Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Kit Gwynne and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:5:5) in the Essesia system: Interrogator.
High Inquisitor Serine Thanor and Colonel Mark Veller.

Mark took a deep breath and pushed the fatigue to the back of his head, or at least tried to. He and Major Petrovna had worked pretty hard the last two days coming up with a plan and choosing the appropriate planet for the crew of the ISDII Interrogator to have shore leave on. Then there had been the monumental task of determining who would be eligible and who would not, getting a schedule for what areas could go when without compromising the efficiency of the Interrogator.

Morgan herself had hit upon the planet. Corulag. It was within the sector they were given to patrol but with little reported Rebel presence. A shore leave visit from the Interrogator should leave a good impression on the planet, not to mention all the credits spent. It would also do to remind the local people of the might behind the Empire.

The last of the report was wrapped up and Mark sent Major Petrovna to her well deserved rest. He thought of having the Major present the proposal, but thought it better to let her get some rest before facing the High Inquisitor again. He would ensure the Major's contributions were known, however.

With the requested report in hand, about two hours under deadline, High Colonel Veller was at the High Inquisitor's door, datapad in hand, tugging his uniform straight wishing he dared take the time for a nap. The door swung open and he stepped inside, took his usual position and bowed slightly, then wished he had not. Fatigue made him slightly dizzy and he fought to recover without letting the High Inquisitor know just how bone tired he was.

At her nod, he started to give his report. The planet Corulag had been chosen as per the latest intelligence report, verified by Major Petrovna, there was not much by the way of Rebel presence there. This reduced the chance of the Interrogator having to go into action short handed or having to wait until crew were on board before responding.

Next came the qualifications for shore leave. The applicant had to have served aboard the Interrogator for a minimum of six months. One's record needed to be clear of any reprimands or other similar offenses for a three month time period. Performance rating had to be 70-percent or higher. Those qualifying would have to apply within 24 hours of the ship-wide announcement. The seniors of each section would be responsible for approval and scheduling the shore leave from 48 hours for the enlisted up to 74 hours for officers. Those granted shore leave were to go out in pairs at a minimum, a trio preferred. Local discretion was given to each senior in charge of scheduling to group those going on shore leave Each member of the group was responsible for the others. All members of each group were report back at the same time, any troubles or lateness and all members of the group would receive the same punishment. Each group would also receive a briefing on the planet and its culture to include the dos and don'ts along with areas to stay out of.

"I am ready to make the ship-wide announcement pending your approval, Milord," Mark said at the end of his briefing. "I will, of course, remain on board to monitor the shore leave and ensure nothing happens to endanger the crew or the reputation of the Interrogator," he concluded, thinking to spend much of that time resting in his quarters.

While the High Colonel hid his exhaustion well, Serine was able pick up just enough to recognize his buried strain, but it was no secret. She had pushed him and Major Petrovna very hard to provide full details of a shore leave proposal which should have taken a week of planning at least, but she gave them only two days. The High Inquisitor listened intently to Veller's report, nodding in agreement at a few places and was seemingly impressed with the thoroughness of their combined efforts. She demanded much of them but her trust in their abilities, at least in Veller's, was rewarded in full. The complete details he laid out for her were appropriate; however, the Inquisitor did grow noticeably irritated when Mark insisted to continue his duties immediately with the announcement and overseeing the leave. Of course that was admirable and normally would be no less than expected, but the High Inquisitor was sympathetic to his tenacity and stout dedication, and she desired to reward him handsomely.

After Veller gave his full report, the Inquisitor remained silent and her attention moved to a datapad that rested upon her desk. Serine brought up the device into her hands and began to address something beyond the High Colonel's line of sight. After a few moments, she spoke to him, her eyes drifting between him and the screen. "You speak favorably of Major Petrovna. If you believe she is capable of supervising the transition, then I will move to give her full lead on this matter. I want you to take this opportunity for leave as well." As she said this, the datapad was pushed across her desk towards Veller. Upon the screen was a confirmation of a two week retreat on a remote beachfront of Corulag, paid for by the Inquisitorius. There were undeniable perks of having unlimited access to the Empire's resources. Serine peered at him firmly, as if there was zero debate on the issue. He was certainly going to that resort even if she had to drag his convulsing body all the way there. "If there is someone you wish to take with you, then I will allow it, but I feel you do not need supervision and may go alone if you desire." Serine was more than willing to make exceptions for her officers when she believed they earned and deserved it.

Mark stared at the datapad for several moments unspeaking. It was in his mind to protest all the same, that just resting on the ship was enough for him. But there it was, a direct order from his commanding officer to take not a few days, but two whole weeks of leave. Out of reflex his tired brain tried to find a flaw, some point he could argue on.

Looking up from the datapad, he was about to speak, but he easily saw the signs that this was a battle he would lose. Not only that, but it would tarnish his working relationship with his commanding officer. So, instead of protesting, he said, "I... I do not know what to say, milord. Two weeks is very generous." He pondered a moment, "If it meets with your approval, I believe some company would be welcome. I would like to take Lieutenant Dunford with me, if he can be spared from his duties for that period of time, milord."

Mark tried to think what he would do with two weeks away from his duties. Two weeks away from the Interrogator. Two weeks away from the High Inquisitor. A sudden thought came to him, "Milord, you wanted a decision on your offer by the end of this week. Am I correct in assuming the shore leave will be an extension of the deadline?" If she wanted to keep that deadline it was fine with him. It would only take a few moments to send a comm to the Interrogator with his answer. But additional time to think about it would be welcome.

The High Inquisitor lightly tapped a knuckle on her desk while pondering his request. The whole structure looked incredibly flimsy from her rage filled onslaught from before, as if each weak tap to the surface threatened to demolish it. The only reason why she was using a datapad was that her terminal had been destroyed and its ugly crushed casing was still present. Serine had yet to clean up her office from her previous rampage, much to Theo's dismay, because it was just not a high enough priority. Her firm look was replaced by an introspective one as she watched Veller carefully. "Recently you seem to have taken an improper interest in the Lieutenant. Must I remind you, High Colonel, that favoritism for those of much lower rank is negligent and unsuitable for your position." The Inquisitor did not feel she had to lecture Mark on something so rudimentary and was greatly annoyed that it warranted a mention at all. The knowledge that Veller was given special treatment himself would quickly spread around the ship and it would be even more unprofessional and questionable that Veller was affording that special treatment to Bernard. "I will grant your request but with a warning. I do not want you overstepping your bounds with the Lieutenant moving forward. This type of favoritism only breeds jealousy and discontent within the crew."

Serine was noticeably irritated from the direction this conversation had gone. Her tapping intensity had increased until the point where she heard an unsettling creak coming from the fractured desk that forced her to cautiously cease the tapping. The High Inquisitor figured Veller and Bernard were merely sharing a budding camaraderie, but it could easily interfere with their separate duties and responsibilities. Due to the dangers of their profession, there was a level of uncertainty that at any moment Veller would have to make the tough decision to sacrifice officers to increase their likelihood of success. Having bias or preference for one officer over another could severely hinder his ability to tackle hardships in the moment of crisis. Mark *should* be no stranger to this concept, which was why the Inquisitor was so provoked that he seemed to be ignoring this simple expectation of him.

Regardless, she decided to let it slide this time and dismissed her fledgling anger to focus on his last statement. His shore leave had the added benefit of allowing him to fully consider her offer without pressing business to burden his thoughts. She was confident that he would accept her proposal, with the extra week only further cementing his resolve. "Indeed. This will give you more time to contemplate your future." She motioned to the datapad readout once again, emphasizing that his check-in time for the resort was in a few hours and she had no desire for him to procrastinate. "Conclude your official affairs onboard and inform the Major of her new responsibilities. She will be taking over in your absence and I *expect* her to perform exceptionally," she said rigidly. Serine was taking a risk with allowing her most seasoned officer leave for two weeks in addition to a reduced staff, so it was vital that Petrovna was capable. And it could be assumed that if the Major was anything less than exemplary, the High Inquisitor would personally showcase her displeasure.

Mark took the reprimand concerning Lieutenant Dunford with good grace. He was well aware of the problems this could cause further down the line. But he could not very well tell the High Inquisitor the true reason behind his interest in Dunford. If he did, they would probably both go up in flames, or at the very least find themselves occupying the Interrogator's special cells.

"I understand, Milord," said Mark, "The main reason behind my choosing him is the exemplary work he has done on upgrading the 610th's comm systems.

"I am sure the Major will do well in my absence," he suppressed a slight smile at the High Inquisitor's insistence that he make the check-in time, "It will not take long to turn affairs over to her. And again, Milord, thank you," he concluded. Knowing the interview was over, he gave a slight bow and left the room. Once in his office, he commed for the Major to join him in his office and sent a comm to Lieutenant Dunford explaining what was happening and the deadline he had to get himself ready for shore leave. Normally, he would have preferred to deliver the news in person, but time was short and he had a lot of things to brief the Major on. Dunford would just have to cope with the short notice.

Untitled 1

Copyright Era of Rebellion 2005-2018. All Rights Reserved
Terms of Use | Legal Notices | Privacy Policy | Press Release | Disclaimer