Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Audraw Baldwin and Christopher Levy.

Four years through one year before the Battle of Yavin (31:4:35 - 34:5:10) in the Ralltiir system: Ralltiir (Salibury: Drake Yukio's estate).


Major Kerrie Kiley, Aislinn Sangre, Leilia Sangre, and Captain Drake Yukio.


Leilia Sangre blinked a few times toward her target, before adverting her gaze to the harsh face of her current employer. She had half a mind to tell him to stick his credits in his ear. Sure, she hired herself out as something of a sideshow freak. A person who could use an archaic weapon like a whip, with such surgical precision, was something worth paying for, after all. But this was too much.

She fingered the smooth handle of the whip coiled at the small of her back, frowning deeply, trying not to look at the dark-haired female chained to the opposite wall. She could flick gnats out of the air without a flicker of an eyelash. Leilia was good with her choice of weapon and she knew it. That didn't mean she was eager to test those carefully honed skills on another human being.

Especially a human being who was making dormant memories in her brain fire off like crazy.

"Look, ah..." She glanced over the insignia on her employer's tunic, before realizing she had never bothered to learn Imperial rankings, "Sir, I don't think I can..."

"I'm not paying you to think," came the short reply. Cold dark eyes glared at Leilia from across the room, while the officer leaned back into a comfortable position in his chair. "I paid you to do the job you described. Perhaps your advertisement was misleading? That is an offense, you realize."

Leilia's eyes narrowed at the obvious barb. "I can do everything I said. You never told me a person was my target."

He laughed coldly. "Should that matter?"

Leilia paused a minute. Did it really matter? After all,  it was not as if she had not done a thousand other questionable jobs in the relatively short span of her career. It was not like she was killing the girl...right? Maybe she could get away without even leaving any marks! Leilia flicked her gray-violet gaze toward her employer one more time. No, she doubted he would be satisfied unless blood was shed.

She looked toward the slave girl once more, and Leilia's gray violet eyes locked with orbs of pale, pale ice blue. Leilia could not help the frown that crinkled her brow. She knew those eyes. How did she know those eyes?


Leilia flinched at the officer's harsh voice, and barely kept from glaring at the man. Her fingers curled slowly around the smooth handle of the archaic, braided leather whip coiled at her back. Well, whoever you are...I hope you'll be able to forgive me for this. I know I'll never be able to.

An abrupt tug and an expert flick of the wrist sent the tip of Leilia's weapon cracking through the air, and a pained cry filled the room. Again. And again.

Leilia blinked away the memory that had taken center stage in her nightmares for the past three years, and glared at the sprawling estate where it had taken place. She had been coerced into whipping a young girl here, once...a young girl with shockingly pale skin and incredibly long, black hair, glinting with blue highlights even in the dimness of the room. The girl had looked up at Leilia, and frozen her with a single glance from pale icy blue eyes.

At the time, Leilia had wondered why the girl looked so familiar.. wondered why she knew those haunting eyes. Now, she saw that face every time she looked into a mirror.  Though there were certain differences in bone structure, Leilia could no longer deny that the Imperial's little slave girl shared her face. Those pale blue eyes...had been the eyes of their mother...

Leilia felt a new wave of sickness flood her stomach and she doubled over momentarily, fighting the urge to retch. She had whipped her own little sister.

It had taken Leilia three years to find out for certain. Unable to sleep from her nightmares, she had felt compelled to return to the true planet of her birth to search for answers.

On Juneieau, Leilia's worst fears had been confirmed...her young sibling, and dozens of other young children, had been spirited away by sky demons.

Translation: a slaving ship had found a fresh, unprotected source of income. Her little sister, her precious Little Dreamer had been yanked away from everything she'd ever known and forced into a life of servitude.

Leilia found her sickness rapidly pushed away by anger. With strong, determined steps, she carried herself the remaining distance to the estate, to a side door well away from the main bulk of the security systems.

It was amazing what one could do with a single datapad. Leilia coolly snapped open the security control panel outside the door, clipping a few key wires and splicing them to each other, rerouting the sensors so she could get to work. Another wire was joined with her datapad, and soon her fingers were flying over the datapad keys in a whirl.

"Stopping by for a visit? All you had to do was knock, sweetling."

Leilia gasped and spun around, finding herself nose to nose with the estate's master. She had been so intent on cracking the house security, she hadn't even heard his approach.

She mentally berated herself on such a foolish mistake, before taking stock of this new situation. His breath smelled strongly of some type of liquor, and he was leering at her in a completely unnerving manner. Leilia fought to keep her lip from curling in disgust, brain hard at work trying to figure how to work this situation to her advantage.

"If I knocked," she explained in a low, careful voice, "then it wouldn't be a surprise."

He chuckled drunkenly, hands coming up on either side of Leilia, caging her against the door as he leaned in close. "Wanting to surprise me, were you? Maybe you still can..."

The officer leaned in close, tongue flicking over Leilia's ear and making her cringe. Gross... "Yeah...maybe I can." She trailed her hands carefully up his back, swallowing down bile as the slime took her touch as added invitation to crush his body against hers.

Leilia tangled her fingers into the officer's thick hair, grateful it wasn't quite cut to military specifics. When she was sure of her grip, and sure he was totally clueless...Leilia yanked back hard, and sharply brought her forehead crashing into the man's face. Blood instantly spurted from his nose as he tumbled back from the assault, and Leilia followed her head butt with a left hook that would've made her old Corellian street buddies proud.

"Surprised?" Leilia hissed harshly, fist still clenched. "Where's my sister, you twisted bastard? I'm not leaving her with you for another second."

The bloody-faced Imperial blinked up at her, alcohol-clouded expression clearing somewhat. "Oh, it's you. I remember you.. the little whip-wielder who didn't want to do her job. I was very impressed when you finally came through. So, she's your sister, is she? Brilliant."

The man actually giggled, a high, insane sound that had Leilia's nape hairs standing on end. She clenched her jaw, left hand reaching for the smooth handle at the small of her back. "I'm taking her out of here tonight. I'm not letting her be hurt anymore."

"You're the only one that has ever hurt her," came the slow, drawling response. "I have never raised my hand to her. He had always served me faithfully until that night. I called you in because I couldn't bear to punish her myself."

Leilia blinked rapidly. "What kind of sick, twisted logic is that?"

The man's only reply was that eerie, hysterical giggle, leaving Leilia extremely on edge. She carefully eased away, attempting to put some distance between the man and herself.  "Let's be...reasonable about this," she spoke carefully, in that low, reasonable tone people generally reserved for lunatics and psychotics. "I was going to liberate you of your slave. If you can't bear to part with her for nothing, I will...I will buy her from you.  Between the two of us, I'm not some poor, ragged little street urchin. What do you say?"

For a moment, the officer actually seemed to be considering her offer. Leilia swallowed hard, and allowed some of her tenseness to drain away.

That was the wrong thing to do.

The instant Leilia dropped her guard that tiny fraction, pain exploded across the left side of her face. The Imperial had backhanded her, so forcefully his cufflink had sliced a neat line directly across her left cheekbone.

Leilia found herself on the ground, and she couldn't remember falling. The officer stood over her, a maniacal gleam in his eyes.

"You are not taking my Kitten from me," the man growled. "I won't let anyone take her from me!"

"Her name is not Kitten," Leilia bit out, wiping blood from her cheek as she slowly rose to her feet. "Her name is Aislinayah-pequi Sangre, clan Misti'lak, heir apparent. You have no right to separate her from her position or her people." Her left hand grasped the whip hand nestled securely at the small of her back, ready to attack at a moment's notice, while words and phrases she was not even aware she knew continued to tumble from her lips. "If it is written in the stars that I must die to secure her place, then I shall die."

"You won't take her from me! No one will take her!" The officer's voice was shrill with hysteria, as he wildly charged toward Leilia once more. She was expecting his attack this go around. She evaded his initial lunge by throwing herself to the side, tugging her whip free of its clip at the small of her back. As he reoriented himself to come after her again, Leilia flung her left arm outward, twisting her wrist expertly. Her whip cracked sharply, and the officer fell back with a harsh yell, his face now bleeding in precisely the same place as Leilia's.

"My sister is leaving here with me, with or without your consent, you Imperial dog," Leilia hissed, cracking her whip threateningly.

The officer grinned maliciously, staring Leilia down for several long moments...before he abruptly turned and ran, vanishing around the corner of the estate. "What th..." Leilia blinked after the Imp with no small amount of astonishment. "Blasted coward."

Leilia gave chase, hearing sounds from within the house before she had even approached the main doors.

"No, please, Master! You are not well! Please, let me..."

The bastard's insane giggling. A crash, and a scream...and Leilia was abruptly thrown from her feet as the window she was passing exploded outward preceding a ball of flame.

Leilia discovered her sleeve had caught fire. A few quick rolls along the ground promptly smothered the flames. Her arm was warm, but not burned. Ignoring the ringing in her ears from the initial explosion, Leilia continued round the side of the estate.

The Imperial officer sat on the ground a few meters outside the main doors of his house, laughing giddily as he watched the large estate begin to burn.

Leilia stood, gaping at the scene. "Wh...what have you done? Where...where is..."

"I told you," the man's voice was entirely too placid, especially in connection with his maniacal giggling, "no one is going to take her from me."

Leilia blinked a few times, before the implications of the man's words sank into her brain. She glanced from him to the flame-engulfed building.  By all the stars...Aislinn was still...

Before Leilia could take a step toward the fire-swept main doors, a figure tumbled out into the night, tall slender body engulfed in multicolored flames. "By the gods...Aislinn!"

Whether the younger female heard her or not, Leilia could not know. As if in slow motion, she watched her younger sister, her flimsy slave's garb flaming around her body, run headlong toward the sea cliffs defining the property's eastern border.

Leilia's legs moved without thought, propelling her immediately after the panicked young woman. She heard her voice shriek out some horrified exclamation in the language of her youth as Aislinn dropped over the edge of the cliff. Leilia lunged forward, her left arm extended...

"No! I'mburningupmakeitstopmakeitstopletmego!!"

Leilia couldn't hear her sister's panicked shrieking. All that registered in her mind was, I caught her. She is safe. Distantly, she noticed her cloth of her left sleeve catching flame, vaguely took note of the odor of burning cloth and cooking flesh. "I won't let you go, little sister. You're safe now..."

The burning girl was struggling far too viciously to allow Leilia to pull her to freedom. "Please, let me help you! I want to save you!"

"Then let go!" Somewhere in the midst of agony, the younger female was able to find her voice. Her pale, ice blue eyes glared virulently up at the stranger prolonging her torture. "If you wish to help me, let...go!"

Leilia saw two drop of moisture land on her sister's upturned face, and watched then evaporate almost immediately in the heat of the flames licking up the younger female's body. "I can't."

Ice blue eyes met those of gray-violet. There were no more tears. No more cries of anguish or pleas for release. There was one, perfect moment of peace.

Then, Aislinn fell away. Her flame-wrapped body falling into the sea. Leilia's eyes watched the fire vanish into the crashing waves below.

Dimly, Leilia was aware of the updrafts racing up the cliffside, snuffing out the flames eating her arm like a god blowing out the flame of a candle. She was aware of the warmth at her back, indicating the estate had been fully reduced to a hellish inferno.

She was aware her sister had been lost to her, after having just been found.

Ever so slowly, Leilia struggled onto her feet, swaying slightly. She staggered back toward the estate, heedless of the heat; half-way between the cliff and the roaring flames, she found the whip she must have discarded in her attempt to save her sister. Her dominant left arm little more than a melted mass of cloth and flesh, Leilia took up her whip in her right hand, swishing it outward experimentally. Sure of her hold, Leilia stumbled a few more steps, coming into range of the insanely laughing Imperial officer.

"I told you," the man giggled. "I wouldn't give her up to anyone. No one can take her one can ta..."

Crack! Crack!

Two blows. The first whip stroke parted the soft tissues between head and shoulder. The second stroke cleanly divided the spinal column between vertebrae.

The Imperial's head went rolling across the manicured lawn, a look of amusement still plastered on his face.

Time passed.

The house had burned down to its foundations, the still-glowing remnants casting an eerie glow over the darkening landscape as night began to fall. A lone figure sat, slumped, on the edge of the cliff overlooking the sea, staring listlessly toward the waters crashing against the rocks below. A few meters behind her, nearer to the rubble, a body lay, clad in a standard Imperial uniform and conspicuously missing its head. It was on the ground well apart from its intended position.

The figure near the cliffs, a tall slender woman with impossibly long black hair and translucently pale skin, never moved from her place. Her striking gray-violet eyes fixed determinedly on the waves below her as the fingers of her right hand caressed the handle of her only weapon: an archaic whip of braided leather. Her left arm hung useless at her side, flesh and cloth burned and melted in such a state as to be nearly unrecognizable as a part of the woman's body. Her demeanor and countenance suggested she was in deep deliberation within herself. Perhaps, she would endeavor to throw herself off this cliff. Death did seem a better option than life, as things currently stood. She did not have much of a reason to live now.

The Lambda Shuttle Sonthi descended from the upper atmosphere of the planet. As the shuttle approached the burning structure it hovered for a few moments while it circled overhead. Finally, the shuttle proceeded towards a clearing no more than fifteen meters from the ruins. The wings of the shuttle folded upwards and the landing gear lowered as the shuttle began its landing procedure. Pressure gasses were seen releasing from the craft as its repulsor engines fired one last time, allowing it to touch down gently on the surface of Ralltiir. Almost immediately after touchdown the shuttle's ramp began to lower.

Major Kerrie Kiley strode from the the rear compartment of the Sonthi. Following her expressed concerns over the security in the region the Admiral had ordered her to personally inspect several incidents of Rebel terrorist activity and then produce an assessment report. She had received a report that a fire was scene from the estate of a key ISB officer from their Ralltiir operation.

Immediately after debarking, it became clear to her that the reports were true. The structure was a total loss. She sighed as she began to walk towards what was left of the estate. "This isn't pretty," she said to herself as she raised her hand to the durasteel helmet that rested upon her head. She adjusted her target enhancement device down from atop her helmet to down over her mimicked Human eyes and began to survey the area for signed of any life.

Leilia had managed to pull herself to her feet, either completely oblivious or simply uncaring, that another had arrived on the scene. She half-staggered the short distance to the ruins and the corpse she'd left behind, determined to take one last trophy with her. Eyes narrowed, she dropped to her knees beside the headless body, and with her one good hand began to awkwardly work the uniform off the body. "I'm going to the afterlife wearing your clothes, murderer," she mumbled in low, furious tones. "When next you see me, you'll be reminded it was Leilia Sangre that took your life..."

Kerrie's hand worked the target enhancement covering her eyes and zoomed in on Leilia. It took her a moment to realize what was going on and she became horrified by it. Looters, she thought to herself furiously. Her hand instinctively dropped to her side and drew the blaster pistol from her holster.

"Halt!" she shouted at the young woman as she raised her blaster pistol above her and fired wildly into the air. She took several steps towards her and then lowered the blaster pistol until it was aimed squarely at her.

The sound of blaster shots caused Leilia's hand to hesitate, as if shocking a vague semblance of sanity back into her system. She glanced upward, locking her cold, gray-violet gaze onto the female standing a small distance away, blaster drawn and aimed. Leilia slowly allowed her hand to fall away from the corpse, her fingertips brushing over the whip handle, lying half-hidden near her leg where she had previously dropped it. "Go away. I'm busy."

"Drop whatever's in your hand and then move away from the remains," Kerrie instructed in a cold, harsh tone. She raised the pistol up slightly and then back down, indicating her desire for the woman to slowly stand up.

Leilia gave a small smirk, though the arrogant expression didn't quite reach her eyes. "Or what? You'll shoot me?" She did not move. In fact, her hand inched back toward the headless corpse, intent on resuming her work of stealing the man's uniform.

That was the problem with Rebels, Kerrie determined. They were so ... rebellious. Kerrie sighed at the woman and pulled back on the trigger of her blaster pistol, sending a carefully aimed shot at her left shoulder.

One would think after having her left arm nearly melted off from fingertip to elbow, Leilia would be quit insensible to something as relatively insignificant as a blaster shot. Nevertheless, it had the desired effect, Leilia toppled back from the body with a pained cry, clutching at her newly injured shoulder and curling protectively around her severely damaged limb.

Kerrie walked towards her target in a slow, deliberate pace. She was not proud of what she did, but she had no choice. She kept the blaster pistol aimed at her even as she menacingly loomed over her. She lifted her left leg off the ground and placed it on Leilia's neck. She stepped down, applying suitable force to keep her pinned to the ground, but not kill her. "What went on here?" she asked her quickly, "Are you responsible for the destruction of this facility? Are you a member of the Rebel Alliance?"

A fine sheen of sweat had begun to collect on Leilia's face, smudging the dirt and ash already collected on her pale skin. She glared up at the woman standing over her, breath hissing harshly through her teeth as she struggled to focus on something beyond the pain in her arm "I never took sides...before today," she managed to pant out. "He set fire to the place...himself."

"Set fire to it himself?" Kerrie repeated, not believing the woman's story, "Why?"

"Because he was psychotic!" Leilia actually gathered her wits enough to give a strained little laugh. "I'd tell you to ask him, yourself, but as you can see, he is currently... indisposed."

"I suppose he cut off his head too?" Kerrie asked her, a smug look forming upon her mimicked human face before she snorted at her.

Leilia smiled at that. "Oh no. No, I did that." She slowly worked herself into a semi-sitting position, right hand still clutching her wounded shoulder. "And I would happily do so again."

The imposing sound of multiple footsteps were heard as an entire squad of Imperial Stormtroopers descended from the ramp of the shuttle. They began to fan out around the property and take up defense positions. Two of the Stormtroopers headed directly for Major Kiley.

"We have a place for people like you," Kerrie said to the woman. She took several steps away from her to allow the Imperial Stormtroopers access. She turned her attention to the squad leader, "She is part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor. Take her away!"

One of the Imperial Stormtroopers brandished his E-11 blaster rifle at the woman and instructed her to stand up, using the familiar up and down motion of the barrel of his rifle. Leilia fairly snarled as she awkwardly worked her feet beneath her, pushing her battered body to standing position. "Don't be lumping me in with that ragged band of misfits, just because I lopped off the head of a psychopath wearing an Imperial uniform."

Kerrie walked over to the remains of the ISB officer and examined his severed head. She recognized the officer's face and shuddered for a moment, remembering the first time she encountered him. She would never forget the faces of any of the officers involved with her torture, even if one of the faces was now on a severed head. She would have liked to have killed him if given the chance. She turned her attention to the woman one final time as she witnessed the Stormtroopers preparing to lead her away, "This one had it coming."

Leilia's snarl became a sinister sort of grin as the female officer's words drifted her way. "See? I did us both a favor..."

"You picked the wrong planet, sister," Kerrie said to her. She shook her head and washed her hands of the matter. As grateful as she was for having this ISB monster disposed of, the situation was really out of her hands.

"Move along," the Imperial Stormtrooper instructed Leilia as he stepped behind her. He pressed the tip of the E-11 blaster rifle into her back firmly, instructing her to move forward.

Leilia nearly stumbled back to the ground again when the trooper prodded her with his rifle, glaring over her shoulder as she got her feet firm beneath her once more and began to walk, or rather limp, in the commanded direction. She glanced toward the female officer one last time as she was led away. "Oh, and don't leave my whip behind... it's something of an antique."

Kerrie reached down to the ground and picked up the woman's whip. She raised the target enhancement back atop her helmet and studied it with her own eyes. She casually tossed it towards the squad leader, "See that she gets this when she arrives at her destination ... she'll need it."

Leilia disregarded the officer's words, and limped along with her Stormtrooper entourage, pausing only once, at the foot of the ramp, looking back toward the cliff where she'd been sitting before. Her shoulders slumped noticeably, and her pale eyes shone with additional moisture. "Aislinayah-pequi, gii'a liies na,.." she murmured, before resolutely turning her back on the scene and entering the shuttle. There was nothing more for her here.

Kerrie then reached down and picked up the severed head of the ISB officer and started him in the eyes for a moment. "Echuta!" she cursed as her raged caused her to slip into her native Huttese. She turned towards the cliff and hurled the severed head into the dark waters below. Finally, she proceeded back towards the shuttle followed by the Stormtroopers and Leilia.

The Sonthi's ramp closed behind the entourage and in a moment's time the vessel had lifted off from the surface of Ralltiir. It hovered for a moment to allow the wings to once again descend. The shuttle then accelerated towards the planet's upper atmosphere where Leilia would be transferred before being sent to her final destination.

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