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Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:1:26) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Marcus Rodney's chalet).
Lord Marcus Rodney and Lady Zara Rodney.

Marcus was relaxing quietly in his bed next to his beloved wife when he was awoken by a scream of tremendous anguish. "Not again!" he exclaimed, as he woke up, and swung his legs over the side of the bed. His feet went into his shoulders, and he wrapped a robe around his body, which was covering the underwear he wore. He grabbed hold of his AXM-50 "Blast and Smash", and began bounding down the stairs at his top speed. When he flung the door of the chalet open and he looked out into the darkness he saw that he was too late. Tauntauns were running in every direction, and there was a trail of blood leading into a hole that had been broken in the ice. The herd had gotten too close to the ice and the creature that lay beneath had struck again. Their attempts at raising livestock were being foiled by the creature, whose quick and sudden strikes seemed unstoppable. "Damn you!" he yelled into the abyss, waving his fist in frustration, as the cold night air began to freeze him.

Zara wasn't so speedy with her movements. In fact, she was still fumbling to put on her robe when Marcus was already at the front door. The tauntaun scream had awoken her too, just as it had several other nights throughout the week. Sir Tentacles had developed a very specific taste for them. Perhaps *sir* was a *ma'am*, who had developed a craving for delicious, fresh tauntaun. Zara soon appeared at the front door. Her eyes still blinked away the sleep from them. The deep red blood on the ice stood out. Like husband like wife, Zara's little fist wagged in the direction of the lake. "Pick on someone your own size, you damn freaky octopus!" It was the best she could do in the middle of the night. After the first tauntaun was eaten, Zara learned an important lesson: don't get attached to your future dinner. Michelangelo the tauntaun had met such a gruesome fate. Her fist fell, a strong breeze reminding her that she was very much so nude under her robe. She grabbed his hand, persuading Marcus back into the chalet. "I think it's time to relocate Sir Tentacles." She announced.

Marcus placed his rifle down when he entered the chalet with his wife, furious that the sea monster had seeming struck again. He was beginning to understand what a nerf herder was decades after taking use of the often mocked profession for his *nom de guerre*. "How would he even accomplish that?" he asked, remembering his own experience with the beast and how it nearly took his life. "We would have to hire people, which would jeopardize our privacy. It might even tempt hunters who would come to try and kill him," he explained, as he moved towards the kitchen for some late night hot chocolate. A few key strokes at the device and moments later he had two cups of hot chocolate ready. Before he brought them out to Zara he placed a ton of whipped cream on hers, and moved back towards her, offering it to her. "Our little corner of Delaya could become arctic adventure paradise," he informed her, before taking a sip of his hot chocolate. "Ow!" he yelled, as the scorching hot liquid burnt his tongue.

Zara perched herself on the couch of their living room area while considering her own crazy idea. The idea of jeopardizing their privacy was one she disliked. She favored the opportunity to be away from everyone else. She also didn't want to see the beast die. Sir Tentacles wasn't causing trouble maliciously. He was an animal; it was simply the circle of life (and it moves us all?). "Hmmm..." She thought, "We could see if there's a rescue for strange, gigantic octopuses. I'm sure there's some crazy hippie out there who's transporting those things to a better place. Do you think that would compromise our privacy too much?" Oooh! The mountain of whipped cream atop her hot chocolate was evidence that he knew her well. "Best hubby ever," she said, taking the cup from him. "Thank you." She crossed her legs comfortably underneath her. Her iceberg of whipped cream made the liquid beneath it drinkable, and delicious. "An arctic adventure paradise? We can start a hot chocolate business. It'll rake in the credits." She giggled. "Should we be selfish and keep the north as it is, or continue with our plans to bring summer back again?" Ouch! Hot chocolate burns were the worst. They felt like such a betrayal. She leaned over, kissing his cheek until he couldn't think about the pain anymore.

The kiss was enough to make him forget about his burnt tongue, but it did not stop him from thinking about the issue of their surroundings. "There was a time when this area was enjoyed by hunters throughout the galaxy. But unfortunately they overhunted, drove many species towards extinction..." he said, as he walked towards her, sitting near her, and trying to see if his hot chocolate would be more receptive next time. "Would they handle this unspoiled land better if we save it?" he asked, as he looked towards her for guidance. "You're Lady Za ... the naturalist, what do you want your legacy to be with this area?" he asked, as he took a larger sip of the drink, leaving a dot of chocolate on his nose. He smiled at her, blissfully unaware of its presence on his nose.

A rock dropped to the bottom of Zara's stomach. Why hadn't she ever thought of that before? As soon as the land was restored, life would be too. She had considering that people might live in the North, however, she hadn't thought of the hunters who would surely come to destroy the new life. The answer to his question hung in the air obviously until Zara gave it a voice. "*No*. The land would end up barren again, just without the snow." She looked outside the window at the dark, snowy place they called home. Sir Tentacles would be impossible to move. Someone would have to come and kill him. Other ecosystems would die. The seriousness of her inner debate was broken up by the chocolate on Marcus' nose. She leaned over, kissing his nose, but in the process licking the chocolate off. "I don't know. I'd like to conquer the current pollution problem in the city, so that the whole planet doesn't turn into Sir Tentacles' playground. As to the north... Would it really benefit from being changed so massively? A lot of the current species that live here will die, while new ones would be hunted again. Everyone stays away from this corner of Delaya ... Should it stay this way..?"

Marcus was glad he had a wife who was so decisive, despite her young age, but before he could reply she was devouring the drop of chocolate upon his nose, which made him giggle. He moved with her, looking out the large window, at the snow covered landscape. There was life, beyond the sea monster ... there were the wolves, the tauntauns, the thrantas, and countless species that they had not yet encountered. He placed his arm around her, drawing her in near him, and squeezing her against him. "Is it selfish to want to keep this all just for us and our children?" he asked her, as he let out a contented sigh as he imagined life with his family here, alone, undisturbed. "Shall our children build snowmen outside undisturbed, or shall they play in the grass surrounded by security?" he asked, before turning his head, to place a kiss upon her neck that left a chocolate outline of his lips upon her.

To her surprise, Marcus read her mind. The words he spoke were exactly the ones she was thinking: was it selfish? She thought beyond the repercussions to wildlife, and then reflected on what it would be for their family once the ice melted. She envisioned homes lining the area in front of the chalet. Life, busily ticking away all around them all the time. Their children, forced to play in the shadows of body guards to ensure no one would hurt them. Not to mention, the pressures of the press would be impossible to escape. His words made her feel like she wasn't a monster, but a mother-to-be looking for the right decision for her family. She rested against him. The closeness was wonderful. Their bond seemed stronger than ever. She didn't feel like a monster the next time she spoke, fingers running over his back. "No, I don't think it's selfish. You know what it would be like if the ice melted. Our children would grow up with paparazzi in their faces. Their protection would be compromised. We would no longer have anywhere to hide." She rested her chin on his head. Her eyes closed. His lips felt completely delightful on her neck. "Let's keep the north as it is. It isn't worth killing off a massive number of animals and eliminating our family's chance at privacy all at the same time. I don't care if it's selfish. I value our happiness over anything else."

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