Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:4:29) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Imperial garrison).
Governor Papius Arundel, Ashori Monoceros, Commander Iyah Xergo, and Mug Zoran.

The Imperial Garrison on Delaya was a particularly subversive structure, whose lower levels were dedicated to the torture and interrogation of Alderaanians suspected of having ties to the Rebel Alliance. Governor Papius Arundel spent more time in the bowels of the garrison than he did in his office and sometimes he would torture people without even asking questions just to hear them scream. Today his torture wing was home to two very important guests ... Commander Iyah Xergo of the Rebel Alliance and Mug Zoran, the bastard Delayan noble. He had placed each one of them in a separate holding cell and bound them carefully, but rather than strap them to a table as he did with Ashori, he allowed them to be upright in a restraint, that slowly rotated them around the room. He sat in the control room with Ashori watching Iyah and Mug spin around endlessly in a form of psychological torture. His technicians were nearly ready for the psychological warfare he had in store for the two. Simply beating them would result in nothing but defiant and misinformation. To get what he needed he would have to break their spirit and crush their souls. Fortunately, Papius was an expert at both.

The plan had all gone so smoothly. Ashori had successfully aided Papius in her first mission as a double agent. She stood, watching Commander Xergo and the bastard of Delaya in their individual cells. She could only imagine what kind of thoughts were running through their head. The way Ash saw it, their predicament was so much worse than her own. Papius had only held her to prove that she could be valuable, right? Her memories were distorted from the time while he tortured her. She looked over at Papius and began to talk. "I don't know too much about Iyah. I do know that her mentor, Derek Aito, was killed during a mission on the Retributor." The details of that mission were something she did not know. "I heard he was killed from the inside out by the High Inquisitor." She revealed in attempt to further please him. "As for the bastard... A simple refugee. A one night stand. A *mistake*." Her voice was cold. She intended to watch every second of their torture. "And don't forget the daughter."

The Rebel Commander had not made a peep since surrendering. She accepted her fate at face value: she had been caught. She *would* die. Mug *would* die. Her distress signal had been a desperate attempt to get one of them out alive. All they could do was wait and hope that someone came for them.

Iyah's head was aching. The continuous spinning had made her vomit on herself, and the floor, several times already. Internally, she was immensely stressed. Every time she blinked she saw the face of her crying daughter. She heard Callista screaming for her Mama and Daddy inside of her head. The Imperial Governor had done *nothing* to her, yet the psychological torture had already begun.

Rotating slowly around his cell gave Mug ample time to consider his fate, which he was sure what his captors had in mind. The one saving grace he could take from his ordeal was the fact that Callista had been left behind and not subjected from this. Whatever the Governor did to him he was sure he could stand, but what he could not stand was knowing the same thing ... or worse ... would be happening to his beloved Iyah in the next cell. He wished to get the interrogation over with and the execution if need be. For Mug the waiting was the hardest part.

When the technician nodded at Papius, a demented smile curled upon his lips. He leaned to his side to place a quick peck on Ash's cheek, before rising from his seat, while simultaneously pulling down his uniform to correct the bunching up that occurred when seating. "I'll be back. You should enjoy this," he said, before leaving the control and making his way into the corridor that led to the detention cells. He looked at the doors that led to Iyah and Mug as he considered which one to venture into first. Ultimately, he decided to open Mug's cell, which he slowly sauntered into. "You honor us with your presence, milord," he said, condescending as he stepped into the room. "Had I known I was going to be entertaining a member of the nobility I would have prepared something more ceremonial in your honor," he said, smugly, before moving towards a box that he had placed in the room. "I've gotten you a gift. A 'welcome home' present, so to speak," he said, as he slowly opened the lid of the box. He snorted sharply as he pulled from within it a mockup of the Delayan crown, shoddily constructed and put together. He moved towards Mug, and raised himself up onto his tiptoes to place the crown upon Mug's head lopsidedly. "Something to consider ... what could have been," he said, coldly, before walking out of the room to allow the man to contemplate his fate.

He gave a wink to the camera where he was confident Ashori would be watching on the edge of his seat. There was something more thrilling about doing this with an audience. He waited a moment, collected himself, and steadied his breathing before opening the cell that contained Commander Xergo. "Commander," he said, starting out almost professionally and matter-of-factly. "I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to learn that you fled Delaya prior to my being installed as Governor," he said, frowning at her slightly. "It is fortune that you felt the need to come back, lest we would have never had the opportunity to meet," he said to her, as he slowly moved towards her. "We both know his lordship in there isn't the sharpest bulb in the already dimwitted and incestuous pool of genetic filth that is the House of Rodney. *You* are the brains of this operation," he said, at once flattering her and unleashing his disgust for all things Rodney. "So why don't you spare him needless torture and suffering and give me the information I need," he said, before bringing his hand up to touch at the side of her face. "So young to be a Commander in the Alliance. *You* must be *special*," he said, with a smirk before backing off from her. "While you were enjoying yourself in the castle ... what members of the House of Rodney gave you aid?" he asked, revealing his hand. This was not about capturing more Rebels ... he wanted to take down the Grand Moff and his family.

It was entirely different to be on the other side of torture. Ash grinned wide when Papius kissed her cheek before leaving to center his attention around the Rodney family's bastard. He had chosen such a fitting gift that she gave out a hard laugh. For her, it was much more appealing when the Governor moved to Iyah's holding cell. Ash had become displeased with Iyah. Even though they were the same age, it was Iyah who had been promoted. Ash typically worked harder missions than she why did Iyah receive such recognition? Why not her? She *wanted* Iyah to suffer for all of her crimes against the Empire. She sat at the edge of her seat and watched for her own entertainment.

Iyah's head lifted. Her eyes stared at the wall which she theorized Mug was behind. "I'm so sorry, Mug..." She said to no one at all. As badly as she wanted to save him, it was impossible. Regardless, Iyah pulled against her restraints. Her body began to spin as she tried. Her death would be incredibly painful...but his death may be worse. As the bastard of House Rodney, it was likely that the Governor would present him to someone even worse than himself. What could she do to save the love of her life? Nothing.

She stopped trying when Papius, the terrible man, entered her cell. There was no way to hold composure when you were in the position Iyah Xergo found herself in. She looked tired; defeated. Her thoughts shot back to Ashori's betrayal. How could she?! She was responsible for the death of her group of Rebels. Iyah was willing to bet that *she* had killed her comrades. Her teeth clenched together roughly. He spouted nonsense about Mug. His blood may have put him in the House of Rodney, but he would never be one of them. Furthermore, he continued to insult Mug. The hair on the back of her neck stood up. If Mug hadn't been imprisoned, she may have done something desperate...something stupid.

Papius had her in a trap. If she didn't answer his questions, it was Mug who would suffer. Iyah prepared herself and begged Mug to understand if there were questions that she could not answer. In order to keep Callista safe, her parents would have to suffer. She closed her eyes and turned her face away from him when he touched her briefly. His hand left her cheek burning, the skin peeling from bone. His first question was, thankfully, an easy one to answer... if he believed her. "None of them gave us aid. We discovered that my jacket with the Rebel insignia was gone. The members of House of Rodney were looking for a reason to drive us away. I had no doubt that one of them stole it and that the Grand Moff would come for us." She explained to him as truthfully as possible. Her voice was shaking. Her body trembled. Yekaterina was *dead*.

*That* was not the answer that Papius wanted to hear, but he had ways of getting the answers he wanted ... even if they were not the truth. "Oh come now, Commander. *Think* about whom you are protecting," he said, as he moved towards a chair in the corner of the room. "Are the Rodneys really worth being tortured and executed for?" he asked, as he sat down in the chair and looked across at her. "...are they worth *never* seeing your daughter again?" he asked, as he brought his hand up to his cheek while studying her more intently. "The Grand Moff's own daughter was a member of the Alderaanian resistance," he said, unaware that the teenager still lived. "Surely you must have heard *one* of them say something about the destruction of Alderaan," he said, excitedly, as he leaned forward in the chair, leering at her. "Perhaps ... perhaps Sierra said something," he suggested, as if coaching her.

The question struck her...Were the Rondeys worth being tortured and executed for? Mug's father had been such a horrible person. He hurt Mug's mother. He hurt Mug. Marcus Rodney had only reached out to them to convince Mug to take the Duchy. Claudius Rodney was an Imperial Grand Moff...and his wife, an ISB officer. The only Rodney worth dying for was Mug. He struck her again with his words. Bringing up Callista caused a visual reaction. Iyah's head snapped upward. Her eyes reflected absolute sadness. Her baby girl... the thought of never seeing her again was destructive. All Iyah wanted was to find a way for her, Mug, and Callista to be together again. It was relieving to hear him talk about Jelena Rodney. Derek's death wasn't completely pointless. The Imperials still thought Jelena to be dead. The question was, could *she* make the same sacrifice he had? No. No she could not. She looked down as if she was thinking. "Um..." Sierra. She was an ISB officer. She *deserved* to suffer. It should be her on this chopping block, not Iyah. "Sierra..." She mumbled. "I've heard her talking." It was an ugly thing for the Commander to do. It was also her only chance at survival. "Sierra's home planet is Alderaan." She informed Papius, aging with each word. "She was not happy that the Empire destroyed it. She wanted to help us. She started feeding us Imperial secrets." Iyah closed her eyes. "She warned us when her husband found out about Mug and I being Rebels. She gave us the chance to escape." Her eyes opened again. Her lies were painful. Her image of the Rodney family was tarnished by Julius, but they were still *people*. "That's the truth!" She croaked. "Can I see Mug now..?"

The grin that formed upon Papius' face when Iyah gave up Sierra was almost painful. His lips curled upward into such an extreme angle he worried his face would split in half. He took a moment to celebrate in silence before taking a deep breath to become calm. "Oh. You'd like to see, Mug?" he asked, as he rose from his seat and began moving towards the door. "Unfortunately he confessed much quicker than you and has already been released. He had quite the bit to say about you and your operations," he said, before giving her one last grin and bowing his head to her. He then abandoned her to her cell to consider what she had done, before moving into the control room to see Ashori. "That was easier than expected," he said, before moving back towards her. In an uncharacteristic move he grabbed her by the hips, lifted her in the air, and spun her around. "Prepare an arrest order for Commander Sierra Rodney," he barked to his aid, before moving to watch the monitors once again.

All the air had been punched out of Iyah in a single blow. No...Mug wouldn't! He would never leave her here! *I believe in you*, his words from the previous evening echoed in her head. She wouldn't blame him if he had lied about Sierra Rodney...or any of the other members of his family. Still, she didn't know what to think. If he was still here, how badly had he been hurt? Iyah hung her head down and began to cry silently. Her tears dripped down her cheeks and onto her uniform. She had stupidly allowed herself to imagine growing old with Mug. She thought that they would die together, not alone, separated by an Imperial villain.

Outside the rooms, Ashori watched her old Commander crumble. She thought it was touching how Papius ended on such a dark note. Those words were going to eat at that woman as long as she stayed strung up and bound inside of the garrison. Ashori stood, showing him the full smile on her face. "Your skills are incredible." She complimented him. Quite suddenly, he swept her off her feet and spun her in the air. The celebratory motion was greatly enjoyed by the ex-Rebel. When he stopped, Ashori stayed at his side. "I can help you prepare something special for our new guest. We wouldn't want the Grand Moff's wife to feel uncomfortable, now would we?"

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