Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:6:33) in the Essesia system: Esseles (Larius Lacus: Sierra Rodney's lakehouse and New Calamar: Claudius Rodney's estate) and Kwai.
Commander Allegra Ames, Flight Lieutenant Haven Anson, El-Nay Darr, Ewwiekewwieikkie, Commander Kerrie Kiley, Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, Melickielickie, Callista Nilar, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Major Sierra Rodney, and Ensign Bethany Sheppard.

El-Nay Darr had been looking to do something nice for Sierra, and had chosen to throw a baby shower for her. Unfortunately, most of Sierra's friends had been killed during the destruction of Alderaan, so she was forced to invite her fellow officers. Although she meant it to be a casual event, all of the new and unfamiliar faces caused her to remain within the safety of her orange Nite Owl armor with her helmet strapped securely to her head. The hardest part was finding a way to keep all of the desert safe from the youngest members of the Rodney family. As she looked to the chronometer she realized the guests would soon be arriving, which caused her to fret, and pace around anxiously.

Flight Lieutenant Haven Anson had collected a number of female officers from the Retributor and filed them into the Kwai after receiving the strangely worded message from El-Nay. No female officer aboard the ship would dare refuse an invitation from Major Rodney, as they viewed their future promotions tied to impressing the Grand Moff's wife and adjutant. "The shields are up," she mused to the others, unaware that it was designed to keep a family of ducks on the grounds of the estate who at times desperately wanted to flee the Rodney girls. "Shuttle Kwai to Terril Naval Base, lower the deflector shield," she announced over the comm, which allowed her to land the craft on the platform adjacent to the Rodney estate. She reached down to pick up a small gift that her father, Captain Anson, had recommended and then descended the ramp with the others.

Ensign Bethany Sheppard carried with her a tray of homemade sweets that her mother had sent from Berchest. Ever since Colonel Zevrin had been taken out of action her mother's care packages had once again managed to get to her. She had fully expected to be tasked with watching the children, and she made it a point to hold the platter of snacks as high as possible so that the Squibs could not get it.

Commander Allegra Ames was carrying an ornately wrapped box, as she wanted to sufficiently bribe the Governor's new adjutant. She had gone much further in the Navy than someone as incompetent as her was likely to go. In fact, she owed her latest promotion to Colonel Zevrin, whose influence was no longer in a position to help her. With the Senate disbanded her father was no longer in a position to help her either. Therefore, she needed to make a good impression with Major Rodney and this gift was the first in a series of steps designed to butter her up.

Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca had to look up what a baby shower was. At first, she thought it was a ritual cleaning, but after spending some time on the HoloNet she discovered it was just another human exercise in exchanging gifts. She had collected a piece of local Esselian art that she felt held significance, but she did not bother to wrap it. She was the last in a series of officers who filed into the Rodney estate, feeling quite uncomfortable in such a foreign social setting. However, she was flattered, as an alien, that she had been invited to such a formal and public event at the Grand Moff's personal residence.

Commander Kerrie Kiley flew the short distance from the Void to the Rodney estate where she was intent on doing her best to support Major Rodney, particularly after her encounter with Inquisitor Thrope. She was surprised when El-Nay contacted her, as ever since she fled the Void they had little personal contact. When she arrived she saw the officers of the Retributor, and moved quickly towards the ground. In her hands was a small, stuffed bantha, which was similar to the one her parents had given her prior to her being given up to the Mabari for training. She was actually surprised that El-Nay had managed to pull off such an event, but then again, the night was only starting.

Major Sierra Rodney was completely unaware of El-Nay's plans to throw her a baby shower. In fact, she was out cold in bed after a long night with Bruce. She had promised her husband that she'd join him on the Retributor after a short nap, but, when the baby didn't wake up, she didn't either. Four hours later, Sierra awoke in her bed feeling rested. "Hello there." She said as she picked Bruce up from his bassinet. Visibly, Bruce was already getting bigger. He was a hungry little guy and it had helped him to put on the weight that he needed. Sierra started feeling significantly less worried about something happening as a result of him being a premie. She stayed in her room long enough to change Bruce, feed him, then put on her own uniform. With Bruce cuddling against her chest, Sierra made her way downstairs slowly. She was nervous upon seeing El-Nay pacing near the foyer. She was even more surprised to see the familiar faces from the Retributor.

She smiled nervously. "Hello everyone." Life had been such total chaos since Bruce was born. Even his room wasn't fully assembled, but he would not need his crib for several more months. The family had scrambled to gather the necessities for the baby. Sierra noticed that everyone was carrying gifts. As a woman who grew shy at such attention, she began to blush. She looked at El-Nay, who had become an even more important part in her life after being injured by the Inquisitor. In Sierra's eyes, the Mandalorian had repaid her life debt over and over again. "W-What's going on here?" She asked. She had a feeling this wasn't about the situation on Chandrila. Even Kerrie was there, whom she had not spent time with in awhile. There was no time to catch up with her when she brought Melickielickie to the estate. She wondered if she might be able to smooth things over between El-Nay and Kerrie, but then again, it was Zara who was the matchmaker of the family. She adjusted how she was holding Bruce so he could see everyone too.

El-Nay stepped forward towards Sierra, before bowing her head in obedience. "Milady, this is your baby shower. I know they normally happen before the birth, but..." she began, but she did not quite know how to phrase what came next. "...but since he came earlier than planned I didn't want to cancel it," she explained, before stepping aside so that everyone else could greet her. "So take a seat and I'll try to corral the Squibs," she said, while smirking beneath her helmet. "And best of all, since you're no longer pregnant you can actually drink some of the celebratory wine!" she said, as she motioned over towards the small arrangement of food and drinks she had arranged for.

From the railing on the second level of the Rodney estate Ewwiekewwieikkie had come bounding to see what was going on. "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" she said, as she began hopping up and down. "Melickielickie! Callista! Everyone is here and there's food ... and ... and ... and presents!" she said, before grabbing hold of the banister and slid down to the bottom. She tumbled into a bundle of blue fur before rising up and looking towards everyone ... and the food. She surged forward, but quickly found herself obstructed by El-Nay. "Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!" she grunted, as she tried, unsuccessfully to shove herself forward.

Sierra's cheeks turned bright red. She also wanted to cry. It was so sweet of El-Nay to throw a baby shower for her. She looked at her friend with teary eyes. "T-Thank you." She stuttered, wrapping an arm around El-Nay in her armor as best as she could. Her thoughts trailed shortly as she wondered if she should drink anything or not. Ewwiekewwieikkie's words from the other day were very cryptic. Sierra left El-Nay to greet each guest with their own one-armed hug. "Thank you all for coming." She said kindly. She only came to a stop once she was standing in front of Kerrie. "I'm glad to see you, Kerrie." Sierra couldn't travel to the Void. The Cathar was there, and she hardly trusted that monster. "Now you can finally meet Bruce." She adjusted so the baby could look at her. The boy's fuzzy blonde hair was slowly filing in. His eyes had already become much darker as they worked to change to a shade of brown. "Say hello to your hold-mother, Bruce." She said, revealing her decision to name Kerrie as one of his hold-parents. El-Nay was to be the other hold-parent, she simply hadn't told the Mandalorian yet. Bruce's eyes met with the bantha plushie in Kerrie hands. He reached out for it, for *her*.

The girls had been managing some quiet play time in Ewwiekewwieikkie's room. Callista was holding a pink, plastic teacup with her pink finger pointed outward awkwardly. "Lovely day we're having." She said in her most proper voice. She heard Ewwie calling her. "Food! I'm starving!" The little girl declared dramatically. She stood up on her feet and raced down the stairs. The pounding of children feet could be heard as Callista and Ewwiekewwieikkie joined the party goers. Melickielickie was at the very end of the parade of children. She took the stairs slower, uneasily making her way down them until she landed in front of El-Nay. "Hungee!" She said, lifting her arms up toward the woman. "Yummmyyy!" She stepped forward, lapping at the orange armor like she thought it would be tasty.

"Thank you for inviting me, Milady," Kerrie replied in a bow, but she was not quite prepared for what Sierra was about to say next. "Hold-mother?" she asked, knowing what the title meant, but uncertain if she was worthy of such an honor. "Did you speak to the Governor about this?" she asked, with some trepidation in her voice, before offering up the stuffed bantha to the baby. "My parents gave me one of thsee when I was young," she said to Sierra, as the toy was handed over to the baby. "I still sleep with it," she admitted, to the great embarrassment of everyone else in attendance. "He looks a lot like each of you," she said, a she smiled down at the baby. She did not want to reveal the contents of her discussions with Inquisitor Thrope, as that was more appropriate for a private conversation.

"Girls we'll get you some food," El-Nay Darr said to Ewwekewwieikkie and Melickielickie, as she used all of her strength to keep them from crashing the party. "It's yucky old people food ... uh ... uh ... uh ... salads!" she told them, before trying to lead them into the kitchen. "You don't want any of that yucky stuff. I'm sure there's some pudding in the kitchen," she told them, as she was perfectly willing to sacrifice Sierra's pudding now that her pregnancy was over. This was going to be a long day!

Sierra nodded her head. "Yes. We spoke about it. I also requested that you come back to the estate. It's going to happen as soon as everything else calms down." Sierra knew the situation in Chandrila well. Kerrie and her commandos were involved in that mess. She wondered if she should warn Kerrie of the Inquisitor to try to keep her safe...only, now wasn't the time. "You deserve to be one of his hold-parents. You did so much to keep us safe. El-Nay too." She commented, looking in time to see the Mandalorian convincing the Squibs that there was nothing good for them to eat. Bruce took the small bantha from Kerrie. His little hands brushed over it. He stared at it like he wasn't quite sure what to think of it. Then, he decided he liked it by kicking his feet. Sierra smiled at Kerrie's innocent admission. "Your secret is safe with me. I can already tell he likes it a lot." Sierra allowed herself to glow with pride over her boy. She supposed Bruce didn't want to miss his party. "After everyone else has gone, stay awhile. I have something I wish to discuss with you." Sierra overheard El-Nay giving away the last of her pregnancy pudding. She supposed it would be some time before she needed that again.

"Ewww! Salad!" Callista made a face and choking noises. "Yucky! I don't like to eat leafs!" She declared, having been convinced that her auntie's party only had yucky food. She skipped off to the kitchen with Nay-Nay. "I like pudding." She told the woman. "And ice cream and cookies and candy and mashed potatoes and the color orange!" She said, plucking a container of pudding from the fridge. "Nay-Nay. Ewwie got ducks now. Did you see them?"

Kerrie became overcome with emotion, as tears began to well up in the corners of her eyes. "It is a great honor, milady. One I will endeavor to prove myself worthy of each day," she pledged to Sierra, before bringing her hand up to wipe away her tears. "Yes. Of course, milady," she said, before bowing her head and stepping aside to allow the others a chance to give their gifts. "I think I'll go and help El-Nay," she said, before moving off to join El-Nay in the kitchen with the three young girls. "Need any help?" she asked her, nervously as she fumbled about. They had not had a chance to speak since Kaiya ran El-Nay out of the Void.

"Yeah. Salad is gross," El-Nay replied, hoping her little ruse was helping to keep them away from the party. She was glad to be away from all the Imperial officers, whom she feared might be judging her. "Ducks? No. I didn't see them. You'll have to show me later," she said, as she helped everyone with the pudding. "I got it," she said to Kerrie, before waving her hand to send her away. She was not ready for this ... not now. It was Sierra's day and she did not want to take away from it by hashing things out with her ori'vod.

Ensign Sheppard stepped forward once Kerrie had moved off, holding up a platter of homemade treats. "Milady, my mother sent these all the way from Berchest," she explained, with a nod of her head. "As the children had devoured all of your food while I was watching them I thought it only fair I sacrifice some of my food to replace it," she said, before uncovering it to show both Sierra and the baby. "I also want you to know that I always stand ready to help in any way possible," she said, as she began to squirm and stammer. "I wish to prove to you, and your husband, that I am a capable officer and that the incident with your daughter crashing the command ship on my watch was only a one time incident," she said, barely able to look the woman in the eyes now.

Sierra would be glad when Kerrie came back to the estate. With the Inquisitor hanging around, she wanted it to happen quickly. She watched Kerrie leave, hoping that her and El-Nay would find happiness in each other again. She knew how much El-Nay hated the Void. With Kerrie positioned here, perhaps everything would begin to smooth out. It was Bethany who stepped up next. Sierra knew Bethany well from the times they had used her to baby sit as punishment for crashing the ship. When she saw the platter of treats, she thought of how many times Colonel Zevrin had eaten the poor girl's care package. Sierra smiled softly. Bruce had no understanding of what a 'cookie' was, or even solid food, yet he was staring at the tray like Ewwiekewwieikkie might. "Thank you, Ensign. I assure you that your care packages will find you more often." She plucked a cookie from the tray and ate it. It was good! "Please pass my compliments along to your mother. These are delicious." She patted Bethany on the shoulder. She knew the girl had been made to suffer for the Ewwiekewwieikkie incident. "You're slowly proving yourself in our eyes." She reassured the woman. "In time, you'll be tasked with watching this one as well." She looked down at her son.

Callista licked the pudding off of her finger. "Mmmm. I'll show you later. They are so cute, Nay-Nay!" The little girl wasn't paying attention to the world around her. As she moved forward, she tripped on Melickielickie and fell forward into El-Nay, shoving her into Kerrie. "Owwieee. Sorryyy!" She rubbed her forehead while unknowingly making the situation so much more uncomfortable for the old lovers.

"Thank you, milady, I will, and I look forward to being of service to the young lord whenever I am called upon," Bethany replied, feeling somewhat hurt that she was only 'slowly' proving herself to the woman. With one last smile she moved aside to let the others approach with her gifts, before moving to place the cookies at a high enough level where the young children could not get at them. Unless, of course, they climbed on one another's shoulders. They were quite clever when it came to matters of food ... ingenious even.

Meanwhile in the kitchen El-Nay found herself the victim of a collision, with young Callista slamming into her, and knocking her into Kerrie in the process. It was the first time she had been in physical contact with her some time, which stirred a range of emotions within her. Under her helmet she was flustered, and her cheeks glowed red with embarrassment. She quickly squatted down on the ground to get closer to Callista, to avoid directly addressing Kerrie for the time being. "Princess Callista, are you okay?" she asked, as she checked on her for any signs of injury. Mandalorian iron was one of the hardest materials in the galaxy, and she was worried the young girl might have hurt herself more than she was letting on.

Commander Ames was up next, wearing a large smile on her face that she had so excellently learned to fake as the daughter of a diplomat. "Milady, I went through some trouble to acquire this," she said, as she extended to her an ornate wooden box that was wrapped in a bow. "Since you have your hands full with your son, please allow me the honor of opening it," she said, with a brief nod of her head. As she undid the bow she was able to open the box, revealing an antique rattle. "It is rumored that this antique once belonged to the first Duke Claudius of Delaya, son of your husband's dynasty's founder. It was at various times in the possession of museums and private collectors before the current owner was persuaded to relinquish it," she revealed, but went into no further detail on just how he was persuaded.

"Owwieeee." There was a red mark on her forehead from where she had collided with the Mandalorian's hard armor. "It hurts, Nay-Nay." She sniffled, huddling closer to El-Nay to hug her. The Squibs were semi-preoccupied by eating every remaining package of Sierra's pregnancy pudding. Melickelickie's dress had pudding smeared on the front of it. She had remembered to use a spoon, but her little hand was so unsteady that she kept spilling it on herself.

It was Commander Allegra Ames who presented herself to Sierra next. Sierra offer the woman a smile, while wondering how El-Nay had gotten all these people to show up for her baby shower. It was true, her friends, all except Jelena, had perished when Alderaan was blown up. She was glad to see that Rikka Dakkar had not shown up unannounced. She had not seen the woman since Arden disappeared. It would only be a matter of time, she thought to herself. Sierra's blue eyes met with the ornate wooden box, but she had no idea what was inside of it. By now, Bruce was *very* interested in what was going on. He'd already gained a cute little bantha plush. What Allegra revealed was a shocking antique right from her husband's family. She knew some of the family history as she was the *only* one who could handle listening to Livia's wild stories. "Wow!" Sierra said, her smile growing. "I have no idea how you were able to track this down but thank you...thank you so much. I'm happy this rattle can be in our family again." Sierra was getting teary again. She tried to stop herself from tearing up in front of Commander Ames, but couldn't stop. All of a sudden, she stepped forward and gave the woman a very careful one-armed hug. Bruce cooed happily against his mother while drooling all over his new plushie.

"Oh no. Your aunt is going to kill me," El-Nay said, as she reached down and grabbed hold of Callista, before picking her up. "Sierra," she called out, as she began carrying her into the living room. "I'm afraid there's been an accident. Callista tripped on Melickielickie and hit her head on my armor," she said, as she began to tremble with fear. "I swear it was an accident," she said, as she held up the injured young girl, not sure what kind of punishment she would be in store for. She was still traumatized by the encounter with the Grand Moff following Sierra's injuries and feared the worst.

"It was no trouble whatsoever, milady. Family, as you know, is very important," Allegra told Sierra, when the Mandalorian came in carrying the youngster. "Oh how awful," she said, sensing this as an opportunity to undermine the dimwitted El-Nay and ingratiate herself to the Major. She moved past the Mandalorian and went to the freezer where she was able to find some ice. She placed it in a bag and moved back to the living room, where she placed it on the young girl's bruise. "There, there. Does that feel better?" she asked as she smiled at the little girl. "...and what a lovely tiara you have!" she said, smiling sweetly, but out of the corner of her eyes she looked towards Sierra to see how her act was going over.

Callista made her way back into the living room with her hand on her forehead. "Auntieee!" She cried. There were so many visitors! Callista looked over them, then to Sierra. "Is there going to be a wedding? Can I be the flower girl?" She asked, briefly forgetting the ache in her forehead as she thought about putting on her fancy dress for a second time. She didn't recognize the lady who came to take care of her, but she didn't complain either. Callista was a girl who loved attention. "Ooooh. Burrrr! It's cold!" She told the lady, but it *did* make her head feel better. She smiled wide and nodded her head. One of her hands reached up to touch the tiara in her hair. "Oh! My uncle gave it to me! Isn't is pretty?! I love it!" She exclaimed joyfully. "You made me feel better. Thank you!" Callista gave Allegra a big, bantha hug.

"Oh no." Sierra frowned as she saw Callista crying. There was nothing more sad than that little girl's big, blue eyes filled with tears. She was readying to rush to Callista when Allegra took the lead. It was shocking to her to see her tend to Callista...and adorable. Sierra made her way towards El-Nay. "Don't worry, I know it was an accident. If I wore armor all the time, these kids would have so many bumps and bruises." Especially since 'pounce parties' had become a thing. She patted El-Nay on the back, then led her off to the side where they could talk. She still had to say hello to Meham'ohorovi'cloca and Haven, but she wanted to talk to El-Nay first. Sierra smiled. "Thank you for putting all of this today. It was very kind of you." She kept an eye on Allegra and Callista in case she was needed. With Meham'ohorovi'cloca present, she knew it wouldn't be long before Bruce was asleep again. "I spoke with my husband about selecting hold-parents. We believe that you *and* Kerrie deserve that honor the most. You both have proved, time and time again, how much our family means to you. It is a loyalty I cannot hope to find anywhere else."

As El-Nay transferred Callista to Allegra, she moved with Sierra to a more private locale. The news that Sierra wanted her to be a hold-parent floored her, as she thought she was being taken aside to be disciplined. "Milady ... I don't know what to say," she said, as she suddenly dropped to a knee in front of her. "I thoroughly pledge myself to you and your family. I will serve and protect you, and if need be lay down my life," she promised her, as she remained in that position until she was commanded to rise.

"Your uncle gave it to you?" Allegra asked, as she hugged Callista back tightly. Her uncle was the Grand Moff, which told her that he must have liked her very much. This meant that she had to make a good impression on the youngster. It was then that she carried her over towards where Ensign Sheppard had hid the cookies. "Do you want a secret cookie, Princess?" she asked her, with a big smile, before uncovering the cookies for her. "It's okay. You can have some. It's a gift from me to you," she said, as she leaned her whole body forward so that Callista could easily reach the cookies.

"A secret cookie!?" Her eyes lit up. All damaged to her head had been long forgotten. "Yes, please." She said politely. Her eyes wandered over the cookies that Bethany had brought over. Callista didn't realize that these were secret cookies that her best friends were being left out from. She took one cookie, paused, then took two more. "Ooh! Thank you! Thank you!" She jumped up to her feet and performed a little dance for Allegra. "You're my friend now!" She stopped, reaching to her hand. She was wearing a Drusilla amount of plastic rings on her fingers. She picked one off and forced it onto Allegra's pinky finger. "There." With one last smile, Callista went darting back off into the kitchen. She gave a cookie to Melickielickie and Ewwie before nibbling on her own. The little girl simply didn't forget about those she loved.

Sierra felt El-Nay had received the short end of the stick far too many times. She was a good person who deserved to be rewarded. The title of hold-mother was hers to keep. Sierra's emotions seemed to be continually getting the best of her today. El-Nay's pledge was very meaningful to her. Her family was her everything, after all. "Thank you, El-Nay. Now rise and help me out with all these children." She laughed. "I'm going to say hello to the other guests. Watch it. As soon as I start talking to the Chiss woman, Bruce will fall asleep." She adjusted the boy so he was in a comfortable sleeping position within her arms. She knew what was coming. Sierra slowly approached Meham'ohorovi'cloca. "Lieutenant, it's nice of you to come." She was growing to like the Chiss woman despite her voice.

Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca had waited patiently for her chance to speak with Major Rodney. "It is an honor to be in your home, Milady," she said, before reaching down to pick up a framed piece of artwork. "This dates from the period of the Esselian Empire. It is a quite rare piece that I acquired when we first arrived in the sector. My mentor believed that by studying an opponent's art you could discover their weaknesses," she explained to her, as she extended the gift towards her. "I have studied this, but unfortunately it has not helped. Perhaps you can make use of it on one of your walls as was originally intended," she said, politely, in her exotic way of speaking. The painting itself was of a sun rising over Calamar centuries ago.

All that was left was Haven, the daughter of the captain of the command ship who had been reluctantly relegated to shuttle pilot to protect her. "Milady," she said, as she took a step forward cautiously, not wanting to interrupt the moment between her and the Chiss. "My father suggested this," she said, as she opened up her gift box for her. "It's a toy model of the Governor's ship that he made," she said, as she showed it to her. "He thought your son might enjoy him having a toy of his father's ship. When I was a girl he made me toys of all the ships he served upon. I think he wanted a son," she said, with a soft smile, as she offered it up to her.

Sierra looked over the gorgeous piece of artwork which Meham'ohorovi'cloca had gifted her son. It was a beautiful sun rise that she felt would be perfect for Bruce's space-themed room. "This is *exactly* what I needed in Bruce's room." Sierra exclaimed, looking down at the little boy who was fighting sleep. "Come with me." She told Meham'ohorovi'cloca, but was briefly stopped by Haven. The gift within her box was an incredible toy replica of the Retributor. The detail in it was amazing. She knew Bruce would like it, and so would Claudius. She couldn't wait for him to get home so she could tell him all about the baby shower. "This is incredible. It looks *exactly* like the ship.. Thank you so much. Please pass my thanks on to your father." It was so cool! She didn't know that Anson's father was so talented. "I'm sure your father is proud that he had a daughter. You pilot the Kwai better than I do." Sierra admitted. "Don't tell my husband that." Sierra waved her hand to both women as she made her way up stairs towards Bruce's room. As she turned into it, she nudged a box aside with her foot. While the room wasn't complete, the walls were painted. "I think your picture will look amazing in my son's room." She told Meham'ohorovi'cloca excitedly. "Your present is great addition, Haven. I haven't found any toys of ships that I actually liked ... until now."

Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca followed Sierra up the stairs into the incomplete child's room. "This reminds me of my room at home," she said to the Major, unaware that it was unfinished. To her the simple room was a reminder of the world she came from. "You honor me by hanging this here," she said, with a firm nod of her head. "I see that you convinced the Governor to abandon our costly defense of the nebula in the Chandrila system. I think it will make quite the difference," she added, unable to cease talking about work for more than an hour. Even at this party she was entirely focused on her duties as tactical officer.

"You are kind to say that, Milady," Haven said, as she followed Sierra and the Chiss up to the child's bedroom. "Oh I am sure you pilot the Kwai excellently. There is no great skill to piloting a shuttle. It practically flies itself," she commented, bitterly, as she thought perhaps she might improve her situation with a subtle suggestion. "A TIE Interceptor ... now that is a challenge," she said, as she looked skywards. "I had hoped to be a TIE pilot, but my father thought it too dangerous. He has me flying shuttles to keep me safe," she informed her, which was inappropriate, but she was young and such oversharing was common among those her age.

"I believe so as well." Sierra didn't shy away from the work talk. She had been thinking about ways to defeat the Rebels but thus far had little in the way of plans. "However, a win of some sort is necessary, Lieutenant. Neither I nor my husband feel pleased about the recent developments with the Rebels. I had considering if, perhaps, we may set a trap for them. The Rebels will never have the resources that we do. Our numbers are greater, and so, we use that to our advantage." She explained to the Chiss woman. "If we provide solid intel that there are Rebels on another planet within the sector, they'll bend over backwards to save them, right?" She didn't want Claudius to ever meet with Lord Vader again. She would never, ever be able to erase the image of her husband being force choked in front of her eyes. So, she would make sure that she never saw it again.

She looked over at Haven. She could tell what the girl was getting at, but, as a parent, she understood where her father was coming from. "You'll have to understand where he's coming from. I don't have to tell you that being a TIE pilot is a whole other ball game compared to shuttle piloting. I know you are skilled. Where did you say your father is positioned?" Sierra asked, pondering if she should go speak to him about Haven's skills being used in other ways.

"The Rebels have displayed a strong amount of compassion for one another, Major," Lieutenant Meham'ohoroiv'cloca reported to the woman. "They have shown a willingness to go to great lengths to aid one another," she said, as she moved towards the window. "Oh. You can see the Terril Naval Base. I am sure the young Lord Bruce will enjoy this," she said, as she looked out at the massive sight of the Star Destroyer Warspite lumbering over the planet. This was the kind of view she would have liked to have had growing up. "Unfortunately, the ISB and Intel are too busy feuding with one another to provide up to date intelligence on Rebel positioning within the sector," she reported, indelicately, without giving it a single thought.

The plotting and planning among sector level officials was beyond Haven's pay grade or comprehension, so she stood quietly as the Chiss went on and on. "My father is Captain Tiberius Anson. He commands the Star Dreadnaught Retributor. Your husband's command ship," she reported, with a nod of her head. Her father certainly sounded impressive on paper, but to her he was still just plain old 'dad'. She remembered the simpler days when he was in Corellian Defense Fleet, before then-Admiral Rodney persuaded him to transfer to the Imperial Navy to serve under him.

Sierra let out a long sigh. "Ugh, someone needs to slap the ISB and the Intel silly. We're losing out because they can't get it together." She groaned, stepping forward towards the window. Bruce had fallen asleep at this point, for the work talk didn't hold his interest quite like when people were baby talking at him. She looked at the Terril Nala Base, wondering if Bruce would ever get to enjoy the view from his room. Lord Vader would take the boy from him when he was five... Sierra fell silent in the room for an awkwardly long time. She and Claudius had somehow created a force-sensitive child. He needed to be trained, but Sierra realistically worried about the boy becoming a monster like Inquisitor Thrope. She let herself listen to Haven but did not respond. She couldn't believe her father was on the command ship, yet she had failed to meet him. It was more than a little embarrassing. "Oh gez, don't I feel silly now." Sierra was blushing wildly. "I know you want more than shuttle work, Haven. I'll see what I can do to help you."

On the ground floor of the Rodney estate Grand Moff Claudius Rodney arrived, but as he walked in he spotted just about every woman in his family and in his command, he simply turned around and walked right back out the door. "Whoops," he said, as his cheeks flushed red, realizing that he must have arrived for something he was never meant to see. Instead, he moved down the path towards where the Stormtroopers had gathered, to inspect the landscaping project. "8,000 credits for a hole with some water in it..." he muttered to the Stormtrooper. Perhaps he should have let the girls dig and fill it with a hose instead.

She had been looking out the window when she noticed her husband arrive home, then quickly retreat upon noticing all the additional estrogen in the house. "Excuse me," she said to both of the women as she made her way out of Bruce's bedroom and down the stairs. She carefully put on her baby sling so Bruce could remain asleep away from all the noise outside. "I'll be back." She said to El-Nay, putting her in charge while making her way out the front door and away from her party guests. Sierra made her way towards the landscaping project, which already looked better than what Ewwiekewwieikkie had started creating. She came to stand by her husband. "Found a new hiding place, hm?" She teased, leaning over to kiss him. "El-Nay surprised me with a baby shower. Even Lieutant Meham'ohorovi'cloca is in our house." She took his hand. Her fingers slowly weaved in between his. "Would it be wrong of us to escape to the lake house?" She snickered.

Claudius did not turn to acknowledge Sierra when she came up on him, until she gave him a kiss that brought him back to reality. "Surprised me too. I nearly choked on the estrogen. Did you really leave Bruce alone in there with all those women?" he asked her, with a playful smile, as he moved to place his hands on her hips. "Wrong? No. Wrong would be coming back before everyone else cleared out..." he told her, before taking her by the arm and leading her towards the landing platform where they had their pick of ships. "Wait. Meham'ohorovi'cloca came ... to a baby shower?!" he asked her, as he stopped dead in his tracks and looked at her quite confused.

"With all his sisters, he's going to need to get used to being choked out by estrogen." She laughed softly. She was glad to have him home. Sierra didn't object to being left around by the house full of women that were trying to impress her. Allegra had earned some brownie points by caring for Callista. "She did! I had never seen her away from the holotank before. I was beginning to believe her boots were glued there." She confessed to Claudius. The woman even ate her lunch there! "She brought us a lovely picture for Bruce's room. Surprisingly. . . I'm not saying that sarcastically either." She picked a ship to take them away from the chaos briefly. "You must have been bored today. Anson, Sheppard, and Ames were all at the baby shower too. I even gave you a day free of tactical meetings. Happy baby shower to you." She teased, sitting down in the cockpit.

"Well that was nice of her. Did we get any other memorable gifts?" Claudius pressed her, wondering which of his junior officers to reward and which to ostracize. "It was a good day. I didn't pick up on the fact that it was because everyone was down here," he said, as he moved into the cockpit of the Kwai and settled down into the co-pilot's seat. He wanted to make a comment about feeling bad that their closest friends were subordinate officers, but he did not want to spoil the moment. "Did you get a chance to tell El-Nay about being a hold-parent then?" he asked her, being surprised by her decision, but after El-Nay was injured by the Inquisitor attempting to save Bruce's life he could not possibly decline her suggestion.

Sierra nodded her head. "Oh yes. Commander Ames had somehow acquired a rattle from Germanicus Rodney's son, Claudius. Lieutenant Anson's father crafted a small, toy version of the Retributor." She told him of the most surprising presents. "Kerrie gifted Bruce with a small bantha plush. Needless to say, it was love at first sight for him." The ship began to take off. They would only need to fly a short distance to the lakehouse where quiet paradise, and a whole lot of animals, would greet them. "I think some people were trying to earn points with me." She giggled. "Perks of being your wife, I suppose." She valued all the women in different ways. If she had to pick someone for a promotion, it was most certainly going to be Meham'ohorovi'cloca, who excelled at her job. "I did get a chance to tell her." Sierra was glad he'd sided with her on naming El-Nay a hold-parent. She had watched Doctor Bailo work on the girl's injuries after the Inquisitor attack. It moved Sierra's large heart. "She seemed touched. She pledged herself to our family. After what happened with Inquisitor Thrope, those words hold a lot more weight around here." Sierra, too, was touched. She had a good group of people around her now. As the ship landed, Sierra looked upon the lake. She could see the family of otters playing about. Sea Betsy was slowly swimming to the other side of the lake. Sierra, feeling very happy, turned to Claudius and placed a hand on his. "I love you. I love our life."

"Ah. My namesake," Claudius said, with a smile, as he enjoyed the pleasant flight from the estate to the lakehouse. "Allegra must have dipped into her father's account to pull that one off," he said, with a smirk, as he listened to other gifts. "Kerrie really is attached to her bantha. She was there, huh? Did you tell her about the honor also?" he pressed her, as he turned to look at her. "I'm sure they were. The Empire is full of officers who use bribes to get ahead," he said, as he adjusted his massive rank insignia. "Certainly no one ever attempted to bribe Kerrie when she was my adjutant, so it must be because you're my wife," he said, as he extended his hand to her and walked down the ramp to the side of the lakehouse. "At least these blessed creatures are safe from our overly excited daughters fascination with nature," he said, as he looked over the otters and the transplanted sea cow. "I love you, Sierra. I would never want to trade lives with anyone else," he said, as he lowered his head and placed a tender, loving kiss upon her lips. "I adore you. I adore every moment of our life together," he told her, as he lived in that moment, not wanting time to pass.

"That explains it." She had wondered how Allegra was able to find such a rare antique gift. "Yes, she told me she still sleeps with her bantha... That's so cute..." Sierra wanted to hug the Clawdite just thinking about it. "I did tell her. She took it very well. I think I nearly made her cry. I'm glad they both accepted the honors. I'm not sure who would be runner up after them." Together, they made their way down the ramp into their home away from home. All the life around the lakehouse made her love it that much more. Claudius had provided her with the perfect getaway. It wasn't just beautiful, it was inspiring. It reawoke her muse and made her want to write music that much more. "The otters thank you for that." She said, looking up at him. The girls were so excited about the ducks. She had heard all about them this morning. Callista had drawn half a dozen pictures of ducks and hung them in Ewwiekewwieikkie's room.

Her heart melted in her chest as Claudius spoke. He knew exactly how to make her happy. She lingered outside, kissing him like it was the first time all over again. "I adore you." She whispered. "I'd never trade a second of our lives. With you, even the hardest times are great." The familiar completeness fill her heart. It had been a very good day. She had a wonderful baby shower and now she would spend the evening with her husband. Sierra couldn't even count the infinite blessing that had been bestowed upon her.

Untitled 1

Copyright Era of Rebellion 2005-2018. All Rights Reserved
Terms of Use | Legal Notices | Privacy Policy | Press Release | Disclaimer