Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Nicholas Baldwin and Alice Bee.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:7:29) in the Essesia system: Retributor.
Major Sierra Rodney and Captain Darik Tailon.

Major Sierra Rodney had been away from her desk for all of twenty-four hours and the datapads had multiplied worse than Lepi, the rabbit species. She had begun working through the information herself when she recalled that she had an aide now. She didn't have to do *all* the work by herself. She summoned the poor man to her office to help her despite having demanded he make her a tea house. Sierra, as normal, had her son with her. She didn't often play the husband card, but she *did* use the Grand Moff's power to allow her to bring their son on the Retributor day by day. He was seated in his bouncer close to her. She was defensive over the small child and did not trust Tailon around him yet. "Oh Meha..." She sighed, viewing a collection of useless reports the Chiss tactical officer had placed on her desk.

Agent Tailon was marching down the long corridor to his Major's office, located right in front of the Grand Moff's office. The work on the planet's surface had been hard, despite the use of the advanced Imperial Machinery. Only a day into the actual construction of the building and a foundation and the frame for walls had already been put up. Due to the sudden summons from the Major, Tailon was forced to leave Grear and his unit to continue construction. Tailon was almost glad to be called away from the planet below, and to once again be aboard the majestic and prideful Imperial Dreadnaught. He inserted his code cylinder into the panel next to the door leading into the Major's office, being rewarded with a green light, a beep, and the door sliding open.

"Major, Agent Tailon reporting as instructed," Tailon said confidently as he stepped into the cluttered office of Major Rodney.

"Hello, Captain..." Sierra said. Her hand pointed him towards a seat in front of her desk. "It seems the datapads have procreated since the other day... I was hoping you might be able to help me sift through them. You wouldn't believe the amount of duplicates I get." She sighed. She knew that the construction had begun on her tea house. Half of the battle was trying to keep her Squib adoptive daughters away from the construction site. "I also figured we could chit chat a bit. Despite being involved with the ISB, I decided not to delve into your past and give you the opportunity to let me know if there are things I should know about." She placed her datapad on her desk and offered him a gentle smile.

Tailon was genuinely surprised by that. "She didn't do a background check?" He thought curiously. He couldn't tell if she was bluffing or not. Despite some nagging suspicions, he hid them with a well meaning smile, sitting down in a chair beside a stack. "Sounds like a plan, Major." I take the first datapad off of the top of the stack, turning it on and looking down at it.

"This one is about food rations to some of the smaller planets in the system... is this system suffering from lack of resources or supplies?"

"At times, yes. We have been sending many resources to Chandrila, where the battle with the Rebellion seems never ending. Some of the other planets are suffering because of it." She told him, pointing to a pile towards the left side of her desk. "If you see anything on Chandrila, just put it here. Chandrila is a mess all by itself." She hoped that something would turn the tides there. What was the question. "Where were you previously stationed?" She asked him, lifting her eyes from her work. Sierra was multitasking between several different datapads, one in which reflected her husband's future schedule which she was building out with those who wanted to meet with him.

Tailon nodded, placing the pad in the pile for Chandrila, before going to the next one. "I was stationed in the Mykapo System... lots of activity there that needed to be quelled... Umm, what about pads detailing fleet movements and supply routes?"

"Here," she said, pointing towards another pile. "Watch out for duplicates. Some officers are impatient about receiving a response from the Governor and send three, or four copies of their requests." She rolled her eyes. "Anything regarding meeting agendas, you can just hand to me. I'm arranging the Governor's week right now." So he was from the Mykapo System. She would, undoubtedly, end up doing her research on him to ensure that he wasn't someone's reject. She expected him to be a useful tool for her so that when she was away from her desk, the work wouldn't pile up on her as it did. "I've been stationed here since after I graduated the academy." She told him. She liked being positioned on the Retributor ... as long as other ISB officers were playing nice with her. "I was a psychologist then."

"Oh, is that so?" Tailon asked, placing another pad on top of its selected pile before moving to the next, before instantly putting it on the duplicate pile. "I was always in ISB, studying up on field analysis and combat. As soon as I was out of the academy, I was transferred to Mykapo, where I remained for many years." Tailon picked up another pad, before sighing deeply and tossing it on the duplicates pile, before picking up another. "Good Lord, someone was impatient ... this is the fifth pad in a row of the same thing!"

"Ah. So you prefer to be in the field?" Her eyebrows knotted. "Fifth duplicate!?" She reached over, picking up one of the datapads. "Someone named 'Zekk Yavoog' is requesting a month long vacation so he can take a cruise with his wife..." She said. "For sending so many datapads, I think he's going to get denied." She stopped working as she heard her son begin to stir from his midday nap. She leaned forward to collect him from his bouncer and cradle him against her chest. His presence did not stop Sierra from working. "This is my son, Bruce." She told the Captain. "You'll see him around frequently. Don't worry. I won't make you change any diapers." She joked.

Tailon looked up from his pad detailing cargo transit and tax, smiling at the newborn. "He's a cute kid.... And I won't mind, Major." He picked up another pad, scrolling through it. It was a long one detailing specific things more or less for the Major's eyes. Tailon puts it on her desk before going to the next one. "And yes, I do prefer being in the field ... more exciting that way." He chuckles at that. "Sitting in a command center doesn't get you as immersed in a battle, and doesn't allow you to understand what all is happening like when being in the field. In a Holotank room, it is easy to tell the men to just run down the street armed to the teeth with snipers ... when in the field, however ... you feel the peril, and you look for a way to keep your men alive, while also achieving effective victory. Plus, I just think better on my toes."

Sierra smiled. Like any mother, she had much pride for her young son whose hair was just as blonde as her own. Sierra listened to him speak. She had spent very little time in the field, and that time was not related to being an ISB officer, but related to a manhunt she'd gone on for the safety of her family. Sierra simply wasn't a combat officer. She didn't posses the skills to keep a level head in tight situations. "It's true. The Holotank doesn't do anything justice. It's entirely different to actually be there. Perhaps, in time, I will be able to find a way to reassign you back to the field where all the action is." If he was capable of making a good impression on her, she would write him a ticket to anywhere he wanted to go. Should he fail. . . well, he'd have to fail to find out what punishment awaited him.

Tailon froze upon hearing that, looking up at his superior. Reassignment to the field? He bit his lip slightly at this. So she really hasn't read my records ... he shook his head, going back to the data pads. "I would love to one day go back to the field... however, I doubt that is a thing that will come to pass... At least anytime soon." He said with a slight downcast tone. "You don't know why I was reassigned to the Retribution, right?"

Her eyes narrowed. He was acting suspicious, which raised her red flags. Sierra had assumed there was something wrong with him. Being the aide to the aide wasn't a job given to responsible, good officers. His words made the decision for her: she needed to pull his files. Sierra looked up from her work. "No, but I suppose I'm going to now... Unless you'd like to tell me what I'm going to see, Captain." Her look became cold. She didn't like putting troublemakers close to her family. "It would be best for you to come clean with me right now."

Tailon saw the cold eyes pierce him, and he winced, instantly regretting wording it the way he did. "Come clean? Oh, you misunderstand, Major... I didn't get reassigned for doing something wrong." He sighed, readjusting himself in his chair as to put his left leg into a more clear view for his supervisor. "I was a good field agent... Obeyed all the rules, silenced those who opposed the Emperor. During my time on Mykapo, I silenced a total of 3 revolts, and was a part of bringing a planet to justice..." His breaths became a little shaky, but he quickly controlled them. "A few months ago, I was aboard a ground transport en route to a mountain pass rumored to be hiding a smuggler's den ... our convoy came under attack ... whether by rebels, pirates, or the smugglers, I don't know... But my transport was hit by a plasma grenade, right in the front..." Tailon proceeded to roll up his pant leg to the knee, revealing blackened and purple skin. "I was scorched heavily, suffering many burns ... bacta cleared up most of it, but this darned knee never fully recovered. The quacks at the Imperial Medical division got the governor to pull me from field duty ... and my leg works fine, but still I was refused and reassigned to 'lighter coursework'." He stated that last part through somewhat gritted teeth as he rolled his pant leg back down, sighing, and taking another data pad to throw on the duplicates pile.

Sierra had grown tense. The young woman had *many* bad experiences with other ISB officers... A Colonel by the name of Arden Zevrin passed her time by torturing her family. It was paranoid that made her worry this man was connected to her in one way or another, and now he was here to watch her. Sierra placed her son in his sling so both of her hands were free, placed on the table where they were visible. She did not notice his leg immediately. Instead, she heard out his story. He had been a good officer who actually did his job and served the Empire appropriately. The more he spoke, the more Sierra realized that she had made some incorrect assumptions about the man. The psychologist in her could see the lasting effects from the traumatic incident. She instantly felt bad for cornering him and demanding information. Her eyes had softened, only briefly gazing down at his damaged leg. She briefly wondered if the family's Ithorian doctor might be able to do something more for him, as he had proved to be an excellent doctor time and time again. "That does explain how you made it to where you are now..." She said, her attention shifting up to his face. "I am sorry that your days in the field have ended. However, you may find places on the Retributor where you can let your skills shine. Just because your knee did not heal properly, does not mean you have to entirely give up what you enjoyed doing. I know I could use someone of your expertise to plan secret missions on Chandrila, and other planets."

Tailon looked up, his eyes gleaming slightly. "You mean it, major?" His heart swelled with pride and confidence, and he couldn't help but let a smile break across his face. While he wasn't lying when he told the Major he could walk fine on his leg, the reason the Medical Division had deemed him unfit for combat was due to, if too much strain or energy was put on or through that leg, his kneecap could lock, rendering his leg unusable for a period of time. All located in his medical records, that would haunt him until a way to fix his leg was revealed.

"I mean it." Sierra smiled softly. It was her own flaw that she was not as cruel as many other ISB officers. Her large heart had gotten her in trouble before, a fact that she didn't make a point to mention. Her eyes diverted down to her son, who was in a stellar mood proceeding his nap. "As much as I don't like to play the husband card, I am married to the Governor. If you prove yourself in my eyes, then you prove yourself in his. I can help get you a ticket to anywhere as long as you work for it."

Tailon coughs into a fist, bowing his head slightly towards the major. "Thank you, Major Rodney... I don't know what to say ... beyond the promise that I will do everything in my power to prove myself a useful resource to you and the Empire." He gives a small salute, before tossing yet another pad onto the duplicate pile, making it the ninth pad so far.

"Great. I could use some people on my side around here." She laughed, tossing a duplicate into his pile. "I need you brought up to speed quickly. When the time comes for me to go on maternity leave, I don't want to come back here to bedlam. You should have seen what it looked like when I traveled to Delaya for a few months. There was no desk, it was simply a pile of datapads." She was beginning to suspect that Tailon wasn't a bad person. Despite the amount of information easily available on her, he had not struck any of her weaknesses.

Tailon nodded, switching on another pad and quickly scrolling through its contents before placing it in a pile. "Yeah, I could definitely do that... When are you expected to go on maternity leave?" Hopefully after that Tea House is built Tailon thought inwardly, not showing his thoughts as he asked.

"Not for some time yet. Seven to eight months. I did not go on a leave with my son. I felt like I needed to stay at my post and continue going through all of this." She said, indicating the mess on her desk. Instead, she had been gone for all of a week and returned back to duty. "I'd like things to go differently next time." Sierra didn't mention to him that the Inquisitor had forced her to go into labor prematurely by incorrectly manipulating her with the Force. She also didn't mention that her son was no ordinary human boy. "Do you think that'll be enough time for you to learn?" She teased.

Tailon just smiled, tossing another pad into a pile. "Should be plenty of time... This is actually kind of nice. It's very relaxing, just sitting here, looking through data pads, and putting them in a pile. Though, in your case, I'm sure there is more to it than this... What should we do with this amazingly large pile of duplicates?" The pile had swelled even more to about fourteen to fifteen pads, not even stacked up straight anymore, and kind of just sitting in a literal pile.

Sierra laughed, nodding her head. "Oh yes, there's a lot more to my job that shifting through these messes. I recently met with a Zabrak who wanted to assist the Empire in our efforts on Chandrila. What a lovely meeting that was.." The tone of her voice answered the question as to how it had gone. "Leave them in a pile there. I'll have someone else come up to collect them so they can be reused. Gez, the duplicates really got insane this time."

"You're telling me..." Tailon shook his head as he pulled up another pad, looking at it for a small bit before frowning. "Huh, my file. Well, if you wanted to read it, there it is." Tailon passed it along your desk, before looking at the other pads around him. "So, what else is there to this job you're giving me here besides organizing the pads and having the duplicates repurposed?"

She took the datapad from him. She set it away from all the others as to review it later. Sierra felt that he had told her the truth, but her curiosity wouldn't be sated until she reviewed the file for herself and confirmed all of his story was true. It was her first time ever having an aide. She was reluctant to delegate anything to him, for Sierra believed she could do *everything* on her own. "Well, I do anything the Governor needs me to do. Sometimes that means attending tactical meetings and making reports to him afterwards. I often take initiative myself and speak with other branches in the ISB as to the whereabouts of Rebels, and provide the Governor with options as to how to best rid himself of them. Obviously, his schedule is in my hands, and some of it ends up delegated to me anyway. It may not seem all that exciting, but I enjoy it. It makes the Governor's life easier, and that's kind of my purpose."

"Hm ... that would make sense, considering you are the highest ranking ISB officer in this sector... I would hope you take initiative in that case" Tailon chuckles at that, before scrolling through another pad. "So, in your opinion, which job comes to you as more important: being an aide to your husband, or being the chief ISB Officer?" Tailon asked this out of genuine curiosity, not in a questioning tone.

"Oh, no. I'm not the highest ranking ISB officer in the sector. That would be Colonel Arden Zevrin.." Sierra hated that woman with a passion. Zevrin had caused a lot of pain in not just her life, but her husband's as well. "She is... Out of office for now. A man by the name of Caligula Howe is filling in for her. I do not know much about him. Given what I know about Colonel Zevrin, I would strongly suggest *not* bumping into Commander Howe." Sierra advised the man. "No matter what I do, being an aide to the Grand Moff is most important to me. You can consider that to be the special treatment he receives from me. He'll always come first." She answered honestly. Her devotion was to her family, as could be seen by all the images on her desk.

Tailon paused, nodding after a few seconds at that as he continue searching. "Seems fair... So I should avoid Howe and Zevrin. Why are they such a pain to you?" He then paused after asking that, looking up again. "You don't need to tell me, I am just wondering..."

"Where do I start?" She said. Her son began to grunt in her arms like he also disliked Zevrin. "Excuse me.." Sierra turned away from Tailon only so she could open up her drawer and withdraw a bottle from it. She began mixing up a bottle of formula for him, then turned back. She placed the nipple of the bottle in her son's mouth and let him eat. "Zevrin has done a lot of things to me. For example.." Sierra sat back, trying to decide where to delve into this. "I play violin. I have since I was very young. Some months ago, I played a concert with a dear old friend of mind. Zevrin came to the concert, and told me what I was to perform six concerts, one on each planet of the Ringali Shell. She claimed that my presence would make people on our planets feel safer. The truth was, Zevrin was only using me as Rebel bait. I did not perform all six concerts, but the ones I did were dangerous. I was almost killed. I shot someone who tried to assassinate my husband... Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, my Ringali Shell concerts is one of the lesser things that she has done to my family."

"...So she was doing her job at your expense, then?" Tailon scowled slightly at this. He was disgusted by this ... despite the fact he may have done it once before. However, he had made it as to where he knew the bait was still safe. A protocol droid with a holographic feature, projecting the voice of the man while he was in a secure safe room. The assassin came, shot the droid, and the noose was closed around him quickly. It seemed wrong, though to be so sneaky and underhanded about it. Granted, Tailon supposed, that was the way with being in the Imperial Security Service: You had a job, and you were given full permission to accomplish it at any cost. But even that seemed to go too far.

"I guess you can say that." She couldn't even begin to tell Tailon all of the other things that Arden Zevrin had done. She, painfully, recalled how the woman made it look like Claudius' daughter...Sierra's best friend...had been killed. Even though her step daughter was alive, experiencing her death had been incredibly difficult. "I am sure she will come back here sooner or later. At that point, you will see another side of me that doesn't reach the surface often." He seemed to feel for her situation. The lengths which Arden was willing to go were nonexistent. She'd do *anything* to harm Claudius. "Ah, that's enough about me. Tell me more about yourself."

Tailon shook his head, chuckling again. "Well, what more do you wanna know, Major?"

Sierra was forcing the limelight off of herself. She could gush about her children all day and night, but when it came to herself, she had much less to say. "Er... Well... What is your..." Her eyes wandered around her desk. "What's your favorite flavor of Auntie Mae's ice cream?" She asked randomly. Auntie Mae's was an incredibly famous ice cream parlor. There were Auntie Mae's all over the galaxy at this point, and even a theme park.

Tailon once again pauses in his search, looking down blankly at the pad for a few moments. "I ... don't believe I have ever had ice cream before." It sounded fake, but it was true. To be fair, he didn't remember much before his academy days. He was a man of his work, and never really took a day to go and get ice cream.

The Major gave him a look. Was this guy broken? Never had ice cream before?! "Thank you for your assistance, Captain. Please return to the surface to oversee the construction of my tea house." She seemingly randomly dismissed him. Sierra removed the bottle from her son's mouth, propped him up on her shoulder, and gently patted on his back to make him burp. Her attention was now solely on Bruce as she expected Tailon to leave.

Had he offended her? He looked up, confused. "Um ... yes ma'am?" He awkwardly stood up, placing the datapad he was looking at down and walking over to the door, opening it. He lingered there a few seconds longer, waiting to see if there was going to be a final remark. When nothing happened, however, he left and closed to the door.

"Never had ice cream," Sierra shook her head from side to side. "That's insanity, Bruce." The little boy burped on her shoulder. From the very same drawer, Sierra withdrew a pudding cup and a spoon. She opened it, sat back, and began to eat her favorite pregnancy go-to food. "We'll have to think of more creative ways to put him to work." Sierra was still trying to determine if Tailon was a 'good' person or not. Only time would tell if he was associated with Arden Zevrin or not.

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