards her, one glass in each hand, the brown liquid rocking back and forth as if controlled by some great tidal motion. He extended one glass to her, before raising his own to his lips. "To the reward of service," he toasted, before downing the entire contents of the glass quickly in a manner that made it clear that he had done this many times before.

Rhiannon looked up, surprised to see a glass of alcohol being offered to her. She shook her head slightly, wanting to refuse. "I really shouldn't sir; I'm officially on duty as of a few moments ago when you authorized my orders."

"As I said, Captain," Claudius said with a smile comprised of lips stained by the drink. "We do things differently ... and besides, I refuse to accept you being on duty as you are out of uniform," and with that his hand extended, moving towards the underside of the glass in order to assist her in raising it to her lips.

"As you say, sir," she muttered under her breath as the Grand Moff 'helped' move the glass toward her lips. Not a word mentioned that she had never had alcohol before in her life - that could have caused her to become a further subject of his nefarious laughter. Taking a small sip, Rhia nearly choked, swallowing deeply. The liquid warmed and burned her throat. "If this is what you serve to people you seem to tolerate, I hate to see what you share with your enemies," she grinned, attempting in her own way, to crack a joke.

"Here endeth the lesson," Claudius said to her smugly, referencing his early comments about hoping she would learn something from their first encounter. He moved back towards his chair, placing what was left of the bottle beneath his desk where it would surely be needed once again. For a moment his glance scurried upon his desk, trying to find the datapad he had last been studying. He pretended to ignore her, but clearly she was on the forefront of his conscious at the moment. "Dismissed," he said, with a slight stammer, his eyes only glancing up for an instant. "...and one last thing, Captain. Next time, wear the uniform of the day," he said with a clever smirk that betrayed his true emotions.

Though the Grand Moff's glance was fleeting, Rhiannon saw that the expression reflected within was deadly serious. She stared at him for a moment, contemplating the power emanating from the man even as he sat there, looking for a datapad amidst a stack of others. She had no doubt he meant what he said (smirking or not), and she believed the next time she disobeyed his orders or fell short of expectations, his treatment of her would not be as kind. At first, when he dismissed her, Rhia hesitated. Could not help but wonder exactly what it was that made him change his countenance so quickly. One moment he blew hot - then cold, the next. Unpredictable, like the weather. She was marginally encouraged by the passing grin, but reminded herself that he still wanted to be rid of her presence. The audience was at an end. Whatever strides she might have made during her tactical observations of the Ringali Nebula, his first and last impression of her certainly obliterated all that was in between. The last thing that rang through her ears now, was the stern warning about wearing attire as befitting her station. She didn't flinch, even as his words continued to sting. "Aye sir." Then promptly, she saluted and silently left the room.

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