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Debrief

By Rainman

Word Count: 4995

Date: 4.7.1 ABY
Debrief: NR-00421CE-05
Subject: 1st Lt. Brennan Roth

* CLASSIFIED - TOP SECRET - ALLIANCE/NEW REPUBLIC COMMAND/RENEGADE WING COMMAND EYES ONLY *
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* BEGIN TRANSCRIPT - DEBRIEF SESSION 1 *

INTERVIEWER 1: State your rank, name, and assignment for the record please.

SUBJECT: First Lieutenant Brennan Roth, callsign "Rainman". I'm honestly not sure I'm assigned at the moment. Previously I was assigned to Rogue Squadron, Renegade Wing, CRS Liberty.

INTERVIEWER 1: Vigilant.

SUBJECT: What?

INTERVIEWER 1: Renegade Wing is based onboard the CRS Vigilant now. The Liberty was destroyed at Endor.

SUBJECT: Oh...right. I've only been on the Liberty.

INTERVIEWER 1: *pause* I see you were listed AWOL 5 months ago.

SUBJECT: I guess that makes sense.

INTERVIEWER 1: Excuse me?

SUBJECT: That makes sense. I would've been reassigned and listed as AWOL, MIA, or KIA I guess. I wasn't sure what they'd do. That's above my pay grade. I was not AWOL. I was on assignment.

INTERVIEWER 1: At whose direction?

SUBJECT: *pauses* I'm not sure I'm able to discuss that. I can tell you that I was given the code clearance *REDACTED* to reach my handler at Alliance Intelligence Service. I haven't been able to make contact with them for several months. The communications channels and protocols we had established have not responded to any of my attempts to contact them.

INTERVIEWER 1: I will have to run this up the chain. Wait here.

* END TRANSCRIPT - DEBRIEF SESSION 1 *
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* BEGIN TRANSCRIPT - DEBRIEF SESSION 2 *

INTERVIEWER 2: Hello Lieutenant. I'm with NRI. The verification for your code clearance is *REDACTED*. Do you acknowledge?

SUBJECT: Acknowledged. *pause* Sir, what the hell happened?

INTERVIEWER 2: I'm sorry, but I'm asking the questions for now. If, in the course of this debrief, I feel that you are who you say you are, then you may get some answers. But for now just listen to the questions I ask and give me honest answers.

SUBJECT: Yes sir.

INTERVIEWER 2: Briefly describe your service with the Alliance. You don't need to go into detail, just tell me your previous assignments.

SUBJECT: I joined the Alliance before Yavin and was assigned to the Corvette Malo as one of it's A-Wing escort/intercept pilots. Shortly before Yavin I was assigned to Red Squadron. I served in Red for a while and then was transferred to Corsair a while after Yavin due to the need for escort/intercept pilots. After a stint in Corsair I transferred to Buccaneer for a short while and then was assigned to Rogue Squadron.

INTERVIEWER 2: So you were with Red Squadron at Yavin? What flight group were you assigned to?

SUBJECT: No. I didn't fly at Yavin. Look, is this not in my personnel file?

INTERVIEWER 2: Lieutenant, just listen to the questions I ask and give me honest answers. Where were you during Yavin?

SUBJECT: I was on an escort mission with the Malo. They had two pilots KIA on a previous mission and I was temporarily reassigned to escort the ship on its next flight which I believe was a decoy mission. Since I already knew the crew and was friends with the men that died they requested me and the Alliance approved the assignment. Red Squadron was on Yavin and not really expecting any action so I think they thought I wouldn't be needed for a few days.

INTERVIEWER 2: And then Yavin happened?

SUBJECT: And then Yavin happened...

INTERVIEWER 2: *pause* And then right after Yavin you were assigned to Buccaneer?

SUBJECT: What? No, of course not. Buccaneer didn't exist yet.

INTERVIEWER 2: Oh that's right. Corsair Squadron was it?

SUBJECT: *pause* You know, for Intelligence you don't know much about the Alliance Navy.

INTERVIEWER 2: Lieutenant, again, listen to the questions I am asking and give me honest answers. After Yavin you transferred to Corsair Squadron?

INTERVIEWER 2: Not for a while. Corsair didn't exist yet either. I flew with the remnants of Red in the rebuilt Squadron for a while first. I wasn't part of the initial group of Corsair pilots but after a while when their mission solidified to escort and intercept it just made sense to transfer there.

INTERVIEWER 2: So you were assigned to Corsair because of your background?

SUBJECT: I requested transfer because of my background and because I wanted to be the tip of the spear with Renegade Wing.

INTERVIEWER 2: What about before the Alliance? What did you do before?

SUBJECT: I was a rainman on my home planet of Donovia...working on the Signal Towers. When my father died I left with a Bothan friend of mine to join his...new business enterprise. I did communications work and eventually became an escort pilot to protect cargo.

INTERVIEWER 2: What is your Bothan friend's name?

SUBJECT: Vusk Manesu was his name. He's dead...this time he's dead.

INTERVIEWER 2: What do you mean by that...this time he's dead?

SUBJECT: I mean he wasn't dead the first time. I thought he was but he wasn't. The first time I was wrong. Now I know he's dead because I...I...saw him die. There was nothing I could do...I had to...

INTERVIEWER 2: *pause* You look like you could use a break. That's enough for now. I'll go verify this and come back in a while. Hold tight. Do you need food? Caf?

SUBJECT: Caf would be good.

INTERVIEWER 2: Done. Don't try to leave the room. It...wouldn't be good.

* END TRANSCRIPT - DEBRIEF SESSION 2 *
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* BEGIN TRANSCRIPT - DEBRIEF SESSION 3 *

INTERVIEWER 2: Thanks for your patience Lieutenant. Your background appears to check out so this will probably be a little less formal moving forward and maybe I can answer some of your questions. I'll be honest, we haven't decided what to do with you yet...your handler died before Endor and there are very few details of your operation recorded. I basically only have your code clearance and the verification for your code clearance, along with a reference to an article on the holonet about 'rogue Donovian rainmen' during the Separatist Crisis. I assume, now, that reference was an insurance policy for verification purposes. Now, I assume you have questions you'd like to ask before we move onto your mission debrief?

SUBJECT: So my handler died?

INTERVIEWER 2: Yes. He was apprehended by Imperial intelligence when his status as a member of AIS became compromised. We believe he must have managed to self-sacrifice at some point after his arrest. He didn't debrief any other agents on your mission.

SUBJECT: You think he killed himself?

INTERVIEWER 2: The best we can tell. Agents are trained to give their captors small bits of information in order to prolong their lives as long as possible...without compromising their assets. This is in the eventuality that the opportunity to escape presents itself. We know he must have given them some information, but nothing that fully compromised his assets. We assume that if he didn't manage to self-sacrifice, they would've eventually managed to extract more.

SUBJECT: So what makes you think he gave them anything?

INTERVIEWER 2: You aren't the first to come forward saying that you're Lieutenant Roth.

SUBJECT: What?!

INTERVIEWER 2: A while back we had a false lead on your whereabouts. Someone claiming to be you managed to make contact with a pilot in Renegade Wing. We assume that the imposter was looking to gather intelligence on your location and mission. The pilot in question sussed out that he was an imposter and contacted NRI. We worked the contact for intelligence and pieced together that you must be alive and on mission somewhere.

SUBJECT: So who was it that he was in contact with? It sounds like I owe them a drink...

INTERVIEWER 2: Captain Andy Clark.

SUBJECT: Bulldog made captain? A Whyrens Reserve then. Well that explains why you wanted me to verify my identity and service record. I just have one more question. The other guy who was debriefing me said that the CRS Liberty had been destroyed at Endor? I heard about the battle but I don't know any of the specifics. What happened? Did the crew abandon ship?

INTERVIEWER 2: They didn't have a chance. They were the first ship annihilated by the Death Star's superlaser.

SUBJECT: So they're all dead?

INTERVIEWER 2: There were no survivors on the ship. The fighters were scrambled and in battle so they were off-ship when it was hit. *pause* Listen, I know this is a lot to process. I'll give you some time. We can start your mission debrief tomorrow. Try to get some sleep.

* END TRANSCRIPT - DEBRIEF SESSION 3 *
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* BEGIN TRANSCRIPT - DEBRIEF SESSION 4 *

INTERVIEWER 2: Good morning Lieutenant.

SUBJECT: Good Morning, sir.

INTERVIEWER 2: Ready for mission debrief? We need to know where you've been and what you've been doing for the last several months. We don't really know what orders you were under. The last information in your file is that you applied for leave, which was granted, you left, and never came back. Take your time and start from the beginning. What happened when you went on leave?

SUBJECT: It actually started before I took leave. I was approached by AIS to go on a covert operation several months before I left. I was told the mission was above Top Secret, and I was under the impression that it was one of many being conducted in a decentralized fashion. I was told that the chance of success was incredibly small but that it was vitally important to the future of the Alliance and that it could strike a crippling blow against the Empire. I wasn't given any more details than that. I was also told that I had to decide my answer immediately...and it was either 'yes' or 'no, and forget I was ever asked'. Sir, I joined the Alliance to make a difference and to destroy the Empire. My family is gone because of them. I didn't hesitate to say yes.

INTERVIEWER 2: Who approached you?

SUBJECT: I was never given their name and was told not to ask.

INTERVIEWER 2: And yet, you believed that they were AIS without knowing who they were?

SUBJECT: It was abundantly clear. They were part of the group traveling with Mon Mothma when she visited the Liberty. I knew people don't get close to her without being thoroughly vetted. As a member of Rogue Squadron, we flew escort for the trip to and from the Liberty. After flights we were required to report to her head of security. The one who contacted me was present at all of these security meetings.

INTERVIEWER 2: I don't see anything in your file indicating you were trained for covert operations or intelligence. You're a pilot. Why do you think they chose you to go on a mission of this nature?

SUBJECT: I wasn't sure at first. My best guess was that it was because of my skill set and... I'm expendable. Later I understood, after I got the mission profile and saw who I'd be working with. Want me to go into that now or is that getting too far ahead?

INTERVIEWER 2: Let's continue in chronological order. So you accepted the mission. What then?

SUBJECT: Nothing, for a while. Didn't hear back for weeks. Then I was told to put in for leave and go to Hali under the pretext of visiting a friend. I was given the location of a safehouse and told to wait for contact from my handler. I was given my code clearance and told their verification. I put in for the leave and, once it was eventually approved, I took a shuttle from the Liberty to the nearest neutral port and from there got transport to Hali. I found the safehouse and waited there for a couple of weeks with no contact. Finally my handler, a Bothan, showed up. I gave them my code, they gave me the verification and I was finally told why I was there.

INTERVIEWER 2: Go on.

SUBJECT: He said I was there because I worked for Vusk Manesu and he had requested me...which was a surprise because I thought he was dead. Shortly after I joined the Alliance Vusk's enterprise went tits up. I had heard that the Imperials had come down on him on a run that he didn't need to be on. He always loved being in on the action himself. I heard that he was marked for Imperial Inspection and tried to run. He had done it many times in the past, but this time he was in the wrong sector. The Imps had TIE Advanceds and they made short work of his escorts. A nearby Interdictor-class Star Destroyer hopped into the area and he wasn't able to hyper out. I heard his freighter was destroyed for refusal to surrender. That's why I thought it must be true. Vusk didn't ever just roll over. His business crumbled and disappeared after his supposed death, and I knew he wouldn't allow that to happen if he was still alive...

INTERVIEWER 2: Surprise, your dead friend is still alive and is working for the Alliance...

SUBJECT: Yes and no. He was alive and it was a surprise, but he wasn't working for the Alliance so much as with the Alliance. He was working for the Bothans because he loved his people. They wanted access to the connections that he'd made with his smuggling operation to be part of their Spy Network. The Bothans were helping the Alliance against the Empire because it was in their best interest as a species. They knew what the Empire thought about Bothans...what they thought about everyone who wasn't them. Vusk wanted to help his species survive. He loved Bothawui and he was trying to head off an impending...do you know what the Bothan concept of Ar'krai is?

INTERVIEWER 2: War?

SUBJECT: Total war. It means they declare war against their enemy and don't ever stop until the enemy is destroyed. There is no cease fire, no truce. They keep going until they're all gone. Vusk was afraid that the Empire was forcing them into a corner and at some point they may have to declare a third Ar'krai. He was trying to avoid this at all costs. The Bothans were trying to figure out a solution to the problem before it got to the point they had no other choice. The Bothans wouldn't openly challenge the Empire until they had no other choice. They do things quietly, and they were officially remaining neutral. They staged the destruction of his ship, put out the story of his death to confuse Imperials and rivals, and he went underground. His smuggling enterprise was carved up by his underlings after he disappeared.

INTERVIEWER 2: So you found out he was alive and that he'd requested you for this operation.

SUBJECT: Yes. He said the Bothans had gotten word that the Empire was working on something big. Now we all know it was the Second Death Star, but at the time we just knew that it was some kind of weapon. They were trying to find out what it was and where it was being developed. They had some pretty good ideas of where to start looking for information, but they needed to do it with the utmost discretion. They are extremely careful in their spywork...it's why they're the best. They're a patient and calculating species. It is more important to them that you don't even know that they are looking for something...than that they find it. If you know they're looking then they lose the element of surprise. This wasn't going to be boarding ships and trying to snatch datapads. Vusk was going to start looking...slowly picking away at a scab, and he asked for me because he trusted me. We were friends but more importantly he knew how much I hated the Empire. He also knew of my comm system expertise and that would be part of the job. And, as a last resort, I was a handy gun to have in the fight.

INTERVIEWER 2: So your mission was to find out what the Empire was doing without the Empire finding out you were looking?

SUBJECT: Priority was that the Empire didn't know the Bothans, and the Alliance, knew anything about their project. There couldn't be any tracks left behind. It was known that if they found out, they'd be on edge...they'd change their routines and the window of opportunity would close. They had to be completely in the dark. After Yavin they weren't going to make the mistake of overconfidence again. We didn't know exactly what we were looking for or how far along in the process the Empire was. We just knew that Vusk needed to use his contacts, quietly, to start looking. It was precarious because everyone thought Vusk was dead. If word got out that he wasn't, that might draw attention. But Vusk had cultivated relationships with his contacts over the years. They may not divulge information to just anyone, but Vusk they trusted as far as they trusted anyone. He'd proven himself. So we began to look. We were functioning completely independently. Periodically we would send a signal to the handler. No specifics, just an affirmative or negative as to whether any progress had been made. I was in charge of the encrypted communications and bouncing the signal around so our location couldn't be pinpointed if any transmissions were intercepted.

INTERVIEWER 2: So how were the assets contacted?

SUBJECT: When I worked with Vusk I was usually in an escort ship or doing overwatch away from his meetings. Many of Vusk's contacts didn't know me. So I would initiate contact with Vusk's assets to feel them out.

INTERVIEWER 2: So you were the initiator of contact in order to see what they knew about Vusk?

SUBJECT: Many times. We did whatever we thought would work based on what Vusk knew about them. Usually he knew their drinking habits. I'd show up, order what they liked and eventually strike up a conversation. I'd turn the conversation to whether they knew how Vusk had died. Depending on how the initial contact went he'd decide how to proceed. We started with those that we knew were likely to be the most friendly to Vusk and the most anti-Imperial. We managed to vet several usable assets who would be able to keep their mouths shut about his being alive. So then we got them in a room with Vusk. He would let them know he had retired from smuggling and had staged his own death. He told them that he was playing both sides against each other as a freelance information broker because it paid better and was less risky. He told them that if they had any information about either side that they wanted to sell, he could broker the deal as an intermediary to insulate them. He also said since he was playing both sides it was imperative that they keep quiet about his being alive. Usually he had some sort of leverage over them as well. He would assure them that as an information broker, he was well connected and that he could assure that their secrets remained safe. He would also make sure no one offered them more for their information. The key was that we never asked anyone for information about what the Empire was doing directly. We just went where we thought the information might be and offered Vusk's services as a broker.

INTERVIEWER 2: And did this pay off in any way?

SUBJECT: Unfortunately, no. No one knew anything about it, at least as far as we could tell. That information would have been worth a lot of money and Vusk was sure if someone had it they'd want to sell it. We didn't get to pursue all that many leads though before mission failure. Vusk had a lot more assets he wanted to eventually put into play but never got the chance.

INTERVIEWER 2: I assume you're referring to Vusk's death that you mentioned earlier?

SUBJECT: Yes. We were on Ord Mantell in the city of Freelonn. I made contact with our target, a Zygerrian named Paraj at an establishment called The Chance Cube. He seemed like he had promise as an asset. He wasn't one of the hard anti-Imperials like we'd approached before. He was one of the first...neutral contacts we started working on. Vusk knew he was more ambivalent about the Empire. Zygerrians don't seem to care who's in charge as long as their...operations are allowed to exist. He had no love for the Empire, but they weren't trying to shut him down. Vusk thought the money would be more than enough to persuade him that he could profit by selling anything he knew.

INTERVIEWER 2: Ord Mantell's a rough place and Zygerrians are slavers...

SUBJECT: Right, which is why an ex-smuggler like Vusk had done business there. Look, I didn't like it either but we had a job to do. So, we set up the meeting and it went south.

INTERVIEWER 2: What happened?

SUBJECT: I don't know. All I know is that the meeting was compromised. I was on top of a building down the street watching the door. The Zygerrian showed up by himself as stipulated. I used our comms to signal to Vusk that he was alone and from my position I couldn't see anyone following him. Vusk opened the door and the Zygerrian went in. I didn't hear what was said, it was far too dangerous to leave a comms channel open. All of the sudden a transport full of Stormtroopers showed up. I clicked the comms using our signal as soon as I saw them but they were in the building so fast, I don't know if he even heard the warning.

INTERVIEWER 2: So they captured Vusk? Or killed him?

SUBJECT: They took him into custody. It wasn't very long until they were marching both Vusk and the Zygerrian out in binders. They must not have thought they were very dangerous. They had the binders on their wrists with their hands in front of them...that was a mistake. As I said I was watching from the rooftop down the street. I was looking through the scope on my blaster rifle. The moment they got out the door Vusk gave me the signal...

INTERVIEWER 2: Signal?

SUBJECT: It was a hand signal that we'd worked out in advance. If I saw it, I knew that the mission was a failure, he had been compromised, and to do what needed to be done. This was the risk he was willing to take for his people. The Empire couldn't take him back for interrogation...what he knew was too important. So...I did what the mission required. As they came out, they were about 20 to 25 paces from the transport. I shot Vusk as they were walking. I saw him go down. Then I got out of there as fast as I could.

INTERVIEWER 2: And how were you able to avoid detection and capture?

SUBJECT: Well, the SERE training we received in The Wing was useful, but honestly there just isn't much of an Imperial presence on Ord Mantell...at least where we were. They may control the planet in theory, but in practice there's not enough Imps there to crew an ISD. They had a stronghold on the capital city of Worlport. That's where the money is so that's where their interests lay, but the rest of the planet is more...independent. I guess the Imps were there that day to snatch up their targets and bring them back to base. They weren't prepared to hunt down a lone actor like me. I ditched the rifle, exfiltrated from my position and just blended in with the crowd. Getting offworld took a lot more time. I wasn't sure how much they knew about Vusk. I couldn't go back to our rendezvous point and I was worried about hiring a transport until the heat died down. I had the clothes on my back and the credits in my pocket and that was it. I rented a room in a different section of the city and found a job working maintenance at one of the local casinos. When I had made enough money through the job to hire transport and enough time passed to not draw attention, I left Ord Mantell and went back to Hali to try to reestablish contact with the Alliance. Most of my old contacts were long gone but I managed to find a couple of friendlies I knew. I heard about what happened at Endor. I tried to contact my handler several times with no luck. I figured that Endor was the reason why so I kept trying. Eventually I was contacted and told to sit tight and NRI would come to bring me in. They came and picked me up and brought me here to...Toseng is it?

INTERVIEWER 2: Toseng. Renegade Wing is here occupying the planet due to some unfortunate issues surrounding their election. We brought you here because technically you are still under the command of Renegade Wing, though as I said you were deactivated from Rogue Squadron after going AWOL so you really don't belong anywhere at the moment. You see Lieutenant, usually when people disappear they stay disappeared...or if they come back it's not under their own volition and they don't really expect or desire to continue serving. I understand your desire is to be reactivated into a fighter squadron?

SUBJECT: That is correct sir. I want to fly again. I've been gone for too long. I know that may not be possible now, but you asked if that's what I want, and it is. More than anything.

INTERVIEWER 2: Well, there will likely be further debriefings to clarify additional details, but I think we've got what we need from this session. As for your request to be reactivated into a fighter squadron, I don't think that is going to be possible...at least not for a while. I am sure that Renegade Wing Command is not going to want to put an AWOL pilot back into their Wing without assessing your readiness internally. For the moment, we may just have to attach you in support of Renegade Wing in some capacity. Communications would seem the obvious choice...

SUBJECT: Right. I'm happy to go where I'm told. I'm just glad to be back.

INTERVIEWER 2: This really is a fairly unprecedented situation we find ourselves in. Though I have a feeling you may not be the last face to show up like this. You mentioned before you had the feeling that there were others on similar assignments being, quote: conducted simultaneously and in a decentralized fashion. Your instincts were correct. The Bothans had many such teams out searching for information on the Empire's secret weapon. As you probably have guessed, one of these teams was successful in their mission. They were able to bring us crucial information that allowed for the planning of the operation which led to the destruction of the Second Death Star. But there are others out there who's status we do not know...no fighter pilots that I'm aware of, but then I wasn't aware of you either. Who knows who might turn up in the future? There could even be...

INTERCOM: *interrupts* Uh...Sir, we have a...bit of a situation out here. There is a very...insistent Lieutenant Colonel out here who claims you are holding one of his men?

INTERVIEWER 2: I wasn't aware that anyone knew this debriefing was occurring...send him in. *door opens* Lieutenant Colonel, this is totally unprecedented. I have never had a military officer interfere with an interrogation in progress before.

LT. COL CHRIS REYNOLDS: Pardon the intrusion, but did he explain why he was AWOL?

INTERVIEWER 2: Yes.

REYNOLDS: And were you satisfied with the answers that he gave you?

INTERVIEWER 2: Yes.

REYNOLDS: And is he going to be court martialed or discharged?

INTERVIEWER 2: Well...no...but...

REYNOLDS: Then as far as I'm concerned you're holding one of my men up from reporting for duty. I'm undermanned as it is and I need all hands on deck. I don't have time for requisitions, transfers, and reassignments. I need this pilot active ASAP. He's under my command and if you don't like that I can get Colonel Rambo on the comm and we can see what he has to say about a civilian intelligence agent interfering in Renegade Wing business. I'm taking my pilot and leaving. Any requests for followup debriefings can come through me and I'll be happy to provide access to my pilot when he's not on duty.

INTERVIEWER 2: *pause* Well Lieutenant Roth, I guess there's somewhere you belong afterall. You're free to go then...we'll speak again soon...with the leave of your Commanding Officer of course.

REYNOLDS: Lieutenant...it's bloody good to see you again mate. Leave it to a Rogue to actually go rogue and show up months later in the brig when there's kriffing work to be done. Not the first time I pulled your ass out of a jam though, is it? We've got plenty to catch you up on and I'll bet you've got some stories of your own to tell...but there'll be time for all of that later at the SSD. Right now I need you to get your belongings to quarters and then hit the sims ASAP and get some stick-time in so we can verify you are combat mission ready. Welcome back to the Wing, Rainman.

* END TRANSCRIPT - DEBRIEF SESSION 4 *
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* CLASSIFIED - TOP SECRET - ALLIANCE/NEW REPUBLIC COMMAND/RENEGADE WING COMMAND EYES ONLY *

The End