Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Brandon Barnes, Christopher Levy, Jaina Roberts, and Thomas Rogers.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:8:14) in the Rhinnal system: Rhinnal (Rhire: Dagon Tong's safe house).

Sergeant Major Rake Carson, Yekaterina Hanson, Sergeant Reilly Judah, Lady Jelena Rodney, and Captain Dagon Tong.


The first safehouse Jason had secured was an dilapidated store in a bad neighborhood. The storefront was boarded up completely, to include the front door. Behind the wood was a permanently locked security gate over the doors and windows to prevent robberies when the store was operational at night, adding some extra security for the Cuy'Val Dar on at least one aspect of their physical security They all had to use the back door to enter, the back lot accessible via the alley, with three different ways out in a speeder, and a lot of other options on foot. Not the worst place to get blown out of. The interior wasn't any more pleasant to look at than the outside. Mold was on some of the walls, and all of the furnishings were almost splinters from rot. But they still had power, and they still had running water, so compared to some of the places the unit had holed up in, it might as well have been a luxury condo overlooking a pristine beach somewhere. The main room of the store had been cleared to allow for bedrolls and workspaces, each team member having almost enough space to do what they needed to do for their specialty, in other words, you could not prime a breaching charge without elbowing some heavily modified slicing equipment, or stepping into a trauma kit.

One of those trauma kits was opened so that the medic could do inventory. The Cuy'Val Dar had been lucky so far in regard to injuries. Unlike on the space station which was functioning on old supplies. Reilly took mental note of what was available to her within the kit. A few bacta patches, non-pharmaceutical bandages, a few adrenaline shots. Just the basics. Hands clapped together to gain a bit of warmth. The temperature was at least a real atmosphere instead of the poor quality synthetic atmo of the space station. Still, the cold was something to contend with even if Reilly preferred it to the space station.

For the first time it days, Jelena Rodney felt comfortable taking deep breaths, as she was no longer stuck inside of a converted maintenance closet that had been re-purposed into her quarters aboard the converted mining station the Rebellion had been using as its base. Rhinnal was a much nicer "planet than she had been expecting, but had never been there before, as her father had not let her go exploring. As a result, she had only seen parts of Brentaal and Esseles in extremely controlled environments. Gone were the lavish dresses and fashions she had been privileged to wear since youth, and instead she was dressed in a dark utilitarian clothing that had been provided for her ... but without accurate measurements, which made them hang loose on her young, feminine frame. She had been trying to make the most of her situation since her defection, but she did not know the commandos she was now amongst, and from the brief sight she had of them they did not look like conversationalists.

Yekaterina Hanson stood silently next to Jelena, slighter smaller, but with a more defined build as she had been properly conditioned due to her decade of service in the Alderaan Guard. Her brown hair had been carefully cut short before she left Delaya, removing the braids and ornamentation that were traditional among Alderaanian culture. She was dressed in a heavy coat as the climate did not suit her, which was clearly designed for a man, and therefore covered her much in the way a duster would. Despite her service to the Rebellion in diplomatic missions, she had never before been in the field, and she welcomed the opportunity to do something more than stand next to an Alderaanian noble and look the part of a bodyguard.

Carson shivered a bit as he fed another log into the wood stove. Rhinnal may have been an economic powerhouse in the Ringali Shell, but it was damned cold, and this part of Rhinnal didn't enjoy that same economic success. As such, Carson was methodically burning the old furniture for heat until Athol could finagle some power to this joint in excess of what he needed to power his equipment. That said, the safehouse wasn't too bad. It blocked the wind and the weather, and when he got the fire stoked up it at least kept heat. The only problem was the leaks in the joints of the stovepipe, which affected the draft and caused the rich woodsmoke to blow back down the pipe and into the room whenever he opened the door or left the damper open for flow. At least it warmed the place up and allowed for coffee, though, and as such Carson didn't complain when he was blasted with the smelly soot. Sputtering a bit, he slammed the door shut of the stove and poured a cup of coffee. He wouldn't need a smoke for a few minutes, at least.

Dagon was initially more than annoyed when he saw the smoke rising from the building. So much for keeping it looking unused. But with the climate, and the fact that every city in the galaxy had vagrants and homeless, he'd let it go. Besides, who in their right mind, while conducting unconventional warfare without support against a planetary government and the Imperial Military backing would start a smoke signal? When they started really working, hopefully they'd have heat enough the modern way. When he stepped into the main room from the back, he already had a cigarra lit, but doubted anyone would whine, as most of his team had just gotten over it, and the room was already smoky. He took a moment to drop his pack off at the spot he had claimed as his own against the wall, as well as his cold weather accessories, like the facemask, and gloves, to go with his sunglasses. "How are we fixed on medical Reilly?" He asked even as he did this.

The dark haired medic lifted her gaze from the supply kit to look toward the direction in which her name had come. A simple nod accompanied a confidant response. "What we have is usable. That's more than we usually get." Her gaze returned to the medical supplies. She was concerned about shortages of pain control but figured that the commandos would just have to man up if it came to it. As the smoke drifted toward her, right hand lifted the scarf she kept around her neck up to cover her mouth and nose. If she had to die, it did not have to be by cancer or smoke inhalation.

The cold did not bother her as much as she thought it would, largely because she was so thankful that she was no longer trapped aboard that horrid station. Her facial features were covered by a scarf, as she had been instructed to keep her face hidden at all times, lest facial recognition software might give trigger an alert. The polarized goggles she had been provided, which shielded her eyes from scanners, were now pulled over her head and enabled her to see the others more clearly. They looked like a rugged bunch that surely had seem some action, and mostly likely been the cause of some of her father's late nights. She did not think she could relate to them at all and therefore had been mostly quiet since her arrival.

Yekaterina, or Kat, as she liked to be called was envious at the fact that the Rebel commando was smoking, and thought that perhaps it had the added benefit of keeping him warm. However, as a rule she never smoked in front of her charge, as she did not think the young woman approved of it. The gloves she had procured were ideal from the climate, but she did not find herself having much sensation in the fingers, and as a result worried that she would not be able to properly use her sidearm. She, like Jelena, could see qualities in the commandos that showed that they had seen their side of action, and while she did not know, she did assume, that she was held in high regard because of her lack of experience. In all of the years she bad been in the service of the Alderaan Guard no attempt was made on the life of the Senator, and while they trained thoroughly, it was no substitute for real world experience.

"Welcome change. I need you to put together a list of medical supplies or meds that Rhinnal produces that we can steal or raid and pirate to sell off to Black Sun so we can have a steady source of funding." He turned his attention to the two people he didn't recognize. At least for the first three seconds he looked at them. And then suddenly his entire demeanor shifted. No one in the room had ever seen it, so they might not know what was happening. In fact, the only two people in the Alliance who had ever seen it were his Bothan interrogator before he defected, and the general that had offered him his current posting. As calm and still as he usually was, it was slightly more pronounced as he took a long drag off of his cigarra, and while it hung from his lips, moved towards Jelena, putting her just between himself, and judging by her demeanor, the bodyguard. To most people it looked like he was going to introduce himself, his left hand coming up as if to take the cigarra out of his mouth. But instead of taking the cigarra, his hand snapped out and wrapped around Jelena's throat in an iron grip, the flurry of motion absolutely predatory, his voice sounding more like a corpse being dragged across gravel than usual. "Jelena Rodney...You're a target of opportunity in my target deck..."

Instantly Carson saw what Tong was doing and snatched his DL-44 from its drop holster. He brought it up fast on what he deemed was the only target worth worrying about at the time, and that was Jelena's bodyguard. He wasn't intending to squeeze the trigger unless the bodyguard tried anything, but he wasn't about to take chances. As he was slightly behind and to the side of the woman, he didn't worry too much about himself being shot, but it was a chance that she could get the drop on Tong, which was something Rake was not about to let happen. He personally had no idea why Tong would choke the life out of one of their biggest propaganda coups, but Tong was his superior, if not quite a friend, and he'd be damned if he'd side with some faceless bureaucrat over his own people. "Not a muscle, pal, or you'll be redecorating the wall with your brains." He kept enough distance from the woman to make sure she couldn't disarm him or get away too quickly, but in the confines of the room, the chance of a miss was almost nonexistent. As it was, he had about four of the four and a half required pounds on the trigger, the sear almost breaking already. All it would take was a twitch.

Reilly had nodded to Dagon's request. She'd already had a list composed in her head. It was just a matter of putting it on a datapad. As Tong gripped the woman's next she instinctively reached for her own blaster, a simple hold-out, and rose it toward the Captain's target. She swallowed a lump in her throat. Violence was not her thing. She was the one who cleaned up after the violence but she would do her best to protect her own.

Jelena's blue eyes widened immensely the moment Tong's hand made contact with her throat, but despite her best effort to pull backward, he was simply too strong. In her nineteen years of existence no one had ever laid a hand on her ... not even her father whose drunkenness at times led to him getting violent with those around him. An unparalleled wave of panic that started in the back of her brain soon found itself crashing through her entire body and she began to flail and squirm against his grasp. Her snow boots kicks against the ground, but they were designed to provide traction on snow and ice and did little to help her gain leverage against the smooth floor of the safehouse. "Wh-" was all that escape her lips between groans and gasps, as his grasp made it impossible for her to mouth proper syllables.

Kat blinked as the commando leader grabbed her charge's throat, and then flinched as she was taken entirely off guard by what was happening. She had allowed herself to relax among what she had assumed were friendlies, and now found herself under the steady aim of a battle tested commando. What was more the medic was aiming at Jelena, and she knew that if she moved they likely would both be dead before she could do anything of use. "Please unhand her," she said calmly, without raising the tone of her voice, or even so much as offering a turn of her head in the man's direction to avoid giving anyone even the slightest hint of provocation. On her smooth forehead, despite the cold temperature, a few beads of nervous sweat could easily be seen beginning to forum upon her. Shit, she thought silently to herself, as there seemed to be nothing in the way of viable options to extricate themselves from this situation other than verbal diplomacy ... a skill she decidedly lacked as she had been rejected for the diplomatic corps.

Carson took quick stock of the situation. He knew the bodyguard wasn't a threat. At this point, she wouldn't even clear leather before Carson put blaster gas through her brain housing group, and that was the way he wanted it. Jelena had at least another minute or so to go, which left Carson with very little time. He knew that Reilly's pleas would probably go unheard, since Tong and Reilly always bickered about use of force. Likewise, he had absolutely no idea why the hell Tong would try to kill a woman who, by all accounts, had been a valuable intelligent asset to this point. Either way, he knew that he had to get Tong to back down, or at least explain why, so that he could come up with a way to cover their ass. That was his job as the NCOIC of the outfit, and one that he didn't exactly relish at this particular moment. "You," he spoke to the bodyguard. "Get on your knees, place your hands behind your head, and then lay face down with your legs crossed." He shifted his glance to Tong. "Boss, I've never questioned your orders before, not once. I killed 1100 people and had coffee with you afterwards. But right now, you need to calm down and tell us what the hell's going on. Murdering a VIP in the safehouse sure as hell isn't a good way to maintain cover, and if we want to hurt the Imperial government in this sector, killing the Governor's daughter sure isn't going to help the cause. She's got information on him that we can use, and he has to try to do something to get her back if we can prove defection. We kill her, it'll just look like a kidnap and assassination, and that'll breed sympathy." He paused, knowing he was rambling, but trying to come up with good, common sense military applications to calm his boss down. "Rule one of a guerilla fight, Dagon. Get the sympathy of the people. Talk to us boss. Maybe we can come up with a better way, but at least tell me why. If it makes sense, I'll kill her myself."

"Yes! ...Listen to Carson!" Reilly had no intention of shooting what seemed to be a rather young woman. Brown eyes were wide while shifting from the woman back to her fellow commando. Still she would shoot whoever she had to if the situation called for it. Shoot them and then fix them.

Kat listened to Caron's instructions silently, and offered nothing but a firm, but noticeable nod of of her head, before she slowly dropped to her knees with no sudden movements. As her knees made contact with the floor, a shudder ran through her body, as the cold surface caused her to suffer the sudden onset of a chill. "Floor's cold..." she muttered, shaking her head, before raising both of her hands slowly and placing them behind her head as instructed. Letting out a sigh of trepidation she began to lean forward, until she was prone against the floor, on her stomach. Her face was planted firmly against the bone chilling cold floor, before crossing her legs over one another. Although she attempted to remain still, she was unable to repress the involuntary shivers that ran through her body from the coldness of the floor. She was as far from the comfort she knew back on Delaya as possible ... she did not sign up for *this*.

"Your father betrayed my team...ordered a raid that killed them to a man...not for failing an objective...or even disobeying an order...stabbed us in the back...for political grand standing..." The pressure of his grip didn't waver as he stared the girl in the eyes, the fear in hers countered by the predatory cold in his own. "I watched men that were friends...carried out on slabs...because your father is a spineless bureaucrat. I killed people by the thousands for the Empire, turning sympathies away from anything resembling freedom because I uphold my contracts. I complete my missions. Think your father will understand the cost of that betrayal if I send you back to him in pieces, one at a time? How many pieces do you think it will take before he realizes that I turned the entire damned sector against him, crippled his forces on two planets, and wont stop until everything he cares about has been bled out and left to the scavengers in the streets?" His voice didn't raise, he didn't seem overly agitated, despite being obviously enraged.

"Aka sol'yc, burc'ya!" Carson almost screamed it, though it was no more than an extremely forceful whisper. He wanted to yell, but he was afraid if he did, he'd push Tong over the edge. He kept his weapon trained on the bodygaurd, slowly moving over towards Dagon. He placed his hand on Tong's arm, not putting any real pressure, but hoping to bring the man out of it. "Mission first, damnit! We have a job. *You* have a job. This isn't it, boss. Let her go, and we'll stick it to Rodney, you have my word. I'll work all my fucking life to help you bring him down, but this is *not* the way!" He couldn't quite look at Tong, having to stay focused on the bodyguard, and he sure wasn't in any position to wrestle the man. He motioned to Reilly, waving the blaster at the bodyguard's prone form, indicating that she should take over that. Once she did, he'd be able to give Tong and Jelena his full attention. Until then, it'd be all words. "You have men here. Now. We're depending on you to do this job right, not land us in a pile of steaming shit, you understand? We've all lost people, damnit, and we'll make good for yours, but not if we go off half cocked." He paused, not really for effect, but because he really didn't want to have to piss Tong off but didn't see much choice. "And I thought you were professional..."

"Brain tissue can be damaged or die completely if CBF is partially or completely occluded causing..." Reilly trailed off realizing that she was muttering out loud. She'd gotten Carson's message and moved her aim to cover the woman on the floor. Were the Rebels really any better than the Empire? It was times like this that she wondered if she shouldn't have taken one of those private sector jobs. A soft sigh escaped while she looked at Dagon and then down at the prone woman.

Tong didn't blink when Carson spoke the Mando'a phrase, instead his eyes narrowed slightly, and he took a slow breathe. "This is my profession." But in Dagon's mind, he could hear Skritta's voice, and his lost teammates, reminding him what the phrase really meant. He knew deep down that getting to Rodney meant Rodney couldn't figure out he was still alive. If he did, it would make it easier to counter their actions on Rhinnal, and it would give him cause to tighten his own security. Two missions could fail, just by giving in to the desire to hurt the man. Dagon wasn't going to let him slip away, and though he knew Rodney would probably be unstable if his daughter was indeed shipped piece meal back to him, any other action on that target would be made almost impossible. His expression didn't change when he dropped the terrified teenager to the floor, and then moved back over to his gear to retrieve his cigarras and lighter. "Reilly, check Rodney's spawn, make sure I didn't kill her...Mission first. Moff Rodney isn't the Cuy'Val Dars mission. The daughter lives to carry on her idealistic mission for the Alliance." He lit one of the cigarras and took a very, very long drag off of it. A shudder ran through his body, and then was gone, as if the emotions that he worked so hard to keep in check over his own personal reasons for defecting were going to burst out, and then it was gone. Their CO was back, though debatable if that was a positive thing or not.

Upon release, Jelena's body unceremoniously collapsed to the floor, and after one enormous, pathetic gasp designed to suck in the largest amount of air possible, she began to pant like an exhausted animal. Once her body began to receive a steady supply of oxygen she began to normalize physically, but it would take time for the emotional damage to be undone. She was not frightened, as she had expected to be, but instead she was angry ... not at the way he had physically treated her, but at the way he had so callously misjudged her. "If you think there is love in my heart for my father, you are *wrong*..." she chastised him with her first words after she had caught her breath. Her left hand quickly rose to her face, rubbing away the saliva that had formed on her mouth, as she cleaned herself in a most unladylike fashion. "And, although you might find this hard to accept, I am here to help you bring him down..." she said, her voice raising in defiance, as she attempted to rise back up from the cold, uncomfortable floor. She staggered at first, but then steadied, as she looked over the man who had nearly killed her ... and to her surprise he actually reminded her a great deal of her father. "My father died to me the moment he chose to support the Empire after they destroyed our home ... all that remains is a monster who I would gladly see you end..." she said, slapping her hands across her clothing in rapid succession to knock the dust off.

Carson was about to holster his DL44 when Jelena spoke, and then he thought better of it. At that moment he decided that it would be better to wait before letting the bodyguard get up. In a flash, Carson brought his non-firing hand around to backhand the little princess who didn't seem to know when to be quiet. "You shut the hell up. I'm thrilled that you have such noble ideals, and I'm sorry that it has to be so rough, but you just entered the real world, where ideals and practicality have to come together. He doesn't give a two-penny shit, nor do I for that matter, about how you feel about your father. You're an opportunity, that's what he sees. Your father is the enemy. If you thought for a moment that we were just going to welcome you with open arms, even after your work, you've lost your mind. You're still an unknown. What is known is that your precious daddy who you seem to so revile is the target of most of our operations, and if we can get to him through you, we will. It's about balance of lives. Your life, or the billions we can save by winning this war. So if I were you, I'd shut the hell up." He waved the blaster around the room, "And that goes for everybody. This never fucking happened. None of it. As far as our memory is concerned, we all had a nice cup of coffee and talked about how cold it was. If I hear one person bring any of this up again, I'll be on your ass like white on rice. Am I clear?" Once he was satisfied that his point had been made, he motioned to the bodyguard on the floor. "You can get up now, but you'll leave your weapon on the table over there, and you'll stay on this side of the room for a while." He made eye contact with everybody in the room, especially with Jelena. If Tong's eyes were predatory, Carson's were determined. He would, even if he had to kill everybody in the room, see that his threats were made good. It wouldn't take a genius to read that.

"The bruises on her neck say enough...." Reilly said that under her breath as she moved toward the closest med kit and retrieved some oxygen. Cautiously she moved over to the teenager. Her eyes showed compassion. She was not the stone-cold killer that the others were. She thought all life was worth saving. That was why she was in the Rebellion. Softly she spoke to the teen, "You should breath into this for a while." A soft smile came to her pale lips. She hoped it would give some comfort to the teen who had to be terrified...Reilly was. She had heard the girl's words but assumed they were for dramatic effect and that deep down she was indeed scared. If she wasn't then perhaps the girl needed to relearn what a dangerous place the 'real world' could be. The oxygen mask was lifted toward the girl's face, hoping she would take it.

Kat moved her hands along side as if she were about to attempt her pushup, and in one fluid movement she pressed her chest off the floor and back into a standing position. She shook her head in disgust at what had been allowed to transpire here, and her brown eyes took a moment to glare at both Tong and Carson ... the two who seemed to have the most authority. She moved swiftly towards Jelena, helping to stabilize her after the strike, and gave her a reassuring hug as she would assume she'd need it. "I'm sorry," she said quietly, but still loud enough for the others to hear, as she made her point. Once Jelena was stabilized and not in any danger of falling, she moved swiftly towards the table as instructed and opened her comically oversized winter coat. The weapon she had, a surplus DH-17 that the Alderaanians had stockpiled, was quickly slammed down upon the table for maximum effect. Once that was done, she made a beeline for the stove that Carson had been tending to, and placed herself down upon the simple, camp-style chair that was next to it. Into her coat pocket went her hand and out came a pack of cigarras, and one quickly found itself perched between her lips ... manners be damned. Her hands, still shaking from a combination of nerves and cold, struggled to light it, but eventually she was successful and silently puffed away as she struggled to warm herself by the open flame.

Dagon glanced at Reilly when she made her little quip, and didn't say a word in response. Despite not caring the least about Jelena as a person, if his medic thought he was going to suddenly regret his initial intentions, she'd didn't remember him well enough. He smoked quietly, and then looked to Carson, "Where is the coffee pot in this shithole anyway?" It was one thing that enough of the team drank to all but ensure they always had one in the safe houses. He didn't care that the body guard had gotten lax, behind the fact that it meant she was sloppy and trusting, which were both bad qualities in the personal security business, as well as guerilla warfare. Once Rake had told him where it was, he moved to pour himself a cup.

Tong choking her remained the worst thing she had ever been subjected to for only five minutes, when Caron's backhand suddenly emerged to take the top spot on her list. Her tongue moved around inside her mouth and she could taste blood from where her mouth had been cut when it impacted her teeth. What is wrong with these people? she thought silently to herself, as she brought her hand up to cover her mouth while Reilly attended to her and Kat cradled her. This was not what she had imagined the Rebel Alliance to be, but so much of what she had imagined had been formed by the idyllic sensibilities of a young noblewoman in the fashion of a cheaply produced holodrama. This was reality ... cold, harsh, and unforgiving. She still had a lot of growing up to it seemed, and if she did not have sense, it had become clear that those she found herself around would literally knock it into her.

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