Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee, Andrew J. Fowler, Erin Highberg, Christopher Levy, Jaina Roberts, and Thomas Rogers.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:2:5) in the Ringali nebula: Ringali Station.
Sergeant Reilly Judah, General Bri Quabil, Lady Jelena Rodney, Emi Shinohara, Captain Dagon Tong, and Commander Iyah Xergo.

This was the part that Emi hated the most. Military debriefings. Although the mission to rescue Jelena Rodney was a success, there was still a loss. The debriefing room was small, a few windows showing to the control room, but other than that it was enclosed. She wore a simple grey pair of cargo pants, stuffed into a pair of black bantha leather boots. Black tunic covered her torso as the hem was tucked into the waistband. There was a simple oval table, chairs around it per usual. The Commander in Chief walked into the room and moved to the side that was closest to the windows. She pulled out a chair and sat down.

Hands folded onto the metal table while she sat up straight, trying to keep from letting the loss of a friend get to her. She had to keep levelheaded especially when people were looking to her for leadership. Chest rose as she took in a slow breath, waiting for the other's to arrive.

General Bri Quabil moved into the room where the debriefing would take place. Her short form was covered in typical rebel naval attire. She wasn't much for dress up and this occasion certainly did not warrant it. A nod was offered to Emi, no words spoken. She still was not over the loss of Atio, nor was the rebellion. Though a bumbler, the commander had been a part of this operation for a long time. Slowly she dropped down into a chair and waited for the debriefing to begin.

Reilly entered the room, hoping to have questions answered. Since her superiors were seated, she paused, offering a salute before moving closer to the oval table. Once the general returned her salute, she moved toward the chair furthest from the others and sat down. A soft sigh escaped her. She was nervous, though it was because he planned to ask questions instead of just listening like she usually did.

Captain Dagon Tong held with his tradition of never looking like he was in any uniformed military service, though he certainly looked like he was heading from this meeting into a more direct action setting than a clandestine one. His armor was on, the jacket fitting over his gauntlets well enough that they didn't show the weapons installed there, but it wasn't hard to guess what was underneath it. His helmet sat on the conference table in front of him, along with a coffee cup that he had repurposed as an ashtray, that he was using. The somber occasion didn't seem to have an effect on him, but aside from his initial outburst against Jelena Rodney at their first meeting, few had ever seen him emotional. He looked from face to face, quietly tapping the hilt of the mando'a iron knife strapped to his belt, waiting for the start of the debrief.

Commander Iyah Xergo had not had enough time away to finish licking her wounds. The mission to recover Jelena Rodney was still raw in her mind. She had escaped back to Delaya to ensure that her fiancée wasn't being taken advantage of, which, of course, he was. The Rodney family had stung her family, causing a poisonous, deadly infection to spread. She had already lost Derek thanks to them. She questioned if she would lose Mug too. Her mind was overcrowded with concern as she sat at the table, reviewing the notes from the mission on her holopad. It was difficult to face this, her comrades, of which she had convinced herself that she had disappointed. Her eyes tossed from person to person. Seeing Emi was probably worst of all. She had felt the backlash from Iyah's sorrows.

Emi gave a small nod to those who followed in line after she had entered the room and sat. There was definitely a somber tone in the air. Right hand moved up to form a fist to cover her mouth as Emi cleared her throat. "Thank you all for gathering at such short notice." Emi's dark eyes moved around the room, making sure to make eye contact with everyone around the table. Small but intimate crowd this evening. "The mission to extract Jelena Rodney seemed to be a success. Loss or no loss, the main objective was still met." Emi seemed a little shaken as this was still new to her. She was used to negotiating trade and relations. Her head again turned looking at everyone around the room, though her glance stopping at General Quabil. A small nod in her direction, giving her permission to speak next.

Bri nodded to Emi, a slight smile given to acknowledge her. Chin rose slightly and the smile disappeared. "I have read the report and would firstly like to acknowledge Commander Atio's sacrifice. He will be missed." Deep green eyes scanned the others as she continued to speak. "Miss Rodney has been recovered , and per the report the bomb has been removed from her chest...such a device shows just how low the Imperials are willing to stoop to meet their villainous goals. Captain Tong, I trust you have our next objective in mind?"

Reilly didn't want things to move from the current topic yet. She shyly cleared her throat and spoke softly, "May I ask a question?" After receiving a nod from the general she ventured to ask, "What was that..? How did he get killed without any weapon used?"

Dagon took a final drag off of his cigarra, and then dropped it into the half inch of coffee in the bottom of the cup before he started. "Because you bumped into a Force user on the way out. There are a lot of ways to kill them, but we'll get into that later." He paused, and took another long moment to survey the faces in the room, his cold, predatory eyes seeming to weigh them anew. "This mission was technically a success. Mourn the loss of Atio as you must. But, the execution of the mission at its most critical point was an abject failure, and an example to the rest of the special operations units in this Alliance of how not to conduct business. I would like to know who gave the final go order, who wrote up the manifest, who decided the armament, who decided that the pilot would not use the blackout as an immediate indicator of immediate arrival by the extraction team and thus spin up the guns on the shuttle in order to provide the sort of firepower necessary to keep the heads down of anyone in pursuit. Running into a Sith is unfortunate, and unexpected to a degree. But that mission would have been just as fucked if a squad of storm troopers had gotten curious and stumbled upon you before you made the shuttle. Any answers to these questions?" His voice didn't rise, just retained the cold, gravely tone it always held, even if he didn't seem at all pleased with the report he had read.

Killing the Inquisitor sounded like sweet, sweet justice. It was only a fantasy, of course. There were some ways to skin that cat, but all of them were unpleasant. Her attention turned to Dagon, nose twitching to the scent of his cigarra meeting its death. What an unfortunate habit. The man was professional, yet he spread salt on her wounds like no other. The little voice in her head had a lot of choice words for him. Some you may have heard, some so creative and unique that you'd need a dictionary. Commander Xergo was under a lot of stress at the moment. A silence seemed to follow his words. The last cold one rang out in the room. Iyah concealed her emotional side. She could save expressing herself time for the Rodney family's fine china. Finally, she spoke. "Derek Atio lead the mission. It was his idea to go undercover, as well as transport Jelena Rodney in the crates." She began explaining, the voice in the back of her head becoming more furious and insistent. "There was nothing we could do to block out her fear. That's what drew the Inquisitor to us. Why didn't you accompany us?" She asked him, maintaining some sense of composure.

Emi looked from Captain to Commander to General as each of them spoke. The young Alderaanian leaned forward in her chair as she rested her chin on hand, elbow on the table. It wasn't that she was bored, just Military tactics were not her forte. She gave the 'go ahead' for the mission, understanding what she could. Captain Tong spoke with 'passion.' As did Commander Xergo. Emi knew that interjecting here, or putting in some form of opinion would lead to more interm arguing. She did not want to create animosity within. After all, they were all fighting for the same cause. "I'm sure Derek...Commander Atio knew what he was doing. And I'm sure his sacrifice was not in vain. I know he felt a certain responsibility for Jelena Rodney, but Captain Tong's input on the matter may help to avoid such extremes in the future." Emi moved to lean back as she glanced over to Captain Tong, not appreciating his colorful language.

"The will be time for assigning blame after the Empire has fallen." The general glanced at Commander Xergo And frowned. "Though questioning who is assigned to what operation is not something you should be concerned with, Commander, allow me to put your mind at ease concerning Captain Tong's absence. Since you do not seem to be aware, the captain used to be stationed in the area in question when he was with the Imperials. Now, perhaps you might have thought it necessary for him to risk being identified and thereby putting the mission at greater risk, those in charge chose not to do so." Inwardly she allowed any tension to leave her body. Outwardly she just let her piercing green eyes show that she was disappointed that Xergo would question Tong's loyalty to the cause.

Reilly's head was trying to wrap around the fact that Sith were more than campfire stories. If there were beings as powerful as the storied spun, the rebellion was doomed to fail. What could defeat a Sith? The captain seemed to think it was possible so maybe there was hope. As far as the current conversation was concerned, Reilly was barely paying attention.

Jelena Rodney had been sitting quietly in the back of the room, with her back to the various military and governmental officials who had gathered to discuss her as if she were a thing instead of a person. She had not spoken to anyone since her rescue out of both grief and shame for what had befallen Commander Atio during her rescue. Suddenly, she turned her head to look at the group, her eyes clearly red from intermittent crying. "Did he have a family?" she asked, interrupting them, and changing the subject, as teenage girls were prone to. She thought about the time she first met him, through the Rebel agent Parka Pepper, and how happy he always seemed, despite the tumultuous series of events they had always found themselves in. Her hand moved to just above her left breast where Reilly had placed a bacta patch over the incision that had been created to remove the explosive the ISB had placed within her chest. More than anything, she just wanted to go home.

Commander Xergo's exhaustion was beginning to show. Being pulled at in every which way with little down time was beginning to make her crack. Derek's death had hit her harder than she wanted to admit. Only a select few saw her softer side. As someone who had ended her pain and suffering, Derek earned that right. The Commander had injected a dose of reality back into her system. Iyah recoiled, running her finger through her already messy long, black hair. "I apologize. I wasn't aware of Captain Tong's past. I'm not questioning his loyalty." It had just been a long life. Jelena's question was answered by the tired voice of the Commander. "No." She said no more regarding it. She may have seen him as a father-like figure in her life, but there was no one.

"I wasn't there because Atio took it upon himself to launch the op on his own. The members of my team he took were both subject matter experts on various portions of the mission, but the area that he neglected was the one most of you think is the easiest. We have several shooters that are extremely good at projecting force well beyond what a single trooper should be capable of, and that would have come in very useful for your extraction. And my history in this system could easily have been covered had I acted as a storm trooper escort for the technicians." He glanced around the table one last time, and then retrieved his pack of cigarras from the table where they sat next to his helmet and EE-3. After he had one lit, and exhaled the initial smoke drawn in, he nodded slightly. "My history before my time with the Empire might be more pertinent now. I have successfully targeted and killed Jedi before. The Empire certainly employs a more aggressive breed of Force user, but they are not impervious to damage and death, just better at avoiding it than most. The next objective I want to pursue is to finally use Jelena Rodney as the propaganda tool she was meant to be, and then if the Inquisitor should take a personal interest, thwart her attempts to put an end to it, further frustrate her, and sew further dissent between the ISB, Rodney, and the Inquisitor."

Emi had never stepped into the position of tactician. So she wasn't about to interrupt Captain Tong as he spoke. But the idea of using someone so soon after undergoing a bit of a trauma seemed a little...odd. Emi looked over to the young woman and shook her head to her question, just about the same time that Commander Xergo had answered it. "In the future, I'd suggest we use Captain Tong's experience instead of rushing into something based on a feeling. Had Commander Atio would have waited for the signoff, he might still be alive." Emi's eyes moved from Jelena over to Captain Tong. Although the mission was a success, a sacrifice could have been avoided altogether. Maybe this was what bothered her most of all.

Bri sighed. She leaned back in her chair and listened as the others spoke. "Miss Rodney, are you ready to serve as...ambassador?" Perhaps a stretch of the word ambassador but she could at least try to be kind. Before hearing the girl's response she looked toward Commander Xergo. "We have a bothan that needs to be secured from Rhinnal. Is this something you can arrange?" She glanced around the room and then rose from her chair. "I am certain all of you can eek out the details." With that she moved for the door. There were other matters that needed her attention.

*He might still be alive*. The words echoed inside of Commander Xergo's head. Nothing had ever derailed her so hard in her life. The lifestyles which they had call chosen were complex. Being a Rebel was no joke when the enemy was so big. Not to mention the fact that they had the power to destroy planets in seconds. She had been sitting back, drowning in and out of the conversation. Soon, her head would be more clear. Everything would straighten out again. She looked towards Bri, snapping into a better state of mind. "Absolutely. I'll see to it that this gets done right away." She responded.

"How did you kill Jedi?" Yep, Reilly was still on the Force wielders. If they were real, what else existed? Her question was directed to Tong and was not overly loud. Her head wasn't in the game at the moment. Her reality had been altered by the knowledge that beings were still actually using the Force. It was more than just something one said to wish another luck.

Jelena listened as the commando who so cruelly addressed her back on Rhinnal described her as a 'tool' and then detailed his machinations to use her against all of the Imperial factions converged around them. She rose, placing a hand upon her bacta batch, as she moved towards the impressive assemblage. "I'm right here, Captain. It would be nice if when you spoke about me, you'd at least acknowledge that," she said, still overwhelmed from her ordeal with the ISB and her harrowing rescue. "General, I'm not sure what I'm ready for," she explained, as she moved towards them, before leaning on a terminal for support. "It seems you've all decided on what I'm good for and what I'm to do. Care to fill me in?" she asked, as her eyes moved back towards Captain Tong. She had no idea what to make of the man. She respected his reputation as a commando, but there was much to be desired in his social skills.

Unlike the others, Jason knew better than to be involved with this meeting directly. He simply lacked the desire to hold back his comments on the ruined attempt. After receiving a piece of information that would give Tong more reason to complain, he decided to use the comm instead. "Tong. Update for you. Imperial chatter is picking up that someone ticked off one of the Inquisitors, who is now mounting a personal manhunt for the...recovered 'prisoner'. Someone's pulling a lot of strings and getting ready to move some serious hardware. Thank whatever moron messed the op. I'm out for a day or so to gather info, but word is the Inquisitor in question is taking it as a personal affront and prepping to respond in kind."

As the com chirped twice for an incoming message, Tong didn't hesitate to pick it up. He didn't exactly get a lot of personal message traffic, and most of what his team relayed was time sensitive. He listened to the update before replying, "Get ready to start laying bread crumbs. We'll have to pick the ground carefully. I'll discuss more with you in person." With that, he cut the comlink, and looked to Jelena. "Try to remember what the Rebels wanted you to do when you first escaped. It was a propaganda coup. So I want you to end up on the holonet letting everyone in the sector know that the ISB captured and tortured you to hold sway over your father, and that you were rescued by the evil Rebels, and are in good health, well fed, and even get whatever designer shoes you want. Aside from angering people with massive warships at their disposal, and the odd Force user, it couldn't be a safer task. And you won't even be doing it live. Jason will run the distribution. If you think you can manage it."

Both hands moved to the sides of Emi's head as her fingers rubbed at her temples. Something seemed to be turning the wheels in her head as she heard the talk amongst everyone. Emi folded her hands back on the tabletop using it to push herself up to stand. "I don't think it's wise to place blame on anyone person. Though, now I'm really starting to judge Commander Atio's judgment in all of this. We are at war. Casualties happen. Although we try to avoid it, they happen." She looked from Jelena to Captain Tong as they both exchanged words. Tilt of her head to Captain Tong before she took a few steps toward Captain Tong. "Perhaps we let Jelena rest a few days before we move forward with that objective." She turned toward the door as well. "For now I believe we should use Captain Tong's experience to gain the upper hand at whatever is thrown at us next. The Empire was capable of blowing up a planet after all..." Eyes locked with Captain Tong's, mostly to signal that he had her support in that matter.

Dagon nodded, "I have no objection to giving her time to recovery. Prep work has to be done before we're ready to kick that particular nest anyway." He took a long drag and then looked over to his medic. "And you kill Force users using methods that you for as long as I've known you, don't particularly approve of. Fire, explosives, disruptors, and overwhelming violence of action. Speed and surprise are both useful as well, but they are difficult to truly surprise, and some are just as fast as you imagine them to be. But it can be done. The Empire proved it when they transitioned from the Republic to the Empire after all." Never mind all the Jedi that had been assassinated before the actual ambush conducted by the Clone Troopers galaxy wide.

Overwhelming violence seemed to be Tong's answer to a lot of issues. She simply nodded at his response. After a moment, she glanced toward Jelena and then back to Tong. "I have images..." A tilt of her head was made so she could see everyone in the room. "Of the bomb in her chest...of the scar before bacta...Maybe we could use those until Miss Jelena is ready to do what she can do?" Eyes darted down toward the tabletop. The images were gory and probably not suitable for mass distribution but they showed the brutality of the Empire.

"Compile what you have, shoot it over to Jason. But like I said, there is prep work that has to be done before we provoke a fight. Though from the sound of the report Jason just gave me, it might not take much work." With that, he stood, paid a nod to the table, slung his carbine, picked up his helmet, and headed for the door. Something had come up.

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