Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:3:8) in the Alderaan system: Kwai and Lady Drusilla.
Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Lady Drusilla Rodney, and Commander Sierra Rodney.

The Luxury 3000 space yacht *Lady Drusilla* emerged from hyperspace in the Alderaan system. On the bridge the young Lady Drusilla Rodney, for whom the vessel had been named, was wearing an elaborate dress more suited for a formal ball than command of a ship. She sat in the captain's seat, giving orders to the crew she was grossly overpaying. "Get my stepmother on the comm," she demanded, before clapping twice to order the crewman, whom she viewed more as slaves than servants. She had brought her sisters to Delaya as instructed, along with the captive Callista, on the instructions of her father and stepmother. However, neither of them would be expecting her dramatic arrival in an overpriced luxurious yacht. "Tell papa his heiress has arrived," she said, dismissively, to Sierra once her crew had opened a communications channel. Notable she made a point of not ordering her ship to land, as she was insistent that they come to her. A grin crept upon her young lips as she leaned back in her chair, putting her legs up on the back of one of the crew she made kneel in front of her as a makeshift footrest. Yacht life was everything she had imagined it to be.

The draw of paradise that the sea islands offered was hard to resist, but, alas, it was time to bring the girls to Delaya. Duke Julius' condition had neither improved nor declined. They could not keep the girls away after the news of the heir had spread, on top of the most recent decision to move to Delaya. Everything had been packed back up into the Lambda-class shuttle Kwai just before Drusilla contact Sierra. From their first communication over the comm, Sierra was sure this was going to be an insane day. She had avoided looking at what exactly her step-daughter had purchased. Her current assumption was that the estate on Esseles was now bursting with clothing and candy.

Drusilla had given them no other option. Once Sierra received word, she piloted the ship off of Delaya. What she did not expect to see as they emerged from the planet's atmosphere was a large space yacht. There was no second guessing it: this was Drusilla's large purchase. From the pilot's seat, Sierra made a noise that was halfway between a gasp and a squeal. A 'queal' if you will. "Oh my," she said in a voice that sounded much more like George Takei than her own. "Erm. Claudius." Like he didn't see the gigantic, elaborate ship. Another comm opened from one of the workers aboard the yacht giving her permission to land in the hangar. "Yeah, thanks!" She said sarcastically, aiming the nose of the ship towards the hangar as she came in for a landing.

Claudius Rodney sat beside his wife sporting a nice tan, hoping he was only temporarily leaving their would be future home in the sea islands of Delaya. She reacted before he even saw it, but when he did he felt a sickness grow in the pit of his stomach. "She must take it back," he said, angrily, before curling his hand into a fist and slamming it against the control panel in front of him. "The treasury must last for the countless generations that will come after us. As a Grand Moff I actually make a very meager salary," he groaned, shaking his head in frustration. She could not get the shuttle docked quickly enough. As soon as the hatch was secure he wasted no time in unstrapping himself from the co-pilot's seat and rushing to board the yacht to confront his youngest daughter about her latest expenditure. He had talked a big game before, but always backed down at the last minute. Normally he would have helped Sierra, but he was moving with a spirited determination to get to the bridge.

"Ah. Papa. Welcome aboard *my* ship," she said, as she kicked the crew member whose back she was using as a footrest. She rose to her feet, but instead of standing on the ground she chose to stand on the man's back to give her much needed extra height. "Do you like it? It isn't as stuffy as some old Star Destroyer," she said, with a snooty look, raising her chin upwards. "Where is your latest wife?" she asked, tapping her foot impatiently as she waited for the pregnant lady to make her way up to the command deck. "I wanted to congratulate you on *finally* having the son you always wanted," she said, rolling her eyes at her father at her misfortune. "And I wanted to thank you both for my new yacht, which I have graciously allowed you aboard," she said, before batting her eyelashes at her father. "You didn't salute me," she pouted, pursing her lips, and trying to look all innocent. She had come with a plan.

It *had* to go back. Sierra backed her husband on this one-hundred percent. She didn't realize that she'd be leading that conversation until the ship was settled. The engines had not even fully powered down by the time he was up and out of the shuttle. "Fuck," she cursed, freeing herself from the pilot's seat. She rushed to catch up with him while taking in the yacht. With its large price tag, you had to wonder what the hell it was like on the inside. One thing she noted was how many people were working there. The crew alone had to be costing the family a fortune. Her irritation with Drusilla's financial outburst was growing by the second. She had gone much too far.

Sierra arrived on the bridge in time to see Drusilla mistreating her crew in every which way. The girl was using a poor man to give herself extra height, meaning she was actually *taller* than Sierra. She stood at Claudius' side. "Hello dear stepdaughter... I see you've taken advantage of the situation quite nicely. All this is going back. The yacht. The crew. This poor man you're using as a step stool...get off of him! You need to show your father respect too. We intended to tell you personally. We had no control over what happened with the HoloNet." Well, that was a white lie. That part was *all* Claudius' fault!! However, if they didn't unite, then this yacht would house the Rodney family.

When Sierra informed her that the yacht was going back she began to pout, stomping her feet repeatedly on the crewman's back, eliciting groans of pain from the poor young man. She frowned, let out a tremendous sigh, and stepped off the man and down onto the floor. She moved towards Sierra bashfully, and when she neared her she moved to kiss each of her cheeks. "Congratulations all the same," she said, before giving a sideways glance to her father. "Papa, I have been thinking," she said, before moving both of her hands behind her back, and shifting about awkwardly. "Sierra, you're a kind of doctor right?" she asked, as a small smile curled upon her lips. She was most obviously up to something. "Can you tell me the difference between a boy and a girl?" she asked, biting down on her lower lip and angling her eyes up towards her, awaiting an answer. "Is a boy better than a girl?" she asked, her eyes alternating between Claudius and Sierra, as she finally put the question to her stepmother. She almost laughed. *Almost*.

Well, that was too easy. Firmness did not mean she loved her stepdaughter any less. She kissed both of her cheeks. "Thank you, Drusilla." Sierra hated to think of what Jelena would say. Drusilla fought with the family's fortune. Jelena fought with words and she was damn good at it. No sooner had the aggressive part of her released was the conversation taking odd turns. "Yes, I am. I'm a psychologist," she told her. She worked with minds and yet the mind of a teenager was still so complicated to her. Sierra had yet to determine where all this was going. "*No*. A boy is not better than a girl. I'd have been just as happy if this baby was a girl. Goodness knows you'd have to teach me how to dress her. I can barely dress myself," she kept it light hearted. "As our family is, you know the difference between a boy and a girl. The duchy will be altered by this baby." Bruce. She wondered if there was any candy aboard this ship. Right now, she could use it!

"Hmm. I knew it. A boy is *not* better than a girl," Drusilla said proudly as she stood in front of Sierra, but was decidedly looking at her father. "Then if a boy is not better than a girl, there's still one thing I don't understand..." she said, raising her lower lip above her upper, as she played the part of an innocent child ... which she most definitely was not. "If a boy is not better than a girl like you say, why do girls get passed over for their inheritance in favor of a younger brother?" she asked, as her blue eyes widened, emphatically looking for an answer from Sierra. The only answer, of course, was ancient sexism that had not been corrected in the law. Her last chance to inherit everything would involve a popular uprising of the Delayan women in favor of her over the unborn male child Sierra was carrying. With her question and statement complete she arched her eye at her father, before swiftly moving backwards towards her chair. She folded her arms in front of her chest, allowing her little legs to dangle down. She looked again to Sierra and gave her a face to imply she was waiting for a *good* answer.

Oh no. This conversation really had taken a turn. Sierra finally picked up where this was going. Feminism was growing in popularity throughout the universe. In her mind's eye, she watched Drusilla rallying with the feminists in Delaya. There were so many negative repercussions. The family would become divided again, only Sierra would find herself fighting on her side alone. She wasn't the type of woman to force her husband to choose between his children and his wife. In fact, she'd expect him to join in Drusilla's insanity out of support. Another group of people would seek to hurt Bruce. Following the train of thought further, she imagined Drusilla taking power in Delaya and bankrupting the planet that she loved so much. The refugees would fall back to square one.

Sierra felt very sick all of a sudden. Drusilla had time to work out her strategy. She seriously considered running back to the shuttle and crying until it was all over. Quickly, she realized that was the hormones talking above all else. One of her hands clutched Claudius' arm. Quick to think on her feet, Sierra spoke. "I see where you're going with all of this. There is a perfect void that women fall into as far as inheritance goes. I welcome you to challenge it. You'll fight a good battle for your sister, Jelena. I do hope you've thought out the repercussions. No matter what you decide to do, the yacht is going back. Your father and I have begun discussing moving back to Delaya." She looked angry...and she was.

"Not quite," Drusilla said, unable to resist, as she shook her head at Sierra. "You see, my poor sister Jelena has been declared dead, and therefore has forfeited any claim she had to the Duchy," she said, before moving her hand up to wipe away tears that were not there. "Of course we could announce she was alive, but there's still that matter of her being declared a traitor to the Empire and ... oh..." she paused, bringing her hand up to cover her mouth. She really had thought of everything. Her hand moved to the control panel of her chair, slowly rotating it until her back was facing them. "Yes. I will permit this move. I should spend more time around *my* people," she declared, before giving the orders for the yacht to descend to the surface of the planet.

Sierra looked at Claudius. He could help her any time now because she was *drowning*. Drusilla could not see further than her own nose. As much as she adored the girl, it was a fatal flaw. And so, she released her grasp from her husband and moved towards the girl. She roughly swung the chair she sat in so they were face to face. Her hands clutched Drusilla's shoulders. "Drusilla, you're about to make a massive mistake. We just pieced back together our family...and now you want to detonate a bomb in the middle of it?! Do you understand what you will put all of us through? Have you even considered what happens if your attempts to rile up the feminist don't actually work? Or worse...what if they do? Those who could advise you and help you won't be there because you burned them along the way."

Claudius had been silent, trying to absorb everything Drusilla was saying. The male members of the House of Rodney had ruled Delaya for almost 800 years and no one had ever questioned it. He had spent his life trying to produce a male heir, and now just when the entire family could breath a sigh of relief his spoiled little girl was getting ready to make a mess. He moved quickly to separate his wife from his daughter, leading her away before the confrontation got out of hand. He led her off the bridge so that Drusilla could not hear what he was about to say. "What if ... what if we let her keep the yacht if she agrees to renounce any claim to the Duchy?" he suggested, feeling overwhelmed. His first instincts were to give in to her, just as he had always done in the past. He was not a very good father and in most ways Jelena's criticisms of his parenting had been spot on. They would be landing soon and he needed a plan. He brought Sierra into his arms, realizing he should have spoken up back on the bridge. "I'm sorry I did not intercede my love. It has always been difficult to say 'no' to her because of all she has been through," he said, as he embraced her firmly. Just when he thought everything was beginning to go well there was *another* complication.

While a woman may someday succeed, that day had not come. Drusilla would not be the beginning of female rulers for Delaya. She wasn't ready for that. People would riot worse than the Trump presidency. Sierra didn't know how to protect Drusilla without hurting her with the truth. She felt upset and agitated. There was no calm. When it seemed like life would reach stability, it was blown out of the water again. As he led her away from the bridge, Sierra said nothing. She could hardly believe Drusilla was doing this. Even worse, Claudius did not help matters. "What!?" Had he not been present on the bridge? The yacht was an unnecessary tantrum, as was the Duchy. Sierra's cheeks were red. She looked like she was either going to scream, or cry and pull her hair out. "No." She snapped back instantly, now a caged animal trapped against her lover's body. She buried her head into his shoulder and suddenly began to cry. It had been an extremely stressful life lately. With Drusilla acting like this, she could only imagine how hard it would be to deal with Jelena. "I can't do this, Claudius," she whimpered. "I've been her stepmother for roughly three seconds. I don't know how to handle this situation. It's not like it was in my text books! I don't want Drusilla to go through with this. There is no way to please her." She drew her head up from his shoulder. "I feel horrible. All our son is doing is causing burdens and pain. Even you're immensely stressed out because there's a target on my back. I wanted to be a mother so badly." And she still did. "And that guard..." He had died for the baby. For *her*. She didn't know how to comprehend everything going on, so she began to push away.

"Shh," Claudius said, as he lifted her chin and began to dry her eyes. Before she could say another word he placed a tender kiss upon her young lips. "Do not trouble yourself with Drusilla. *I* will find a way to handle her," he said, trying to sound strong and confident for her. "Her birth caused her mother's death. It's a terrible thing. I allowed her to get away with too much for too long," he explained to her, as he began to feel the ship enter the atmosphere. When she attempted to push away it only made him hold onto her tighter, loving her, and not wanting to let her down now. "In my absence she has become spoiled. Rotten to the core, but she is not irredeemable," he said, before moving his hand up again to gently rub away the tears once again. "It is not your job to please her. Put it from your mind. Let's focus on our new home, and our son," he said, before he positioned his hand behind her head and cradled her against him. Their complex, hybrid family would take some work on his part. Work he should have done ages ago.

The kiss was like a mental reset. Crying, she kissed him back. In her attempts to be a good stepmother and wife, she was driving herself insane. There was no getting away from Claudius. Her fight ended shortly after it began. He'd seen her. He knew all of her imperfections. Even running wouldn't be enough to hide from him. She closed her eyes tightly. She listened to him explain why Drusilla was the way she was. His confidence was semi-reassuring. What path he would take with his youngest daughter was questionable. One thing was for sure; this family was difficult to hold together. She wanted to help Claudius with Drusilla. She needed to learn to be empathetic while becoming a whole hell of a lot less spoiled. She understood how it got so bad, but it had to end now.

The tears fell slower. She wished she could be better for him. Drusilla wasn't the only one who possessed fatal flaws. Being abused for over half of her life had left its fair share of scars and insecurities. She knew she should be doing better by Claudius. She tried to relocate her thoughts to their new home and their son, but all she could think about was how she would mess the boy up. Would he love her? She had never seen mothering done right outside of HoloNet shows. What if, deep down inside, she was prone to turning into her own mother. She shuddered against her husband. "I'm trying." She told him, finally withdrawing her face. She couldn't put anymore weight on him. She would need to fight her own demons for now. Releasing her grasp, she stepped back. "I'll take care of getting the yacht returned. I'll leave you to Drusilla." Sierra sounded more businesslike as she used the excuse to part with him and return to the shuttle. Inside the pilot's seat, she could release her tears shamelessly. It wasn't Arden who had broken her. It was Sierra who had broken Sierra.

Untitled 1

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