Kerrie Kiley was in her empty room,
sitting silently on the edge of her cot looking over a datapad. It
contained the report on Lieutenant Brianna Visla and the Clawdite
commando did not have a pleased look on her carefully mimicked Human
visage. She let out a dejected sigh as she tucked the datapad under her
arm, and stood from the cot and began walking towards the door. It was
time to introduce herself to her newest officer. She was not a
particularly social creature and she did not have what some called
'small talk', but she was required to interview all new members of her
unit. As she paused in the corridor outside the Lieutenant's quarters
she stopped to adjust the crisp, black uniform that adorned her
diminutive frame. Once she was content with her appearance she brought
her left hand up to the control panel next to the door and depressed the
alert. She attempted, but failed, to force a smile upon her late 20s
The lieutenant was indeed in her
quarters. At present she was doing a series of pushups on the floor,
albeit it in an unusual way. She was doing it on a mat that was normally
used as a trap by bounty hunters, one that operated by increasing the
gravity on a target until they could no longer stand. Brianna must have
been a glutton for punishment, however, because she was using it to
exercise. When the alert sounded, she would call out "Enter please" and
immediately leap up to her feet and stand at attention. She was wearing
only the bodysuit that was normally worn under trooper armor.
When the door opened Kerrie was visibly
surprised to see such an attractive woman standing before her. She had
read in the bio that she was part Hapan and after spending so much time
with the Lady Htaere she was accustomed to their beauty, but it was
unusual for one of her Storm commandos. "At ease, Lieutenant," she said
quickly, never being one for formality. She was no Academy graduate
herself ... she was a draftee, and it showed in the less than serious
way she carried herself.
"Yes, sir." She stood at ease, though
her position shifted only slightly. She would move to deactivate the
gravfield generator mat. It was currently set to a little bit more than
Carida standard. Apparently she was interested in not softening from her
Academy shape. She was tall...1.8 meters...and very toned. "Can I offer
"Water?" Kerrie said, sounding confused
as she canted her head and looked her over more carefully. "Oh. No thank
you," she said finally, as she brought the datapad up from under her arm
and looked at it carefully. "Carida, eh?" she said, reading it aloud at
certain key intervals. "Do you know why they chose you for this
assignment, Lieutenant?" she asked, as she shifted her weight to her
right side to await a response.
The small cabin of the the newly
graduated lieutenant was very neat and clean. There were ample
places for the Major to sit if she so chose. "No, sir." Brianna shook
her head curtly, her shoulder length red hair bouncing slightly as she
did so. "Are you sure you would not like to sit, sir? I can only
speculate it is because my performance in suppressing a small insurgence
during my Omega exercise was graded well, sir. That, and my recent
completion of commando training."
Kerrie nodded her head politely and took
a seat in one of the chairs, daintily crossing her legs as she looked up
at the much taller woman. "You can think that if you want," the Major
replied curtly, as she looked over the datapad once again before tucking
it back away. "But the truth is the Empire doesn't take the war
seriously here. It's the Core and they refuse to commit resources here
because it's ... 'embarrassing'," she explained, as she let out a
frustrated sigh while pulling the cap from her head. "We've lost two
teams of commandos since we began our operation here ... and what do I
get sent as replacements? Children," she admitted, perhaps revealing too
much of her views on the subject. She had been drinking and it showed.
"Yes, sir. I admit I am unworthy of
service to the Empire, sir. I only hope that my performance of my duties
will not bring too much shame to the Emperor." Her green eyes did not
seem to show any kind of deception. She seemed perfectly happy to
believe that the Empire had assigned her there because they did not wish
to commit quality officers.
"Have you been briefed on what happened
to the last Commando squad, Lieutenant?" Kerrie asked, her eyes drifting
down slowly as she played it through in her head yet again. It was
something she would be hard pressed to get over. Her hand shook slightly
as she considered it, playing it over like a holovid stuck on repeat.
"No, sir." She moved to sit down on a
seat across from the Major, barely sweat from the exercise. The girl was
very dedicated to exercise, but one usually expected that much from an
Academy graduate. "It is not my place to ask, sir. I am given whatever
information the Empire requires me to have and should be glad for it."
"They were killed in action on Esseles,"
Kerrie admitted coldly, as she crushed the hat in her hands without
realizing she was doing it. "That probably isn't something the Empire
would want to admit, but nevertheless it's the truth and I won't spare
you it," she stated plainly, before her eyes eventually drifted down and
she realized what she had done to her hat.
"I did not join the Stormtrooper Corps
in order to advance myself socially, sir. I will gladly sacrifice myself
in the service of the Empire." There must have been a story behind this
Hapan female joining the Imperial military. By all appearances she must
had better prospects than being a rare woman in the service of the
Empire. Perhaps her dossier would say more.
"Then why did you join the Stormtrooper
Corps, Lieutenant?" Kerrie asked, her voice raising slightly, as if
agitated, before she shifted again to calm herself. "It is not exactly a
branch of the service that is welcoming to our sex," she admitted,
nodding her head to emphasize her words as she spoke.
"My father was..." She paused in mid
sentence. Obviously she was more used to areas that did not require
social niceties. "...that is to say, I believe that my father was a
trooper in the Grand Army of the Republic." From the way she spoke, it
sounded like she was not permitted to state with certainty who her
father was. "It's in the blood."
"Following in your father's footsteps?"
Kerrie asked, as she flashed a brief smile over towards her. "My father
owned a shipping company ... but lost it..." she said slowly, without
going into greater detail. From the way she spoke, along with her tense
body language it was clear it was something she did not feel comfortable
speaking about. "Anyway, I don't think I could see myself as a freighter
pilot," she said, as her eyes blinked, as if she was coming out of a
"Yes, sir. My prospects at home
are...likewise not good, sir. The Corps is my life." It was obviously
that she was really performing above her weight class. She had not made
any major faux pas so far, but she was used to only giving curt official
"Well let us hope it is not your death,
Lieutenant," Kerrie said, as she rose from the chair and walked towards
the younger woman. Her eyes tilted upwards and she looked at her with an
air of puzzlement about her. "Any questions about your assignment,
Lieutenant?" she asked, as she put the notoriously crumpled hat back
above her head and positioned it the best she could.
Brianna stood at the same time as her
Major did, obviously not wanting to be sitting while her superior was
standing. "I would be curious as to our first deployment, Major, so that
I might best prepare. I am also completely satisfied with being part of
the security detail for the Grand Moff's household. Whatever the
mission, I am ready."
"Our primary assignment is the
protection of the Grand Moff and his family," Kerrie said, continuing to
look up at the taller woman. She hated the fact that she was
consistently in the company of individuals who were so much taller than
her. "But soon we will be doing the ultimate service for the Emperor ...
rounding up treacherous officers!" she exclaimed, stomping down a booted
foot as she angrily relayed the information.
"Yes, sir. I am certain the Empire will
punish them, sir." She didn't seem to be personally affected by the
revelation that they would be going after traitors. She did not seem to
have a mean bone in her body, it seemed. "Do we expect resistance by the
troops serving under them, or will they surrender their superiors?"
"No loyal Imperial soldier would dare
oppose the Grand Moff's arrest warrant. As for the officers themselves
... they will surrender ... or they will die a traitor's death," Kerrie
sand angrily, as she raised her left hand up and clenched a fist in
front of Brianna's face. "If they had any honor they would kill
themselves before we even had a chance to arrest them," she admitted, as
she suppressed the urge to spit as she spoke of the villains.
"Yes sir." Brianna did not seem to be
intimidated by having a fist thrust in front of her face. "I have no
problems executing arrest warrants, sir." It seemed to be rather
difficult to get the young lieutenant worked up, and she seemed a very
positive sort of person for someone who was called to wreak death on the
"A personal question, Lieutenant,"
Kerrie began, as she moved back down to the seat and got herself
comfortable again. "As you may be aware from reading Lady Rodney's
dossier ... you are not the only Hapan in the sector..." she began,
setting a preamble before her inevitable uncomfortable question. "Why
are you not in the Hapes Cluster?" she asked, realizing it might be a
difficult thing to discuss. However, she wanted to know the motives of
all who served beneath her.
The lieutenant sat shortly after Kerrie,
placing her hands in her lap as she tried to stay proper. "As I said, my
prospects back home are...less than stellar. My mother..." She paused,
before correcting herself. "...I was born to a Duchess. My father was
not around, and he would not have met...the Duchess' family's standards.
I am not any kind of a prospect for a marriage in any of the social
"A Duchess?" Kerrie asked, as she
laughed slightly at the prospect. "Well, well, Milady ... should I
curtsy when I stand before you?" she asked, playfully folding her arms
in front of her chest as she leaned back in the chair and studied her
features once again.
For the first time Kerrie managed to get
a reaction from her that showed real vulnerability. Lieutenant Visla's
eyes seemed to register a damaging blow at the joke. "Sir, I am afraid I
did not...adequately explain. I am considered a bastard. My social
status in the Hapes Cluster would only be improved if I had been born in
a lower social class."
"Oh. I am terribly sorry, Lieutenant,"
Kerrie said quickly, as she forced a more subdued expression on her
face. "But it is who we leave this world at that matters, not who we
enter it as. Keep that in mind..." she said, as she was quite satisfied
with the woman's answers. However, she would still need to see the woman
in combat before she could decide if she was worthy of being a commando
in her unit.
"It is of no concern, sir.
My...relations..." She seemed to have caught herself from using the word
family, careful not to make a claim which could hurt her in the long
one. "...are right to have disowned me. I will be happy to sacrifice
myself in service to the Emperor."
"Have you ever seen someone sacrifice
themselves for the Emperor, Lieutenant?" Kerrie asked, sounding quite
disillusioned. "It is not as glamorous as the holovids make it sound..."
she explained, as she rose from her seat and walked right over towards
her. "The men who occupied this room before you gave their lives for the
Emperor. It was terrible, and it accomplished nothing," she confided, as
she bit on her lower lip, to keep a negative expression from curling on
"We had close to the standard number of
casualties in my graduating class at the Academy, sir. The platoon I led
in putting down the insurgency had a small number as well." The
Lieutenant was apparently very nonplussed about the likelihood of her
dying. "I will attempt to stay alive as long as it does not impede my
ability to accomplish the mission in front of me."
"Do try and stay alive, Lieutenant,"
Kerrie said, as she began to walk towards the exit of the small cabin.
"It is such difficult paperwork whenever an officer in my command is
killed in action," she explained, as she stepped out of the small room
to hurry about her business. There was much she needed to attend to
before she could conduct her operation to sweep up the treasonous