Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee, Christopher Levy, and Thomas Rogers.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:6:27) in the Ringali nebula: Ringali Station.
Ashori Monoceros, Yekaterina Hanson, Commander Dillon Hobbes, Major Elayne Passik, Captain Dagon Tong, Commander Iyah Xergo, and Mug Zoran.

Successful missions typically had command elements in a state of euphoria. They were likely to be almost bearable for people who worked for them. Dagon typically didn't experience that euphoria and uplifting moment. Maybe it was because after one of his most successful missions, his entire team had been killed by the very people that had sent him on the mission. Now he sat in the conference room of the sector command, slowly swirling what remained of a cup of dark coffee, while he smoked a cigarra. He had not put back on a uniform, though that was no real surprise. He couldn't think of a time where he had actually worn a Rebel uniform. He was in his typical mercenary garb, non distinct grey tactical pants, boots, armor, his slugthrower carbine absent, but his disruptor pistol was holstered on his left side. He wondered if this was going to be a simple debrief, or if he was going to get another ass chewing.

Major Elayne Passik was feeling the most recent Rebellion successes. She was seated in the conference room chain smoking one cigarra to the next. The war as never ending and she anticipated where her Squadron might end up next. It was Commander Xergo who would determine the fates of everyone today. Elayne had managed to dress half-way like she was supposed to. The uncomfortable tan pants of the Rebellion uniform clung uncomfortably to her body. She spent most of her time in her jumpsuit within the cockpit of her ship. This portion of her job responsibilities was her least favorite. She'd rather stream the meeting into her bunker where she could wear whatever she damn well pleased. A black tank top showed off the various tattoos decorating her arms, as well as her own personal collection of old scars. The woman was growing impatient. Where was Xergo? Between her and Tong, a cloud of smoke was beginning to hang in the air.

Commander Xergo was late. Perhaps she had been feeling the state of euphoria a little too much. Late night celebrations turned into an early morning hangover. She arrived at the meeting looking a little less perky and neat than usual. Her datapad was tucked beneath her arm lazily. "Hello everyone," she greeted them while hearing ringing in her ears. The first matter of business was the debriefing from yesterday's mission. Both Monoceros and Tong were present, but she chose to center her attention on Tong, as she did not entirely trust her other comrade. "Did your team work well?" She asked him, having not paired the two before. "What went well? What didn't?"

Commander Dillon Hobbes was dressed in his blue flightsuit, as he was expecting another sortie later in the evening. His flight helmet was folded under his arm as he studied the faces of everyone in the meeting. Everyone had worked hard during the battle of Chandrila, but he knew it was only the first step in driving the Imperial forces from the oversector. The ships they destroyed would be replaced quickly enough, and they key officers they eliminated would be replaced through promotion. The Empire seemed to have limitless resources, but every missing pilot from the last briefing would be sorely missed in the battles to come.

"Team worked well enough. Working in such a small element is always going to increase the risk of an operation, and limits how large an operation we can undertake. Rescue of sympathizers probably netted you a great deal of positive propaganda, and taking out senior leadership will create some confusion while they transition people into those roles. But the actual work being done on planet is still going to get done. The Storm Commandos aren't going to stop just because the general on planet is dead." He knocked the ash off of his cigarra into a disposable cup and shrugged. "We could target those elements, but it will be a concentrated effort, and probably mean that my team will have to stay on Chandrila for an extended period of time."

Iyah listened to Dagon's report. It seemed that her decisions had not come back to bite her in the ass. She was still growing comfortable with being a Commander. Learning was part of the job. "You're right about that. The Storm Commandos are continuing to assassinate people left and right. I sent a group of Rebels to the surface to attempt to round up what assemblymen are still alive. They are high profile targets that the Commandos are certainly going to attempt to capture." It was worrisome that Hanson had yet to report back. It had been so long since she had contact with Hanson's team that she was beginning to fear for the worst: the Commandos had killed them. "What would you have us do next, Captain? We're working to establish a presence on Chandrila. It may be necessary to keep your team there for an extended period of time."

Yeoman Mug Zoran stood silently behind Commander Xergo, taking notes on the briefing should she need them later. It was his hope that the recent victories at Chandrila would prompt command to send reinforcements so that the current frontline units could be cycled out. He frowned slightly as the subject changed to the missing unit sent to the assembly, as those were many of the troopers from the Alderaanian contingent he had been recruited from. As he listened to the Captain and the Commander go back and forth on preparations for the next operation, he took a step forward, to ensure all details were properly recorded. After the mission to rescue sympathizers on Chandrila and then to infiltrate the Imperial cruiser he had hoped they would not be up for another cloak and dagger mission. He had just gotten the scent of the dead Imperial's uniform off him after days of refresher time.

"The easiest way to back the commandos off of the more vulnerable Rebels on Chandrila is to start to target them directly, force them to go on the defensive and to attempt to hunt down those that are targeting them." He took a long drag off of his cigarra and then shrugged. "But it will be a long, protracted campaign. Is there any intel on their numbers operating on the planet?"

"I had sent a team of Rebels to the surface some hours ago to see about removing these vulnerable Rebels... However, they have not checked in since they reached the Chandrila Assembly in Hanna City. Since we knocked out the power, I'd hoped our men could get in and get out relatively easily. I have a feeling we'll need to send additional men..." A bad feeling had sat in Iyah's gut for some time. She listened to Dagon, slowly nodding her head. "Yes, here." She removed the datapad from beneath her arm. Several swipes later, she had a page reflecting the intel they'd collected so far. It was a traditional army style; two armies, eight corps, all concentrated in the largest cities of Chandrila. Additionally, there was a company of Storm Commandos to deal with. She handed him over the datapad so he could review the information himself. She had a lot to consider in her next move.

The holoprojector in the conference room suddenly flickered to life with the old symbol of the Fulcrum agents. Once the technician confirmed the authenticity of the signal, which was incoming from a safehouse in Hanna City, the image of Kat Hanson slowly flickered into life. "Commander Xergo?" she asked, looking ghastly and discolored despite the limited color ability of the projector. "The Rebel team sent to the assembly hall was completely wiped out by the Storm Commandos," she began, her body still trembling, and trace elements of blood still upon her body and in her hair. "...and...and...something...someone...else," she reported, with some difficulty, as she moved both of her arms around her body. She was cold ... traumatized ... in shock ... and not making any sense whatsoever. "They have the assembly. The team has been wiped out," she repeated, before lowering her head in defeat.

From behind Commander Xergo her Yeoman looked equally concerned as he looked on at the holoprojection of the trooper. He made a point of recording the transmission to ensure that they would have it playback if needed. He hoped that whatever it was that had destroyed the troopers was not going to be the next threat that they faced. He swallowed nervously, as he lowered his head to pretend and make notes in the datapad to prevent the others from seeing just how unnerved he had become.

"Who else?" Dagon's voice was calm, commanding. A different version of the command voice that he had employed during the rescue of the sympathizers. It was harsh enough to rattle people out of shock sometimes. He took the datapad and scrolled through the information quickly. One hundred or so Storm Commandos was a tall order, and would certainly be a protracted effort. Unless they could get the company where they slept, which would be unlikely because their leadership wouldn't want to create such an easy target. And their ability to reinforce almost endlessly meant that until the Empire decided that Chandrilla wasn't worth the effort, they probably wouldn't be able to get their presence completely removed. But the Rebels could shift the focus of the Empire's best away from their offensive tasking to trying to keep themselves alive and fight for operating room.

Commander Xergo's head snapped towards the holographic image of none other than Yekaterina Hanson. The relief Iyah felt lasted as long as her last breath. Something very bad had happened. Even the crappy quality projector let Iyah know that from the beginning of the transmission. It was as she thought: the other Rebels were dead. She grimly listened to Kat's transmission. The woman was terrified...was that blood in her hair? Iyah's body tensed. It was Tong's commanding voice that snapped her out of a very brief panic attack. She put her arms behind her body and readied herself. "Hanson, who else?" She echoed Tong's question with the worry in the room increasing. Hanson needed to be taken off of Chandrila immediately. She looked to her Yeoman. "Zoran, the next transport back to Blue Haven needs to be carrying Hanson."

Kat paused as she heard the question from Captain Tong, whom she recognized during her period on Rhinnal. She still felt the cold of that arctic world at night. "A woman ... with seemingly incredible power ... and laser swords," she explained, her voice nearly cracking at various points, as she attempted to explain what she had seen. She was too young to remember the Jedi, and they were all but gone from the galaxy by the time her earliest memories had formed. She had never seen an Inquisitor before, nor had she heard the term bandied about. Her primitive description was the best she could hope for. "She ... she tore the men apart," she explained, before bringing her hand up to the side of her head. It was only then that she felt the blood within her short hair. She cringed, and felt embarrassed that they were seeing her in such a way.

"Yes, Commander. I'll see to it," a nauseated Yeoman Zoran replied, before using it as an excuse to leave the command center. As the durasteel blast doors closed behind him he leaned back against the bulkhead and took several deep breaths. From what he had overheard from Kat and it sounded like an awful lot like what Iyah had described happening to Commander Atio. He took a few moments, perhaps longer than he should, and ordered the Gilded Thranta down to the planet Chandrila. He then ducked into the nearest refresher, splashed some cold water on his face, and steadied his breathing. Once he felt himself again he quietly moved back to the command center for the rest of the briefing, giving a silent nod to the Commander that the ship had been dispatched.

"I would clear her off Chandrila immediately. Her element is gone, no reason to keep her on planet." He took another long drag off of his cigarra and shook his head. He really didn't like Force Users. They made his life difficult more times than most other groups early in his earlier days, and his work against them had landed him in a torture chamber. Some of those scars were still visible. "If the inquisitor is already on planet, it increases the risk for anyone who goes with me. Targeting their primary direct action capability, and their counter insurgency capability is going to draw the Inquisitor's attention immediately. Anyone who goes down to that planet needs to understand that the risk factor increases exponentially."

The description which Kat provided was disturbing. She recalled the rescue mission where they had successfully saved Jelena Rodney ... and lost Derek Atio. The man had been a close friend. Iyah had taken his death hard, but Kat mentioned that this one had laser swords. The Inquisitor which she had seen used a whip. She stuttered to think of *another* Inquisitor. Iyah could hear Mug escape to see that her orders were carried out. She wouldn't send him back to the surface. Their daughter needed her father. She took a deep breath and collected herself for the remainder of the briefing. The recent development changed things a bit. "She'll be off immediately and I won't be sending her back." She assured Dagon. She felt terrible for those destroyed by the Inquisitor. An image flashed before her eyes of Derek's death and the feeling of helplessness that filled her when he made the ultimate sacrifice. "The presence of the Inquisitor is not going to make many people very inclined to go with you. How many people do you need, Tong?" Her eyes lifted over his head towards Ashori. "Monoceros, under the new circumstance, will you join Tong's team again?"

Commander Hobbes listened to the reports from the surface of Chandrila, which caused him no end of consternation. Whenever they defeated an Imperial force it seemed the Empire would just roll up its sleeves and throw something more powerful at them. "Commander, right now the Imperial fleet is still in disarray, but for how long?" he asked her, as he stepped forward, having been one of the ones to fight so dearly in the space battle of the other day. "Whatever we're going to do we have to do before they regroup. We suffered losses too, and I dare say we might not be able to break their blockade again if called to," he said, as he took a moment to acknowledge everyone in attendance. "The Empire lost more ships than us, but they can replace them. What we lost is irreplaceable," he reminded them, sounding like a wet blanket.

"No more than a twelve man element. As far as getting on and off planet, we won't be asking the Navy to break a blockade to extract us. We'll either have to go to ground and spend some time on the run, or run their blockade like any other smuggler. But there is no chance that this will be quick, unless of course we're ambushed as soon as we get on planet. Then the whole problem will either be solved or we wont be around to worry about it." There didn't seem to be any problem with the notion for him. The irony was almost too great for him to handle though. He knew that it was going to be difficult to find people with the right skill sets to volunteer for this, and his unit was pursuing other operations. The idealists were suddenly too afraid to live up to their ideals, but the mercenary who couldn't have cared less about the Rebellion, or its grand hopes and beliefs was entirely willing to go back to a planet embroiled in low intensity kinetic conflict that had turned extremely nasty just to hunt the best the Empire could put on the ground, to include a Force User. His opinion of idealists didn't exactly go up at that.

Ashori had been silently listening to the briefing. An Inquisitor had arrived on Chandrila. While she had never been up close and personal with one, she had heard stories that kept some folks up at night. She wasn't really fearful of the Inquisitor and didn't mind joining in on a mission where she may not come back. "Yes, Commander." She responded. It was back to Chandrila for her...this would be significantly more long term. At least now she'd learned not to try to get Tong to high five her!

Commander Xergo looked at Commander Hobbes. She had the support of the X-wing, Y-wing, and A-wing Squadrons. She needed to utilize them. They had been making so much progress. He made a good point. The Imperials were going to replace what had been destroyed. She nodded her head. "Then we should continue the attack on the Imperials. Major Passik, I want you to take all the Squadrons and stop the Imperial fleet from re-establishing the blockade. I would like for you all to leave as soon as possible. Every moment we wait, the Imperials are rebuilding." She didn't like backpedaling. She understood that Tong's team was going to need time. There was no quick resolution for Chandrila. She sighed. "Okay. I will collect you the best people I can. I can't guarantee you that I'll be able to find twelve people who are willing to step foot on a planet with a confirmed Inquisitor sighting. If you happen to run across her, bring me back as much information as you can. If a time arises where you can kill her ... take the shot." The galaxy didn't need anymore Inquisitors.

The tale Iyah had recounted about the death of Commander Atio still left a nauseated feeling in the pit of his stomach. He did not envy Captain Tong, Ashori, or any of the other volunteers who were off to Chandrila to do battle with the witch. As the Commander verbally issued orders the starfighter wing, he made an effort to transcribe them for the record. It seemed to him that the battle of Chandrila was only beginning. He looked towards Ashori, offering a half smile, as he decided she was braver than he thought. Braver than him at least.

"Send me the files of the people you pull so I can review them before we go back down to Chandrila. I am going to have to raid your armory here before we leave, but there won't be much time. My team needs to be back on Chandrila before the Empire makes it hard to move freely to the surface." He took a final drag off of his cigarra and put it out in the disposable cup, which he left on the conference table, taking his coffee cup with him. He knew he was going to have to employ some very interesting tactics that often made the Rebels uncomfortable, but then, that was nothing new at all to him. The fact that he got results was the only reason this command structure hadn't tried to throw him into a cell yet.

Commander Xergo had some work to attend to immediately. She knew Dagon was right. The longer they stood around fiddling their thumbs, the more difficult Dagon's team's work would become. "Please, take whatever makes this easier. I will find your men now." The meeting was reaching its conclusion. She wandered back towards the center of the room. "Commander Hobbes, Major Passik, I expect you to head out immediately. We can waste *no* time now. I will let you know if your Squadrons are needed elsewhere." With that, she turned her back and moved towards her yeoman. She let the seriousness fade off of her face and the paleness show. "I... I wonder if it's the same Inquisitor who killed Derek..." She whispered nervously. "I need you to stay up here."

Yeoman Zoran looked at the Commander, but she did not have the reaction that he expected. "How many do you think there are?" he asked her, not that she would know any better than he. The last thing he wanted was to see her torn apart the way she had described had happened to Commander Atio and Kat had described happening to the troops on Chandrila. "Oh. Don't worry. You'll get no argument from me," he told her, as he gave her a reassuring smile and a polite nod of his head. If he could do anything to keep out of this upcoming mission he certainly would. "I've collected all of the notes, written all your orders, and begun preparing a report on Hanson's transmission," he informed her, dutifully, as he was filling out the role of Yeoman quite adequately.

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