Claudius Rodney strode out of the
turbolift onto the flightdeck of the Imperial I-class Star
Destroyer Warspite in a deliberate pace. His expression was
one of concern and his usually polite demeanor had been washed away
by the stress of the past twenty-four hours. While he was on
Gallinore one of his subordinates, Major Arden Zevrin, ordered the
destruction of Mal Medy, a village on Ralltiir. Since that time the
planet had been nearing open revolt and nothing the Admiral could
think of was having any affect on quelling the situation. On top of
that, he had received word that an Sub-Vigo was being dispatched
to to the region. He swallowed nervously and adjusted his tunic, looking
over the group of Imperial officers arranged in formation to salute
Kalista walked along the dark
walkway in measured strides. Her dark green dress flowing around her
lithe figure. It's low-cut was rather revealing for a person of her
standing, but still the edge of tasteful with it's U-shaped neck and
plunging back. It went to the floor hiding her black knee high boots
that were clicking with her every step. Her auburn locks were up in
a shamelessly sexy messy bun, with a few tendrils framing her face,
and one trailing down her spine. Her skin had a healthy glow to it,
but her face was set in stone and her gray eyes seemed ablaze as she
approached Lord Rodney.
The Admiral bowed in respect to her
as she approached. He was incredibly nervous. He had stories about
the Black Sun and their methods. As he rose back up he cleared his
throat and began the necessary pleasantries, "On behalf of the crew
of this vessel and my staff, allow me to welcome you aboard. We will
do everything in our power to make your stay aboard the Warspite as
pleasant as possible."
She spoke with a slight accent, one
of poise and distinctive pronunciation. Her eyes looked around at the
officers, quirking her right brow. "Thank you, My Lord Rodney," she
inclined her head to him in her gesture of good faith. "I have heard
of bad news in your front. Would you please regale me with its
"Of course," Claudius began, "But
please let us retire to a more suitable location." He extended his
right arm towards the nearby turbolift, ushering her towards it. At
a steady pace he walked towards the turbolift and stepped inside,
patiently waiting for her to join him in the lift.
"Indeed." She said as she nodded in
agreement and followed him to the lift. She glanced back to the
officers as she entered it, waving her fingers toward them with a
smirk on her lips. Naughty, naughty.
After a few moments the turbolift
ascended the conning tower of the Star Destroyer. Arriving several
levels below the bridge the turbolift doors opened and the Admiral
exited. He walked towards a conference room that had been prepared
with various unnecessary items like snacks and beverages. Inside the
room Lieutenant Meham'ohoriv'cloca stood patiently near a tactical display.
Claudius nodded to her politely as he took a seat at the conference
Kalista sat to his right while her
eyes ran across the Lieutenant. "Show me all, then, sir," she said
to Lord Rodney.
"While I was on leave Major Arden
Zevrin, the ISB's Sector Officer for this region, neutralized a
rebel threat on the planet Ralltiir," Claudius explained nervously,
"The village in question ... Mal Medy ... was a known haven of rebel
sympathizers. Intelligence routinely placed rebel operatives in or
around the village and it was believe the local population was
providing them with supplies. We were attempting to win their hearts
and minds, but apparently Major Zevrin felt it was not working. She
ordered one of warships to bombard the village. It was a total
Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca activated the
display, bringing up satellite photos of the village. The first
slide showed the village. An average sized population center with
homes, basic facilities, and the like. The second slide showed
nothing more than a burnt out crater.
Kalista placed her hands on the table,
making a steeple with her fingers. "And your plans, sir?" she spoke
her words with a quiet ferocity, studying the images.
"Well," Claudius continued to
explain, "This event follows up on the massacre in the city of
Grallia two months ago. The population of Ralltiir has taken to the
streets and is demanding the Empire remove all troops from the
system. There have been clashes between our forces and the local
population for the past forty-eight hours. We can deploy more troops
and attempt to pacify them or we can pull back and see if the
"Do we need these people for
anything? Or would it be better for us to finish it?"
"Well, Miss Mandu," Claudius
continued, "This is a fire that must be contained here on Ralltiir.
If we escalate the situation it will spread to neighboring worlds.
Soon the entire sector will be in flames. We cannot allow the
rebellion to take shape in the core. However, if we simply 'finish
it' we will only be giving the rebels more propaganda to use against
us. We must isolate this planet from the rest of the galaxy. Cut it
off entirely and the rest of the galaxy will simply forget it
She tried to quell her anger toward
him. She was trying to be civil. "So you are going to blockade them.
This sounds like Naboo, all over again. Except, they hadn't blown
the city to bits..." She glowered toward him.
"A blockade is a time honored naval
tradition, Miss Mandu," Lieutenant Meham'ohoriv'cloca, the Admiral's Chiss
tactical officer opined.
"We feel it will be most effective
at giving us time to deal with the situation without allowing it to
spread to any of the neighboring worlds," Admiral Rodney added to
his officer's statement.
"Yes, and one which will attract a
great deal of rebel attention. You see, no matter what is done,
others will know. They will know when they cannot travel to their
neighbors, or if they cannot contact them. They will know. Just like
we do." Her eyes narrowed. "However, it is better to blockade than
destroy. To gain any margin of trust, it is likely you will have to
make amends by punishing your acting officer, or something of
similar consequence. There is a great deal of fixing needed here. I
shall be staying presently and until the matter is adequately
resolved, if it is possible, Lord Rodney." She said it with civility
enough, but there was an obvious edge of, and I expect nothing
"Of course it is possible,
Miss Mandu," the Admiral told her with a polite, diplomatic smile.
In private he was horrified. He wanted the Sub-Vigo to leave as
quickly as possible, but he would never openly state such a fact.
"We will make a full ambassadorial suite available to you and
provide you with whatever personnel and resources you require."
"I do not require such a extravagant
place for sleeping, sir. If there is a place," she smiled wickedly,
"closer to the rest of the crew, that would be preferable. I will
retire presently to review notes and communicate. If you will
escort, sir." She stood, inclining her head to the Lieutenant before
turning to Lord Rodney expectantly.
"Of course, Miss Mandu," the Admiral
said as he rose from his seat at the conference table, "I am at your
disposal." He smiled to her politely once again and proceeded out of
the conference room. He walked down the corridor once again to the
familiar turbolift where he held it open for her arrival.
She followed him, her gait slightly
lighter for her inner smile. If they could read minds, they would
rather have died than have her running around, she knew. She strode
into the lift and clasped her hands together in what appeared as
glee, but also from habit.
Claudius swallowed nervously as the
turbolift activated again. It descended several decks towards the
crew compartments. He nodded to her politely as he exited the
turbolift once again. He proceeded down the long corridor once again
until coming to a stop at a nondescript set of quarters. He stood at
attention adjacent to the doorway, awaiting the Sub-Vigo.
Kalista followed him from the lift
and to the quarters, walking in. She glanced around before turning
back to him. "This will be excellent. And could you have someone
bring me some tea, sir? It would be most appreciated." She smiled
sweetly as she said it. It was her way of saying, 'I'm nicer when
you give me tea...'
"Tea? Of course," the Admiral said
with a diplomatic smile as he walked towards the nearest wall comm
panel. Activating the unit he signaled the bridge, "Bridge ... this
is the Admiral. Have some tea prepared for our guest. Top priority."
Claudius then turned his attention away from the comm unit and
refocused on the Sub-Vigo, "Is there anything else we can do to
make your stay more pleasant?"
"Unless you make problems disappear,
then no, sir. But thank you." She inclined her head to him before
moving toward the nearest wall to sit on the floor and meditate.
"The tea may come at any time, it will not disturb me. And have a
nice evening, Lord Rodney." She smiled genuinely, before clasping
her hands together and focusing elsewhere.
"Of course," the Admiral replied
with another bow of respect, "Have a wonderful evening and enjoy
your tea when it arrives. I will meet with you again tomorrow and we
can discuss the situation further." The Admiral nodded his head one
final time before retreating down the hallway from which he came.