Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:5:20) in the Essesia system: Esseles (New Calamar: Claudius Rodney's estate and Jizz club).
Ewwiekewwieikkie, Callista Nilar, Lady Drusilla Rodney, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Major Sierra Rodney, and Colonel Arden Zevrin.

The jizz club began to empty after the performance by Max Rebo in the city of New Calamar on the planet Esseles. As the crowd weaned one woman remain at her table in the center of it all ... it was Colonel Arden Zevrin of the ISB. However, she was not applauding the Ortolan musician, but rather the terrified human female behind him in the shadows. Her applause soon became the only noise in the room and it soon became a standing ovation as she rose from her seat. She stubbed out her cigarra, and quickly threw down the last of her drink, before moving forward towards the woman. It was none other than Sierra Rodney, the wife of the Grand Moff and one of her agents. "Well done, my dear," she said, as she leaned forward and placed a kiss on each of her cheeks. "I've missed you. Have you been avoiding me? A terrible thing to have to make me come here among the people to find you," she said, as she took a step back and examined her. "My how you've grown!" she said, as she reached a hand out towards her stomach, smirking all the while.

No amount of practice with her instrument could prepare Sierra Rodney for playing a full house. Max Rebo drew a crowd. Tonight, that meant *she* had to deal with that crowd. It had been some time since she played for so many people. She was comfortable playing around her family, but this had been a little overwhelming for her. As the last song finished, Sierra felt ready to return home, have a pudding, and recount the horrifying tale to her husband until their girls arrived home from their visit to Delaya. She lowered her violin from her shoulder slowly and began placing it back home in its case. Her blue eyes shot up as the applause weaned down to a single person. That's when she spotted *her*! Arden Zevrin! Sierra mentally cursed. So it seemed she wouldn't be racing home as quickly as she expected. The woman was already headed in her direction.

Sierra stepped towards her, placing kisses in the air instead of directly making contact with her cheeks. "Colonel Zevrin, how could I avoid you? The Governor has simply been keeping me busy." She played nice with her in hopes that Arden would grow bored and move on to more lively prey. For the life of her, she didn't understand why pregnancy gave everyone permission to touch her stomach. She didn't like it, but she also didn't want to provide Arden with any sense of satisfaction. She laughed softly. "Ah, yes. It seems like I'm getting bigger every day ... but so is he. Apparently my son is the size of a bell pepper now." Sierra happily reported, unable to resist being a proud mother even in the face of her enemies. "Did you enjoy the show? I never pegged you for a Max Rebo fan."

"You mean you have been getting busy with the Governor," Arden quickly fired back, as her eyes remained fixated on her belly. "I suppose I should have seen this coming. Our records indicate the Rodney brothers are highly competitive," she said, as she moved back towards her table. As she sat down she remembered her mantra of never doing anything standing up you can do sitting down. "I cannot stand the man, but he makes the people happy, and after all of the recent operations I have conducted on the planet we need happy people," she concluded, nodding her head slightly. She held out her empty glass, waiting for someone to come serve her another, but everyone else had long since gone home. "And that is why I have come to see you..." she said, finally giving up and setting her unfortunately empty glass back upon the table. "I have a new assignment for you," she said, as she leaned forward across the small cocktail table, beckoning her to come sit down.

Sierra blushed wildly. The last time she had seen Arden was when she was nude beneath her husband from a surprising afternoon romp. She imagined beating the woman bloody with her hard violin case. Her fingers on the handle twitched. She was two nights of shows away from never having to do this again...until Drusilla's *next* birthday. Her eyes followed Arden back to her table where she sat. She lingered, keeping distance between them until she could deny her no longer. The blonde perched herself in the chair across from her, crossing one leg over the other as she rested her case down beside her seat. It was only the two of them remaining. Her words seemed cryptic. What was she getting at? She leaned forward, placing her arms on the table. "Oh? What kind of assignment?" She wasn't sure where this was going. Arden was the kind of person who only cared about destroying happiness...not giving it out in heaps.

"The local population seems to think it's no longer safe here," Arden explained, as she briefed her subordinate on the situation on Esseles. "I don't know why. Maybe it's all of the bombings," she said, before laughing slightly at how she had made an awful mess of the planet with her mercenaries. "We need to convince them it's safe. I wasn't sure how to accomplish that before I read a report you would be appearing here with Max Rebo," she said, as she leaned back in her chair, bringing her gloved hand up to slowly twirl at her blonde hair. "You performed for this alien. Now you're going to perform for me," she explained, before letting go of her hair and turning serious again. "You're going to give some solo performances to raise money for some worthy cause," she said, rolling her eyes and shaking her head. "You go ahead and pick the cause ... you're the one with the bleeding heart," she explained, as she looked at her empty glass. She should have ordered another before they dimmed the lights for last call. "If the Grand Moff's wife will perform in such a public fashion then the locals will assume there is no danger," she explained, as she rose from her chair, and moved across the room to examine her instrument. She lifted it up, before moving back towards Sierra. "It is the very same reason I ordered then Admiral Rodney to bring his children to Esseles. If he felt his children were safe here, then obviously the people would believe it was safe here. Don't go pulling a Jelena on me. That little screwup nearly cost me more than my career," she said, before coming up behind Sierra. She dropped the instrument on the table in front of her. "Better practice," she whispered into the woman's air, before snickering.

Recalling all the mischief that Arden had caused while Claudius was in Delaya, Sierra knew *exactly* what she was talking about. The poor people of Esseles had been subject to Arden Zevrin's evil plots. The woman laid out her latest plan: using Sierra to appease the public. She had mixed feelings. On one hand, it was nerve wrecking to perform live. Even she wasn't entirely sure how safe she'd be. Arden had not been making friendly with the locals, after all. On the other hand, this was easier than being the physical embodiment of Arden's weapon against Claudius. This assignment wouldn't directly hurt her husband. She remained calm. "How many shows?" She looked for specifics. "Surely this assignment has a timeline."

The old Alderaan violin was precious to Sierra. She loved its sound. It had been in the family for a very long time. When Arden picked it up, she felt herself tense. She wished she could attack the woman. She was so horrible to Claudius, forcing him to bring his children here away from total safety. Sierra played her part when she heard the name 'Jelena'. Her eyes fell. "Don't talk about her." She snapped, moving her hands quickly to catch the instrument. Note to self: keep this violin at home. Her teeth clenched in her mouth hard. She didn't like the idea of being paraded around like so. It was a game her mother had played while trying to marry her off at the 'ripe' age of thirteen.

"Six," Arden replied simply, before manually counting the number on the fingers of her hands. "One performance on each of the six worlds of the Ringali Shell," she explained, simply, as she felt it was an excellent opportunity to use her as bait to draw out Rebel forces. If the Rebels attacked she could defeat them and take credit, if the Rebels attacked and eliminated her than the Grand Moff would be broken again, and if the Rebels did not attack she could claim the region pacified. In her mind she could not lose. "Oh, yes. We should not speak of the dead," she said, with a wink, and a knowing smirk. "Are you going to invite your mother? Show her what you've become?" she asked, pressing the woman. She had done her homework and researched the young woman carefully before this latest encounter. She always knew what not to say ... she considered it her speciality.

"Six..." Sierra repeated. Six chances to die. She saw this for what it was. Arden was going to attempt to kill two birds with one stone. Take her out, take Claudius out. A cold sweat broke out over her body. In Arden's smile, she saw that she knew the truth about Jelena. It only made sense. That kiss ass, Papius Arundel, had captured her. She wouldn't be surprised if they were in communication with each other. Frankly, he was *perfect* for such a vile woman. She clenched up a little more. The mention of her mother still made her very angry. "No. I haven't seen her since I left Delaya. Since she has not contacted me, I have no means of inviting her." She plucked one of the strings on her violin softly. "And if I don't agree to your private concerts? What then?"

"A pity. Well, no matter ... I'll be sure and have the HoloNet provide full coverage. I'm sure wherever she is she'll be able to watch," Arden explained to her, as she began moving towards the exit of the club. She was halfway towards the exit when Sierra asked her the one question she did not want answered. "I have to admit, Sierra, that when I met you, you were a broken individual," she said, as she studied her intently. "You had no purpose ... not even a planet to call your own," she reminded her, as she forced an empathetic pout onto her face. "But now ... but now you have a home. A husband. Children. All things I gave you through your assignment," she explained, nodding her head, and bringing her hand up to clutch at her own heart. "Now, my dear Sierra, you have things that you can lose. What I give, I can take," she said, glaring at her menacingly. "Tell me, do you know where the children are?" she asked, with a giggle, before bringing her hand up over her face to cover her smile. A moment later she turned on her heals and moved out of the club to return to the safety and the comfort of the ship.

Great, HoloNet full coverage. The whole galaxy would watch as Sierra Rodney played the part of Arden's puppet. As she stood, she began to collect her belongings. She was going to have to go home and tell everything to Claudius, who would not be happy. The buckled on her violin case clicked as she closed them with her instrument safe. Her attention shifted back to Arden. The lord giveth and the lord taketh away. Arden had her undivided attention now. The question caused Sierra to drop her violin case. Her eyes went wide. Her heart began racing in her chest. *The girls*! No! She grabbed the case and darted off towards where her speeder was parked. *The girls*! They should have been headed home. Sierra didn't take their safety into consideration when her and Claudius sent them to represent the family. As she raced back to the estate, the HoloNet discovered Sierra Rodney's hidden talent. May it be directly or indirectly Arden's fault, the performance had been recorded. There were people who noticed her...people who singled out her playing. Those people exploited her to becoming an overnight HoloNet star. Her concerts would be even worse than she had imagined.

Sierra burst through the door to the estate breathing heavily. "Claudius?!" She cried out for him in a panicked voice. She darted into the kitchen where she had, stupidly, forgotten her com. She grabbed in and prepared to call for Drusilla. Unknown to her, she was crying. Right now, she had to prove to herself that Papius Arundel wasn't holding her girls.

"Auntieeeeeeeeeeee!" Callista was the first to appear. She was wearing a large tunic as a nightgown and dragging around a nerf plushie that was bigger than her body. She dropped it on the stairs, abandoning it to reach her aunt and hug her. "Hi auntie!" She snuggled her. "It's okay, auntie. Don't cry! I missed you! Me and Mister Duke are ready to be tucksed." She reported with a smile, pulling a book from seemingly nowhere (but really, from underneath her nightshirt). "Read to us? Pwwweeasseee?"

Drusilla Rodney moved to greet Sierra for the first time ever. She nearly pushed Callista out of the way to get to Sierra. Her eyes were wide and she was breathing heavily. "Did you see Max Rebo? Is my concert all set?" she asked, in rapid succession. She reached out, pawing at Sierra's arm in an effort to get her to answer quicker. "Well? Is he going to let me play with him?" she asked, acting more like Ewwiekewwieikkie than her usually reserved self. She had been waiting since flying the children back from Delaya. Very quietly she had become an accomplished pilot, although she would have preferred to very comfortable travel in leisure aboard a private space yacht.

Ewwiekewwieikkie was in the kitchen, still eating some of the desserts that Governor Arundel had boxed up for the children to take home. Unfortunately, what none of them knew was that the desserts had been tainted. Governor Arundel had laced all of the food with a powerful laxative as a way of getting long distance revenge on Sierra. Before the night was through every refresher in the estate would be clogged and the girls would be crying all night. But, for now, they were very happy and very full. "You want some?" she asked Siera, from a muffled voice as a result of a full mouth. She pulled half a cupcake from her mouth, offering it up to Sierra. The blue fur that covered her face had been stained with chocolate. She was in need of a wash. She stepped up on her tippy toes and offered her the half eaten, moist cupcake to her again.

Sierra's heart was rapidly thrown back into place inside of her chest. There was Callista, sweet as can be, Drusilla, and Ewwiekewwieikkie. She felt so much better all of a sudden. Arden had only been toying with her. The girls were home and safe. "Oh sweetie, I missed you too." She noticed the nerf, but thought it had come from Marcus. After all, he had an affinity for those creatures. She took the book from Callista. "Of course I'll read to you. Did you have fun in Delaya, princess?" Her interaction was interrupted by Drusilla. Sierra was so happy to see her youngest step-daughter that she hugged her tightly. "Yes, I saw Max Rebo. Your concert is all set for the weekend. He'll let you play a couple songs with him." She winked. "There's an autographed vinyl in the speeder. I thought that would help hold you off until you meet him yourself." She had even told Max Rebo exactly what to write in a little personalized message.

Ewwiekewwieikkie, too, received a tight hug. "Goodness. Did your uncle and aunt send all this home?" She asked the Squib, watching as she pulled half a cupcake from her mouth. "Oooh, thank you." She took the cupcake. "It looks delicious. I'll eat it as soon as I get you cleaned up." She took both Callista and Ewwiekewwieikkie's hand and began leading them upstairs. She saw Callista grab up the gigantic toy and wrestle with it up the stairs. "Go get settled in bed." She told the little girl, bringing Ewwiekewwieikkie into the bathroom. Instead of drawing a bath, she decided to use a wet cloth to clean her up as best as she could. "I'll give you a bubble bath in the morning. I don't want you to go to sleep with wet fur." She told Ewwiekewwieikkie.

Callista was rolling from one side to the other of Ewwiekewwieikkie's bed. "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Her stuffed nerf took up the better bottom half of the bed. As soon as she saw Sierra returning, she crawled underneath the covers. Her arms wrapped around the neck of the nerf. Little did she know, she was giving Papius Arundel a front row seat to bedtime routine. Sierra Rodney lowered herself onto the bed. She popped open the book. It was Callista's favorite; the story of a Pinkalicious; a girl who was obsessed with the color pink. She even had a pretend unicorn. She read to the girls, kissed them goodnight, and sung them a little bedtime song before leaving the room. Sierra had no idea that she would not sleep that night while the girls were all ill. She leaned against the hallway wall. They were *safe*.

Claudius Rodney had returned home before Sierra, but had retreated to his room to escape the Drusilla and Ewwiekewwieikkie sugar rush that had been occuring since Drusilla returned from Delaya. When he heard the chaos in the house he knew that it meant Sierra was home, and so he rose up from the bed and moved down the corridor. He peaked in and listened to her read Callista and Ewwiekewwieikkie their bedtime stories, which was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard in his vast estate. As he saw her finish he moved away from the door, giving Sierra the space she needed. He watched her too as she leant against the wall. She looked tired. "Are you okay?" he said, stepping out from the shadows and revealing himself. The performances she was doing for Max Rebo had to be stressful given how her mother had treated her music lessons. He was not sure whether she needed space, or needed a hug, so he occupied the dangerous middle ground.

She jumped. Eek! There was so much on her mind that she hadn't noticed him right outside the door. She nodded her head. "Sorta." She said honestly, stepping into that dangerous middle ground to let him know exactly what she needed: a hug. Her arms wrapped around him. She affectionately nuzzled against him. After giving him a brief kiss, she took his hand. In order to get the girls to fall asleep at a decent hour, she needed to not have the conversation she was about to have with Claudius outside their door. Instead, she lead the way back to their room where she stepped out of her shoes before coming to rest on the sofa. "The concert was okay. There were a lot of people. Last time I played with Max Rebo, it wasn't nearly so packed." She sunk back into the seat cushions. "I had an unexpected fan there tonight... Arden Zevrin." Her eyebrows began to knot.

The kiss from Sierra at the end of a long day made every hardship in life in worthwhile, be it ever so brief. "He's become a big celebrity. Just ask Drusilla," he replied, as he motioned his eyes down the corridor. "It's almost time for the big pre-birthday concert," he laughed, unaware of the shoe that was about to drop. Whenever he heard the name 'Arden Zevrin' he felt uneasy, and as he breathed out a sigh his face began to sink. "What did she want?" he asked her, swallowing slightly, before reaching out to take her hand in his. He clutched her hand, and began to gently rub at it with his thumb. Whenever that woman crossed paths with him his family suffered, so he had done his best to stay clear of her, despite the fact she was committing war crimes in his names.

Her fingers slowly weaved in between his. Her shoulders shrank and fell. 'Arden Zevrin' was the name of evil. Sierra had imaged coming home and relaxing with her family, instead of arriving terrified that her daughters had been stolen. Now she had to relay the information to Claudius. "For me to play shows for her. Six, one on each world of the Ringali Shell. She says it's to make the people feel safe. She's just using me as bait for the Rebels." Her body tensed. Her free hand reached up to massage her forehead. "I cannot do anything to avoid this. If I don't perform for her then she'll hurt us elsewhere."

"I'll increase security. I'll buy every ticket and fill the audience with Stormtroopers," Claudius said, making illogical statements as he struggled to think of a way out of this. "I won't let the Rebels harm you or our child," he pledged to her, as he squeezed her hand tightly, to reassure himself as much as her. "We can beat her at her own game. Use Storm commandos. Hire mercenaries," he said, as he became increasingly more desperate as his panic level rose. The thought of exposing his wife to the Rebellion was unthinkably cruel, but worthy of the reputation that Zevrin had earned in her years of tormenting him and his family. "I love you. We'll get through this as we've gotten through everything," he told her, as his hand tightened around her. As he looked down at her he was reminded of the time he had nearly managed to rid himself of Zevrin, but failed. Now it seemed she would always be a thorn in his side.

These illogical statements were oddly helpful. Claudius would go to such wild extents to keep her safe. Even though Sierra realized that they couldn't do exactly as he said, he did give her some ideas as to how to increase security without pissing Zevrin off. She squeezed his hand back and scooted closer to him. Her body fell against his as she snuggled close. She believed him. She believed that *he* would keep her safe. After all, for the Rebels to reach Sierra, they'd have to travel through her husband's sector undiscovered. "You're right. We *can* beat her at her own game. She wants me donate my earnings to charity, which I already intended to go into helping rebuild the cities she destroyed. I worry that the absence of Kerrie in the Void would go noticed, however, I can make El-Nay my personal guard." She wasn't going to let Arden play a role in her death. She refused to be easily killed off, easily taken away from her husband. She squeezed him tight to her chest in attempt to comfort *him* too. "I love you. We really will get through it. That's what we do. And someday...-someday I swear to you that we will be untouchable to Zevrin. I've been thinking about how we can turn the tables on her. She's been free to run rampant for far too long."

The closeness of Sierra's body to his own made it difficult for him to concentrate. As his body temperature rose he had to shake his head to regain his composure. "That's a brilliant idea. Her armor will blind the Rebels, and she'll be the perfect target, allowing you time to escape," he said, as he smirked down at his clever wife. "You're in the ISB too. I'm sure in the recesses of your brain you have some evil tricks we can unleash on that foul woman," he said, as his brow began to narrow as he started to concentrate. "Did you ... did you watch any of the coronation on the HoloNet?" he asked, abruptly changing the subject as he had his fill of speaking about Zevrin. It was what he had originally set out to talk to her about, but had been put aside when the topic of Zevrin came up. He had watched, with a mixture of emotions, but he was not sure if she had done the same.

Sierra laughed. Poor El-Nay. As much as she adored the girl, Sierra really was about to ask a great deal out of her. "I'll figure something out eventually. The only problem is that the plan would need to be foolproof." She, too, did not want to speak of Arden anymore. She worried that Zevrin was going to make Sierra's mission even more difficult one way or another. She remained close to him, shaking her head slowly. "No, I haven't had a chance to yet. What happened? Did your brother seem okay?" Sierra was clueless as to what *exactly* had happened to Marcus. Zara had been so angry. She assumed the man would never walk again and that, as soon as Zara had her twins, she would come pounding down their door for round two.

"Well, El-Nay Darr is quite the fool. So that is an excellent start," Claudius said, but said no more, as even he felt he was being too harsh on the young Mandalorian. "Well, he said," as he took her by the arm and started leading her towards the bedroom. "You're going to want to sit down," he told her, as he opened the door and led her towards the bed. Once she was secure, he took a step away and proceeded to tell her what he had seen. "It was Governor Arundel who crowned them. Citing Imperial authority," he informed her, with a mixture of sadness and frustration upon his face. "The Empire seems to have cemented their control, but there is nothing I can do. If I petition the Emperor it's been made clear that I will be reprimanded," he said, before moving to sit down on the bed next to her. "The Grand Vizier has made it clear that I need to drop the issue, but unfortunately, I am not the kind of person who simply 'drops' things," he explained to her, as his head lay low, staring on the carpet beside the bed.

"That good, huh?" Sierra moaned. She let her husband take her to the bedroom and did not object to sitting on the bed. A sense of relief came over her. This was home sweet home. The girls were safe. Claudius was safe. She had everything she wanted within these walls. "No, no no..." Sierra was not pleased with Governor Arundel crowning Marcus and Zara in the name of the Empire. Delaya needed to be freed. Governor Arundel was tainted. He would never clean up his messes. Last time she had seen the city had been heartbreaking. Even the Duke and Duchess' powers would be limited thanks to Arundel. She knew her husband well and knew that he *couldn't* relinquish this problem from his mind. This time, Sierra took his hand and rested it on her knee. "Then it is clear what we need to do. We need to stay within our boundaries and knock Arundel off of his high horse. We're not going allow Delaya to waste away underneath him." She sounded passionate. Claudius was right, she was an ISB agent. There were evil tricks in her mind that she could use on their enemies. "A corrupt man like that must have things he doesn't want anyone to know."

"We must be mindful, my love. If we are caught meddling in his affairs I worry what it would mean for us, and for our family," Claudius told her, as he moved to draw her nearer to him. "This is all my fault. If I had been more aware and proactive of the Rebels on Delaya the Emperor would have never seen the need to install a Governor," he reminded her, as he continued to beat up on himself. "More than the Rebels though it was cousin Gaius and his attempts on our lives that took the life of the advisor," he continued, still angry that the man who murdered his father had seemingly gotten away with it. "Do you think Gaius perished in the Battle?" he asked, as he entered a very reflective mood. So much had happened in rapid succession that there was not enough time to process it all effectively.

She wrapped an arm around his waist and scooted in comfortably close. Sierra disliked how he beat himself up over the issues on Delaya. She would defend himself to himself, speaking up once he had talked himself out. "Claudius, you've just explained exactly why it is *not* your fault. Cousin Gaius came from the left field. There was no way to even begin to prepare for what happened. It was his foolish assassination attempts that led to the death of the advisor. It took a lot of hard work for me to discover the tiny Rebel group that was hiding out on Delaya and even they were not going to take action. They were terrified and simply waiting to be taken home. You did your part, my love. You were handed terrible cards and you played them. One day, you'll have to stop beating yourself up about it." She took his face in her hands. "There's a high probability that he perished. I've monitored his accounts. There's no movement. I have yet to find a reason to believe he isn't dead."

"It pains me that the man who murdered my father and tried so many times to murder us was killed by some errant Rebel bomb," Claudius said in a frustration, before standing up from the bed and going through the process of undressing himself. "I just want to go to bed. I can't take one more thing going wrong today. Not one more thing," he said to her, as he removed his tunic and hung it on the closet door. The day was nearly over. Nothing else could go wrong, or could it?

The door to the bedroom suddenly flung open revealing Ewwikewwieikkie in a frenzied panic. "Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!" she screamed, as she ran past Claudius and Sierra heading right towards the refresher. "Gotta go! Gotta go!" she warned them, as she sat down quickly on the toilet and virtually exploded. "Callista using my potty!" she explained, as she began to cry, as she had one of the most horrific bathroom experiences in her life. Something was wrong with her stomach. Something was very wrong.

The day had already been terrible. Sierra understood her husband's frustrations. Like him, she wanted to see justice. Gaius was too evil to be simply blown up. Letting out a sigh, she unzipped her dress and began changing for bed time. A good night's rest was necessary in order to see clearly tomorrow. Before her nightgown could slid over her head, Ewwiekewwieikkie burst into their bedroom. Sierra looked concerned. "What is it...?!" She had been worried especially about Ewwiekewwieikkie. All those gems that she had consumed surely had to have an effect on her Squib body. She was worried that all hell was about to break loose...and it was, just not from the place she was expecting. Sierra looked towards her husband as Ewwiekewwieikkie ran into the refresher.

The noises that followed were horrific. They *really* needed Doctor Tohan back. What made matters worse was that Ewwiekewwieikkie wasn't the only one suffering...-Callista and Drusilla were both occupying other refreshers with the same symptoms. When nothing else could go wrong, everything had gone wrong. Sierra kissed a night of sleep goodbye and dove head first into motherhood.

Untitled 1

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