Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:3:27) in the Brentaal system: Warspite.
Major Kerrie Kiley, Vice Admiral Claudius Rodney, Inquisitor Serine Thanor, and Major Arden Zevrin.

Another day brought another of the tiresome, uneventful meetings that consumed much of a day like a slow-acting virus. As he sat at the conference table, his eyes glazed over as he watched the holographic image of the deployment of Imperial forces to the new planetary garrison. Why did he feel as if he had seen this all before? Perhaps it was because he had ... multiple times. His right hand moved up slowly, two fingers pinching the bridge of his nose as he tried to purge himself of the headache that plagued him. His eyes closed tightly and he could see red blurs mixed within the darkness ... he had been staring at holos and datapads too long.

These tripe meetings were becoming all too common and the Inquisitor was fighting the urge to yawn actually. She was very pleased that Imperial forces were at last being deployed upon Brentaal IV, but felt her time could be better spent other than standing behind the Admiral's chair, barely participating. As always, Serine represented and embodied the wrath of the Empire ... her presence overseeing the accounts of the meeting was both foreboding and sinister.

Major Kerrie Kiley stood at the doorway, silently watching over the events of the room. She paid little attention to the semantics of the meeting, as her presence was there merely to protect the Admiral. Although she was instructed to remain unmoving, her head subconsciously continued to turn towards the empty seat where the ISB Sector Officer, Major Arden Zevrin sat, a satisfactory grin curling upon her lips as she imagined her sitting in her small cell aboard the Warspite. The woman, who had plagued so much of her life, would soon meet her demise ... or so she thought.

The door to the conference room opened unexpectedly, as the Admiral frowned upon tardy behavior. In stepped Major Aden Zevrin, quite free from her cell, who had recently returned from a special assignment. She offered a polite nod to the Admiral, the faintest trace of a smile upon her cosmetically enhanced lips. She sat down in her usual chair, folding her right leg over her left casually, as her hands settled comfortably in her lap. "Sorry I'm late," she said pleasantly enough, as if the events of the past week had not transpired. "What did I miss?" she whispered to Major Traebor, acting as if she did not notice the complete silence that had fallen upon the room and the blinding stares that was being shown in her direction.

Admiral Claudius Rodney's face began to redden as he watched the woman nonchalantly stroll into the conference room. Angrily, his right hand curled into a fist and slammed down upon the conference table, causing the holographic projection to flicker. He stood suddenly, with so much force that the chair behind him toppled over, breaking the awkward silence that had suffocated the room. He said nothing, filled with so much rage that he could not even find the basic semblance of a word to utter. Someone would pay dearly for this outrage.

She stood unmoved when the chair collapsed in front of her. So it finally came to this. Serine had secretly wondered just how long it would take for news to finally travel back to the Admiral. Pitiful, the major had to actually walk right in front of his nearly senile eyes to notice the woman had been absent for so long. Serine had waited day end and d ay out for Claudius to summon her into his chambers in which she had a response and an action already decided, but with almost a week passing, she thought that perhaps the Admiral would never find out, or that Arden fled the Empire. Apparently not... Major Zevrin arrogantly sauntered into the meeting room as if nothing had transpired... the Inquisitor could almost appreciate the woman's gall. Unbeknownst to the good Admiral, Serine had purposely withheld the information of her releasing the Major due to feeling he didn't deserve or need to hear it from her, expecting at least one officer to notice Zevrin had been missing for nearly a weak. Her orders came from the top and she had no qualms walking right over him. The shred of respect she had for Claudius now rested with his performance and action to this news... and perhaps she would finally dismiss him altogether as an officer she would willingly take orders from.

The look on Kerrie's face instantly transformed from sheer joy to disgust with more speed than the shape-shifter could ever hope to master. She took several steps forward, the fingers of her right hand curling around her finely polished KYD-21 blaster pistol. Orders or no orders, she was going to rid the galaxy of this harpy once and for all. She wasted no time withdrawing the weapon from its holster and raising it squarely in line with the woman's chest. Her eyes slowly moved towards the Admiral, hoping for some affirmation before continuing as her hand began to nervously shake.

So predictable, Arden thought silently to herself as she watched Kerrie's headstrong behavior. She did not show any signs of worry, as she had planned precisely for this event before revealing herself to them. Her right hand rose slowly and she wagged her right index finger at Kerrie. "Unh-uh," she mewed happily as she downplayed the woman's behavior without a jest. Her left hand rose as well, but there was nothing humorous about this hand's gesture. Opening her hand she revealed a small holographic projector which immediately flickered to life, broadcasting a fluttering blue image of a young Clawdite. As she stared intently at Kerrie, her head tilted to the left slightly as a sinister grin curled upon her lips.

Kerrie's eyes went wide as she watched the holographic image of her estranged sister flicker into view. Her hand opened and instantly the weapon fell from her hand and landed on the deck plating with an audible *clank*. She swallowed nervously, as if terrified, and humbly submitted herself before Major Zevrin, despite her hatred for her. She lowered her head in defeat, as she dropped to her left knee, as she knelt before the treacherous woman. She said nothing, hoping her actions would speak louder than any words. She had spoken to her sister only once in her life, and the two were not exactly cordial to one another, and she never thought the war would touch the young girl who was isolated and quarantined on Zolan.

The Admiral was not certain what was happening, but he did not care, and he walked around the conference table to pick up Major Kiley's fallen KYD-21 blaster pistol. He had not held a weapon since the Clone Wars, but he trusted that he would remember how to use it like riding a speeder. Without hesitation, he raised it to a level aim with Major Zevrin's face as a contemptuous glare came upon the old man's face. "I do not normally soil my hands with the blood of others," he explained to her, using an obviously false apologetic voice. "...but for you I will make an exception," he said with considerable glee as he prepared to pull the trigger.

Before the Admiral had time to pull the trigger, Kerrie hurled herself at the Admiral's body, tackling him to the ground before he had a chance to snuff out Major Zevrin's life and her sister's life along with it. Although she had no relationship with her sister, blood was thicker than water and she could allow no harm to come to her. She found herself right back in the unenviable position of beneath Major Zevrin's heel. "I am sorry," she said to the Admiral before their bodies hit the ground.

Arden could not help but laugh as she watched Kerrie's efforts to save her sister's life. It seemed her plan had worked excellently. She had traveled to Zolan where she met with the Mabari who had exiled Kerrie in an attempt to find some leverage, to use against the woman. She was quite surprised when Kerrie's former love interest informed on the existence of her younger siste r over to the ISB. It seemed as if she had landed on her feet once again, and allowing the holoimage to slip from her hand, she began to slowly and obnoxiously clap for Kerrie's unwitting participation in her return to power.

This whole situation was greatly amusing, what grand entertainment. Serine felt no need to intervene so far. The Grand Vizier told her merely to have Arden released, not to protect the woman. As both Kerrie and Claudius had their turn aiming weapons at the Major, the Inquisitor watched with an eerie satisfaction as they both were denied victory separately. Dark eyes peered towards Zevrin with a newfound... odd respect for the type of vile creature she was, not respecting her personally, but of the noxious plots the woman had to scheme to make it all fit perfectly, even somehow getting the Inquisitor herself to participate like some sort of game piece. "I must say I am impressed, Major Zevrin, not many can orchestrate this type of villainy." Her scrutinizing gaze fell upon the defeated victims upon the floor wrestling around... such a pitiful sight. "Compose yourself, Admiral; I feel the last of my respect for you drifting quickly away."

The air was forced from Claudius' lungs as he landed on the cold, unforgiving durasteel of the floor, with Kerrie's elbow connecting with his chest. Payback for his beating of her, he wondered, but well-deserved if it was. He was outraged, but he realized this was quickly becoming spectacle and he could not allow that. "Dismissed," he ordered in a curt manner as he dusted himself off, adjusted his uniform and returned to a standing position. "...not you," he said quickly as he caught Major Zevrin before she could move.

Arden nodded proudly at the Inquisitor before preparing to make a hasty retreat. She stopped suddenly as she had prepared to exit the room, but froze when she heard the Admiral order her to remain. A cunning grin formed upon her lips as she stared up at the middle-aged Admiral. "Why Lord Rodney..." She began as a soft chuckle slowly escaped her lips. "...if you wanted to spend time alone with me you should have invited me to dinner," she pointed out as her demeanor began to crack, allowing the laugh to continue.

Serine was not at all persuaded to remove herself from the room, completely disregarding those orders set by the Admiral, which was rather peculiar for her being so strict and loyal to authority. Instead, the Inquisitor watched from her still standing position behind the fallen chair where the Admiral had once sat, her hand gently grasped the hilt of her lightwhip, lightly tapping it with anticipation. Something interesting... may happen.

Kerrie rose from the ground slowly and took up a defensive posture behind the Admiral, whom she hoped would not feel betrayed. She began to formulate possible solutions to the problem, and a plan to rescue her sister was at the forefront of her mind. For the moment she had no options, and she could allow no harm to come to Major Zevrin whilst she controlled her sister's fate. Reluctantly, she would keep silent and allow Major Zevrin to have her amusement. She would remember the laugh however, and use it as motivation when ultimately strangling her to death.

Claudius by now was able to deduce the Clawdite in the holographic image was of some importance to Kerrie, and he was determined to gather more information before simply rushing headstrong into another attempt to murder the venomous ISB sector officer. "What are you doing out of your cell?" he asked, as he took a hesitant step forward. The anger was apparently as his face flushed red with anger, his hands subconsciously curling into fists. Whoever was responsible would pay dearly.

"I released her, Admiral, nearly five days ago." Serine quickly admitted almost proudly, and at the same time, hinted at what terrible communication the ship had, probably the worst she had ever seen... though she conveniently left out the part where she, following her normal duties, would have informed the Admiral. All sense of hypocrisy never even crossed her mind. To the Inquisitor, Claudius already had his chance, and failed... She didn't even feel the need to tell him exactly why she did so until he asked. Serine stood there unfazed by his anger or the situation, her expression was as stoic and indifferent as expected.

"You!?" The Admiral questioned as his attention suddenly was thrust upon the Inquisitor. She was here in an advisory capacity, and for her to go against his wishes seemed the ultimate betrayal and disobedience. He would tolerate neither in his command. His eye snapped towards Arden, narr owing dangerously. "I will deal with you later. Get out of my sight," he said to the now inconsequential Major Zevrin.

Arden smiled contently and offered a soft nod of her head to her command before moving towards the exit. "Thank you, my dear," Arden said as she flashed a grin over her shoulder at the Inquisitor. " make for an excellent scapegoat," she pointed out quietly as her head looked forward once again. As she stepped out into the corridor she exhaled softly, having only barely survived the encounter. Thankfully she was in the company of irrational individuals, and she was able to expertly play them like a Mandoviol.

Interestingly enough, the Inquisitor continued to stand at her position, disregarding the Admiral's anger as unbecoming and unprofessional. It was overly apparent that he expected her to follow his commands, she was his advisor, yes, but he did not have direct authority over her as he seemed to expect. She took his orders on several occasions of her own free will, but now... things were a bit different. A little chat between them was well overdue. The Inquisitor watched the situation unfold silently and unhindered. Arden's quirky remark towards her was brushed off completely, it would take more than that to phase the woman as should already be well known, but what the Major said was partially true, mostly because Serine was unafraid of backlash or consequence and honestly admitted to her own actions, no matter what the case or situation.

Claudius reached down and picked up the chair that had toppled over and calmly sat back down upon it, as he attempted to regain his composure and maintain some level of dignity. "I assume you have a good explanation?" he asked as he stared across the now empty conference room, rather than turning to look over his shoulder and make eye contact with her. His hands gripped at the table in front of her as he impatiently awaited an explanation.

Curious, the man decided to sit down right in front of her with his back facing her, no matter, she did not take offense. "Indeed I do." Eyes washed over towards Kerrie just to keep the other woman in check, she wasn't sure if the other had any foul plans. "My orders stem from a higher authority than your own, Admiral Rodney. His Excellency, the Grand Vizier Sate Pestage, directly gave me the order to release Major Zevrin. If you so incline to challenge this decision, I... 'advise'... you take it up with him." A slight hint of disrespect and bitterness tinted that one word that was purposely drawn out. Serine believed the man never took her advice nor cared for it at all despite her official duty to be his advisor.

Kerrie offered nothing but an icy stare as she stared over towards the Inquisitor, with whom she had only recently developed positive feelings for. All of that seemed meaningless now ... they had been betrayed. Her lip quivered and she moved back to her position back against the wall, feeling about a foot tall at the moment. She could look no one in the eye and her head sunk slightly, fearing the worst for her sister.

Claudius should have known the Grand Vizier was behind this, the treacherous old fool continuing to exert himself in his personal affairs. How he had survived in the position for nineteen years continued to amaze him and he rose from the chair as he prepared to make his exit. "In the future," he said slowly, without making eye contact as he began to navigate his way around the large conference table towards the exit. "...alert me the next time something like this occurs," he ordered, in a clear and authoritative voice. As he removed himself from the room he retreated to begin formulating the appropriate level of response.

The Inquisitor watched as the remaining members began to exit the room, leaving her the last one standing, still behind the Admiral's chair, somehow making it through this entire escapade without moving even a foot. "Instead you should question why no one else informed you. Either your network is so grossly incompetent or your loyal officers are too terrified to report negative news. Perhaps both." Said defiantly and bluntly so that the others could hear, right before the door closed behind the exiting Rodney and Kerrie.

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