Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Sean Brandt, Christopher Levy, and Jaina Roberts.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:10:34) in the Rhinnal system: Forbearance and Rhinnal (Rhire: Dagon Tong's safe house).
Captain Caligula Howe, Sergeant Reilly Judah, Corporal Lovora Rikki, Lady Jelena Rodney, and Major Arden Zevrin.

Another day of nothing. Jelena Rodney had enough of pazaak ... if she had been playing for keeps she would have lost half the family fortune that she had been disinherited from. Instead, she was laying on the flimsy cot she called a bed, wrapped in a blanket that did not provide enough warmth, next to a heater that likely had not worked since the Clone Wars. It was a dark time for her, and she did not want the commandos to know how close she was coming to breaking. In her mitten covered hands she clung to an image of her family in happier times, when her mother was still alive. Maybe this would have all turned out differently if her mother had lived. Maybe her father would not have devoted himself so much to his career, and rise to the position of prominence in the Empire that he did. Maybe she would have gotten him to retire, and be a full time father, but ... but if he had she would have left for university on Alderaan and been obliterated by the Death Star with all of her friends. There was a double edge to her life that she could not avoid constantly brooding upon, like some tragic character in an ancient Alderaanian play.

Reilly smirked as she closed the access panel of the med had taken quite a lot of time and ingenuity but the droid was at 100% capacity. At least something finally worked right. The droid bleeped in satisfaction as it ran a diagnostic test that reiterated what Reilly already knew. "Good as new," she stated as her right hand patted the *head* of the droid. Upon standing, tune medic thought it best to check on the medical supplies. Though they had received a good portion from the city official, things ran out quickly.

Lovora Rikki had thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Jelena while teaching her pazaak, but while she was well accustomed to passing the time with constant card games and other such diversions, it didn't seem the noble woman was. So Lovora had found other things to fill the hours with, most notable being the holonet broadcasts coming through on a cheap receiver. Though the bacta tank and other medical attention had done a lot for her wounds, Lovora still wasn't in tip top shape. That's why, when Reilly came through, she still had to make use of a cane to stand up, favoring her injured leg. At least she could dress normally now, though. No more stupid robes, and much warmer. "Hey, Reilly? Just wanted to say thanks. You pretty much saved my life." It was a bit of an awkward conversation starter, but Lovora had been wanting an opportunity to say it, and now was as good as ever.

Jelena heard what Lovora said to Reilly across the room and thought that maybe she get some medical training. This propaganda job she had was not working out to her liking, and thought maybe helping people might be something more worthwhile. Her mother had helped during the Clone Wars before she became pregnant with her, and maybe it was time to emulate her as she began her own path towards womanhood. She was not sure if Reilly would want to teach her, as Captain Tong had very nearly killed her, and she assumed most of the veteran commandos disliked her as much as he did. She knew they had been going to the Rhinnal State Medical Academy for supplies, and she toyed around with the idea of having her face altered, taking an alias, and trying to go back to school. An unrealistic dream for a teenager lost in a war without a purpose.

A wave of shyness swept over Reilly. She looked at Lovora for as long as she could before glancing downward. "I'm glad you are feeling better. You are most welcome though I was just doing my job. I hope you will be able to return to your duties soon." With that Reilly looked back at the medical supplies, continuing to do an inventory. She has always found it difficult to converse with those who put their lives on the line for the Rebellion.

That sort of shyness reminded her of Jelena when they'd started talking. By now Lovora was more or less used to it, though she saw what she did the same as Reilly saw her work; it was just a job that needed doing. "Well, you did a good one, then. I'm lookin' forward to getting back out there. Should be good for guard duty at least in the next couple of days." The SE-14 blaster pistol was sitting in its holster on a small table by where she had been sitting. Lovora had tried wearing it earlier, but it tugged where the wound in her torso was, irritating it badly. "Anyway, uhm...thanks again." Reilly seemed busy enough, and she didn't want to disturb her, but not having anyone to talk to was going to drive her nuts. She hobbled back to the old couch she had been sitting on, propping her leg up and setting the cane down on the floor. Back to the holonet it seemed.

Jelena let out a deep huff, as she moved from the cot towards the refresher. It was the only place in the safehouse where she felt she had any privacy. In the castle on Delaya she had an entire spire to herself ... even aboard the Star Destroyer she had oodles of privacy due to her father's constant late nights of working. Once she was inside of the refresher, and was certain no one else, her hand went into her pocket to pull out her comlink. She had been trying to contact her sisters, but Ewwiekewwieikkie was too dense to operate the terminal, and Drusilla was most likely too self involved ... after all she was the heir now. And so all that ever happened when she fumbled it was a screeching static and electronic noises. Feeling ignored by those she was with, and by those she left behind, she tossed it away, and started to cry where no one could see her.

Unfortunately for Jelena when the comlink was discarded it remained in the transmit position, and those that had been monitoring her attempts to contact her sisters finally had enough time to triangulate her location. All throughout the Rhinnal system Imperial forces were beginning to go on alert as one of the largest manhunts in Imperial history was about to begin. They had been looking for her since the moment she fled the Warspite, but no one had ever thought she would be this close. No one even bothered to casually check Rhinnal. The very notion had been dismissed outright from the very beginning.

Reilly nodded to Lovora, though the woman was moving on. She'd never spent this much time with a group of females since her time at the imperial academy. That seemed like lifetimes ago. She wondered when her team would return...if they would return. At least their banter kept her entertained. The supplies were still pretty well stocked, and satisfied with the, Reilly moved to the food supply. She might as well see if there was a need to scavenge more eats. The few brief steps it took her to reach the food prep area ended all too quickly. With a sigh, she resigned herself to the lull of boredom that was present while they all waited. Food supplies could be replenished. Excitedly Reilly moved away from the food area and to her own sack. There she produced a light tan jacket. Hopefully it would give her enough warmth outside.

Lovora had been bored to tears for the most part ever since Jelena had retreated to her cot, but the holonet was a faithful companion. All the same, she wasn't really that invested in it, occasionally glancing around the safehouse just to see what others were up to. The place was a skeleton crew right now; a couple of people to post guard by the door, a few civilians. Lovora was the only commando left behind, and that was only due to her injuries. Otherwise she would have gone off world with the rest of the team. She did catch sight of Reilly going for her jacket, and that had Lovora sitting up on the sofa. "Hey, going outside? I could use some fresh air myself..." Any excuse to move around. She was just on orders not to go out alone, particularly since her face might be known to the local Imperials by now.

The Imperial Security Bureau had taken over the operation from the get-go, as they did not trust the Grand Moff with the information as to his own Rebellious daughter's whereabouts. Many in the bureau still had their doubts about the entire Rodney family, and so Captain Caligula Howe and a company of ISB Stormtroopers were swiftly placed aboard an Imperial transport from a nearby section of Rhinnal. These specialized Stormtroopers were pulled from the corps early in their careers, and had sworn loyalty to COMPNOR rather than the military. An elite force that could be called upon these political missions when regular CompForce missions just would not do. The Captain viewed this as a wonderful opportunity to advance his career in what had turned out to be an otherwise boring assignment as Rhinnal station chief.

This time Reilly's smile was a bit more genuine. A slight nod was offered to Lovora while she was moving toward the door. "We could use some more food. It isn't that far." She left it at that. She could have gone onto how the exercise would be good for her patient, though she'd have to take it slow. That all could be worked out as they were leaving the safe house. She moved to the weapons container and lifted a lightweight blaster from within. Unlike most of those with whom she worked, Reilly wasn't much on weapons. One blaster was as good as another to her. As long as it had a stun setting she was fine with it. After all, she didn't want to kill anyone unless absolutely necessary.

Now this was promising. Finally, an opportunity to get out and do something, even if it was just a supply run. Open carry in the area wasn't much of a problem, mostly due to the prevalence of gangs, so whatever blaster Reilly chose wasn't likely to be an issue. For Lovora's part, once she was on her feet, she slung the holster over her shoulder, leaving it loose. Sure, it wasn't well concealed, but it wouldn't make her side feel like it was on fire every time she shifted either. After tugging on her own jacket, far less subdued than Reilly's in bright orange and green, she collected the cane and made her way to join the medic. "Thanks for lettin me tag along. Gets old sitting around twiddling your thumbs." Lovora had at least gotten reasonably good at moving around with the cane, allowing her to not move at a snail's pace, though she certainly wasn't going full speed anywhere.

As the Imperials neared the safehouse, they patched into the local records keeper office to pull up the original blueprints of the structure. While it was possible it had been modified over time, they at least had the general layout of the building to go on. Captain Howe was irritated with how near it was the governor's office, as none of the Imperial forces patrolling Rhire had ever noticed it. That was a tidbit he was most definitely going to be leaving off his report. They were close enough now that they could view it with macrobinoculars. There appeared to be only one entrance, and the airspeeder began to increase in speed as it began its descent. Almost simultaneous with the touchdown, the first squad of ISB Stormtroopers had exited the craft, and taken up position in front of the door. Most were equipped with the the standard E-11 rifle, while others were using the DLT-19 and T-21 repeaters. "Breach," the Captain ordered, as he stood in front of his men, the cool winter air brushing over his cream tunic, which matched the newly fallen snow. He was careful to stand back, however, as he had heard tales of these Rebels and their exploits.

The Stormtrooper sergeant placed an explosive device on the front door, before ducking as a small explosion occurred, which served to blow the door off its frame. Before they entered, they began firing out a wide swath of stun coils, which gradually expanded in front of them, in an attempt to stun any Rebels inside caught off guard. Next they moved to their belts where they tossed both smoke grenades and flashbang grenades into the room, which caused a great deal of smoke, light, and loud noise to fill the entirety of the safehouse. These Stormtroopers had practiced this raid a hundred times, and they were ready.

"Ahh!" Jelena screamed from inside of the refresher, when she heard the explosions going off all around her. Still crying, she got down on her hands and knees in front of the toilet, placing her hands over the back of her heads. She had not realized that Reilly and Lovora had left on an errand, and fully envisioned the two commandos currently being slaughtered by Imperial troops. She thought that surely she would be next, and was ignorantly unaware that her use of the comlink was what triggered this. "Please help me..." she cried, to no one really, as she was talking more to herself than the world around her. Had she defected and gone through all this just to die on the toilet?

The air speeded did not go unnoticed. Being barely away from the safe house, Reilly pondered running back to see if she could help. The explosion that came soon after the craft landed answered that thought quickly. For now her best bet way to blend in with the citizens who were either gathering near the commotion or running in the opposite direction. Running was not possible due to Lovora's injury but they could blend in enough not to get caught or be blaster fodder. Of course if Captain Tong had been here there would be little choice, but would he choose to fight an opponent that no doubt outnumbered him and most likely have more coming. Reilly couldn't answer that. Tong tended to do the opposite of what she thought was tactical. She glanced toward her companion to see what she planned on doing.

The sound was at first confusing, but not alarming...not until the Stormtroopers came pouring through the street, headed for the safehouse. Lovora was no tactician, she was a soldier, and the moment she saw what was happening the blaster pistol was in her hand. It only took a handful of awkward steps with that cane, though, for her to rapidly realize there was little she could do. She froze, staring as the Stormtroopers blew the door open, throwing in grenades and firing stun blasts. Lovora started to move again, hobbling back, but she stopped and turned to look at Reilly, who was making the much wiser choice of not moving at all. The conflict was as clear as day on the young commando's features, wanting desperately to charge in despite her injuries. Anger welled up inside of her, urgent and calling for action. "We can't just stand here...we gotta do something.." The fact Lovora wasn't making another move, however, proved that despite her bravado, the commando knew they couldn't really do a damn thing.

<Click>"Clear!"<Click> the Stormtrooper sergeant shouted as he scanned the safehouse with the MFTAS embedded in his visor. There was likely to be a treasure trove of information here, but for now what was most important was searching for the girl. <Click>"One female in the 'fresher!"<Click> a Trooper sounded off, which caused the entire squad to feel a rush of adrenaline with the thought they might have been close to capturing the most wanted fugitive in the oversector.

Captain Howe confidently entered the safehouse, pulling off his black leather gloves, with a smug smile forming upon his face after the threat of danger was over and his Stormtroopers had done their work. This would be a great victory for him if they indeed had her, but he was getting ahead of himself ... he needed to verify her identity first. As he opened the refresher door and spotted the quivering teen on the floor he knew immediately that he had *her*. "Well, well. Lady Rodney. Look at you now," he said, mocking, as he shook his head at her in disgust. "On the floor of a refresher like the Rebel filth that you are," he said, before turning his back towards her and moving back towards the airspeeder. "Place her aboard my ship," he ordered, coldly, as he stepped back out in the frozen Rhinnal night before climbing back aboard the heated speeder.

Jelena could not speak, as she was overwhelmed with tears, as she began a massive anxiety attack on what was happening around her. She knew immediately from their uniforms that they were members of the ISB. She knew how they plagued her father. She knew how they had tortured her stepmother. She knew what they did to her, and how her father had been unable to protect his wife from them, which surely meant he would not be able spare her. "Father!" she cried out, like a broken child, which only caused the Stormtroopers to smirk beneath their ivory dome. Two of them took either side of her, before hoisting her up off the ground, and dragging her roughly out of the safehouse, and towards the airspeeder, tearing her apart her legs as they were scraped upon the hard surface.

"Got any grenades? We could get on that roof..." Left hand lifted toward the building behind the air speeder. It was the safehouse's closest neighbor and had been empty the entire time Reilly had been there. "...and drop them on the ship.?" It was a statement and a question, she was no tactician but it seemed feasible that they could somehow stop the Imperials if they could blow up their ship. "Or we could take out two troopers and steal their armor." She was just throwing ideas out there, not sure if there was actually anything that could be done at this point. "Of course if we're caught that's just two less rebels for the cause."

Lovora knew, truthfully, that there wasn't anything they could do, even as she said they had to, and even as Reilly threw out a pair of ideas that, while it would have been their best bet, were still death wishes. She shook her head when it came to the grenades. All she had was the blaster pistol and a vibroknife. Lovora, like almost everyone else in the safehouse, didn't even carry a comlink for fear of its signal being traced. Now more than ever she wish she had one. "We...we gotta wait, and hope once they're gone, we don't go back to a bunch of bodies." Her voice sounded despondent. She'd lost a friend not two days ago, and now they stood to lose many more, not to mention the sanctity of the safehouse they had come to trust.

"Leave a detachment to search the premises and recover all intelligence," Captain Howe ordered his subordinate, as the Rebel traitor was placed in shackles and dumped unceremoniously aboard his transport. "There could be Rebels around here," he said, briefly looking over the area where Lovora and Reilly were observing, but not thinking of them anything more than interested citizens of Rhire. As the ship began to accelerate towards the Forbearance, the ISB command ship, his comlink began to beep with an identifier he had not seen in some time, nor did he expect to ever see again. "Impeccable timing as always," he said smugly onto the comm, as his eyes hungrily looked over the petrified teen. "I trust this is not a mere call to see how I'm doing?" he said, mockingly, knowing the answer. He fully expected his old commander to still have eyes and ears in the sector.

"Oh. Are you busy? I can call back later..." an even more smug female voice blurted out over the comm from across the core. Of course she knew that the ISB had launched an operation to retrieve Jelena Rodney. She had trained Howe and handpicked him for his assignment on Rhinnal. They may have succeeded in ridding themselves of her, but they never thought to remove her agents who maintained a personal loyalty to her that went beyond their loyalty to the Empire ... particularly the ineffectual Grand Moff. "I know you have her. Bring her to me. Anywhere you try and hold her on Rhinnal that pathetic fool of a governor will find her, and take her from you with that lapdog of his," she boasted, angrily, from her position several sectors away. If only she had been there to capture the woman herself ... she envied Howe that.

Jelena's cries were heartbreaking. There wasn't a thing they could do. "No other prisoners..." The statement trailed off. No prisoners meant no one was left alive. Reilly's mind drifted to her family. Had her husband died at the house or was he taken somewhere like the poor teen she'd just witnessed be taken away? Had the kids suffered? She sighed and blinked away the thoughts. It had been some time since she'd let herself even think about the past. They would have to find someplace to stay and notify someone of what had happened. Both difficult tasks given the lack of communicators and the short time she'd been on planet. There hadn't been time to build allies.

Reilly was thinking with a much clearer head, it seemed, than Lovora. She stood there while Jelena was hauled away, a sharp pain stabbing at her chest, this one not due to any physical wound but the knowledge that the girl was now in Imperial hands and the reality of what the medic's words meant. She remembered Morlo, how he had died in what had evidently been a futile effort to prevent the safehouse from being discovered. As the main body of the Stormtroopers moved away, leaving the large building looking empty, Lovora started for it, moving as fast as she could with the cane and her still healing leg. She didn't look to Reilly this time, but went driven by anger and sadness. She must have looked a sight, though, unable to walk without the aid of the cane and a blaster in her other hand, going for the door of the safehouse to see what the Imperials had left in their wake.

Captain Howe leaned back in his upholstered seat aboard the transport, speaking to the woman on the comm, but all the while look directly across at his prisoner. For the first time in his career he was holding all of the cards, and now he intended to play his hand. "Perhaps I don't care if her father gets her back. Perhaps I'll hand her over to him, and accept my reward, my promotion, my increase in power and authority for *saving* his poor, innocent daughter from Rebel brainwashing," he said, unable to keep a straight face, as he laughed uproariously at his own comments. There was static on the comm, followed by distant cursing, and the sound of a glass breaking. "I see I've made my point," he said, before winking once at the sniveling teen. "The girl is yours ... but whatever game you're playing I want to make sure that I am one of the winners when the game is over. I am not spending my career on this freezing world," he said, before terminating the comm, and moving forward towards the pilot. "Transmit to the command ship to set a course for the Kuat system in my authorization," he ordered, before sitting down next to the broken young woman. He placed a hand upon her head and patted her, as if she were a pet. "There. There. No more tears for now..." he said, offering a faux smile. "You'll need them for later," he sneered, before shoving her to the ground of the shuttle, and lifting his legs upon her to use her like a foot rest.

Back on the surface of Rhinnal, the detachment of Stormtroopers that had been left to survey the safehouse and then set fire to it spotted Lovora at the door. <Click>"Halt!"<Click> one of the troopers barked from beneath their helmet at the first sight of her. <Click>"This is a restricted area. Authorized personnel only!"<Click> the Trooper continued, not thinking much of the woman, until they detected the blaster in her hand. <Click>"It's one of them! Blast her!"<Click> the Corporal suddenly shouted, before they went for their blaster rifles, having been in the middle of sorting through the medical supplies for evidence of a point of origin.

"Don't!" Reilly called out as her companion moved back toward the safe house. There were surely troopers inside. The Empire wouldn't have left the place, knowing that it had housed rebels. She took a few steps toward Lovora but then thought better of it. If that woman had a death wish, she wasn't just going to go along with her and die. She needed to contact command. Still,she couldn't take her eyes off of Lovora. Hopefully she would come to her senses.

She should listen to Reilly. Lovora knew that. She knew this was a horrible idea, even as she flipped the fire regulator on the SE-14 to automatic. The cane was lost somewhere in the process of reaching the doorway, dropped and forgotten, leaving her to limp along as best she could. Lovora was slowed to barely a walk once she got through the doorway, but she had the singular advantage of knowing precisely what she intended to do. As the Stormtroopers were just beginning to realize what she was, Lovora lifted the blaster and aimed in their direction, holding down the trigger as a shower of blaster fire erupted from the pistol. This was not a cold blooded act; tears were falling free for the second time in as many days, certain that these very troopers had killed people she'd cared about, knowing they helped take away someone who had meant so much to their cause.

Despite their training, the ISB Stormtroopers had been lulled into a state of complacency, and were still experience the euphoric high of their victory. The group found themselves gunned down before they had a chance, their plastoid armor doing more to intimidate locals than protect them from ever the simplest of blaster fire. Before they could get off a warning, the last one of them had fallen dead, but other Imperials would soon return, and in greater number.

She found herself running towards the safe house without thinking. Lovora couldn't die. Reilly had to do something...then there was the sound of blaster fire. Reilly stopped in her tracks. Through the cold night the blaster fire was clear sounding and odd. It seemed as though it was mostly the sound of one blaster. Was that possible? She slowly ebbed toward the building, keeping her back the exterior wall. Blaster was grasped with both hands. No stun setting this time, her thumb shifted the weapon to kill. The thuds of plasti-armor hitting the hard floor were unbelievable to her. Could Lovora be winning?

Lovora was far from the best of the commandos when it came to shooting, but intense emotions and a heavy dose of adrenaline could do wonders for what a person could accomplish. The training of the Stormtroopers hadn't likely prepared them for someone ready to martyr themselves, but survival was the farthest thing from her mind. She just held the trigger down, moving the blaster to cover them, made all the easier by how close the few remaining troopers had been to one another. An errant shot from them here and there went wide, saving her purely through good fortune. Once the power cell was drained the pistol made a clicking sound, cycling through without being able to fire another shot. She dropped the pistol on the ground, letting it clatter to the floor, and soon she slipped down as well in a "rather awkward position, her good leg bent at the knee, the wounded one sticking out straight. As the adrenaline passed through her system, its effects winding down, she realized how idiotic this had been, and how much she needed to not be here. Her thoughts went to Reilly...had the medic gotten away? Hopefully so.

Reilly cautiously peered through the door. "Son of a motherless sith..." Slow, careful steps brought her further into the room. Finally her mind caught up to the present. "You hurt?" She didn't move to Lovora, instead heading for the supplies and piling as much as possible onto the utili-cart. It could easily hold a good portion of what they'd stockpiled but time was not on their side.

Lovora shook her head at the question. At least Reilly was OK, which was more than could be said for those handful that had been in the building when the Stormtroopers arrived. " worse than I was." As the medic went for supplies, Lovora made the monumental effort of getting back up on her feet. She managed it and moved to the arm of the sofa, sitting against it while she swapped out the spent power cell for a new one. A thin sheen of sweat had formed and her skin had paled slightly; Lovora had only been out of the bacta tank for a day at this point, and the exertion had taken its toll. Once Reilly had filled the utili-cart with what could be grabbed, Lovora pushed up to her feet, limping over as fast as she could manage. "We can't stay. They'll want to really search the place." Which meant they had to go, or end up as dead as the others inside.

"Yeah, we need to leave." Reilly pushed the cart out the door of the safehouse. She knew that Lovora would have an issue keeping up but time was of the essence. More troopers were moments away. They needed to get out of sight and then figure out how to contact command. The night air was dropping the temperature quickly; just another obstacle to get through. It was worth it, wasn't it? "*Was it*?"

Lovora followed, one hand on the utili-cart to help her move a little faster, the other holding the blaster pistol that had secured these few remaining supplies for them in a reckless act of retribution. The civilian crowd was thinning as day turned to night, giving way to those few who would brave the frigid Rhinnali evening. "It has to be." It was all she could think to say, grasping the full breadth of the unasked question, walking away from the forsaken safehouse with the only other survivor among those who had been left behind.

"Got any idea where we should go?" When had she become so dependent upon others? She should know how to contact command. She should have been able to do more to save that poor girl. It was days like this that changed a person. How would it change her? She had to make sure she didn't lose herself in the changes brought about by this war.

The question hadn't even occurred to her until Reilly asked. Where the hell were they going to go? It took a moment for Lovora to think before she could remember. "There's a restaurant...a small cantina. They're friendly to us." The young commando guided them along a few back alleys, eventually bringing them to the rear entrance of the cantina. After a brief conversation with the owner, she let Reilly got to try and reach command while Lovora sat guard over the handful of supplies they had managed to salvage. The once upbeat and joyful commando had taken a lot of blows in a short amount of time, and as she sat, her mind genuinely turned over the question of what they were doing, and whether it was worth all the sacrifices. Eventually she reached the same conclusion she had when Reilly had asked aloud. It has to be.

Aboard the ISB Operations Ship Jelena had been stripped of her rebel clothing and crudely deloused by ISB officers who mocked the one time noblewoman and Grand Moff's precious daughter. When it was done she was placed in a simple prisoner's uniform and bound at the wrists and waists, and placed upon a holding cell for the journey to Kuat. She had not stopped crying during the entire process. She needed her father, despite all his wrongs, but she had a bad feeling that she was more likely to see her deceased mother than her living father.

Untitled 1

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