Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy and Brian Peterson.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:7:29) in the Essesia system: Retributor.
Commander Ilydia Sephyri, Ensign Bethany Sheppard, and Major Reek Trolg.

Commander Ilydia Sephyri was half asleep as her Seinar Fleet Systems TIE/D Defender was nearing the end of it's cruise through hyperspace. She had been at the mercy of the ships navigation computer for roughly the last 3 hours as she made way to her new duty station aboard the SSD Retributor. It was roughly three minutes past 0900 hours according to the galactic standard. She had been stirred from her slumber early that morning to immediately deploy to the Executor-class Star Dreadnought. Something that she had done several times before in the past, but for some reason still wasn't quite used to. She had roughly 80% of her belongings stowed away in the TIE/D's hold, she always ended up leaving something behind. She was also running on about 2.5 hours of sleep. Something else she has a great deal of experience with, but still wasn't quite used to.

A short tone signaled from her nav computer. She glanced down at the displays in front of her and checked the information displayed to her. She still had another 40 minutes before she reached her destination. She took the moment to review her transfer orders on her knee-board; a specialized data-pad pilots wore on either of their legs to quickly access material that isn't necessarily stored on the shipboard computer.

Attn: Cmdr Ilydia Sephyri

Effective immediately you are to disembark from *Redacted* and transfer to the 219th Fighter Wing aboard the SSD Retributor. You are to report to Major Reek Trolg for further instruction upon arrival.

This is a permanent duty station, take only personal effects and items necessary. As per guidelines, previous assignments and duties are classified.

It has been an honor and privilege to fly with such a talented pilot. Good luck in your future endeavors aboard the SSD Retributor.


She thought it funny how the brass tended to make even the messages intended for her almost impossible to read with all the classified information blocked out. She had the necessary security clearance. But safeguards are safeguards. She chuckled a bit to herself as she looked back over her nav system and checked on the status of her ship.

Sephyri was a natural born pilot. She was born and raised on Corellia, her father and mother both being pilots for the Empire in it's many forms over the years. Ever since she was a child she dreamed of piloting a star fighter and dancing amidst the stars in a fury of lasers and acrobatic crescendo. And she got her wish at the age of 19 when she was hand picked by an Imperial Officer who approached her after she won a aerial race over a desert on her home world. Whilst her parents had fairly humble aspirations, and never did much more than fly cargo haulers or transports of some kind, Ilydia had a fire in her, and she wanted to prove to everyone she was the best pilot in the galaxy. After she graduated the Imperial Academy, she was quickly assigned to a garrison on a backwater world, where she feared she would never see combat. Her wish was granted about a month into her assignment when some of the first uprisings of the Rebel's came to turn away the Empire. She shot down five enemy ships that day, effectively making her an "Ace" pilot over night. In the years since, she has proven herself time and again of her skill and prowess, making her one of the deadliest pilots the Empire has ever seen.

An alarm tone sounded off, stirring Ilydia from a slumber she hadn't realized she was in. She scrambled to check her nav system and controls as the computer showed a timer counting down the time until exiting hyperspace. A mere 20 seconds later the bright continuous bars of light illuminating her cockpit dissolved to reveal the black of space. Broken only by the pin holes of light that were the stars beyond. Off to her right, relative to where she looked, she could see it. The SSD Retributor was only about 50 kilometers away, but even at the distance, the ship was massive. This would be the first time she served aboard a Executor-class ship, and she was immediately impressed. She whistled as she brought the nose of her TIE/D to bear, and opened up her communications channel. Hailing the port officer.

"This is Commander Ilydia Sephyri on transfer to 219th Fighter Wing. Requesting Landing Clearance." She spoke plainly, and clearly. Her helmet giving her voice a sort of muffled and terse tone. The TIE/D Defender's were not pressurized, and thus like those who flew the TIE/Ln or TIE/IN She had to wear a pressurized flight suit, much akin to those who fly the former.

The Port Officer came back through on the radio, "Copy that Commander, please direct your craft to approach vector two-niner-zero and transmit auth codes, maintain holding pattern until clearance authorized."

"Roger control" Ilydia responded as she quickly rifled through her comm system's interface and punched in a series of numbers. She jammed the transmit button with a fierce tenacity. After about 20 seconds the screen lit up green with a confirmation message and the port officer came back through on the radio. "Commander Sephyri, codes authorized. You are cleared to land in Hangar Bay Zero-Four. Confirm, Over."

"Copy that control. I am inbound to land at hangar zero-four. Thank you and have a pleasant day." She spoke and turned her craft accordingly, making her away along the port side of the Retributor until she dipped below it's lateral edge and the hangar's came into view.

A few minutes later, she had piloted her craft into the hangar and docked with one of the hangar's gantry's designed specifically to hold TIE Fighters. Since the craft didn't have traditional landing gear, they had to be held by a sort of rack system. As her craft was locked into place a platform lowered to fit around the hatch on top of the TIE/D's cockpit pod. Ilydia took a moment to shut down all of her ship's systems and then removed her helmet. The light from inside the hangar poured over her face, and as her auburn hair fell from the helmet's grasp it glistened. Her hair settled in a mess just past her shoulders as she set her helmet down in front of her. She removed her gloves and took a moment to quickly tie her hair into lazy pony tail before doing a quick scan around her cockpit. Satisfied for the time being, she removed her seat harness and unlocked the hatch above her.

Now free from the confines of her ship, she was standing on the platform looking about the cavernous hangar she just docked in. She was only 167 centimeters tall, and despite being short as it were, she felt even tinier inside this hangar. She was amazed by it's size, and the thought that were more hangars just like this on this ship, blew her away. Once collected, "Major Reek Trolg" she said to herself, as two crew chiefs approached her. One of them hearing her and pointing towards the hangar floor. She nodded, and started towards the nearest elevator she could find. Once on the hangar floor, she spotted a man standing alone near a large door. He was wearing a Major's insignia so that had to be him she though to herself as she marched intently across the glossy black floor. She looked around as she walked noting the scurried masses of crew chiefs, storm troopers, ships and otherwise darting around the hangar. This was a very active ship.

She came up to the Major and quickly snapped to attention and saluted before he had the opportunity to say a word. "Commander Ilydia Sephyri, Reporting for Duty, Sir!" she exclaimed. "Would you be Major Reek Trolg? I am to report to him, Sir!"

The 219th Fighter Wing was a prestigious assignment. Not only was it assigned to one of the new Executor-class Star Dreadnaughts, but was also the favored unit of one of a handful of the Emperor's Grand Moffs. Perhaps no officer exemplified the pride in the billet than Major Reek Trolg, who commanded one of the two fighter groups that was assigned to the wing. Having been bombed by the Rebellion during a dinner on Esseles he had only recently returned to flight status after a difficult rehab. In the interim his unit continued to suffer losses to the numerically inferior, but technologically superior Rebel starfighters. His TIE Fighters could not compete with the X-wings, and even the TIE Interceptors were being outclassed by A-wings. Even the old Y-wings were giving his pilots trouble. The Rebels were fighting for an idea, while his pilots were flying for a paycheck. Ultimately, that was the problem he could not compete with. Each time he lost a pilot they were replaced by a fresh recruit that did not last long, while the Rebel pilots became more experienced with every skirmish. Therefore, he had mixed feelings about the arrival of a TIE Defender squadron. While he believed in the technological superiority of the vessel, he worried that the pilots relied too much on that advantage, and were not prepared for the kind of opposition they would be dealing with here in the Ringali Shell.

When he heard the young, female officer address him he was surprised. The squadron was not due in for hours, and she was not the squadron commander. "Yes. I'm Major Trolg," he replied, confirming her suspicions, as he began sizing her up. "And you're early," he added, as he took two steps closer towards her. "Orders?" he asked, before reaching out to take the data disk that was encoded with her record. Entering it into his datapad he can began to review what was there, but there was not much. Imperial records were remarkably sparse and highly classified. "Welcome to the 219th," he told her, without going into much in terms of pleasantries. "There are a lot of pilots stationed aboard the support ships that would relish the opportunity to serve in this unit, aboard this ship. I hope you appreciate it, Commander," he said, with a firm nod of his head. "Get your gear. The droid will show you to the barracks," he informed her, as he moved his foot in the direction of the MSE-6 droid at his feet.

Ensign Bethany Sheppard, the helmsman of the massive Executor-class Star Destroyer, was on the bridge when she overheard the transmission that a TIE Defender was inbound. "Hey, Allegra ... cover me," she said, as she moved from her terminal in the crew pit on the command ship in the vessel's expansive bridge. Ascending from the pit she hurried towards the nearest turbolift, checking the chrono as she did, to mentally determine how long she could be gone before she would be noticed. "C'mon. C'mon," she complained, as she repeatedly hit the button on the control panel of the lift that would bring her to the hangar. She grit her teeth anxiously, as her booted feet began to rise up and down nervously. When the turbolift finally arrived at the hangar bay, she pushed her way through a crowd of pilots, officers, and technicians and moved towards the newly arrived TIE Defender. "Wow!" she exclaimed, as she had never seen one in person. She wanted to qualify for the Flight branch, as piloting a fighter was much more fulfilling than programming coordinates on a sluggish vessel. However, while attempting to transfer from her academy to the Vensenor the officer handling her application requested a sexual favor, which she declined. As an result she was blackballed, forced into line service, and had never gotten near a cockpit. Still, she still dreamed about it, and had become quite the fangirl when it came to the pilots stationed aboard. when she noticed it was a female pilot assigned to the Defender she cringed slightly, as it was a doubly bitter pill to swallow. She clenched her jaw, frowned slightly, and went back to walking around the craft to examine every one of her features. Although she had never seen one, let alone flown one, she knew what every feature was as she had read over the schematics since her academy days.

Ilydia nodded as the Major spoke, she was half listening. Her eyes struggled to maintain focus on him, as she couldn't wait to explore the ship and meet the crew she would be working with. She had been flying for the Empire for six years now and despite many classified operations and working with some of the most elite groups the Empire fielded, she had never set foot on a Super Star Destroyer before. She also felt a little bad for the Major, as from the little scuttlebutt she had heard, he had been out of the game a short while due to an incident of some sort.

As he finished going over her transfer orders, she saluted once more; still at attention. "Thank you Major, it is an honor to fly for the 219th. I have heard good things. I hope to make you all proud." She spoke sincerely. She had heard rumblings of the 219th's finesse in battle. But she had also heard that things had taken a turn recently. She hoped her abilities would be put to good use reigniting the spark of this fighter wing.

Dismissed, she now turned to head back to her fighter to gather her more sensitive items. The technicians would help to ensure her belongings made it to her cabin. There were a few effects in her hold that she trusted no one with, and thus she made her way back across the black concourse towards the dock that held her trusty steed. As she approached she noticed a figure dancing about beneath her fighter. It was a young woman. Looked maybe to be about her own age. She seemed very excited and was examining her fighter with intense interest and attention. She felt uneasy at this. The TIE/D was a very new fighter and much of it's design and working were still highly classified. Only the very best Imperial Pilots were even offered the opportunity to fly one, and that was after a grueling series of trials and tests before they even got to set foot near one.

"Excuse Me? But what exactly are you doing?" Ilydia asked as she came within a few meters of the girl. "This ship is supposed to be under guard and off-limits to personnel not involved with it's mission." That was another thing that struck her as she approached. The TIE/D's were supposed to be under armed guard at all times, even while berthed. She took a quick mental note to bring that up with the Major when next she saw him.

Ensign Sheppard had been caught red-handed, which caused her to back away from the TIE Defender with a great deal of embarrassment and fear. "I-I-I'm sorry, Commander. I am Ensign Sheppard, helm," she stammered, before trying to explain who she was to the senior officer, albeit one from a different division. "We were alerted on the bridge that the first TIE/D had arrived, and I had never seen one before, but I had heard about them at the academy, and I-I-I wanted ... wanted to take a look," she said, as she brought her two gloved hands in front of her and began to intermingle her hands anxiously. "I di-didn't touch it! I-I swear!" she blurted out, before looking around anxiously, trying to find a way out of the hangar. Her eyes spotted the chronometer and she realized she had been gone from the bridge longer than she had planned on. If Commander Hood were to notice she would likely get written up. "I gotta ... gotta get back to my duty station," she told the pilot, but could not leave the presence of a senior officer without being properly dismissed.

Ilydia couldn't help but let a wry smile escape her lips as the Ensign stammered in front of her. "At ease, Ensign Sheppard. It's quite alright. Most in the Empire do not know of this fighter's existence. As it is still very new." Ilydia stepped past the Ensign and walked just underneath the central pod of her fighter. It loomed a few feet over her head, locked onto it's berth. "If you would like, we could meet later on and I'll tell you what I can about the fighter if it intrigues you so? It isn't much, much on the craft is still classified. But for now, get back to your station." Ilydia shifted and stepped closer to the Ensign. "You can find me in the pilot's quarters. I don't know my cabin number yet, but I'm sure you can find it."

Ilydia was taking this as an opportunity to make friends. As she was sorely lacking in that department at current. She had many colleagues and acquaintances, but few actual friends over the years. Most of them have either moved on to other units, dispersed across the galaxy... or they had died in service to the Empire. Ilydia found this Ensign's interest and excitement for her craft to be endearing, and it very much intrigued her that she said she was a helmsman. That meant she could learn more about the Retributor. For even Ilydia was quite the nerd when it came to spacecraft and the like. Growing up on Corellia it was hard not to be.

After finding her way back up to the gantry platform, Ilydia was rummaging through the cargo hold in the cramped confines of her TIE/D. She was pulling out small storage containers and sorting through them and then taking them one at a time out of the fighter and stacking them on the platform above so the technicians would be able to ensure their delivery to her cabin. There was one particular box though, she would carry herself though. After several minutes of sorting and diving in and out of the craft she found her box. It was about as long as her forearm and wide and deep enough to hold a pair of shoes. A plain grey box with a combination lock on the front of it. Satisfied, now that her fighter was cleaned out, Ilydia tucked the box under harm and exited.

It was a fairly long walk, following the excited little mouse droid to the barracks where the pilot's quarters were. She was still getting used to the sheer size of the Retributor. She mentally noted and timed how long it took to get from the Hangar to her Barracks. Four minutes and seventeen seconds. That would be a hell of a hustle should they come under attack. Perhaps there was a hangar closer to the barracks she would be able to move her fighter to? She wondered to herself as the mouse droid stopped in front of a cabin door. It was marked "219-7A". "This must be it" she said aloud as the little mouse droid scurried off to see to some other task.

Before entering the room, Ilydia looked around the hallway she was standing in. It looked similar in a lot of ways to the corridors on Star Destroyer's. There were other officers, technicians, crewman, and security personnel marching here and there, none seeming to even notice her standing there. She let out a soft sigh and investigated the keypad next to the door. It was off, likely not turned on yet. So she reached intently to the handle on the door and it popped open. "Good, guess that means I get to set my own code for the door." she thought as she stepped into her new home.

The cabin was plain as crew cabin's were. The grey metal sheen of the walls, and dark charcoal carpet for floors. A twin sized bed rested center of the room, with a single pillow and white and grey sheets covering it. To the left was a small closet, and a small inlet on the wall with a shelf. In the back right corner from the entrance, there was a small door; likely for the bathroom/shower. And to the right of the door, a sink and small kitchenette. The room was not very large, but large enough she supposed. The main thing, is that it was private. Unlike some of her previous living arrangements. She had previously always slept in common rooms with several other pilots in bunks. It was only after being brought into the TIE Defender program did she get treatment such as this. It made her feel good, and made her pride for the Empire just a bit larger. She was eager to prove herself and do great things. She threw herself down onto the bed, laying on her back with her arms outstretched. The heft of her pilot's suit not bothering her in the slightest. "One day, I will command a Star Dreadnought" she thought to herself as she lay with a slight smile. "And my Dragon is going to help get me there". Ilydia was referring to her fighter. The TIE/D's appearance for some reason made her think of it as a mighty Frilled Dragon piercing the black of space, and destroying everything that crossed it's path.

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