Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Sean Brandt, Christopher Levy, and Jaina Roberts.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:1:19) in the Ringali nebula: Ringali Station.
Commander Derek Atio, Sergeant Reilly Judah, Sergeant Avary Renault, and General Bri Quabil.

Commander Derek Atio was standing in front of a the holoprojector in the command center of Ringali Station. Currently displayed was a 3D model of Corporal Lovora Rikki, the heavy weapons specialist of Tong's Commandos. Next to the image was her vital statistics and service records, which he felt were exemplary. He did not have the time to meet each Rebel that passed through the Ringali Shell, but for those he did meet, it was a particularly painful experience for one of them to fall in battle. But to Derek Atio there was something worse than death ... and that was becoming a prisoner of war. This was not a traditional war and the Galactic Empire did not view the Rebels as a legitimate opponent and those that were taken as prisoner were offered no protection by galactic law. They were often tortured, interrogated, and then executed in horrible fashion, and that was what he expected was happening to her now. He lowered his head as he reviewed Ava's report on Lovora's capture, curling his right hand into a fist and pounding the side of the holoprojector in anguished defeat.

The most fascinating and difficult aspect of serving in the Rebellion was how very different each command was. The layout, the structure, the choice of ships...a hodgepodge of whatever could be claimed and repurposed in the sector, whatever there was enough scrap to support. Sergeant Avary Renault rather enjoyed the change of atmosphere, something he could have never expected with the Empire, but it made finding the Command Center a bit of a task. All the same he did, his uniform impeccable, top two buttons opened in a casual manner that it had taken him quite some time to get used to. The 3d model was the first thing he noticed when he stepped in. The solemn mood and clear distress in the Commander rapidly shifted his own demeanor. It didn't take a genius to figure out who's file the Commander was looking at. "She's the one you lost, is she?" A smooth, soft voice, its accent the unmistakable mark of Imperial heritage. Mismatched eyes moved to the Commander, professional but not unsympathetic. "My condolences, Commander."

"Condolences?" She knew Lovora had been captured but she wasn't prepared to admit that she was dead. The medic had just heard of the unfortunate incident and set out to find out if there would be a rescue attempt. Dark brown eyes shifted between the Sargent and the commander, hoping to discover good news.light tan booted feet moved more slowly toward the pair than they had on the jog up to the command center. A bit of melancholy was present on her smoothed complexion as the realization that rescuing a fellow rebel was probably a low priority on the rag-tag fleet. But the commandos were special...weren't they? Her ideals had been tested in the Empire but these were the good guys, weren't they? She finally came to a stop close to the commander. For once her mind wasn't on his flaws but instead she looked to him for hope or at least an explanation.

Lost was a word that Commander Atio did not want to hear, and given that he was overburdened, the newly arrived Sergeant was going to bear the brunt of a rather unprofessional Tetan officer. "Who are you?" he asked, generally unaware of who the man was, as he shifted his eyes away from the holographic projection and towards the non-commissioned officer. "Well, whoever you are, *we* don't give up in this command," he said, as he moved several steps towards him. He threw a glance towards Reilly, as if to say 'who does this guy think he is?', before shifting his focus back to the man. "Orders?" he asked, as he extended his hand to receive them, wondering which misfit high command had seen fit to send to their sideshow ... or rather, sideshow of a sideshow ... next.

Avary's eyebrows went up when the Commander suddenly rounded on him. The lack of professional manners offended him at first. A brief moment to remember that these people weren't likely trained in proper etiquette went a long way to letting him shrug off the offense, though. The man was clearly upset, and well within his right to be. When another of the rebels came in, also seeming upset by what Avary said, he just sighed, a hand lifting to rub at the back of his neck. This was one of the things he missed about the Empire at times. They at least could accept when someone was as good as dead. The Rebellion was fueled by desperate hope, however, and at times he felt it was a deep flaw. "I apologize if my choice of words offended. I only meant to offer my sympathy. No one likes..." he almost said 'lose' again, but decided against it " worry for a friend or fellow soldier." At the request for his orders he produced a datapad, handing it over to the Commander. "Sergeant Avary Renault. Command felt you could use another hand or two."

Reilly's arms crossed over her tunic covered chest. She glanced at the new guy and then back to Atio. A soft sigh escaped her pale pink lips as the exchange betel the pair commenced. As the conversation between the men continued she was impressed by Atio's comments regarding her missing friend. Could she call her a friend? Could one actually make friends during a war? A slight smile came across when the commander hadn't given up on Lovora. That was the type of thing she liked about the alliance. Imperials looked at their ranks as a means to an end; expendable. A new commando? Well, they needed them. The new guy might even be able to help them bring back Lovora.

"A hand or two thousand more accurately," Derek said, as he took the datapad from Avary, and began to examine it. "Tell me about your last assignment. This is just a bunch of facts and figures," he said, as he turned the datapad over towards Reilly in case she wanted to examine in. "I'm Commander Derek Atio of the corvette Argo," he said, introducing himself, a bit later than he should have. "Next to be is Sergeant Reilly Judah. Medic. One of the last old timers left standing," he said, referring to her rather long term of service in a unit that otherwise had members come and go frequently due to death, transfer, and capture.

The nature of commanding officers among the rebels never failed to shock him to some degree. They were incredibly uncouth and humanitarian to a fault. Such things were, of course, born from the very ideals that had caused him to turn to the rebellion, but in practice they still discomforted him to some degree. The outright dismissal of 'facts and figures' even seemed to leave a slightly poor taste in the Sergeants mouth. Those sorts of details were everything, after all. "Very well. Since my defection I have served primarily subversive efforts on Corellia, among other core worlds where we've managed to make a presence. Admittedly, not many of them. Mostly skirmish battles, hit and run, that sort of thing." At the introduction of Reilly, Avary turned his mismatched eyes to her and gave a respectful nod, then returned his attention to Atio. His mannerisms spoke of the sort of crisp professionalism one would expect from a core world native.

Reilly returned the nod and then took the data pad from the commander. She was used to reading such information and gathering information from it. While she read, she listened to the report of his activities. This made her wonder about others she'd worked with in the not so distant past. Another sigh, this one deeper pressed past her lips. Left hand extended the data pad back to Atio. Her attention turned to the newcomer. She offered a warm smile. "Welcome, Sergeant."

"Corellia, huh?" Derek said, as he looked over towards Reilly for subtle hits in her body language and demeanor for her reaction. He considered her a much better judge of character than himself, and had come to value her opinion on matters more than medicine over the year they had served together. "Welcome indeed," he said, echoing her comment, before shifting his gaze back to the man. "It's a little more hot here, Sergeant. More activity than most of the core worlds, though we don't have much in the way of ground operations at the moment," he explained, before moving to the holographic controls to deactivate the image of Corporal Rikki and shift to the overview of the tactical situation on all six systems that comprised the Ringali Shell. They had recent operations on Rhinnal, which were highlighted and indexed with the necessary details.

At least the friendliness of the rebels was something that could generally be relied upon, and once the two seemed to warm to him a bit, Avary cracked a smile of his own. "Glad to be here." As Atio shifted to the holoterminal, Renault turned to face it as well, the more serious tones returning to his features as a matter of habit. "No shortage of action all the same. Quite a bit of work for a command of this size." All Rebellion commands were understaffed, of course, but the briefing he received before coming to the Ringali Shell hadn't instilled in him great confidence about their capabilities. What he was seeing now, however, helped shift that opinion. The fact this had taken over as the topic of the moment wasn't lost on him, but really, it was for the best. Though Avary understood the desire to see a comrade return safe, that simply wasn't the fate most prisoners could expect in this war.

Brown eyes looked over the data that now occupied the holograph. Her lost comrade may no longer be projected but she had not left the medic's thoughts. But it was time to get to work. Her shoulders straightened and arms dropped to her sides. She tried to have the more casual stance of the rebels but her training was Imperial and it always took over. Legs separated slightly, allowing her more balance. The situation always seemed to be the same. The figures moved but there were always small wins and larger losses. Could they actually win? It was doubtful, but if just the right people managed to get to just the right place perhaps the Empire would weaken enough for a victory. But Reilly doubted that she or anyone on this ship would see that victory.

"We have an operation jumping off on Rhinnal, Sergeant," Commander Atio said, ashe adjusted the holoprojectors controls to zoom in on the Rhinnal system. "We're going to pay a visit to someone we believe was involved in our failed Hutt operation several months ago," he said, as he zoomed in on the capital city of Rhire. "Rhinnal is a cold, world, known for its medical facilities. We lost our safehouse there. We lost our propaganda tool there," he said, before throwing a knowing look to Reilly. "...and we just lost Rikki there," he explained, wondering why they were even going back to a world where they had suffered setback after setback. Like a degenerate gambler they kept going back to the table to try and win enough to recoup their losses, but at this point they would have a long way to go before they could break even. "You'll take Sergeant Correson and Trooper Varrik," he said, as he transferred the necessary files onto a databad. He casually offered it to the Sergeant, as Derek believed the best way to command was to command. He was a veteran and he did not hesitate throwing him into the fray and seeing what he could do and could not do.

Reilly's stance and the way she carried herself didn't go unnoticed. Defectors weren't entirely uncommon, of course, but even still to find another who had enough training to make such things habit wasn't something Avary had expected. He only gave it a passing notice, however, his attention far more devoted to the readout on the holoterminal. "I've heard of Rhinnal of course. Never been. I suppose now is as good a time as ever." It didn't sound like a particularly promising mission, given how poorly things seemed to be going, but then that was part of why he was here. They needed help, and hopefully he could give it. The datapad was accepted and he gave it an initial scan, getting some idea of the operational parameters of the mission.

"Do not underestimate the cold." Her voice became slightly deeper as she began to get more professional. The time for greetings was over. It was time to get to work. "We had several cases of frostbite from our commandos who thought they could handle the extreme temperatures. The danger is as real as any blaster." Far too many of these tough guy commandos cared more about looking tough than keeping healthy. "Our bacta reserve is low, as you can imagine. It means that fingers and nose tips are lost, not regenerated. It gets hard to pull a trigger with missing fingers." Hopefully this one would listen. He didn't seem as green as many of the others who had been assigned to this sector. A quick glance was given to the Sargeant, trying to gage his fitness. She should have brought the med-droid with her. It always scanned those around it for health signs.

"Word to the wise, Sergeant Renault. Best not to argue matters of medicine with Sergeant Judah," Commander Atio said with a soft laugh, as he interceded between the two. "Well, you've heard of Rhinnal, and now you're going to get to visit it," he said matter-of-factly, and rather divisively too one might add. The Commander needed a drink, but he promised the chief of staff that he would not drink while on duty, and limit it while off duty. A promise he had only broken once ... when the report came in that Jelena had been captured. Now Lovora had been captured too and that same urge had come over him. He listened to Reilly complain about the bacta reserves, and was frustrated by the fact that they had recently acquired so much on Rhinnal when the safehouse fell. Terrible timing all around.

A touch of laughter escaped as he took in Reilly's warning. He was taking it seriously, of course, but no reason not to lighten the moment a bit. Avary joined in with Atio's laughter as well. Above all else, Renault found himself looking forward to serving with this command. As desperate as the situation seemed to be for the rebels, the hope they all had for an eventual victory was infectious. Avary was hardly immune to it, and despite the setbacks, these two seemed to have it in spades. "I've learned my lessons about ignoring advice from medics, Commander." Avary was in good shape; slender and tall, a man built for athletic agility more than anything else. All the same, he had no intentions of testing his limits with the harsh climate of a planet. Thermal clothing would be the order of the day, along with whatever else he could scare up to make the frigid place more tolerable.

Reilly's head shifted as she looked toward the metallic floor. She tried her best not to blush and hid her slight uncomfortableness with a quick laugh to match the others. Such things were new to her. Even when she first joined this command, those in her unit were not very casual. Finally gaining control of her emotions, she looked toward the commander and smirked. She had sought him out to ask if there was a plan in place to rescue Lovora but it didn't seem appropriate to bring the subject back up now that they had moved past it.

"*If* you return," Derek began, still hung up on Avary's earlier 'lost' comment. "'ll be assigned a bunk aboard the station. She's not much to look at, but she's all we've got," he said, as he looked at the dim lighting, exposed wiring, and opened power conduits. The station was originally designed for gas mining, which it made it ideal for placement deep in the nebula, but unfortunately the Rebellion did not have the necessary resources and spare parts to properly maintain it. Every once in awhile a bulkhead would make an ominous creak that sent shivers up the spine of the crew who believed the station was about to *go*. Looking around the room, he moved towards something that looked like a terminal, but was actually converted into a makeshift liquor cabinet. He opened the door, revealing a bottle of Corellian whiskey and several glasses that were debatably clean. He extended a glass to Avary and another to Reilly, before pouring three drinks for each of them. "For medicinal purposes," he said, sending a knowing glare in the direction of Reilly. "But more to the point, to welcome you properly," he said, before extending his glass to connect it with theirs in a toast.

The little jab didn't go unnoticed, but Avary took it in stride. The station was a few missed repairs away from deep sixing the whole lot of them, but somehow the crew had managed to keep it together. No matter how much confidence he may or may not have in it, though, the simple fact was that he had no other options. This was where the Rebellion operated from in this sector, and so it would be his home. "Cozy, homely, quaint. Any of those words would do." A little good natured ribbing in return. Reilly's brief discomfort caught his eye as well. The medic was attractive in a familiar sort of way, something that would no doubt help to ease his transition into place all the more. As a matter of etiquette his attention was short lived, however, and soon shifted to the offered glass and the liquor that rested in it. "My thanks to the both of you for such a warm welcome. Here's to many years together." After the clink of the toast he lifted the glass, then drank down the whiskey in a smooth, measured motion.

Alcohol, so typical of Atio. Right hand reached for the glass while she nodded and smiled politely. The clicking of glasses melded with the creaking of nearby equipment. A quick look was given to the commander. He was not supposed to have alcohol at the ready. It was one of his greatest weaknesses. One might say one of his demons. She tried to hide her disdain through her smile. "Yes, welcome and to many safe endeavors." Attention shifted to Avary, her smile getting a bit more genuine. The man seemed to have a core world upbringing or perhaps it was Imperial training either way she felt a bit more comfortable about him than she did about most of the rebels. At least this was her first impression. The glass lifted to her mouth. Eyes glanced at the liquid within. She could smell that it was Corellian whiskey, something she enjoyed on occasion. A quick gulp grout the full contents of the glass into her mouth. As the whiskey slid down her throat it burned.

The turbolift opened and piercing green eyes scanned those present. What she saw caused her to growl in disgust. "Commander Atio! Is this how you run your command center?" Her steps were hard against the creaking floor. The redheaded general moved swiftly and angrily to stand very close to Atio. "You have been warned about this behavior, Commander."

Derek was just about to enjoy his Corellian whiskey, when to his sudden and unexpected horror General Quabil exited the turbolift. "It's ... uh ... medicinal, General," he said, as he literally threw Sergeant Judah under the speeder bus. "Actually didn't even get to have mine," he said, before beginning the skillfully adept process of pouring the precious whiskey back into the bottle from which it came. It was a delicate action that caused him to maintain a steady grip on the bottle while holding the glass, but it was clear from how expertly he performed the task that he had done it many, *many* times before. It was a testament to his service aboard passenger liners before his service with the Rebellion. "Attention on deck!" he yelled, once he realized that he had forgotten to do that, which caused the technicians operating the terminal to all briefly stop their duty and stand rigidly at attention.

The sudden presence from the turbolift had Avary turning to see just who it was. While he wasn't familiar with the names of those in the upper echelon of command, the rank markings of a General were absolutely something he was aware of. Well before Atio called the whole place to attention, Avary had set the glass down and snapped to. Formality and decorum took precedence over any sort of communal bonding, after all. The chastisement that Atio received drew out a rather gentlemanly smirk, if such a thing could be said to exist. It didn't last long of course, and once they were allowed to drop their attention, Avary would attempt to discreetly take the glasses from Reilly and Atio, as well as the bottle, in order to replace them at his oddly concealed cabinet. It was, after all, what one ought to do for a superior officer.

Reilly opened her mouth to object to the alcohol being medicinal but quickly closed it and came to attention with the others. She hadn't seen this general before but that didn't matter. It was obvious that she knew Atio and his issues. Relieved that Avary had taken the glasses, the sergeant stood as still as possible to keep attention from being drawn toward herself.

General Quabil ignored Atio's reply. It was a lie but what was she to do, remove him from command? And replace him with who? "I waited in the hanger. Why was I not properly greeted? There was only a greasy mechanic there! Have we fallen on such hard times that we've lost all sense of procedures?" Time would not be given for the commander to respond, and if he did, Bri had already turned her attention to the pair standing near Atio."You are the new commando?" Green eyes gazed at Avary for a long moment before they glanced at Atio once more. "You will be able to keep this one safe for more than a parsec, won't you, Commander?"

"Yes, General," Derek said, sounding quite different than he did mere moments ago, before he placed the emergency bottle of Corellian whiskey away for safekeeping. "The Rhinnal operation should begin shortly, and then we're sending a team to capture an Imperial cruiser undergoing repairs at the maintenance yards using one of the captured Imperial shuttles," he explained, as he once again adjusted the zoom on the holoprojector to give a larger view of the Ringali Shell. "We'll get things running smoothly again. Especially with such competent assets as Sergeant Renault here," he said, biting his lower lip to keep from offering up a smartass smirk as he spoke that last part.

Avary went about returning the glasses to the place Atio had retrieved them from with all the casual grace and poise of a well-bred core worlder. The General's green eyes were met with his mismatched own, and he gave a nod in reply. He might have said more, but her attention was already moving right back to the Commander. Returning to join the other two, Avary fell in place by Reilly, standing at a relaxed attention, hands folded behind his back. If her question to Atio had gotten a somewhat smug look out of him, then the Commander's reply about Renault being a competent asset had him grinning with recognition of the deftly concealed sarcasm. He may not know Atio, but he certainly knew enough to feel confident that hadn't simply been a compliment.

"And what of the two who were captured? What is your plan to get them back? Her tiny frame moved from the trio of drunks and began to inspect the command center. The rebellion had its flaws but few were more glaring than what she now saw. Perhaps her presence for the unforeseen future would get this place whipped into shape. Right index finger swept across a metallic panel. She was surprised that it was not immediately covered in dirt.

Reilly glanced quickly to Avary and then focused on the general. Somehow she knew Atio would worm his way out of being responsible for the dilapidation that seemed to be everywhere in this sector. Inspections rarely went well when supplies and personnel were lacking but that didn't give the CO an excuse.

"Well, General," he began, before looking towards the pair of Sergeants with some apprehension, as he knew what was to come. "Intel reports that the ISB ship that collected Jelena departed the system, and has not been seen on any of the local systems. We are not currently aware of her location," he reported grimly, wishing he had better news to report. "Lovora, while important to us, is of less importance to them. It is likely a local matter, and presumably they've kept her within the system, or, at the very least the sector," he said, theorizing correctly, as he nodded to the General after completing the reports. "I don't feel we have the resources to either track Jelena or free Lovora," he said, doing the grim calculation as to the application of the limited resources they could offer up at this given time.

"I've read the reports, Commander. Tell me, do you have any children? " She, of course knew the answer but she was making a point. Moving from her inspection, she drew nearer to the trio once again. " Wouldn't you want to know that everything possible was done to rescue one of your loved ones?" She paused as if remembering something, "Do you not think that these two brave young women deserve the same? What is more important than lives?"

"One, General, that I know of," Derek said, as his eyes briefly moved to Sergeant Judah. When Lieutenant Klynn of Alliance Intelligence uncovered the unexpected family ties there it came as a shock to all of them, but it was not something that had been generally made known to everyone in the sector. "Yes, General, I believe I would want to know. In the case of Jelena, I believe her father would already have the answer to that one," he said, referring to her father's stature in the Galactic Empire. "As to Lovora, I can have an assessment of possible holding locations compiled and then send a strike team to the one that has the highest probability of success. There's no guarantee of course, but at least it would be an attempt," he said, sounding reasonable, as his attention returned to a map of known Imperial facilities on Rhinnal including the garrison, Sector Ranger station, Ringali Shell Security Force outpost, Governor's palace, and ISB system station.

Avary stood by at parade rest, listening as the two spoke, his features tightening slightly as they carried on about the two who had been taken by Imperial forces, seemingly within a short amount of time from each other. Hints of annoyance showed as the General focused in on the matter. In his opinion, after all, they might as well be considered dead and lost. Chasing after two individuals when those resources could be put to better use seemed to Avary one of the reasons that the Rebellion suffered so many setbacks.

Reilly shifted uncomfortably when Atio's attention moved to her, though briefly. Rumors. That was all that the idea of her father not being her real father was, rumors. She had a wonderful upbringing. One the likes of Atio could never have given her. And her mother never would have cheated on her father with someone like...him.

"*That*..." Her temper got the better of her. She took in a deep breath before starting over. "That assessment should have already happened, commander." Her tone was still harsh but she was not going to yell. Surely all present understood that the rebellion was about more than strategic victories, at its core was the people that fought for a life better than what was offered under imperial rule. Even if one did not believe the more fantastic stories of the Emperor, each member of the rebellion had to, well should know that each life mattered.

"It will be my next priority, General," Derek quickly replied, feeling as if the air circulator had suddenly stopped working and the temperature in the command center had grown exponentially. "It will be completed as soon as possible. I'll have someone from Intel report on all Imperial activity on Rhinnal. We'll pick the most likely target and strike," he said, with a firm nod of his head, as he looked around the room for any kind of help in dealing with the superior officer ... but there was none. He swallowed again, causing his throat to bulge noticeably against the collar of his uniform. He would need to be on his toes more than he had been, with the General taking a more active role.

"Sir, Ma'am. Not to interrupt, but unless you have further need of me, I do have a mission that I should take some time to prepare for." Sergeant Renault stepped forward, speaking up at the most opportune moment he could find. While the statement was absolutely true, more than this he needed to walk away and re-collect himself a little. For all that he believed in the cause of the Rebellion, this sort of thing still drew out his ire to some extent, and he often found it in his best interest to dismiss himself and take a little time of peace and quiet to remember that these qualities were more virtue than vice.

"Make it so, Commander." It was a relief to hear a voice other than her own and Atio's. A nod was given toward the Sergeant. "Yes, certainly, Sergeant. May the force be with you on your mission." A deep breath was inhaled and then exhaled before she began to move around the room again. There was little need to inspect, it was obvious that more repairs were needed than they could afford to perform. "I will be staying on my ship, commander." She couldn't help but glance at Atio to see his reaction and probable relief at her statement. "Your comma are functioning properly I take it? ...even though you seemed unaware of my pending visit."

"One moment, General," Derek said, as he moved towards the comm panel to check it was properly broadcasting. He took the headset and placed it over his head, listening carefully, but all hs seemed to hear was static. He took his hand and slapped it against the side of the terminal repeatedly until the static gradually cleared up and he could hear the broadcast frequency to the ships orbiting the station. "Comms are operation, General," he said, loudly, as he moved away from the terminal and back to a rigid, military posture in front of her.

"How the hell did you let things get so bad here, Derek?" She dropped the military posturing as her left hand moved to cover her face, head shaking in disbelief. "I'll be on my ship if you need me." She turned toward the turbo lift and sighed, exasperated. "Get this place in shape. You never know when someone might need you to act as if we're at war."

"Yes, General," Derek said professionally, but almost as soon as the turbolift door closed, he returned to the cabinet where he kept the bottle of the Corellian whiskey. He was quick to pour himself a glass, as he needed it to steady his nerves after what had just happened. Once that first sip of whiskey parted his lips, he calmed down, and was able to more effectively set to work on compiling the list of possible locations where they were holding Lovora.

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