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Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:2:8) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Rodney Castle and Tarkintown).
Lieutenant Sierra Dakkar, Festus Oncan, and Grand Moff Claudius Rodney.

Claudius Rodney had changed into some tired clothes that belonged to one of his father's valets, and wrapped himself in a hooded cloak to ensure some level of subterfuge. Sierra, once again proving herself an adept traveling companion, had managed to find out about his refugee camp. In truth it was no big secret and had been the prime topic on everyone's mind over the past several months. Why no one told him was still a mystery, but he no longer trusted anyone in the government, and had taken upon him to see for himself. Rather than take one of the Alderaan Guard military speeders, he had unexpectedly dusted off his Ikas-Adno 22-B Nightfalcon speeder bike ... his midlife crisis that he never fully utilized. With Sierra beyond him, most likely holding on for dear life, he sped down the mountainous road that led to the city at life threatening speeds. He was in his second war now and he no longer feared death if he should crash into a rock face, or go plummeting of the mountainside. The speed was exhilarating and the feel of the air blowing across his face and through his hair made his heart pound. He felt *alive*. "You alright back there?!" he yelled over his shoulder without turning his head, although he wondered if the sound of the engine and the moving wind would stifle his attempts to speak to her. Before too long they had arrived in Leiliani, bustling after dark, and the refugee camp that lay on its outskirts. As he stopped the speeder and pulled his goggles up over his head he could already tell it was the most horrific location he had ever seen at first glance. "What have they done..." he said quietly, to Sierra, as he helped her off the speeder and began to walk towards the shame of it all, while lifting the hood of his cloak to shroud his infamous visage in the shadows of darkness.

Tea time had ended in Sierra changing and departing the Rodney castle to obtain information. Livia may have remembered her from earlier years, but she had no friends outside of the castle. Getting people talking provided her with information. Only when she knew where they were going, and what a disaster it may be, did she return back to the Grand Moff to communicate her findings to him. When night settled over the planet, together, they departed in the darkness under disguises. He wasn't the only one worried about being noticed. Sierra clothed herself in a comfortable pair of trousers, and a top which included a hood. She traded out her military-class boots for a pair of boots that looked like they had been through the ringer. To her surprise, Claudius had arrangements for their vehicle...

Her blonde hair whipped all around her face. Sierra was clinging to him. Both of her arms were secured around his waist. She wasn't scared. She greatly enjoyed being able to breathe for the first time all week. Adrenaline pumped through her veins so strongly that she felt like she could rip the speeder bike in half. It became easy to dip into an imaginary world; a world where they could run away from responsibility. Her head was pressed against his back until he called out to her. She looked up, goggles currently shielding her own eyes. No one seemed to care about helmets. "I'm good! Can we do this every night?" She joked with an extra squeeze to his waist. All that adrenaline was bound to run out.

Tarkintown was something that Sierra could have never been mentally prepared for. Her first impression of it was taken while he helped her off the bike. It smelled weird. She pulled her hood down and shifted her goggled until they were on top of it. The living conditions were poor. There really were people living out of small, shitty looking tents. She saw a small child who was clearly suffering from malnourishment. "No..." Sierra's gloved hand grasped his. Believe it or not, they were going to need each other just to make it through the camp. "How did we not know about this..?"

Claudius' held Sierra's hand for but a moment, as he surged forward deeper into the camp, regaining the speed that time had stolen from him. All around refugees were gathered near makeshift fires in garbage units struggling to keep warm. There was some food, but the crates bore the startling insignia of the Rebel Alliance. "These ... these are Rebel supplies," he said to Sierra, as he examined the crates carefully. There was more going on here than he could ever imagine. What surprised him the most, however, was that every child seemed to have an ample amount of toys. Before he could look further, a refugee approached from behind, and bashed him over the head with his walking stick, sending a pained Claudius tumbling to the ground in a heap of pain. "Away from the food. Stay away from the food. No more today!" said the member of the Alderaan Guard who had wielded his staff against what he thought was a refugee attempting to steal food. Claudius lay on the ground dazed, the back of his head aching, face down in the muck. Now he definitely looked the part of a poor refugee, although he was the first to admit he was not a method actor. Try acting, he had once famously quipped to a colleague.

Nothing in the camp seemed to make real sense. The conditions were *terrible*. These people...her people...were suffering. They snuggled around fires that couldn't warm them to the bone. It was disturbing to see the insignia of the Rebel Alliance hanging around the camp of people whose home planet *they* had destroyed. Half the battle was accepting the facts placed in front of her face. Her attention was split this way and that. She thought she saw familiar faces. She thought she saw *bad* familiar faces. Her nightmares lived in that camp. A nightmare was that camp. The sound of water rushing inside of her ears made her deaf. The sights before her collected her vision. Claudius had gotten too far in front of him. She didn't see him get hit until he was already down. Ignoring the monster's claws which spread in her mind, Sierra ran to him. She ducked to the ground, grasping Claudius by his hands. She glared upward at the Alderaan Guard. "He wasn't trying to steal food!" She exclaimed defensively, placing herself between the two of them. One of her hands ran through his hair. Wet. He was bleeding.

The small psychologist made an attempt to collect him. "Honey, are you okay?" They hadn't agreed on fake names, identities, anything. She tried to wipe some of the muck from his face. This was hell. She needed to get him away from it. Refugees were crowding around to watch the late night show.

Claudius sat there on the filthy ground in front of the Rebel crates concussed. "What is the meaning of this?" he asked, casting off the humble accent he had adopted, and stepping out with the fully pretentious accent he used when speaking formally. He reached to Sierra, attempting to use her to rise back up to his feet, but when he feared he would pull her down he released his grasp on her. He took hold of one of the creates, rising to a standing position, using the crates for support. "Why is there no food here? Why do you call this place Tarkintown?" he asked, incredulously, as he felt quite wobbly on his feet. His vision was blurred and he felt very light headed, but he wanted answers.

"The blow to your head must have destroyed your memory," said a brash young man from the crowd. "We have no food because the wicked old Duke that runs this planet converted his farms to factories. When Alderaan was destroyed we could no longer import food from their untouched planet," he explained, as his eyes gazed up towards the shimmering castle in the distant mountain range bitterly. "We named this Tarkintown in *honor* of the man who destroyed our home, Grand Moff Tarkin," he said, angrily, as he cursed the Empire and all who served it. "Though I tell you with the arrival of Grand Moff Rodney there are many of us here who have thought about changing the name to Rodneyland!" he said, before turning away from the crowd to go seek some warmth by the fire and perhaps a drink.

She couldn't get him back to his feet without more help from him. She couldn't wave her hand and make all this magically make sense either. However, there was one *kind* individual who promptly filled them in on their second dose of the truth today. Her eyes grew wider was the young man spoke. "Grand Moff Tarkin..." She repeated in shock. Every word that spilled from the man's lips seemed truth. It didn't matter how big of a pill it was to swallow. If this was true, then the lies that Sierra and Claudius had been spread were endless. She broke away from him, approaching the young man. She was desperate to know that what he said was true. Her small hands dug into the front of the man's clothing. "You're lying. There's no way." Out of her peripheral, she could see the Rebel insignia. Oh god. There were so many horrible things to process; the Duke, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Tarkintown as a whole.

Sierra released the man. She stumbled backwards. The hole in her stomach had grown wider. Home was gone and she was associated with the monster who had done it? The whole town was named after the guy! The young man was gone. The crowd was breaking away. A coldness swept in between the Grand Moff and his companion. What in the hell was happening? She stared at Claudius, the man who hadn't even known about this place when he woke this morning. She became deeply conflicted. Should she even return with him? The best plan was to turn her tail on the Empire, as well as Arden, and disappear into nothingness. She said nothing to Claudius. She simply grabbed his arm and started tugging him in the direction of his speeder bike. It was too much.

"These poor people have fallen for Rebel propaganda," Claudius confided to Sierra sadly, as they returned to the speeder bike.The back of his head hurt tremendously, and as they neared his bike he reluctantly admitted that he was in no condition to drive. "You think you can get us back, or should we call Hanson to pick us up?" he asked her, as he brought his hand up to the back of his head to rub it gently. "Send word to Major Kiley," he began, as the fatigue set in, and the concussion took hold of him. "Have her acquire as much food from the Ringali Shell as possible and load it into as many ships as she need commandeer," he ordered, his voice starting to slur as if he were drunk. "Sierra ... Sierra you ... you see to my children. Please. I have much investigating to do, and my father to see, and I would spare them this if at all possible," he begged of her, awkwardly climbing upon the back of the bike. He had never ridden from back here before ... it should prove interesting if not *fatal*.

Sierra hadn't devoted a fraction of the lifetime that Claudius had to the Imperial. In her mind, she allowed herself to entertain the idea that something more was going on. She hovered in front of the speeder bike, realizing that he was in no condition to get them home. "No, don't call her. I'll get us back safely." The small girl squirreled into the space in front of him. "Yes, Governor," she replied to his order, always the obedient girl. She adjusted herself on the bike, lowering her goggles. "Hold on tight. If you start fading, let me know. I will take care of your children. If you need additional help, you know how to contact me." As hazardous as it was, Sierra kept a hand on his once his arms were around her waist. She took the road home slowly. The thoughts in her head were too loud to talk over.

She did not allow anyone to see him in his current condition. Sierra took his pride into consideration. Upon reaching his room in the castle spire, it was she who treated his wounds, cleaned his face, and helped him into bed. "Your work needs to wait until tomorrow," she was firm with him. The girl remained in his room, playing sweet music for him until she thought he'd fallen asleep. With a final check to his vitals, she departed. He'd given her orders that she intended to follow. "Goodnight, Claudius," she whispered, closing his door. No one was to disturb him.

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