Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Jakob Durant, Christopher Levy, and J. Kate Stasiak.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:6:21) in the Essesia system: Kwai and Tenacity.
Commander Tristan Krauss, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Captain Rhiannon T'Jarell, and Flight Lieutenant Randi Trainor.

The bridge of the Victory-class Star Destroyer, Tenacity was abuzz with activity. Though the commanding officer was not present therein, the second in command seemed to be alive and well, delegating orders, checking duty rosters and ushering an intense, professional glare into the main viewport when it seemed appropriate. Currently, the sensors officer seemed to have the spotlight directed upon her, as Tristan ordered the hapless woman to run an active sensor sweep over the Ringali Nebula. "Sir?" the lieutenant replied, taking a small step back. "The readings will be inconclusive. Scrambled, what with all the noise and false returns ... are you sure you want me to-"

"You heard the order, lieutenant."

A decidedly feminine voice broke through the momentary silence as Captain T'Jarell's ready room door swept open, and the woman herself stepped onto the scene. She offered the young sensors officer a lopsided grin then bid her continue in her assigned duties. Slow, deliberate strides accelerated her approach to the head of the bridge as she paused a mere arm's length from Krauss. "You've been busy, Commander." She observed with a smirk. "Don't run them so haggard. I'm not the Emperor and you're hardly Lord Vader. What exactly do you think you're attempting to do here ... impress me?" She taunted him with a widened grin.

As the Captain approached he turned to meet her eyes for but a moment returning to the sensors officer at hand "You heard the Captain," turning back to Rhia he smiled shortly before clearing his throat "Impress you? No, I'm afraid if I were attempting to do that I'd be making a comparison to a shuura fruit, for example." a subtle wink slipping loose as he turned back to Sub Lieutenant Huhtala "she is lucky, you know, that I am not in fact Lord Vader." a hearty chuckle slipping loose as he awaited the results of the scan. A swift glance to the left and right, a check upon the rest of the crews' officers, speaking up so that all could hear "Situational report, now."

Canting her head slightly, Rhiannon lowered her gaze to the tip of the Commander's boots, then let it float up - ever so slowly - resting upon his chest plate for a moment, then finally relaxing upon the man's sober features. "Are we under attack? If not, I suggest you run a passive scan over that nebula, and leave on your break when done. I've got this," she nodded as-a-matter of factly and chuckled, shaking her head. "One day, Krauss, you and I are going to get wasted and laugh over this. Your pants are waaaay too tight in the crotch. The Grand Moff isn't here. Chill out. We run the ship as we've always ran it. Now, get on with it."

Her signal for him to leave was clear and he would not protest, well maybe a little, "Why not go ahead and start early? As for my pants, well they're not as tight as you might think. Whether or not the 'Moff' is here does not bother me and I shall 'get on with it'. Perhaps, you'll meet me at some point, eh?" turning on the heel of his boot to leave he took a couple of quick steps before stopping and once again turning to face Huhtala "Ah, yes, almost forgot...silly Vader in me and all, best to swap that scan over to a passive before I fetch my saber." continuing back towards the exit of the bridge he stopped at the blast door leaving one comment behind "So, how about that shuura fruit, Captain?"

Among the bustling space lanes that dominated the Essesia system, the Lambda-class T-4a shuttle Kwai seemed one of the less assuming vessels. Aboard this shuttle was noneother than the Regional Governor of the Ringali Shell who was en route to the nearby Star Destroyer Tenacity for a surprise inspection of the newly arrived Captain T'Jarell. Without warning, the shuttle began to spin along its vertical axis as the pilot executed an unauthorized evasive manuever. In nearly an instant the small craft had lurched 360-degrees sending the Grand Moff thrashing about in the passenger compartment. The middle-aged Alderaanian grit his teeth in frustration, and angrily smashed his hand down upon the communications panel to speak with the pilot. "Exactly what are you trying to accomplish, Lieutenant, other than spoiling my lunch?" he snarled, while moving to strap himself into the safety harness.

"Hey, you try flying this thing between a bunch of ships all day. I've got to keep myself awake somehow," Lieutenant 'Ran' Trainor replied cheerfully over the comm. "Now strap yourself in because we're coming in hot!" she said, her youthful glee coming over her as she accelerated the craft to its top cruising speed. Her proximity alarms began to flash as the looming presence of the Tenacity began to dominate her viewport. "Shuttle Kwai on final approach," she announced to the flight controller of the Tenacity. As she entered the hangar she rapidly pulled back on the throttle, bringing the craft to an incredibly quick halt with the use of her thrusters. Her left index finger snapped down on the button that began the simultaneous process of raising the shuttle's wings and lowering the landing struts. "We're here, Governor," she yelled through the sealed blast door, rather than use the communication panel.

Claudius let out a tremendous sigh that roared through the rear compartment, wondering why he still continued to employ such a pilot. He was too much of a sentimental and collected people the way some collected little figurines. Unstrapping the harness, he adjusted his olive-grey uniform that had grown quite unkempt from the thrashing about he had just been put through at the hands of the young pilot. As the ramp at the aft of the craft descended, he slowly made his way down into the destroyer's hangar bay, casually placing his hand upon his stomach, which too had been jostled. "Alert Captain T'Jarell to my arrival..." he said, as his eyes began to look over the interior of the ship.

Rhia was just finishing up her review of the passive scan when word came in that the Grand Moff Claudius Rodney had arrived and was making his way to the bridge. Hopefully. Great. Rhia's countenance became a poker face almost instantly as she wondered about the reason for this sudden visit. Perhaps Mrs. Rodney kicked him out of the house? Who knew... No matter; he was here now, and Rhia's ship was seemingly in shambles where the crew was concerned. Glancing quickly to her first officer, she assumed a stoic, emotionless posture. "Commander Krauss, please see to our guest. We must not keep the governor waiting. See that he finds his way to the bridge without further delay and for your sake, Commander ..." she paused to offer Tristan a long stare, as if to punctuate her final phrase, "... do not disappoint me." The last bit was meant to put emphasis on the fact that the Hapan captain wanted to create just the right impression when it came to her command. In private, they could be whoever they wanted to be; but with a high-up Government Official present, they had to be what was necessary: a picture-perfect Imperial crew, without reproach.

Turning to face the Captain as she put forth her best professional effort, he stifled a chuckle, which he found rather cute he would make his way once again back to her side "Of course, Captain, nothing but the best from the crew of Tenacity Ma'am, and I will see to it that we partake of that shuura fruit after all..." with a wry smirk and a wink he was off to greet the oh so esteemed and Grand, Moff of Moffs. Quickening his pace as he exited the doors of the bridge he made his way to the main turbolift, several minutes later he found himself in the hangar bay. Stepping up next to the deck officer he stared down at the man before him "Grand Moff Rodney, have you made contact with him yet?"

The deck officer would render a crisp salute and respond in kind to the Commander "No, sir, but his shuttle has docked, you may check there sir."

Returning a quick salute in kind Tristan would nod and make his way towards the pointed out shuttle on the deck of the hangar bay. His pace quicker than ever as he came to a stop at the foot of the extended ramp he glanced around quickly and spotted the Grand Moff. Snapping to attention and rendering a firm salute as he greeted the V.I.P. "Sir, Commander Tristan Krauss reporting to escort you to the bridge, sir."

The Grand Moff nodded politely to Commander Krauss, his eyes scanning him over with the intensity of a deep sensor sweep. When he was a mere Admiral he attempted to know each and every officer under his command, but now that he was a regional governor he felt as if he barely knew a soul. "Commander ... Krauss," he began, as his eyes returned to eye level and he instinctively rubbed his two hands together in anticipation. "Would you kindly escort me to the bridge? I would speak with your Captain," he said, with a surprising note of pleasantry that might have been unfamiliar to a serving line officer.

Lowering his salute crisply and keeping his hands to his sides he nodded "Of course, your Excellency, she is awaiting your presence as we speak. It will be but a few moments, if you will just follow me this way, governor." turning back towards the way he had come and the turbolift which would take them back up to the bridge where Rhia and their crew awaited them. Taking a couple of steps slowly to ensure that the Grand Moff was indeed ready to follow him before picking up the pace. Several minutes later and they were both stepping onto the bridge from the turbolift. Once again Tristan snapped to attention calling out so that all could hear "Attention on deck!"

Rhiannon had just dispensed with the last of the instructions she had to give to one of her underlings as her first officer's words resounded across the bridge. Without turning, she patiently finished acknowledging the young ensign's report, then dismissed the man, finally pivoting toward the main entrance facing the catwalk. She stood upright, steady and straight as an arrow, her voluptuous frame attired in the dove-grey uniform typical of the Imperial Navy, twin rows of rank plate designations and matching cylinders gleaming across her upper left breast. Her glorious chestnut hair was swept up in a crisp, clean bun that hung inches above the nape of her neck. Her hands were gloved and lightly clasped behind her back as she awaited the arrival of her 'special guest'.

His boots clamored upon the walkway of the Tenacity's bridge as he left the company of Commander Krauss and methodically made his way towards the Hapan captain he had come to see. His eyes glared downwards into the crew pits, hoping to catch sight of some hapless officer or NCO who might make an impression on. To his slight surprise he found everything in order, and no fault could be found by the time he arrived in the presence of the taller woman. "I am pleased to see you have found your uniform, Captain. I had feared you might have left in the Outer Rim territories and I'm afraid the Rebellion have made it quite difficult for us to find a suitable tailor on planet..." he said, in a manner that was both half serious and half jovial. "I trust you and your crew are taking to your new assignment with ease?" he asked, as his hands clasped behind his back as typing during 'small talk'.

"Your Excellency." Came Rhia's crisp salute as she acknowledged her superior's arrival. "The assignment isn't exactly new; the only thing that's changed is geography." Lowering her long lashes, she offered him a demure smile, before offering a wide, sweeping gesture toward the head of the bridge. "Did you find everything satisfactory so far? And along that line, is there anything specific you were interested in, before I invite you to take your ease in my ready froom?"

Allowing his excellency to put some amount of distance between him before finally following in step and coming to his Captains side, professional yet suave, and speaking not a peep unless spoken to or asked for his opinion. Admittedly, he did not like the idea of them being alone in her ready room. This caused some slight pain in the frontal lobes.

"To my mild surprise everything seems to be in order, so far, Captain," Claudius replied, pausing briefly only to glance over the bridge once more. "I have come to speak with you about the matter you briefed me on the other day. Perhaps it would be wise to move to your ready room..." he concluded in agreement, having come across the potential for too many unknown crew members to leak their plot. "As I am a guest aboard your vessel, please lead the way..."and with that he stepped to the side, and extended his arm in a dramatic flourish, giving her ample room to maneuver past him.

"This way."

Rhiannon did not need to be told twice as she walked ahead of the Grand Moff, leading the way to her ready room. It did not matter that he walked behind her; in her culture it was the norm, and if he found the need to admonish her for it later, so be it - she could take any discipline he was about to dish out. Nothing would have made her happier than being dismissed from the Imperial Navy, but a part of her wanted to complete at least one more assignment before she parted ways with her new boss - preferably on good terms. Approaching her ready room doors, Rhia waited until the proximity sensor activated, causing the heavy durasteel slabs part way before them as if they were made of air. Taking a single step inside, Rhia turned perpendicular to the entrance as she waited for Rodney to pass within and ahead of her. "Please, make yourself at home, sir," she indicated with a gesture of her arm as one hand pointed toward the high wing-back chair situated just behind a heavy onyx desk. She would join him as soon as he took his ease, provided he found the arrangements ... agreeable.

Captain T'Jarell's office lacked many of the amenities he had grown accustomed to, as it was an older design and she was of lower rank ... no matter. "Thank you, Captain," Claudius said politely, moving to take a seat on the other side of the desk. "I find as I age that the one commodity I cannot replace is time. So I will do you the favor of not taking up too much of yours..." he began, bringing up his right leg to drape it over his right to become more comfortable. "There are some on my staff who advise against executing your strategy, but I declined to take their recommendations. I thought I would come see for myself if I have made the right decision," he explained to her in the most honest and deliberate of ways. He lowered his head slightly, pausing to reflect on his recent conversations before continuing. "How much time do you need to prepare for battle?" he asked, a highlight of color flashing to his cheeks that was not often seen upon him as of late.

Listening to the Governor speak, the captain elected to remain standing as she was, merely advancing toward the desk and keeping a respectful distance. "I could use a few days to inform the crew of the endeavor we're about to undertake. The supplies I need are all here, so it is merely a question of planning and organization. I am sure Commander Krauss would be very useful to me on this mission, so unless you have any objections, I will have him placed as the head of the task force? I will, of course, oversee the entire operation and keep you informed. The easy part will be placing the charges and getting the nebula and the shielded ships within - lit up. The hard part ... will be executing the action that comes afterwards. If the Rebels are there, then we will need sufficient forces to wipe them out. I can provide you with the placements of various fleet craft as I see it, but ultimately, the final command would rest with you. I don't want to presume anything, sir," she paused for a moment, leveling her gaze seriously with is. "Let us be frank. I am a woman, commanding a capital ship in the Imperial Navy. I can lay in the ground work, but having it all executed properly ... I am not sure that your forces would hearken to my command, sir."

"Commander Krauss?" Claudius repeated, as if he had never heard the name, before remembering that it was the officer that had brought him to the bridge. He had seen thousands of young men in uniform over his career and they all seemed to blend into one another. An officer would have to leave quite the impression to be worthy of remembrance at this point of his career. "Oh yes. Of course. Have him brought in," the Grand Moff commanded, before turning slightly in his chair to look towards the doors. The young man was likely to be right outside, and he waited patiently for the officer's arrival. There were many senior commanders more suitable for the role, and as such he found her choice curious and one worthy of study.

While the two were busy in her ready froom Tristan decided to get down to business, so to speak, quickly he made his way towards the ready room and the nearby food dispenser his fingers tapping on the screen ever so lightly while meandering through an assortment of fruit. Coming upon one fruit in particular, the Avedame fruit used specifically to distill alcohol, he thought for a long moment and it was decided this was the one! Pressing the button he waited a few moments before the fruit was dispensed and in front of him, plopping the bitter and nasty fruit onto a nearby platter he quickly cut the fruit into assorted bits and pieces.

Grabbing the platter with both hands, two forks on the platter to boot, he made his way to the ready room announcing his presence, excuse ready if he were to get his head bitten off by chance, and passed through the threshold. "Sir, ma'am I have brought some delicious delights for you two to debate over." a subtle wry smirk towards the Captain before he spoke again "I trust all is going well?".

"Ah, Commander Krauss," Rhia beamed up at the officer. "You must have read our minds, for we were about to summon you. Please, stay a moment. The Governor has some questions for you so take a seat and indulge His Excellency and myself for a little while. I trust the bridge can run itself without any explosions or other imminent disasters." Emitting a subtle wink in Tristan's direction, Rhia took up one of the free chairs across Claudius, before crossing her legs and turning to her first officer, expecting him to do the same.

"How quaint," Claudius mused as he reached for the fork and decided to sample a piece of the fruit. "I cannot begin to tell you how many of this meetings I have in the course of the day and it so seldom that anyone thinks to serve snacks..." he commented, before placing the largest chunk of the fruit into his mouth. There was a pause as he chewed and swallowed, deliberately taking his time to ensure his control over the flow of events. "Tell me, Commander, have you seen many battles?" he asked, shifting his focus from the man to the fruit ... which seemed the more promising of the pair for the time being.

The request to stay behind left him a little off guard but he nodded in kind "Of course, Captain." venturing over to one of the nearby seats he took his place and folded his hands into his lap. His emotional state turned to one of a stoic calm rather than onset panic from what the Grand Moff was about to experience with this rather shit tasting fruit he'd concocted up just for His Excellency. The first question was the usual, or so he figured, "Three or four years worth now, your Excellency, all under Captain T'Jarell and all of which, if I may so myself, have been the most outstanding years of my short life. I'm sure she would agree." a simple smile was exchanged between the Grand Moff and Rhia.

Claudius' gaze alternated between the Captain and the Commander, wondering if something was going on between the two. "I'll get to the matter at hand, Commander..." he continued, rising from his seat after finishing a third piece of the fruit. "Your Captain has recommended you for an upcoming assignment that could give the Empire it's first true naval victory in this campaign. Do you feel you are up for it?" he asked, canting his head slightly as he sized the man up while awaiting his response.

The follow up question was something he had not expected and took a moment to consider his answer "More than ever but I'd request that the Captain accompany me during my assignment if said assignment were to not take place onboard the Tenacity your Excellency." looking to Rhia beside him "if, of course, she does not object." smiling softly before returning the man's stare.

The female captain merely shook her head at her subordinate, clearly indicating that she did not object. The final word, however, rested with the Governor.

"In for a credit for a kilogram," Claudius reasoned, looking over the Captain and the Commander once more. "Very well, Captain. You have my approval to proceed..." he said, offering a quick nod before moving towards the doorway. "Two weeks!" he ordered, without turning his head to speak at them directly. Much was riding on this decision and he had hoped he had made the correct one, but only time would tell. For now his sole thought was whether or not he would survive Lieutenant Trainor's shuttle ride home.

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