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.
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.
Tailon reporting as instructed," Tailon said
confidently as he stepped into the cluttered office
of Major Rodney.
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.
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?"
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.
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?"
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
"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
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."
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
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?"
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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
"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.
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
his head, chuckling again. "Well, what more do you
wanna know, Major?"
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.
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.
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.