Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Sean Brandt, Rachel King, and Nikolai Wisekal.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:1:13) in the Essesia system: Esseles (Calamar: Tonric Serev's safehouse).
Major Serra Eona, Apprentice Inquisitor Kia Kaen, Sarrick, and Tonric Serev.

Esseles. A planet still loyal to the Empire, though it had recently been the scene of rather severe rebel activity. One more concern for Major Serra Eona as she rode to the manufacturing district in a rented speeder. So far as the driver knew, this woman was a low ranking executive for one of the companies which owned plant space out here. Dressed in a black jacket, slacks, turtleneck and work boots, she looked the part. The security badge around her neck solidified the facade. "Left here, please." The driver gave a nod, peering back at his passenger. Normally he didn't allow smoking inside the speeder, but something about the woman kept him from stopping her. The cold, dead eyes, the apathy in her features...that and more. He followed her instructions, driving faster than usual, eager to have her out of his vehicle so he could get on to a different, more pleasant fare. "Right here. Stop." Serra deposited the credits and stepped out, sending the speeder on its way, a half finished cigarra hanging from her lips. She took a drag as she plucked a datapad from inside the jacket, double checking the information. Kia had coded it well, of course; Serra doubted anyone but the most astute slicer could have found it, and even then, it had taken no small amount of work to track down the specifics. Serra trusted her own work, though, and after walking past several more buildings, she came to a halt at the door she trusted would hold what she had come here for. She knocked, took another drag from the cigarra, and waited.

The door knock pulled him from the novel towards the security screens. The new cameras Kia had installed provided crisp footage that Tonric appreciated, but amidst the puffs of smoke it was difficult to tell exactly who was coming in. Eventually the air cleared framing a woman who belonged in a board room probably the Imperial they'd been waiting on. Tonric did not have control of the front door, but likely someone would let her in. The thing to do now was warn Kia, "Boss, we got a guest coming up."

Kia was sitting, cross-legged, in an open space. A datapadd in front of her, and multiple small data cards stacked around her. The small, slightly faceted wireframe rotating directly before her looked far too much like a ship. Tonric's voice brought her out of her focused concentration. "Huh? Guests? Armed or possible friendly?" She had sent her last message to Serra at least a week ago, and the other's lack of reply was starting to irk her. Softly grumbling about 'Imperial Intelligence' as she tidied up her area.

The door wasn't answered immediately, but then she didn't expect that it would be. Even the most mundane places in this district maintained a certain level of security. There would, at the very least, be a closed circuit feed showing the exterior. Evidently they were satisfied with what they saw, however, and soon enough the door slid open. After a deep inhale from the cigarra, she flicked it aside and stepped through. "Thank you." The badge around her neck was enough for the doorman, no doubt assisted by the simple assertive confidence she carried herself with as she moved past him. It was one of the most fundamental rules of infiltration. Act like you belong somewhere, and most people will assume you do. The only thing that might send of an alert would be weapon detection, considering the harness that kept a DL-18 blaster hidden beneath the jacket around the center of her back, but such systems were costly. She doubted it would be an issue. Once on the lift she plucked a fresh cigarra from inside of the jacket and lit it, waiting for the platform to carry her up to the roof access. So far, so good.

The sensors Kia had lined the doorway with dinged when they picked up on the blaster, and Tonric's finger pressed on the intercom again "She's got a DL-18 blaster looks like she owns skyscrapers and files her teeth with em." Tonric took a portable comm set and rushed to the armory, beskar was probably unnecessary Sith or Jedi were stealthy but not front door stealthy. Patting his holsters he found his own DL-18's at his sides and decided one hidden knife was not enough. Turning off the comm for a moment, "Sarrick" the barked call would have carried through the halls. "*What*!", the sub sonic bark pierced his ears. "Damn it do you have to do that?" Sarrick growled back in annoyance, "Do you?" Tonric shook his head entering the code for the armory. "The Imperial Kia has been messaging is here." Whispering in response eased Sarrick's rankled tone, "Orders?" The Wyrrwulf was likely moving or at least pacing with the excitement he injected into that single word. "Keep hidden near the door, hopefully things go well." Sarrick growled agreement. Inside Tonric looked for some discreet armor.

Kia broke into an amused grin at description, recognizing the 'visitor' from the short description. She had finished packing the datapadd and the data cards with all of her blueprints, tech information, and other things moments before. Queuing her comm, she sounded excited, "It's Captain Eona!! I guess she can still decode messages. Good to know. I was starting to worry." Trusting Tonric to answer the door, she moved back to her room and started packing her carryall again. "Guess this means vacation is over, huh?"

Tonric's comm crackled with audio that Kia was rapidly firing off, "Eona...still worry." A bit of a mess but he could fill in the blanks. "Say her name again?" Tonric's fingers plucked an Armorweave suit slipping in arms and knives carefully. "You worry too much." Tonric smiled expecting her to bite back with something as he stepped out towards front door.
"Indeed I was hoping to teach you more but we'll work it out." One deep breath and his fingers opened the door.

"I do not worry too much! It's Imperial Intelligence after all. Those two words ... together. I've only met two of their agents that do it justice. Captain Eona is one of them. Six *weeks* though. They weren't encoded that much." Kia looked over the room once more then nodded to herself, everything was packed. "Just open the door."

Serra was incredibly patient when the moment called for it, and though there was noise on the other side, she stood and waited, smoking her cigarra. By the time the door opened she had burned the smoke to the last inch and, before stepping inside, dropped it on the floor of the lift and crushed it with the toe of her boot. Her eyes landed on Tonric but did not stay there for long. She took in the room, the surroundings, letting an awkward silence hover between them as she got a feel for the place. Once she was satisfied, her attention returned to the man. "Major Serra Eona, Imperial Intelligence. I'm here for Inquisitor Kaen. It's time she returned to her Master." The words were stated as fact, inviting no question or hesitation. It was clear she full well expected it to be that simple.

Tonric stood aside a small sweep of his hand welcoming Captain Eona. The amount of observation she put into a turn made sense, but Tonric could tell this would not be his main hideaway on this planet any longer. He appreciated the precise way she spoke it made things easier. The promotion was a surprise but Tonric kept his voice even. "Inquisitor Kaen has been informed and should be here shortly." His hands kept folded at his middle away from the blasters, guests should never be threatened or think they are being threatened.

The man was polite. Serra could certainly give him that much. The way he deftly avoided making the blasters seem like a threat didn't go unnoticed. His cool nature was also of note, and while it wasn't the reaction of most to the presence of an Intel Officer, she really didn't expect much less from someone who was keeping company with Kia. "I assume you will be traveling with the Inquisitor? I don't believe we've met." By now she certainly knew who the man was, but feigned ignorance had its advantages.

Tonric's features took on a fierce smile as the Major began her informal interrogations. The plural was necessary because a regime that admired leather the way the Empire had for the length of its reign surely spoke to it's psychology. "I go where she needs me to go, and I'm sure you've done some reading tell me did you find anything interesting?" Tonric found bluntness to be a useful tool in disarming or disturbing his interrogators. Taking it one step further he offered a handshake.

Serra accepted the handshake, the lifting of her brow the only betrayal that he was acting in an unexpected way. It was doubtful these days whether or not the Major was even capable of reacting beyond those sorts of tiny gestures, and even that could be suppressed. The brutal training regimen of certain Intelligence divisions could work magic in that regard. "There's always something interesting to find. Unfortunately, it's often buried under mountains of nothing." Her tone of voice by now spoke to the same apathy that her expression seemed to have on permanent display. She was, of course, happy to play a little verbal game with him, even if it didn't seem so. Such things kept the mind sharp, after all.

The fingers were solid but did not dig into his hand, a good firm grip that conveyed trust and strength, Tonric responded in kind. Her had been subtle and not very revealing but it did attest the degree of control she possessed. Rocking her boat would be a challenge tipping it would be a violent exchange that Tonric had no intention of intentionally creating causing. "The most worthwhile things are often buried deep but properly mined can yield healthy veins." The tone was not inviting but did not call for an end to the exchange either. Tonric's hands went back to his midriff.

Kia took a deep breath, then smoothed her tunic over her jumpsuit, patted the hilts of her lightsabers to make certain they were in place. She was going to miss the rest of the weapons she had been training with, however taking a miniature armory back with her might look... well, odd. She pulled two datacards out of their holder and slipped them into protective sleeves. Her report on what happened on Corellia on the first; the second containing the unedited footage, and her spun version that had been on the holonews. She stepped from the room, palming the lock closed behind her, and slung the carryall up onto her left shoulder. She had been far more relaxed in dress since they arrived at the nest, preferring tank tops and slacks for training and relaxing. Now she looked 'official'. Brisk steps took her to the doorway of the main room, the sounds of voices however made her pause. Were they actually being friendly? She'd almost expected to come out to the smell of burnt ozone and sides being drawn. No. That wasn't right. Amusing but not right. As she stepped through the doorway, blue-green eyes flicked between the two verbal jousters. "I was almost starting to think you were giving truth to the oxymoron of your department. I'm glad to see that you decoded the messages though."

"Mined bare and laid to waste. Resource acquisition at its finest." He could take that how he would, but the statement spoke volumes to the preferred methodology of the Empire's spies. It was a style of espionage and subterfuge that Major Eona had taken to heart. She might have said more, but Kia was appearing, the remark the girl made drawing the vaguest hint of a smirk from Serra. "Majors with Imperial Intelligence have work to do beyond running errands for Sith and their apprentices, Inquisitor Kaen. However, I didn't feel it would be appropriate to send anyone else to contact you. Considering I now work directly beneath your Master, I felt it was best if I came to you myself." Serra glanced to Tonric, then returned her attention to Kia, the turn of her lips falling back into the cold, dead expression from before. "I trust your time away has been productive?"

Tonric understood and stood with confidence he had worked tirelessly to craft a reputation supported by facts, hopefully Imperial Intelligence took facts for facts and did not spin things unnecessarily.

"Major? You were promoted? Congratulations! Wait, you work directly with Master Thanor now? What happened? I was gone less than three months." Her expression went from youthful enthusiasm to one of somber business, holding the two datacards out to her. "These are for you. They are a report of my activities and news footage. I was forced to take both yours and Master Thanor's advice regarding the past." A glance was given to Tonric, not accusatory, merely looking between the two.

Serra took the datacards in one hand, glanced over them, and slipped them into her jacket. Considering how forthcoming Kia had been before, she had no reason to doubt their contents. Besides, she would find out soon enough anyway. "I see. It's for the best." The words were as much comfort as she could muster, which was barely any at all. It was an ultimatum she had known Kia would face since the first day they discussed it. Her own work had bought Kia some time, but nothing more, and that was more of a kindness than she was inclined to show most anyone else. She briefly followed Kia's eyes to Tonric, then shifted to address them both, though predominantly Kia. "You will need to make your own arrangements for transportation to The Interrogator. I have other work to see to after this and will not be returning to the vessel immediately." Serra produced, this time from the pocket of her slacks, another datacard. She offered it out to Kia. "Orbital coordinates and passcodes. Nothing you couldn't find on your own, I suspect, but I felt it was best to make things as easy as possible. Inquisitor Thanor is anticipating your return, and I think we both know her feelings when it comes to unnecessary complications."

"The Interrogator? Not the Warspite? You're not coming with us? I have questions for you though." Kia reached out taking the offered datacard, and nodded slowly. "Official landing codes usually work better than bluffing your way through security, this is true. We will set out at once. I look forward to see you on board."

"Inquisitor Thanor has acquired her own ship. The one belonging to her previous Master, I believe. Seems Sith inherit more than titles." Not that such things were surprising. While this was Serra's first time assigned directly beneath the command of a Sith, it was far from her first time working with one. "As to your questions, well, I have a moment to spare." She couldn't linger for long, but the fact of the matter was that Kia held a certain position that demanded some degree of difference, whether or not the girl was aware of it.

Tonric remained silent. Silence was a peaceful thing, it was also a useful choice that if more people made more often they'd learn more.

"Her own ship? I don't even know where to start with questions. I ... so Master Thanor has a ship now, you work for her on this new ship. Is is assigned to this system as well? Tonric has a ship that can get us up there, if he wants to get it prepped for take off. When did you get promoted? If you're working with Master Thanor are you still officially with Imperial Intelligence? What happened with Jelena, I was taken away from my mission to apprehend her rather abruptly." Another pointed look at Tonric. "Am I going to have to go through a debriefing?" It seemed she still did have the bad habit of blurting all the questions. She was still excited at going home though.

The excitement showed just as much as it ever had before, something Serra had experienced on at least one occasion during their time on the Warspite together. Per usual she patiently waited till all the questions spilled out, and then set to answering them as concisely as possible. "High Inquisitor Thanor is the Commanding Officer of The Interrogator, and I am her personal liaison for Imperial Intelligence. The promotion came with the change of office, something your Master saw fit to bestow upon me due to my assistance in a few other matters. As to Jelena, she is currently in Imperial custody, and no longer a concern." With that addressed, she moved on to their means of transportation, not missing a beat when it came to keeping up with the younger woman's flow. It was a skill one honed when dealing with others, particularly anxious officers. "Tonric's ship should be fine. I imagine you'll want access to a personal vessel. Might as well be his." She had a feeling the two would be difficult to separate anyway, so it made sense to let them move together for now.

Tonric nodded at Kia's suggestion waiting for the two women to finish before chiming in "We are both ready to get underway, and the Shrike can match that within the hour." Silence stretched for a few moments before he added in "Congratulations on your promotion Major."

"I guess we'll see you aboard the Interrogator then. That's an interesting name for a ship. Was it her choice or did the ship come prenamed? That's the last question, for now."

Serra offered a ghost of a smile to Tonric, an expression that ill suited her and didn't seem the least bit genuine, but rather a forced effort at a level of polite discourse she was not accustomed to offering. "My thanks." It was odd, after all, for someone outside the rank and file to offer such niceties. While Serra didn't necessarily care for it, she had no doubt it would suit him well on the ship. Her attention then returned to Kia, the smile slipping away, readily discarded. "That you will have to ask your Master, I'm afraid. I'll contact Inquisitor Thanor once I depart to make her aware of your return." After a formal bow to Kia and a polite one to Tonric, Serra turned, moving towards the door. While she was genuinely interested in what the next move would be for all of them now that Kia was on her way back into the fold, there were pressing matters that demanded her attention.

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