Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Erin Highberg, Christopher Levy, Curtis Marrkley, Jaina Roberts, and Thomas Rogers.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:2:18) in the Brentaal system: Brentaal IV (Cormond: Emi Shinohara's estate and Spaceport) and Gilded Thranta.
Commander Derek Atio, Sergeant Reilly Judah, Emi Shinohara, Captain Dagon Tong, and Corporal Brant Wex.

The Sigma-class shuttle Gilded Thranta emerged from the gaseous clouds of the Ringali Nebula close to the planet Brentaal. They had only recently arrived in the safety of the secret Rebel installation hidden carefully within the dense clouds. In the cockpit, Commander Derek Atio held the flight controls firmly. His eyes continually darted from between the viewport and the blinking transponder that sat to the right of his chair. It was the transponder that ensured their safety by broadcasting a false signal that would identify the craft as a diplomatic vessel if scanned by Imperial craft. In the distance, the planet Brentaal slowly grew larger as he examined it through the piece of transparisteel that separated the cockpit from the cold death of space. Looming above the planet's surface was the familiar triangular shape of an Imperial Star Destroyer, which they had clashed with only twelve hours ago. There was activity all around them as the many merchant ships on the Hydian Way and Perlemian Trade Route made a stopover on the bustling commercial world. Flying casually, the small shuttle flew directly beneath the massive Star Destroyer, looking much like a parasite on some mammoth beast. Swallowing nervously, he moved his sleeve to wipe the beads of sweat that had formed upon his forehead. He did not like to get that close. It seemed the transponder was working as the small shuttle began to descend through the planet's atmosphere, the large city of Cormond coming into focus. Cormond was as large as any city in the core with bustling skyscrapers and crowded speeder traffic. Even a ragtag group like this would be able to blend in within this metropolis. "Prepare for arrival," his monotone voice bellowed through the intercom to where the passengers were seated. Coming upon the spaceport, he maneuvered to a landing pad that the dockmaster had instructed from the orbital controls. As he lowered the landing gear, he deactivated the sublight engines and replied on maneuvering thrusters as the craft touched down with a violent shake. It was not an award winning landing, but it was the best the over-worked shuttle could manage.

The old man's landing skills left a lot to be desired that was for sure. Sergeant Judah had remained quiet throughout the flight. There would be need for shooting; for killing. This had always been the part she hated. Although capable, she preferred a more peaceful approach, though knew all too well that violence was all that could stop the Imperials. Had she been on a more social basis with Tong she'd have asked for one of his cigarras. Not that she was a smoker, but chewing on it would have calmed her nerves a bit more. Instead she went through a med kit, checking for expirations and double checking it. Brown eyes scanned the others when the shuttle made its landing. It was not rough enough to do any harm to anyone but it never hurt to check. Some beings weren't good at landings of any sort and required something to settle their stomachs. It always made her laugh if one of the tough guys had a weak stomach for flying.

As the shuttle touched down, and jarred him out of the near sleep he'd found on the way in, he shook his head a moment, as if shaking his hair dry, and then stood up. He took a moment to stretch, and shift the EE-3 on it's sling so jacket concealed it, his tactical vest and chest plate also not nearly so evident.  He still wore the drop holster though. The idea was simple, make sure that anyone who knew what to look for anyway knew that he was armed, and keep the civilians from panicking. That was the way a personal protection detail operated, and those were the orders he'd circulated. He did not particularly care for the ambassador, what with her belief that words were going to stop the war, instead of starting it, and he didn't like to be told how to run his ops or how to deal with his people. But in this case, she was actually quite useful. Just another personal protection detail walking someone into a moderately hot area. He took another moment to light a fresh cigarra, and then smacked the oversized button to lower the ramp with the blade of his closed hand. "On deck. Standard personal protection. We get her to her estate, and then we're free to move. Weapons hot. Let's go." He took a long drag, and then nodded towards the outside. He left his sunglasses off, and shouldered his pack. There should be a speeder waiting for them. "Rake, you're driving. Judah has the main cabin with the ambassador, I'm riding shotgun."

The shuttle rocked the human to attention. Brant Wex had faded out for a while, trying to remember something he had so recently forgotten, but it was lost for now. His brown pants and black vest with gray shirt rested on his body comfortably and his brown hair and hazel eyes shined even in his dark bunk space. He leapt from his bunk and grabbed his gear from his rack while heading toward the loading ramp. "I feel like we just left a planet, now we're back on one? I have to pay closer attention." His pack swayed as he followed behind his newly established comrades. Being the new combat tech left him nervous and unwelcome so far but he was making the best of space travel with the new crew. "So what are we here for again?" He scratched the back of his head and stared out into the clouds and the transports whizzing by in the atmosphere.

Ambassador Emi Shinohara had changed into something befitting an ambassador. Something that showed that she was of importance...but the dress was quite stunning on her delicate frame. Usually black, white, or grey...or a combination of the three was worn in certain situation. But enough about her clothing. Emi raised a hand slowly reached upward to brush a few loose strings of her black hair and tuck it behind a small ear. She blinked those small eyes as she stood up from where she had been sitting in the shuttle. She knew the part she had to play, and being a cover was part of it. Of course having some personal protection wasn't against any sort of protocol. She would just listlessly follow suit and wait to look like she was to give orders...or just act like whatever Tong told her was for her protection. She did not exactly agree with his methods...but then she hated the Emipre. She probably would tolerate him for what it was worth. She crossed her arms behind her back and took in a deep breath. "Here's hoping..." she whispered to herself under her breath.

Derek moved down the ramp of the shuttle and looked to Tong, giving each of the troops a firm nod of his head as they debarked. "I will hold here with the equipment and try and secure a suitable transport," he noted, as there did not seem to be enough room in the speeder that had been arranged. "Good luck, Captain," he said rather seriously, noting this seemed to be a far more difficult operation than the ones they had undertaken. The Commander then raised the ramp to the shuttle, sealing the hatch, and then moved in the opposite direction. Someone, somewhere had to be selling a broken down speeder truck. Perhaps someone that needed emergency funds for passage off this rock.

Reilly admired the beauty and elegance of the ambassador. The Corellian medic always wanted to get gussied up and be fancy but there never seemed to be time. She fell into step with the others, moving behind the ambassador to protect the rear. Left hand checked the DL-18 on her thigh. It was hot as ordered. Hopefully there would be no need to use the weapon. She nodded to the commander as he passed and continued toward the speeder.

He glanced over at Atio, but didn't reply, instead, moved with his eyes sweeping the area to make sure that no one was set up to take a shot at the Ambassador. He wasn't terribly concerned that someone was trying to take her out, but it was best to keep the cover strong. His left hand stayed inside the jacket, his hand on the pistol grip. When he stepped next to the passenger side door, he waved back towards the ramp, telling the Ambassador and the rest of the team to move and load up. When they had arrived, and climbed inside, he turned and opened the door, sliding in, and giving Rake a nod to set them on their way towards the estate the Ambassador would be staying in.

Emi kept an eye out around her. Trying to look concerned for her well being...when really she was trying to make a list of contacts that she would need to get a hold of after the were to where they needed to be for a safety sakes. But were they ever really 'safe'? She moved up the ramp and filed into the speeder, sitting where she was supposed to. She kept quite, not really having anything to say. And that was almost a first for her.

The city of Cormond had changed since Dagon Tong had last visited. The Imperial presence was more visible, beefed up security a result of Rebel attempts to garner support of the local population. Surveillance droids moved down each street and the occasional patrol of Stormtroopers marched rigidly down the major thoroughfare, the rhythmic clash of their boots upon their ground becoming a familiar chorus for the local population. There were large monitors broadcasting Imperial Holovision, the HoloNet controlled and regulated by COMPNOR. Imperial officers of every branch were seen mingling with civilians, in every shop, as commonplace now as on a major Imperial garrisoned world. The transition had been a shock at first for the locals, but in time they had come to accept it ... as they accept all things. There were signs of hope, however, there was the occasional sign of graffiti indicating distaste for the Imperial presence. While the older generation may have been content to deal with the Empire and try and continue their way of life, the rebellious youth of the planet in universities were eager to support the Rebellion. It was these radicals that would ultimately give the blood that would fuel the Rebellion, but it would take a considerable feat to remove the thoroughly entrenched garrison from this one idyllic world.

Reilly sat quietly in the speeder. So far so good with the hoping that she wouldn't need to use her blaster. Everyone was so quiet though. It was starting to make her nervous.

He had not said much on this trip. But he was looking out the viewports, as a good bodyguard would. It was amazing. Mantoonie, Fest, Brentaal. Successes. This would be his first attempt at undoing one of them. Part of him thought of the irony involved in that, but the notion did not last long. It was a job, orders, what ever got someone through the night. And he had seen the Warspite in orbit. Shouldn't be too long before he'd found out if it was still skippered by the same man. But with things looking rather tight on this planet, it didn't seem as though they had replaced his unit with a similar one. Some bureaucrat probably thought it wasn't necessary. The job had been after all. And they would not want a fresh set of liabilities. He brought his hand to his mouth and took a long drag off of it. Marvelous. This was going to be better than he thought.

Emi tapped her foot slightly. She was a woman of many words, but couldn't really find herself to find any. From the time she started working with this 'little' operation...she had seen her share of what she quite was opposed to. But then she was fighting on the right side. She took in a deep breath and exhaled quite slowly. She was only hoping that they would not be running into any problems...But the silence was starting to get to her. It was almost too uncomfortable.

Suddenly there was a tap on the passenger side window of the speeder. An Imperial Stormtrooper, the padding on his right shoulder indicating he held the rank of Sergeant, was repeatedly poking at the tinted glass. In front of them a speeder bike had pulled to a halt, preventing them from advancing further in a straight direction. Checkpoints like this existed throughout the city now. Ever since Rebel guerillas had exploded an improvised explosive device in the city's marketplace in the close proximity of the commanding Admiral's wife. The people too had gotten used to this unusual part of their daily lives as well, some even justifying it by claiming they lived on one of the safest worlds in the core now. From beneath the helmet the Stormtrooper spoke in a voice that was obviously filtered through a comlink, preceded and followed by an audible *click*. "Identification," was all the monotone voice announced as the Scout Trooper on the bike examined his chronometer. The shift change would be occurring soon and he wanted to go on break. The Stormtrooper at the window was equipped with a common E-11, the stock unextended, while the Scout Trooper had a small SE-14r light repeating blaster in a holster, from the look of which had never been used.

He did not flinch when the storm trooper tapped on the window. He just handed over the identification that stated they were a private mercenary team contracted by the Ambassador. "Anything going loud out towards the estates where the higher up civilians bounce around?" One soldier to another banter, nothing more. No sense in announcing a new terrorist bunch moving in by shooting up a road block. He had not taken the scarf like article down from the lower half of his face, but it was a dusty sort of place. And it was cheaper than a storm trooper helmet for filtration.

Reilly looked through the glass at the trooper and then to the ambassador, nodding in assurance. She had confidence that the Captain would handle the situation. Still, instinctively she felt her blaster as if checking to see if it was still there. So far so good. She hoped it stayed that way.

The Stormtrooper Sergeant studied the man's papers for a moment, flipping through them as his eyes focused on key words through the polarized lenses of the helmet. Everything seemed to be in order by the look of them. He lowered himself slightly, moving his helmet into the speeder to take a closer look. The two men stuck out like a sore thumb. Clearly ex-military. The two women seemed harmless enough, particularly the one in the dress. That must have been their charge, he concluded. "All is quiet, citizen," the Sergeant's voice echoed through the helmet once again. He was lying of course, but he had no reason to reveal anything to the merc, no matter what vernacular he used. "See that it stays that way," he said in a louder tone, returning the papers as he took a step back. His left hand swept back and forth repeatedly. "Move along. Move along," he repeated, as the Scout Trooper maneuvered his 74-Z speeder bike off to the side of the road to re-open the lane to traffic.

He took the papers back, and rolled up the window again, glancing at his driver and nodding to him. "Let's go." He was relaxed, as any other citizen would be, except for the fact that he was on protection detail. Very alert. As they started along again, he took another drag of the cigarra, and glanced back at the two in the main cabin. At least they hadn't done anything stupid. "More Stormtroopers than before." The locals must have been begging on their knees for their help.

Reilly looked back down at her lap. She was glad that the check point went without incident, but this was only the beginning. A sigh of relief was all the response her commanding officer would get.

Emi was quite shocked by the easiness of their slipping under the Stormtrooper's nose. She exhaled quite slowly. "That was close..." she said softly as she tried to keep that solemn face and almost pompous attitude...who knew who they would run into next. The cover was working...thus far.

"They saw exactly what we were. Two ex-military shooters, support personalities, and the protectee." He took another long drag off the cigarra as the started to wind into the richer side of Cormond.  Stormtroopers were still arrogant, not the best in the Intel business. He could use a cup of coffee, but that could wait until they set up their safe house.

As the Rebels would move out of the city proper and into the upscale  where the Alliance had arranged for a location suitable for Ambassador's Shinohara the tenor had changed. The Stormtrooper patrols were not present, nor was there any sign of security checkpoints or other hassles that were found among the middle and lower class. The upper-class had preserved their wealth through collaboration and bribery for political influence. Imperial officers were seen, but these were unarmed men seeming not to be on guard and content to enjoy what was in fact a very beautiful day. The scars of the war had not touched this district yet. The people were removed and distant, sitting in their luxurious homes upon the hills looking down literally and figuratively at the rest of the population. In an area such as this, Ambassador Shinohara would be well at ease, but the rougher members of the unit would stick out if they were not careful. It did, however, put them in close proximity towards some of the more senior Imperial officers on the planet who had taken up residency in the homes vacated by the few wealthy who failed to cooperate. These citizens were shipped off to camps operated by COMPNOR from which there was rarely any return. The safe house seemed no different from any of the other structures on the street, and as such would permit them to operate in relative ease.

As they came to a halt in the drive way, Dagon dismounted first, and moved to the front door, still sweeping the roof tops. He did not think this would do as a great safe house, but for now, it would have to work. He kept the EE-3 beneath his jacket, but he still made certain to appear as a private security contractor. He opened the door to the house to make certain there wasn't an ambush on the other side of it before he nodded back to the vehicle, indicated to his people that it was time to move the Ambassador into her new domicile. The surveillance opportunities in this house were high, and the house would have to be swept, but other than that, they would have a good place to start picking targets.

Emi was relieved when they landed...of course with the cover that they had, she would wait in the vehicle till Tong gave the all clear. She squinted those already small eyes slightly in thought. She would move from the small cabin, following the guard that she supposedly hired for her protection. She walked with a very fluid stride as she entered the house after Tong. She looked around as she stopped a few meters inward. She wanted to say something, but best not compromise the mission yet until all the necessary actions were taken to make sure that they were completely safe.

Later that evening Derek arrived with a speeder truck baring the markings of a food catering service. Having been unable to purchase a speeder truck to his specifications, he had been forced to hijack a truck that would not go unnoticed in the quieter section of town. Under the cover of darkness he began to unload the equipment the unit had brought with them to Brentaal. He had gone from driver to delivery man, but it was all in a day's work for the former cruise ship employee who had found himself caught up in the Galactic Civil War. "Well isn't this lovely," he commented dryly as he looked around the estate. With the team firmly in position and well-supplied behind enemy lines they were free to carry out their operations against the Empire using whatever means were at their disposal. It was a dangerous assignment, with a low probability of success, but if there was any group in the galaxy that could pull off this assignment it was them.

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