Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:6:22) in the Coruscant system: Coruscant (Galactic City: Imperial Palace) and Revelation.
Emperor Sheev Palpatine, Admiral Terrinald Screed, Yupe Tashu, Inquisitor Jessa Thrope, and Prav Ulmgo.

Yupe Tashu, adviser and 'friend' to the Emperor, was waiting in the Imperial Palace on Coruscant. While he was an admirer and even a devotee of the Sith like the Emperor and Lord Vader, he had a less than respectable view of the Inquisitors. With the Jedi a fading memory he saw no use of them, but the Emperor did, and for him that was all that mattered. His aging frame was concealed by a rich and luxurious red robe. Even now Imperial forces were on the march, but the Emperor was not taking any chances and had summoned one of his Inquisitors to advance his Will. Tashu, as gatekeeper, stood in the antechamber, the wrinkled, bony fingers of his hands intertwined as he passed the time until Inquisitor Thrope arrived. He was intent on intercepting her to gleam what he could about the Emperor's plan, which thus far eluded him.

A day like this was exactly what Inquisitor Thrope had been dreaming of. She had been loyally serving the Emperor for some time. Lately, she had begun to feel that her skills were going by the wayside. She had been traveling from planet to planet to aid in crushing the Rebellion with the occasional training from Lord Vader. It simply wasn't enough for her. She was more power hungry than ever, which is why she came immediately to the Emperor's call. She respected Vader, but it was Emperor who held her attention. He had proven that a single man could change anything. She had been trying to impress the Emperor ... and maybe she finally had.

The female Lepi made her way through the Imperial Palace. It had been some time since she had visited the Emperor here, and last time, it was Vader who she came with. The instructions she received this time were explicit: only Jessa was to come. She could have found the Emperor with her eyes closed in this palace. She wanted to see him. She hoped for praise. Inquisitor Thrope did not stop moving until she reached the ancient gatekeeper that the Emperor held in such high regards. She stared at Yupe Tash with her red eyes. *No one* was going to get in her way today. The young Lep was dressed in a black full bodysuit beneath deep purple robes. Her clothing had more of sultry feel to it as the slits at the edges of her robes reached up to her hips. At her belt she held two curved-hilt lightsabers. She made them obvious to Tashu from the very beginning. It seemed that neither had a great opinion of each other. She came to a stop, immediately thumping her foot like just his appearance was a pain for her. "Tashu." She began, "His Majesty has summoned me. Let me pass."

Yupe Tashu glared at Inquisitor Thrope as she demanded she be allowed to pass, but he was quick to step in her path to physically obstruct her. "Indeed, and His Majesty *will* you see in time, but first..." he began, as he attempted to exert his status as adviser to the Emperor over the young Inquisitor. "Tell me, do *you* know why the Emperor has summoned you?" he asked her, trying to press her for more information. He phrased the question in a way that made it seem as if he was testing her knowledge, rather than questioning her. "Before I allow you in to see the Emperor I must make sure you are prepared, for your own good," he said to her, plainly, attempting to use her age and inexperience against her. He was quite the conniving figure, which was essential in those who had gotten close to the Emperor.

Her little nose twitched. Oh, it was going to be like that, was it? Now the man had become even more of an obstruction. She glared at him, calculating how little strength it would take for her to turn him into dust. Ultimately, this man was untouchable. If she wanted to effectively infuriate the Emperor, then hurting Tashu would do it. "No. All I know is that the Emperor said it was only safe for us to talk about once we were together. Why? Are you feeling left out, old man? It must suck standing around and waiting to die." Jessa folded her arms over her chest. She was a disrespectful, bratty teenager. "I *am* prepared to do whatever His Majesty asks of me. He knows that, which is why he summoned me. If you want to be nosey, you should try to catch me after the meeting, not before."

Yupe Tashu scoffed at her insolence, huffing and puffing as he looked upon her positive aghast at her statements. "Watch yourself, *girl*," he said to her, but before he could continue the door to the throne room opened behind him. Suddenly he looked concerned and scurried away from the entrance, back into the shadows from whence he came as if he were vermin. There he would wait, biding his time until the young Inquisitor emerged once more. *If* she were to emerge that is, as many who had entered had never exited.

Her attention redirected towards the opening door. She could feel the Emperor's power. Jessa had nothing to fear today, for she had done nothing but listen to her orders. The Lepi girl laughed at how quickly the geezer disappeared once the doors were opened. She was confident that she'd be seeing him again sometime soon. By the time she departed, she would have the answers to his questions. She slowly stepped forward into the chamber. She immediately fell loyally to one knee. "Your Majesty, I am here to carry out your Will." Suddenly, she was well behaved. This was the kind of respect that she would never offer Yupe. In her mind, she dreamed of all the potential possibilities of such a private meeting.

There was a holographic map of the entire known galaxy on display with depictions of Imperial fleet movements, which showed there were engagements along a vast front in the Mid Rim currently taking place. When the Inquisitor entered a Fleet Admiral bowed his head to the Emperor, flashed a glance at the Lepi, and was gone in the blink of an eye. The Emperor stood with his back turned towards the entrance and therefore had ignored Inquisitor Thrope's entry, as he instead been entirely focused on his conversation with the Admiral and the map. "Come forward, child," he said to her, in his chilling voice, but as yet did not turn to acknowledge her. He did not have to look at her to see her. He could feel her presence from the moment she set foot on the planet. Such was his power.

His power was admirable. Jessa hoped that her progressing training would eventually grant her such power. She rose upon his command and moved forward. Her eyes settled on the holographic map before them. It was an image she was all too familiar with. She avoided looking at the Emperor at first, for she tended to feel slightly star struck when she saw him. Her accomplishments seemed so small and insignificant next to all he had done in his life. Granted, she wasn't dead yet. There was time to strive to catch up. Finally, she looked at him. As a Lepi, she was very petite. She was significantly shorter than most humans, even Emperor. It was an advantage both on the battlefield and outside of it. She said nothing, waiting for him to speak to her when he was ready.

The slightest movement of his hand caused the holographic image to change from a map of the galaxy to the single, solitary planet of Chandrila. His eyes momentarily flashed with anger as he gazed upon it, as its presence had become the focus of all of his deep-seated rage. "Do you know this world?" he asked her, slowly, and sounding as if he was angry. The hood of his robe concealed most of the gnarled features of his disfigured face. He had yet to move a millimeter since she entered his presence. He had yet to turn his head to look at her, but instead was fixated upon the holographic projection whose blue light reflected upon him. As the planet slowly rotated it caused the light to move across his featured, as if it were dancing.

Her nose twitched. Indeed, she recognized the planet the Emperor showed her. She could feel his rage. She already knew the reason why it infuriated him. "It's Chandrila, the planet where that damn Mothma woman hails from." Jessa had to give the Rebels one thing: they were excellent at hiding. Mon Mothma was a needle in a haystack that encompassed the galaxy. "Am I to go there?" She asked him, sounding antsy. The sooner she gained a triumph for the Emperor, she sooner she suspected he'd relay his dark secrets to her. Jessa was unaware of the wreckage that was already taking place on Chandrila. The Rebels *would* come.

"To govern these worlds I selected a politician. Corrupt. Weak. Ineffective. A relic of the Old Republic I wiped away," the Emperor began, as he wove a narrative for the impressionable young Inquisitor. "You cannot have order without chaos. I tolerated his failures as Governor, because the chaos drew the population of these worlds to me," he said, flashing a soft grin that showed his teeth were as disfigured as his face ... the price one paid for the unlimited power that came with evil. "Now it is time to bring order. *You* will find new ways to motivate the Governor," he said, and only then did he turn his head to glare at the young Lepi. "If you allow him to fail me again it will be you that has failed," and as he said those words it was as if the temperature in the room dropped 20-degrees. The menacing figure that stood before her did not tolerate failure, nor was he forgiving.

Her eyes were wide with awe while she listened to his wisdom. For the Emperor, she played the part of an obedient pupil who wanted her mind molded to his perfection. She thought it quite smart of him to appoint a weak Governor instead of having to deal with someone headstrong. She looked at him as he turned towards her. In her mind, she wondered how many limbs the man needed to govern ... none, right? The coldness in the room made her feel like she had no fur covering her body. The Lepi physically shivered in front of him. Jessa didn't like failure. She would do what needed to be done to light a fire under this Governor's rear end. She let herself become confident, standing up straight in front of the Emperor. "I *won't* allow him to fail again. I refuse to disappoint you." She would travel to see the man after the conclusion of her meeting, all the while planning what she could do to 'motivate' him. Who said that positive motivation was the best kind?

A red light emanated from the shadows, heralding the arrival of Admiral Terrinald Screed, who had lost his left eye during the Clone Wars and had it replaced with a cybernetic eye that glowed red. He paid no heed to the Inquisitor, but reported directly to the Emperor, dropping to his one knee in front of the man. "Your Majesty, news from Chandrila..." he began, with hesitation in his voice as he feared for his life. The Emperor had been known to kill the messenger. "There has been a Rebel counterattack that has left several ships destroyed an entire squadron in disarray..." he reported, before closing his eyes, and cringing in preparation for a punishment. "Thus far our attempts to reach Grand Moff Rodney have gone answered," he added, as he never liked the man going back to the Clone Wars, and should one Grand Moff fall another would inevitably rise.

The Emperor listened to Admiral Screed's report, but did not react in any visible way. There was another subtle movement of his hand and the holographic image terminated, which cast the room in blinding darkness. Only Screed's cybernetic eye provided any light. "Why do you still stand before me?" he asked the Inquisitor, with a threatening manner to his question. "Go there ... *immediately*," he added, as he snarled at the woman, before retiring towards his throne. "...and Inquisitor," he added, as he leaned over his shoulder to cast one last long at her through the darkness, which made his yellow eyes seem all the more horrifying. "Apprise me of the condition of the Governor's wife. Stay close to her. Be mindful. When her child is born ... bring him to me," he ordered, without providing any further details. He laughed to himself, before turning to move up the few steps that would lead to his throne where he could gaze out upon the city while waiting for his plan to come together. Despite the setbacks on Chandrila in the early stages he knew the 'victory' would give the Rebels the confidence they needed to fall into his trap. Everything was proceeding as he had foreseen.

Jessa listened to Admiral Screed, realizing that she had *not* been given an easy job. Grand Moff Rodney was already failing. She clenched her teeth so hard that it hurt. It seemed like she didn't need to simply motivate the Grand Moff, she also needed to dig him out of a hole. She looked at the Emperor, stepping back once, twice, three times before he spoke to her again. Out of all of his cryptic words, it was the ones he said last that were most mysterious. The Governor's wife? His *son*? Why did His Majesty want the useless man's son so badly? Jessa simply nodded her head. "It shall be done." Jessa slowly departed feeling confused and furious. She would go to the Governor and she would let *him* feel her fury.

She escaped the coolness of the Emperor's chamber and found herself back in the antechamber. "Old man, come here." She called out angrily. Now she felt like Yupe knew more than he had let on. What were the Emperor's plans for this child? "You want information, don't you? I'll trade."

Yupe Tashu was a man who craved power, but had none of it. All he had was what the Emperor gave him; all he was what the Emperor allowed him to be. The news of a child was news to him, but he would not allow her to learn that he was as in the dark as she. "What His Majesty wants you to know ... you already know. What he does not want you to know ... you may never learn," he spoke to her, as in a riddle as he tried to piece together what was happening. The sending an Inquisitor to investigate a child could only mean one thing ... a force-sensitive. But without knowing where she was going he would never be able to guess the identity of this mystical being. He knew there was more to this than a briefing on the Rebel defeats in the mid rim. Something much larger, much more important was afoot.

His riddle was gasoline on the fire erupting inside of her. Jessa understood it...she understood that Yupe wasn't likely to help her. "What he does not want you to know ... you may never learn." She mocked the man. She was confident that he didn't know all the details to her mission. Jessa crept towards him like a predator. "Why is it so important that I go investigate a child who isn't even born yet? The Emperor sounds more interested in that child than me!" She was desperate to change that. Once she fixed the Governor, she'd steal his child and there would be *nothing* he could do about it. "Tell me this and I'll tell you where I'm going."

"Do you dare question what is important to His Majesty? I warn you ... *that* is treason," Yupe fired back at her, curling his upper lip as he snarled at her like a wicked old beast. "Open your mind and the answers will come to you girl. There is only one reason the Emperor would send an Inquisitor to investigate a mere child, and you already know," he said, teasing her, as he circled around her like the monster that he was. "Now *where* are you going?" he asked her, before coming to a halt directly behind her, his hand raised and his index finger pointing directly at her. He needed answers as much as she did.

Jessa snarled. Yupe was getting under her skin. She didn't question His Majesty, she simply wanted her talents to be used in other ways. The Lepi attempted to make her taller than her four-foot-eight figure allowed. Someday, she would destroy Yupe. He did, however, answer her question in the most roundabout way. The Governor's wife was to give birth to a force-sensitive child. She would be there, impatiently waiting for the child's birth so she could take the infant to his, or her, death. He had given her what she wanted. It was her turn to answer him. "I'm going to lit a fire underneath Governor Rodney ... and steal his child." That was all Jessa said to him. She did not look back at the ancient man, instead, she headed straight towards where her light cruiser, The Revelation, was docked. She only spoke once when she was inside of her ship. "Prav, set course for the Ringali Shell sector. Get me off of this rock!"

Prav Ulmgo, former Jedi turned manservant, had been waiting about the Revelation for his master to return. When she finally arrived he could clearly see she was in a mood that would make it inadvisable to ask questions. He wore the slimming black uniform of the Imperial Navy's flight division, masquerading as her personal pilot to conceal his true identity. "It will be done," he said, in an obedient nod, as he had been well broken in during the months he had spent under her control of tutelage. The old light cruiser had been improved as much as he had, and as he grasped the controls from the pilot's seat in the cockpit he blasted them off the surface of Courscant from the exclusive landing platform at the palace. After exiting the atmosphere of the Imperial capital and ascending into space he turned his attention to the navcomputer, which began downloading coordinates for the Chandrila system. Moments later the computer beeped and he moved his hand over the controls, sending the ship streaking forward into hyperspace towards their destination and their destiny.

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