Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:4:31) in the Alderaan system: Black Star and Delaya (Leiliani: Jelena Rodney Center).
Governor Papius Arundel, Yekaterina Hanson, Ashori Monoceros, Commander Iyah Xergo, and Mug Zoran.

The Rebel U-Fighter broke through the clouds covering Delaya. Iyah Xergo sat in the cockpit, unable to believe that she was here again. Here, Mug Zoran had saved his father. They had gained a wonderful daughter yet there was much dark associated with the planet. Imperial TIE fighters screeched past her ship in alarming numbers. Without announcing herself, she had made herself known. Iyah was focused today. A brief communication with Ashori Monoceros had given her exact directions as to where to find her Rebel comrade. She had taken to living in the Jelena Rodney Memorial Center with the Alderaan refugees. Ash noted that the place had been bombed. It was in bad condition. She was doing everything she could to survive. Ash played a good damsel in distress. Iyah never second guessed the girl.

The best place to land had been in a small hangar outside of the city. Upon landing, Iyah graciously paid the owners to hide the ship under a large tarp. It wasn't a great way to hide a ship, but it was the best she could do. Commander Xergo had come with a small group of ten men, including Mug. She wanted the infiltration group to be relatively small as to move in Delaya without recognition. Everyone was armed. Everyone was prepared to do what needed to be done to save the refugees. If that meant death, then so be it. The group traveled within two speeders towards the wreckage of the refugee's dome.

"This is going to work." Ashori told Papius as they stood together outside the Jelena Rodney Memorial Center. Ash wore common civilian clothing. She even had her Rebel assigned weapon with her. The scent of Imperial treachery was totally disguised. Breathing polluted air for the first time, Ash seemed to be in high spirits. "Commander Xergo will be arriving soon. Is everything ready?" She asked him.

Yekaterina Hanson looked out the viewport as the U-wing descended over Leiliani. It was only once they went below the layer of smog that covered the once beautiful city that she saw the extent of the Imperial presence. She gasped audibly, quickly bringing her gloved hand over her mouth so the others would not see her so emotional. The sight of an AT-ST in Germanicus Rodney Plaza was particularly painful for her. "I only just left ... and this," she said, before embracing a steely resolve for the mission to come. She had volunteered to go with Ashori and the others to infiltrate Delaya, but given her former occupation as a lieutenant in the Alderaan Guard it was decided she was too well known for the job. There was an arrest warrant for her on this planet, which she betrayed for the Rebellion, but there was no way she could be deterred from going on the mission. Even with the injury to her shoulder from the recent space battle she was still here.

Mug Zoran sat beside Iyah in the cockpit, doing his best to act as her co-pilot, but there was still so much about the U-wing's systems he did not understand. He was silent for most of the flight outside of replying to orders concerning the ship's systems. As they moved through the occupied city of Leiliani towards the refugee center he was careful to keep a low profile, his face hidden by a baklava and a pair of glareshades. The Alderaan Guard and the Empire had his image and if he were discovered he did not expect to live long. "I can't bare to look at this," he told Iyah, as he reached across the speeder and placed his hand on hers, squeezing it for support. Only instead of attempting to support her, it was he who was in need of support. As they approached the former Tarkintown a mix of emotions came over him. It was here he had called home after the disaster, where he had first met Iyah, and where they had found Callista. When he heard his sister-in-law had opened a refugee center in honor of his niece he allowed himself to be optimistic, but looking at what the Empire had done he wondered whether Sierra Rodney had built the center simply to lure the Alderaanians in for this moment. It seemed like something the ISB would do.

Governor Papius Arundel had waited for this moment for a long time. Gone was the uniform of Imperial governance, replaced with the rags of an Alderaanian refugee as he stood behind Ashori. These rags would need to be burned when he was done wearing them and his skin would need to be deloused ... he had never smelt anything so awful. "Everything is ready. Just smile and wave to your friend," he said, with a snicker, before moving off to join the other Imperials who were disguised as refugees. He had laid what he hoped was the perfect trap. His crowning moment as Governor of Delaya, and hopefully his last. Moff of the Sector would be a fitting reward, but he already wanted more.

Iyah had all the best people at her side. She appreciated Kat signing up to come back, despite all that she had been through. Iyah saw her as an asset. Mug was also a necessary piece of the puzzle. Despite how painful it was for him, he decided to face reality. His strength blew her away. When he took her hand, she understood that he *needed* her right now. Her hand squeezed his. "I'm sorry, Mug. I'm here for you. We're going to make this better again." Her sweet, sweet Mug had such a big heart. It was her priority to protect that heart from being hurt. Today, she failed her job.

She had not seen the center since Sierra Rodney had built it. There were only the remains left to greet the group of Rebels. It was sick. Had the Grand Moff's pet taken care of the refugees just to destroy them all over again? That sounded like a sick, ISB mind game. The remains of the center looked better than Tarkintown. The top of the dome had been blown clear off of it. Both speeders came to a stop in front of it. Iyah's mind flashed back a life time ago. She recalled recruiting Mug. She remembered playing with Callista the first time. For them, for the people of Alderaan, this Imperial-driven destruction had to end. She looked at Mug. "Let's go. I want to save these refugees as soon as possible." She sounded determined and powerful. When she left the speeder, she held herself up high. She wasn't ready for the second injection of reality that lay behind the doors into the dome. Iyah was shocked by what she saw. There were dozens upon dozens of injured people. The cries of children provided constant background noise. Death was in the air. It seemed Governor Papius had taken no time in making his presence clear...but where was Ash?

The red-haired Rebel had made herself a home in a shabby looking tent that she had stolen from a refugee. She went to great lengths to make herself look worn, exhausted, and dirty. In her mind, she entertained ideas as to how Papius would reward her for being *so* good. If she was able to play a part in his ascension to Moff, then maybe he could continue utilizing her, keeping her as his close informative. Ash weakly rose her head. She spotted Iyah Xergo and the other Rebels who slowly entered. "H-Hey..!" She called out weakly. Ash attempted to rise to her feet but dramatically fell down.

As Mug looked around the refugee center he wanted to take everyone off of this world, but to where? The Rebel base in the Ringali Shell was nothing more than a dilapidated gas mining station that barely had enough room for the Rebels stationed there. The Blue Haven did not have any room either, and was constantly under attack. Was this really the best option for his once great people? His heart melted so much that his guard was down, and he did not pay as close enough attention as he should have. If he had, he might have noticed something, but he did not. When he saw Ashori there was a sense of relief about him, but when she fell he did not rush towards her. He stayed by Iyah's side, as the last time he left her they had lost their daughter.

Kat was squirming in her own skin as she looked over what had happened here. She remembered how hard Marcus and Zara Rodney had worked to bring food and presents to the refugees, and how her former boss, Gaius Rodney, had claimed to have worked to negotiate food trade deals and provide security. There was no sign of the Alderaan Guard now, but Imperial flags flew throughout the city. It sickened her. When she spotted Ash fall, she rushed towards her, grabbing her by the side, and attempted to help her up. "Ash ... what has happened here?" she asked, desperately, unable to contain herself. She wanted answers ... she *needed* them ... so much so she failed to realize what was in front of her. She had devoted her life to guard duty, and now she had failed in the most basic of security protocols.

She clung to the Rebel who rushed her, using her support to rise. She seemed to be so weak. Ashori looked at the woman. "The Imperials attacked..." She started sadly. "They bombed the shelter over and over again... So many people died..." Her eyes went wide, glancing around at the otherwise destroyed refugee camp. "All the doctors left as soon as it started. I tried...I tried so hard..." She shivered, holding up blood stained hands. Tears broke through. They streamed down her cheeks. "My comrades left me! As soon as the Imperials settled, they abandoned me!" She looked like a girl who had been continuously fighting. Even her clothing was dirty and bloody. It seemed she went far to become the perfect actress.

Iyah fed into Ashori's words. She felt terrible seeing all these people suffering *again*. The refugees seemed to suffer endlessly. They were the reason why she had ever suggested that Mug become Duke. Now, she wondered if him becoming Duke would have stopped this...or if it would have ended up with him beheaded by the new Governor. As unprofessional as it was, she continued to hold his hand and provide him with support. She stepped closer to Ash. "Who was responsible for the bombing? The Grand Moff, or the Governor..." She mused, trying to decide if they should rush the Rodney castle or request backup in order to go for the Imperial nest inside of the city. "Ash, we're going to take you back to Blue Haven. You're in no condition to fight."

Before another word could be spoken a rocket streaked from the refugee camp, impacting with the speeder that had brought the Rebels there. There was a tremendous explosion that caused fire to erupt and debris to rain down, momentarily disorienting everyone. The 'refugees' threw off their blankets revealing blaster rifles and quickly began shooting at the group of Rebel soldiers that had gathered around, shooting to kill rather than stun. "I only need the Commander," Papius ordered, as he suddenly revealed himself. His eyes were lit up by the blaster bolts as they connected with the unsuspecting and anonymous Rebels. "Oh ... and him," he said, as he spotted the bastard, recognizing him instantly. He was quick to draw his DT-29 blaster pistol, leveling it square at the chest of Mug Zoran. "Welcome home, milord," he said, before pulling back on the trigger and unleashing a stun bolt directly at the traitor.

Mug Zoran shrieked as the explosion erupted, destroying their only means of escape. Before he could react he was surrounded by blaster fire and watched helplessly as the Rebel soldiers perished all around them. In that moment he looked towards Iyah, wanting her beauty to be the last thing that he saw. When the Governor revealed himself and called him out, he thought for sure he was about to die. "I love you," he said to Iyah, thinking the words to be his last, but it was a stun bolt that connected with him instead. He lost consciousness immediately upon the bolt impacting his chest, causing his head to instantly roll backwards before his unconscious body tumbled to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

The blast was Ashori's clue that her act could end. She drew a vibroblade knife from her hip. She had noticed Kat's shoulder injury and so, she exploited it. Digging the blade into the area repeatedly. As Kat's blood splattered on her clothing, she felt *nothing*. There wasn't an ounce of regret while, one by one, her comrades were shot down. When she was sure that Kat wouldn't be a problem ever again, she threw the woman towards the ground to bleed out and die slowly. Ashori stepped over the woman's body, then made her way closer to Papius. Her alliance was known without her having to vocalize it. Like a hawk, she watched every second of Mug Zoran and Iyah Xergo's arrest.

"What?" Kat asked, as she turned to look at the unexpected explosion. As she shifted her body she opened herself up to an easy strike from Ashori ... she did not even see it coming. She felt it before she saw it. The sensation of the vibroblade tearing into her already bruised shoulder caused her to lose her balance and drop to her knees. "Ahh!" she screamed, as the blood began to flow from her like a waterfall. Before she could react or defend herself her eyes began to roll back in her head from blood loss. As Ashori discarded her body she lost consciousness and was in danger of succumbing to her wounds as she lay there in a quickly expanding puddle of her own blood.

The sound of the explosion briefly muted Iyah's hearing. She couldn't hear Mug shriek, let alone the sounds of the incognito Imperials exposing themselves. Before her eyes, Iyah can to realize that she had walked into a trap. She reached for her E-5 blaster rifle and rapidly began returning fire. One by one, her comrades fell. Even Yekaterina became the prey of Ashori Monoceros, who she now recognized as a treacherous woman. She couldn't seem to stop what was happening no matter how hard she tried. She couldn't even protect Mug when an Imperial, surely the Governor himself, pointed him out as the only other Rebel he wanted alive. "Mug!" She screamed. She dropped her weapon to show complete surrender. It was too late. The Imperial shot Mug just as those sweet, sweet words left his lips. "*Mug*!" She screamed, running towards his unconscious body. Her mind, totally muddled by Ash's betrayal and the death of her troops, had to feel proof that he was alive. She found it in the veins on his wrist. A steady, consistent heartbeat. He'd been stunned, not shot. Iyah knew that there was no way out of this. If she resisted capture, then both of them would die. In a fit of desperation, Iyah pressed the distress button located on the comlink hidden within her jacket. As she raised her hands into the air, every Rebel tuning into her broadcast would hear. "I am Commander Xergo! I'm the one you want! I surrender! Leave my men be!" She was crying. She imagined neither one of them ever returning home to Callista. She imagined what the Governor would do to her. Worst of all, she realized that she had let everyone down. It couldn't end like this.

Governor Arundel was quite proud of himself. Ignoring Ashori's contributions and planning entirely he would take sole credit for this enterprise. "Perhaps the first smart decision you have made, *Commander*," he said condescendingly, as his troops moved forward to surround the young woman. Two troopers roughly picked up Mug and began dragging him towards an oncoming Imperial speeder. He snapped his fingers towards Ashori, summoning her to follow him, to show the Commander just how much she had fallen under his spell. "We have much to talk about, Commander," he said, as she too was moved off towards the speeder. As the Imperials moved off towards the garrison the true refugees felt emboldened to come out from hiding and return to their tents. They went over the dead Rebel troopers, but discovered that Kat was still alive ... but would not be for long unless they got her help. It was a dark day for the Rebellion.

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