Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Sean Brandt, Christopher Levy, and Sarah Riggs-Shute.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:10:22) in the Essesia system: Interrogator, Tapi, and Warspite.
Captain Serra Eona, High Inquisitor Serine Thanor, and Major Min Traebor.

It had only been a single day since High Inquisitor Thanor made her reappearance upon the Warspite and left a trail of havoc. She had both official and ulterior motives for her presence in the Darpa sector. Her more personal desires were to coerce notable and worthwhile individuals from the Warspite to reassign to the Interrogator, her newly acquired Imperial ll-class Star Destroyer that she had pried from the nearly dead clutches of her former master, Tremayne. Her official directive was to hunt down any and all information regarding the betrayal of Jelena Rodney, track her location and rip valuable data from her beaten and bloodied body. In addition to that, she was as always to scour for any other traitorous activities and end them abruptly. Serine would have spent more time on the Warspite, but her personal goals would have to come as a mere second priority to her mission handed to her directly by her new superior... Darth Vader. So she could not afford to mess up the new opportunities and power granted to her. She had spent many hours combing through the various reports on the happenstances while she had been absent those few months, and three names stood out obnoxiously ... and tied to numerous instances. Those names were The Nerf Herder, Dimona Xirie Nuebla and El-Nay Darr. Unfortunately it appeared as though these records were incomplete and severely lacking decent detail. What she did know is that the Grand Moff hired these three to track Jelena Rodney down, they were apparently successful but then never delivered her to the Empire. That is all she had... that was infuriating. Serine needed better answers than this, it was obvious that the details were purposefully omitted. It was time to make the proper calls to the correct people, and Serine could think of none better than the senior Intel officer for this oversector. Although the High Inquisitor had never personally met the woman, Major Min Traebor would soon be receiving a direct high priority summons to the Interrogator.

The shuttle ride between the Warspite and the Interrogator felt like a trip to the gallows for Major Min Traebor, who sat in the passenger compartment, smoking a cigarra anxiously. The young woman was nursing a slight hangover, which was adding to the intensity of the morning. She held the fingers of her left hand to her temple, as if pressing down upon it would somehow wash away the pain. She had never been summoned by the Inquisitor before, but she had heard plenty of stories that those who had. The message was vague giving her no indication of what this was about, so there was little she could do in the way of preparation. Was this about another one of the Rebel victories in the oversector ... or was this something more personal? As the shuttle landed in the hanger of the Interrogator, the young Major could not help but feel this was a one way trip. She exhaled one solid plume of smoke into the air, before throwing her cigarra down to the floor of the shuttle and snuffing it out with her boot. She took a moment to adjust the cream tunic of her uniform and then proceeded towards the turbolift that would take her up to where the Inquisitor was waiting. As she neared the door that separated from her from the Inquisitor she was informed she could go in right away, but she hesitated ... trembling slightly. She turned around, closed her eyes, and clenched her fists as she attempted to psych herself up. She paced up and down the corridor, making any excuse to not enter the room containing the Inquisitor. She noted how poorly decorated the area was in comparison to the Grand Moff's equivalent aboard the Warspite, who preferred to brighten the area with Alderaanian relics and reminders of his noble birth. "You can do this," she whispered silently to herself, before a wave of terror shot up her spine when she heard the door open behind her.

Serine knew the moment the Intel officer boarded the Interrogator as her crew was ruthlessly efficient in every detail and even gave her comm updates as the woman was making her way down the hallways. This frigid behavior of her crew was not taught or even enforced by Serine, but was the result of years of oppression by the previous occupant Tremayne who had successfully weeded out any and all who he did not deem absolutely perfect. In the few months she had control of this vessel, the Inquisitor did not have to discipline or even chastise a single occupant... and if ever there was even a single thing out of place, the crew would *self-correct* the issues. If an officer so much as accidentally littered a scrap of paper on the floor... that person would not even have a chance to be summoned by the Inquisitor. His body would soon be seen out of the main bridge viewpoint floating lifelessly. It was actually a problem for Serine... and she had to carefully guard her new transfer, Captain Randi Trainor, because that woman was a known walking disaster. Her life could seriously be in jeopardy, if not for Serine having to actually make a ship-wide statement before the transfer that no one was to harm the woman. There was certainly an air of malice that could not be pinpointed as Min walked down the corridor, and she would swear she was being constantly watched. The Inquisitor was not exactly the most patient of people as being punctual was vital to her. She knew the other woman was pacing outside, and it was wasting time! With a growl she quickly removed herself from behind her desk and it would not take long for the door to be opened hastily introducing a rather livid High Inquisitor. It did not at all help the matter that her crew had informed her that the Intel officer was hungover and likely incompetent, how insightful of them. With a brutal and unmerciful lunge, Serine's right hand dug deep into Min's brown hair, clutching the back of her skull and then ripping her inside of the door in one swift unforgiving motion. Her left fist then slammed into the door panel to close it for privacy as eyes glared down at the woman sprawled on the floor. "How dare you come to me so obviously incapable of performing your duties to a high standard!"

"Ahh!" Min screamed, as her hair was pulled so hard that it threatened to tear it from her scalp. In all her years she had never been treated in such a way, but before she had time to be angry about the situation, she was flung to the ground like an unwanted piece of filth. "Ugh," she groaned, as she used her hands to brace herself, causing an immense amount of pain both of her wrists. On her knees she crawled to the Inquisitor, being careful never to look up and cast her eyes upon her. She groveled like a prisoner brought before some petty despot, placing her forehead almost directly upon the Inquisitor's shoes. "I apologize, Inquisitor," she pleaded, pathetically, in a display of utter weakness. The woman was practically begging for her life now. Her eyes closed tightly and she waited for the woman to strike, perhaps with the lightwhip that had just recently taken so many lives aboard the command ship. She swallowed nervously, unable to find any moisture within her mouth, which had now as dry as a barren moon. She inhaled, wondering if she was taking her last breath.

Serine was actually a bit surprised the senior officer succumbed so quickly to any sort of pressure. Eyes narrowed at the pathetic display before her, musing the other woman likely ordered thousands of interrogations and yet crumbled when roughly handled for a mere moment. "Get ahold of yourself Major, have some dignity." Said with a hint of disgust and loss of respect as the Inquisitor made her way back to the desk before lowering herself comfortably behind it. If anyone fully understood a life of torment properly, it was the High Inquisitor who had lived through instances that would disintegrate another's soul and would likely leave even the strongest person a puddle of weeping sorrow. So losing face at the moment of pain, or loss or even death was not an option for her, or even fathomable, and thus respect for any individual so easily shattered became non-existent. "I will make this brief because I want your wretched hide off of my ship." It would definitely be in Min's best interest to leave the Interrogator sooner rather than later, as people tended to disappear around here without traces. "Give me all of the information you know about the capture of Jelena Rodney. Now." said impatiently with irritated irk in her voice.

Min scrambled like a woodland creature, as she quickly got back up onto her feet. She stood there for a moment as her hands ran over her cream tunic and black trousers, wiping them clean and and working out the wrinkles. She then moved forward towards the Inquisitor's desk with proper military bearing, coming to a halt complete with snapping the heels of her boots together. Before speaking, she cleared her throat and began her dissertation. "Since the traitor defected we have been working 'round the clock under the directives of the Grand Moff," she began, speaking clearly and efficiently, taking her hands and holding them behind her back. "Due to information provided by a bounty hunter independently contracted by the Governor ... against my advice I might add ... we learned that she is no longer on Esseles," she informed the Inquisitor, nodding her head with emphasis. "Unfortunately, we have no further information concerning her whereabouts. It's very likely she has folded in with the larger Rebellion and is far from here," she suspected, but she was incorrect, as in truth the young noblewoman was in this very sector.

The Inquisitor might just have to recant what she said about the other being wretched as that was a beautiful recovery. Why did that woman not recover so quickly immediately after being tossed inside ... that would have garnered immediate recognition from Serine. Eyebrows perked up some as she witnessed the Intel officer go from being a groveling worm to an accomplished and esteemed Commander in a matter of seconds. Quite the transformation. Serine leaned a bit forward on his desk, fingers entwined and elbows resting securely upon the polished wood as she studied the woman before her with a scrutinizing gaze. "First, I will say that readjustment was immaculate, do not let me see you grovel pitifully again." A rare compliment from the High Inquisitor. "Second, I am assuming you are referring to the Bounty Hunter known as El-Nay Darr?" It was apparent that this one hunter was her key to finding the scattered pieces to this puzzle. The other two hunters in the previous report have been so far unaccountable for. Perhaps El-Nay would still be willing to work under private contract. "She was unsuccessful in finding... " Serine loathed to say it because it was such a ridiculous and awkward name. "...the Nerf Herder. But what of this other one, a Dimona I believe? Do you have any knowledge of that woman's whereabouts?"

"They say the fear of death sharpens the mind, Inquisitor," Major Traebor stated matter-of-factly, her demeanor much improved from the start of the meeting. "Yes. You are correct. Our primary source of information came from the Mandalorian filth El-Nay Darr," she said, nodding her head in affirmation of the Inquisitor's assumption. It seemed the woman was perhaps more informed than she had expected ... the Inquisitor had done her homework and the purpose of her summons was now becoming increasingly clear. "Following Darr's report I attempted to use her an asset to locate Jelena through the Nerf Herder," she said, confidently, as she reported on a plan that, at the time at least, seemed like a perfectly plausible strategy. "Unfortunately, there was interference at every turn, and after Darr successfully delivered the Nerf Herder, he escaped our grasp. I was later pressured by a member of the Governor's immediate staff to crease utilizing Darr as an asset," she reported, bitterly, gritting her teeth, whose back and forth grinding could easily be heard by the Inquisitor. "As for Nuebla ... there hasn't been a trace of her since her encounter with Jelena some three months ago," she informed her, not wanting to mention her past complications with the woman, nor her sordid run ins with the Nerf Herder. She wanted this to remain a professional, rather than a personal encounter.

A steady silence fell upon the room as Serine weighed her options closely, and there were not many to consider. She loathed Bounty Hunters and detested the idea that she may need to rely on one in order to accomplish her goals. While it was true that the Nerf Herder escaped captivity, it was also true that El-Nay Darr was successful in bringing him in. So the failure there did not fall upon the bounty hunter herself ... there may be something worthwhile to salvage here afterall. The Inquisitor was wholly disappointed in the Major's deficiency and she was positive key details were being conveniently left out. No matter, she had enough data now to make at least a semi-education decision on her next course of action. Eyes snapped up to the other woman with a dangerous glare. "You are very fortunate that you were not fully penalized for your failures in losing a prisoner that was so easily handed off to you. However, I'm willing to let those shortcomings slide if we are able to secure at least one out of the two other Bounty Hunters. Go hire Darr again, and this time have her track down Nuebla. I'm certain the male hunter is a lost cause at this point." Serine was not about to personally hire a Bounty Hunter, best let scum get their hands dirty with others just as filthy as themselves. There was a brief moment when Serine was staring at the Major ... a bit irritated that the woman was still there. "Get out!" Did she have to spell it out for the other woman?

"It will be done at once, Milady," Major Traebor said obediently, snapping the heels of her boots together once more. With that, she backed out of the Inquisitor's presence as quickly as protocol dictated. When the door slammed down in front of her and she was safely returned to the corridor, she let out an incredible sigh of relief. She took a moment to collect herself, before practically running towards the nearest turbolift to return to the shuttle. Once she was safely stowed aboard the craft, she reached towards the breast of her tunic and pulled it open to reveal the undershirt that lay beneath. Suddenly she began to panic, and before long she was hyperventilating. She closed her eyes, and cupped her hands, placing them over her mouth as she breathed into them rapidly. The tears began to well in each of her ducts, and began streaming down over her cheeks, which were now flushed a deep shade of red. Finally, she lowered one shaky hand to grab hold of the bottle of Corellian whiskey she had half finished on the ride over here. Her hand trembled as she brought it up to her face, barely managing to connect the rim of the bottle with her mouth. She took a big swig from the bottle, before pulling it away, letting the excess fluid spill over her mouth and down onto her shirt. Gradually her breathing began to steady, but the shaking did not subside. This was arguable the worst experience of her life, which she very nearly thought was about to end. Now, to top it off, she had to go deal with that Mandalorian wretch once again, but first ... she was going to get drunk. The bottle came back up to her mouth again, and she took another big swig from the bottle. As the pilot announced they were landing aboard the Warspite she was already on her way to drunkenness. She was glad to be aboard a ship where she knew where she stood, and had a control of the situation.

Back aboard the Warspite, the Major had managed to adjust her tunic, but it was not to the precision with which it had started the day. She was in her office, rushing to gather what information she thought was needed for the operation, but her adrenaline was still elevated from her encounter with the Inquisitor, and she was quite intoxicated. When the data had finished loaded, she placed the disc into a pad, and stormed out of her office towards the crew quarters. "Damn it," she muttered to herself, after she realized she ended up at the quarters of Captain Jolan and instead of Captain Eona. "Where is it?" she questioned herself, stopping to run a hand up through her reddish brown hair. It took some doing but she eventually arrived at the quarters to the officer she needed, and without knocking or pressing the door activation panel, she opened the door using the code cylinders at either shoulder pocket of her uniform. "Captain Eona," she said, hastily, as she tossed the datapad in her direction. "I want you to..." she began, but then started to feel slightly dizzy. She wobbled on her feet for a moment, before placing her hand on the bulkhead to steady herself. "I want you to hire the bounty hunter Dimona Xirie Nuebla to track down El-Nay Darr. All of the information is contained within that datapad," she instructed her subordinate, before promptly turning on her feet and leaving the quarters before she got a reply. She was halfway back to her office, when she stopped suddenly, feeling a bit confused. "Wait. Did I... Oh..." she said, before hurrying back to the Captain's quarters to correct the error. "Captain ... I have just been ... been informed ... by superiors ... that they gave me the wrong directive," she stammered, as she again barged into the woman's cabin. "You are to hire El-Nay Darr to track down Dimona Xirie Nuebla," she said, slowly, as her eyes blinked rapidly while reviewing her words in her mind to make sure they were in the right order this time. "Yeah. That's it," she spoke aloud, but in reality thought she was merely saying it within her own mind. With that, she again turned on her feet to hurry away, but slammed her shoulder into the bulkhead as she turned, stopping herself.

Several of the crew had taken to joking that the quarters of the Intelligence officer could be found by following the smoke trail, and they weren't far off from reality. There was a constant haze about the small room, stale smoke hanging in the air despite the best efforts of the ventilation system. Serra, for her part, had another cigarra hanging from between thumb and forefinger, sitting at her desk, watching a variety of feeds from the Warspite's internal security network. There was nothing special she was looking for; this was simply how she passed the time these days. Intel wasn't just a job, after all. It was a lifestyle. When the door flung open quite unexpectedly, Serra whirled the chair around, the D-18 blaster on her desk finding its way out of its holster and into her hand. The Major would find herself confronted with the unfriendly apathy of the Captain's features and the barrel of the blaster, though the weapon was set aside as soon as she realized who it was. Even before Serra was on her feet, she realized what condition the other woman was in. The datapad was captured with a casual motion and then tossed to the bed that looked like it was barely used. "As you say, Major." She took a long draw from the cigarra, watching the woman stumble around as she tried to get out of the room. Tasked with hiring a bounty hunter to catch a different bounty hunter? It seemed like a task that was, truthfully, beneath a veteran intel officer, but there was that name again. El-Nay Darr. How many times had the young Mandalorian found her way into this web of traitors and spies? It was well beyond coincidence at this point, particularly considering the revelations from Intel's newest prisoner. The datapad was in her hand when Min barged in for a second time, somehow looking drunker than before. This time she set it on the desk and, shortly after the Major rammed into the wall, she came to where Min stood. A hand came to her shoulder, the other pressing the control to shut the door, and she guided Min to sit on the bed. "I suggest you have a seat, Major. Take a moment to get your bearings." Serra, for her part, stood, taking a draw from her cigarra.

"Oh Captain, I really can't..." Major Traebor said, as she was reluctantly led towards the bed, where she quickly found herself seated in unfamiliar territory. She lowered her head into her hands, and began to rock back and forth uncomfortable. "I've really ... I've really got so much to do," she said, without raising her head to look at the subordinate. "It's been ... a day, wouldn't you know," she revealed, increasingly the rate at which her fingers roughly ran over her own forehead, threatening to literally scrape the top layer of skin right off. "What deck is this?" she asked, finally raising her head up to look at the officer, as she momentarily forgot where she even was. "I have a meeting with... " she said, as her eyes moved up towards the overhead space, momentarily spacing out. "Who is that meeting with?" she said, more to herself than the other in the room, as she moved her lips around rapidly while considering the question. "Oh well. It couldn't have been too important," she finally said, giving up, leaving the poor young Liliya Benedt to wait an hour unnecessarily for a meeting that would never come.

There was, on very rare occasions, much to be said for what could be accomplished through tiny acts of kindness to a desperate person. Min was in shambles. It couldn't be more obvious that the woman was falling apart, reaching out for a life preserver, and the benefits of being in that position with someone of her rank could not be underestimated. Serra pulled her chair around and sat opposite the woman, letting her ramble, looking as much like a sympathetic friend as the cold, uncaring agent could. What she hoped would seal the deal, of course, was when she reached to her desk and grabbed the small case that contained her cigarras. One was offered to the Major, along with a light. "Important or not, you're in no condition for a meeting." She discarded the remnants of her first cigarra and, after making sure the Major was seen to, retrieved a second for herself. Smoking habits weren't uncommon in intel, but Serra was among the worst. "Something rather severe must have happened to shake you this badly." It was an utter lie, and the Captain knew it, but she doubted that Min was really aware of her own immense weakness. Serra intended to ply her with a little feigned respect.

"You know ... you know the last time Inquisitor Thanor was here it was great," Min began, as she allowed the alcohol to lower her filter, and cause her to be more honest and forthcoming than she should. "She was here to observe and report on old man Rodney. Boy did she break his balls. I laughed my ass off the entire time," she said, smiling for an instance, and slamming her knee as she recounted more of the humorous entanglements. "I never even talked to the woman you know. Not once. In the entire time she was here ... not one conversation. Can you believe it? It was perfect!" she said, her cheeks illuminated with a bright shade of color as she happily lived in the past. "But now? *Now* ... now she's here to oversee *me*," she said, rising from the bed, and standing almost directly in front of Captain Eona. Her arms were flailing wildly, up and down, repeatedly slamming into her sides. "Me, Serra. Of all the people in this galaxy she could torment ... she gets assigned to torment me. She's been put in charge of the whole Jelena bullshit," she continued, moving to swiftly thrust her leg at Serra's bed, kicking it angrily. She did more damage to her own foot instead of the bed, dropping to one leg to rub at her knee hurriedly. "So because the old man was a shitty dad who spent more time chasing around his Hapan wife and that bitch of a secretary who only owns one dress instead of you know ... paying attention to his kid ... I got this to deal with. Can you believe this?" she said, looking at the woman for support as she continued an epic rant. "And really ... really this has nothing to do with me! This was Arden Zevrin's job. She was supposed to identify the traitor. That idiot thought it was his imbecile Hapan wife. Htaere couldn't even find a terminal, let alone hack one..." she said, as she rose back to her feet, and stumbled back to the bed. This time she was laying down, instead of sitting down, letting her body stretch out in front of her. "She should have known it was the kid. Teenagers know so much about the freakin' holonet. More than any of us did," she muttered, rolling over onto her side, her back turned to the Captain, as she stared bitterly at the wall.

Inquisitor Thanor. Serra wasn't at all surprised to hear the Sith's name pop up, and Min was revealing quite a bit about Serine's new position now that she had returned to the sector. On top of that was stacked the failures of Zevrin. Not an unknown factor, of course, but having the Major speak so harshly about it proved revealing in its own right. Serra was patient, listening, playing the sympathetic ear to the ranting drunk. The kick to the bed, the flailing, the flopping down...all of it was dismissed without a care. The Captain was happy to let Min act out. At the end of it all, though, as she stared at the Major's back, Serra found an opportunity. A billow of smoke rolled past her lips as she exhaled, then spoke, her tone as calm and even as ever. "Sector Oversight is an incredibly demanding job, Major. You've done what you can...but you need help. Why don't you let me handle the Inquisitor and the Jelena situation? I have plenty of experience dealing with Sith...and it would be one less thorn in your side." It would also, of course, position Serra nicely to not only assist in the work of rooting out the dissenters in their ranks, but to root out inefficiencies within their own organization. It was much like removing a rotten beam from an otherwise sound structure. New supports had to be built first...and then you could cut it away, no harm done.

Min was drunk, but not so far gone that she could not detect the schemes of her subordinate. Still, any chance to get a buffer between her and that bitch of a witch was welcome. "Go and find El-Nay Darr, Captain. It shouldn't be too hard. She's the only idiot stupid enough to wear a set of orange armor," she explained, getting quite catty in her inebriated state. "Have her bring Dimona Xirie whatsit to the Inquisitor aboard the Interrogator," she ordered, before her hands moved around Serra's bed in search of a pillow. When she found one, she placed it over her head to shut out the light and the sounds around her. In a few moments nothing but the sound of Min's obnoxious snoring could be heard emanating from below. She would sleep this off, forgetting most of what transpired, and awake uncertain of where she was ... but at least she was still alive.

It wasn't quite the outcome she had bet on, but the seed was planted, and she doubted Min would take long to warm up to the idea of letting someone else handle Serine. Though their time together had been brief, the Sith and her young apprentice had made quite an impression on Serra. It wasn't easy to get positive attention from the Captain, but the pair absolutely had, and instinct told her that the Sith was someone she should remain near in some capacity. "As you say, Major." There was no hint of disappointment or otherwise negative tones to her voice. Calm acceptance of a mission, that was all. As Min set about making herself comfortable, Serra locked down her terminals. The primary one could of course be accessed by the Major using override codes, but the secondary was a private one, a personal system unlinked to any larger holonet or databank. It wasn't an uncommon accoutrement for a spy, particularly one like her, but it was deathly important. After all, it had proof of almost everything that occurred within her quarters stored on it. That done, Serra slipped on the concealed holster for her D-18 and then pulled her uniform jacket on over it. Last but not least the cigarra case was dropped in a pocket and then the Captain left, the new datapad in hand, sealing the door behind her as she did. Serra had a bounty hunter to find.

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