Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee, Kit Gwynne, Christopher Levy, and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:2:12) in the Essesia system: Esseles (Alliance underground bunker, Calamar: Forad party headquarters, New Calamar: Bank of New Calamar), Darkened Oblivion, and Interrogator.
Sergeant Batua, Trooper Kaiya Crion, General Morgan Glin, Commander Caligula Howe, Commander Kerrie Kiley, Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, High Inquisitor Serine Thanor, Flight Captain Randi Trainor, Captain Thaddeus Updike, and Colonel Mark Veller.

"You are go for launch," came the words from the Command Deck. The Interrogator spat out hundreds of vessels which all sped down to the surface of the planet. High Colonel Mark Veller could not help but feel a sense of pride. His first battle as the commander of an Army. He watched as perfect formations of TIE Bombers and Assault Shuttles left for their targets.

The boards went green as each section reported they were on time and on target. He turned to the holodisplay of the planet, targets were marked in red, his troopers and the bombers marked with their colors. He watched as they spread out, fanning to envelope the globe. Now, this planet would learn the price paid for rebellion against the Empire. This is what he had trained his whole life for. Command. Defense of the Empire. Defeat of its enemies. And this day would be his. The rebellion would learn of him this day. And learn to fear his name.

High Inquisitor Thanor stood in the Command Deck watching the holodisplay intensely, witnessing the multitude of colored icons maneuver in unison and precision, the mark of a well structured and disciplined military. Her gaze would often flicker towards the High Colonel, scrutinizing his mannerisms while he conducted the operation. This was his ultimate test of proficiency, a responsibility of this magnitude could heavily weigh on a person. Serine was intrigued on how he handled himself and this mission that was of utmost importance. He would be able to feel that fixed stare upon him, an ever-so-often presence of a steady watchful eye. Major Serra Eona had hand-picked Veller out of obscurity and placed a tremendous burden upon him. It would soon be evident if that woman, and in turn Serine, had chosen wisely. Failure here could be absolutely crushing to his career, his prospects, and perhaps ... even his life.

Commander Kerrie Kiley was standing in her black storm commando armor in the hangar bay of the Interrogator, supervising the loading of four squads of commandos into two Imperial Troop Drop Pods. She would personally command one of the pods, her first taste of action since the raid on Chandrila that netted them former Senator Canna Omonda. "Faster," was her one word order to the two sergeants she had been assigned, who were in the process of getting their eight troopers aboard. "Captain Updike," she said, beckoning the other officer in the hangar who was seeing to the second pod, whose presence she had just superseded. "I apologize for the change in command, Thad, but it was not something I asked for. You should not view it as a stain on your record, nor should you feel the Governor is displeased with your performance," she said, robotically, straining under the complex forces that were at work against them. "You will lead two squads to the objectives I have marked on your readout," she said, as she leaned in closer to the man so the troopers could not hear them. "I tell you now that these targets were selected by the ISB. I do not know what their game is, but be mindful. Limit the damage and violence as best you can. The High Colonel seems a delicate sort, and I'm not entirely convinced, given my history with the ISB, that these are legitimate targets," she said, in a low voice, as she nodded her head as if she were giving orders. "To your duty, Captain," she said, before she moved to board her pod.

Captain Thaddeus Updike had been, until recently, commander of the ShadowWhispers. Or, as they were disparagingly known, Grand Moff Rodney's house-sitters. He respected Kerrie for what she used to be, but not for what she currently was. While her service record spoke for itself, she nevertheless had spent the past several years as a staff officer in an administrative capacity. He believed commandos had to be constantly training and in the field, and any break would lead to an atrophy of muscle memory. Still, he was a dutiful officer, and when the orders came down from the Oversector that he was to be superseded by her he was personally insulted and even offended, but professionally he took it in stride. At least he and his unit were being deployed into the field, and there was always a chance that he was correct about the softening of Kerrie's skills and she would fall in battle and he would quickly regain the command. "Yes, Commander. My squads are up for it. Considering their past assignment consisted of chasing around the Governor's adopted Squib child they are *very* eager," he reported, perhaps impolitely, as he towered over his shorter superior. "I am not a vain man, Commander. It is my *duty* to serve whomever I am told to. You must not concern yourself with such petty notions as we head into battle," he said, to reassure the short Stormtrooper that stood below him. As she took him in confidence, he listened intently, but did not share her level of concern. Action was action, whether it was justified or not. "Understood, Commander. These commandos are highly disciplined, and while they have been improperly deployed away from the front, they are *not* trigger happy," with that, he moved towards his pod, and boarded it with his two squads of commandos.

In an instant the Imperial Troop Drop Pods were blasted from the Interrogator and began heading towards Esseles. Each commando was harnessed into the bulkhead of the pod, and as it began to enter the atmosphere heat began to envelop the pods, causing them to violently shake. Commander Kiley felt the use of the pods was a bit unnecessary given the suspected lack of opposition at the target sites, but demonstrating their use to the High Colonel and High Inquisitor were worth their use. "Remember your training. We will be on the surface soon. I expect a prompt evac," she ordered, as her pod began heading towards the capital city of Calamar. Next to her one of the troopers vomited inside of his helmet from the violent buffeting the pod was experiencing. Just when it felt like the pod would be destroyed by the entry, it slammed into the streets of Calamar, cracking the duracrete, and thoroughly embedding itself. Kerrie was the first out of the harness, as she had the most to prove. When she blew the hatch an exfiltrated the pod she was presented with the sight of Forad party headquarters, the political party in opposition to the Imperials in the Esselian Hall. "Yeah. These are Rebels alright. Bunch of politicians," she muttered to herself so that no one else could hear, as she readied her E-11 blaster rifle. Without speaking, she used hand controls to deploy the two squads of commandos that were with her. This would not be difficult at all, but it was *dirty*.

Captain Updike strapped himself into his Imperial Troop Drop Pod also, his attention fixated on the female commando next to him. "Commander Kiley says we're supposed to go easy on the civvies," he said, smirking under his helmet, with a soft chuckle that only she could hear. "There. Now I've followed my orders by ordering you to go easy on them," he said, as he brought his two gloved hands together and rubbed them together, washing his hands of it. They were highly skilled Imperial commandos and asking them not to break anything or anyone was foreign to their purpose. As the pod began to enter the atmosphere the shakes were violent, but he was an experienced commando with several combat drops in his service record, including Fest and Mantooine. He had risen to the position through survival after Major Tong had defected and the initial squad was wiped out, and then the capture of Lieutenant Wilton at the hands of the Rebel cell. He had survived it all ... he would survive the reign of Commander Kiley also. He held onto the protective harness in front of him as they veered away from the first pod towards New Calamar. The pod hit an air pocket that it caused it to tumble, and instead of a graceful landing, the pod slammed onto its side and tore up most of the street. "Brilliant idea the Commander had to use these things," he told her, before unfastening his harness and blowing the hatch. "Everyone out," he ordered, as he began to move from the pod to the street. They had arrived at their target: the Bank of New Calamar.

It had been an unfortunate amount of time since Kaiya Crion had seen the light of battle. As of late, her days had been spent fantasizing about pouncing the Grand Moff's furry daughter and ripping her limb from limb. The Squib was a constantly moving target that struck a chord in her instinctive predatory habits. What good news it had been when she had learned that her skills would no longer be waited. She could have kissed the good Captain Thaddeus when the order came in. Perhaps her anticipation for her big day was what made the pod seem so small as it blasted towards Esseles. Her bare fingertips tapped the knee of her uniform. She'd purposely strapped her knee armor on loosely so it was comfortable to bend and strike her opinions. Kaiya was a very physical warrior. While she was not trigger happy, perhaps she was *claw* happy. Beneath her helmet, the young woman sighed. As impatience slipped from her grasp, the pod began to tumble into the planet's atmosphere. The hatch blew. Sanity swept back into her brain. She'd been so bored and unused. It was her time to shine now. They had arrived in front of the Bank of New Calamar. Like her other comrades, Kaiya rushed out and began heading towards the bank. Her blaster was in hand to begin, though she was reluctant to use it for the lengthy, sharp claws that she had yet to retract.

Once every piece was in position, Mark gave the order to begin. As one, all the markers on the holodisplay began to advanced on the planet, like a blanket covering the globe. It didn't take long before reports came back of the initial results. There were a few areas that had heavy resistance and Mark diverted a some resources to help them out.

The comlink light up, "High Colonel, urgent message from the surface, sir," a comm officers stated.

Mark nodded, "Put it on the screen, Lieutenant."

A holo of High General Glin came up, "Colonel, what in the hell is going on here?"

Mark nodded, "Destruction of rebel outposts on the planet, High General. My orders came from the High Inquisitor. No Imperial assets are in danger, High General. If you have any other complaints, I suggest you take them up with her, High Colonel Veller, out." He closed the channel, then said to the Lieutenant, "Please route any further communication from the High General to the High Inquisitor."

Mark continued to watch the display. Occasionally, he would pull up the video of a platoon or squad to inspect their progress. Things were going well, but then came the alert that ships were fleeing the surface of the planet. He cursed for a moment. No intelligence that the Rebels had ships available had reached his notice. But he should have planned for that possibility. Keying in a comm link to the Navy Admiral, he hesitated, remembering this operation was supposed to be the Interrogator only. With a sigh, he closed the comm link and notified the TIE Fighter commander onboard. His fighters and the main guns of the Interrogator would have to do. Some of them would escape and he growled lowly. While a voice in his mind told him he should let a few escape so the story could be told, he was angry with himself for missing an obvious escape route and not covering it.

Flight Captain Randi Trainor was relaxing in the Inquisitor's quarters when she heard the call for pilots. She stood up suddenly, dropping her plate of cookies she had acquired during her last visit to the Retributor. "No! No! You're not supposed to eat *all* of them," she said to Sanu as the nexu surged forward to eat the cookies, the crumbs, and even the fragments of plate that she dropped. "Stop!" she said in a panic, tugging on the beast, but she was not strong enough, and the nexu would not be denied its treats. "Serry is gonna kill me if she finds out," she said, before running out of the room to get to the Darkened Oblivion, but not without first forgetting to leave the door to the Inquisitor's quarters open. Why did noone tell her there was going to be a need for her and the Inquisitor's ship?

Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca stood silently behind the Colonel and the Inquisitor as she observed the readout of the tactical situation. Her red eyes widened as the immensity of the force sent to Esseles came into full realization. In her left hand she was quickly entering data onto a pad, noting the time it took to deploy, suggestions on increasing efficiency, and her probability on potential casualty rates. The Chiss tactician had been sent by Major Zevrin to observe and report on the practices of the Interrogator and her crew, to determine whether or not fear was greater motivator than the even handed approach employed by Grand Moff Rodney and Captain Tiberius Anson formerly applied aboard the Warspite and currently in use aboard the Retributor. She felt an urge to comment, but she had been ordered by Zevrin to not utter a single word in either support or condemnation of the Inquisitor and her plans. Being this close to a momentous operation and *not* being involved was one of the most painful experiences that the exotic young Chiss had ever felt.

Commander Caligula Howe was also in attendance as Major Zevrin's liaison to the Inquisitorius. "Inquisitor, on behalf of the Major, let me express my warm wishes and hopes for today's endeavor," he said to her, in the most proper and polite way of speaking known to the Empire. "*We* are quite confident that His Majesty's forces will emerge victorious and that these Rebels who dare oppose us will be swiftly dispatched. The murderers of the Grand Moff's daughter *will* be brought to justice," he said, referencing the false justification the Empire had been given to conduct such an offensive. "I am sure that the Governor's heart will be eased with the news that the Rebels have been dealt a blow should he ever return from his holiday," he said, smirking slightly, as his eyes shifted towards the display once again. "I see you are already utilizing the commandos my master transferred to you," he mused, before canting his gaze to the revolting alien beside him. "I apologize that I brought this *creature* aboard, Inquisitor, but for some reason she has an innate knowledge of tactics ... or so they say," he said, sneering, as he made no attempt to lower his voice or hide his opinion of the Chiss.

The High Inquisitor was so focused on the readouts of the mission that she never even noticed the Chiss present, or when she arrived on the Command deck. As Serine turned to look upon the Commander addressing her, that was when she finally realized that the Lieutenant was standing behind her. She actually blinked a few times in surprise as Meham'ohorovi'cloca was the absolute last person she expected to be here. That officer was actually one of the few that the Inquisitor had a shred of respect for due to her professionalism in the face of adversity. Serine faintly remembered executing a flight officer by decapitation right next to that woman and she did not even flinch. There was also the time she strangled Bethany nearly to death and Meham'ohorovi'cloca just calmly took the reins of the woman's controls and carried on. It was very impressive, the kind of response she expected for members of the Interrogator ... it was unfortunate that the Chiss had yet to be pulled into her entourage. Silver eyes that held regard and greed fell upon the Lieutenant before the words of Commander Howe irritated her as she snapped her gaze to him. "I shall have you know, that the Lieutenant is one of the finest tactical officers I have seen." Serine was very close to striking this man as she did not favor his mannerisms or snide comments.

Kerrie rolled her eyes beneath her helmet as two commandos placed charges at the door of the political party headquarters, as if the lowly security guard and secretaries necessitated all of this extreme maneuvering to defeat. When the doors blew in spectacular fashion to intimidate those inside the commandos began firing their weapons in rapid succession, downing the hapless security guards who occupied a desk at the end of the corridor near the turbolifts. She motioned for each squad to break into two smaller groups, with half taking the lifts on one side, and half taking the lifts on the other. "Set your blasters to stun," she ordered as the turbolifts began to rise to the upper level where the leaders of the Forad party would be found. Their primary target was an elderly man, whom she felt would give no resistance. "We must take this man alive. *Alive*!" she again reiterated just before the turbolift doors opened. When they finally did they were in an upscale office setting, filled with administrators and party officials. The commandos began firing, but this time instead of deadly bolts of energy, they were releasing expanding stun coils that began dropping all of the terrified bureaucrats easily. As they moved towards the doorway containing the party leader, Kerrie unfastened a flashbang grenade from her belt. "Flash!" she yelled to her commandos, so that they would look away, as she tossed the device into the room. A brilliant flash of light emanated from the office that escaped even the windows and lit even the surrounding buildings. There was a ringing in her ears, despite her helmet, because of the effects of the grenade. Upon entering the room she reacted horrifically as she noted that their principal target was down, apparently suffering from cardiac arrest. "Target down. Get a medic up here," she yelled over the comm, as she dropped to a knee next to the elderly gentleman. He looked terrified, and she took his hand into her own, squeezing it reassuringly. "The medics are on their way," she said, but the man's heaving chest went still and his eyes remained open ... he was dead. "Fuck!" she screamed under her helmet, as she released her grasp, on the man, grabbed the nearest chair and threw it at the window. "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" she cursed, having a temper tantrum in front of the men, realizing she would have to answer for this.

The raid on the Bank of New Calamar was proceeding as well, but it would be left to higher ranking officers reviewing the after action reports to determine just which one was more efficient. Captain Updike was displeased with the target that had been assigned to him, as their opposition had been nothing more than bank security guards and hapless tellers. He felt like a common bank robber, but it was preferable to helping the Lady Htaere on and off her Guarlara mount each morning. "Faster. Faster. I wish to beat the Commander back to the ship," he said, as he watched over his commandos as they transferred back records onto datadisks, froze accounts, and physically looted credit chits. "All of these accounts belong to political officials who have fallen from favor, or are simply enemies of those *in* favor," Thaddeus reported to Kaiya, who seemed bored with the lack of action. "If you would like to kill the security guards I can put it in my report that they resisted," he said to her, with a devilish grin kept hidden beneath his helmet that no one could see ... but she knew what it looked like. As the doors to the vault were blown to the protest of the bank manager, he began to walk towards it. Without turning his head, or even aiming, he snapped off a single blaster bolt that ended up the sniveling manager's life. "Verbally resisting is resisting. Let that be a lesson to you all," he said, as he stepped forward into the vault. "We're here for records. Legal documents. Anything connected to these Rebel bankers," he said, as the commandos began pulling out safety deposit boxes. He grabbed several jewels that he planned to gift later, helping himself to the spoils of war. This was much better than looting the Governor's silver and blaming it on the Squib daughter.

This was turning out to be a rather dry assignment after a *long* dry spell. The greatest bit of action she'd seen was aiding in blowing the doors from the bank. Otherwise, it was more amusing daydreaming about killing the Squib. Her irritation must have been obvious. Captain Updike's words came as a second breath of fresh air. Her tail twitched behind her. Her ears perked uncomfortably from inside her helmet. She could hear the smile in his voice. "I owe you one, Captain... Those security guards are resisting so hard," she stated dramatically. She holstered her blaster. With that, the Cathar commando's razor sharp claws slid out. She crouched down, then viciously attacked the first security guard that she saw. Her strong claws scratched through the area between the guard's helmet and his shoulder, slicing through his carotid artery. She wanted to see blood, and that's exactly what she saw. Her feet were planted on the man's abdomen. Her face hovered over his while she watched the guard die. "Pathetic," she grumbled. Her tail could be seen as she moved on to the next guard. She eliminated any of them along their way. She wondered if the Captain was having as much fun as she. They had both suffered the same fate in the Governor's home. She was done with baby sitting.

The note of annoyance in the High Inquisitor's voice pulled Mark from the displays for a moment. He was momentarily startled by the presence of a Chiss on the command deck. Only the fact that Serine annoyance was directed at the ISB Commander and not the Chiss kept him from ordering the Chiss off the deck. He wasn't really happy with the ISB Commander observing the operation. But the imperial uniform and the way she carried it also impressed him. To the Chiss, Mark said, "Then perhaps when this is over, the lieutenant can give us her analysis of the operation."

He looked back over at the displays and noticed a few things needing correction and returned to overseeing things. For his first command of such an operation, he thought it was found reasonably well, but he wasn't about to declare victory until all his troopers and pilots were back onboard the Interrogator.

Sergeant Batua calmly shouted orders to the troopers under his command. The target he was assigned turned out to be one of the heavily armored ones. Dig the rebels out of Forest Valley. He didn't mind too much, it was better than babysitting those Bounty Hunter brats. Things were blowing up around him, but he kept his calm, dodging at the right time, hugging the dirt and generally having a good time. He had finally made his way around to the gun emplacement that was giving them such a problem, pinning them down from further advancement. Priming a few grenades, he tossed them over the wall and then dived for cover. The explosion was very satisfying, even if it took him a few moments to realize the guns were no longer firing.

He ordered his troopers to advance and finish off the show. They appeared out of the tree line and advanced, mowing down the resistance as they went. These rebels were tenacious, he gave them that, but if they didn't surrender soon, they were going going to be dead tenacious rebels. Either way, he didn't care. That choice wasn't up to him. As his troopers entered the outpost, he reported back his objective was almost complete.

Following his troopers into the outpost, they walked their way down corridors until the final room, eliminating resistance as they went. His experienced eyes realized it had been turned into an ad hoc medical bay. Before he could give the order to surrender, the rebels started doing so. Signaling his troopers to start disarming the rebels, he called in his target as secured and requested medical and transport for the prisoners. This is what he had joined up for, not babysitting Bounty Hunter scum.

An incoming ship alert told Mark that some of the fleeing rebel ships were getting within range of the Interrogator's guns. He released weapon control to the gunners and gave them their marching orders ... disable if possible, otherwise go for the kill. There was a narrow window before the ships would be able to jump to hyperspace. While the Interrogator didn't shudder when the guns fired, there was a distinctive hum to the deck plates when the giant guns discharged. Energy bolts raced out to the fleeing ships. The telltales on the holodisplay blinked red one by one as the shots found targets. Explosions could be seen through the view panels of the command deck. A few targets stopped moving, disabled. Even fewer telltales disappeared as they activated their hyperdrives. Some of the rebels would no doubt tell the tale of the destruction the Empire had rained down upon them.

Glancing at his displays, Mark started giving the recall orders. The other half of the Interrogator's Stormtrooper 610th Legion would be dispatched for cleanup operations. The returning combat troopers would be debriefed and then sent to medical or to their bunks for rack time. Mark allowed a small smile to grace his face. Overall, he thought the mission was a success. The debriefing should only confirm it.

"Hey, Dun Dun," Captain Trainor said over the comm to Lieutenant Dunford, as she began to power up the Darkened Oblivion. "This is Captain Trainor, and I am outta here!" she announced as she sent the Conqueror-class assault ship hurdling out of the hangar bay of the Interrogator at the ship's top speed. "I'm a get you, Rebels!" she said over the comm, but as she looked down towards her sensor display she detected that all of the Rebel ships were entering hyperspace. "Noooooooooooooooo!" she screamed, as she balled both of her fists and began slamming them into the terminal out of frustration. The young Corellian pilot had ran halfway across the ship, changed into her flightsuit, ran to the hangar bay, powered up the Darkened Oblivion, and headed into space just to find she had missed everything. So not fair, she thought to herself, as she turned the ship around and began to head home.

"Recall acknowledged, Command. Updike, they've sounded the recall. Prepare for evac," Kerrie announced, reporting both to her superior and her subordinate at the same time. The lower level members of the Forad party were being rounded up like livestock and moved towards the Sentinnel-class landing craft that had been sent for them. The dead body of the party chairman was being carried along as well, to prove to her superiors that she simply did not execute the man. "Move. Move. You've gotten lazy sitting around the Governor's estate," she snarled at her troopers, trying to motivate them to going the extra distance. As they filed into the craft to leave Calamar she could not help but wonder what the ISB was up to with all this, but she felt she had more than adequately performed the duty, which would keep her alive, and bide time for the Inquisitor and ISB commander to come into conflict once again. There was no way those two harpies could maintain their truce she thought, as she grabbed hold of the overhead and stood there, watching the burning debris they had left behind. A bunch of old politicians and their staffs, she thought to herself ... hardly a test for the storm commandos.

"Yes, Commander. We'll be ready," Thaddeus replied over the comm, as the troopers began to rally in the main lobby of the bank. They had shut down their entire network, which froze thousands of accounts and had thoroughly disrupted the Esselian economy. Some troopers had downloaded copies of all of the transactions, while others had retrieved secretive records written on flimsiplast from the vault. For him, however, it had been a wonderful opportunity to loot jewels, precious metals, and even credit chits. There was a war on, but if the ISB was going to get off their rich, he was damned if he was not going to get his share. "I got you something for later, Kaiya," he teased, as he passed her, before leading the two squads out of the bank towards where the landing craft had come to collect them. "If you're not on that ship in five minutes then you can be the one to stay here and tell the locals why they can't withdraw their credits," he warned them, as he hustled onto the ship. He gave a nod to Kerrie, looking at all of her prisoners and the mainframes she had stolen. "I see you at least got to take some prisoners, Commander. All they had me do was collect financial records," he said, as he did a headcount as the four squads regrouped aboard the lander. "Another day of glorious service to the Emperor," he said, sarcastically, as the last troop came aboard and he raised the hatch behind them. "Ma'am, all present and accounted for," he said, seriously, and professionally, as, despite his rough demeanor, he did excel at his position.

She had been quite a busy kitty inside of the bank. It wasn't all about slaughtering security guards. She had duty to carry out. Kaiya took part in stealing records from the vault. The mission had been a total success and it felt as such. The not so fresh air of Esseles had rejuvenated her. When it came time to leave, Kaiya was only slightly reluctant. She groaned. She wanted to watch all the destruction that would cause as a result of their actions, however, Thaddeus had promised her something. She had not witnessed him looting, though it was a scheme they both had a hand in while watching the Squib. She had come to the Imperials with nothing. Through theft, she was doing a whole hell of a lot better. She purred to the Captain. "Is it squib a la mode? You know how badly I've wanted that." How delicious it sounded! Kaiya arrived with the rest of the departing troops who had gathered into the ship. She sat herself next to the Captain. Her claws had retracted back into her hands, but there was blood staining her golden fur.

Sergeant Batua heard the recall and acknowledged. Giving orders for his me to start loading the shuttles with the prisoners, he made his way over to what appeared to be the main headquarters for the rebels staying there. "Well, Sergeant?" he asked one of his men buried in the computer banks.

The muffled reply came, "They fried them pretty good, Sergeant, not much here that's worth recycling, even." There was a popping sound and a few sparks flew, "But I got something the Intel guys might find interesting."

"Very well, bring it and get your ass on the shuttle, we're being recalled. It's no longer your problem, said Batua. It didn't take too long to get the prisoners loaded and soon enough they were on their way back to the Interrogator. He briefly wondered how that Storm Commando chick was doing having heard some chatter they had been sent down too.

Mark let out a sigh of relief when the last shuttle docked. It has been a long couple of hours while the operation had raged on, some of the fighting had been fierce and he had lost some troopers. But, he consoled himself, it was all within the limitations he had set for the operation, casualties were to be expected.

After issuing orders for reports to be filed within twelve hours, he turned to Serine, "All ships returned and accounted for, High Inquisitor. I will have a full report for you within twenty four hours, but initial reports indicates a complete success. Each targeted rebel outpost has been annihilated. Prisoners have been taken and are being processed now."

It as only now that he began to feel the strain the past few hours. The constant attention required to make sure everything went as planned was something he had not been fully prepared for. Now he knew and next time, there would be a thermos of caf nearby, regulations be damned.

"Excellent work, all. Indeed," Commander Howe said, clapping his hands together a few times, as he saw the reports come in from the planet. "Unfortunately, Lieutenant Mehamwhatsit was ordered by Major Zevrin to observe and report. Not provide tactical analysis. She is forbidden from speaking," he said to the Colonel, as he began collecting data of his own to transmit to the command ship. "I'll want to see those records and prisoners straight away," he said, without looking up from his datapad. He was sure that Zevrin would order all of their executions by the end of the day, but he was trained to take no actions without speaking to her. "Oh. Dismissed, Lieutenant," he said, to the Chiss, without so much as a glance or consideration in her direction. From his perspective the mission was a resounding success that he would take credit for. His superiors within the ISB and indeed all COMPNOR would be very pleased indeed.

The High Inquisitor nodded her approval toward Veller, satisfied that he performed his duty admirably. His first large scale mission was a resounding success which confirmed the high expectations that both the Inquisitor and Major Eona held. "Well done, High Colonel," she addressed him briefly before her attention was grabbed by the irritating statements made by Commander Howe that irked her severely. It seemed that every time this foul little man opened his mouth, more putrid filth poured out. Before Meham'ohorovi'cloca had a chance to excuse herself, she would be blocked by the sudden outstretched arm of the Inquisitor as Serine snatched a fist full of Howe's uniform and ripped the man towards her quite suddenly and viciously. "Commander," her voice eased out in a low dangerous tone as eyes stared at him fiercely. "While on board of the Interrogator, you will treat all officers with the proper respect," she said with a foreboding quality to her voice before her hand twisted the fabric so that it started to dig into his neck painfully. "Understood?" With a heavy glare, she released him with a violent shove to distance his repugnant and loathsome self from her before she turned to regard the Lieutenant. If the woman was indeed ordered to stay silent, she would not press the matter, but she did have one thing to say to the other. "There is always room on board *my* ship for excellent officers, you remember that, Lieutenant." And with that, the Inquisitor departed from the Command deck but not before brushing past an already off centered Commander Howe none too gently.

Mark bowed slightly to Serine at the compliment, then Mark turned ice blue eyes that were suddenly very cold indeed to the gloating Commander. "These prisoners and records are the Interrogator's, Commander, not the Retributor's," Mark said, his voice cold enough to bring the temperature of the room to subzero. "If Major Zevrin wanted prisoners, then perhaps she should have included the Retributor so we would not have missed those rebels who managed to flee from the other side of the planet.

"No reports, aside from what you have personally witnessed, nor prisoners are leaving this ship without the High Inquisitor's express permission. The Interrogator, as it has been noted in the mission parameters, does not fall under Grand Moff Rodney's task force. My chain of command, Commander," he spat, "is High Inquisitor Thanor, not Major Zevrin, whom I believe, *is* under the Grand Moff."

Mark glanced to the departing figure of Serine, "Now get off my command deck before I have you forcibly removed. Commander," adding the mention of the man's rank to remind him there were many ranks between Howe and a High Colonel, even if Howe was ISB. He then nodded to the Chiss politely, "Lieutenant," he said in a more normal tone of voice. If the High Inquisitor was going to defend the Chiss, then he would accept her on that basis alone.

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