"Captain, two of our fighters patrolling
near the nebula perimeter have detected a GR-75 medium transport. It
appears to be using a stolen IFF and is not responding to hails,"
Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca announced from her position in the
tactical crew pit. She did look up to acknowledge her Corellian
commander, but instead was leaning over the shoulder of the petty
officers tasked with monitoring the movement of the transport. The
medium transport was much slower than the Star Destroyer, and they would
have no trouble chasing it down.
Captain Tiberius Anson clasped his hands
together excitedly at the prospect of engaging a Rebel supply transport,
and he rushed towards the flight control crew pit. "Lieutenant
Sheppard, lay in an intercept course!" he ordered, as his eyes looked to
the viewport where the small transport was barely visible. There was an
opportunity here, however, for something more, the Captain thought ... to
impress certain people with his efficiency. "Lieutenant Ames, extend
an invitation to Apprentice Inquisitor Kaen ... she might find this ...
interesting," he said, with a firm nod of his head before moving forward
to watch the progress of the attack.
"Aye-aye, Captain," Lieutenant
Bethany Sheppard said as she interpreted the data from the sensors to
lay in a course that would take the Warspite in the direction
of the medium transport. The Star Destroyer had roughly three times the
speed, and she was confident that she could get them within range before
the transport could retreat into the nebula.
"It will be done, Captain,"
Lieutenant Allegra Ames announced, before turning to the
communications panel. She began rotating frequencies that she knew the
young Apprentice Inquisitor would have access too. "Inquisitor Kaen,
this is Lieutenant Ames. The Captain wished me to inform you that we are
about the engage a Rebel transport. He thought you might find it
interesting," she said, speaking very calmly, as if she were relaying
any other kind of mundane message.
Kia was balancing, upside down in her
quarters on one hand, the small speaker she had attached to her comlink
crackling to life and startling her, however she kept her balance, the
Force flowing through her helping her to keep her concentration even
when the voice of Allegra chimed through her small room. She sounded
muffled, since she was well ... upside down... "I'll be right there!
Thanks!" She pushed up hard with her left hand, springing from upside
down to rightside up. It was obvious that she had been training, she had
a bit of sweat on her face and looked a little flushed from the exertion
of staying upside down for that long. That didn't stop her from jogging
from her quarters, and hitting the locking panel on the way out, headed
quickly for the bridge, she had only seen holos of this ships weapons
being fired, this should be awesome. Moments later, she emerged from
lift, trying to straighten her hair, then just giving up.
Commander Augustus Hood was
less than thrilled with the prospect of having the Apprentice Inquisitor
present during a combat operation, as he had been brutally whipped by
her master. When he saw the disheveled young teenager emerge from the
lift he froze for a moment. "Greetings, Inquisitor Kaen," he said
coldly, devoid of any emotion, and sounding entirely disinterested. "We
have nearly rundown a Gallofree Yards GR-75 medium transport that our
fighter patrols detected operating with a faulty transponder signal.
They have refused to acknowledge any of our hails and we mean to destroy
her," he said, running down the events that had led to her summons. "The
Captain awaits you at the end of the walkway," he said, motioning with
his hand to point at the Corellian standing at the end of the walkway.
The teenager blinked a few times at the
new person, Kia did not remember meeting him the last time she was on
the bridge, "Hi! I'm not here on any official business, so it's just
Kia. Nice to meet you! What do you do on the bridge other than be an
emotionless brick?" She gave him a grin showing that the smartalek
remark was in good natured fun. "Answer later? I want to see this! I've
never seen the weapons fired live before, this is exciting!!" She was
far too exuberant at the prospect of people dying. Kia hurried down the
command walkway, giving the few people she had been introduced to quick
waves as she passed, even though they were likely too busy to notice.
For a spooky evil Inquisitor in training, she seemed almost bubbly.
In the viewport the GR-75 medium
transport began to grow larger, resembling something along the line of a
potato. This time Captain Anson could hear the teenaged Inquisitor
approach, due to the urgency at which she ran towards him. "I'm glad you
could make it, Inquisitor," he said, with genuine enthusiasm and a
reassuring smile. "As you can see we, we're nearly upon her," he said,
moving aside so that she could get a better view of the transport
through the viewport.
Kia managed to not skid to a stop, and
slowed her pace to stop next to the Captain with at least some measure
of dignity, if she ever had to be up here on official business she could
be all mysterious, spooky and evil. Now though ... two of her favorite
things were happening, ships and explosions. "How can you be sure it's
not a trap? What if they want you to catch this one so they sneak
something else by us? Or what if it's rigged to explode and cause more
damage than just the ship exploding would?" It was apparent the teenager
had a very strange thought process.
"I can assure you, Kia. There is nothing
that can 'trap' an Imperial Star Destroyer," Captain Anson said
confidently, as he began to move the section of the command walkway that
was above the tactical crew pit. "In range?" he asked, alternating his
glance between the transport and the tactical officer. "Kia, has anyone
suggested you are paranoid?" he asked in a way that indicated he was
obviously joking, but his overconfidence did not allow him to consider
any alternatives than the straightforward supply run gone awry.
"Not yet, Captain ... nearly,"
Meham'ohorovi'cloca said without directly acknowledging him, as she was
more focused on her display than her commander. She was able to hear the
Inquisitor's questions, and consider the possibility of the Rebellion
using an obvious transport as a diversion made her quite curious. She
began a passive scan of other ships in the system just in case there was
anything she might have missed.
Kia followed a step behind the Captain,
leaning over the walkway to try and get a better view of the tactical
consoles, she gave Tiberius a serious blink, "It's not paranoia, it's
thinking tactically and like the enemy. That's the only way to really
beat the enemy. Overwhelming numbers mean little if you can't get in
their heads, root around and use what you find against them." Again, she
leaned forward, to study the tactical displays about the target ship,
"So what happens when you get in range, what's the maximum range you can
get a positive target lock, are you sure the comms on the ship aren't
just down and that they're the enemy?"
"When they are in range we will blast
them out of the stars!" Captain Anson said confidently, clasping his two
gloved hands together in anticipation of the kill. He was more of a
hunter than a starship captain at the moment, and he seemed almost
hungry as looked at the transport they were stalking. "Not responding to
our hails alone would not be enough justification to engage them, Kia.
However, when you add in the fact that they are operating with an
improper transponder signal *and* are attempting to retreat into the
nebula I am quite convinced we are dealing with a Rebel craft," he said,
as he turned from both Kia and Meham'ohorovi'cloca to return to the
The teenage Inquisitor in training's
attention was torn, she wanted to stay and watch the tactical situation
unfold, but she wanted to watch the weapons fire too, "You really need
viewports down here, ya know?" Kia straightened, following the Captain
to the viewport again, looking for the craft they were chasing, "So
because they could swap something even a junior tech knows how to swap,
and they are being chased by a giant ship ... compared to them ... and
they're ignoring you.. that makes them Rebels? What if they're just
"If they were truly innocent they would
stand to and prepare to be boarded," Captain Anson explained to the
Inquisitor, before being alerted that they were now within firing range.
"You may fire when ready," he instructed to his tactical officer, but
chose to remain watching on the viewport rather than from the tactical
station. "Would you like to assist Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca with
the operation of the turbolaser batteries, Kia?" he asked, hoping that
she would bombard the Rebel ship as well as she was bombarding him with
his questions. She reminded him of how curious his own daughter had been
at that age.
"I can!? Really? I've never fired a
turbolaser, what if I miss..? Your crew would never let me live that
down. I guess I better not miss, huh?" Kia was positively giddy, quickly
making her way back down to the tactical crew pit, and hopping down into
it, her landing cushioned by the continued connection to the Force,
likely startling half the tactical crew by jumping down the way she did.
"Hi! How do I fire ... actually how do I aim then fire? Do I have to
actively target the ship or is that automated?" The teenager was roughly
five inches shorter than the tactical officer, she had enough excited
energy for the entire crew though.
"Calm yourself, young one," Lieutenant
Meham'ohorovi'cloca calmly stated, in a maternal tone of voice. "Relieve
the petty office at the controls of the forward turbolaser batteries. It
is a very modern and efficient targeting system. It will basically do
the work for you," she explained confidently, when suddenly the
viewports began to flash from the impact of laser blasts. She lurched
forward towards the shield indicators to check their status after they
were hit, but it seemed the damage was minimal. "Shields holding
captain. The weapons they are armed with are designed to be used against
starfighters and small craft," she coolly stated, before shifting her
focus back to the Inquisitor. "It should not take many blasters to
destroy them," she stated, as if she were delivering an unimportant
statement ... she seemed completely unfazed by what was occurring.
Kia yelped as she ship lurched under her
feet, grabbing ahold of the chair she was meant to occupy, "Hey! They
fired at us! Why did they fire at us?!" Quickly tapping the petty
officer on the shoulder, she leaned in to whisper "Boo!" just at his
ear, giggling brightly as she dropped into the seat as it was vacated.
Quickly studying the controls in front of her, she half closed her eyes,
letting her hands drift over the panel lightly brushing all of the
controls before opening her eyes again to watch the viewer before her,
"Am I doing this right, Lieutenant?"
"Kia, the transport is moving close to
the nebula. We do not have the ability to pursue them in their. You must
destroy them before they reach it," Meham'ohorovi'cloca instructed to
the young Inquisitor's shoulders, whom she was hovering behind. Her
right arm came over her, and gloved hands indicated the position of the
firing controls. "By pressing these you can operate all of the
batteries. These here control the forward arc. You'll be unleashing some
of the most powerful weapon emplacements in the galaxy," she said to her
clearly, before moving out of her way to give her more room to operate.
"Thanks for the pep talk, no really, no
pressure or anything for my first time ever doing this." It was more a
mutter than anything, she focused on the targeting screen, letting her
hands settle on the firing controls. Kia took a deep breath, letting the
dark side feed on her fear and anger at being fired at and guide her
movements over the board. The weapons felt like an extension of herself
as she fired the turbolasers in a quick succession. Feeling the ship
shudder with each pulse of energy fired, she knew she hit before she
even looked at the targeting screen once more.
There were vibrant flashes of light in
the viewport as the turbolasers impacted with the shields of the GR-75
medium transport. "Excellent. You are on the mark!" Captain Anson
shouted from up above, squinting slightly from the brilliance of the
explosions that were occurring outside the viewport. It did not take
many blasters before the shielding was down, and the turbolasers began
to impact with the hull causing damage to the ship that caused it to
slow and then drift. "All stop!" he shouted quickly at
Sheppard, so that they would not overshoot the target.
"Aye sir, answering all stop,"
Lieutenant Sheppard replied as she moved her hand over the controls,
to begin the process of slowing the massive Star Destroyer. The vessel
did not stop on a credit, and it took quite some time for the vessel to
cease forward momentum. "All stop," she announced to the Captain, once
she felt the vessel come to a halt.
"Now is the time to finish them, Kia,"
Meham'ohorovi'cloca said to her, as she hovered behind her chair like a
parent. "A few more blasts and they will succumb to their wounds," she
said confidently, as she watched the sensor readouts. The shields were
gone and their hull was rapidly losing its integrity.
There was no hesitation as she let her
fingers flit over the controls, firing another round from the forward
turbolaser batteries, she did not know what she was expecting but she
knew what explosions felt like in the Force. "This is kind of fun." Her
silly grin at having had the chance to fire weapons on a capital ship
seemed completely at odds with the fact that she had just helped to kill
people. It felt like using the explosives had on Esseles, she had been a
part but not the true cause of the deaths. "They won't fire on us
A brilliant flash of light momentarily
flooded the viewports and illuminated the entire bridge ... Kia's
turbolaser blasts had destroyed the GR-75 medium transport. "That got
her!" Captain Anson cheered as he watched the vessel shatter into an
infinite number of pieces following a massive eruption. "Excellent work
everyone. Sheppard, return us to our original position," he instructed,
before moving towards the tactical area where Meham'ohorovi'cloca and
Kia Kaen were located. "Well Kia, do you feel learned about our tactical
system?" he asked, leaning over the railing to get a better look at her.
"That was *amazing*! It was a lot more
fun than the small explosives I've used before. It was so smooth, only a
slight kickback from the weapons actually firing." She grinned up at the
Captain, not seeming like someone who had just helped murder people.
"I'm just glad I didn't miss the other ship!"
Meham'ohorovi'cloca placed her right
hand upon Kia's shoulder gently, in a sign of encouragement and
congratulations. "Excellent work," she said, rarely one to give a
compliment. "Please let the petty officer to return to the station so
that he can resume his sensor scans of the system," she said, the moment
of gratitude over, as she turned to a terminal where she began the
process of preparing the official report on the brief engagement. Even
the smallest of victories were treasured by a high command desperate for
any positive news to report.
The teenager hopped out of the chair
quickly, grinning at the petty officer, "You've got a fun job." Kia
stepped away from the console, looking from the tactical officer up to
the Captain then back again, "Thank you! I let the Force guide where I
put my hands on the controls and it felt so natural, and exhilarating.
Thank you both for including me. It was a good learning experience."
"As always, Inq- Kia," Tiberius said,
correcting himself, as he looked over the duo. "If there is anything I
or my crew can do to assist you, or Inquisitor Thanor, we stand by
waiting to do our duty," he said enthusiastically, with a reassuring nod
of his head. He had seen the power displayed by Inquisitor Thanor, and
he surmised that the young Kia too possessed these ability. He had set
his mind doing what he could to garner good will with both of them to
keep himself and his crew safe from their wrath, which he had observed
to be considerable.
Kia was certain there were stairs or
something nearby, but she was still all giddy from the brief bit of
combat, flexing her knees, she jumped, pushing herself up further with
the Force, reaching out to grab the railing and flip herself over it.
Now she really could say this was part of her training. "Here I thought
you were including me because you wanted to help me expand my knowledge,
not just to do your duty, Captain."
"I do want to help you, Kia. From one
Corellian to another," Tiberius said kindly, as he placed one of his
hands on the small of her back and began escorting her back towards the
turbolift. "Incidentally, I want to extend to you my personal gratitude
to the way the Inquisitorius has treated Captain Trainor. I'm sure that
you are no doubt aware of her history, and I am glad to see her being
properly utilized once again," he said to her, expressing genuine
affection for the Corellian pilot.
"I'm not familiar with it, but I know
that she's Inquisitor Thanor's pilot and that she's always been nice to
me. So in my book that makes her alright by me." Kia let herself be
guided back to the lifts, waving at the people she knew once more, even
to the emotionless brick, "See ya later!"
When the turbolift door closed, Commander Hood stepped forward to privately confront his
commanding officer. "Sir, do you intend to continue to invite her onto
our bridge? This hardly the place for a child," he said, critical, but
still quiet enough so that the other officers could not hear him
criticize his commander's decisions. After his encounter with Inquisitor Thanor the last thing he wanted was their continued presence on the
bridge, where he attempted to maintain a certain level of control that
would not be possible with their presence.
"Indeed I do, Augie," Captain Anson
answered directly, before moving away to return to his position at the
end of the walkway. "...and that is no ordinary child," he said to his
second-in-command with a measure of warning. As he reached the viewports
he basked in the sight of the swirling debris field from the destroyed
Rebel transport, clasping his gloved hands behind his back as he basked
in the glory of the relatively unimportant engagement.