Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:2:22) in the Brentaal system: Kwai and Warspite and in the Coruscant system: Coruscant (Galactic City: Imperial Palace) and Kwai.
Captain Tiberius Anson, Vice Admiral Claudius Rodney, Inquisitor Serine Thanor, and Flight Lieutenant Randi Trainor.

Outside on one of the many landing platforms would be the destination orders that Randi would have received. The moment the Lambda-class shuttle landed would a figure that had been intently waiting emerge from the shadows. A brisk wind rustled through long strands of silver hair as Serine Thanor took a long gaze at the shuttle to receive her. Inquisitor Thanor was one of the youngest deployed by the Empire and for good reason, she was ruthless and thus was able to gain in ranks quickly. For her short period of service, Serine had significantly impressed her superiors while her name began to grow in infamy. Known for her cruel tactics that were based in fear and intimidation, Inquisitor Thanor installed dread in order to promote a much tighter rule with higher efficiency. She was unique in other ways as well, adorned on her hip was a lightwhip, a rather rare artifact with legendary implications and it was yet unknown how she acquired it, either by craft or force, but her vile skill in using it was well documented. Whispers of decapitations and mutilations were always quick on the lips of those who feared her ramifications.

Randi sat nervously inside the cockpit of the Kwai as she stared out at the landing platform at the lone woman approaching the craft. She was hardly dressed for the Palace and when she received her landing instructions a sense of absolute dread came over her. She heard many stories of officers arriving at the Palace and never being heard from again. She swallowed, her throat bulging through the collar of the flightsuit as she moved to activate the control that would descend the boarding ramp. There was a *hiss* as the pneumatic pressure released the ramp slowly to the landing platform, the excess air being blasted out in white columns of vapor. The woman she observed through the viewport was wearing no uniform, causing her a sense of further dread. She just did not look ... right. She turned around and walked towards the passenger compartment of the ship, forcing her trademark smile off her lips into a scowl, which she felt would be more important. Those coming from the Palace were always too serious for her liking.

Indeed, Serine did not wear a military uniform, instead a rather close fitting black armorweave suit covered nearly every inch of her form. Draped over her left arm, she carried dark crimson Inquisitorius robes that she had worn during her meeting with the Grand Vizier. She rarely wore anything other than armorweave, even to formal events as she was untrusting of nearly everyone and always desired that extra bit of protection as if she was dressed to go into combat at any moment with the intensity to match. Eyes sternly glared at Randi before the gaze drifted about the ship once over then returned to the pilot. Serine briskly walked up the ramp to stand right in front of Randi impatiently. Words were not necessary at this time, nor did she feel the need to waste the breath on the other... The inquisitor actually appeared a bit younger than she really was at 26, and if it was not for the shear aura of terror she instilled upon others wherever she went, many would consider her very attractive.

Randi snapped her arm into a crisp, military salute. Unfortunately for her, the arm she used was the one she had wiped her sleeve with at dinner and she was in fact brandish an arm towards her that was covered in visible globs of particles that were once in fact an Alderaanian culinary delight. Keeping that forced scowl on her face she nodded her head to the as-of-yet unidentified voice and spoke in an uncharacteristically devoid of cheer voice. "I am Lieutenant Randi Trainor," she began, introducing yourself. "I will be your pilot this evening," she continued, sounding more like a commercial pilot than an Imperial one.

For the first few moments, Serine did not notice the rather painfully obvious slop of food that was stained upon Randi's sleeve, probably because such atrocity was never expected so eyes saw but did not process the information. Once she did realize what that discoloration was, Inquisitor Thanor actually had to look twice, the second wide gaze being one of disgust and shock. This was not the best first impression for sure and for a second Serine was stunned...she could not even comprehend this. As she finally spoke, it was apparent that her voice carried authority but with a soft demeanor. She never had to raise her voice to get her point across, gentle words could be as potent as swift actions at times. "Lieutenant Trainor, I'm pleased to see they feed you well. Luckily for you, I do not believe this was any disrespect towards me on your part, or this conversation wouldn't have happened, and I would be requesting another pilot to receive me to fill in for the recently dispatched one." Serine simply walked past Randi to take her place upon a thankfully clean seat.. she had to double check though, the pilot already putting doubt in her mind.

Without turning her head, Randi's head slowly moved to the right to look at her arm. She let out a low, audible whimper as if an animal's tail had just been stepped upon. "I am sorry, Milady..." she said nervously as she took the threat to heart. By the looks of that whip she was dealing with one tough cookie. Turning to face her once she had situated, she nodded her head politely to her. "With your permission," she said as she moved back towards her cockpit, "...I will fly us outta here." She turned to head into the cockpit and suddenly caught herself, turning back to face her once again. "I...I...will deliver you promptly to the Ringali what I...I...meant by that..." she tried nervously to explain, fumbling over each and every word as she spoke. She had the shovel out and was digging herself a big hole. She shook her head, making herself dizzy with all of the finely crafted words she had to speak.

Serine was quickly realizing just why she was chosen for this mission, and if the pilot's antics were any indication of the unsightly crew aboard the starship, she was going to have her hands full with correcting the many...issues she foresaw. A right hand lightly rubbed the side of her temple as she contemplated the challenge ahead, this was going to be a long deployment... "Yes, please, and with haste." She said in response to the other's jittery statements. The inquisitor was a bit anxious to begin her work and thus wished to arrive quickly.

Randi gripped the controls of the shuttle, her hands quickly moving over the controls. She knew the quicker she delivered her, the quicker she would be off her ship. Without using the shuttle's maneuvering thrusters, she moved her hand over the throttle and engaged the sublight engines. The comlink on the shuttle began to flash red ... the planetary controller was furious because she was navigating out of the lane at an unregulated speed ... but she simply turned her head to avoid looking at it. "Hang on," she shouted over her shoulder as she twisted the shuttle into a sharp ascent. "Sorry," she said with a soft giggle as they banked sharply to the left as she maneuvered the craft between a couple of Star Destroyers in the orbit. Her hands moved towards the navigation computer where she began downloading the coordinates for the Brentaal system.

The time during flights to and from a location were generally when she would clear her mind to prepare for the oncoming task at hand, of course...that usually happened on peaceful non-jolting flights. As Serine adjusted herself within the seat and began to close her eyes for a brief moment of silent mediation, she was suddenly jerked to one side, causing her to completely tumble right out of the seat and onto the floor as she was caught off guard. The inquisitor's patience were being heavily strewn asunder, hands curled into fists while slightly trembling in fury. Serine was very close to piloting the ship herself, she was a rather capable pilot actually, but she never felt it necessary to spend her efforts in that manner, and except for this situation, usually enjoyed the peace the shuttle ride offered. With a few heavy motions, she pulled herself up from the floor and began to approach to the cockpit. Her voice was extremely low and foreboding... it was almost painfully obvious that she was close taking matters into her own hands. "I am fully capable... of flying this craft. If you cannot manage such a simple task, you will no longer have to worry about ever needing to again." Deep gray eyes narrowed dangerously at the other as she decided to stand right there for the duration of the flight, ever watching... "If I so happen to even slip to the side..." She did not need to finish that sentence.

Randi looked over her shoulder at the Inquisitor. "I'm sorry, but it's awful crowded up here," she pointed out as the ship dove into a steep dive to maneuver beneath a Carrack-class light cruiser that was directly in front of their path. She groaned as her entire body shifted to the right as she sent the ship into a sharp turn. The computer began to beep indicating the computer had finished downloading the coordinates. Her hand slipped over the controls and pushed them forward, sending the craft lurching forward into hyperspace. After a moment, her hand moved to activate the autopilot and unstrapped herself from the chair. "Well. We're on our way," she announced as she double checked the readout and moved towards the passenger compartment of her shuttle.

Indeed, there was a lot of traffic causing maneuvering through the ships to be a hassle, another jar was this time expected and weight was shifted so Serine did not crumple to the floor as before. This time it was not the Lieutenant's fault, so it was disregarded and she was relieved that they finally entered hyperspace. A soft sigh eased from her as she shook her head a bit before heading back to her original seat. Perhaps this time she would be undisturbed, at least until they reached their destination. Though, Serine was unable to fully clear her mind... something did trouble her, recalling that she had killed offenders many times before on less mistakes that Randi just did. Was she just feeing generous today..? Eyes had been closed to clear her mind but they slowly opened to peer towards the pilot, the other was definitely unique...uniquely odd perhaps.

"We're coming up on Brentaal," Randi announced as she monitored the readouts in front of her. She deactivated the shuttle's in front of her, taking the controls into her hand once more. A moment later the shuttle lurched as it exited hyperspace, and the stars came into focus. A moment later a squadron of Y-wings were visible around them swarming around the craft. "Oh crap. Looks like we came out right in the middle of a convoy raid," she cursed as she moved her hand over the throttle. "Strap yourself in," she said in an uncharacteristically commanding voice, her hand simultaneously moving over the throttle to accelerate the shuttle into its top speed. In the corner of the viewport, a Consular-class space cruiser was visibly under attack by an entire squadron of Y-wings.

The other's stern voice instantly got Serine's attention due to it being so completely out-of-place considering who said it causing the inquisitor to quickly stride up to the cockpit with immediate curiosity. It did not take long to gather the situation at hand, eyes widened in disbelief before intently gazing out of the viewing window. "So far there has never been a dull moment with you around." Said in all honesty, it has been constant bombardment both physically and mentally. Serine swiftly sat down in the adjacent co-pilot chair while strapping tightly in. Considering most cases, Serine would have taken control, not trusting the dysfunctional skill of the other, but this time... something told her to trust Randi. If anything, this would definitely be the time for redemption for all of the previous idiocies.

When the Y-wings spotted an Imperial shuttle emerging from hyperspace, two of them immediately moved to intercept. Switching over to their ion cannons they began to fire blasts designed to disable the craft so that they could capture what was inside. "Damn," Randi groaned as she looked to Serine, one of the blue bolts of energy colliding with their starboard side. Her hands moved down on the controls as she sent them into a forward dive towards the space cruiser that was under attack. "Ngh," she groaned as she pulled back on the throttle and guided it less than a meter off the surface of the ship. In the distance she could see the outline of the Star Destroyer. Privately, she doubted they would make it.

The BTL-A4 Y-wing that was pursuing the Kwai into its dive was unable to pull up in time once the pilot realized that she was leading him directly into the Consular-class space cruiser. Unable to match her climb, the starfighter collided with the cruiser and the two erupted into a massive fireball leaving nothing but a debris field. Randi grit her teeth and eased back on the controls after completing the ascent. Detecting the explosion on her sensors, she lowered her head in embarrassment and hoped the Inquisitor had not noticed. "Oops," she nervously giggled, realizing the cruiser had been destroyed in her attempt to evade the Y-wing. As she piloted the shuttle in a zig-zag she considered ways to evade the second starfighter. She was out of objects to crash them into.

Randi's look to Serine appeared to be a silent cry for help. Very well...she had no hesitation to lend aid, and for the better, their combined efforts may prove to be formidable, and she was positive neither wished to spend time in rebel captivity, or worse. "You concentrate on flying." She said as hands fell to the rear blaster cannon controls, causing two heavy shots to be fired at the oncoming fighters. Serine was not expecting to land any hits, not with this crazy wild flying, but it certainly did not hurt to try. Another round of firing skillfully conducted by Serine ended up with a fortunate shot colliding with one of the Y-wings and causing it to spiral out of control. "Ha!" Exclaimed a bit uncharacteristically as she had not planned on scoring a hit. "Quickly now, relief is most likely on the way."

"Nice shooting, toots," Randi shouted towards the back of the shuttle and she guided it towards the Warspite. Heading directly towards them were a squadron of TIE/ln starfighters that swarmed around the shuttle and began to move off towards the space cruiser's debris to deal with the remaining Y-wings. She let out a deep sigh as she unstrapped herself from the seat, the remainder of the trip to the ship proving to be relatively uneventful. As they approached the ship she retracted the wings of the shuttle, maneuvering it into position inside of the hangar bay. From the viewport she could see most of the ship's crew standing in rigid formation. "Well I got you here in one piece," she announced pleasantly as the shuttle touched down on the hangar bay floor with a sudden jolt. The landing left something to be desired.

She was not even sure what 'toots' meant, but she let it slide... because she was more concerned with the intense combat situation than what ridiculous thing Randi was saying. The chase was disengaged the moment a squadron of TIEs appeared in defense of the shuttle and Serine was able to sigh heavily. She stood up while rubbing the back of her neck before straightening her armorweave with the palms of her hands. Inquisitor Thanor began to walk towards where the ramp would soon be lowered and extended, but she paused for but a moment to turn her head towards Randi. "Yes, you did. Nice flying, toots." Said without even a hint of a smile, but those words did resemble a dry sort of humor.

Randi Trainor remained seated in the pilot's seat of the Kwai, a thin layer of sweat covering her young body, her hands still shaking from the adrenaline that was coursing through her veins. She desperately needed a drink, but she would remain seated there for quite some time. It had been a long time since she had seen combat, and the reaction she had was not the one she had expected.

Admiral Claudius Rodney stepped forward, taking a deep swallow as he stepped in front of the arriving Inquisitor. He lowered his head in a sharp bow to the woman. His first impression was that she was incredibly young, but his history of dealing with the Emperor's minions had showed him that age was rarely a prerequisite to such things. "Greetings, Inquisitor," he said in a clear-sounding, confident voice. Internally, he believed her presence there was an insult and he had protested her presence to the Grand Vizier, but he had failed.

At first glance, Serine did appear to be very young, but she carried herself with much more command than her age would suggest and her mere presence here would already have a foreboding feel. It was never a joyous time to have an inquisitor make personal visits as it nearly always signified that there were problems that needed forceful correcting. Serine descended the ramp perfectly solemn, no one would possibly have known by looking at her that she had just been in an combat situation. A long nod to the other as she spoke. "Admiral Rodney, your pilot choice surprises me. The Lieutenant is disrespectful, disheveled and undisciplined." Said in a tone that was difficult to read, was the Inquisitor disappointed, enraged? No. Serine would continue in what could only be described as discontinuous from what she had just said. "I wish for her to be reassigned to be my personal pilot as needed." What she failed to mention was Randi's unsurpassed piloting skills that were very apparent and that she was extremely impressed.

Admiral Rodney's face was unwavering as he nodded politely to her. Personally, he had always been pleased with her performance, but conceded that her social graces left something to be desired. "It will be done," he said to her, matter-of-factly as his attention turned to Captain Anson. "See that the flight roster is updated at once, Captain," he said, presenting himself as very authoritarian. He was not being himself. Clearly, he was performing for the Inquisitor.

Captain Anson had not shaved yet today, and by now a thin layer of scruff had formed upon his middle-aged Corellian face. Had he known an Inquisitor was coming aboard, surely he would have shaved. He nodded to the Admiral in sharp military precision. "It will be done so at once, milord," he snapped back as his attention turned to Commander Hood, and so forth as it was passed down the chain of command.

The Admiral turned his attention back to Serine, offering her a courteous smile as he began to walk over towards his officers, introducing them one-by-one. "I assure you," he began as he turned his attention away from the staff and back towards her, "This is the finest crew in the fleet." The ensemble of officers was drawn from a multitude of different planets. The presence of a Chiss among them would be easily noticed, as would the fact that there seemed to be an inordinate amount of females among the senior staff.

She had serious personal doubts that this was the finest crew in the fleet but she didn't immediately voice her concerns there. Her job wasn't to ruin the moral of the officers, her job was to whip them and the rest of this jumbled crew into shape, perhaps literally. In response she simple stated: "We'll see." Inquisitor Thanor was planning to make every effort to be nearly everywhere at once, or at least the threat of her would be, ever watching... and waiting for critical mistakes. She walked down the line of officers, eying them each in turn with a scrutinizing gaze. There was a surprising amount of woman present here, this was unique. "I expect great things from each of you. Perform well, and you and your divisions will be rewarded. Perform poorly, and there will be consequences." Horror stories of heads literally rolling across the deck had already began to surface within whispers of the lesser-ranked crew. She had other reasons for being onboard this vessel, but she was not at liberty to speak of them nor would she want to. Far too many mishaps have been involved with the Admiral and the Warspite.

Each member of the Warspite crew attempted to put their best face forward as they presented themselves for inspection in front of their new arrival. The crew had spent most of their time preparing to battle the Rebel Alliance, but now it seemed they would have to prepare to deal with a threat from within. As Admiral Rodney continued his inspection with the young Inquisitor, he could not help but wonder what her true purpose was here. The Emperor never dispatched an Inquisitor merely to file reports. He would have to begin sleeping with one eye open.

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