Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Sean Brandt, Geoff Elder, Michelle Green, Christopher Levy, and Anonymous.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:10:23) in the Rhinnal system: Rhinnal (Rhire: Dagon Tong's safe house).
Duchess Ava Khalessi, Corporal Sienala Pavo, Corporal Lovora Rikki, and Ysayle.

The city of Rhire on the planet Rhinnal bustled with upper class activity, most of which involved the field of medicine. The elite from across the galaxy traveled here for what some considered the best medical care in the core. The people were happy ... the Empire had 'liberated' them from the dominance of the neighboring planet of Esseles, and for the first time in the planet's long history the citizenry felt treated as equals. This was hardly a likely place for the Rebellion to find men and materials, but they had been driven off the other nearby worlds, and if they had any hope of turning public opinion in their favor they would have to start somewhere.

"Okay, Lovora, remember, if a guy gets handsy, don't do anything unless I give you the signal. Got it? There's a way to get men to agree to anything, and sometimes it gets handsy." The young Twi'lek was scoping some potentials, reading body language as though it were a diagnostic for a ship's system. She dismissed several, but there was always someone who was not happy with the current situation. She would have to be careful to make sure the person's dissent was genuine or came from general dissatisfaction with life. "Whatever we do, we don't go to bars. Never go to a bar to listen to men. The liquid of lies and false courage makes them say the damnedest things."

Lovora was more comfortable in this sort of place than most of the other commandos probably would have been, no doubt thanks to a childhood spent in a place like Cloud City. Wealth and its ready displays in a thriving cityscape felt like a return to home. There were, of course, a few primary differences. One was the old but serviceable SE-14 blaster pistol strapped to her back, covered up by a simple beige shirt and orange-on-green jacket. The second was the fact that here she was, along with her Twi'lek friend, representing public enemy number one. Hands casually rested in the pockets of fitted navy blue pants, which were tucked into a pair of black jack boots. "As long as he isn't getting too handsy with me, we're ok. It's not that I mind a little touch-and-go, but a girl's gotta keep her secrets." She was referring the blaster of course, the presence of which had her somewhat nervous. If someone caught it, things would go south pretty fast. Still, better to have than not. "No bars? I was kinda hopin for a drink or two. Maybe put me in the right head space for this." Lovora was turning over in her mind how she had been recruited, trying to remember anything special about the fella who had drawn her in back home. Lovora Rikki had been an easy mark, though. Young, rebellious, looking for an adventure. Hey, maybe that was a place to start.

Never in her life had she been so happy to get off of a shuttle. The flight hadn't even been that long, but with how crowded it was it seemed to take forever. Taking a moment to stretch after disembarking, she smoothed some of the wrinkles out of her dull green, brown and blue civilian clothes. The weather seemed to be cold, if the way way others around her were dressed and acting was any indication. Though she would probably consider it balmy compared to the average day on Csilla. Taking a moment to look around, she made sure she was safe before heading out into the streets. She barely made it outside when she caught a glimpse of her face on a notice board with the words 'Wanted' next to it. An annoyed frown showed on her face. "That didn't take long..." She pulled her hood up over her head before going into a light jog, keeping an eyes on the people that passed her. As she rounded a corner, she ran right into Lovora, causing her to stumble and fall backwards rather haphazardly. "Ouch...damn it..." Rubbing her head, she looked at the person she ran into with dark red eyes. "Sorry. I didn't see you there."

"I suppose a bar would be allowed. Look for people who order drinks but don't drink them, you know? Those people are actually thoughtful so they might be useful." Sienala considered the options when the woman bumped into Lovora. A brow lifted and a lekku rolled over the young Twi'lek's shoulder in what could only be described as a defensive reflex. She looked at the woman tugging the inside of her cheek between her teeth. "I think she's in trouble," Sienala whispered to Lovora.

"Thoughtful, know, whichever." Lovora grinned, adding her own thoughts on the subject. That said, she wasn't exactly as well versed in navigating people as Sienala was. Lovora had never gone to a bar for any reason other than a good time. She was about to say something else when all of a sudden someone slammed into her, and the short woman almost went falling over herself. Between a post that her back hit and a hand that grabbed onto Sienala's arm, though, she managed not to. Her features were all shock from the sudden impact, but she did hear the whisper, considering she was still half clinging to the twi'lek. "What makes you say that?" She muttered back, then straightened herself up and offered a hand down to the Chiss. Her expression softened some, but not much; there was no mistaking the fact she found the red eyes and blue tinted skin unusual. Lovora had never met a Chiss before. "It's ok. Looks like you got the worst of it anyway." She managed a friendly smile, swallowing her surprise at the features she hadn't encountered before.

While her journey taking her this far Ava knew she needed to get more supporters for the rebel cause, it made it slightly more stressful for her thought being so far from her home. Thought with all the training she had to become the voice of something so important to so many. The Empire seemed to be growing more and more with each passing day but with the help of Ava the small crew she was with would hopefully be gaining numbers as well. Once the ship landed on Rhinnal the young diplomat seemed to feel a slight nervousness course through her body, she had spoken to millions of people in the past why was she so scared now? Could it have been so many lives were depending on her and other like herself to gain a foothold in the war against the Empire? Or was it the fact that she wasn't truly on her own ground that she wasn't home? Whatever the matter Ava needed to push the feeling aside and know that she was doing something that was bigger than her and everyone around her.

Rising to her feet she slowly stepped out of the ship. The light from the planet hitting her. The young women wore a long dress. Deep rich green with hints of gold, her long brunette locks pulled tight behind her head into a bun, a thin chain adored her slender neck, with her hands folded neatly in front of her she looked around. Gazing at everyone that seemed to pass along the street. She knew this wasn't going to be an easy task for any of them but she had faith in her abilities and the crew she was with. Thought the next question was who would she be looking for to help with the cause? To help fight alongside them and so many others.

She looked up at the woman she had collided with for a moment, then to the friend beside her. Her face had an expression of both apology and nervousness. It would be several moments before she finally reached up and took the offered hand, getting to her feet. "Thanks." She gave her own smile before quickly looking behind her for a brief moment. "Umm, say, you wouldn't happen to be willing to do me a favor, would you? If people dressed in Imperial uniforms come around looking for me, think you could say you didn't see me?" There weren't many Chiss outside of the Ascendancy and of those, even fewer were outside the Empire. She might be concerned someone might recognize her. "I know it's probably strange to ask from a stranger I almost knocked over, but I'd appreciate it." She gave them a nervous laugh and smile at the seeming ridiculousness of it all.

"Called it," Sienala proudly proclaimed to Lovara. Giving a more critical look to the Chiss, she pulled her goggles off her head and handed them to the hiding woman. "Wear these, they'll hide your eyes. Pretend to be blind and stay with me. Lean on me like your old...really old." Looking up to Lovara, "She's my old auntie. Got it?"

A pull was given to help the Chiss up to her feet and, as the strangeness of the woman passed, a much friendlier look was given. If anything, it improved when she got around to the part about wanting to dodge Imperials. Sure, it all seemed a bit oddly coincidental, but that's just how these things worked sometimes. She caught the proclamation from Sienala and rolled her eyes, but more in a teasing sense than anything else. "No problem. Actually, we're-" she stopped when Sienala came through, handing off goggles to the other woman and pulling her about into place. Lovora just kinda let it happen, mostly because she was too dumbfounded to do anything else. "I...uh, sure. Got it. I mean, you two look so much alike. No way you couldn't be related." There was just a touch of sarcasm in her words.

Ava's attention was pulled away from the busy streets to the women that had a slight accident with Lovora and the small conversation between Sienala and her Thought it wasn't till Ava started listen to the woman's request that brought a slight smile to Ava's lips, if the Chiss was running from the Imperial guards then they all had something in common. The women needed their help just as much as they needed hers. Clearing her throat a little as she stood behind the others she spoke "Though I do think there is a way that we can both help each other... Without the acting." She said stepping forward.

Her eyes went wide for a moment when the Twi'lek offered her the goggles. She hesitated for a moment, wondering if the idea was actually going to work. Or rather if anyone would actually buy it. It wasn't as if she had a better plan at the moment though. She took the goggles and put them over her eyes, moving over beside Sienala and leaning into her, using her to keep herself on her feet. "You have no idea how much I-" She stopped at the sound of a different voice, looking up at the new comer. "There is? Ummm..." She looked at the other two briefly before going back to her. She seemed nervous and now wasn't sure what to do. Did the three of them know each other? Her biggest concern was walking into a trap though. For the time being, she would let the two people she just met take the lead in this. And hopefully it wouldn't turn out to be a horrible mistake.

"Don't worry. Ava here isn't used to being on the run," the young Twi'lek said in hushed tones. "And Lovora is more of a," Sienala paused a moment trying to find the right word. "She's just scary looking. But really, we're like you. We just need to know where the patrols are. The ones most people don't see."

Ava speaking up made Lovora jump just a bit. She'd almost forgotten the diplomat was right there, waiting for the right opportunity. While Ava spoke on Lovora just stood by, letting her handle things at this point. Considering her own thoughts on the plan for the stranger to play aunt to Sienala, she really hoped Ava was right in saying they had another way. "I mean, she was wanted too, right? I'm sure she knows a little about it." Lovora, for her own part, knew nothing about being covert and on the run. This was her first experience in Imperial territory when she wasn't decked out in armor. When Sienala started to describe her, Lovora lifted a brow, waiting to see just what the Twi'lek would say. When a description was settled on, Lovora made a rather rude face. "Scary lookin? I'm not that scary..." mostly muttered under her breath while she left the other two to figure out what they were going to do. She spared a glance up and down the roadway, just to keep an eye out for anyone that might be trouble for them.

This was the hard part of everything, trying to show someone that if anything was going to get done with defining the Empire there would have to be cost, life were lost that was going to be a given in war. And at times it all seemed very pointless. Nodding her head Ava offered a reassuring smile "Yes there is, and it may seem rather foolish, and I know you are unsure about everything and only wish to go about your way. Forget about whatever has happened for you to have been in such a hurry. Trust me when I say we all have been there, that we just want to run form everything, but running never solved a thing." Ava said softly while making her way to the Chiss "I think we should all go somewhere a little more privet. We do not wish to draw any attention to ourselves." Ava said looking at the others. "wouldn't you agree?" She said taking a deep breath as her attention was put back on the Chiss. "This way we can all stay out of the Imperial's sight."

She watched Ava carefully through the goggles, trying to get a read on her intentions. Her jaw was tense the whole time she spoke. After analyzing the situation for a moment, she finally took her weight off of the Twi'lek and rose the goggles onto her forehead. "Running may not solve anything, but it can keep you out of Imperial prison. Or execution." She let out a sigh. "You got a place? Lead the way. This is my first time here and I don't know a thing about where anything is."

"First time and already in trouble? You are definitely my new best friend," the Twi'lek giggled, wrapping her arm with the Chiss'. She looked over at Ava with a shrug, "We have a ship. That might be useful."

Once Ava brought up the idea of a safe place to talk, Lovora produced a datapad from an inside pocket of her jacket. While the others talked she looked through it, searching around for something the Commander had mentioned when they were on their way out. "I dunno if we should run back and forth to the ship, might draw too much attention." It took her a moment to find the coordinates, but eventually she did. After a moment of looking over the map, she had a decent idea of where to head, and tucked the datapad back inside her jacket. Wouldn't do for it to be obvious she was following directions to the place. "Follow me." Provided they were all willing to go along, Lovora would lead the way. It wasn't a particularly long trip, but as they walked, the surrounding city became less and less a symbol of wealth and more like some of the lower levels of Coruscant. Where progress had taken credits by the droves into the city, some places had been left behind, and this was one of them. Lovora lead them at a casual pace, right up to an old warehouse marked out with signage for a small, struggling manufacturing facility. Picking out the right door, Lovora opened it up, letting the others shuffle in first. She was, after all, the muscle of their little crew, whether or not she looked the part, and she wanted to make sure they got in safe first.

"You don't have to trust us, I get it. I know that this all seems like a trap, like we're going to set you up in something. Thought I can promise you this! You're saver with us then out there alone." Ava said as she looked at her seriously. Waiting on the others to lead the way she wished to speak the the women in a quiet setting, she needed to make her understand that this wasn't a game. That they were fighting something way bigger then a few troops here and there. "It has very rude of me, but what is your name my dear?" She asked smiling "It rare when we meet new people who are also trying to stay one step ahead of the Empire." Ava said as Lovora lead them to where they would have a little privacy.

Once inside Ava found a place where she could talk "As you can tell there is a war going on, and..."

With no other real options, she decided to follow Lovora and the others to...wherever they were going. She kept an eye on the streets they passed, trying to mentally record the route, in case she ever needed to come back here at some point. The destination wasn't what she expected, but better than nothing. Giving the Twi'lek back her goggles, she made her way inside, letting out a sigh of relief. It seemed to be a stroke of luck that she had run into people willing to help her. "I can't thank you guys enough for this." She set her pack down and lowered her hood. "I never did introduce myself, did I? My core name is Ysayle. I've been hiding from the Empire for a couple of weeks now. Though, it isn't easy when you stand out as much as I do." She let out a nervous chuckle. "Nice to meet you all. I'll try not to make trouble for you while I'm here."

"You? Causing trouble? Lovora here practically screams trouble. You're just a nice distraction. Need anything to drink," asked the Twi'lek.

They didn't stop in the main area of the warehouse, of course, but moved into a smaller room. The place wasn't crowded but there were others around, every one a rebel sympathizer if not outright operative of the Rebellion. A few spared glances towards them but, other than a couple of guards, no one seemed overly concerned. It was clear that they considered this a pretty safe place. Once they were in the room, Lovora unfixed the SE-14 blaster from its uncomfortable hiding place, letting out a sigh of relief as she got it off her back and just resting in her hand. She leaned on the wall and was content to let the others talk, but then her name came up, and she was offering a warm smile towards the Chiss. "Well, glad to have ya, Ysayle. In case you didn't pick it up already, name's Lovora. Technically it's Corporal Rikki, but Lovora does fine." She still had pride in being a soldier after all, even if there wasn't much of an army to be one in. "If you guys are all set, I'm gonna go give one of the guys out there a break. Just shout if ya need anything." Lovora made for the door then, heading out to relieve one of the guards and take his position for a while. Ava and Sienala were perfectly capable of recruiting someone without her standing there hovering over them the whole time.

"It a pleasure to meet you Ysayle." She said softly. "May I ask why are running?" Ava asked softly as she leaned forwards a little. She understood that everyone who was running had their reason, thought it helped her to understand why Ysayle was on the run. She wanted to earn the trust of the young girl, that was what the most important things for Ava was at this point, to earn everyone's trust, the second was to make them understand. Thought to earn Ysayle's trust she would need to open up as well."I was kidnapped from my home, held prisoner myself. The Empire wanted answered from me, they wanted to know how I was working for. I never once gave in. I fought the best I could, true they would never hurt a diplomat, just like the Rebels they also need a voice, but I would never work for them. I would never speak for their cause!" Ava said coldly not to the women but her hatred for the Empire. Looking around her she sighed smiling "If it wasn't for them I would still be locked away, thought they found out who I was, risked everything to save me of all people. And here I sit my loyalty to them and them alone. I am their voice, I am the voice of the people who wish to be nothing more then free from the hands of the Empire. The question thought stands, would you be willing to have a voice as well, to make your own stand. Or just keep running from them?"

She found herself a place to sit down, though nearly seemed to jump out of her skin when asked why she was running from the Empire. She sat still, staring at the floor, not really wishing to give an answer to that. Before she could express it though, Ava started to tell her own story. Ysayle quietly listened, thinking up a way to answer the question herself. Maybe the truth was best? Or only part of it? The final posed question had her thinking though. Did she want to keep running forever? It wasn't really something that appealed to her. She finally let out a soft sigh, but kept her eyes on the floor. "It's kind of a long story. I'm wanted for desertion and murder." She looked up at Ava momentarily, trying to gauge her reaction. "I was working as a low ranking officer in the Imperial military. We got intel that a Rebel base had been built on a small moon. Turns out it was false, it was a colony of civilians. My commander, however, didn't care. He decided to bombard the place 'to be on the safe side.'" She grit her teeth and her face showed some anger. "It wasn't right. I tried to help them, get them off the surface. But he shot down their transports anyway. Then he decided to make an example out of me." Her fists tightened. "He arrested my lover on false charges, then forced me to watch as he-" She covered her mouth, unable to finish the sentence. She took a couple of breaths to try and calm down. "He said he would release her after I agreed to never disobey again. He killed her anyway. And when I tried to report it to the Admiral, he simply said 'You shouldn't have disobeyed orders.' I couldn't stand it anymore. I killed my commander and fled. I couldn't stomach the corrupt hierarchy anymore."

Ava knew she was asking a lot of Ysayle, asking so may questions. Putting more and more on her shoulders. Reaching out Ava placed a hand on Ysayle's shoulder "I see." Ava haerd of such stories before, she knew of the many countless deaths. "You did what you thought was right, you're tied to give their deaths meaning. The fact you when against your orders, against what your commander told you to do was something other would never do." She could see and feel the anger that filled Ysayle's very core. The pain she had in her heart, looking down Ava took on of her hands into her own and held it tight "I am sorry, for all they did to you, made you do." She said looking up into Ysayle's eyes "You want revenge for what they did to her? You want to strike them where it hurt the most?" She asked looking deep into the Chiss' eyes. "Help us, fight with us and you *will* have that stand that not many will ever get. Help us and other who have been in the same places as yourself." Ava said softly though her words held passion, understanding, care and also sadness for her story. "Do not be afraid to fight Ysayle, to not let your fear hold you." She said looking around "You have us now if you join, we will help you. You will no longer need to run alone, you have people who will help."

She remained quiet for awhile, thinking over the offer. She appreciated Ava's attempt at making her feel better, but asking her to join the rebellion was a tall order. It really wasn't a decision to be made lightly, yet a part of her wasn't satisfied with having to constantly look over her shoulder. She looked back into Ava's eyes for a moment before responding. "I don't really know what use I could be. I don't have any special intel or anything." After a few more moments, she finally nodded. "Alright, but I want to be clear. I'm not looking for revenge. I joined the military because I wanted to do good. To protect the people I cared about. That hasn't changed. I'll do what I can to help you guys."

Ava smiled brightly as she squeezed Ysayle's hand "What you know will help in more ways than you know my dear Ysayle. And the fact that you don't want revenge shows something even more special about you then you already know. With you helping us you are protecting not just people, but galaxy's ... planets. We all with change that, each one of us change and mold what we wish. And with your help we will change even more. You have made a brave dissension here Ysayle, you will protect each and everyone you love dear, and we will protect you as well. Everyone here fights for the person and people closest to them. You are now part of that, my dear." She said nodding, knowing she was going to help, that she was going to make a difference and change that which she was unable to with the Empire. Slowly Ava rose to her feet still holding on to Ysayle's hand "Welcome." Ava said looking around the room "You now have a home with us, there is no need to run and look over your shoulder anymore."

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