Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Liz Dorner and Christopher Levy.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:4:16) in the Essesia system: Esseles (New Calamar: Claudius Rodney's estate).
Ewwiekewwieikkie, Vice Admiral Claudius Rodney, Lady Drusilla Rodney, Countess Htaere Rodney, and Lady Jelena Rodney.

Claudius Rodney returned home after his final day aboard the Warspite. He was officially on leave and could not be more happy than to have a chance to get away from things for a while. He had spent the bulk of the day arguing with the ISB Sector Commander, the same woman that had tortured his wife. It took some doing, and he had to concede more than he wanted, but he had finally gotten permission for his daughter to leave the region. "Htaere?" he called out happily as he opened the door, he seemed to be in rare form.

Htaere looked over the array of high end gowns hanging in her closet. Suppressing a frown, she called out a response, unsure if it was audible. "Yes?" Reaching out she brushed her fingers over the rainbow of expensive fabrics, at a loss. So many that would be stunning and noteworthy. So many she didn't want to use to flatter the faction that had taken something away from her.

"I did it!" Claudius shouted cheerfully as he rushed towards Htaere and excitedly grabbed hold of her. His hands reached from her hips and lifted her off the air, and he began spinning around happily as he celebrated his victory. He was thrilled at the prospect of a successful visit with The Emperor. would now be a success.

A little surprised by the uncharacteristic display, Htaere collected herself and smiled over at Claudius. "Which feat exactly did you accomplish today?" she asked curiously. There were so many, though she assumed it was related immediately to their future trip.

Claudius set Htaere back on the ground and le let out a tired sigh, having perhaps over did it. "I got permission for Jelena to attend Alderaan University!" he exclaimed happily, placing a quick kiss upon Htaere's cheek. It was the terrific news he had been waiting nearly a year for.

Eyebrows lifted happily. "Oh my! That is wonderful indeed," genuine happiness erupted from within her. "She will be ecstatic," the heiress continued. Canting her head, Htaere smiled at him warmly. "I am really proud of you Claudius, for keeping your promise to her in this regard, despite your personal inhibitions about the topic."

Claudius would not share how he was able to achieve this, as he thought Htaere would frown at the notion of her torturer receiving additional funding for her projects in exchange for the release. "Is all of the packing done?" he asked, feeling quite excited about the chance to visit Coruscant. It had been ages since he saw the planet, and he wondered how much it had changed. He used to have many friends there, and he wondered if any of them were still around.

"Well, almost," Htaere risked a glance back to her luggage, still open as if patiently waiting for whatever other percentage of her wardrobe she saw fit to pack. "I am uncertain if the children have completed preparation for the trip," she admitted, flashing a quick gaze over the gowns again, determined to come to a decision.

"The shuttle will be here in several hours," Claudius explained, frantically beginning to panic like an old lady, terribly concerned with the packing. "I'd better tell Jelena!" he said, realizing the poor girl probably had not even begun to pack.

"Tell me what?" Jelena asked as she popped out of the kitchen, wearing her familiar dirty shirt and pajamas pants, having become quite the slacker lately. She looked at him strangely, before taking a sip of her blue milk, an unkempt mustache being left on her upper lip as she waited for a reply.

"I managed to secure you entry into Alderaan University!" Claudius said excitedly as he lifted his arms up in a victorious cheer. "Now get up stairs and pack," he quickly added, not wasting any time.

A huge smile formed on Jelena's face as she received the news, and ran to place a soft kiss on her father's left cheek. She was finally getting away from this awful war. She turned to stand in front of Htaere for a moment. "Thank you..." she said quietly, taking her hands in hers and giving them a tender, appreciative squeeze.

Htaere fixed the young woman with a warm smile and nodded subtly. "You are welcome," she mouthed the words back. Htaere bit back the surprise at how Jelena had let herself go, and privately hoped she would bathe, sooner rather then later. "Perhaps when this matter is concluded, Claudius will let me take you to the university to view the school, begin your preliminary entrance paperwork and select an apartment so you will be ready," she offered.

For the first time Jelena felt a real connection to Htaere and smiled lovingly at her. "I would like that..." she said, as a single tear ran down her cheek. She smiled, and placed the quickest of kisses upon her left cheek before heading upstairs to begin packing. This was the happiest day of my life, she thought to herself as she bounded up the stairs.

Suddenly Ewwiekewwieikkie burst from the kitchen, wearing a stainless durasteel pot upon her fur-covered head. In her hands she had a large loaf of bread that she had sloppily cut into oblong sized slices. "I'm all packed!" she proudly announced, as she handed Htaere an end crust of her loaf of bread.

Htaere accepted the gift with a smile and nodded approvingly. "Wonderful!" she exclaimed, patting the Squibb's hat. "You look smashing," she commented. She leaned down to grin at Ewwie, eye level. "Do not forget the forks...remember the rules ok?"

"No talk. Yes forks!" Ewwiekewwieikkie triumphantly announced as she slammed the loaf of bread against her chest. There was going to be a great chance for her to get some koovy goods, she thought to herself. She had read that Coruscant was home to some of the best baubles in the galaxy, and this was something she surely had to see.

The Lady Drusilla Rodney slowly began to descend the staircase, wearing her rainbow gem bracelet from her recent trip to Gallinore, the new necklace that her father had purchased her for going on the trip, and the tiara her grandparents had presented her for her thirteenth birthday. "I am ready," she announced, regally, holding her hand in the air so that her father could assist her in descending the final step. A housekeeping droid followed behind her, laboring to carrying her massive wardrobe. She had packed nearly her entire wardrobe.

Htaere's stormy grey eyes pandered over to the princess and shook her head. With a hefty sigh, she recalled that her own packing had yet to be completed. "Excuse me please," she said to the group gathered to continue with getting her own items together.

Claudius folloed Htaere into the room and came up behind her. His hands moved around, coming to rest on her stomach as he pulled her backside into his front. His face dipped into her hair and he inhaled deeply. "We will finally have some time together," he whispered into her hear, having missed her terribly, neglecting her far too long because of his duty. "Do you need help packing?" he asked, puling away slightly in case the children would walk in.

Htaere's hands rested over his as her head turned to look up over her shoulder towards him. "No, thank you. There are a few choices I have been unable to make regarding wardrobe but I believe I have made the selection," she replied before leaning back towards him momentarily. "I am glad we shall have this time to spend," she admitted. "It is crucial the family take time, especially you, Claudius. You are more their family then I, and it is you I believe they seek attention from." She paused before reiterating her appreciation again for following through. "This means the world to Jelena," she said quietly. "You will probably never fully realize the magnitude of your efforts and her gratitude."

"Whatever you wear I am confident His Majesty will find you ravishing," Claudius admitted, cheerfully as he moved towards the bed, looking around at the chaotic clutter of clothing. "Did you have a chance to pack my clothes?" he asked, having not really given it much thought. "Yes. Jelena did seem pleased, didn't she?" he said to her, feeling very proud of his daughter going off to university. It was a big step and it felt like his little girl was finally growing up. He was a bit reluctant, feeling as if he could no longer protect her.

"I started some of your basics and a few uniforms," she began. "But I was unsure what other attire you might like to bring along." Beginning to remove a few pieces of jewelry, Htaere seated herself on the edge of the bed, leaving the glittery rings, bracelets, arm bands and necklaces on the end table. She would never admit to it, but had serious reservations about how smoothly this whole incident may go. It exhausted her to say the least. "Perhaps you should like to bring clothing that disassociates you from your rank and stature, so that we may be able to enjoy time in the various art and museum districts, or going to dinner or such, without being identified and likewise hounded by the holovid photographers."

"I hate to disappoint you, my dear, but no one on Coruscant cares who I am," Claudius informed her, sounding somewhat disappointed. "Here I command a Battle Squadron. On Alderaan I am a member of the nobility. But on Coruscant ... I'm just a mid level flag officer," he conceded, as he shrugged into himself before moving towards the closet to look through his wardrobe. "We will go quite unnoticed," he said as he pulled out an assortment of tunics and trousers and began to place them carefully into a garment bag.

"Oh?" Htaere brushed her hair away from her shoulder, running her fingers through it and twisting it into a loose braid casually. "Well that is wonderful, Claudius. Then indeed we shall be able to have time uninterrupted whilst we take in the sights. I am most excited about the idea," she shared, feeling a bit more optimistic. She was quiet for a moment, letting the conversation dwindle before venturing a rather brazen question.

"Claudius? What are the chances of reassignment, or promotion or any such thing with this...presentation?"

Claudius smiled as he listened to Htaere discuss the trip, feeling increasingly more positive with each spoken word. "Well..." he said, not wanting to get his hopes up too high. "This is a great honor for anyone in the Empire. There is always the chance this could lead to a promotion..." he said to her, imagining himself as a Fleet Admiral. He liked the sound of it, and several officers junior to him on the Admiral's list had already received promotions.

Htaere did not respond. She was not looking for the answer as an opportunity to celebrate though she would never admit to such. Instead she smiled tiredly. "You deserve such an honor, Claudius," she commented quietly. "I am truly very happy for you." That statement was very genuine, watching her much older husband move about the room.

As he was the only going on the trip who did not have a large assortment of jewels, his packing was relatively simple, and after a few moments of labor his packing was complete. His comlink beeped indicating the shuttle had arrived. "Our transport is here," he said to Htaere as he looked over towards her packing. "But they cannot leave without us. So we do not have to rush," he was quick to point out with a smile. He lifted his bags with a tired groan, never being one to accept the use of droids, and gingerly carried them out to the main foyer.

Htaere paged a house droid to collect her luggage, switching into a traveling gown of comfortable soft material and long hooded cape to keep her bare shoulders warm in transit, Htaere finished accessorizing before picking up the last of the baggage and making her way to the entrance of the estate.

Jelena emerged from the top level, having finally showered and changed into a dress of Alderaanian fashion. She could feel the eyes of her sisters and father on her as she slowly descended the the staircase. Finally, a smile crept on her face as she enjoyed the attention and held her right hand in the air regally. "Let's get this over with," she said with a smirk as she led the family precession from the estate towards the waiting shuttle.

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