The red eyes of Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca were
fixated on the movement of a large Imperial convoy in
the Ralltiir system. The blue skinned Chiss could not
determine the convoys purpose and as such she felt a
level of frustration that was uncharacteristic for her.
A mystery was something she could not abide,
particularly when it involved Imperial craft in her zone
of control. "I-I do not know what to make of this,
milady," she said in her cold, exotic voice to Major
Rodney after some hesitation. It was not something she
was quick to admit as her intelligence to analyze
military situations was a source of pride for her and
other members of her species. Although no shots had been
fired and no battle had occurred her inability to
decipher its purpose nevertheless registered as a defeat
in her mind. She was not pleased and the pained
expression on her usually expressionless visage gave
that away. She would make for a terrible pazaak player.
There was suddenly a grunt of frustration from down
in the crew pit as Commander Allegra Ames had tried in
vein to reach the lead ship in the convoy. "Damn it,
man. I am the daughter of a former Imperial Senator. The
operations officer of no less than a Gran-" she started
in the comm when suddenly there was a loud bang of
static as the transmission abruptly ended and the first
group of ships made the jump to lightspeed towards the
Sullust system. She growled, clenching her hands into
fists within the confines of her black leather gloves.
She closed her eyes and exhaled slowly before navigating
her way up to the holotank to join the others. She stood
at attention, placing her heels compactly against one
another before beginning. "I apologize, milady, but I
was unable to obtain any information from my repeated
hails," she reported, also in defeat, while biting at
her lower lip. "They have informed me that they under
the jurisdiction of Imperial Energy Systems and that, as
it is not a matter for the Imperial military, their
purpose and cargo are classified. Even ... even to a
Grand Moff," she said, anxiously, with some trepidation
in her voice.
Major Sierra Rodney stood at the holotank. It was
time to satisfy curiosity. Her fingers gently tabbed on
the table that housed the holotank. She was nervous to
find out just what was being stored within the convoys.
She had done some delving through records, but there
seemed to be nothing written about the contents. She
enlisted Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca and Commander
Ames for assistance. Her hopes of ever finding out what
the convoys carried were beginning to fade as quickly as
they'd arrived. Even the Chiss woman had no idea what
secrets they held. She looked at Meham'ohorovi'cloca,
offering her a relaxed smile. She wasn't disappointed in
her abilities. What was being hidden was hidden for a
reason ... or three.
"I don't either. Despite all the digging I've done, I
found out nothing. Perhaps Commander Ames will have a
better answer for us... And speak of the devil." Sierra
pushed off the holotank. She watched Allegra make her
way towards the tank. One look at her face and she was
certain Allegra had nothing to tell them. She listened
to the woman, nodding her head slowly. "I appreciate
both of your efforts. It was a shot in the dark. Does
anyone know *where* these transports are going? If
asking a question doesn't provide us with an answer,
then maybe finding them will." She looked at
Meham'ohorovi'cloca, then Allegra. "Up for an adventure,
"Their destination is the one piece of information
that does not elude us, milady," Meham'ohorovi'cloca was
quick to reply. "The transports are bound for the
Sullust system in the Outer Rim Terrorities," she
explained, before moving her hand to the controls to
bring up a map of the galaxy that showed the hyperspace
lanes between Ralltiir and Sullust. "As you can see the
distance between Ralltiir and Sullust is considerable,"
she continued, narrowing her brow as she studied it
intently for any form of clues. "There must be a reason
that the Empire would go through the trouble of such a
long voyage. There are countless worlds between the
Ringali Shell and Sullust. There must be some unique
property that I am overlooking," she said, with a
growing level of frustration between grit teeth. "Our
mineralogical study of the world found nothing of note,"
she complained, before zooming the map in Sullust. "As
you are no doubt aware the planet is home to the
Sullustan species and SoroSuub Corporation. Aside from
that it is a rather unremarkable world," she said, her
red eyes moving across the datafile on the planet with
the speed and focus of a droid.
Commander Ames watched Meham'ohorovi'cloca
skeptically, not being one to think highly of alien
species as she had fully embraced the Empire's
xenophobic policies that her father had supported in the
Imperial Senate. "Don't strain yourself," she said to
the Chiss, derisively, before refocusing on Major Rodney
with a pleasant smile. She had learned to ply her craft
as a dutiful subordinate and was not one to shy from
sucking up. "Adventure?" she repeated, before arching
her eyebrow at her superior. "Well, the Imperial
recruitment poster I saw said to join up if you craved
adventure and excitement," she said, before giving a
slight salute to the woman. "I guess I'm your gal," she
added, before looking back towards the Chiss. "It could
take a moment for her to rejoin us," she said,
mockingly, referring to how the woman seemed to space
out when focused on an analysis.
She couldn't think of anything worthwhile in the
Sullust system either. Meham'ohorovi'cloca had more
insight on this than she did. She listened to her musing
while realizing that the Chiss had been doing her
research as well. Sierra stared down at the map, nodding
her head briefly. "I wonder if SoroSuub Corporation has
anything to do with this. Perhaps we are chasing our
tails. Maybe the Emperor is simply making himself a new
luxury yacht.." She imagined how jealous Dru would be.
It was Allegra who kept the party going by mentioning
the Imperial poster. Sierra chuckled softly. After years
of being involved with the Empire, she had found 'her'
kind of people. That included Meham'ohorovi'cloca.
"Thank you for your enthusiasm, Commander Ames. Sadly,
no matter how much she analyzes this, she still doesn't
get a choice. You're coming with us, Meham'ohorovi'cloca."
"Will you take care of finding us a ship? I don't
want to take the Kwai this time. Something discrete
would be best." She asked Allegra. "Please and thank
you. I am going to go gather myself some pudding.
Something tells me I'm going to need it." She nodded to
both women before wandering back to her office. Bruce
was at home. Drusilla was willing to babysit and her fee
wasn't even too bad. Still, Sierra missed the presence
of their son. She dug into her emergency pudding in the
bottom drawer of one of her cabinets. She grabbed a
couple, then wandered towards her husband's office to
let him know she was going out. She knocked in a
specific pattern to let him know it was her, then she
entered. "How's it going in here?" She asked him,
placing a pudding in front of him on his desk. "You look
like you need this more than I do."
Commander Ames found it curious that they would not
be taking the assigned Imperial shuttle, but she knew
better to question the woman that was both a high level
members of the Imperial Security Bureau and the Grand
Moff's wife. "It will be done so at once, milady," she
said in an authoritative tone before clicking the heels
of her boots together and dutifully marching off. "Where
am I going to find unregistered transport..." she
muttered to herself, while Meham'ohorovi'cloca continued
to stare at the holotank intently seemingly unaware of
the duty for which she had been volunteered for.
When Grand Moff Claudius Rodney returned to his
office he had difficulty getting through the door as
Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca had dutifully delivered
her datapads each day without interruption despite his
absence. Efficient, but rigidly so, he remembered
thinking to himself as he cleared a path to his large
desk where he began reviewing the one's marked most
urgent. He found it difficult to concentrate as thoughts
lingered on what he had learned about Alderaan and how
it had impacted every conversation he had with his
daughter ever since. He understood now more why she did
what she did, although he wished she had not done it if
only out of fear of what should happen to her if caught.
It was clear to him now that he would not be able to
protect her from the Emperor by claiming she was a
victim of rebel brainwashing. Then there was the veiled
threat that had been made not just against him, but also
his wife and children, both born and unborn. It was too
much for him. He was nearing the point where he wanted
to break into the last case of Alderaan ruge he held in
storage. Fortunately Sierra arrived on the scene and
caused his mind to stop running in circles going over
everything that had transpired with the Emperor. "Oh,"
he said with a smirk and a soft chuckle. "I cannot deny
my wife and child their precious pudding," he told her,
as he pushed it back against the reflective black
surface towards her. "Besides I just ate..." he began,
but then stopped short as he looked at the chronometer.
It had been longer than he thought. "Well, maybe just a
small bite," he said, as he spooned out a half portion
and quickly devoured it. "So tell me," he said, after
licking the spoon. "...has our crack team discovered
anything about those blasted transports leaving Ralltiir
and diverting so many of our resources?" he asked, but
he already knew the answer. Anything of that much
importance to the Emperor likely would not be an easy
She perched herself in a chair in front of her desk.
Before she could *insist* he eat, he gave in and did it
of his own free will. Sierra was watching him. It would
be easy to give in and drink the problems away, or to
deprive himself substance while he worked on going
through every datapad Meham'ohorovi'cloca left behind.
Her eyes lingered on a pile that stood higher than her
just before she opened up her own pudding and started
eating it. "The wife and children insist. My pudding is
your pudding. That's true love right there, Claudius."
She crossed one leg over the other and settled in. She
figured Allegra would comm her once she had found an
adequate transport. How fast she found it would affect
how well she was rewarded afterward.
"I'm sure this will come as a big surprise to you,"
she began. Sierra's voice was full of sarcasm. "That we
found out absolutely nothing. This case even has our
local Chiss stumped. She looks rather unhappy about
that. All we know is that the transports are headed to
the Sullust system. What they are exactly doing there is
beyond me ... for now. This lack of information is not
acceptable in my book. I will be taking Allegra and
Meham'ohorovi'cloca out to find out exactly what's going
on. I've asked that Allegra find us a discrete transport
so our cover isn't blown at first sight. I wonder what
kind of box we're opening here. For it to be like this,
it must be something bad. If the Emperor has figured out
a way to destroy one planet, what's to stop him from
being another?" She scooped another spoonful of pudding
into her mouth. "Hm... Do you remember what that other
Moff guy said? What was his promotion?"
Content with the fact that Sierra had an ample supply
of pudding with her, he set himself to the task of
devouring what was left of the original specimen.
Unfortunately, unbeknownst to him he left a small smudge
of pudding on the left corner of his mouth that would
add levity to the serious words he was about to speak.
"No surprise whatsoever. I'm tempted to order
Meham'ohorovi'cloca to stand down and leave the holotank,
but no additional datapads have arrived since she began
her analysis," he said, wickedly, as he leaned back in
his chair. "Wait. You?!" he exclaimed, her cheeks
reddening slightly as a rush of emotion flowed through
him. "It is far too dangerous for you to go. Remember,
you're not traveling alone," he added, as his eyes
rolled down towards her stomach. "Which Moff, dear?" he
asked, having been entirely far too self involved with
what had transpired with the Emperor to trouble himself
with another man's promotion.
"You don't need to remind me. I feel like I'm a human
AT-AT sometimes." Sierra sighed. She blamed *his* super
sperm. She was innocent in all of this. "I'll be fine. I
did a lot of crazy stuff when I was pregnant with Bruce
and look at him...he's a freaking Force user." She waved
her hands in the air. That part still seemed surreal.
"I'm going to keep Meham'ohorovi'cloca off your back and
potentially find out what's in the transports. Don't you
think it's a win-win situation? Our kiddos are fine. I'd
do terrible things before I let anyone take them from
us." She reminded him. At the core, she was like a
Corellian sand panther.
"Ooooh. The one with the thing.." She started. "We
say him on Naboo. Name that starts with a 'J'... Je...
Jer... Jerry Springer." She shook her head. "No, that
isn't it. You know what guy I'm talking about. He said
something about a promotion, but he looked gloomy over
the fact. I don't know. Even on that day it stood out to
"Neither strikes me as competent with a blaster
although I understand Meham'ohorovi'cloca engages in a
rigorous hand-to-hand training regimen against droids,"
Claudius said, as he leaned back in his chair and
considered this ill advised mission. "You must be
mindful of Commander Ames. I know her father, a rather
unscrupulous member of the old Senate, which was not
exactly known for its scruples to begin with," he said,
unable to stifle a snort from his nostrils as he
remembered one particularly pathetic bribe attempt. "If
cornered she will not hesitate to sell you out to save
her own skin. She is the worst of what the office corps
has come to be," he said, shaking his head slightly in
contempt. "I'm tempted to have you bring protection, but
they might only escalate an already dangerous
situation," he said, before bringing his hands together
in front of him. He might have allowed his gaze to
linger a tad too long on her pudding, which was a sign
that perhaps a call to the mess was in order. "Oh.
Right. That was Moff Jerjerrod," he said, nodding, but
wondering why his particular promotion mattered at the
moment. "He was promoted from a mere sector governor to
Director of Imperial Energy Systems," he explained, as
at least his memory had not been affected by such a
thing. "...whatever *that* is," he added, before rolling
his eyes at the ubiquitous nature of the Imperial
Sierra tried to imagine the Chiss woman practicing
hand-to-hand combat. A little snicker appeared on her
face. She forced herself not to giggle like a little
girl in front of her husband, though it wouldn't be the
first time he'd seen her do that. She noticed the
pudding on the corner of his mouth. Since Arden had
walked in on them post-sex, she had been a little more
careful about affection at the workplace. She was glad
it was Arden, and not Meham'ohorovi'cloca, who might
have never spoken a word after she saw that. Still, the
moved from her chair up to his desk. She was so petite
that her feet didn't reach the ground. They swung back
and forth as she leaned over his desk to briefly steal a
kiss, then to lick off his leftover pudding. "Don't
worry," she told him soothingly. I will watch out for
Allegra. I will keep the girls safe."
She didn't think she needed protection. Though she
was a tiny little woman, she felt she was capable of
doing what she needed to do. Whether that was true or
not was debatable. "Mmhmm, yeah, that guy. It doesn't
seem interconnected, but I wonder if it really is. Can
you think of an excuse that would enable me to go visit
him?" She laughed as he rolled his eyes. Visiting
Jerjerrod was taking another huge risk. Since Papius had
so thoroughly humiliated her, she wasn't sure she wanted
to be put potentially in that place again. She sighed,
resting a hand on top of his. "When I get back, I'll
help you deal with *this*." She gestured towards the
"There is rarely cause for you to leave the
oversector on Imperial business, my love," Claudius
said, as he considered their options very carefully. The
last thing he wanted was his wife to give birth in an
Imperial detention center. "If Sullust is to be your
destination I might suggest using the SoroSuub
Corporation as a cover," he began, as a plot began to
worm in his sometimes devious mind. "You might say
you're looking into purchasing a yacht for Drusilla. No
one would dare question it and the thought of profits
would cloud their judgment," he explained, with a simple
nod of his head. "They are Imperial officers. I am not
concerned with their safety ... only yours," he said, in
an entirely selfish way. "Still ... if anything happens
to Meham'ohorovi'cloca we might as well surrender to the
rebellion," he joked, but there was a decided amount of
truth in the statement. As he looked towards the datapad
he wanted to arrange them in a way that spelled out
'Help Me', but he knew there were more pressing matters
to attend to. "Hurry back," he said, before leaning
forward to kiss her, which caused a number of the
datapads to fall to the floor. His eyes closed as lips
connected with hers, his tongue sliding from between his
lips and into her mouth. He treated each kiss as it
might be their last ... particularly since the Emperor's
Claudius' idea was a good one. It would remain that
way as long as Dru never knew they'd talked about
getting her a yacht. There had been enough rebellious
uprises from her lately. Not to mention that Pollix
character... Sierra wasn't a fan. "That's a great cover,
dear. It should be enough for us to avoid rousing
suspicion. I will make sure Meham'ohorovi'cloca returns.
I make no promises on Allegra." She laughed. The only
person she trusted in the Empire was Claudius. He was
the least likely to betray her, especially when he was
being so selfish about her safety. She leaned halfway
over his desk to meet him. The sound of datapads hitting
the ground was so familiar that it didn't phase her. The
overflow from his office was in *her* office. Their lips
locked in a sweet, loving kiss. Her gloved hands brushed
over his cheeks. She kissed him like it was their last.
The chain of events that had recently happened reminded
her of both of their humanity. In so many ways, she
wished she could just stay with him even though it would
get them no answers. After her tongue had danced with
his and her heart began racing, Sierra pulled back. "I
love you so much. I'll be back soon." She stole a final
kiss, then slid off of his desk and out of his office.
The very first thing she did when she departed was grab
her comm. "Allegra, did you find any transports?" She
was already making her way to the elevator shaft.
"Commander Ames here, milady," Allegra replied in a
monotone voice of obedience to her superior. "I have
gathered several options for you that would suit our
journey. The Governor keeps a personal craft from his
Senatorial days that would go unnoticed and is properly
maintained," she explained, as she stood within the
massive hangar bay. "The second is a transport we
impounded attempting to leave the system carrying
smuggled goods. Its Captain is in the brig and could be
compelled to grant us safe passage in exchange for our
overlooking his misdeed," she continued, believing that
presenting a multitude of varied options would make her
see dutiful and resourceful. "Your future son-in-law has
arrived in system with a pleasure craft that we could
make use of, but that of course would draw attention,"
she explained, completing the list before awaiting for a
reply. Beside her stood the silent Meham'ohorovi'cloca
who was clearly still playing a game of pazaak in her
head to determine what exactly was at play here.
Sierra listened to Allegra lay out each various
options. She was proud of the girl for presenting things
this way. If something went wrong as a result of their
transport, it was on Sierra's shoulders. However, any
compliments she might have gotten shot out the window
when she brought up the one person she didn't
practically want to talk about. Thankfully, Allegra
couldn't see it when she frowned over the mention of
Pollix. "Commander Ames, can we please cease talking
about my *potential* future son-in-law's pleasure craft.
Pollix is kind to my daughter, but this is a secret
operation. I don't trust him to get it done with any
kind of discreteness. Tell me more about the smuggler.
What was he caught smuggling? Spice?" She would have
like Meham'ohorovi'cloca's advice here, but she seemed
to be out of commission at the moment.
She soon arrived in the hangar, shoving her comlink
away into her trousers. She looked at Meham. "Hey. Are
you going to be okay? Clearly we need to get you away
from the holotank more often..." She looked at Allegra.
"Has she ever gone on vacation or anything?
Allegra cringed when she realized she had erred in
her assumption about the Prince. Before she could think
of something to say to redeem herself the Major began
questioning her about the smuggler. "No, milady. He was
transporting medical supplies from Rhinnal," she
reported, wishing it had been something more noteworthy
"We suspect he was attempting to deliver them to the
hidden rebel base, but he is not saying anything," she
revealed, when suddenly her eyes caught a glimpse of the
turbolift doors and the Major arriving in person. She
pocketed her comlink and shifted into a more rigid,
military posture as was expected when a superior officer
Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca barely blinked when
Major Rodney addressed her. "Oh, milady, you are here,"
she said, as she shifted her head down to look at the
woman. "I was not informed this was a vacation. I was
informed we were going to seek information on the
Ralltiir convoys," she said, before turning to look at
Commander Ames to wonder if she had been misled.
"No. Can't you tell?" Allegra replied to Major
Rodney, unable to maintain a professional demeanor in
regards to her Chiss colleague's mental state. "She is
teasing you," she said to the Chiss, rolling her eyes so
severely that they nearly fell from their sockets. "It
is *not* a vacation. Bring up a file on humor sometime,"
she said, dismissively, as she wondered what the Grand
Moff saw in this creature that made him so confident in
her tactical ability.
Sierra made a noise. The smuggler may be a bad idea.
Suddenly, Pollix was looking better. She didn't want to
take Claudius' old ship on account of her not taking a
pilot with them. If they took her husband's ship, she'd
end up flying it to ensure it made it back in one piece.
Any chances of getting work done on the trip were out.
Still considering the best option, her eyes fell on poor
Meham'ohorovi'cloca, who she had just successfully
confused. She glared at Allegra for giving the poor girl
sass. "Ah, Lieutenant. You work too hard." She passed
the Chiss woman. "I was only suggesting vacation because
you deserve it. Is there anywhere you think would be
delightful to visit?" She asked.
To Allegra, "Oye. Okay. Well, our options all kind of
suck. I would rather eat raw rancor than have Pollix's
help. How about you take me to this smuggler and we'll
see what he can do for us? We're going to keep this on
the down-low. I can't imagine the Governor would
approve..." In fact, this would be a for-sure rejected
idea. She would need to be cautious of the smuggler, who
could take all three of them to a Rebel base and demand
their weight in credits for their safe return. Her hand
padded her hip. She could feel her blaster pistol there.
"I only strive to bring about a swift result to the
tasks placed before me, Milady," Lieutenant
Meham'ohorovi'cloca replied to Sierra. "I will conduct a
study to consider ways in which I may be more efficient
in a shorter length of time," she replied, dutifully,
with a nod of her head believing, in her own way, that
she had successfully alleviated Sierra's concern. "I
thank you for suggesting a reward, but I live to serve
as I have been commanded. Victory is the only reward I
seek," she replied, sounding more like a droid than a
human, but then again she was a Chiss. "I would not
describe Sullust as *delightful* given the planetary
surveys I have reviewed. I would like to see the inside
of one of those transports, but I fear that shall be
impossible," she replied, before pursing her lips in a
great deal of strain.
"Is it possible to perform a droid memory wipe on a
hum- ... Chiss?" Commander Ames asked Major Rodney after
listening to Meham'ohorovi'cloca drone on for far too
long. "She doesn't get it and she never will," she
muttered under her breath, before canting her gaze
downward. What patience she had eroded and she could no
longer contain her xenophobic attitude. "Very well,
milady," she began, as she snapped the heels of her
boots and began marching towards the turbolift. "We'll
find him on the detention level," she said, over her
shoulder, as she moved through the hangar. "Try not to
get lost, Little Miss Chiss," she said, with a small
laugh at her own joke as she quickened the pace.
If there was an Employee of the Month award, it
probably should have always gone to Meham'ohorovi'cloca.
The girl was such an overachiever and she worked hard.
She didn't share the xenophobic feelings that Allegra
had. In fact, many of her friends were aliens of one
kind or another...not to mention her two Squib children.
"Don't worry, Commander. We're going to try our best to
get you in one of those transports but after that, you
really need to take a break. I've known you as long as
I've been here. I've never seen you take a moment for
yourself. Remember, the war isn't always fought on the
battlefield." Sierra wondered if she could get Meham to
look at vacation of some sort of a tactical battle.
Nonetheless, Sierra tried to make it look like Meham
had done something to help her. She cold tell she was
trying. Her blue eyes fell on Allegra, who's attitude
was unacceptable. They became cold. "Come on,
Lieutenant." She felt like they might need the buddy
system to reach the detention level. When they were all
together in a group, Sierra caught up with Allegra.
"Commander Ames, your lack of professionalism is
outstanding. When I heard your father was a member of
the old Senate, I expected a little. . . I don't know,
more effort. Xenophobia may be common practice in the
Empire, but I will not listen to you put Lieutenant
Meham'ohorovi'cloca down in front of me. When you've won
battles and become a tactical expect, then you can
insult her. Until then, I'd suggest editing yourself.
Ensign Sheppard has been begging me for more help at the
estate. I wonder if you might like to join her. How
would it feel to serve a Squib? Or did you forget that I
and the Governor have two Squib children?"
Allegra bit down sharply on her lower lip while being
dressed down by Major Rodney. She would have expected
different from a member of the Imperial Security Bureau.
She knew that Sierra was hand picked by Arden Zevrin
whose reputation for dislike and distrust of aliens was
well known. After all when Zevrin had usurped the
Governor Meham'ohorovi'cloca had all but been relieved
of duty much to her own satisfaction. She was more than
aware of the plight of the helmswoman who often returned
from her special duty smelling of fecal matter. "N-n-no,
milady," she said, pitifully, her voice shaking badly.
"I-I-I... apologize, Meham'ohorovi'cloca," she said, as
she swiftly turned her attention towards the Chiss. "I
shall speak of this no longer," she said, before
obediently bowing her head. She was rarely surprised,
but she had completely misread the situation.
For her part Meham'ohorovi'cloca was confused by the
confrontation. She neither had time nor understanding
when it came to the matter of Allegra and her insults.
She did however find it insufferable when Colonel Zevrin
had relieved her of responsibility. "This is not
necessary. Her misstatements reveal her character and
motives. Valuable information," she reported, as every
social interaction was measured like a tactical
situation. She knew how Allegra and many of the other
officers felt, but felt that forcing them to conceal it
would only cloud her ability to determine who was a
xenophobe and who was not. She was fortunate that the
Grand Moff was not among the xenophobic camp and in fact
had repeatedly noted he associated with more alien
species than any senior Imperial officer she had thus
far encountered. Even her mentor the great Grand Admiral
Thrawn had surrounded himself by human officers.
Sierra saw that she had properly reprimanded Allegra.
The woman stepped down and apologized for her actions.
"Thank you, Lieutenant." She seemed to go back to being
generally sweet natured. Meham'ohorovi'cloca dealt with
far too much. Despite the fact that she often missed
social cues, Meham'ohorovi'cloca was a hard worker. She
was good at what she did. There was not a tactical
officer out there who hadn't lost at times. What made
them good was knowing when to call it a day and
withdraw. She had heard much about Grand Admiral Thrawn
though it was unlikely their paths would ever cross. One
thing was for sure; the man was a genius on the
To Meham'ohorovi'cloca, "Valuable information indeed,
but she also needs to understand how order works in the
Empire. If she was to continue to harass you, it would
be very disrespectful. I could have her reassigned
within the hour if I choose. Accept her apology, and
let's all move on. I hate how xenophobic some of the
officers have become. It isn't okay." She grumbled as
they reached the detention level after an incredibly
awkward ride in the turbolift. Sierra's hands crossed
behind her back. "Which cell is our ride in?" She asked
Allegra. There were few prisoners who wouldn't jump at
the free ride she was about to offer the smuggler.
Allegra's eyes widened when she heard the word
'reassigned' made in reference to her. She had called in
every favor to get this assignment, but her father no
longer held a seat in the Imperial Senate and therefore
could no longer use his influence to advance her career.
Her heart was beating out of her chest and she felt the
onset of an anxiety attack. If only there was an ass for
her to kiss. However, before she could open her mouth
and potentially make things worse the Major returned to
the subject of the smuggler. "Detention block is this
way, milady," she said, as she exited the lift after
arriving in the bowels of the massive Star Dreadnaught.
She stopped at the officer manning the security
checkpoint to confirm the individual cell assignment
before directing the Major further. "He's in the third
cell down in the main corridor," she explained, before
raising her hand to point. "Would you like for us to
accompany you?" she asked, being glad to have
Meham'ohorovi'cloca to use as a shield should anything
Quietly, Sierra followed the women to the detention
block. There was irritation riding on the Imperial's
shoulders. She was bothered that they had found nothing
out about the convoys. It was a mystery that promised to
drive her crazy. They paused briefly at the checkpoint.
Sierra could feel her swollen feet rebelling against her
boots. Her eyes followed Allegra, finding the cell in
which she pointed out. "No. Why don't you both stay out
here while I take care of this? It isn't the first time
I've spent time with prisoners." She parted from them to
approach the individual cell holding Reg Collingwood. A
datapad sat hanging near the cell. She grabbed it,
briefly glancing at its contents before continuing
forward into the cell. She cradled it in her hands,
looking at the seemingly human man. "Reg Collingwood.
It's your lucky day." The door shut behind her. She
showed no fear to him by continuing forward into his
little slice of hell. "Today is the day you become a
freeman should you wish to play ball with the Empire."
Reg Collingwood was not quite the smuggler he
pretended to be. He was not caught smuggling arms or
spice, but medical supplies bound for the rebel cell
within the Ringali Nebula. He was considered ruggedly
handsome with dirty blonde hair and a beard that could
use a trim after confinement in the Imperial holding
cell. His weapon and equipment had been taken from him
and who knew what they were doing with his ship, but he
was still in possession of his chance cube which he
repeatedly tossed against the wall hoping to get a
different result. He was dressed in standard spacer fare
that consisted of a brown duster covering a mustard
shirt and pants that matched the duster. Where once
there holsters there now were none and his boots had
been confiscated so that he could not utilize the laces.
"An ironic statement if ever there was one," he said,
with his back turned to the force field that separated
them. He did not turn to face her, nor did he even look
over his shoulder to acknowledge her. "Somehow I don't
think you're talking about shockball," he said, before
tossing the chance cube against the wall again. "Look. I
told you people. I don't know where the rebel base is.
Check my navicomputer. Drug me. Torture me. I meet a
ship at a different location every time," he said, with
a groan, before reaching down to pick up the cube again.
Sierra wasn't really interested in the man in front
of her. He was far too young for her. What she wanted
from him was far from intimacy. She wanted him to do a
job for her and to do it properly. She lingered near the
force shield. It made her feel most comfortable to have
it separating them for the time being. "No, not
shockball. I know you don't have any information for me.
Someone else would have gotten it out of you already.
These cells leave much to be desired. I'm sure you want
to escape." She eyed his chance cube, wondering how it
hadn't been confiscated just yet. "I'm not really here
to butter you up or to indulge your masochistic
fantasies, so let's have a talk. I need a ride. I need
it to be discrete. I need to end up where I tell you. If
you agree to help me, your time in this cell is over. I
will cut you free. We have done nothing with your ship.
It has sat in a hangar since you were brought to me.
There aren't even any tracking devices installed." They
knew Reg wasn't going anywhere. "So, you can either stay
here and continue to piss in front of Stormtroopers, or
you can be free again." She pressed a button which
caused the force field to begin to dissipate.
She had succeeded in getting his attention, which
resulted in him pocketing his chance cube and turning to
face her. He pulled back slightly when he saw the color
of her uniform, realizing that it implied she was a
member of the loathsome Imperial Security Bureau. "*You*
need a ride?" he asked, rolling his eyes and snorting
slightly. "You have an entire fleet of starships," he
said, as he rose from the cold metal cot so that he
could stand before her. "*Right* ... nothing done to my
ship. No tracking devices. No listening devices..." he
began, mocking her, while arching his left eyebrow. "Are
you sure you put on the right uniform this morning?" he
teased, before shaking his head dismissively again. Only
when the force field came down did he think that there
was at least a *chance* he could make a run for it at
some point. "...and *where* do you need to get to ...
discreetly?" he asked, as he brought his hand up to
scratch at his beard.
Sierra laughed at him. It was different dealing with
criminals who had no idea who *she* was, than Imperials
who did know and feared her thanks to her husband. She
inched towards him like a prowling cat. "Oh, I have my
pick of the fleet. However, I need something that won't
identify me as an Imperial the moment it's seen." She
came closer. Her eyes dared him to make a run for it. At
least she would get to shoot someone today. She laughed
again. "Ah, you really are masochistic. Well, I can
arrange the deluxe ISB package for you. It sounds like
you want it..."
"I need a ride to Sullust. Well, me and two other
officers will be accompanying you. I need a ride there
to snoop around. You know, ISB things, and then I need
you to bring us back here. I'd like to be in one piece
since I'm pregnant with twins and can't afford to lose a
leg. Think you can do that for me?" She looked at him.
She wanted him to agree so she could stop wasting time.
She had already broken up the children from fighting.
"I hate to tell you this, toots, but you might want
to change then," Reg said with a smirk, as he
instinctively sized up the beautiful young blonde who
stood before him. He was optimistic most of the way down
until he saw what was undeniably a baby bump. He frowned
and literally took a couple of cautious steps away from
her. "Sullust? Why would you want to go to Sullust?
Didn't think your type cared to associate with
Sullustans," he said, condescendingly, revealing he did
not have respect for the Empire and its xenophobia. When
she said she was carrying twins it confirmed his
suspicions. "Oh I can do it for you, but I have a
conscience and if you're going out there to kill someone
... or *someones* ... I want no part of it," he added,
before defiantly folding his arms in front of his chest.
He wanted his freedom. He wanted out of that cell, but
he did not want blood on his hands.
"Oh, don't worry. I have plenty of clothes stored in
my husband's office. You know... Grand Moff Rodney."
Sierra had once hated to play the husband card. She had
repeatedly been pushed around over who her love was.
Now, she was embracing it. "Which should be a kind
reminder that if I don't return safely, it will be his
wrath you have to endure. My professional
recommendation? Don't try anything foolish."
She paused when he started asking her direct
questions about his mission. Sierra was quiet until Reg
made it clear that he thought she was leaving the fold
to kill someone. She laughed. "Your little attitude is
adorable, Collingwood. I am not traveling to Sullust to
kill anyone. I'm an ISB officer, you should know I don't
like to get my own hands dirty. I am merely traveling to
see about a yacht for my daughter.." Her eyes settled on
him, silently conveying that it wasn't the whole truth.
When she caught his eyes, she glanced upward towards an
obvious camera to show him that she could say no more.
"So ... what do you say? Do you want to leave this cell
If Reg had been taking a sip of a drink he would have
spit it out when she revealed that she was the Grand
Moff's wife. "A Grand Moff, you say?" he asked, as he
looked her over again as he had apparently misjudged her
with his first impression. "Someone aimed big," he
teased, as he leaned against the bulkhead of his cell.
Reg listened to her cover story, or at least that's what
he suspected it was. "...and how old is this daughter?"
he pressed, arching his eyebrow at her again. A charming
smile formed upon his face as he exited the cell and
brushed past her. "I say let's get this over with,
Misses Moff," he said, with a snicker before being
confronted by the odd pairing of Allegra Ames and
Meham'ohorovi'cloca at the end of the corridor. "Hello,
ladies," he said, with a smirk as he looked over each of
them. They made for quite the pair. Suddenly this looked
like it might be interesting.
She laughed hard. Sierra could only think of how she
was Arden Zevrin's plan to get under Claudius' skin.
Well, she supposed she got *under* something, alright.
"I suppose I did." She commented, but her calm
expression changed when he asked her the age of her
daughter. If looks could kill, Reg would have been
destroyed. Only a bloody puddle would have been left
behind. She choose not to say anything in remark.
Suddenly, Pollix was looking like the ideal match for
She made her way out of the cell. "He's agreed,
obviously." She told both women. "Let's get him down to
his ship. We all should probably bring a pair of
civilian clothing. I don't want to raise any red flags.
Meham'ohorovi'cloca, do you have something you can
wear?" She asked the Chiss, concerned that her Imperial
uniform dominated her wardrobe. Sierra was keeping an
eye on Reg. She didn't trust him. In fact,
Meham'ohorovi'cloca was the most trusted person she was
bringing with her on this mission.
Meham'ohorovi'cloca had never been looked at that way
by a man before. Not even by a member of her own
species. She did not care for it. She felt as if she
needed to cover up despite the fact that she was fully
clothed. She would have made a comment, but before she
could Sierra asked her a question and it shifted her
focus and attention. "I am not a civilian. Therefore I
do not possess any civilian clothing," she reported,
dutifully, with a firm nod of her head to her superior.
She was unaware of their methodology they were about to
employ on this mission and therefore she was not
"Ugh," Allegra groaned, audibly, from the droidlike
statement that her compatriot had just made. "Look. You
can borrow one of my outfits. Just don't get any blue on
it," she said, quickly, without thinking, before
remember what Sierra had said and quickly backpedaling.
"I mean... I don't know what I mean," she stammered,
looking flustered, as she prepared to leave to her
quarters to get an outfit for the both of him. "Look.
I'll handle it," she said, being off her game for the
first time in as long as she could remember. What she
had hoped was going to be a chance to impress Sierra and
suck up was turning into a nightmare where she would
have to struggle just to keep her current position.
Reg just stood there with a smirk and rosey cheeks as
the less than dynamic duo performed in front of him. He
made no comment to either of them, nor did he bother to
introduce himself to them. It just seemed to go on and
on like a comedy duo from an Old Republic holovid.
Finally, he leaned over towards Sierra and whispered so
that hopefully only she could hear him. "Do they always
do this?" he asked, doing his best not to laugh. "If
this is part of your plan I'm starting to doubt you're
ISB," he added, this time with a chuckle, before he
pulled away from her to watch what happened next.
Well, that wasn't surprising. Meham'ohorovi'cloca had
worn her uniform to Sierra's baby shower. Looking back,
she felt that the Chiss officer was the only officer
there that didn't try to suck up to her. Her eyes shot
towards Allegra. She didn't miss the comment, but felt
no need to reprimand with how rapidly she backpedaled.
"Thank you, Commander Ames. Please find her something to
wear. Meham'ohorovi'cloca, go with her and make sure she
stays on task. Everyone will meet us back at Reg's ship
as soon as possible." She wondered if she should have
gone with Allegra and Meham'ohorovi'cloca to see that
the Chiss was treated properly. She watched them,
feeling nervous about what they were going to do. Should
the Emperor smell something fishy, then that would be
the end of her. She and Claudius were already standing
on thin ice.
Reg's whisper was met with a soft laugh. She shook
her head. "Believe it or not, this is not scripted.
You're getting free entertainment here, Mr.
Collingwood." Sarcasm rang out in her sweet little
voice. "I only hope Commander Ames can manage to hold
her tongue. The xenophobia has to stop." She groaned,
making her way to the turbolift. Together, they stood.
The doors closed. Sierra seemed to decompress for a
"So what are you going to wear? Maternity wear?" Reg
asked, once they were inside the turbolift. "I thought
the Grand Moff was some old man. Guess I had that one
wrong," he said, as he stood behind her, trying to
figure out just who and what he was dealing with. "So I
guess those two know a lot about yachts, huh? That why
they're coming?" he asked in rapid succession, the smirk
never leaving his face. She was not like what he
imagined an ISB officer would be like. Or a Grand Moff's
wife for that matter. As the turbolift moved towards the
hangar he had no idea why they were going to Sullust,
but he sincerely doubted it was to buy a yacht. He would
play along for the time being, but if the chance to bolt
presented itself he would surely take the chance. "Don't
suppose I get my blaster back, huh? It could intimidate
the Sullustans to giving us a lower price," he teased,
realizing it was a long shot, but it never hurt to ask.
"Wouldn't you like to know what I'll be wearing?" She
laughed at him. She'd dealt with plenty men like him in
her day. He wasn't actually wrong about Claudius, though
she didn't give him any insight as to the kind of man
she enjoyed. It simply wasn't his business. "Did they
strike you as yacht experts?" She looked at him, finding
the smirk on his face as an answer to her question.
"They are just part of the party, Mr. Collingwood. I
only care about the Chiss woman's survival." The
turbolift doors opened. She stepped out, waiting for him
to join her before continuing forward. "You blaster has
been disposed of. You can find some new weapons for
yourself after you've finished your mission." She
marched her way to his ship. She would reveal the truth
to him when there weren't eyes and ears everywhere.
"Yes, actually. I *would* like to know, which is why
I asked," Reg replied, as he felt the turbolift slowing
as they neared the hangar level. "They strike me as the
reason why you're going to lose the war. One is too by
the book to deal with events that fall out of protocol
and the other is too self involved and concerned with
advancement that she cares for nothing else," he
informed her, cutting right to the core. He fancied
himself as something of a people expert and their study
had saved his neck in the Outer Rim more than once.
"Pity, that," he said, referring to the blaster as he
made his way past the ubiquitous amount of TIE fighters
and support craft that filled the hangar of the massive
dreadnaught. Finally he came upon his ship, the Kima,
which was named for a feline from the planet Talus. It
was a Nella 342, coincidentally a SoroSuub model itself,
but its best days were behind it. It was an old design,
but properly maintained, although it could not possibly
hope to compete with modern Corellian designs. It was
particularly the right the craft for the job. If the
holonet had an image to accompany the word 'discrete'
this ship would be it. "Impressed?" he said, with a
smirk, as he leaned against the pylon that supported the
"Pervert." She grumbled at him. He just couldn't help
opening his mouth and spewing his opinion...not like she
could flaw it however. Claudius had warned her about
Allegra. The woman hadn't done anything to redeem
herself. She highly doubted she would turn herself
around like that. Then there was their resident Chiss.
She remained silent, considering what he had said. She
didn't care what came next for her, but she wanted a
world better for her children to grow up in. For that to
happen, the Rebels needed to win. Somehow, someway,
Emperor Palpatine needed to fall.
She continued toward the ship. The SoroSuub model
might make for good common ground and opening
conversation. Her eyes lingered on his ship a moment
longer. "Maybe a little, but don't let it go to your
head." She didn't immediately enter his ship. Instead,
she stepped up to one of the Stormtroopers and told him,
in her best demanding voice, and instructed him to get
one of her suitcases out of the Kwai, then started up
into the Kima. "Wow. I almost wish I'd kept you a
prisoner. I could have taken your ship and made it
mine." She commented, moving forward toward the cockpit.
"I didn't know we'd be bringing your matched
luggage," Reg said to her, as he followed her back onto
his old ship. "I hope you don't expect me to carry your
bags," he said, as he hastily moved around the ship to
determine of the Empire had done anything to it. Even if
they had installed a tracker or a listening device he
probably would not be able to locate it quickly enough
or even identify it if he had the time. "You're buying a
yacht, Misses Moff," he said, as he began moving towards
the cockpit. "You could buy a dozen of these old
freighters for the price of a yacht," he continued,
loudly so she could hear him, before sitting down in the
pilot's seat. "Hello, old girl. Miss me?" he asked the
ship, as his hands moved over the controls to begin
powering up the reactor. "But a ship needs its Captain
and without me this ship is nothing," he said to Sierra,
before bringing the engines slowly online. "I didn't
really mean that. Just keeping up appearance for the
Impies," he whispered sweetly to the ship, as everything
began to come online.
Luckily, she didn't have matching luggage. She had a
bag she favored with a loth-cat print, which Reg was
definitely going to notice. While he took the pilot's
seat, she perched herself in the copilot's seat. Of the
three Imperials who would be traveling, she considered
herself to be the most responsible, and therefore she
got to call shotgun. "Am I buying a yacht, Mr.
Collinwood?" She hinted, for a second time, that there
was more going on. "I could buy myself an old freighter,
but this one is already broken in. Used freighters can
smell so strange. Thank goodness yours has had adequate
time to air out while you sat in your cage." She sat
back. Both of her hands folded over her rounded stomach.
Internally, she was already tired. Externally, she was
sharp. She knew the ship wasn't bugged. It was one of
the reasons why she choose to use it. "It's cute how you
sweet talk your ship. There are no strings attached to
this deal. As soon as I set foot on the hangar after our
journey is over, you are free to go."
Whether or not they were buying a yacht, Allegra Ames
returned to the Kima dressed in something that Drusilla
Rodney would have worn. As she was the daughter of a
Senator she had considerable personal means, but rarely
had the opportunity to utilize it. A plush Core World
assignment usually meant being able to spend time on the
surface of the planet, but the ferocity of the Rebel
attacks made her unwilling to risk a leisure trip down
to the surface of Esseles. She had a concealed hold-out
blaster strapped to her thigh under her dress, but she
was not a competent shot. Still, taking a smuggling
vessel to the Outer Rim to investigate a secret Imperial
project was bound to be dangerous.
If Allegra was in costume as a wealthy yacht buyer
than Meham'ohorovi'cloca was dressed in costume as her
servant. She was wearing drab clothes in shades of brown
that made her look like a down on her luck spacer,
although for her part she did not mind. She was more
interested than the ship itself, finding it infinitely
inferior to any Imperial craft. "I believe we are ready,
milady," she said, as she took a seat in the cockpit
behind Reg. She would keep an eye on him not having much
competence on pilots that did not come from the Imperial
Academy. But then again Lieutenant Trainor was an
academy instructor and did not fly conventionally.
Perhaps there was something to learn in his methods.
"On second thought I don't want to know what you're
doing, Misses Moff," Reg said, as his hands moved over
the controls. "You think I'm cute?" he pressed her,
twisting his words for his own benefit. "Don't worry.
This ship will get you back here in one piece provided
you don't do anything on Sullust to get yourself
entangled," he said, as he saw the two character from
earlier board the ship. He whistled at Allegra as she
sashayed into the cockpit, but shook his head at the
Chiss. "I think they need some coaching," he said to
Sierra, before activating the engines and lifting them
off the flight deck. They descended from the hangar of
the massive Star Dreadnaught and entered the space
surrounding Esseles. His hands moved over the
navicomputer to begin downloading the coordinates for
Sullust. "It's not as fast as your Imperial hyperdrives,
but it'll do. Sometimes its not how fast you get there,
but just the fact that you can get there that matters,"
he reminded her, as he waited on the computer.
Sierra hardly expected Allegra to return wearing
*that*. Meham'ohorovi'cloca's slave-like apparel made
her want to kick Allegra off the ship as soon as she saw
it. They both looked absolutely ridiculous. As much as
Meham'ohorovi'cloca didn't care, Sierra cared for her.
She looked at Reg, then placed her head in her palms.
Oooh, they both looked entirely ridiculous. She wasn't
sure if she'd let them off of the freighter. Currently,
Reg was the best dressed of the bunch. Honestly, that
wasn't a high honor at the moment. As they began taking
off she realized, with great disappointment, that she
had forgotten her pudding. It was probably at the
holotank or eaten by one of the officers. "Thank you,
Lieutenant." She spoke into her hands.
Reg's comment of her thinking he was cute was
answered with a groan. She was very much so happy with
her husband and not interested in anyone else. "I'm not
on Sullust to start problems, I assure you on that."
They left the false sense of safety that her husband's
command ship gave her. This little mission could go
wrong in so many different ways. "Argh. Don't bring that
up. They'll be staying in the ship while we go take care
of business. Apparently I have to dress them like
children when I take them out." She glanced down at
Esseles. She missed the girls, Bruce, and all their
various animals. Before she new it, streaks formed
around them an Esseles was a thing of the past. One
thing was for certain; this was going to be a wild ride.