Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:3:11) in the Brentaal system: Darkened Oblivion and Warspite.
Lieutenant Allegra Ames, Lieutenant Bethany Sheppard, Inquisitor Serine Thanor, and Flight Lieutenant Randi Trainor.

Lieutenant Bethany Sheppard banged on the hull of the Darkened Oblivion, her gloved hand wrapping at the outer skin of the ship as she studied it intently. "I don't know, Randi," she said as she dipped beneath the hull of the ship, walking beneath it as she ran a finger down the length of the hull. "It's kind of ... big," she commented as she moved back around to stand alongside her friend. "Big target," she commented, worrying. They were experiencing too many casualties in the system lately.

"It handles like any fighter I ever flew, kid," Randi said proudly as she extended her arm to brace herself against the landing claw, as she entered a comfortable lean. "This thing can take a few hits, but more important than that ... it has the speed to avoid them," she said as she nodded her head at the simple young flight officer. "You're used to flying bit tubs like this Star Destroyer, but this thing has all the moves of a ballet dancer after not eating for six weeks," she said with another emphatic nod. She liked to talk big and exaggerate in front of the younger pilot, enjoying the dynamic of their relationship.

"I realize 'my' ship is hard to resist fondling, Lieutenant." The Inquisitor approached the two seemingly out no where, feeling very nostalgic or perhaps this situation had happened before... deja vu. A piercing gray gaze nearly bore into Bethany as she spoke rather darkly. "I believe I once told you before something very similar."

"Oh. I..." Bethany said as she was caught off guard by the oncoming Inquisitor. She began to slink away, literally fearing for her neck as she moved towards the corridor that would lead to the turbolift. "I...thought you meant...meant just that one time..." she awkwardly fumbled, sinking down inside of herself as she tried to present a minimal target for the woman. She enjoyed very much having a head, and felt without one life would not be as satisfying.

"She's harmless, Serry," Randi said confidently as she watched the young Imperial officer awkwardly move away. Laughing softly, she lowered her head and adjusted the helmet she held beneath her shoulder. "...she likes the ship," she admitted, her eyes turning towards the Inquisitor as they finally made eye contact. "Heard you had a fun time on Brentaal," she could not help but add, the rumor mongers once again spreading gossip throughout the ship.

Serine glanced around a bit to be sure no one could overhear their conversation before she whispered to the other. "Of course she is, I just enjoy watching her cower. It is adorable." She smiled softly with a chuckle before clearing her throat. The way rumors spread around so quickly regarding her, it felt as though she was being followed by a slew of journalist spies just waiting for the next big story. "That mission was supposed to be a secret one. I fear there might be cameras in the refreshers just waiting for my arrival. Seems I can't do anything without everyone knowing." Said slightly dismayed, it was tough being the object of apparent fascination, though she was trying to use it as a means to motivate the officers. "At least the outcome is noted in the rumors. I believe the redecoration of Lord Nam'a'taht's estate was much needed."

"Honey, there ain't nothing that stays a secret on this ship!" Randi explained as she offered a slight laugh in the Inquisitor's direction. "Still though. Cutting that guy's leg off and forcing it down his throat ... did he really deserve that?" she asked as she moved forward, her large blue eyes opening wide as she eagerly waited for a response. She had never heard of anyone killed in such a way.

"I.. uhh.. heh, what?" Serine was visibly shaken with Randi's version of what happened, was that the rumor that was spreading around the ship? How could information get so skewed? She couldn't help but to start laughing due to how ridiculous it was, but she tried her best to stop. "Randi, that is so obnoxious..." Was it really worth it to explain to her the truth? Everyone might as well believe that, it wasn't 'that' far from the truth.

Randi turned her head away slowly, hoping that she did not offend the Inquisitor. Her passenger was quite the topic among the off duty crewmembers of the ship, but only a select few had the direct access that Randi did. Curiosity often killed the cat, but Randi could not help herself. Her eyes locked on the Inquisitor's most distinguishing feature ... the lightwhip. She swallowed, her eyes slowly moving up the black set of armor until she locked eyes with her again. "I've never seen one of those before. How did you get it?" she asked, genuinely curious, her heading moving forward as she wished to hear every detail.

The moment Randi mentioned the lightwhip with any detail, Serine's expression changed to a much more somber one as a hand subconsciously lowered to the metallic coils and curled them around a set of fingers absent-mindedly. "If you wish to know, finish up your maintenance of my ship and we will go aboard. I do not want anyone else to overhear even a brief bit of the story involved."

"Don't worry, Serry. This is the best maintained ship in the squadron," Randi admitted proudly, moving her up the ramp into the interior of the Conqueror-class assault ship. After the training accident at the Vensenor Flight Academy where she was once a flight instructor, she took over the maintenance of every craft she flew, forbidding the technicians from even changing a simple conduit. Once inside she lowered her helmet onto the seat beside her and plopped down, always liking a good story. Her one regret was that she did not have a snack.

The Lieutenant and the Inquisitor shared a unique friendship. Serine felt very comfortable around Randi, as she enjoyed the other's antics, personality and skillful piloting. Inquisitor Thanor spoke to the other informally and entertained Randi calling her 'Serry', which if anyone else even thought about saying, Serine would swiftly kill. "Yes, I know." Serine trusted Randi with her second most prized possession: Darkened Oblivion, and now she was debating discussing her 'most' prized possession... the lightwhip. With a soft sigh, she lowered herself into a chair across from where Randi sat. Despite the comfort of the seat, she looked far from comfortable. "Oddly enough, you are the closest I have considered a 'friend', so I've considered rewarding your curious nature. I don't think I ever told anyone this... I'm still not wholly comfortable with the idea of telling you."

Randi settled in to the chair aboard the ship and her eyes locked on the Inquisitor, feeling very childlike in her presence. It had been years since she had heard a good story. "Aww. Thanks. I think you're swell too ... even with the dismemberment and all," she said as she offered the woman a warm, genuine smile.

She took a slow deep breath then eased it out. How could she even begin to explain things, especially to someone as young as Randi who wouldn't understand the way things used to be. Serine removed the weapon from her side and uncoiled it between her hands, stretching it out to display the finely interwoven metal pieces and leather. "This weapon is called a lightwhip. It is formed with leather strips that are entwined with Kaiburr Crystal and Mandalorian iron. It is virtually indestructible... a beautiful... and deadly weapon." The Inquisitor elegantly toyed with the many coils of the whip, displaying them to the other as light gleamed from its silver-like hinges. "The information on how to create this masterpiece has been lost... nor do I know how to make it. You see, I earned this weapon, with blood... the blood of my father." Her voice was very soft as she spoke these words, eyes transfixed upon the weapon as if she was in a possessed daze.

Of all the rumors and stories swirling around the Inquisitor, none came close to the truth. Randi was dumbfounded by the admission that Serine had sacrificed her father for the whip and her mouth hung slightly agape, unable to find the words that would explain exactly what was she was thinking. "I once had a pet Slice Hound when I was growing up on Corellia. It urinated all over the carpet and my mother made me give it up. But she bought me a really awesome toy to cheer me up, so I kinda understand where you're coming from..." she said, struggling to make conversation after the shocking revelation.

"Heh... ah... Randi. You continue to remind me why I enjoy your company. A normal person would... just listen." A sad smile overcame her features... she never thought about her past unless to use it to fuel her power in the Force, as it was rather painful and infuriating beyond control. "I cannot tell you everything... or I may elevate into devastating fury, but I will tell you mild pieces, but only if you convince me you will not add to the abundance of rumors about me. I don't want to have to kill you, I like you too much. Understand?"

"Nuts," Randi bemoaned as she lowered her head dejectedly. She had hoped to dominate the cafeteria discussions for the next week with the nuggets she was about to get from Serine. Her plan to be queen of the lunch room seemed to have been foiled before she got very far. She sighed, looking up at her and nodding her head. "You got it. I won't say a word. Maybe a puppet show, but no gossip!" she said honestly, her familiar smile never too distant.

"No puppet shows." The lightwhip was rested upon her lap as a hand was lifted to rub the side of her face, Randi, a handful at times, but no one had ever... 'ever' asked her anything regarding her past. No one had the courage or the curiosity that Randi had, perhaps why Serine was drawn to speak to the other regarding it. "I first saw the weapon when I unfortunately had the displeasure of facing the wielder in combat. I had never before seen such a craft, nor did I know how to properly defend or maneuver past the wielder's defenses. That person was defeated by myself and my previous 'Master', but to the cost of our near deaths. After that point I fantasized owning the lightwhip, the power I would gain from wielding it... those thoughts occupied nearly every moment." Eyes were distant as Serine peered right through Randi, as if she was looking at a far off object in the distance.

Randi often found herself fantasizing over attractive men on her homeworld of Corellia, but to each their own, she thought silently to herself. She nodded once to the woman, not sure what she meant by 'master.' The ways of the Force were unknown to her and she was only a young child when the Jedi Purge occurred. Remaining quietly, she hung on each of the woman's words, not wanting to further interrupt.

Hands clutched the whip tightly as visions and memories began to flood back to her after she unknowingly opened the gates by disclosing just this little bit of information to Randi. Perhaps this wasn't the best idea... as she was becoming short of breath and visibly disturbed. "Story time is over, I have business that needs to be done." Said sharply as she stood up abruptly. Serine didn't want this to escalate, but rather just repress the memories, force them deep within the darkness of her subconscious. Looking dismayed, she slammed her palm upon the switch to lower the ramp and waited extremely anxiously to remove herself from the assault ship... as if desperately needing fresh air despite the air in the interior being perfectly fine.

While no one ever accused Randi of being the smartest member of the Warspite's enigmatic crew, she did know enough not to chase after the Inquisitor at this moment in time. So, instead she moved to the cockpit of the Darkened Oblivion and strapped herself into the pilot's chair. Her gloved hands curled around the flight controls and she pulled back on the trigger several times, firing imaginery bolts of energy and imaginary targets as she amused herself.

Inquisitor Thanor stormed down the hallways towards her room, and in her hushed state, occupants would hastily move aside, sometimes all the way up so that their backs were pressed firmly to the walls in fear of even brushing Serine. She was regretting talking to Randi, she knew better... but a part of her... ugg. She shook her head as eyes glared feverishly in front of her, all the Inquisitor wished for right now was some solace in the privacy of her room, to fully suppress these memories.

Waiting patiently outside the Inquisitor's chamber was Lieutenant Allegra Ames. The young woman had been waiting for nearly half an hour, but for someone of the Inquisitor's stature she would gladly subject herself to far more tedious occurrences. As she saw the woman approach, she immediately regretted her decision and lowered her head, preparing an excuse that would allow her to leave the scene as quickly as possible.

It was obvious that the Inquisitor was in a foul mood, and the last time that happened, someone's jaw was broken. Eyes narrowed when she spotted Allegra practically perched by her door, however, she slowed the pace a bit to give her more time to compose herself to be slightly more presentable... as she only assumed Allegra had more information for her. Serine halted right in front of the woman in a threatening demeanor, merely inches away. "Lieutenant Ames, your report better be worth my time." Menacing eyes darted towards her left and right, noticing very clearly the snoopy onlookers presumably hungry for more rumors to talk about over dinner. "Get to work!" She nearly snarled before directing her anger back upon Allegra. "Inside, now." The other woman was all but shoved inside the Inquisitor's quarters as the door quickly shut behind them, now affording them privacy. "Your report!"

Allegra squealed as she was hurried inside the Inquisitor's chambers, having never encountered her in such a manner before. "Milady..." she began, voice stammering as she tried to regain her composure. "I can see that you are preoccupied and the matter can most certainly wait," she explained as her heart began to pound in her chest, fearing that this might be among her last moments. Eyes darted towards the sealed door, suddenly feeling very trapped.

"Apparently it was important enough for you to wait outside of my chambers." Serine had to take a deep breath ... she could see Allegra was fearing for her life and she had no intention to kill that woman.. but if she didn't calm down, an occurrence could escalate. The Inquisitor would have too much to lose if Allegra was removed, being the only person on the ship who was willing to keep her informed. "You have my full attention, Lieutenant."

Allegra swallowed nervously before uttering so much as a word, working to regain her composure before speaking. "Milady. I was on the bridge when I learned that the ship would soon be arriving with the new garrison," she explained, looking down at the ground nervously. "General Zethe has begun preparing his ground forces for a new deployment pattern. I thought you would want to know..." she concluded very softly, her eyes again looking towards the door.

Allegra's words were considered for a few moments as Serine slowly nodded her head. Things such as these were good for her to know, and the Inquisitor was still unsure and angered by the fact that the Admiral insisted on keeping her in the dark with nearly everything. The last thing Serine wanted was to lose her eyes and ears on the ship... meaning Allegra. "You did well, thank you." Trying her best to sooth the nervousness the other was experiencing, if the Lieutenant was too fearful to come to Serine, she would lose a vital source. "Is this garrison going to be deployed upon Brentaal IV?"

"Yes, Milady," Allegra said as she nodded her head to the Inquisitor. "I am not sure where it will be, deployed, however as Rebel activity has most been detected in the city of Cormond," she continued, having been spending more time than she could stand with Meham'ohorovi'cloca as of late to pick up pieces of information that she could trade for status with the Inquisitor.

This was actually good news, finally it appeared that the Admiral was growing some... teeth, but why didn't he just tell her that? It was aggravating. Miscommunication was removing her effectiveness, she couldn't even express her disdain to Claudius enough, he already knew and purposely denied her information. Satisfied, she stepped aside from the door to allow Allegra access to leave, no longer trapping the poor girl in like prey. "You are vital to my operations on this ship, that won't go unrewarded."

"Thank you, Milady," Allegra said with an obedient nod, hurrying from the Inquisitor's chambers at the fastest speed that would not be offensive. Once she cleared the threshold, she let out a massive sigh before a cunning grin formed on her face. She had survived, and she was moving up. Things finally seemed to be moving in her direction, which would only inspire her to do more.

After Allegra removed herself from Serine's chambers, her entire demeanor changed, she sighed softly as she leaned up against the back of the door, staring quietly at the floor before her, lost in thought. A right hand absent-mindedly fell to her lightwhip due to habit, that was coiled in a loop that hung from her side. As her fingers brushed against the cool iron, she recoiled her hand instantly as if she were in pain... but not physically, instead due to mental anguish. The whip was snapped up in her hands and tossed upon her bed as she turned away from it. She had sold her soul for that weapon, and although she never regretted it, not once... today she... just rather be without it for awhile.

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