The medical bay boasted all of the latest technology found at any
hospital in the Core Worlds. There were countless rows of beds, bacta
tanks, and close to an army of medical and surgical droids. Most of
those injured would lay in the main trauma center that did not afford
much privacy, but allowed the doctor and medics an easy ability to
triage multiple patients simultaneously. Private rooms were reserved for
important officers and visiting dignitaries and were thus rarely used.
One such room was currently occupied by Admiral Rodney and Major Kiley,
a topic of much discussion among the loose lips found upon so many of
Doctor Pilaq Tohan walked the corridor on the Warsite's
extensive medical level, the venerable old doctor being something a
rarity aboard the ship. The medical officer was often the least
important person aboard the ship, and usually lacked relevant training
and experience. Pilaq had been a doctor since before the Clone Wars,
studying medicine throughout the galaxy wherever his herd traveled. When
Ithor was subjugated by the Empire, rather than endure a life of
hardship, he was brought to safety to serve as his old friend's family
physician. Originally, he just treated members of the family, but when
he saw the way the crew's injuries were treated he immediately took over
the ship's medical facilities. Most among his people would call him as a
collaborator, but he called himself a healer.
It had been four days since Inquisitor Thanor last seen the Admiral
which was extremely disturbing and unprecedented. This was just not how
things were supposed to work in this situation, Serine needed to witness
how the Admiral conducted his business and how he organized the fleet.
She had planned to shadow him for quite some time to observe the
proceedings... but now she was extremely behind in her schedule. It was
very discouraging to say the least and it was past time to investigate
just what the problem was with the good Admiral. Serine knew exactly who
to speak to, the ship's surgeon. She exited from her quarters with an
intense purpose as she took long strides down the hallways. Occupants
were wise enough to move to either side of the hall as she approached.
The doors leading into the medical bay slid open as she forced her way
inside abruptly. "I wish to speak with Admiral Rodney's physician
immediately." There was very little patience in her voice, this was not
a request, it was a demand.
Pilaq Tohan's distinct Ithorian hammerhead turned to observe the
Inquisitor as she entered the medical bay. He had not seen her before
and paid little heed to the Empire's hierarchy and therefore did not
show the same fear and reverence as some of the Human officers aboard
the ship. With deliberate speed he moved towards her, his large and
bulbous orange eyes looking towards her with genuine curiosity. As he
spoke, the words would emerge from both of his mouths, giving his voice
a stereophonic account that could be quite disorienting to the untrained
ear. "I am Doctor Pilaq Tohan," he began, introducing himself to her
with a polite, graceful nod. "How may I be of assistance?" he asked as
his eyes slowly ran down her, wondering if she had come dressed for
Inquisitor Thanor was always dressed for battle, but that was another
issue. She had taken a short breath in order to say something but became
momentarily distracted by the doctor's form and mannerisms as she had
not been expecting an alien physician. She paused for a moment to gauge
him before continuing. "I wish to know the Admiral's condition and why
he was hospitalized." Serine was tired of waiting for what should have
been assumed to happen the moment she arrived, instead, she had been
left in the dark and she suspected it had been on
purpose. "If he is well enough, I would like to see him, Doctor."
Doctor Tohan stared blankly at the young woman, not the least bit
phased by her presentation. "The Admiral is resting," he explained to
her rather vaguely as he turned his attention from her to move towards
one of the medical readout terminals. Pulling up Claudius' file he began
to examine it carefully, his eyes slowly rolling back towards her.
"Specific information is available only to members of the immediate
family," he explained to her as he closed the file. "He should return to
duty later today if the situation remains unchanged," he informed her as
he walked back towards her in a slow pace.
"If he is well enough to be released later today, he should be well
enough to answer a few of my questions." She was rather impressed with
the Doctor's professionalism, he gave her appropriate responses, he also
didn't seemed phased by her standing authority or rank, she silently
wondered how good his bedside manner was. "Unless his eyes are
dissolving into bloody pools in his head, he can grant me an audience.
And since you fail to give me any solid information on his condition,
I'm going to assume that he is neglecting his
Before the conversation could become any more tense between Serine
and Pilaq, the turbolift door opened revealing the presence of
Lieutenant Allegra Ames. As she emerged from the lift she stopped in her
tracks, not expecting seeing the Inquisitor in front of her. "Milady,"
she said very quietly, offering a polite nod. With a conspicuous datapad
tucked beneath her left arm, she moved quickly and with purpose down the
corridor, and slipped into the third room on the left.
Pilaq realized the jig was up when Lieutenant Ames arrived on the
scene and marched directly to the Admiral's suite. He could not very
well refuse her any longer and let out a soft sigh, which would have
been barely audible for a Human, but with the authoritarian throats it
was very loud and created quite the gust of air. "See that his stress
level is kept low," he said in a commanding tone, knowing that his
rights on this deck superseded all others.
"Doctor Tohan." A soft nod was given to the other before she turned
from him to follow Allegra's previously laid path. By the way Pilaq
sighed and replied, she could only assume that his position had been
exposed. It was a mere few seconds from Allegra's arrival to when the
inquisitor would enter Rodney's room quickly with focused zeal. She
wanted to gather the situation at hand first and the Admiral's condition
before she came to any conclusions, meanwhile she would make her
"Admiral, I hear you will be well enough to return to your duties later
today." Eyes shifted towards Allegra with the datapad in her hands, it
was obvious that the officer was keeping Claudius up-to-date.
Allegra backed away from the Admiral sheepishly, realizing she had
been caught in the act. "Excuse me," she quietly said to both of them as
she began to back out of the room. Realizing there was an opportunity to
overhear pertinent information, she stopped herself in her tracks and
decided to stay. "On second though. Since I came all this way I should
pay my respects to Major Kiley as well..." she said as she offered a
polite nod to the Admiral before moving towards her fallen comrade,
arguably the person on the ship with whom she had the greatest tension
Admiral Rodney shifted up in his bed, surprised to learn that the
Inquisitor had chosen to meet him in such a way. He was hardly
presentable. Instead of his uniform he was relegated to clothing
designed for physical training, the most evident feature of which was a
t-shirt with his last name stenciled upon it. His hands moved to his
sheets, crumpling it around his waist to maintain some level of dignity
and privacy. "Inquisitor," he began very slowly as he studied her
demeanor, "...had i know you would be coming I'd have arranged for the
mess to provide refreshments." He seemed less the soldier, more the
diplomat with each gesture.
Serine would normally not be this rash, despite her reputation, to
visit the Admiral in a hospital bed unannounced, but she was honestly
tired of waiting for him to get his act together. It was actually
embarrassing on how bad this ship seemed to be ran, Serine was
embarrassed to be on this ship and she was not even in the least bit
reserved to say it. "Admiral Rodney, my stay on the Warspite has
been... how do I put this... abhorrent. I am honestly having difficulty
deciding how I am going to write my report to Grand Vizier Pestage. I am
running out of words to describe the pitiful state of things I've seen.
I've had to actually take time to think that perhaps this is the worst
first impression case in history and that after a few days things will
return to... functional. But so far, even my best hopes have been
shattered. I've spent four days here without so much as an explanation.
Congratulations Admiral, I've never been at a loss of words before, this
is my first time." Serine was being brutally
honest with hopes that things could somehow be fixed. That one of her
main objectives here, she was determined to correct the many issues.
There was a sincerity to her words, not just dignified bashing. The
inquisitor wanted to see this through and without the Admiral there with
her, which was what he was supposed to do from the beginning, she didn't
know where to begin in purging the problems. "I haven't been able to
correctly do my job because you haven't been doing yours."
Claudius sat there in absolute silence as he listened to the
Inquisitor's diatribe. He did not interrupt her, nor did he attempt to
correct any of the statements he disagreed with. Once she had finished
speaking he sat there for several moments, quiet and motionless.
Finally, the middle-aged man began to speak. "Did it take you long to
come up with the wording of that speech or did you conceive it in the
turbolift, Inquisitor Thanor?" he asked as he began to shift in the bed,
sliding out from beneath the sheet to stand in front of her. "You will
find that things aboard a starship happen for a reason. Perhaps with
more time aboard you will learn that and see the capabilities this
vessel and these men have," he said with an emphatic nod of his head. He
would not allow himself, nor his ship, to be dressed down by a woman
young enough to be one of his daughters.
Completely ignoring the injured Major Kiley, Lieutenant Ames
pressed her ear to the curtain that separated the two beds and listened
keenly to the words being spoken by the two most important people aboard
the ship. She turned her head, offering a small smile to Kerrie, just to
be polite. "Hang in there," she said with no real emotion as her ear
turned back to listen. She could not stand Kerrie and the two had often
been rivals for the Admiral's praise. If she had died, it would have
meant certain advancement for her, so the fact that she was looking
better was a bitter disappointment for her.
"Actually, it just all flowed out pretty well due to pent up
disappointment that needed to be vented. Though I admit that it did take
a few seconds to decide what insult to use." It was so hard to sense
when Serine was being facetious or using dry humor or neither as she
rarely showed much emotion unless she was overly upset. "I am most
certainly aware that things happen for a reason, just like that vessel
that was blown up by rebels yesterday due to negligence." Bitter sarcasm
present there, no mistaking it. "That's just
scratching the surface Admiral. Don't mistake my intentions here, I
didn't come here to disgrace your vessel or your fleet, I came here
observe issues and to voice my concern, something that should have been
a regular occurrence, and I have been overly patient, but since you have
been missing in action for four days, I had no choice but to come to
Claudius allowed her to continue her tirade, listening intently to
every word, and showing her the respect of not interrupting. "Yes,
Inquisitor," he said very plainly as he took another step towards her.
"The Rebels blow up our ships. We blow up theirs. That is why it is
called a war," he explained to her in very basic terms in case there was
something about it she could not understand. "I am sure many more ships,
from both sides, will be destroyed before this conflict is over," he
concluded with a polite nod of his head. "As you may have learned events
beyond my control have occurred that have taken me away from my duties
here," he explained to her, admitting she was correct in that regard.
"But I will be back and my presence will be felt," he said as his eyes
locked on her, showing he was more than capable of standing up to her.
It sounded to Serine like the Admiral was just taking a little bit of
what she said and responding, not hearing the problem and missing the
point. He must be selective by only hearing what he wanted to hear and
not the truth. To have bias such as that is very dangerous, especially
for an Admiral. "Of course there will be casualties and those are
unfortunate, but when people die due to insolence, that is where I come
in. The point , Admiral, is that from what I've seen here thus far,
people's lives are at risk, and not just the personnel on the
Warspite. The security of this sector is compromised and that is
where my concern lies. Now of course you will know more about what is
going on than I, which is exactly why I need you to cooperate with me,
we are supposed to be tackling this problem together. Perhaps if you
would take a moment to imagine how things must look like through my eyes
then you may see why I have been shocked and appalled. The sooner you
realize that there are real issues at hand, the sooner we can correct
them, together." Serine had not been purposely trying to be abrasive
during her stay on this ship, she honestly was trying to do her job and
everyone was preventing her from doing it, including the Admiral.
"There are over 50,000 individuals serving aboard this ship,
Inquisitor," Claudius stated very plainly as he gave her hard numbers.
"More than 9,000 of those are Officers with access to pertinent
information that someone would be curious about ... rebel or no rebel
..." he continued, having become quite used to the fact that he could
not account for everyone in his command. "And that is just on this one
ship. There are six planets and support ships overcrowded with the
Emperor's servants. It is to be expected, which is why it is built in to
our combat loss estimates," he explained to her as he began to walk her
towards the exit of his room.
"I never said my job was easy or that it would be quickly done. If I
have to personally interview every single member of this fleet, I will.
There is bonus to all of this, Admiral Rodney... and that is we will
have the extra time to get to know each other so well." Said with a
snide smile as she was exiting the room. So that was the kind of man she
was dealing with, she foresees butting heads with him constantly,
pulling teeth too, but it didn't matter if she had to follow him all the
way into the refresher every day, and stand there watching him as he
relieved himself. Inquisitor Thanor was going to be a constant reminder
to him that she was not leaving until her work was done.
Claudius turned back into his room and stared at the curtain that
separated him from Major Kiley. "You may come out now," he said very
plainly, having picked up on Allegra's methods well enough to know that
she had been there eavesdropping the entire time. Smirking slightly he
made his way back towards the bed, hoping that the doctor would soon
arrive to release him. He did not like the idea of that ... woman ...
running lose on his ship unattended.
"Yes, Milord," Allegra said with some embarrassment as her cheeks
flushed red, having been quite obviously caught. As she rounded the
corner, she turned to the Major still laying quite incapacitated in the
bed. "Get well soon," she said, with a forced smile, before lowering her
head to avoid showing off her embarrassed facial expression to the
Admiral as she hurried out of the room.
Pilaq Tohan had just enough of all the calamity in the Admiral's
room, and he rushed Lieutenant Ames out of the room. "Visiting hours
are over!" he scoffed unpleasantly as he shut the door behind him.
"Claudius, you should know better," he said angrily as he moved towards
him and snatched up the datapad that Allegra had smuggled into him. "I
can tell that my medical facilities will receive no peace until you are
out of here," he complained as he considered the wellbeing of his other
patients. "So get out of here before I change my mind..." he said as he
turned to check on the progress the Major was making.