Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Brandon Barnes, Alice Bee, Liz Dorner, Christopher Levy, Shawn Lovelett, Alexander Oliva, and Thomas Rogers.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:7:11) in the Ringali nebula: Ringali Station.
Sergeant Major Rake Carson, Sergeant Zek Correson, Colonel Zeth Devers, Commander Dillon Hobbes, Major Elayne Passik, Parka Pepper, Captain Dagon Tong, and Trooper Kanner Varrik.

Commander Dillon Hobbes stood in the commander-in-control center on Ringali Station deep within the nebula that dominated the six systems of the Ringali Shell. He was dressed in his pilot's flightsuit with his helmet tucked under his right shoulder. He and the pilots of Blackguard Squadron had just completed a reconnaissance flight through the Rhinnal system, and was in the process of giving his report. "Thankfully we did not see any Imperial Star Destroyers," he began, as he moved his hand over the control that brought an overlay of Imperial naval forces within the system. "Plenty of cruisers, frigates, corvettes, and starfighters though," he explained, as his hand gestured towards some of the larger blips on the screen. "Nothing we can't get a strike team past though," he continued, as he shifted the view towards the nebula perimeter. "Similar to the last operation on Chandrila they've dispersed their forces to both defend the nebula periphery from our forces, while trying to perform a customs interdiction on ships going to and from the surface," he continued, in the type of monotonous voice he only used for public speaking at briefings. "The fewer ships they have near the planet to inspect commercial vessels the better our insertion rate will be," he continued, while shifting his hand towards the two squadrons near Rhinnal itself. "If we attack the forces near the nebula then they *should* pull ships from near the planet, and give us an opening," he concluded, before a scenario he designed played out into the holographic projection to demonstrate what he was speaking about. Fortunately for him, Imperial commanders were fairly predictable.

Kanner Varrik tipped up the bantha hide cap it's flaps knocking back as he took a few steps forward. "Why don't we just blow up tha whole damn customs office?" Kanner asked, he had already gotten tired of hitting specific targets unless they were higher ranked than a Captain.

Parka's voice was audible before she was visible as she approached the group during their debriefing wearing her usual mischievous grin and flipping a few of her platinum blonde braided dreadlocks over her shoulder. "Customs office? How about a few hydroelectric plants?" she sang out, striding right up to the middle of the group and slapping an info chit down on the counter. "A map of Rhire...if anyone's interested," she grinned with a wink. "A few points of interest I think a few of us may be interested in...if you're feeling a bit tourist-y." She folded her arms and bothered to take one small step back. "You're welcome."

Major Elayne Passik stood in the control center listening to her comrade's report on the Rhinnal system. The squadrons had focused their efforts on Chandrila for quite some time. At last, they were going to move on to something else. She plucked the cigarra from between her lips and used the ashtray she held in the opposite hand to snuff it out. She watched the holographic projection offer them an image of the best case scenario...and the one everyone was most hopeful for. She nodded her head, mentally working down a checklist. They had the supplies. The ships were ready to go. While the new recruits had yet to arrive, they certainly had enough power to get the job done. Finally, Elayne rose. She moved toward Commander Hobbes. "Thank fuck you didn't see any Star Destroyers. That's the best news I've heard all day." She said, taking a closer look at the projection. "I think you have a damn solid idea here..." She paused, overhearing Parka's arrival as well as Kanner's comment. She briefly drifted away from the projection. "We're always interested." She said with a small smile. "Tell me about the sights. I'm
dying for a vacation. Hopefully someplace less ... smelly?" The Squadron had their goals. They needed assignments for the ground crew.

Dagon sat quietly in the back of the room, listening to the intelligence debrief while he smoked. The graphics on the holo projector didn't interest him nearly as much as what the spy was there to report. It wasn't even specifics about possible targets, but simply a general sense of what some in the business called The Ground Truth. But apparently the spook wasn't going to get into the finer details of that, and would leave them all to read through the data. The commando leader had little use to sit through a useless briefing when his phase of the operation couldn't be planned before anyone had a chance to look through the intel Pepper had gathered, but having received a separate report, he could at least push his people towards some simple tasks. "Pepper, link back up with the commandos. Get down onto Rhire, and start working access, both human and electronic to their pharma manufacturing centers, as well as key personalities in the companies running them. Short to mid term goal would be access to core manufacture process, and shipping. Any questions, you can contact me, Carson, or Athol." With that, Tong stood and departed the briefing room without another word.

"Now that's a *brief* briefing," Commander Hobbes said, in reference to Captain Tong, who seemed to haunt the corridors of the station, although with his special forces background he certainly understood why. His attention shifted to Parka Pepper, as she began to explain what was going on down on the surface of the planet. He heard it was cold, but had never set foot on the planet itself. As they kept jumping from system to system it was his hope that they would keep the Imperials from ever concentrating their strength and amassing their forces enough to deal the Rebellion a knockout blow. A glance was given to Major Passik, nodding his head in agreement that he was glad there was nothing too heavy there. Mentally he was counting the amount of possible TIE squadrons that all of the Imperial vessels in the system could carry if they were at full capacity. The number was getting so large that he was about to give up and ask his R4 unit to compute it after the briefing.

Parka offered a quick mock salute to Tong, or rather to his back as he took leave. "You don't want to stay and hear my sales pitch?" she chimed after him before turning her attention back to Major Passik. "Well don't get your hopes too's not the greatest vacay spot...but..." she inserted the chit into the data port and let the map load where it flickered to life above the display. "So of course there's those really nifty hydroelectric plants...two of them infact," she noted optimistically. "An old Jedi establishment of some sort, though I'm not entirely sure what kind of shape it's in. I saved a rather in-depth analysis of the real estate market for when we decided if we were really interested or not. Plus you know, didn't want to hang around too long as an unfamiliar face and all." She shifted around the map a bit. "So there's this medical academy here, and of course if anyone was alive 22 years ago, you may recall the great Rhire Concourse of Humanity and History museum and it's award winning exhibit 'Cradle of the Galaxy,'" Parka continued on a bit before growing a bit more serious, which was completely out of character for the typically sarcastic Hapan. "But...what I think you might really take a liking too is the 'Circ', AKA the Circulation Network. It's a network of underground shuttle transport. Might be pretty useful for moving things about," she nodded.

Kanner, the only Alderaanian on the base, turned away, he removed the cigarra from the upper right pocket of the BDU jacket he wore. He light it, and started to take a few puffs before letting out a choking fit since he was not used to this new habit yet he picked up.

Elayne looked over the new map. While field work would never be her expertise, she had been asked to help Commander Xergo while she dealt with a family emergency. Xergo would be able to help make the final plans. She listened to Parka's report. This wasn't the place where she wanted to vacation, but she knew several Rebels who would be ready to join the ground force. She laughed softly at the Hapan's sarcasm. They needed more of that around here. It was far too serious on the base at times. "Well, well, well. It seems this destination isn't a complete shit shack. You've done well. Come and join the pilots if the ground force doesn't properly appreciate you." Elayne said, referring to how quickly Tong had come in and out. "How can we gain control of this network?" She asked, turning away for a moment to grab her datapad and begin inputting information to parrot back to Xergo later.

"You getting all that R4?" Dillon quietly mouthed down to his astromech droid. The last thing he was prepared to do was memorize all of this information. He liked to keep a clear head in the cockpit, because too much information was sometimes as dangerous as too little information. When he noticed Elayne go towards her padd and began talking he furrowed his brow, and attempted to lean over and examine what she was up to. He was always curious, but decided he would just press her for information better. "I don't think our bombers would have much trouble hitting the hydroelectric plants," he said to Parka, as he stepped forward and looked at the map of the city she had acquired. "A well placed proton bomb here ... and ... here..." he suggested, motioning with his hand at weak points, as he considered a strategy. "The more large scale destruction we undertake, the easier it should be for a smaller force to infiltrate and achieve the larger objective," he concluded, with a nod of his head as he looked towards the commandos. He was not sure which group had the more dangerous objective. Death seemed to find every member of the Rebellion regardless of the assignment they drew.

One corner of Parka's mouth slipped into a haphazard grin. "Not a *complete* shit shack, but close," she pointed out. Lowering her voice a little she leaned in just a bit. "And let's just keep my usefulness on the downlow. I have a reputation to uphold of a life committed to being a pain in the ass. I can't have people thinking I'm useful and all," she allowed a playfully curt nod. Turning her attention to Hobbes briefly, her eyes then vacillated to Passik and the display. "I'll work on getting control. Per Tong's request...or order...I haven't quite decided how to take it just yet...we'll head back down, just a select few and do a bit more detailed surveillance, including the Circ network." She paused a moment to exhale and rub the side of her neck. "As for the bombing, sure, easy enough...but I hate to be the one asking if we're all going to grow a conscious at some point here. Those plants may very well be the energy feed for that medical center. If even some of the people being treated there are locals and *not* Imperials who happened to be ice fishing out in those parts, then we risk forfeiting power to an entire hospital...and well...just follow that line of thinking to its obvious conclusion."

Elayne was grateful that Dillon was there. Her head was still recovering from her latest dance with her past. There were far better reasons as to why Elayne Passik would never join with the Rebels on the ground other than her making a better pilot. She looked at him. "If we're going to do a bombing like that, we need to talk to the crazy Y-wing bastards." She said with an exaggerated sigh. The woman brought her hand up to rub her temples. Fighting with the Dancers on her side was a headache. Their tactics, while effective, were so different than what she was used to. Regardless, the Y-Wings had the most powerful bombs. They'd be necessary. Her attention shifted again, laughing. "Yes, yes. If anyone asks I'll make sure they know you weren't useful at all." She smiled, then went serious once more. Parka had brought up a good point. Should they take out hydroelectric plants, they could potentially hurt many innocent people inside of the medcenter. Being a Rebel often required one to forget their morals. Elayne could only imagine how many people...*innocent* people that she had killed. "Okay. Let me know what you guys find out after you get back. Is there anyway we can gain additional information on those hydroelectric plants and what they are powering? It isn't my intention to shut down the medcenter and cause a lot of sick people to hurt." She said. There was supposed to be a line between fighting for the Rebellion and the Empire. (D)

Correson entered the command center, surveying the room temporarily. He proceeded near everyone else speaking on behalf of the current operation. He stood beside Parka dressed in his BDUs, arms crossed while his gaze fell over the map. "Don't think it's wise to bomb the hydroelectric plants. They could be generating power to the medical facilities. Last thing we want are innocent lives put in harm's way. Any chance we could avoid bombing around the area? Find another way to gather reconnaissance, or pick up the network's intel?" He looked over to Dillion, then over to Elayne, acknowledging their presence in the center.[d]

"Rhinnal supports the Empire because the Empire got them out from under the heels of Esseles," a bitter Dillon reported, as he took control of the holoprojector and displayed a map of the old Esselian Empire. "I personally don't care what happens to the people of Rhinnal for as long as they continue to support the Emperor," he said, suddenly making things very personal. He remembered what had happened to his home planet of Fest at the hands of the Empire, which made him intolerant of anyone who supported them. In his mind there was no distinction between the Imperial military and the citizenry who were sympathetic of the Empire. He believed that in order to defeat the Empire's military they would need to engage in a total war and take the war to the civilians who supported and funded them as well. "They need to see that their Empire isn't infallible, and that we can inflict real damage upon them. If we can undercut their support then the Empire may fall sooner," he concluded, revealing his bitter, war weariness. He had seen so much. He had seen too much.

Parka regarded Hobbes tirade with a touch of skepticism, one slender brow arching slightly. "I'm all for socking the Empire in the gut, or anywhere else for that matter, but I'd rather save my vexation for them directly," she started off. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I don't think that proving the empire to not be infallible is accomplished necessarily by taking out our frustrations on a civilian population that is *at best* confused, or maybe even just afraid that if they don't pay whatever homage they believe is due to the Empire, the garrisons will return but this time to enforce martial law. Normally I'm not great at diplomacy, but before we start bombing the hell out of hospitals and other such acts of moral decay, we should attempt a more passive approach. The people on Rhire may have struck an allegiance with the Empire out of necessity, for their own survival, and honestly who could blame them. Proving that the Empire is the better side to be on is the only thing we're going to accomplish if we start bombing civilians," she continued cautiously. "Before we have to make those kinds of decisions, we need to exhaust every avenue, because I for one, am *not* in the rebellion to beat down the galaxy the same way the Empire is. I would *humbly*," the word was almost painful for the Hapan, "request that we hold off on any such direct attack. Let us do our recon mission to gather more intel. We can scope out the landscape in far greater detail including the plants, the old Jedi homestead, the medical center and jeeze, what a travesty it would be if we destroyed a museum...c'mon guys. We are *not* the Empire." Parka inhaled. "Let us see what we can come up with first, and if we absolutely have to, we can get our hands on some diplomatically-gifted individuals who can at least take a more civil approach to testing the loyalties of the people of Rhire before we employ a heavier hand. Deal?"

The war was wearing on all of them. It demanded a lot out of the pilots...out of everyone. She understood where Dillon was coming from. She knew Fest. She knew the story. She wanted to brutally defeat the Empire to claim vengeance for all the terrible things that had happened. She also wasn't going to put her men on the line if it wasn't worth their time. She was trying to keep her pilots, not kill them. The blue haired Major inched away from Parka towards Dillon to offer him her support as he had done for her time and time again. "Deal. We will hold off on a direct attack, but I'm going to need you to get your ass back down there and bring me some news as soon as you can. Time is always of the essence and we ain't got much of it. If you are able to find supplies, retrieve them or make note of them. Find out more about the plants... And bring me a souvenir from that museum. I collect patches." Elayne snickered. The conversation had become far, far too heavy. "Correson, you will accompany Parka's group. Try not to be a pain in the ass." Elayne said. Her hand was already darting into her pants to grab at a pack of cigarras. She plucked one from the packet and began to twirl it between her fingers but did not lit it yet. "Until we gather more information on Rhire, there will be no bombings. Circling back around to what Commander Hobbes presented to us in the beginning of the meeting...that will be our primary target. This meeting is adjourned." She said, sticking the unlit cigarra between her lips.

"Deal!" Parka called out as she moved hastily towards the door. "You just keep your finger off the trigger and I'll be back with patches and details," she said before drawing to a rather sudden halt. "Oh and as far as supplies go..." another mischievous grin crept across her features. "There is a very wealthy young woman arriving in New Aldera in oh..." she feigned glancing at her wrist in search of a chronometer "...very short order and she has painfully philanthropic tendencies to accommodate her bleeding heart for the less fortunate. She's a bit reluctant, but I'm working on that. If you need money and supplies, go cry to her and see how long she holds out. If we have to we can send her in along with that kid that Correson knows, that diplomat from the other night." Parka nodded and winked again. "If anyone can coax a few Imperial sympathizers, it'll be silver tongues and large pocket books." And with that, Parka spun back towards the exit and hastened out. "I'll be in touch! Save me a seat in Hell if you get there before I do!" And with that, she was gone.

Hmmm. A wealthy young woman arriving in New Alderaan? Elayne looked at Dillon. The wheels in her head were turning. "Sounds like an excuse to visit our house, doesn't it? My prosthetics make playing someone's heart strings easy." She said with a dry laugh. In reality, Elayne had faced being tortured at the hands of an ISB officer for six months. She shook her head to remove those cobwebs. "Let's get out of here. I could use a drink." With that, she hooked arms with the Commander and left. Despite the fact that the meeting hadn't run entirely smoothly, it was productive. The pilots had their plan of attack. The ground crew would be occupied until additional information gave them a better idea as to what came next. She left the meeting feeling oddly hopeful.

Correson listened intently to Parka, then over to Elayne. The mission did seem oddly structured, almost no real ground work provided aside infiltration and intelligence gathering; his specialty. Watching others make their departure, his input was nonetheless more sympathetic towards the supposed 'sympathizers' providing loyalties to the Empire. Needless to say, the briefing didn't turn out as he hoped, much less realizing this mission could become a failure before anything could start. He already detected Parka's arrogance, and stubbornness, would cost the task gravely, if not coordinated properly. His elbows fell on the table, while his thumbs rubbed his temples. Felt agitated, much more annoyed over the whole thing. But he insisted not being the 'pain in the ass' Elayne stated, and headed out going back to his private quarters, or collectively scrunch up what supplies they'll take.

Carson had wanted to avoid the briefing altogether, but Tong had insisted that at some point he checked in with the team to ensure everything was going well. Something about it being expected from NCO's and what not. That didn't make Carson like it, of course, but it made him listen. Reassembling his weapon was far more interesting than briefings. So was nailing his dick to a table, for that matter. What he'd really have rather done was get drunk and sleep the peaceful sleep of an alcohol-induced coma, but that wasn't in the cards it seemed. Carson snuffed his cigarra in the last dregs of his coffee and made his way into the briefing room. It looked like he'd barely made it in time, and everyone had already figured out what they were going to do. Of course, he had to do his due diligence. "Any questions, so far, or is everybody clear on their tasking?"

Colonel Zeth Devers lit a cigarra and looked over the information that had been placed in front of him. Seated as he was at the head of the table, he had a clear view of everyone's individual projects. It seemed that there was some debate afoot about whether bombing the hydroelectric plants were a good idea. Devers reached out and grabbed the paperwork, shuffling the intelligence reports and reconnaissance photos in front of him to help build a mental image. Truly, there was something to be said for both sides. Devers was not a heartless man, and the idea of denying power to the hospital was certainly unpalatable, but the truth was they had to strike something. Realistically, he knew what had to be done. Once he'd made the decision, it was irreversible, as he was the highest point of appeal in the chain of command. With that in mind, he had no intention of dithering back and forth. The call must be made. Devers restacked the paperwork, then pushed them away with finality. "Gentlemen," he stated, then nodded to the females present, "And ladies, of course." He took a final drag on his smoke and then doused it in the already overflowing ashtray in front of him. "There really can be no option here save one. While it is regrettable that civilians may suffer, indeed probably will suffer because of our actions, they are actions that must be taken. We have undertaken a rebellion against the largest government this galaxy has ever known. The power upon which they draw is nearly limitless. Quite literally the only way we can even begin to strike at that power is to degrade the image of it. To prove to those who would otherwise accept that the Empire is invincible that they are horribly and undeniably mistaken. This," he tapped the table for emphasis, "is just such an opportunity. To date on Rhinnal, there has never been cause for doubt in the Empire's unquestioned control of its holdings. Its power is unchallenged, untarnished. While we could engage it militarily, they could tell the populace that these are merely pinpricks in the side of a great beast, incapable of ultimately defeating them. They could, and rightly so, tell the populace that we only strike on a small scale because we dare not face them conventionally. If, however, we destroy those hydroelectric facilities, they cannot tell the populace anything, because the entire populace will lose power. This will be no mere inconvenience, and the average citizen of Rhinnal will begin to question not only if the Rebellion is capable of striking the Empire regularly, but whether or not the Empire is even capable of sustaining such basic operations as providing power to its own planets. If they can't defend their power plants, if they can't provide backup power to hospitals and population centers, or even to their major installations, then how strong can they truly be? No, Ms. Pepper. I'm sorry that you disagree with such an action. And Mr. Correson, while I understand your hesitation in taking part in such a dastardly strike, I might remind you that putting blaster gas through a man's head at 300 yards is no kinder death than causing sick people to freeze. Indeed, at least the sick have a chance. Dead is dead, people, and how it happens means little to us. What does matter is success, and the lifting of the tyrannical rule under which we all suffer." Devers paused again, lighting another cigarra. "We hit the plants. That is final. Mr. Tong has my confidence, and I'll brook no argument against his plans as they are laid down. Good evening, people." With that, Devers waved his hand to dismiss them, going back to his reports, coffee, and tobacco.

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