Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:1:7) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Marcus Rodney's chalet) and Trenchancy.
Lord Marcus Rodney, Lady Zara Rodney, and Major Min Traebor.

"...and that's exactly why I think your organization should aid in repairing Delaya's environment." Zara's voice sounded firm and professional. She was seated at the Holonet terminal, currently on a video conference with the *Galactic Green Project*, an organization devoted to cleaning up the most polluted areas. She had contacted them shortly after Mister Tentacles had made his appearance and immediately began pleading her case. It had been busy times for her and Marcus lately. Accompanying him on his bounty hunts had brought back all of the instincts that made her such a good thief. She could easily wear whatever mask she needed to, to blend in, obtain information, and otherwise. She didn't make for a half bad fighter either...especially when she wasn't busy vomiting her lunch. Zara had yet to realize the limitations of being pregnant, but she already knew that a time would come where she wouldn't be able to come with him. That thought was *disturbing*. She wouldn't bring it up.

Her little meeting was just finished. She sat there, one leg crossed over the other, looking pretty in more elaborate clothing than she usually wore. Her tight dress was both professional and sexy. It was completely black. Without the dark red colored legging Zara wore underneath it, the slits on either side of her dress would have revealed bare skin to her hips. The top of her dress had a keyhole directly beneath her breasts, revealing a small bit of pale flesh, as well as above them. The back had a large diamond shape cut out of it, though it wasn't visible in her current position. Her feet were covered in a simple ankle boot. She was armed at her hip, having decided that bounty hunting with Marcus meant carrying a weapon around for safety.

"We'll consider your request, Lady Rodney. I'll send over more paperwork for you to fill out. With the Alderaan refugees on Delaya, I think it would be a good idea to restore the area. We'll be in touch." A holographic display revealed the board of the organization. Zara smiled, nodded, and politely said her goodbyes before ending the meeting. Once it was over, she became putty in her seat. She sunk down, letting out a long sigh while her hands brushed over her face.

No one had ever accused Marcus Rodney of being a good diplomat ... that was his brother's job. He supported Zara's efforts to solve the refugee crisis on Delaya through an environmental program that would lead to agricultural development, but at the same time he knew it was better for her to take the lead. His reputation was one of scandal and a lack of seriousness, but Zara still possessed that new noble smell, complete with the sympathy of being pregnant. Instead, he had spent the morning examining himself, nearly naked, in front of a large floor mirror. His body was pot marked with bruises and scars, but that was nothing new for a bounty hunter. What concerned him the most, however, was the presence of flab. He could defeat every enemy ... except time. And so he spent the time Zara was on the call watching a holovid of an overzealous Bothan's exercise routine. He spent the next hour listening to some old songs from before the Clone Wars and trying to keep up with the much more athletic Bothan in an exercise routine he did not fully comprehend, nor think a viable way of losing weight. "I'm getting old..." he muttered to himself, as he took a break, and took a sip of water that had been drawn directly from the lake. He was dripping with sweat and his heart rate was elevated, but the motivation of becoming a father would not allow him to quit.

Zara didn't flatter herself with the idea of her being a good diplomat. She wasn't trained in this kind of thing. For the most part, Zara relied on charm and what was logically best for the planet to succeed in her endeavor. Even then, as the conference ended, she wasn't sure what would happen next. Upon recovering from her meeting, the silver haired woman rose from her seat. She wondered what her husband was up to. She hadn't seen him since before the conference, which lasted roughly half of her lifetime, when she abandoned him in their bedroom. She scaled the stairs quickly, weaving right into their bedroom. She stopped in the doorway, staring at a very sweaty Marcus. Her upper teeth scraped along her lower lip. Seeing him like that was a weakness of hers. There was something about that hard worked look that. Her attraction to him never seemed to sway. His age played into the attraction, though she didn't make a big deal out of how much of a sexual weirdo that she was. "Oh my. Fancy meeting you here." She floated towards him. "Do you mind if I join you?" Zara wasn't even in her second trimester yet. She still worked out, though, like all things, it would come to an end eventually. Her little bump looked all that much more visible in such a tight dress.

When Zara entered the room he felt slightly embarrassed that she had caught him in the middle of his body conscious workout. He offered a half smile, as he moved to turn off the flamboyant Bothan holovid. "Sure ... but maybe something more conventional?" he suggested, as he closed the remaining distance between them. His sweaty, naked arms wrapped around her, immediately staining her dress with his wetness. He held her there for a tender moment, before angling his face down to look affectionately down at her. "How did your call go?" he asked, sounding genuinely interested and excited, as it seemed she had found a role for herself in life. A life, thankfully, that did not carry her to the Outer Rim in pursuit of dangerous bounties. His heart was beating loud enough for her to hear ... partly because of the workout, but also because of her close proximity and how it still affected him.

It wasn't her intention to make him feel embarrassed. Frankly, she understood. With her body going catawampus for their baby, she worried he would stop being attracted to her, or that she wouldn't be able to keep up with him. The third trimester was going to be hard for her, that much was already obvious. Sweaty and hot, Zara happily accepted her husband into her arms. She wrapped hers around his neck, locking him close. Nuzzling her body into his, her blue eyes flickered up to his. "Good, I *think*. They sounded really interested in our idea. It solves a lot of problems. I made a point of reminding them of that. We're working on their clock, so we won't know until the board gets back to me. So ... fingers crossed?" She could feel his heart pumping rapidly in his chest. She attributed it to his workout, though, he had mentioned more *conventional* work out methods. She nipped at his neck playfully. "How was your *warm up*?" She asked him. "I hope you're ready for the real exercise." There were reasons why Zara had gotten pregnant so quickly. The inability to keep her paws to herself was the primary one. Her fingers ran over his back. She slowly felt over the man she knew so well.

Marcus' workout had increased his blood flow and as a result it made him quicker to arousal. Despite the fact that she was pregnant, their sex life had not suffered, and he was keen to have her now that her call was complete. His arms still around her, he attempted to lift her off the ground, but failed, and felt a small twinge of discomfort in his back as he pulled something. He did not allow his facial expression to change, despite the pain, and played it off as nothing had happened. He took in a brief inhale and grabbed hold of her again, this time successfully spinning her onto the bed. He was on her an instant, his mouth planting feverish kisses upon her neck, as his hands fumbled with her endlessly complicated dress. It was easier to undress her *before* she got a noblewoman's wardrobe.

Just as the couple was about to commence in their nooner, there was a sudden and unexpected explosion that rocked the chalet and caused the roof of their bedroom to partially collapse on them. Above them a Sentinel-class landing craft hovered, deploying an entire platoon of Imperial Snowtroopers. It had seemed the Empire had found them and had sent a rapid response force to subdue the lovers. As their location was unknown to his noble family, the local authorities had no reason to suspect what was transpiring in the frozen north. Before they could react, one of the squads of the troopers has entered the bedroom, armed in a variety of weapons ranging from the standard E-11 rifle, to repeaters like the DTL-19, and the heavier T-21.

The first time he tried to pick her up, and failed, Zara worried that she had hurt him. She was gaining weight, after all (and he'd been working out!). Concern flashed over her face, but his poker face led her to believe that he was okay. She fed into this, and the second time he tried resulted in her landing on their bed on her back. Zara's eyes reflected her lust. Her desires for Marcus were just as needy as ever. Within seconds of him crawling on top of her, he had Zara moaning. Her hands joined in with his in the great effort to remove her dress. She was halfway out of it, from the waist up, when everything went to hell in a handbasket.

There were only the sounds of their breathing and his lips on her neck...and then there was too much noise. The whole house shook. Zara's arms wrapped around her husband tightly. She was ready to roll over to become his human body shield for the first time, but it was Marcus who took the brunt of the debris from the roof. There was destruction all around them. The couple was covered. Zara, luckily, had not been knocked unconscious. Her mind slammed right into panic mode. "Marcus!" Her voice came out as a weak huff. She started pushing away the debris from around them and on top of them. Somewhere in her panic, she heard the sounds of the Snowtroopers raining down into their room. Anger flushed over her face. Her forehead was bleeding. Boiling blood rolled down along her nose and down her cheek. Oh no, this wasn't the way they went out.

Inside the uncomfortable, suffocating cover of the debris, Zara used the amulet on her necklace to summon the recent in-house security system. Her obsession with technology ensured that she was always wearing something that wasn't completely as it seemed. All she had to do was press one holographic button to summon six droideka from the basement of the house. They had acquired them in Marcus' last bounty hunt. Zara proceeded to wipe them clean and reprogram them to benefit the Rodney family. Those benefits just happened to be rolling down the hallway. As the couple was surrounded, fire rained down from the droideka. She quickly pushed away the debris, feeling exhausted and horribly alive all at the same time. She wrapped an arm around her husband. It was difficult to support his weight, but that's exactly what she did. In the chaos unraveling all around them, she shambled towards the bathroom that connected the adjoining room. "Marcus! I *need you*!" She cried into his ear, making an escape through the hallway towards the stairs. If she didn't get them on the Nerf Herder, they were dead.

The Clone troopers that preceded this generation of Stormtrooper recruits had ample experience in dealing with Droidekas, but the majority of the Snowtroopers in this unit had never even heard of a battle droid ... let alone seen one. They were armed with weapon for dealing with bounty hunters, and lacked any suitable ion weapons for use against droids. Three of the troopers fell almost instantly, allowing Zara to escape the crumbling bed chamber with her husband, while the remaining members of the squad struggled in vein to defeat the Droidekas. The squad leader radioed the Sentinel-class landing craft began firing off blasts from its laser cannons, which caused two of the droids to explode.

Marcus, to his part, was mostly dead weight, as a support beam had fallen upon his back, giving him a concussion. As they cleared the bedroom, he began to regain consciousness, but his vision was blurry, and his feet could not find their footing. "Leave me..." he said weakly, as his poorly focused eyes could make out the sight of the Imperial Snowtroopers in their distinct white armor. "Get to the ... ship," he said, before coughing in rapid succession and producing some blood. Unfortunately for them, the Empire's first action had been to place an entire squad of Snowtroopers in front of the Nerf Herder, who had already succeeded in disabling her systems. The air overhead was filling with Imperial craft deployed from the vessel in orbit. They had planned this operation well, and it was far enough from Delaya's population centers to keep the locals in the dark.

The Droidekas had done their job well. They had enabled Zara and Marcus to escape the first line of threats. The little thief didn't expect that they'd get to run to the ship without any obstacles. She could feel the blaster at her hip. More importantly, she could feel the weight of her husband. If only they could make it to the Nerf Herder, she told herself, then she could start treating him. He needed a doctor for the rest. She could tell he'd been seriously hurt. To her relief, he came back to her. She could feel life again in his poor, battered body. His words, however, were stupid. "I'll *never* leave you." She looked scared, real scared. Her hand brushed away blood from his lips. Whether he saw it or not was debatable; tears were running down her cheeks. She wasn't confident that she could get them out of the house alive. She was less confident after a misstep on the stairs had her, and Marcus, crashing down them. She bashed her body around, then rose again at the bottom of the stairs. After collecting her husband, she beelined for the door. The hanger where Nerf Herder was being held wasn't far away!

When the door to the chalet was opened a fresh breath of free air could be inhaled little did the couple know it might be their last. There was a waiting force of Snowtroopers aiming their small arms directly at them. There was even a team who managed to set up a powerful E-Web that could obliterate them within a single shot. With the droidekas up above eventually defeated by the combined force of the remaining members of the squad and the Sentinel-class landing craft providing air support, the Snowtroopers had managed to completely encircle them. However, none of them fired, as they had orders to take the pair alive. Feeling quite confident, the entire platoon of Stormtroopers raised their weapons in succession should the female thief be foolish enough to try anything.

The freezing coldness waiting them outside felt colder when they weren't properly dressed. Outside, there were Snowtroopers waiting for them, weapons pointed and ready to fire. There were Snowtroopers bursting through the door just behind Zara and Marcus. Her own line of defense for the house had fallen. They'd been perfectly cornered in the snowy weather outside their home. Her heart was beating just as quickly as Marcus' had after his workout. She was scared, white faced and red knuckled. She didn't let go on Marcus for a second, however, she realized that there was nothing left. She had no clever plan to escape all of them. Her tears fell thicker down her cheeks. The young Rodney girl was giving no choice but to surrender...for their son, both Zara and Marcus needed to live. She tore one hand away from her husband. She used it to pull the blaster from her hip slowly. She dropped it to the snow. Both of her arms wrapped around him, providing him with her warmth while she surrendered. "I give up!" She called out. "Neither of us are armed!" Her voice was loud enough for them to hear over the whipping winds. What was going to happen..?

The sound of clapping filled the early night air, and two of the Snowtroopers moved away from one another to reveal a young woman in an Imperial uniform. She wore a cream tunic with rank insignia indicating she was somewhere in the middle of things, while her black trousers blended into the increasing darkness that was falling upon them. "I applaud you, Lady Zara," she said, as she took a few menacing step forwards. Her polished leather boots felt gently upon the snow covered surface, cracking with each footfall as she narrowed the distance between them. "Taming the Nerf Herder could not have been an easy task. I am pleased to see you have brains, as well as beauty," she said, mockingly, as she moved to brush the straightened red hair that descended over her left eye. Two of the Snowtroopers stepped forward to grab hold of Zara at each arm, while another two attended to the barely conscious Marcus. The Sentinel-class landing craft was circling around, slowly making its way down to the surface, where it landed in front of them. "He has crimes to answer for," she said, as she moved towards the man, glaring at him. She arched an eyebrow as she looked at his barely there eyes, before suddenly bringing her knee up to meet his crotch, causing him to shriek with pain. Clearly she had a personal hatred for the man, but she was not a scorned woman, rather one that had been professionally humiliated by the man on numerous occasions, which put her career at risk. "You're coming with me," she informed them both, before turning on her heels to march forward onto the craft, flanked by the entire company of Stormtroopers and the two prisoners.

Her heart sunk, half expecting to see El-Nay make an appearance. Instead, it was a new face. One who wore cream which Zara craved to stain with red. She was a cornered, furious little animal. The woman's words were nasty. They were sour in her open wounds. "I'm terribly sorry, but I have no idea who you are." Her voice held no remorse. "As far as I can tell, you're an Imperial bitch who decided to hide behind enough troops to conquer a small village. This is no victory." Zara's head snapped towards the Snowtrooper on her left. "*Get away from me!*" She hissed, trying to pull one of her slim arms back. She put up a bigger fight once they took Marcus away from her. "Let go of me! Don't touch him!" Her eyes followed the woman towards Marcus. Powerless, Zara was forced to watch the woman knee her husband in the crotch. Suddenly, she was seeing *red*. She snarled, swinging herself towards the woman with her full weight. She couldn't seem to escape the grasp of the Snowtroopers, but she wasn't going quietly. "Don't you fucking touch him!" She yelled at the woman. "Release me and call off your guards. Fight me fair!" Zara's little fight turned into her getting an additional Snowtrooper to hold her. Yet she wasn't done. She needed to protect Marcus! She wasn't going to let him 'pay' for his crimes. She would figure out a way to rescue him.

"You don't know me ... but you *will*," Major Min Traebor declared, after they were hauled upon the landing craft and secured to the large bench-like seats that ran along the side bulkheads of the ship. She flicked a gloved finger at one of the Snowtroopers, who quickly moved to raise the ramp and seal the ship. Almost immediately after the craft began to shake, raising off the surface at an alarming speed. All the while the Major reached skyward to hold onto a strap, as she stood in front of the captured couple menacingly. "Your husband used to work for me. He failed me a number of times. Ruined my career. Nearly cost me my life," she went on a bitter rant to Zara, and as she moved closer towards the younger woman the scent of alcohol on her breath would become apparent. "Now you're both going to make it up to me if you want to retire and raise your daughter in peace," she declared, believing her to be pregnant with a daughter as the tabloids had reported, based on what the couple had told the Duke and Duchess. If she knew that Zara was pregnant with a son her line of attack would be greater still.

She needn't know any more about the woman to know that she would tear her to shreds given the opportunity. Zara's eyes were only for Marcus after she was settled on one of the bench-like seats. He'd endured so many injuries from when the roof collapsed...then there was that crotch kick... She needed to calm down so she might bargain for medical attention. The pregnant girl felt exhaustion at the edges of her mind. Her belly seemed entirely too exposed...and it was, seeing as half of her dress was bunched up at her waist. Couldn't keep her hands off of Marcus, could she? The craft too off much too fast for her. Her husband had piloted the Nerf Herder so smoothly for her that this intense speed was too much. Without a warning, Zara leaned over and vomited in the lap of the Snowtrooper seated to her left. She finished shortly after, feeling hollowed out on the inside. The Snowtrooper looked like he didn't know how to react to the Zara surprise she'd left in his lap.

The woman, stinking of alcohol, began to rant and rave about Marcus ruining her career. She didn't know the entire situation, but she was sure that there was a good reason why he had done what he did. Ughhhh... The lady smelled *bad*. Zara wanted to throw up again. Instead, she pieced herself back together again while looking green in the face. "Is that so? And how are we going to make it up to you? He needs medical attention now. I'm not sure what part of you thought it was a *good* decision to drop half of the roof on top of me and Marcus...but it wasn't." She would never tell the woman about her baby boy. Her biggest concern was that the woman would take their son away. Feeling horribly sick, her eyes moved back to Marcus. Her heart sunk.

Min rolled her eyes when the young Zara vomited upon one of her troopers, feeling quite satisfied that her raid was having the desired physical and emotional impact on her. "He'll get medical attention once we arrive at our destination," she promised, before moving forward to more carefully examine the disabled Marcus. "Oh don't worry, dear. I've seen him much, much worse," she said, with a wink of her left eye, as she moved to a flask she kept in a pouch on her belt. She took a quick, stiff belt of Corellian whiskey as the Trenchancy suddenly lurched forward into hyperspace out of the Alderaan system. The extraction team had been in and out of the system without being noticed, which was made more easy by the couple's decision to retreat as far as possible from civilization. "The last time I saw your husband he and his allies dropped far more than a roof on me. It was an avalanche if I recall," she said, before offering the flask towards Zara, despite the fact that she was pregnant. "Oh. I'm sorry. I forgot," she said, before pulling it away, and taking another drink. Her cheeks were beginning to flush red from the effects of the whiskey and the thrill of the victory that seemed within her grasp.

She felt no reassurance about the medical attention. Zara was untrusting. The woman was one big, gigantic unknown factor. It was in her nature to protect Marcus and their son from her. While she tried to remain fierce in the eyes of her captor, her concern was obvious. It was part of her wifey duties to worry about her husband. She wasn't going to stop until they were far, far away from the drunk woman. "I've seen him worse too... He burnt his backside raw for me." She commented sadly. Her eyes narrowed. She was drinking *more*? The smell of the alcohol made Zara feel violently sick. There was something about the scent of Corellian whiskey that didn't get along with her. She fought with her stomach while they took the jump into hyperspace. They were *fucked*. Only Marcus and Zara could figure out a way out of this. No one was going to help them. Zara's nose twitched when the woman offered her some of the awful smelling whiskey. It was enough to grant the Snowtrooper with a second helping of Zara sickness (she actually kinda felt bad for that guy). "Something tells me you might have deserved it... Waiiiitttt. Are you the idiot who hired him to kill Claudius? Maybe you should lay off the stinky whiskey, lady."

"Oh he told you about that, did he?" Min said, as she moved to take a seat across from her, well out of the way of any projectile vomit. "Grand Moff Claudius Rodney is an imbecile whose constant mismanagement of his Oversector has nearly handed victory to a poorly equipped Rebel cell," she explained to the woman, slurring her words now as she became slightly intoxicated by the double shot of whiskey. "If we had killed him before he had become a Grand Moff the Ringali Shell would be a far more secure region, and I would now be a Colonel, instead of sitting here with you," she complained bitterly, as she recounted the incident that set her down the path towards becoming the drunken buffoon that she was now. "If your husband had just completed the job that he took none of this would be happening. It is all *his* fault. If he didn't want to kill his brother then he simply should have declined the contract. Instead, he took it simply with the purpose of failing it and making me look like a fool," she said, before letting loose a soft, obnoxious burp. "...and if that were not enough he had to come back to the region and rescue his bitch of a traitor niece and smuggler her out from our grasp, resulting in the greatest propaganda coup the Rebels could have ever hoped for," she complained, before taking the final sip from the flask. She held it upside down above her mouth, hitting it repeatedly, but no liquor came out. "He has set himself upon the path of undermining me, and now he will fix it ... you both will fix it..." she said, before throwing the empty flask across the craft's passenger compartment at the unconscious Marcus.

*Oye*. This lady was broken. After having puked several times, the Snowtroopers beside her didn't fight her when she took back her arms. She redressed herself, then sunk into the uncomfortable bench. Despite feeling callous towards the woman, she had no choice but to listen to her story about Marcus massively fucking her over. She could understand why Marcus had done it. Family was family, even when they were as stone faced as Claudius. He couldn't very well allow his brother to be hunted. Put in the same position, Zara would have mimicked his moves. It was too tempting to not make the woman look like a fool. She was concerned with how the woman might want them to make up for Marcus' "crimes". It was obvious that she had fallen far; likely a drunk that no one took seriously at this point. She didn't try to explain her husband's logic, instead, she listened to the complaining until it dried up. "There's a war going on. Surely there's another way to become Colonel. How are we supposed to play into all of this? He's too injured to do anything at this point. The smell of your whiskey is making me want to stain every white uniform in here, green. We aren't exactly team victory at the moment...damn it! Will you leave him alone!?" She scowled when she flung the flask towards Marcus. She wanted to grab the flask and shove it down the woman's throat. At the same time, Zara felt so tired. Her mind was buzzing with ideas, ideas that her body couldn't keep up with. "Where are we going?"

Min allowed herself to lay on the bench across from them, rolling onto her side and using a Snowtrooper's lap as a pillow. She lay there silently, just smiling across at them, which might have actually been worse than talking. "We are going to my base on Esseles. A place your husband knows all too well. Where he has both suffered at my hands, and caused me to suffer at his," she said, her eyelids starting to feel as if they were made of durasteel, and nearly closing shut at several points of conversation. "I will leave him alone when I am good and ready. When he completes a few missions for me that will restore my reputation and put me back on the fast track towards promotion that I was on before I encountered him," she said, as her feet kicked against one another, discarding her boots onto the durasteel deck beneath them. She then reached forward, stretching, as she allowed herself to become more comfortable for the duration of the violence. "Don't worry. He'll patch up nicely. It's not the first time I've had to stuff him in a bacta tank ... and I doubt it'll be the last," she said, as she turned her attention on Zara. "But, please do calm yourself. You're far more valuable to me in your delicate condition ... if anything were to happen where your stress changed that ... you would lose all value to me," she explained, coldly, before moving her hand to cover a yawn.

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