Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Erin Highberg, Christopher Levy, and Thomas Rogers.

One year before the Battle of Yavin (34:4:3) in the Brentaal system: Warspite.


Captain Tiberius Anson, Major Kerrie Kiley, Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, Vice Admiral Claudius Rodney, Major Dagon Tong, and Major Arden Zevrin.


Four TIE/ln screeched across the star field in the space near the planet Brentaal. They were part of a patrol from the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Warspite, which lurked ominously in space several thousand meters behind the starfighters. The Imperial Navy was taking no chances this time. On the bridge of the Warspite, Captain Tiberius Anson paced nervously on the walkway overlooking the crew pits. His boots made a series of metallic sounds as he walked across the durasteel structure. These ever-present sounds helped to remind the crew they were being watched.

"Any sign of the transport, Lieutenant," Captain Anson asked his tactical officer.

"Nothing on sensors yet, sir," Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, the Warspite's Chiss tactical officer replied to the Captain. On a starship filled almost entirely with humans she stood out like a sore thumb.

Several hundred decks below, on the Warspite's hangar bay, Admiral Claudius Rodney and his staff stood patiently waiting for the arrival of the new Storm Commando sector commander. The Admiral checked the chronometer on wall. He wanted to get this over with. He had been around ceremony and formality his entire life and he had lost the taste for it. He sighed, turning his attention to one of his adjutants to finalize his review of the notes for today's briefing.

A Lambda Shuttle streaked out of hyperspace near the Imperial fighter patrol. Like a carefully coordinated ballet, the TIE fighters fell into escort position above, below, and on each side of the shuttle. In unison the flight group headed towards the star destroyer.

On the hangar bay, Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca's voice sounded over the comlink, "Admiral, the shuttle is en route ... ETA five minutes."

The Admiral cracked his neck and adjusted his uniform one last time. Despite the fact that he had served with the Imperial Navy since its inception, he was never comfortable with officers from the special operations community.

As the Lambda Shuttle approached the hangar bay, the TIE/lns broke away to return to their patrol. The shuttle rose gracefully through the entrance to the Warspite's hangar. Firing its repulsor engines, the shuttle maneuvered over towards a landing zone. The distinctive wings of the shuttle folded upright, as the landing gear emerged from the bottom of the craft. The repulsor engines fired one last time, releasing pressure gas from a series of release vents. The shuttle touched down on the surface of the hangar with a light clank of durasteel on durasteel. As the shuttle powered down, the landing ramp emerged from below the shuttle's cockpit, directly in front of where the Admiral and the other Imperial officers had gathered.

A soft, unintelligible mutter escaped the Major's lips as he watched the landing ramp lower. This was nonsense. An escort in, and a full meet and greet with the command staff of Warspite. The major had never been one for this kind of military behavior, probably due to the fact that he had never once set foot on a parade ground. He had no love for intricate marching or marching orders. When he made his way down the ramp, there was the hollow echo of hard boot soles against durasteel long before he became visible to those standing in the docking bay. Dressed in a standard Stormtrooper officer's uniform with the blaster pistol strapped to his left thigh in a tactical drop holster. He carried his own duffle bag, not inclined to leave his belongings to the care of people with better things to do than play bellhop. Once on the deck, he looked about for a moment, and then stepped towards the admiral. Once he arrived at the appropriate distance, his heels came together, and his hand came up in a salute, though neither was exactly crisp. After a few moments, the salute was dropped, and the Major spoke, his voice sounding like a body being dragged through gravel," Admiral Rodney, I'm Major Tong, reporting as Storm Commando sector commander."

"Welcome aboard the Warspite, Major," the Admiral said politely, "the crew will make your stay here as pleasant as possible. I will dispense with the formalities, so that we can proceed to the briefing. I believe you will find the Ringali Shell to be much more active than Imperial Holovision would have you believe. Allow me to present Major Arden Zevrin, the Imperial Security Bureau's sector commander for the region," Admiral Rodney continued, as he motioned to the woman standing to his right, "she will be able to brief you on COMPNOR's activities since the unfortunate demise of Colonel Eklon."

Arden gave a small bow to Major Dagon Tong, in respect. Glancing to her left she gave a nod to the man, "Thank you, Admiral." She glanced back to Major Tong and parted her lips to speak again in a stern yet professional tone, "It's a pleasure to have you aboard, Major Tong. If I can help you in anyway, don't hesitate to ask. With such unfortunate courses of action, I wish my welcome could be a little more humble." Again she leaned forward to give Major Tong another bow of respect, only to resume her upright standing position.

The Major only blinked at all this. It seemed like an obscene waste of time to him, and he had work to do, "I'm sure that the sector will quiet down with the proper attention paid. If it's all the same to you Major and Admiral,  I would just as soon get through the briefing. Reports coming out of this sector are muddled at best, and that makes my job much more difficult."

With no one in the mood for formalities it seemed, Admiral Rodney, Major Tong, and Major Zevrin, and the other Imperial officers which had gathered for the welcoming ceremony proceeded towards the nearest turbolift. A young Midshipman nervously activated the turbolift, sending it up several dozen decks to the main conference center aboard the Admiral's flagship. When the doors finally opened, the group of officers proceeded down the corridor to the conference center. It consisted of a large circular table with numerous seats, some of which were already occupied by personnel from the Imperial military and intelligence groups. In the center was a holographic emitter that was currently deactivated.

Admiral Rodney moved towards his traditional seat at the head of the circular table. To his right at the table was Major Kiley, who never drifted too far from him. He cleared his throat, which had become dry and uncomfortable, as he prepared to address those gathered once the others had taken their seats.

Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca had moved from the Warspite's bridge to the conference room in preparation for the situation report briefing. She was more than just the Star Destroyer's tactical officer, she had become one of Admiral Rodney's most trusted military advisors. However, this would be the most prominent briefing she had ever played a role in. She cleared her throat nervously as she watched the Admiral, his bodyguard, and Major Zevrin enter the conference room. She was familiar with each of them by now, but this was the first time she would briefing Major Tong. She exhaled as she made a final adjustment of her uniform and took her usual position behind the podium to wait for the Admiral's instructions.

Tong took a seat facing the main entrance to the room, and waited patiently for this briefing to begin. He had no nervous ticks, and he sat quietly and without any movement beyond those dead brown eyes, glancing from face to face, and wandering whether or not he had fallen into some grotesque fashion magazine, or if this was the decorum class that he had always managed to avoid. At over forty standard years, he had become weary of long and drawn out affairs, which attributed to his curt behavior and language. He could almost smell the proper use of rules and regulations in the room, and it was enough to inspire mild revulsion.

Major Zevrin took her seat, near the far end of the room. She usually kept to herself, and the back of the room usually seemed fitting, at least for her. Though, she was loud enough when she needed to speak. She sat straight, keeping great posture. No sign of emotion fell over her face. She took a deep breath as her hands seemed to fall at her sides. She would wait for the note to be given before she would ever speak.

Admiral Rodney cleared his throat to settle the room one last time before beginning his comments, "This taskforce has been operating in the Ringali Shell for just over a month. During this time, we have faced the challenge of protecting six planets, with populations consisting almost entirely of influential Humans, and two of the most active trade routes in the galaxy. It would seem that the rebellion's presence in this region is far greater than we have feared. Today, we will go over what has occurred thus far, attempt to come to some conclusions, and prepare a response that will not upset the locals." The Admiral stopped for a moment, moving his head slowly from left to right to look at at the officers who had gathered here today, "Major Zevrin, could you please brief us on the status of the Imperial Security Bureau's operations?"

Major Zevrin nodded to the Admiral and glanced at the figures gathered in the room, "Thank you, Admiral. The Imperial Security Bureau's operatives have consisted of gathering information on local government officials and businessman, identifying which ones support the Empire, which ones do not, collecting information to be used for blackmail, infiltrating lower levels of the bureaucracy, and identifying sites for interrogation centers. One of my officers was a victim of an attempted kidnapping plot several weeks ago, but my Stormtroopers took care of the rebel attack." She blinked a few times in the middle of her briefing, not really showing much more emotion than that.

The Admiral nodded to Major Zevrin, thanking her for her report. He swallowed once before proceeding to his portion of the briefing, "I have deployed the squadron across the Ringali Shell in order to maximize our ability to protect the trade routes. The Star Destroyer Warspite is based here at Brentaal, the 130th Attack Line has been assigned to protect the area around Chandrila, the 218th Attack Line is currently patrolling near Esseles, and the 622nd Pursuit Line is near Corulag. In terms of ground forces, there is concern that the local population will not react well to an Imperial garrison. However, as Major Zevrin has just explained, our operatives currently on the surface are facing rebel attack. Therefore, I am preparing to send a limited force ... perhaps a battalion in strength ... to each planet to protect our personnel. Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca will now explain what opposition the rebels have presented us in space."

"Of course, Milord," Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca replied. She turned her attention to the tactical display on the wall and activated it from a control on her podium. Once the display was powered a detailed map of the Ringali Shell came into view indicating the planets Brentaal, Chandrila, Corulag, Esseles, Ralltiir, and Rhinnal. Different indicators marked the locations where incidents had thus far occurred. The Lieutenant then turned her attention back to the group and began her briefing, "The resistance our forces have met over the past month were not as light and unorganized as first reported indicated. On the contrary the Rebellion seems to have inserted several starfighter squadrons into the Ringali Shell, which launch constant hit-and-run attacks against Imperial and civilian convoys. Perhaps more alarming is the fact that these are not being conducted by the more outdated Z-95 Headhunter or BTL-S3 Y-wing models ... the Rebel Alliance is making use of their new T-65B X-wing, which indicated their commitment to the offensive in this region. While we have yet to engage any Rebel capital ships, their starfighter forces have managed to inflict a heavy toll ... they destroyed the Space Cruisers Mediator and Consular in the Brentaal system. In addition, they destroyed one of our shuttles delivering key materials to the new garrison base on Brentaal. More recently Rebel starfighters have struck near Ralltiir where they destroyed the Space Cruiser Fidelity. We can only presume that the Rebels have somehow managed to construct a starfighter base in the region, which as of yet we have been unable to locate. The most likely location for such an installation would be inside the Ringali Nebula. It is also possible that they could be operating from a small capital ship ... perhaps one of our Nebulon-B Frigates that has defected or fallen into Rebel hands." The Lieutenant concluded her briefing and stood at attention awaiting any follow-up questions.

The Admiral's attention focus on the gathered officers once more, as he prepared to conclude the briefing, "Finally, we come to the matter of our garrison base on Brentaal IV. For the past month we have begun covertly moving men and materials to the moon in order to establish a permanent presence in the region. Despite the shipping losses we have encountered, the facility is nearly constructed. In addition, the Empire intends to begin construction of several space stations in the region. My task, it seems, is to convince the local population that facilities such as this are in their best interest. Then, when they are fully operation, they will be in no position to complain about their presence. The job of each of you here is to prevent the local population from turning against us and towards the rebels. We cannot allow civilian casualties or the appearance that the rebels are taking a foothold in the region. If the rebels turn the locals against us ... this will become an entirely different theatre of operations."

The Major had listened intently throughout the briefing, and his face had remained like his eyes. Cold and dead. His voice was not any more alive when he spoke, "Garrisons will be much easier to institute not with the support of the local populace, but with their requests for aid and security. As for the rebels, well, I saw a rather interesting nebula on the way in. It would be a good place to look for the rebel outpost. But more importantly, any guerrilla warfare instance is made more difficult by the support of those terrorists by the locals. My goal for the Storm Commandos is to show the people of this sector that the Rebels are not their friends, and are as willing to hurt the civilians as they are us. And let me be frank, this is a war, and I don't fight by the protocols set by the Imperial Navy or Army. I intend to produce results. And I don't want to see another ISB agent kidnapped. I want to see mobs on the streets screaming for an Imperial garrison to stop the bombings."

"This bickering is pointless," the Admiral quickly interjected, "I will meet with the local government officials this week, after which I will begin landing troops on the surface of the planets to hunt down the rebel insurgents and protect our personnel," he continued, "Regarding the Ringali Nebula ... while it is likely that the rebellion could have assets concealed within it, our vessels simply cannot enter it. Without shields, sensors, and other systems they would be sitting ducks or become lost forever in that maelstrom. Now, gentlemen, I suggest we get to our tasks."

There was a mild smile on the lips of the Storm Commando sector commander, and he did not bother to respond. There was hardly any point to it. He just needed to get his feet on in the dirt, and move on with the objective. He stood up from the table at the last comment, and waited until the others had departed before he took his first step.

"I don't know if our task just became easier or harder," the Admiral said quietly to Major Kiley as they made their way out of the conference room.

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