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We're Going Where?

Posted on Tuesday October 27th, 2020 @ 11:32pm by Rhea Nyx

Mission: When a Hutt Laughs
Location: Zhar System
Timeline: MD1 - 1555

Thankful for the Mandalorian armour and helmet she wore that put another barrier up between the Protector and the rest, the woman watched the crowd milling about as the chrono approached 1600. She could sense they were still on edge, eager to get going and still had plenty of questions. ‘Believe me, I know how you feel’ she thought to herself, but she couldn’t very well flat out tell any of them that, not even Elam.

Part of Rhea was still troubled by the conversation she had with Sol shortly before he departed earlier in the night leaving the Squadron in her hands; there was little else she could do other than keep things running in his absence. She didn’t want to think about how she ended up where she did, but she hoped it wouldn't become a permanent part of her job. Some of her connections wouldn't appreciate that, for starters. But, she reminded herself, she would have to deal with it if and when it came to that, not before.

To top things off, the chat with Kieran shone some light on what was going on, but not enough to clarify things for certain as far as Rhea was concerned. Either way, she would have to wait for Sol to get back to have a fuller picture, but at least she knew where the man was in case she needed to get his arse out of the fire if he failed to show up as promised.

Still, the information Kieran provided put her more on edge than it should’ve, but Rhea chose not to show that to those around her. Sol was the one with more information and he was handling that side of things, there was little she could do about it; it was futile fretting about it for now, instead she chose to focus on things that were under her direct control for the moment. Namely the Grey Wing Squadron itself and their next step moving forward.

For a few moments, Rhea watched the denizens of Grey Wing mill around, keeping themselves busy anticipating the briefing to find out what was going on and where they were going next. ‘I wish I had the answers you seek,’ she thought, taking in a breath and letting it out slowly.

The Mandalorian was thankful for the moment she managed to steal to herself after her chat with Kieran; she definitely needed to be away from everyone else where she could switch gears and regroup her thoughts before kicking things off without having to worry about harming those she was tasked with keeping safe.

Regardless of whether she wanted to be here or not, this was where she was needed at this point in time, Rhea didn’t want to think about what repercussions her choice could carry in the long run. There’ll be time for that later, right now it was more of a distraction. Pushing the thoughts away and focusing on the current goings-on, she checked a readout on one of her vambraces, nodding to herself. They would have to start making a move soon, but not before Rhea Nyx would have to address the Bantha in the room -- Sol Harizzo’s absence & where they were going next. It was, after all, part of what she’s been tasked to do to ensure they got to their new base of operations safely.

Underneath the helmet, Rhea closed her eyes, took in a long breath and slowly let it out; sure, she’s briefed these people about operations before, but this was different somehow. This wasn’t just a regular op, this was them running for their lives and trying to survive. Maybe that was the problem, she thought it was different, and yet, at the very bottom of it all, it was all the same. Doing what you can to survive, she may not agree with all the ways, but even the bounty hunters, smugglers and the shadier parts of the squadron had their reasons tied to survival. She couldn’t really blame them, but when said reasons clashed with safety of those she was tasked with protecting, she knew where she stood. It was far simpler when she only answered for herself, not when there was a whole squadron of people to answer for directly, however temporary it was. Somehow down the line Rhea’s gotten more involved than she ever thought she would. Nothing she could do about that than move forward, she thought.

She checked the chrono again and took a deep breath before letting it out slowly. ‘Oya, Rhea Nyx’ she told herself. Even under all the beskar armour, Rhea’s demeanour shifted visibly as she moved swiftly through the room signaling kicking things off.

“Alright people, listen up!” her voice called everyone to attention as she removed her helmet and tucked it under an arm in one fluid motion. There was definitely no going back now, right now her path has led to her being a more permanent fixture with Grey Wing Squadron more than anywhere else. And if it meant all of them now getting a better look at what she looked like underneath the helmet, Rhea was fine with it under the circumstances.

Everything about Rhea Nyx commanded attention as her dark eyes scanned the room; swiftly the Mandalorian moved to take a position where she could be seen by everyone, giving people a chance to settle down and focus on what she was about to say.

“I know Grey Wing has been dealt a lousy hand recently,” she began, her tone softer but still very much in charge and in control of the situation as her gaze swept across everyone present, “you still have one more journey to make before you can all breathe a little easier,” the Mandalorian added, her features focused, fierce and intense as typical of any Mandalorian leader, at least the ones she knew in her time.

Rhea noted some surprised looks on some of the squad’s faces, pretty sure they weren’t because of what was said, but the fact that Rhea was the one to say it, at least not in the way she did. ‘Yeah, Lady Mando’s full of surprises,’ she thought wryly. The fact that this was a rare instance where she removed her helmet for the entire group to see her face, not just the teams she was about to lead into action, just underscored the seriousness of the situation a bit more. Most of the squadron still weren’t even aware of her name, let alone anything about her past beyond what she chose to reveal, which wasn’t much. Rhea took in a breath, and already, with her standing here, helmet under one arm, she further dropped the walls she kept up between herself and the members of the squad. ‘Dammit, Harizzo,’ she thought, but he didn’t really leave her a lot of choice. ‘Well, you sort of flew into that one cannons blazing, quite literally, Rhea’ she thought, well aware she wouldn’t have it any other way if the circumstances repeated themselves.

“Now that you’ve all had a chance to catch a breath and refuel, it’s time we get moving again. Location coordinates should be uploaded to your onboard computers shortly,” she said her tone all business, focused on their goal. “Most of you may recognize our destination, stick to the course laid in,“ to minimize threats and detection, she made sure no two sets of ships travelled via the same routes and they all would be leaving at different times throughout the night and day. She was sure to personally choose routes that would keep them mostly out of sight of the shadier elements of the Outer Rim, at least as far as she knew so far. “Departure starts in two hours. A-Wings, X-Wings take point; VCX100, YV-666, capital ships and everything else follow suit. Lieutenant...”

“Where *are* we going?” asked someone, interrupting. It was the A-Wing pilot, Lt Shai, again.

“Havoc Base,” she said simply as she looked at him, nothing about her gave away whether his interruption bothered her or not. Rhea smiled wryly, “maybe I should’ve led with that,” she spoke, a corner of her lips twisting into a smile as she inclined her head slightly towards Shai.

“Captain Harizzo will join us at Havoc Base in a few days, and we’ll see where we are at then,” she added, cutting off Shai’s next question and hopefully answering the question many members had. “Until then, I’m afraid you’re all stuck with me,” she added, the smile on her features was more apologetic than anything else. She knew they would all rather see Sol in her place, a preference she shared with them wholeheartedly.

She looked at the faces in the crowd, few exchanged glances, soft murmurs, they still had questions but most knew better than to ask for further details from Rhea herself. It’s not that she wasn’t willing to share the information, most of the time she wasn’t the one with all the answers about Grey Wing specifically, even if some of the squad members had worked up enough nerve to pose a question. This was Sol’s squad, she knew that as well as anyone else on this rock knew that. Her job was to keep them safe, no matter what it cost her. ‘aaand maybe you’re about to be the one with all the answers permanently,’ a thought popped up in her mind, she dismissed it with a wave of her hand letting her hand settle on the visor of the helmet she held under her arm.

“And if Captain Harizzo won’t come back?” came another question, people in the crowd exchanged looks, some wondering the same thing, no doubt.

Rhea zeroed in on the owner of the voice, her dark steely eyes drilling into the human with the intensity of a focused weapons fire. He took a step back involuntarily, half wondering if he was about to be on the receiving end of the Mandalorian’s weapons; Rhea blinked, the hardness gone from her eyes in an instant. Last thing she needed right now was to intimidate the squadron further. Save it for the smugglers, bounty hunters and other assorted shady types that have it coming if they harm anyone in the squadron, she thought to herself.

“Then we find him, and we go get him back to Grey Wing,” she spoke in a tone that was deadly serious, her jaw set as the Mandalorian met the pilot’s gaze dead on letting him and everyone in the room know she meant it.

“Besides, I need to have a word with him.” She added, her tone easing, in an effort to lighten things up a little, “he’s not getting out of it this easily.” The comment elicited a few chuckles from the group as some members exchanged looks that ranged from amusement to concern and worry thrown in with some Rhea wasn’t entirely sure about. Semi-amused at the reaction, yet still on target, Rhea swiftly moved on.

“Those of you with your own ships, Elam Tash and Laura Yates will have the coordinates for you. Do not deviate from the course unless necessary. And avoid attracting any unwanted attention along the way. Do not engage with any patrols unless necessary. Attracting more attention is the last thing we need right now,” she warned observing the squad’s reactions.

“Once you arrive on base, get settled in. I will answer questions if I can when we’re all safe on the base. Other questions will have to wait until Captain Harizzo gets there.” She looked around the room at the faces of people gathered there. The pilots, ground crews, bounty hunters, smugglers and a wide array of other shady elements, all of whom now knew what she looked like. Strangely, Rhea was at peace with that decision even if the consequences for that may be severe down the line, she’d worry about that later. She just hoped she wasn’t putting the entire squadron in crosshairs along with herself.

“Elam, see that everyone leaves alright then take one of the T-65s.”

The engineer nodded, for the moment the smile was missing.

Rhea took in a deep breath, looking at each and every person present in the room, the Mandalorian slowly let the breath out with a slow nod as she let what she had just said register further in their minds.

“Allright people, let’s get to work,” she announced with a quick nod to everyone present before she slid her helmet back over her head signalling the end of the briefing. She felt like today, of all days, she has spoken more than she has in her entire time with the Squadron; she definitely revealed more of herself to the squadron just now than she thought she ever would. With several quick strides, Rhea Nyx left the room as people jumped into action.


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