Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:4:12) in the Brentaal system: Warspite.
Grand Vizier Sate Pestage, Inquisitor Serine Thanor, and Flight Lieutenant Randi Trainor.

Lieutenant Randi Trainor emerged from the turbolift on Inquisitor Thanor's level, no longer in her flight suit, but in the neatly pressed black uniform of the Imperial Starfighter Corps. Her black hat was tilted to one side, and hung down slightly, being perhaps as off kilter as her personality. She had a series of small objects clenched in her right, gloved hand that were the object of her needing to speak with the Inquisitor. Her typically warm smile was replaced by a rather concerned, almost angry expression. It was clear that something hat rattled the young pilot. She was completely disregarding the chain of command by going to the Inquisitor, and it would rightly put her in some hot water with her superiors, but she naively thought she had developed a relationship with the new menace that was roaming the Star Destroyer. As she arrived outside the Inquisitor's door she took her free left hand and began pounding against the durasteel surface of the door, rather than pressing down on the activation panel like a normal human being, which she was far from being.

Serine was in the middle of preparing for her meeting in which she will explain the main entries of her report via holonet. She had been studying her notes in the datapad for hours in preparation with heavy anticipation. She wasn't sure when she would be contacted, but she was ready all the same, all until her concentration was interrupted by heavy banging on her door. The Inquisitor shot up from her seat instantly with an angry scowl and within moments the door Randi was harassing would slide open revealing a rather aggravated Serine. With a heavy look to the other in a hasty onceover followed by an eerie peering into the hallway, she would yank Randi inside before slamming her hand on the sensor to close the door, not wishing for any to see Randi speaking with her off duty. "What it is Randi? I'm preoccupied with a task of the utmost importance!" She impatiently barked to the other before inhaling with an exasperated sigh. Randi was the closest thing he had to a friend in a very long time, and because of that, she was willing to listen to the other, but it couldn't be at a worst time. "Well?!"

Randi struggled to regain her composure after being yanked into the room by the Inquisitor, her typically spaced out blue eyes blinking repeatedly as she tried to remember why she had come here in the first place. "Well this is of the 'utmostest' importance, Serry!" she insisted as she turned her attention to the Inquisitor, the concerned look coming back to her face as she remembered her purpose. She opened the palm of her right hand revealing stimulants, which she promptly held up in front of the Inquisitor's face for her to inspect. "Commander Hood has ordered me to take these!" she said, sounding shocked that such a thing would happen aboard the ship. "Every pilot on the ship has to take stims!" she protested, shaking her head disappointedly at the Inquisitor as her rage began to build. Suddenly she flung her hand, scattering her stims across the floor defiantly. "Well I ain't gonna, not no way, not no how!" she insisted as her booted foot raised to stomp on some of the stims that she had discarded on the floor. "Pilots on stims get wired, and wired pilots crash," she explained as she started to tear up, remembering her accident from her instructor days, the fear of another such collision overwhelming her emotions and short-circuiting her already hectic brain.

Serine's mouth actually opened a little in disbelief of Randi's behavior, throwing the stims all over her floor and stepping on a few, crushing them and causing bits of glass to shatter and stimulant liquid to ooze out, making a complete mess. Looking around, dismayed and beside herself as she realized what this might look like. What will the Grand Vizier Sate Pestage think when his holo vision ganders at this mess? He will think Serine is a junkie and completely incompetent! The Inquisitor was so flustered, she was at a loss for words momentarily, gawking at Randi in awe and trembling a little in fury. Breathe... just breathe. Serine had to concentrate just to lower her rocketing blood pressure and heart rate, with eyes closed and some steady heavy breaths, she eased them out before snapping her gaze back at Randi. "I will be sure to discuss the matter with the Commander, but until then, clean this mess up ... now." Serine couldn't stress the point any clearer, she needed Randi out of here ... Pestage could summon an audience with her at any moment!

Randi shook her head disappointedly at Serine as she dropped to her hands and knees in front of her. Her right hand moved to her head and she pulled her cap from her head, and began scrubbing the floor with it as it was the only absorbing material that she had on her. "A lot of good pilots are going to be put at risk on this crap," Randi muttered resentfully as she continued to scrub up the liquid with her cap. After sometime she had gotten most of the material up off the floor and she tiredly rose back to her feet. "You happy now, Serry?" she asked as she rose back to her feet, beads of sweat forming upon her forehead as her blonde hair disgustingly matted itself to her forehead.

"I can sympathize with your cause Randi, but I do not appreciate you purposely wrecking my personal chambers." It was not the matter of Serine not caring for Randi's situation, but more on the other's complete disregard for social norms. "Rest assured, I do no believe these stimulants are necessary for the pilots to do their duty, and as you suggested, it might be detrimental, but I do not have the time to devote to this matter. I'll discuss this with you shortly after my meeting. Now, please remove yourself and your discarded stims." Serine said forcefully while anxiously awaiting the other to pick up what she carelessly threw all over and leave the room. Eyes continuously drifted towards the holonet receiver before flicking back towards Randi.

Randi stood there a moment somewhat dejectedly, as she wondered if there was anyone else on the ship she could discuss the problem with. She nodded once as protocol dictated, and then clumsily spun on her heals and made her way out of the Inquisitor's quarters.

The sound of a series of beeps begin to emanate from the comm panel, indicating there was an incoming holonet transmission. The eerie series of beeps echoed through the darkened chamber, and would not cease until the transmission was acknowledged.

With Randi's pestering now fully out of the way, she could concentrate are far more vital matters. No sooner did she remove the other from her presence was she alerted to an incoming holonet of extreme importance. Serine held her breath for a moment as she composed herself appropriately, easing out the stored breath slowly that calmed her nerves. Her superior was sent the full copy of her report a day in advance, giving him ample time to read it, formulate his own impressions and then contact her during this time. The report contained the majority of the detail it had prior, though it spun it favorable for the Admiral in many regards, describing Rodney as a man under extreme pressures by his family so close, with the added anxiety and intensity of his wife being captured, tortured and subsequently losing the child. The Admiral's drunken shame was absent, along with many of the other embarrassing tidbits. Added was heavy suggestion on strengthening the fleet in this sector with a more aggressive stance of offense along with recommendations of the repositioning of his family to another more protected sector to allow the Admiral to focus on his work and not be so ... easily distracted. Her personal feelings for Rodney's lack of respect of her advice and his inability to control some of his key personal were still present. Serine's own fight with Kerrie was unaltered and properly represented as well as her praises to quite a few personal, most notably Randi, Alegra and the engine room. She stood at strict military attention, with her hands clasped fully behind her back after answering the transmission. If she was at all nervous, it did not show in the least. Stoic, intense and prepared. "Serine Thanor, member of the Inquisitorius, ready to report, my lord."

The holographic image of Grand Vizier Sate Pestage appeared in front of the Inquisitor. His gnarled face was shrouded by the hood of his cloak, but his wart covered, hooked nose peered out at her like a dagger. "I have read your report, Inquisitor Thanor," he began slowly, the words spilling out of his lips like toxic bile. "We are not amused," he put simply, never being one to use more words than were necessary to get his point across. "These are Core Worlds and their behavior is unacceptable. It is detestable enough when aliens and creatures behave in such poor regard in the Outer Rim Territories," he paused, as he raised a bony, holographic finger towards her menacingly. It threatened to grab at her, but it was merely an illusion and could do her no harm. "Soon we will have a way of dealing with people like this, Inquisitor," he informed her, vaguely referencing the Empire's new super weapon. "But ... until that time we require action," he scolded her, as his mind wandered over the painful details she had outlined to him.

"Indeed, I am at your disposal." One of the things that Serine stressed in her report what that there was an apparent lack of action, noticeably her own frustration on having her advice ignored and being reduced to salvage information via Allegra. The only time she was deployed to handle a situation was of her own accord and it was to merely visit a politician. "I feel my unique talents are not being utilized by the Admiral, nor do I feel my advice is heeded in any regard. I have all intention of serving and yet my position here is of a decoration merely to intimidate the crew members, at best." Said distastefully and honestly. She had nothing to hide from Pestage and would admit to her faults if necessary. "I was unable to locate the information leek at this time, in that regard, I have failed."

"Enough!" the Grand Vizier snarled at her angrily as he opened the palm of his right hand and held it in front of her face angrily. "You are not a child. I do not want to hear your petty complaints about not being listened to!" he continued, becoming slightly displeased with the young woman. He sneered at her, showing his chiseled teeth which were rotten beyond all recognition. Evil flowed through this man's veins and it was slowly poisoning his rapidly aging frame. "You are a member of the Inquisitorius ... not some choir girl ... make him listen!" he ordered, folding his arms in front of his chest as he stared her down in annoyance.

Her heart pace raced a little at she felt she was losing control of the flow of conversation. Serine forced herself to remain composed and unchanged by the vicious outburst. "Of course, my lord. As written in my report, perhaps if you relocated the Admiral's family, he will be far more capable and useful to your cause." She was a little rattled by Pestage's vision of what had transpired now, surely he understood that her position was that of an advisor, she could not bully Rodney to listen to her, at least not... ethically. Unless that is what he wished for her to do, then that would be a completely different situation. "As I understood my original orders, they were to advise the Admiral. Do you wish to modify them, my lord?"

Pestage listened to her carefully, his yellow eyes blinking in rapid succession as he mentally composed his reply. "It was the decision of COMPNOR to place Lord Rodney's family in the Ringali Shell. It gives the impression that the region is safe. If the regional commander quarters his family there, then it must be safe," he said to her, explaining the logic behind the carefully constructed plan. "Do you disagree with the wisdom of COMPNOR, Inquisitor?" he asked, once again shaking his head at her. "Of course your orders are to advise the Admiral. But I did not send you there to whisper advice!" he shouted at the top of his lungs, demonstrating to her how easily it was to make himself heard.

"I do disagree with COMPNOR, my lord." Said boldly as she looked at him with a strong resolve, believing her recommendations to be true. Remembering the outburst from the Admiral prior... many of his points she agreed with and was willing to repeat them here. "This sector is not safe, and no amount of public relations will be able to convince those worlds so bombarded by rebel activities. However, my lord is in control, and can easily say that the Admiral's family is still there when they are not. Would this not be the best action?" The Inquisitor's job was to give her impressions of the situation, and she was going to do so despite her superior screaming accusations at her. "With the Admiral capable of focusing on his duty, my advice will be more enticing." Serine seemed unfazed by Pestage's anger, though secretly she was extremely unnerved. If her honesty would lead to punishment, so be it, but she was determined to give her report properly despite adversity.

The Grand Vizier's hands flexed angrily, forming claws as he wished he could reach out and ring the Inquisitor's neck. "Are you implying that the Core Worlds are unsafe, Inquisitor?" he angrily replied, his blood virtually boiling in him now. His eyes tightened on her angrily as he chose his next words carefully. "Let there be no mistake, Inquisitor ... the core is safe!" he scolded her, wondering perhaps if he had selected the wrong individual for this assignment.

While the Grand Vizier was wondering if Serine was the right individual for this assignment, Serine was wondering if the Grand Vizier even read her report. Did he not notice that their flagship Warspite was nearly completely destroyed by a surprise rebel attack, that people were going missing or being murdered in the streets on a regular occasion? Perhaps it was arrogance that was blinding Pestage. Now Serine found herself on very thin ice, which was unfortunate due to her own moral ground. "What I am implying, my lord, is that certain things can improve our ability to continue to keep this sector safe." She said tactfully, now attempting to redirect his severe heated fury.

"Much better turn of phrase, Inquisitor," the Grand Vizier said proudly, nodding his head appreciatively at the young woman who seemed to understand how to adapt on the fly. "Soon this Rebellion will be crushed. There are plans even now that I am not permitted to share with you that will change everything..." he explained confidently, his lips curling up into a sinister grin that threatened to tare his face in two. "It is the Outer Rim where the real war is. Yours is a sideshow. We have sent you all that we can. An entire Battle Squadron. An entire Division. How much is enough Inquisitor? How much?" he asked her, not really wanting an answer. He had already wasted enough time setting her straight.

Serine would have sighed in relief if she wasn't standing where Pestage could see her, instead she continued to stand at military attention as if nothing different had transcribed. It was more than apparent that Pestage had no intentions of granting anymore manpower to this sector, so that argument was now void, but her concern was still on Rodney, and his previous emotion instability. "And of the Admiral's family? There is an easy solution, my lord, to secretly relocate them."

The Grand Vizier paused for a moment, almost unable to believe that she was back to that topic. "Confine them to the Star Destroyer if you think it would help. I do not know what else to tell you. COMPNOR has plans that will not change," he lectured her, shaking his head once more. "Is there anything else?" he asked of her, his eyes darting to a wall chronometer as he counted the time of his life he would never get back.

Her eyebrows arched a bit, the only new facial expression she had given him besides the solemn intent stare. So there was no mention of her unbecoming activities, or the many other references to the Admiral's difficulties leading his officers, or even the tactical analysis of the near destruction of the Warspite? The Inquisitor was convinced her superior merely glanced over the report, not even reading it! Suddenly the woman had a very distinct bitter taste in her mouth, it tasted like false promises and ack of professional regard. Despite that, she was loyal to the Empire... even if everyone refused to acknowledge the rebellion was a real issue, and there was an urgent and dire need for action. "Are my orders to remain the same?" She masked her emotions well, despite feeling very indignant towards the Grand Vizier.

"Yes, Inquisitor. This time, I suggest you follow them a bit forcefully..." the Grand Vizier sneered, and with that he turned his head to the right and nodded his head. An instant later the holonet transmission ceased and the blue holographic image flickered into nothingness. Perhaps the Grand Vizier needed to make a report of his own, he considered, but wait to see how the situation turned out before taking greater action.

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