Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:7:14) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Marcus Rodney's chalet).
Duke Marcus Rodney and Duchess Zara Rodney.

"Do you think you can fix her?" Marcus Rodney asked, as he watched his wife attempt to piece the nanny droid back together. In one hand he was holding his daughter, Sia, whilst in the other he was holding his son, Darrus. "Not that I'm complaining..." he said, in a voice that sounded as if he was complaining. The Duke of Delaya had come to appreciate the nanny droid and the fact that she freed up their time and lessened their workload. He was now a father working an overtime shift. The moment one calmed down the other needed something. He finally had both comfortable to the point where he dared to place them in the bassinet, but as he moved towards it, the children discovered what he was up to and began to get fussy again. "Karabast!" he cursed, as he moved back towards the edge of the bed to work on calming down the children once again. They had retreated to the frozen north and their chalet, and he wondered if perhaps the cold disagreed with them, or perhaps they sensed the sea monster.

Broken pieces from the nanny droid were scattered around Zara Rodney on the ground. It had taken time for her to piece together what went where, then to identify which pieces would need replacing. The old RO-E11 would not be easy to fix, that much was for sure. Zara was happy to be back in their chalet. It provided her with a sense of safety that was greater than what she felt in the castle after Sia's abduction. It seemed unlikely that anyone would battle the sea monster and the weather just to *try* to steal a baby. "I think so. Maybe I can even improve her a little bit. Her design is so old. They haven't made nanny droids like this in centuries." She said, having done additional research before attempting to make the droid whole again. Without Nana's help, both of the parents were hurting. Neither of the twins were sleeping through the night yet.

She rose from the ground. "I gotta grab a few more tools." She said, soon disappearing out of their bedroom and down the stairs. Zara was not gone long. When she returned, she was carrying her tool box in one hand and a thick blanket in the other. She stood over the bassinet, draping the blanket over their twins. "Is that better?" She asked their babies.

"I think I need to set the thermostat to 'Mustafar'," Marcus said, as he looked over at her placing the blanket on the twins. "I suppose I could order a new one," he said, as he turned his face to look over at the pieces of the droid. "Or we could always help the economy by hiring servants," he said, with a soft chuckle as he considered his own childhood. As he laughed he still felt a subtle twinge on the left side of his rib cage from his encounter on the Red Garto Casino. The bacta patch had done a lot to improve his condition, but he had not been getting the prescribed rest. Gritting his teeth he rose from the bed and moved towards the control panel on the wall where he programmed a higher temperature. The heat always made him sleepy and he hoped it would have a similar effect on the twins.

"Is that a thing? I think 'Mustafar' setting sounds about right!" She had done everything she could to keep the twins warm. They were both dressed in thick sleepers and now had several blankets to keep them comfortable. Zara lowered herself back to the ground slowly and set back to work. "Pshhh. I can't program servants, Marcus. I want to make Nana work again." She noticed him twitch and frowned. He *had* to be hurting. The medicine that Doctor Bailo had given her did wonders for her head, but Marcus had *three* broken ribs that were healing. She appreciated him helping her through the night with Sia and Darrus, at the same time, she felt bad that he wasn't resting and having to get up and down all night. "Lay down!" She said. "Doctor Bailo said you gotta take it easy and rest. If you don't listen to her, then I'll tell Doctor Tohan and you'll get in big trouble." She stuck her tongue out at him. Zara was concerned for him, as she always was. Since returning from the Red Garto Casino, the family had been closer than ever. Zara rose once more. She gently grasped the sides of the bassinet and rocked it back and forth. "It's time for you two to get some sleep." She smiled down at the two of them. Zara began to softly sing them a lullaby to see if she could sway them to sleep.

"Not Doctor Tohan!" Marcus said, flinching slightly, as a whack on the head from the doctor's walking stick hurt more than anything he had experienced in his years of bounty hunting. "Fine. Fine. You're a tough nurse," he told her, as he moved back towards the bed. He let out a sigh as he lay down on the bed, before swinging his legs out in front of him and laying down on the bed. "I've missed this place," he told his wife, as he pulled the blanket up over his body. "We'll need to decide if we want to take another crack at Iyah again when the dust settles," he reminded her, because while they could retreat to the north of the planet to avoid the Empire and the Governor, the people of Leiliani could not. *Something* had to be done to help his people who had remained on the planet rather than fleeing to New Alderaan.

Zara knew how to get her way. She crossed her arms over her chest while doing her best to look mean until he was in bed. It seemed like the twins were going to fall asleep now that the room was becoming warmer. She tiptoed away from the bassinet quietly and retreated into the bed and under the covers. Her body was warm from the physical labor she had put into reassembling the droid. Now she was more than happy to share her body warmth with her husband. "I missed it too. We've gotta come back here more often. I bet the twins will love it when they're older. We can all make some really cool snowmen." It was something she had imagined while she was pregnant and still living in the chalet. Zara rolled onto her side. Her hand brushed over his chest. "I think we should. Iyah is our best chance of gaining control over the planet again. Since she has such a horrible history with the Governor, maybe she really can attack without making us look involved." She looked up at him. "The Ithorians are working so hard for our planet. I want to work harder for better days too."

"I'd like to see them make snowmen, but not too close to the shoreline," Marcus was quick to point out, as he could imagine the creature attempting to snatch the children. "I have never hated anyone so much as I hate Governor Arundel," he told Zara, as she stroked his chest. "I thought my brother would be able to deal with him, but it seems the Empire is just as dysfunctional as our family at times," he said, with a smirk, as he tried to imagine a Delaya free from the Empire *and* returned to its natural beauty. "Ever since you discovered the droid I've tried to imagine what this planet was like when Germanicus and Raeni first developed it seven centuries ago. No pollution. No cities. Wildlife everywhere," he said to her, as his mind drifted off to think about the distant past.

"Nooo. Far, far away from the shoreline. I saw what that *thing* did to the tauntauns." She didn't trust Sir Tentacles to keep his tentacles to himself. The young woman let out a groan and nodded her head. She gasped as she recalled something. "Oooh! That guy is *sick*, Marcus! When I went to talk to him about your brother coming for our anniversary, he accidently turned on this weird, holographic projection of Sierra!" She exclaimed. "And...and...she was *naked*! I don't even wanna know what he was doing with that." She prayed he didn't have something like that of her, taken from her infamous intimate video. "He is pure evil. We're going to chase him off of Delaya." Zara hated him. Governor Arundel was more than a thorn in their sides. As he brought up the droid, she looked down at the pieces of Nana lying on the ground. "That sounds so pretty. I've thought a lot about that time since having her around too. It's cool that we can learn about your ancestors through her. At least the twins have one interesting side of the family." She grumbled. "I've been meaning to sit down with Nana and talk to her about what life was like *before*. I really hope I can restore her, Marcus.." She frowned. They needed their nanny.

"What?!" Marcus exclaimed as he listened to her story about the Sierra hologram. "Did you tell her?" he asked her, as he could not imagine anything so weird. "We have to be careful. If we make an attempt against him ... and fail ... or our involvement is discovered he, or his replacement, will punish our entire family ... including the children," he reminded her, as he reached his arm around her to draw her in. "I hope you can restore her too, Zara. I would like to know more about the history of my family beyond drunken exaggerations told me to me by my parents," he said, as he started to laugh while remembering some of them. They were so outrageous that he could have never believed they were true. The stuff of legend to make the family seem more important than it actually was.

"No!! How do I tell her that? How do I tell her that and *not* expect Claudius to come here and strangle Governor Arundel himself? I mean, not that I wouldn't like it.. It would just make for more problems." She drew herself in comfortably close to him. She stayed away from his injured ribs while relaxing with him. By the silence coming from the bassinet, she was sure the twins were *finally* taking a nap. "That's what makes it hard to bring Iyah in. I'm scared something bad will happen. The Rebels tried before and now look at the city." She frowned. "Since Luna stole Sia from us, I feel extra paranoid about something happening to them. We're risking their safety just by inviting the Rebels to come back." She had yet to begin feeling truly regretful for killing her sister. She giggled softly. "What kind of stories did your parents used to tell you? I feel like such a jerk for not trying harder with your parents. I was scared and your mother ... she was scary too. I don't think she ever expected us to last so long."

"Well that would be one way to solve our problems without the risk of being branded as Rebels," Marcus suggested, but then decided that would probably just endanger his brother and his family. "I'm not sure if the Rebels are strong enough to do this," he confessed to her, as what he had seen so far was nothing more than some starfighters and commandos. He had yet to be presented with any intelligence that led him to believe they could destroy an entire Imperial garrison. "I feel the same way. I don't want anything to happen to our children. It keeps me up at night," he admitted, as he turned his head to look at her cautiously. "Well of course every story begins with how they were screwed out of becoming King of Alderaan," he said, rolling his eyes, as he doubted a Rodney was ever that close to the throne. "...and how they were offered Delaya as a compromise to maintain the peace and avoid civil war, but really they just wanted to be rid of them. This planet was nothing then, and now ... well ... it's still not much ... but it's *not* nothing," he informed his wife, as he tried to remember some of the more colorful stories.

The doubt inside of Zara was beginning to surface now that they were talking about the Rebels. "I'm not sure either. Given what happened last time, there were still a bunch of AT-ATs and AT-STs in the city. Governor Arundel had the garrison rebuilt quicker than the medcenter. I don't know if we can put this in the hands of the Rebels right now, Marcus. I would like to see their manpower grow and more planets actually liberating by the Rebels before we ask them to come back." Her fingers ran up through his hair slowly. She felt for her husband. She, too, found it hard to sleep at night when the twins safety was in danger. Zara cuddled close and listened to the story of his family's beginning. "I didn't realize your family had gotten so close to becoming King of Alderaan.." She was thankful that hadn't worked out. The House of Rodney would have been eliminated at the time of Alderaan's destruction. "You spent a lot of time on Alderaan, didn't you? Is that why you had collected so many relics from Alderaan?"

"I don't think we got that close. I think it was just a nice story my parents liked to tell after too much wine," Marcus informed her, as he let out a soft sigh from the gentle stroking of his hair. "The droid might know, if you can get it working," he added, regretting that he never pressed the droid for story time while it was operational. "My mother served the government of Alderaan. I guess you could say I was a mama's boy," he said, with a quiet laugh at his youth. "I think that because I was the second son, and that Delaya was second to Alderaan, I was always envious and gathered what I could," he said, revealing a rare moment of vulnerability and insight on the complex insecurity that had been a part of his early development.

She giggled. She wondered how much wine was too much for Livia and Julius Rodney. The first time she had met them had brought on her unexpected engagement to Marcus. Even then, before noon, they'd been drunk. "I'm going to get it working again. I wanna find out the whole story. I did hear her say that Germanicus and Raeni had lots of kids. I guess that's a Rodney thing." She teased especially since Claudius had blurted out Sierra's second pregnancy. As far as she knew, Auntie Mae had some new commercials in the works. Her fingers continued to move through his hair. They had not spoken much about Livia since her passing. It had all come as such a surprise. She leaned forward to place a quick kiss to his lips. In his moment of vulnerability, she would protect him. "Lucky you did too." Zara fell quiet as she contemplated her next words. Staring down into his brown eyes, she spoke. "Livia would be proud of you, Marcus. You became Duke unexpectedly. Even with limitations, changes are happening. You're a good person for not disregarding our children's safety *and* our people's safety. The Rebel decision is not an easy one to make because you care about both."

"Well Germanicus and Raeni had an entire planet to populate," Marcus pointed out, as he tried to imagine those early days when Delaya was just beginning. "I imagine it's a lot like Jelena and New Alderaan," he said, as he was slightly envious of his niece and the new adventure she was undertaking. "Of course ... we have an entire planet to repopulate..." he reminded her, as his hand slowly moved towards her stomach. When she started talking about his mother he bit down on his lower lip to keep from becoming too sad. It was still a difficult thing to think about, and as he held Governor Arundel indirectly responsible for her death the issue of the Empire's presence came back on the forefront of his mind. "Thank you. Thank you..." he told her, as he tried to cling to a happy memory of his mother at this emotional moment.

Zara's hand moved to rest on top of his. Her heart had opened wide for the twins to the point where she knew she wanted to welcome more children with her wonderful husband. They certainly had the room to expand. Her fingers laced in between his. "Welllll, if you would rest and let yourself recover, then we could keep working on repopulating the planet." She reminded him. Zara wasn't going to let him do anything until he started feeling better. "I love you, my Marcus. I can't tell you how, but I *know* we're going to chase that man out." She snuggled him as a means of trying to keep him away from feeling too sad. They could relate, for Zara's mother had been killed at the hands of an Imperial Governor and she had never been able to see them suffer. She wanted something to happen to Governor Arundel...something terrible.

"I'm not the resting kind," Marcus reminded her, as he moved the hand that was on her stomach slowly down until it reached her thigh. "I love you too, Zara. We will still reign long after Papius Arundel is no longer Governor. We just have to devise a strategy that does not endanger our family or our people," he told her, with a firm nod of his head. As the subject again turned to Governor Arundel his mind went somewhere else as his hand began to caress her thigh, teasing her, and trying to warm her body temperature with something besides the 'Mustafar'setting on the thermostat.

"I'm telling..." Zara's threats were empty at this point. The simple gesture of his hand on her thigh started warming her up. This was exactly what had gotten them in trouble on the Sea Islands, even though it was Zara who initiated then. She agreed with him completely. "Seeing as I was a thief and you were a bounty hunter, I think we can come up with something." She disregarded Governor Arundel. Her husband was touching her and quickly turning her needy. Her hips rolled towards his hand. Suddenly, Zara didn't need the blankets to keep her warm. She didn't need clothing either. Her hands lowered the blankets from her body. She turned. Her hand rested on the bed beside his head. She lowered her mouth down to his. She kissed him with her pleasantly youthful, excited love. It was time to force Marcus to feel the heat.

"How can you think about him at a time like this," Marcus teased her, before returning her kiss, with a bit more force. His other hand moved up and down her back, his fingers digging into the soft fabric that covered her back. "Well, the doctor would be mad if I went any further," he told her, with a wink, as he withdrew his hands from her back and thigh and placed them on either side of his body. He closed his eyes, breathing through his nose loudly as if he were attempting to fake snore. He could be quite playful when he wanted to be.

"Mmm..." Zara's tongue teased at his lips. Despite his injuries, he was tempting her to be a very bad nurse. His wandering hands and forceful kiss made what was coming next obvious to her...and she was ready. She imagined the kiss' end leading straight into sexual bliss with her husband. Instead, he withdrew entirely and pretended to sleep. Zara made a face. "I guess you should let you sleep..." She adjusted. She made quick work of the simple dress she wore, tossing it, and her bra, aside. Her underwear remained to taunt him. Rodney red and boldly revealing, it seemed as if Zara's confidence in her image had come back. "It's too bad you're sleeping now. You're going to miss out." She grasped one of his hands and guided it to her bare back. She pressed his hand down the length of her back until he reached her mostly revealed rear end. "What a shammeee." She sighed dramatically. She loved playing with him.

Marcus was doing a poor attempt at pretending to be asleep when Zara began attempting to seduce him. An attempt which did not take effort to work. His fake snoring soon transitioned to heavy breathing as she began to strip and move his hands onto her body. "Uh. I'm awake. I'm awake," he told her, as his eyes suddenly opened and he looked up towards her. Without much warning he reached up with his other hand to grab hold of her, and then spun her around so that her back was on the bed and he was on top of her. As he did so, it caused the bed to make a noise that was just loud enough to wake the twins. As his mouth descended upon her to shower her face, neck, and chest with kisses the sound of the babies stirring began to fill the room. "Oh no," he cried, as he pulled his mouth up from her sternum, allowing his brown eyes to roll up her body until they settled on her face, searching for guidance.

"Marcus!" She giggled happily. Together, they rotated on the bed. Zara lay on her back. She opened up her legs so he could settle comfortably on top of her. From there, she was in the perfect position to grind herself against him freely. Marcus was drawing her away from reality. The moaning of the bed barely registered to her lust filled brain. She sighed and moaned quietly as he made her feel like one *very* loved woman. "I want you so bad," she whispered desperately once his kisses had made it to her chest. It all would have continued further if it wasn't for the fact that she heard the twins. She must have been moaning too loud and woke them. Her eyes had settled on the bassinet. She didn't respond to his silent question yet. She listened. The twins were waking, but they weren't demanding to be picked up, fed, or changed. Zara's chin tilted downward. "Keep going," she prodded him on. "Don't stop." Zara's arms extended. Her fingers hooked into his top as she began removing it. She hoped she wasn't making the wrong decision and that she and her husband would have some chance at intimacy before returning to the land of parenthood.

Marcus and Zara did not have much time for intimacy with all that had been going on, so neither of them was going to let the children crying stop them now. With her coaxing him to go no he placed his lips back to her sternum before licking his way down to her belly button. When he finally arrived there, he stuck his tongue into her belly button and began to swirl it around inside. When that was finished he placed a final kiss upon her belly button, before he began to crawl further down, arriving between her legs. Using his hands he began to part her legs, and then he moved his head from left to right to place a kiss on each of her thighs. As the passion intensified he could no longer feel the cold.

She sucked in a quick breath. Marcus' tongue teased her flesh and left goosebumps behind everywhere he licked. Zara felt breathless as her hunger for her husband grew. "Eee!" She squeaked. It tickled when he stuck his tongue into her belly button...but it also felt good. Her body had all but returned to its previous state before she'd gotten pregnant with the twins. With him between her legs, the temperature of Zara's body had gone far passed 'Mustafar'. Her skin was warm to the touch. "Mm..." She made a sweet whimper with each kiss he placed on her thighs. She tried to be patient for what came next, but each moment she waited added to her anticipation. Zara's fingers dug into his curly, dark hair. Her long nails massaged his scalp. It was her mouth that worked to arouse him further. "Whenever you mention us making more babies, it turns me on so much." She confessed in a quiet, seductive voice. "I miss it. I miss having your baby inside of me. I'm going to hurry up fixing up our droid so we can have a little more time to work on ... 'repopulating'." Her blue eyes looked down at him. (D)

"Well I'll do my part," Marcus vowed to her, before burying his face between her legs.

When it was over Marcus fell forward, crashing on top of her, with his face buried in the pillow. His face had a dumb grin on his face, as he drooled into the pillow, completely spent. Just as he began to get comfortable the babies began to cry again.

"I love you, I love you, I *love* you!" Zara repeated, placing kisses on his silly grin and his drooly face. It would have been nice to have a post-orgasmic nap, but the twins weren't on board with it. They sounded more frustrated now that they had to wait patiently for their parents to finish. Zara kissed him another time. "Rest. I'll take care of the twins." The sex had been wonderful. One of the perks afterward was that draw to rest. She playfully rolled until she was on top of him. Her hands quickly moved to the sides of the bed to stop herself from putting weight on his torso. "I love you, Marcus Rodney. Thank you for being so perfect." With her declaration, Zara rose from the bed. For her, this was just another day in paradise with her family.

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