Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:4:27) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Medcenter and Rodney Castle) and in the Essesia system: Esseles.
Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Lady Drusilla Rodney, Lady Jelena Rodney, Commander Sierra Rodney, and Doctor Pilaq Tohan.

Sierra Rodney had no idea how everyone survived the kidnapping ordeal. The trip back to Delaya was as chaotic as can be. She did everything she could to keep Kerrie Kiley alive while El-Nay piloted them home. The ship rattled as it blasted through space, causing Sierra to wonder, on more than one occasion, if the ship would hold or if they'd all die in hyperspace. A lifetime later, El-Nay had landed at the Medcenter in the city. Sierra's visit there was brief. Luna and Petrus were placed under arrest upon arriving while Kerrie was taken to swim in the bacta tank. Sierra refused treatment of herself with paranoia at the forefront of her mind. She'd already seen Gaius with his glum face. She knew he enjoyed seeing her bloodied up. He wanted her dead.

Instead, she commandeered a speeder and quickly started towards the Rodney castle. Her hand touched with the dried blood on her face. As tired as she was, she remained sharp and focused. She needed to reach Claudius. He needed to know that she was okay after all that had transpired.

Hazardously, Sierra burst from the speeder without even turning the engine off when she reached the castle. She ran as fast as her legs could carry her up, up, up to his office where she hoped to find the love of her life. She didn't take into consideration how terrible she looked at the moment. Her dress, shredded and bloody. Her face, not yet repaired from being smashed into a cage repeatedly. She was panting by the time she reached his office. "Claudius!" She was back. Sierra Rodney was *home*.

When Claudius overhead the struggle between Sierra and her captors during some commotion over Drusilla he had been in a state of absolute shock. He had been sitting near his HoloNet transceiver waiting for any word. There was no one to turn to ... the Alderaan Guard was compromised, and he did not want to give Governor Arundel or Major Zevrin the satisfaction of knowing he needed them. He had not slept since transmitting the money, nor had he showered or shaved, nor even eaten. It had been so long since he had heard anything he was beginning to fear the worst. When the door to his office opened he had to blink his eyes several times to make sure what he was seeing was real and not some angelic illusion. "Sierra?" he asked, wanting it to be true, as he weakly rose from his seat. He looked at her face, which caused his knees to buckle. A cold shiver ran down his spine and, to him, it looked infinitely worse than it was. "Are you okay?" he asked in a panic, as he surged toward her despite his weakness. "Are you okay?" he asked her, as he wrapped his arms tightly around her, never wanting to let go. "Is ... is Bruce okay?" he asked, his lips quivering in fear as he spoke. "...Drusilla?" he asked, as his thoughts drifted to his youngest child. There was so much he did not know ... and wanted to know ... but first he needed to know that everyone was okay.

Seeing Claudius made the fight that Sierra had endured to make it back to him worth it again and again. She could never let him down by letting those terrible people hurt Drusilla, thus why she had become Sierra's priority from the beginning. She began to cry as relief washed over her. "Claudius..." She moved towards him, grasping her weakened husband so she could help him stand once more. She pressed her face into his shoulder, holding him as tightly as she could.

He had been left in the dark since the last video transmission, meaning the image he was left with was Sierra's face being pounded. In his voice, she heard his greatest fears and slowly, ever so slowly, they fell to their knees on the ground together. Her head pulled back enough to look into his eyes. "I'm okay...I promise, it's looks much worse than it is. Are you okay?" She knew when he wasn't taking care of himself. She nodded her head. "Bruce is okay. Drusilla is on her way here. I didn't let them lay a finger on her." Sierra leaned on him for support. It had been difficult to be away from him and to fight to survive. She breathed in his familiar scent. "Everything is secure." She whispered. "I rerouted the credits back to the family's account. I had those terrible bounty hunters arrested." Her eyes closed. She wasn't going to let go.

Claudius' hands drew into her back as he clung to her. Without her physical support it was likely that he would tumble to the ground, as the emotional blows he had suffered from this ordeal were still with him. "Really?" he asked, as his brown eyes widened and teared up, listening to her assure him that she, their unborn child, and Drusilla were all well. "I don't care about the money. I just want my family secure," he said, before attempting to move her from the office. "We need to get you cleaned up," he said to her, as he began leading her from his office towards the private set of stairs that would lead up to their master suite in the tallest spire of the castle. If the structure were not ancient and protected he would have put in a turbolift. He could not imagine Sierra doing all of these steps when she were as pregnant as his sister-in-law. Eventually they reached the master bedroom and, leaving her for just a moment, he moved to the refresher to begin drawing a bath. He did not allow the door to close, and his eyes never left her, so much so that he did not pay close enough attention to the temperature of the water and burned himself slightly. "Ouch," he cried out to himself, before pulling his hand from beneath the faucet. He had to be more careful. It seemed both of the Rodney brothers were prone to clumsiness. Would it be the same for his son with Sierra?

It had taken a massive amount of effort to secure her family. Sierra was relieved that all of her duckling were, once again, safe. She swore to never let it happen again. She agreed that she needed to get cleaned up. Her clothing smelt of blood. Her face was plastered in it as facial wounds tend to bleed profusely. Standing at the bottom of the stairs, Sierra looked up. She was never going to make it. The stairs seemed to multiply like rabbits until she needed to travel up a hundred flights to reach where she was going. Still, she forced herself, step after step, to make it to the top.

Inside of their bedroom, Sierra sat on the edge of the bed. She began working her way out of her dress. From the neck down, the only injury she had was a bleeding wrist from scraping her skin when freeing herself from her stun cuffs. There were a few bruises but nothing serious. She had walked away from her ordeal fairly unscathed. She made it halfway out of her dress when Claudius burnt himself. "Are you okay?" She asked, pushing herself off of the bed. Her dress slid off of her waist. She left it behind on the floor as she moved to him. She gently took his burnt hand and kissed it. "I'm sorry it took so long to get back. You paid the ransom but that wasn't enough for them. If you hadn't sent Kerrie and your brother after me, those bastards would have killed me." Her other hand brushed over his cheek. She would treasure his days with him more than ever.

Claudius winced noticeably when he saw Sierra undress. Each minor blemish looked like a catastrophic wound to the worried old man. "You have nothing to apologize for, my love," he said, as he lowered his head to hers to place a loving kiss upon her sweet, young lips. "I ... I didn't send them," he said, as he considered what she had told them. "They were going to kill you?" he asked, gowing increasing incensed. His teeth clenched against one another as his jaw shut, as he did everything he could to prevent an outburst in front of her. He could only assume that his sister-in-law was still monitoring their transmissions. It seemed the over-pregnant young woman could do much more than watch the HoloNet at this point in her pregnancy. He was angry at so many people for so many things, but his gratitude to having everyone back was helping to maintain his calm.

She kissed him back. Her heart felt so good as it pumped inside of her chest. She couldn't ask for more...her family was safe and she was with the person she loved above all others. "You didn't send them?" She had assumed that he reached out to Kerrie and Marcus. El-Nay was part of the Kerrie packaged deal. "Yes. They tried to throw me out of the ship." She shivered. "Kerrie was there as was El-Nay. They both fought against my captors. Kerrie is at the medcenter now. She was badly hurt...Don't worry. She's submerged in bacta. She'll be okay too." She didn't want him to be angry. It was a joint effort that brought her home. "Marcus showed up once Kerrie was down. He took care of Zara's sister and that man. I don't know exactly why he was there, but I'm grateful." She drew herself away from him briefly to collect his shaving cream and razor. Carefully, she settled down into the tub. She set the items aside and began washing her face off. As the blood disappeared, she began to look much better. "Don't make me bathe alone.." She said, forcing her lower lip to become pouty.

Claudius was used to being in a bacta tank. It seemed she spent more time submerged within one than she did anywhere else. "Wait ... Marcus took care of them? How did Marcus take care of them?" he asked, as he suddenly became very perplexed by this sudden and unexpected development. To him, Marcus was nothing more than a drunk playboy who squandered his money on gambling, vacations, and women. The notion that *he* could have taken out Sierra's captors was completely foreign to him. He began to strip out of his Imperial uniform, which he had worn for several days straight, and was better burned than cleaned at this point. He daintily stepped into the hot water of the tub, before sliding down into the chest high water. He let out a soothing groan of pleasure as the warm water did much to heal his aching, aging joints. But as he looked across at her he could not help but still wonder how his brother was of any use at all.

Watching him join her, Sierra began to laugh. "I know, I know. I didn't think Marcus knew how to properly use a blaster let alone take out someone the size of that terrible man. I wondered if there was more going on with him and his wife before. Think about it, Zara hacked into the Retributor. She dug into ISB files without anyone ever knowing. That's not luck...that's skill. She's experienced. Marcus wore a helmet. He didn't want anyone to know he was there so we should probably count our blessings and not make a big deal out of it." Though, Sierra was totally sending a basket with Auntie Mae's in it. She let out a sigh. "Whatever his motives were, I'm so glad to be with you." And thus, Sierra destroyed his personal bubble. She settled into his lap. She nuzzled herself into him. She loved him *so* much. Sierra reached over to the side of the tub to snatch up his shaving cream. She shook the bottle and distributed some of the white, fluffy cream onto her hand. "I can tell you haven't been taking care of yourself." Her hands softly painted his face with shaving cream. "So I'll be resuming my duty of taking care of you myself." She dipped her hands into the water. She picked up his razor next. Ever so carefully, she started shaving his face. "There's one ray of sunshine in all of this." She reported to him. A smile slipped over her face. "It's new, but I think I can feel our baby moving."

Claudius listened to Sierra indict Zara in the manner of an ISB agent. He had never put the pieces together and so skillful a manner as his wife had just done. "Who did my brother marry?" he asked, sounding equal bits concerned and confused. His eyes moved past her, as if he was staring at the wall behind her, but in reality was looking far off into the unknown. He had been so preoccupied with his career and his life that he really had spent far too little time examining those around him. "It's hard to take care of myself when I'm so concerned about you," he revealed, as she set to work to shave his face and return him to his clean shaven glory. "Really?!" he asked, as he moved his hand to her stomach almost immediately. He moved his hand around in a desperate effort to find even the smallest tremor. Their future was only inches away from his grasp.

"Seeing what Marcus did to help rescue me, whoever he married, I'm sure he will be fine." She said in attempt to comfort Claudius. Sierra leaned forward. She nuzzled her nose against his. "I know. I'm here now and I'm okay." She did her best to reassure him. Once they both got some good sleep, they'd both feel better. Half of his face was shaved when she suddenly stopped. She feared she might injure him in her excitement. She looked down into the water as his hand searched for the feeling of their small boy. "Can you feel anything?" Her pregnancy was already obvious. Her belly was no longer flat, instead, it was rounded. It made her incredibly happy...and all the more impatient for Bruce's birth. Her hand met with his. "Um..." The feeling was still so new and foreign. She directed his hand across her stomach. "There. He's moving right now!"

Claudius sucked in a shocked gasp of air as he felt the smallest of movements from within Sierra. He began to smile as laugh with glee, thrashing about in the tub so much that water overflowed the rim and spilled out onto the floor. It was the most wonderful feeling he had ever experienced. He looked to Sierra with a mixture of love and awe, unable to find the words to express what he was feeling at that particular moment. He did not need words, however, as his face did more to express his feelings than mere words ever could.

Without warning a young, female member of the Alderaan Guard made her way into the refresher. Normally, a member of the guard would have maintained a safe distance outside of the master suite, and never dared enter without receiving permission. Clearly protocol was being broken, and that either meant something was wrong, or this particular guard was up to something. Her hands moved towards either side of her large, white blast helmet, which concealed most of her face beneath her visor. As the helmet was removed it soon became apparent what was going on ... it was Jelena Rodney. "Ugh. Gross. You guys," she complained, as she looked down at them in the bath. She let out a disgusted sigh, before quickly turning her back on them. "You *need* to see this," she said, before activating the HoloNet receiver in the wall near the tub.

"I never would have been kidnapped if I had been allowed to keep my yacht," the young voice of Drusilla Rodney declared to the HoloNet reporter. Drusilla was all right, but she was giving an impromptu press conference near where her escape pod had landed on Esseles. "I am the daughter of a Grand Moff and the Duke of Delaya, but my father thinks so little of my safety and wellbeing that he denied me the simple security of a private vessel to use ... to help the Esselian economy!" she added, before smiling towards the many cameras, and bashing her eyelashes to look like the sweet, innocent young girl that she was not. "I would think the cost of such a vessel would be far less than what he had to pay in ransom to get me back!" she said, perhaps a bit too shrill, before remembering what was at stake and going back into bashful mode.

Sierra knew the very moment that he felt something. A smile burst forth on her face. She laughed with him. The baby's movements pleased her. They let her know that their son was active, busily growing into the boy that they'd hold someday soon. She felt such immense love from her husband. They needed no words. She simply understood. Bruce was a miracle.

The celebration only lived so long at the appearance of the Alderaan Guard woman. Sierra was too tired to feel embarrassed by a stranger seeing her body. It'd happened before. She groaned. Her mind was formulating what words she'd say to the guard to make her depart. "No one ever knocks anymore..." She said. When the guard removed her helmet she was shocked. "Jelena?!...Hey! We're married and *you're* the one who barged in here." Sierra laughed. Oye...what the hell was going on now? Her eyes traveled to HoloNet receiver while her stomach tightened. Her first worry was for Drusilla's safety. Had something happened again? That very instant, her questions were answered. She relaxed in her husband's lap. "Thank goodness. She made it home safe."

Sierra's brain was delayed. It took her a full thirty seconds to digest the words coming out of her step-daughter's mouth. As soon as she did, her jaw dropped. The *yacht*!? "Oh my." Two words were all she could manage. She felt a combination of fury and exhaustion. Dru was *not* an easy child. She looked at Claudius. "You know, we will die hearing about the yacht. I should have given in and let her have the stupid thing." But then she wouldn't prove a point. Temper tantrums didn't get you what you wanted. With a groan, Sierra lowered her forehead onto his shoulder. "Can you get her back to the castle please, Jelena?" She didn't even know where to start when dealing with Drusilla. Sierra forced her head to lift. She picked up Claudius' razor and carefully finished shaving his face.

Claudius, too, was relieved to see a soiled but safe Drusilla on the HoloNet, but when he heard the context of what she was saying he felt frustrated and embarrassed. However, that was very much the young girl he knew, and if she were back to harping about the lost yacht he knew that she was fine. "That's what I tried to tell you," he said, with a shrug, trying his best to explain the complexities of his youngest daughter. "I've never been considered father of the year material though," he said with a smirk, as he did his best to cover all of his shortcomings from the eyes of his eldest daughter. It was difficult to have any kind of discussion with her around while he was in this compromised position.

"That's for sure!" Jelena scoffed, with a snort of air at her father's comment about not winning any parenting awards. "Jelena do this, Jelena do that," she said, mocking Sierra as she made her request concerning Drusilla. "Okay ... *mom*," she said, in that annoyed tone of voice, before sticking the helmet back on top of her head. "Oh. Hope the water didn't get cold while we were talking," she snorted, with one last dig, before heading out of the refresher, and then the bed chamber, and eventually the castle to go and pick up Drusilla from Esseles.

"I'm not going to give it now. It's way too late for that." She decided to firmly stand with her decision. If she backpedaled, she'd be eating her words for the rest of her life. There was no winning. As Jelena walked away, Sierra laughed. "Claudius...did you hear that? One of the girls called me 'mom'!" She knew full well that her friend was being sarcastic. Jelena was right. The water was no longer the near-molten temperature that Sierra liked. Washing the leftover shaving cream from her husband's face, she began to get out of the bath tub. She dried herself off, then grabbed a towel to try him off. "I'm glad to see Drusilla's well. The wildfires can be put out tomorrow." With her face clean of blood, she felt more comfortable kissing her love. Her lips locked with his. The happiness instantly returned. Nothing else mattered because she had him and their family.

The water had grown too cool for Claudius' liking as well ... another *gift* from his brooding eldest child. "I don't think..." he began, but then caught that she was being sarcastic, and stopped himself. He rose from the bath quickly, desperately needing his robe, as at his age he felt the cold more quickly than he was used to. Unfortunately, he slipped on the spilled bath water and went down hard on the tile floor faster than he had moved in years. "Oof!" he groaned, as his hip slammed into the tile, sending a reverberation of pain throughout his entire frame. "Well don't just stand there ... get me up! Get me up!" he exclaimed to Sierra, playfully, as he offered both of his hands to her. Wet floors ... a crippling design floor almost as severe as the Death Star's exhaust port.

Oooh *shit*! He went down so fast that Sierra couldn't perform some superman-like act and save him before he hit the ground. There was that terrible, horrible sound of flesh colliding hard with the tile floor. She could hear the pain. It causing her to make a face. "Ohmygosh! Claudius!" That man, goodness, *that* man. He could make this all fun and games. Looking concerned, Sierra took both of his hands. "If this is a ploy to get me to let my guard down so you can tickle me... I'm onto you." She managed to play back as she helped him to his feet. She grasped his robe while helping him out of the dangerous bathroom. Still wearing her own towel, she gave him no choice but to slid into his robe and sit on the bed. "Are you okay? That looked *really* painful. I'll send for Pilaq...." She started. Instead of letting him put up any sort of fight, she added. "You know, because I should probably see a doctor after all that happened." It was really for him! She was starting to regret not being a medical doctor. With Claudius, she was sure she'd gain that knowledge quickly.

"I'm fine!" Claudius declared, as Sierra helped him back onto his feet. He walked with her, limping slightly, as they returned to the bedroom and the comfort of his Corellian king mattress. "You need a doctor? Are you feeling alright?" he asked her, in a slight panic, as he was feeling over-overprotective of his young wife. "If you need Doctor Tohan summon him at once!" he insisted, as he wrapped the robe more tightly around him to absorb the last of the moisture that still hung on his flesh. "Perhaps he can update us on the others," he said, as he had felt that he had been neglectful of Kerrie since Major Zevrin demoted and reassigned her. In the back of his mind he was concerned about her latest series of injuries.

"You're not fine!" She argued as she prodded at the hip he'd just mashed into the ground. She was trying to make a point! Sierra left him to rest at the bed while she pulled her towel away from her body. If Pilaq was coming, she needed to make herself semi-decent. "I'm only feeling tired. I'm sure that's attributed to the fact that I haven't slept and I'm emotionally spent. It's better to be safe than both of our cases." She stood at the closet. Whatever energy she had left was pretty much gone. Instead of trying to make herself Duchess-level presentable, she grabbed a nightgown and threw it on. From there, she used a comlink to summon Doctor Tohan. It had been some time since they had seen their friend. Sierra missed him. "That would be nice too. If you didn't summon Kerrie, I wonder why she was there." She joined him on the bed. "Mmm..." It was so soft. Disregarding all thoughts of what Farrah and Gaius might have done in their bed, she laid down on her side.

Doctor Pilaq Tohan was being forced to move from location to location treating members of the House of Rodney and their staff. Between the injuries and the pregnancies his small, private practice was booming. He had only just got done at the Leiliani medcenter and had begun preparing something wholesome to eat when his comlink beeped, summoning him to the castle. His large, bulbous eyes blinked slowly in silence as he put aside the foolish notion of dinner and began moving towards the speeder that would take him up the mountains to the ancient castle. When he finally arrived, his tired legs carried him inside of the castle towards the stairs that led to the Duke and Duchess' suite. It was easy on a Star Destroyer with all of its modern conveyances, and the one flight of stairs at the estate on Esseles was manageable, but in front of him stood a spiral staircase of doom. Staring at it in silence, his hand tightened around his walking stick carved from fallen Ithorian wood, and began slowly ascending the millennia old stairs that dated to the Old Republic. After what seemed like an eternity he arrived at their suite in worse shape than either of their patients, promptly taking a seat, as he looked over the both of them. Perhaps he should have sent a medical droid. He noticed bruises on Sierra, despite her bathing, and grew immediately concerned. "What has happened?" he asked, as she had fled the medcenter too quickly after depositing Kerrie, El-Nay, and the prisoners.

Almost instantly, Sierra felt like a dick for not relocating from their suite. Pilaq Tohan was too old to deal with all of that. At this point, she was simply too tired. She tried to nap in between summoning Pilaq and his arrival, but that didn't happen. No sooner had she found herself a comfortable spot beside Claudius did the good doctor arrive. "Mmm..?" She seated herself upright on the bed. She offered Pilaq a gentle smile. "Pilaq." She wished they saw each other on better occasions. His immediate concern for her was warranted. Without the blood, it was still apparent that she'd been through an ordeal. "Some idiots thought it to be a good idea to capture Drusilla and myself. I was able to help Dru escape at a cost. Can you take a look?" She asked him softly. "And please, look at Claudius too. He fell when he was getting out of the tub." Sierra ratted her husband out, peering over at him like she was the smart guy. She positioned herself at the edge of the bed where she embraced Pilaq. "Thank you for coming. I'm really, *really* sorry about the stairs."

A loud groan of disapproval emerged from both of Pilaq's mouths, sounding like an old speeder in desperate need of service. "You must endeavor to be more careful, milady," he said, before attempting to rise from his seat. His attempt was *nearly* successful, but he found himself quickly falling back down into it. The second time was more successful, as he made greater use of his staff. He moved towards the bed, placing his bag of equipment between them, nearly dumping it unceremoniously. "*He* can wait," he said, referencing Claudius, whose mishaps he had been examining for more than two decades. His attention quickly focused on Sierra's midsection, examining her both with the long digits of his hands, and the advanced medical tools at his disposal. "You will be relieved to know the baby is unharmed," he said, with a firm nod of his rather larger hammer-shaped head. He pressed one finger to Claudius' hip who winced noticeably. "The other baby is fine too," he declared, with a little snark, before beginning to pack up his tools. "Bed rest for the both of you," he said, before sealing his medical bag. "Perhaps separate beds," he added, with a little more snark for good measure.

Pilaq had a way of making her feel like such a child. She knew she was in trouble by the sound of his groan. She nodded her head, "Yes sir." The age of Pilaq really sank in the first time he attempted to stand. She never wanted to lose the doctor. He had been in her life for so long now. It was hard to imagine a day where they didn't have him. Sierra was still and obedient during her exam. Pilaq confirmed that Bruce was okay which took a twenty thousand pound weight of her chest. "Oh my, that's wonderful. Thank you!" The little baby they'd felt not long ago was still okay. He had quite a while left inside of his mother's tummy. She realized she needed to do a better job of protecting her boy. He gave her a second peace of mind after examining Claudius. She smiled and laughed. "Thank you so much. I'm pleased to hear both of my babies are well." The young Duchess began helping Pilaq to pack his bag. His snarky comment earned another laugh. This one was much harder than the last. Her shoulders shrugged. "Well, I'm not getting anymore pregnant!" She grinned. Her hand touched his. "Will Kerrie be okay?" She squeezed his hand. "I appreciate you being here for all of us. Please, Zara's baby shower is next week. You should come. With all the Rodneys in one place, I can't promise you that you won't need your medical bag... But, I hear the hors d'oeuvres will be good."

"My job is to keep you from getting any *less* pregnant," Pilaq stressed, with the complications surrounding Drusilla's birth that took her mother's life still weighing heavy on his heart. "Maj- ... Commander Kiley is recovering. It is not her *worst* her injury that I have treated," he said, before collecting his bag and preparing to leave. "A baby shower? Hmm..." he said, as his two mouths rumbled loudly as he blew air through them. "...what floor will it be on?" he asked, remembering the staircase that lay in front of him. At least it was easier going down than up, he thought silently to himself. "Very well. I will see you then ... provided you two heed my advice," he said, before exiting the room. As he entered the hallway he saw that the servants had brought dinner to the suite, but left it outside of the room as to not disturb them. He eagerly snatched their dinners and began descending down the stairs, taking the much needed food in lieu of payment.

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