A read-only archive of discourse.darkjedibrotherhood.com as of Sunday May 01, 2022.

[HOTH] Inspection Day


Hoth Command
Trepus Mining Facility
Solyiat - 0830

The young Aedile stumbled into his office attempting to catch his breath, brow dripping with sweat. He offered a glance towards his desk and released a heavy sigh. ‘I’m not sure which will kill me first: Zoya’s morning PT or the mountain of paperwork I’ve been putting off.’ To his satisfaction, however, the majority of his workload was nearly completion; the old Trepus mine and transfer station was near fully converted into a fully functional base of operations for Hoth.

This achievement would mark the first time, since New Tython, that the Gray Jedi would have a home. Not only him, however, but the entire House as well. The day had been in the making for some time and the pride he felt for the men and women under his command reflected brightly each time he submitted his progress reports to Colonel Cortel, ensuring to highlight the long, hard hours each person put forth towards their tasks.

As Edgar nearly crashed into his desk chair from exhaustion, he noticed a message from the JTF Commander. Rubbing his eyes into focus, he read over the communique: apparently Councillors Sorenn and Kituri were due to arrive within the next few days to tour the base, but also to offer their approval for the Trepus facility to be commissioned as the official base of operations for Hoth JTF. Along with the message, there was the standard list of final preparations and assessments that needed to be completed to Arcia’s satisfaction.

“Always a list of things to complete with her. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say she’s either trying to kill us or she is one of those anal-retentive women that can’t have a speck of dust out of place!” Edgar grumbled as he examined the list in detail.

Judging by the contents of the “to-do” list, he knew for a fact that there would be some very long nights ahead, but everything would be completed to satisfaction, even if he had to pick up a hammer himself. The Aedile knew that it had become a point of pride with the members of the JTF to never let another invading army get as close as Satele Shan did during the training exercise. Even though the list was long, they would get the work done to impress the Councillors. Toggling the com-link on his desk, the internal P.A. system crackled to life. With a clear of his throat, the Aedile began an announcement to the members of the House.

“Good Morning Hoth JTF, this is your Aedile speaking. First of all, I want to commend all of you for the hard work you’ve done so far in getting the facility refitted in record time. Now, we must buckle down and complete our final tasks,” Edgar took a lengthy breath. “In just a few short days, the sitting Councillors will be arriving to give us our final inspection. So we will have a lot of hard work ahead, but I believe in you all to get it done. All department heads will be receiving detailed instructions from me soon. So let’s all pull together and show the summit what Hoth is made of. Get a good breakfast and good luck!”

In the large staging area at the center of the mine, Tisto, Darro, Surr and the other Knights heard the P.A. echo as the transmission was terminated. To their dismay, Zoya’s training session was not over and she continued to “torture” them to her delight. Each one attempted to keep pace with the beast of a woman, only Darro having a moderate success over the others, his own fatigue beginning to show. Between gasps for air, the Knight Commander quickly scanned the staging grounds and struggled with his words.

“How did Edgar manage to escape? He was just here a minute ago!

”The members of the Knights of Allusis and most of the general Hoth JTF staff were finishing another grueling conditioning session directed by the new Security Chief, Zoya. Since her “introduction” within the JTF Commander’s office a few weeks back, she had made great strides in not only securing parts of the old mine that had been overlooked, but made it her own personal mission to make the “puny men and women” of Hoth stronger and more prepared.

The Colonel and Savant attempted to convince Zoya that they didn’t need her assistance in that area, only to be thrown into one of her several hour long conditioning classes themselves. After a few failed attempts to stop her “reign of terror,” as some called it, they both noticed that the overall endurance and strength of the JTF was vastly improved. After the loss of New Tython and the long months in space seeking a new home, this was the first real conditioning regimen the JTF had experienced in some time.

After Zoya petitioned, rather demanded, her position, she was permitted to continue her training duties as long as they did not interfere with the overall security of the base. With the only standing order being that her sessions conclude within a reasonable amount of time and not cause half the unit to seek medical attention, it was announced that Zoya was to be the Chief of Security of the Trepus facility. Since the declaration, the medics and doctors consistently reported a drop in personnel reporting for injuries sustained in training operations both on the ice and elsewhere on Solyiat.

Underground Maglev Terminal
** Trepus Facility**
** Solyiat 13:00**

The day of inspection presented itself with the men and women of the Hoth JTF in formation, their finest dress uniforms displayed with perfection. The Knights were positioned on the maglev platform with the Knight Commander standing beside his Aedile and the Security Chief. All were waiting for the underground train to arrive from the transfer station with its precious cargo. On board was not only Colonel Cortel, but Councillors Kituri and Sorenn.

Tension was high and nerves were on edge in the reception bay and throughout the base as a whole, as this day was the formal inspection of all of their hard work. On this day, they would discover if what they accomplished would be enough to impress the Odan-Urr summit enough to fully commission the facility as the Hoth JTF Command Base. If approved, it would allow them to return to their duties of protecting the Kiast System and its citizens from the Inquisitorius.

The uneasy sensations were near instantly shattered when the maglev P.A. system blared to life with a loud ‘pang,’ signifying that a train was arriving at the station. The Gray Jedi quickly recovered from the sudden start the noise gave him and commented to himself. ‘I have got to get someone to change that blasted noise!’

As the maglev train entered the station, Edgar heard Knight Commander Kingang command the contingent present. “Stand at attention! Councillors arriving!”

With the sudden bellow of orders, the distinctive sound of many heels clicking together echoed through the hangar in an impressive “crack!” Even Drachen stood more at attention than standard as the train came to a stop, the doors opening to present Colonel Cortel leading A’lora out of the car, followed immediately by Edgar’s old friend, Turel.

For the briefest of seconds, the two honored guests allowed their gaze to take in the hangar, then took notice of the men before them. “Edgar. Tistito. It is good to see you both. I see you all have done some extraordinary work and I look forward to seeing the fruits of your labor.”

A’lora’s words were loud and carried through the crowd, a stoic expression upon her face. Turel looked over the Knights, nodding in recognition towards most of them. Having been a former Knight Commander himself, he knew several of them personally. It wasn’t until he met Zoya’s eyes that he paused for a moment, looking to Cortel for explanation.

“Councillors Kituri and Sorenn, I would like to introduce you both to Zoya. She is our new Chief of Security. Zoya, these two are our commanders. What they say, goes,” Arcia stated with finality. “Please treat them as you would treat me and allow them full access to anything they wish to see during the inspection.”

“Ah! So you wish for Zoya to train them too?” the Security Chief bellowed in an overly serious tone.The Colonel’s gaze darkened into a deadly scowl that even caused the Solyiat native to pause. “No.

”With her big smile quickly diminishing to a frown, Zoya nodded her acknowledgement and turned towards the pair of Councillors. “As is my villages tradition, I welcome you to Solyiat!

”To Colonel Cortel’s dismay, Zoya quickly moved in towards her superiors, but breathed a sigh of relief as the Chief greeted the two with a strong, over the wrist handshake which left the Councillors rubbing their wrists in moderate pain.
“It will be I, Zoya, that will guide you through this very secure base. I will take you where you need to go and you will follow me. There will be no deviations and no wandering on your own!”

Before anything resembling a response could be offered, the Solyiat native turned and started towards the base proper. “Let’s go, blue lady! You can bring your puny man with.” Without a seconds notice, the Security Chief caught Edgar by surprise, grabbing his arm and commanded that he join them.

As the four left the reception bay, Arcia turned with a groan to address the men and women of the Hoth JTF. “I am proud of each of you. The work we have accomplished in such short a time will no doubt be looked upon favorably. I am sure this inspection will be satisfactory and I expect you all to give every courtesy to our guests. Dismissed.”

Hoth Central Command
** Trepus Base, Solyiat**
** 16:15 hours**

The Colonel paced her office, having been keeping tabs on the tour from the command center over the past few hours. However, they were late. The one thing Arcia couldn’t stand, from superior or subordinate, was someone keeping her waiting. Just as she was about to signal Edgar, Zoya entered the office, but she was alone.“

Zoya. Where are our guests? And where is Drachen?”

“Puny man wanted to speak with blue lady and other important man alone. He has secrets to speak with them,” the large woman spoke with a grin, folding her arms before her.

Cortel narrowed her eyes and leaned forward. “Secrets? Just what is that man up to…”

Once again, Arcia prepared to signal her second in command when Zoya threw her arms in the air with a start. The Colonel turned away from her desk and watched the woman as she took a deep breath and approached the Human.

“I must tell you of the hand holding!” Zoya bellowed.

“Hand…holding?” Arcia was beginning to become annoyed.

“The tour! Stop the brow furrow, it makes you look ugly. Now then! First we went to the barracks to check on the living conditions of the puny men and women…” Zoya began a long and drawn out retelling of the walk through of the Trepus Facility, no doubt stalling for time.

After what seemed like an eternity, which only happened to be a mere few minutes, the door to Arcia’s office opened, allowing the Colonel the opportunity to raise a hand and shut the Solyiat woman up. Edgar quickly entered the common room that Zoya managed to drag the Colonel out into and retreated into his office without a word. Cortel watched him as he passed, her gaze burrowing into the back of his head as he silently closed the doors behind him.

Following the Aedile, Turel entered and approached the JTF Commander. “Arcia, very impressive display you have here. The upgrades you’ve made since the mock invasion will surely keep anyone from your doorstep. I’ll admit, when you first presented the idea of refitting an old run-down mining facility in a frozen landscape as Hoth’s new base, I didn’t think you’d pull it off. But you did. And we’re very impressed.

”A’lora entered the room before Arcia could respond, causing her to stand a little straighter, still not knowing exactly how to act or react around her two superiors. “Thank you for your assessment, Sorenn. Most of the upgrades were Zoya’s idea. She came to us, and for lack of a better term, whipped us into shape. Without her, we’d be behind schedule.”

“Agreed, your new Security Chief as plugged many holes. Most of which were never noted in your after action report,” A’lora stated plainly.

“We commend you for your efforts, Zoya,” Councillor Sorenn also replied, looking towards the Chief.

Zoya took the opportunity to bellow out another signature phrase with conviction. “Trust me. On Solyiat you do not survive the second failure and so, we will not fail again!

The Chief excused herself as A’lora took Arcia to the side, speaking in a calm and clear voice. “I wish to congratulate you on all your hard work with Hoth. I know you have had a hard time integrating yourself recently, but it has obviously paid off. I will be commissioning the base before we leave today.

”The Togruta paused a moment to allow her words to sink into the Colonel who began to speak, but was cut off with a raise of the hand, much like Zoya earlier. “Edgar will bring the news to your team, but before we make the public announcement, we have something else that we wish to inform you of first.

”Turel approached from behind, causing the two to part. “Along with the base commission, we will be publicly announcing you as the commanding officer of this unit. I know you’ve already fallen into the position through practice, but it’s about time we made it official.

”Cortel paused for a moment. She had only been brought on as a military advisor to the Hoth JTF originally. True, her old habits didn’t die when it came to her command nature of ability to lead, but she hadn’t really noticed it until it was brought up now. She was still under the expectation that she would depart to use her skills elsewhere in the Clan after Hoth settled into their new base.

“I assume this decision wasn’t made lightly?” Arcia questioned suspiciously.

“This was not solely our idea. Edgar spoke to us at great length in private and gave us his thoughts and feelings about you. He strongly recommended you for the job, even over himself. I believe his exact words were, ‘In our darkest hour, when we were left rudderless and when our “leader” abandoned us for his own personal goals, Arcia arrived and helped bring the House back from oblivion.’ Based on that and our own feelings, we wholeheartedly agreed and it will be done.”

Hoth JTF Staging Area **
** Trepus Facility

** 18:00 hours**

For the second time in the day, the entire JTF was in formation in front the makeshift stage that was erected for a special occasion. Everyone knew why they were there and the celebration planned for that evening will be the source of many stories and songs to come.

With the men and women assembled, Edgar moved to the podium to start the ceremony. “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Hoth JTF, it is my honor to speak to you all tonight. It’s with pride I stand before you to thank you all for all of your hard work and dedication to change what once was a abandoned mine into one of the finest facilities I have ever seen. You all did excellent work and I’m honored to now introduce Councillor A’lora Kituri, who has some important announcements to make.”

As the Aedile turned around the togruta was already standing next to him and moved past him to approach the microphone. Never one to waste time the Councillor spoke with little hesitation “Members of the JTF Vanguard Sorenn and myself have completed our assessment of your work and as of this day we officially commission this instillation as the new Hoth JTF Base of Operations effective immediately and further… !”

The Consul was immediately cut off from such an outburst of cheers and screams from the gathered crowd it became almost deafening. In all the time Edgar has known the councilor he was shocked at the length of time she let them celebrate. It was only after the event she confided in him that after all we all been through they earned the right to be happy and she wasn’t going to ruin it.

After a few moments of celebration, the Togruta raised her hand and amazingly, the assembly fell silent almost immediately and only once order was restored, she continued in her naturally calm voice. “Furthermore, after much deliberation, the Clan Summit as decided to change Colonel Arica Cortel’s official role within the House command structure from JTF advisor to the JTF Commander with all rights and privileges of the position and rank.”

Almost on cue, the men and women of the Hoth JTF started applauding and it was the Aedile who was first to give the new Commander a standing ovation, followed quickly by all in attendance. At this point A’lora motioned to the new Commander to take the podium for a few quick words.

Colonel Cortel stepped up to the podium and cleared her throat. She wasn’t one for ceremony or drawing things out that didn’t require special attention, but this situation demanded it, to a point. She looked over the men and women of her unit and closed her eyes with a small smile. When she opened them again, her soft look hardened into what everyone expected from her.

“Hoth. You all have performed well beyond my expectations when I first arrived to assist the JTF. With the victory over our sister House to our establishment within this mining facility, you have shown me what you are capable of. Take this time to relax and recuperate, for we have much more ahead of us in the future. Continue your extraordinary work ethic and you will no doubt do me proud. Dismissed!”

As the assembly began clearing the chamber, Arcia grabbed Edgar’s arm and furrowed her brow. “Just what did you say to the Councillors, Drachen?”

“When you first came here, I didn’t know you. You were an outsider and I did not trust you. Over the last few months, I watched you and I have seen how much you put into this unit. Then during our joint training with Satele Shan, I saw how hard you fought and you earned my respect and my trust. I know now you will do all in your power to protect the men and women of Hoth and for that, I am honored to have you as my Commander,” Edgar said in a confident tone, then snapped his heels and stood at attention saluting the Colonel.

Arcia was at first moved by his words, but immediately became critical at the poorest salute she had ever seen being presented to her by her second in command. To respect this rare moment for the Savant she remained silent and saluted him back and coolly stated “At ease, Savant. Let us go join the others and make sure they do not over do it.”

Hoth Mess Hall
Many hours and many drinks later

Zoya stood at the bar with various passed out crewman and officers alike failing their challenges towards the Chief in a Solyiat drinking game. Her laughter rang through the air as various shot glasses toppled around her, causing a loud jingling to follow her laughs.

“You Puny Men drink like babies! Are any of you real men?” Zoya openly challenged.

A young sniper stumbled too close to the large woman and was grabbed. “Are you a baby, or are a man?” she shouted.

Christopher Winchester, too drunk to realize his mistake, boldly responded. “I’m no baby. I drink the best scotch money can buy!”

Grabbing the much smaller man, Zoya began pouring drinks in a pair of very large glasses and immediately downed the hers. She offered a mischievous grin towards the sniper, obviously wondering why his drink was still there. It took Nero a second to realize just what happened, but still being as confident as ever, picked up the glass started to guzzle the concoction the best he could, but choked on it halfway through.

Only after the second attempt did he finish it and in his attempt to stand up to boldly claim victory passed out cold and landing back in his seat and slumped over the table like a rag doll.

Zoya only then surveying the carnage around, poured herself another drink, declared victory and then headed off to the where the Arcia, Edgar and the councilors were enjoying their evening, bringing her bottle of very potent, homemade Solyiat liquor with her.