Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:10:3) in the Essesia system: Kima and Retributor.
Commander Allegra Ames, Reg Collingwood, Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, and Major Sierra Rodney.

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, ladies?"

"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 discovery.

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 me."

"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 bureaucracy.

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 datapads.

"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 threatening statements.

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 arrived.

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 battlefield.

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 go wrong.

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. What next?

"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 for good?"

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 Drusilla.

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 adequately prepared.

"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 moment.

"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 entry lift.

"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.

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