Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy and Tara McLaren.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:6:19) in the Essesia system: Warspite.
Grand Moff Claudius Rodney and Lieutenant Brianna Visla.

Claudius Rodney walked into his office after having just came from the execution of twelve suspected traitors of the Galactic Empire. He had a weary look on his face ... executions were always such a grim sight. They had not met their end like servants of the Emperor ... they had begged, cried, and pleased their innocence. It was a pathetic sight, he thought to himself as he moved over to the sofa and quickly sat down. He began to peel the boots of his uniform off, and exposed his sock covered feet. The boots were always uncomfortable and squeezed at his swelling extremities ... one of the side effects of aging.

The Storm commando was following after him, having marched in perfect order back from the site of the execution. Lieutenant Visla had been the one to administer those fatal blaster bolts from that massive rifle of hers. Her black armor was perfectly clean, but it was not gleaming. No matter how pristine it was, the polymer it was coated with absorbed all light. It was a rather fitting outfit for one to wear when surrounded by death. When she reached her charge's office she would take her position at guard.

Claudius almost forgot that Brianna was there as his right hand moved down to rub at his strained feet. Finally he remembered he was not alone and pulled his hand away, his cheeks reddening slightly with embarrassment. "Does Major Kiley suspect an imminent attack on my person, Lieutenant?" he asked, as he placed his feet up upon a table and leaned back to become more comfortable. "Personally I think it ridiculous that you be cooped up in your armor as if a Rebel commando team were going to suddenly burst in..." he said, as he rolled his eyes at the armor clad vixen. "Off with your helmet at least," he instructed, as he wiggled his toes in a vein attempt to ease the tension in his feet.

It was hard to read a Stormtrooper even when they were out of armor, let alone in it. Still, he managed to surprise Brianna as she responded after a couple of seconds. "The enemies of the Empire are legion, sir." Her voice was hard to recognize through the helmet's filter. Only another second passed before she complied with his order. Letting the strap of her rifle keep it hanging on her shoulder, she used both hands to swiftly remove her helmet and then clip it onto her belt. She looked a little her helmet removed. Her teeth were furiously bit into her lower lip, perhaps in an effort to keep her face intense and stern. Her eyes, though, almost seemed to have a sheen of moisture on them. Once the helmet was clipped to her belt her hands would take her rifle once more.

"You had it easy today, Lieutenant," Claudius explained as he moved for the control mechanism that activated his holonet transceiver. In a moment Imperial Holovision was displayed broadcasting news and events throughout the Empire. "You will find that your targets very rarely will be standing still and lined up directly in front of you," he was quick to point out, as his attention was split unevenly between her and the HoloNet.

"Yes, sir. I have killed on the battlefield before, sir." There was little to no quavering in her voice. She had obviously not expected to have her helmet removed, but after a few moments she seemed to have restored her facade. It was probably the exception rather than the rule for most Stormtroopers, killing in such a cold-blooded manner. Or at the very least, it should have been the exception.

"It must be quite the let down then to be assigned to a security detail..." Claudius said as he reached for a bowl of local nuts and began to munch on them happily. "Tell me, candidly, Lieutenant ... what do you think of this assignment?" he said, between loud, almost obnoxious, crunches of the nuts. "None of that 'honor to serve' business that's straight out of a COMPNOR pamphlet either," he instructed, as he pushed the bowl away before he was in danger of being gluttonous.

The Lieutenant straightened up ... although her posture was never anything less than perfect - and cleared her throat before attempting a response. It was obviously that she had identified social interactions as the largest area of concern for herself and was treating very carefully. "I do think it is unusual for a trained commando to be assigned to this duty, sir. I am certain we will be deployed into the field soon."

"Hmm. Yes," Claudius said as his hand went to the control again and deactivated the HoloNet. He was being quite rude by attempting to manage a conversation while his eyes were glued to a screen. "It is not a glamorous assignment ... but the threats against my life, and the lives of my family, have been quite numerous since I took command of this region," he explained, as he tried to reassure her that her service was required.

"Yes, sir. I would never complain, sir." As far as Brianna was concerned it was quite impossible for him, a Grand Moff, to be rude to her. Most higher ranking Imperials felt that Stormtroopers such as herself were stamped out at a factory, and she would not disagree. "Whatever the duty, I am here to serve."

"What do you think of Major Kiley as an officer?" Claudius asked again, as he began to probe her more intrusively. "Off the record of course..." he said, with a kind, reassuring smile, as his eyes lingered on the bowl of nuts. It took a great deal of restraint to keep from indulging, but in an instant his attention returned to the young Storm commando. "She is not what we consider a 'conventional' officer," he explained, nodding his head and frowning slightly.

This time it was impossible for her to not give something away. Her stoic demeanor was no match for those kind of questions. It was highly inappropriate for her to offer commentary on a superior. Clearly Brianna looked like she thought this was some kind of trap. On the other hand, she could not dare refuse to answer a question from a Grand Moff. "Sir, I...the Major seems to be a very observant officer. I am certain she must have many useful contacts to have uncovered this conspiracy, sir. I do not have any experience under her command in a battlefield situation."

"Oh there's no doubt that over the course of her ... interesting ... life she has made certain connections are no doubt worthwhile to the Imperial cause in this region..." Claudius said, as he reluctantly reached for another handful of nuts. He simply could not resist, and began happily nibbling on another group of them. "I appreciate your candor on the matter, Lieutenant. I trust that you will keep an open mind serving under her..." he said, attempting to prematurely apologize for any of the faux pas that the Major was likely to make in the future.

She nodded her head lightly, her shoulder length red hair bobbing as she did so. "I know to respect those who have been placed in authority over me, sir. I am one of the Emperor's tools and I know my place." And she was a rather sharply honed tool, or so it seemed. She rarely left her cabin, and when she did it was only to go to various training areas on the ship.

"And should the officers you just executed been respected by the men under their command, Lieutenant?" Claudius quickly fired back as he looked at at her with piercing brown eyes. "You must rely on all your senses, Lieutenant. Trust and respect are to be earned ... not given," he lectured her, waving a finger at her sternly.

Her face flushed slightly as she adjusted the position she held the blaster rifle in slightly. "May I speak freely, sir?" The storm commando looked quite uncomfortable in this conversation, not the least of which because of the subject matter employed.

"Of course, Lieutenant," Claudius replied earnestly, as he crossed his legs and folded his hands in his lap. He had no idea what the young woman was about to say, but thus far he felt she might be a little too deep in the forest to see the trees.

"If I am allowed to speak freely sir, I would say that if I were to say the words which you just expressed to me...that I should not trust and respect my superior officers until they have earned nearly the entire Imperial navy, I would be tried for treason, and my fate would be the same or worse as those who were just executed." Brianna cleared her throat again. She knew what she had just said was risky, although it was no less risky than answering the questions she had been given. "If I were free to speak I would say that it is easier for Grand Moffs to have such unconventional beliefs than for a humble tool of the Empire. Not that I disagree with these facts, sir. I am certain everything is as it should be."

"You are right, Lieutenant ... it is much easier for a Grand Moff to have a free opinion, than a mere Lieutenant ... but I assure you it is the right opinion to have," Claudius reassured her, as he rose from his seat and began to walk towards her. "Follow orders ... of course. Do not question your orders ... of course," he said to her, as he placed a hand upon her shoulder armor. "But do not make the false assumption that everyone you serve is loyal. These are dark times and treachery is everywhere. If today has taught us anything ... it is that," he said to her, nodding his head as he offered another kind smile.

She was apparently very good at maintaining a mostly stoic facade. You had to look really close to see her doing anything but staring straight ahead. "Can you share what you believe my next mission might consist of, sir?"

"I let the Major handle that, Lieutenant," Claudius said, as he walked over towards his desk for the enviable task of sorting datapads. "Another advantage of being a Grand Moff is my ability to delegate," he said with a soft chuckle and a slight smirk as he settled into his chair and began to go to work.

Untitled 1

Copyright Era of Rebellion 2005-2018. All Rights Reserved
Terms of Use | Legal Notices | Privacy Policy | Press Release | Disclaimer