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Author Topic: Internal Affairs  (Read 659 times)

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Offline TrickyNick87

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Internal Affairs
« on: 07/18/17, 11:55:40 AM »
Hyperspace
En route to Iokath



He summons me to Iokath!  Me!

General Orbid Veramin was fuming in his shuttle’s passengers hold.  His demeanor discouraged even the slightest comment from the few staff and guards accompanying him on his trip to Iokath from Belkadan.  The rotund man tapped aggressively at his datapad, reviewing notes as the shuttle sped through hyperspace.

The situation was intolerable.  Unbelievable even.  It had only been eleven years since then Captain Heermann had arrived on Ilum assigned, under rather unusual circumstances, to the intelligence staff of Grand Moff Ilyan Regus.

Now, the presumptuous brat ordered him to Iokath, where he was overseeing part the campaign for Imperial conquest of the world.  It was an honor he did not deserve.  Veramin never liked Heermann, the boy came from a middle-class Imperial background, yet enjoyed the ear of Regus’ senior staff.

What’s this nonsense really about?  Certainly he doesn’t care so much about Belkadan’s insurgency to drag me all the … BZZT.

Veramin’s train of thought was interrupted by the shuttle pilot’s announcement over the intercom. “Sir, we’re coming into the Iokath system now.  A starfighter escort will accompany us to Moff Heermann’s flagship.”

((Music))

The shuttle dropped out of hyperspace, only to be confronted with the awesome view of a raging battle over Iokath.  Swiftly and purposefully, a flight of F-T6 Rycers assumed a defensive posture around the newly-arrived shuttle.  The pilot steered the craft toward a nearby Terminus destroyer.  As the shuttle proceeded over the destroyer, the full view of the battle, and the Ziost Avenger, came into view.





Bridge of the Ziost Avenger
In orbit over Iokath



Assuming his usual position on the observation platform at the front of the bridge, Moff Heermann stood quietly with erect posture, observing the conflict before him.  Though he appeared to be intently studying the battle, he liked to use the reflections in the large observation windows to monitor the activity on the bridge as well.  It was through this method that he saw the noticeably irate General Veramin arrive on the bridge.

Veramin had been troublesome to the young moff for years.  When Heermann had first arrived on Ilum to participate in Operation Dark Ice under … delicate circumstances, Veramin assumed a hostile demeanor toward Heermann, which had never abated.

In fact, the hostile relationship between the two men had only ever gotten worse.  Veramin harbored overt sympathizes toward incorporating more alien species into the Empire, a heresy both Heermann and, more importantly, the grand moff staunchly opposed.  When Darth Malgus made his play for power, Veramin came to suspect it was Heermann who had put in a private word with Regus’ senior staff members that had since put him on the outs with the senior Imperial military leadership.  That was only partially true, of course, but Veramin’s political views, so expressed at a time when the Empire was contending with such a profound treachery, led to a major stall in his career.  He was appointed head of Belkadan Command.  Being put into a position of command over an entire planetary military force is a great honor in the Empire, but perhaps less so when it’s on a planet on the periphery of Imperial interests.

Heermann watched the reflection of the overweight man approach in the window and spoke quickly, cutting Veramin off as he started into what was likely an insincere greeting.

”General, I trust you don’t think I’m so naďve as to take what I read in the Imperial media for fact.  I am, after all and at heart, an intelligence man.”  Heermann turned slowly to face his old adversary.  ”The Belkadan media reports a great success against the log-standing insurgency there.  But you and I know better.”

Veramin snorted, surprising a nearby adjutant at the disrespectful gesture.  ”Moff,” he spat out as harshly as throwing a dagger, ”Forgive me if I don’t immediately see what concern planetary rebellion on Belkadan is to you.” Veramin looked out at the battle behind Heermann. ”I’d have thought you’d have your hands too full here to care what happens on our … simple planet.”

The moff responded quickly and assertively.  ”Belkadan is the base of operations for my command.  I can’t very well launch major military operations in Wild Space if my principal garrison isn’t assuredly secure.  The planet has been in the Empire for over fifty years now, General.  It should be a firmly established Imperial holding now.”  His tone turned accusatory, ”Why is it not?

Veramin lacked the discipline, or perhaps it was the interest or care, in concealing his displeasure at being lectured to by this young whelp.  His face adopted a crimson hue as he responded, ”Belkadan has never received the level of support needed to …”

Heermann promptly interrupted, ”Half-a-century of Imperial authority and you offer me excuses as to why you’ve failed to root out all traces of dissent?!”

The round general’s expression became more overtly hostile as he retorted, ”There remain elements of the Belkadan citizenry who still wish to see the planet’s reincorporation into the Republic.”

Herrmann nodded quickly, ”Indeed, General.  The most troubling point of all.  Fifty years under the Imperial banner and a persistent political and militant opposition makes the Empire look weak.  Your failure to root out this insurgency has threatened to make public sympathy an ally of the Republic!”

Veramin was preparing to fire back when the white-uniformed moff turned his back on him and proceeded to his position near the window.  ”Well, at least this shan’t be a noteworthy matter for much longer.”

The angry general pondered the moff’s words in confusion.  "What?"

Heermann turned again to face the general.  ”I will see to the campaign against the Belkadan insurgency myself … once the battle here is concluded and I return to the system.”

Veramin took a step toward the moff in earnest, realizing that such a move would mean a swift final death to his already stalled career, if not a more literal end to his own life.  ”You don’t have the authority!  Planetary military operations are under my purview.”

The moff offered a small smirk, ”I don’t have to be a Sith to forsee that the planetary governor is not likely to refuse an offer of additional military support to quell this rebellion.”

”I’ll see to this insurrection on my own. Don’t think you’ll get the chance to strike the final blow on me, Heermann.”  With his final threat launched, the general turned and stormed off the bridge for the hangar deck.

Heermann allowed a small smile, confident Veramin would prove himself incapable of handling the Republic threat on Belkadan.  He turned back to face the observation windows, witnessing two strike fighter squadrons depart the dreadnought’s forward hangars for a fresh assault on Republic ships.





Early the next day
Belkadan Command HQ
Belkadan



General Veramin came into his office early that morning.  He'd given yesterday's meeting considerable thought and determined it was well past time for him to pay Heermann back for destroying his career on Ilum.

The rotund officer made his way around his table and plumped himself into his high-back chair.  Pressing the comms button on his desk, he issued his orders, "Put me through to the Ministry of Logistics at the Citadel.  Department of Regulatory Affairs."

He sat back and waited to be connected.

"General, Regulatory Officer Alamand Orgair, at your service, sir.  What can the Logistics Ministry do for you?," the holofigure on his desk inquired.

Veramin sat forward with a confident smirk. "Officer, I've discovered some irregularities with the Heermann family's management of funds I think I have a duty to report."
« Last Edit: 07/18/17, 12:16:14 PM by Nicohlas »

Offline Elym

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Re: Internal Affairs
« Reply #1 on: 07/18/17, 11:51:00 PM »
Governor's Office
Belkadan

An alert popped up on Elym's console, obscuring the personnel records she'd been poring over. Sighing softly to herself, she absently swatted where the ignore option should have been -- she'd made it very clear to her assistant that unannounced guests were her problem and not the governor's -- but the alert remained in the centre of her monitor, flashing red. Her eyes narrowed, scrutinizing.

A Logistics officer, some Alamand Orgair, clever or high-ranking enough to thwart the gatekeepers... bloody hell. By the time she'd accepted the meeting, he and his entourage were standing at the threshold, waiting silently to be acknowledged.

"Enter," she instructed, putting on one of those practiced smiles. It was met with a sharp Imperial salute, which she acknowledged with a gracious yet equally rote bow. That pleasantries had not been dispensed with completely was somewhat reassuring. The governor gestured to the chairs before her desk. "Please, do be seated. To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?"

"Governor," the officer began, unveiling a staid Imperial accent all too befitting of a Logistics man. "Regulatory Officer Alamand Orgair, of the Ministry of Logistics. "Thank you for seeing me on such short notice." He took his seat as the governor took hers, smoothing his uniform before continuing. "There are just a few logistical and fiscal irregularities concerning your husband's command that, in his absence, I was hoping you could address."

Elym couldn't help a surprised blink at the mention of irregularities, clasping her hands to avoid balling them in anger. This really was the sort of meeting a good assistant ought to triage, or at the very least delay. There was too much at stake to go into things blind, not while Moff Heermann had his hands full on Iokath and she was weathering the insurrection on Belkadan. Part of her wanted to eject him from her office then and there -- she certainly would not be the first Imperial administrator to do so -- but something about this visit felt very off.

"Naturally, Officer Orgair, I would be happy to comply with any Logistics investigation," she began, flashing a gracious smile. "Though I must concede this is the first I've heard of any complications. Perhaps you could enlighten me?"

The officer nodded sharply as he produced a case of Imperial-branded datacards. "Of course, Governor. You're aware, I'm sure, that Moff Heermann entered into an understanding with the Ministry of Logistics' Office of Strategic Procurement that, during his military conquest of Iokath, he would periodically send back shipments of Class Ten materials discovered on the sphere."

Elym's posture relaxed slightly in relief -- this seemed innocuous enough. "Go on."

Orgair gestured to her. "You can appreciate, I'm sure, that Moff Heermann's expedition is intended not only to secure Iokathan technology for weaponization in our war against the Republic, but also to help the Empire rebuild its pools of resources, much of which we lost in tribute to the Eternal Empire during their occupation."

The governor regarded him plainly, hands now neatly folded in her lap. "Surely Every Imperial mission aims to contribute, to restore our position in the galaxy, no?"

"Then we understand each other perfectly, ma'am. Excellent." He shot her a quick smile. "The thing is..." he trailed off, plucking one of the datacards and sliding it towards her. He cleared his throat, hesitant. "Moff Heermann has been on Iokath for some months now, and made no such shipments back to Dromund Kaas or any Imperial logistical hub."

Elym plugged the datacard into her console, brow furrowed as she scrolled through its contents. "Not according to your records, it seems," she offered lightly. "If you will indulge me, officer, I am curious as to why you would broach the matter with me first?"

He nodded politely. "This matter would have been brought before the Moff directly, but the Logistics Ministry has not yet established a presence in the Iokath system, so the Moff is unavailable to us. As his wife, and a senior Imperial administrator in this sector, we thought to reach to you first, Governor."

She straightened her posture, then deliberately softened her smile as she spoke. "Ah, of course, the difficulty establishing supply lines to Iokath..." she trailed off, nodding knowingly.

"Difficult, yes. However, Governor, Wild Space Command is receiving regular supply runs now and Moff Heermann himself recently facilitated a leave program, permitting select troops R & R on Nar Shaddaa. Certainly, if he can allow these sorts of programs he can make good on his commitment to rebuilding the Empire's logistical stores."

Elym felt her gaze narrow ever so slightly. Insolent little womp rat. "Officer, I do not think you meant to speak so disparagingly of a Moff's efforts to ensure Imperial troops who have been on the front lines since Zakuul get a hard-earned moment of reprieve. Our Empire cannot expand without good people on the front lines," she added pointedly.  "But I do sympathize, these shipping irregularities can be irritating," she added, feigning sympathy.

The officer nodded. "I appreciate your understanding, ma'am, but certain officials at the Citadel do not agree that shore leave takes precedence over rebuilding the destruction rained on us by the Zakuulan royal children."

Certain officials? Her mind briefly wandered, rifling through its databank of names and rivalries. "Ah, but the Citadel never wants for opinions, does it? Tell me, Officer Orgair, is the issue that the delayed shipments are stalling work at Logistics, or perhaps one of the military-aligned spheres?" she asked, hoping in vain that he'd let some name or office pass his lips.

Raising a hand, he quelled her hopes. "The point here, Governor, is the Empire is expecting these shipments, and they have not come at all. This... brings me to the second and final matter I must discuss with you."

Elym gave a conciliatory nod. "Forgive me, Officer, do go on."

Another datapad was produced and briefly reviewed. "There's also the matter of Moff Heermann's apparent wealth. He's known to have been born into a modest Imperial family, yet somehow ... he lives off a store of funds that most certainly did not come solely from his military salaries."

The governor arched an eyebrow, deliberately silent to both invite elaboration and conceal her mounting frustration.

"It is.. supposed, ma'am, that Moff Heermann may be directing Imperial resources under his control to his private holdings. Embezzling Imperial funds, if you will."

"That is quite the allegation, Officer Orgair. I would, of course, be remiss if I did not ask on what ground or at whose behest these spurious claims are being made."

The officer stiffened, slightly defensive. "Ma'am, the Imperial Treasury Department does not fail to keep an accurate accounting of Imperial holdings. The numbers speak for themselves."

Elym regarded him pointedly. "I would like to lodge a formal complaint against your superiors, this lack of information is unacceptable," she said flatly.

"Then the governor may submit her complaint to the Department of Operational Irregularities. After an initial review by a case officer, your request may be passed along to the Office of Strategic Procurement as it concerns them. They will refer it back to the Office of Regulatory Affairs, where you can expect a wait time of a standard week before being passed on to the Department of Investigations--"

The governor raised a hand, cutting him off with a polite smile. "I am familiar with the process, but perhaps it will not come to that if you answer, rather than evade, my concerns. If someone accused you of crimes against our Empire, surely you would be as surprised as I am... And really, in the current political climate, this Empire is vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous pretenders in our ranks who would further tax this Empire's resources chasing half-baked rumours in the name of petty rivalry. This nonsense is beneath Logistics."

Alamand Orgair stood abruptly. "Gah! Ma'am, the Ministry of Logistics is not an instrument to be exploited for personal gain! We serve the Empire!"

Elym blinked, looking up at the officer. "Please, calm yourself. I was not casting aspersions on your work, merely stating an uncomfortable truth. Hence the need for your brethren who serve as internal security personnel."

The officer nodded, collecting his datacards, quickly but carefully slotting them in his case. "In any case, we'll be looking very carefully into this matter, and if the investigation warrants it, we will look into your accounts as well. The well-being of the Empire is at stake. Please do not speak to anyone about what we discussed here. Good day, Governor."

Oh, for the full restoration of Imperial Intelligence. These crate-chasers really cannot pull off the warning to keep silent at all, she mused, rising to her feet with some difficulty.  "But of course not, officer, it was my pleasure," she added cordially.

Not ten minutes later...

Elym opened a secure data channel, testing the encryption a few times before she began to type.

Love, we need to talk, as soon as you are able. A delicate matter has come up.


insolent womp rat Logistics Regulatory Officer played by @Nicohlas

Offline TrickyNick87

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Re: Internal Affairs
« Reply #2 on: 08/18/17, 01:54:13 PM »
Shuttle en route to Dalo District, Capital city
Belkadan



The rotund Imperial general sat forward, fidgeting with his hands as his shuttle, one of three en route to the political offices of known Republic sympathizers, began its decent into the middle-upper class neighborhood of high-rise business buildings.

I’ll have this business with the Republic insurgents wrapped up in good order soon, and then I’ll press Logistics to confront Heermann publicly about where his great wealth came from.  That will ruin the insolent little brat for good.  Maybe it will get rid of his insufferable wife too and open up the governor’s chair for me, as reward for defeating the rebels.

General Veramin smirked sinisterly to himself as the formation of shuttles proceeded downward.

The death or capture of Damen Auturis will be welcomed as a bold measure.  High Command is sure to reward me for seizing the initiative and delivering a crippling blow to the remaining Republic holdouts on Belkadan.

BZZT.

“Sir,” the shuttle pilot came over the intercom.  “We’ve assumed our approach formation and will land outside the target structure in six minutes.”

Veramin stood and rallied his men up to prepare to disembark.  His opportunity had finally come.


Political office building in Dalo District, Capital City
Belkadan



Damen Auturis rubbed his eyes slowly as he sat in his cushioned red chair.  Despite his fatigue from the day’s events, the old man had cause to briefly adopt a small smile.

Forty-five years ago I was a simple clerk in the Maintenance and Sanitation Department of the planetary government with simple career aspirations.  And now …

The elderly man looked at a holo of his long dead wife and daughter.  Both had died long ago, crushed under an Imperial tank during what was ostensibly labelled a “training exercise” in the capital.  Their deaths were marked up as accidents, but it had left a scar on Damen, one that caused him to begin tacitly supporting the more militant side of the movement of which he was one of the principal leaders.

When the Sith Empire began making diplomatic overtures to the planetary government some fifty years ago, Damen was among the camp that staunchly opposed an Imperial alliance.  Certainly Belkadan had not garnered much attention in the Republic Senate, but Damen felt the values of his people were much more closely aligned with those of the Galactic Republic than the long-disappeared Sith Empire.

Damen and his colleagues lost the argument, and Belkadan turned on the Republic.  They were not alone in doing so, but Damen became disillusioned with Belkadan’s leaders for a long time after they aligned with the Empire.

After the abdication of Republic affiliation, Damen quit his job in public service and joined a new political movement that sought to preserve, as best it could, the ideals of the Republic on a planet occupied by Imperial forces.  Silently affiliated with the Republic, Damen’s party labored to curb Imperial control and maintain Belkadan’s sense of self-rule as much as possible, though usually their efforts were in vain.

Today, he was head of that party, the political element of a movement that also included armed insurgents hiding out in the swamps.  Insurgent strikes on Imperial holdings were infrequent.  Damen had always feared the Imperials would one day associate his party with the armed insurrection and move against him, but that day had never come.  He was, however, as resolved as ever to continue to mitigate Imperial control over his homeworld, a task made more burdensome by the arrival of the new Chiss governor.

“Going to be falling asleep in your office again, sir?”  Damen’s assistant, Sirat, asked as he entered the office.

Damen let out a long sigh, “No, I suppose I’d better get go-…”  Damen was interrupted by a loud bang outside his office.  He thought it sounded like it came from the front of the building.

“Sir!,” the party’s chief of security announced as he rushed into the office.  “The Imperials are seizing the building and killing our men!  We have to get you out, sir!  This way, through the trap door.  Just as we’ve rehearsed.”

“What about you, Captain?,” Damen inquired as he followed Sirat through the secret door behind an old, Republic-style statue.

Without response, the security officer shut the door between them and could be heard scurrying off to the commotion.

Damen overheard blaster fire, followed by the sound of boots rushing into his office.

The Imperials.

Sirat tugged on Damen’s coat and gestured for them to follow the narrow corridor.  Damen nodded and began following.  As the two men approached the last few hundred yards of the passage, which led to a speeder in a separate alley, Damen was overcome with questions.

Why would the Imperials storm our office now?

What are they looking for?

Is everyone dead?


Coming out of the corridor and into the adjacent alley, Damen was approached by three rough-looking men in civilian clothing.

“Sir, we’re with the rebellion.  We’re taking you to our main camp in the swamps outside the city.  Hurry!”

Damen and Sirat swiftly made their way into the speeder and were off.  Damen looked behind to witness smoke rising from his old office building, just as blast doors separating the neighborhood from the city limits shut behind them, concealing the damage.





Ministry of Logistics auxiliary office, Capital city
Belkadan



So many holopads had taken residence on the office table it was difficult to discern that a table was actually underneath them all.  Regulatory Officer Alamand Orgair sighed heavily and rubbed his temple as he reviewed yet another one containing the latest fiscal transactions of the Heermann family.

Orgair’s initial investigation into the Heermann family accounts had revealed a few truths.

The first was that Moff Heermann had indeed enjoyed a significant influx of credits around the time of the battle of Corellia.  But what struck Orgair as unusual was that there were no ministry documents accounting for or even tangentially acknowledging this significant matter.  Heermann had no record of disciplinary actions or misconduct.  Unusual.

Another truth revealed in the examination was that there was no blatantly overt mishandling of personal or official funds.  Orgair wondered at how General Veramin, who initiated this investigation, became aware of any such unethical conduct on Heermann’s part.

But Orgair had come to suspect Veramin’s motives as any evidence of wrongdoing by the Heermanns was still eluding him.

Orgair stood and set the datapad on the table, rubbing his eyes.  His momentary reprieve was interrupted by the sound of a distant explosion.  He walked up to the window and witnessed smoke rising from somewhere in the Dalo District.





Vengeance Outpost
Iokath



One of Heermann’s junior intelligence officers entered the office with his daily intelligence reports.  The officer set the reports on Heermann’s desk, and the moff immediately began reviewing the datafiles.

A report on the status of Imperial, Republic, and Alliance military forces on Iokath.  Projections on necessary supply increases for the next month.  A request for additional naval support to initiate a partial blockade of the sphere.  An update on the Vaken Project.  Reports from Belkadan Command.

Heermann paused as something on the last datapad caught his eye.  He read intently on military activities on Belkadan from the previous day.

“Damen Auturis … presumed dead?,” the moff read aloud.

“Yes, sir,” the officer responded.  “General Veramin led the raid on Auturis’ office himself.  Quite a bold move, sir.”

Heermann studied the report further.  “I thought the Diplomatic Service advised the governor that moving against Auturis overtly would potentially damage Imperial control on the world … as there are many Republic sympathizers or neutral parties who either follow or respect him.”

The officer shrugged.  “I’m afraid I’m not read onto the Belkadan political situation, commander.”

Heermann rose quickly, his face becoming flush with anger.  “Prepare my shuttle.  Tell the Ziost Avenger to prepare for my arrival.”
« Last Edit: 08/18/17, 02:13:46 PM by Nicohlas »