Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:4:2) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Medcenter and Marcus Rodney's chalet and Sea Islands) and Nerf Herder.
Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Lord Marcus Rodney, Commander Sierra Rodney, and Lady Zara Rodney.

The last of the tauntauns was gone. The experiment in becoming a gentleman rancher had accomplished nothing more than feeding the sea monster that lay beneath the frozen lake that adjoined the chalet. The presence of food would draw the creature nearer and he doubted that it would ever move on now. When he returned from the blood splattered ice fields he was quick to remove his gloves, scarf, and hat as he allowed the artificial heat to flow over his face. In a way he was glad to no longer have to deal with the tauntauns, but neither of them had a source of income anymore. Her birthday was upon them ... seventeen ... quite the scandal. He moved apprehensively towards the sofa, where he eventually activated the holonet screen in front of him. He was nervous about what the coverage of Zara's birthday would be like, but to his dismay all of the attention was focused on Claudius and Sierra's occupation of the sea islands. "What..!" he exclaimed bitterly, as he felt his brother had stolen his idea. "Zara!" he called out, sounding equal parts angry and concerned. They had been accused of trespassing for having their wedding there, but the coverage seemed entirely positive about Claudius building a home there. "Maybe I should have agreed to be Duke after all," he muttered under his breath, as he glared at the HoloNet screen in front of him.

There seemed to be a daily battle for the safety of the tauntauns. As they lay in bed the prior evening, Zara could recall hearing the death cry of their final tauntaun. It was over. Sir Tentacles was not going to allow for them to keep livestock outside. She began to seriously consider getting rid of the chalet's most trusty bodyguard ... and the biggest pain in the ass. This thought had taken her to far as to sit at the HoloNet terminal and begin reaching out to giant squid rescue agencies. It was important that they found stability in the north. Even without Sir Tentacles, it was unlikely that any HoloNet reporters would be ballsy enough to brave the cold to *potentially* catch them in a scandalous act.

To her relief, the HoloNet's attention had turned away from that of her and Marcus. Her seventeenth birthday could pass quietly without anyone pointing out the large age difference between her and Marcus. It seemed to run in the family...just look at Claudius and his wifey! Zara was beginning to feel her own bout of frustration. What the hell did she do with Sir Tentacles?! As she attempted to burn a hole in the screen with her eyes, Marcus lifted her from her anger. The sound of his voice had her rising quickly. "What is it?!" She called out worriedly. She waddled towards him. "What did the beast do *this* time?" As Zara lowered herself down on the couch, she caught the news on the holoscreen before them. "*What!?* What is *that*!?" She asked, pointing to the news of Claudius building a home at the sacred sea islands. For all the bull shit they had gotten from the media, she was shocked to see everyone supporting his brother's move. She heard reports about how it showed how much the new Duke *cared* about the environment. He was seeing to it that nothing happened. "Bullshit!"

"There has always been a double standard," Marcus lamented, as he moved to change the HoloNet frequency to The Real Huttwives of Nal Hutta. He could not bare to watch another moment of his brother's endlessly positive press coverage. He let out a deep sigh, as he rose from the sofa, and moved to his *very* pregnant wife. "And how are you today?" he asked, before kissing her on the lips briefly. He then dropped to his knees and buried his face in her stomach lovingly. "And how are you two today?" he asked, before placing a couple of kisses on her stomach as well. The act complete he stood back up, letting out a slight groan, as he was getting to the age where his old bounty hunting injuries were beginning to cause pain to his knees and back.

Zara felt furious. She hated the double standard. A heir and a spare, just like Julius had said. She was angry for all the times Marcus had gotten the short end of the stick because he was younger than his brother. She tried to not have an outburst: conceal, don't feel. She managed to smile at her husband and kiss him tenderly. "I'm feeling really good!" Which was something when you were twenty-five weeks pregnant with twins. She giggled as he buried his face into her tummy. She could feel the twins doing cartwheels. They knew when Daddy was around. "They said there's not enough room in here and that mommy's bladder makes for an amazing trampoline." Zara wasn't letting go of it. She still felt angry. All of a sudden, she was opening her mouth.

"It's not fair! I hate the double standard! It'll be a continuous, never ending thing too. Our son is going to have to deal with the same stuff you did. We should go confront them! Those islands are special to us. They have a castle to live in already." Grumble, grumble, grumble! She had pregnancy on her side. They would fear her!

"You're right! It's not fair!" Marcus said, getting more worked up, rather than attempting to calm her down as he should have. Maybe it was the loss of the tauntaun herd, or maybe it was a lifetime of being treated differently than his *perfect* brother. "You're right!" he said to her, before moving to get her fur coat in a size six larger than normal. Fortunately enough tauntauns had died to produce the garment ... a silver living in their tragic deaths. In a moment they were in their winter gear and making their way through the blinding snow towards the Nerf Herder. Her birthday was shaping up to become another dramatic showdown between the brothers.

Life was *good*. Sierra Rodney was pleased. The sea island home was getting closer and closer to reaching completion. The HoloNet was *finally* on team Sierradius. Not only that, but her connection in the ISB had been more than willing to help her dig up information on the unwelcomed visitor. She was expecting to hear back from her friend soon with additional info that could either make, or break, the whole experience with him. The Duke and Duchess of Delaya had escaped their responsibilities early to enjoy the sea islands. They had set up a hammock between two massive trees near the water. There, Sierra was nearly falling asleep beside her husband. The ocean calmed her. The sound of the waves was like a lullaby. She stopped fighting the weight of her eyes. As her breathing evened, she drifted off. An unusual sound in the distance awoke her. It was the hum of an engine. It was far away, but drawing closer. Her eyes opened and a look of seriousness crossed over her face. "Someone is coming..." She announced. When the craft came into view, she realized that it was Marcus and Zara's ship. Had Claudius invited them for an outing? She was oblivious that it was her sister's birthday.

Zara had all the time she needed to get herself properly angry. She focused herself on the mistreatment of her husband. What made Claudius so *perfect* after all!? Sure, given media coverage, he looked better than his brother, but that didn't mean anything! Seeing the construction of Claudius and Sierra's home infuriated her. "Oh my god, it's like a freaking sea tumor!" Zara complained as she attempted to shed her coat. The sight of the sea islands alone reminded her of how warm it was. "Can we blow it up?" She asked. It was really questionable if she was kidding or not.

Marcus' hands moved to the Nerf Herder's weapon's controls, as he targeted the under construction estate that was being constructed off the shore of the sea islands. His finger twitched over the trigger, but he could not pull it. "Argh!" he groaned in a mix of anger and frustration as he instead circled the ship around to land on the sand near Claudius and Sierra's shuttle. "No. It would only damage the seabed," he said, justifying his lack of action, as he rose from his seat to set to the difficult task of helping his *very* pregnant wife up from her seat and down the ramp. They were at the site of their private wedding, which had been transformed into his brother's latest home. He had been banished to the arctic north while his older brother spoiled the pristine nature of the sea islands for a massive estate.

Was he seriously going to do it?! Zara watched, neither pushing him on or trying to stop him. Instead of watching fireworks on her birthday, they landed on the island for some good ol' confrontation. "Damn... You're right..." She snapped her fingers then quickly undid her seat belt. Being pregnant with twins wasn't easy when you wanted to be upright. She *needed* his help. Don't mention to her that, at max, she could have fifteen more weeks left of this.

It made her even more unhappy to see the place of her wedding marred by her brother-in-law's camp. "Nooo..." She whined. "They are ruining the islands, Marcus!" Zara stated dramatically.

Sierra didn't know what had brought Marcus to the islands. Perhaps he was sick of the cold and seeking out the tropical paradise. She moved quickly out of the hammock, scrambling to grab her cover up so her relatives wouldn't see her in such a state of undress. After shielding her bikini clad body from the sudden guests, she darted through the sand quickly to meet up with Zara and Marcus. She couldn't help staring at Zara's belly and feeling entirely too grateful that fate hadn't given them twins. She couldn't imagine how the younger teen did it. A smile appeared on her face. "Brother, sister! What a wonderful surprise!" By wonderful, she meant terrible. Her nap had been derailed.

Claudius was trying to relax when Sierra told him that someone was coming, and then the sound of the engines forced him to open his eyes and look up at the sky. He knew at once that it was his brother's ship, and he moved to climb out of the hammock as well. It was always a difficult task to get out of it and rather than gracefully escape he found himself falling face forward onto the sand. "Oof," he groaned, before staggering to his feet and following behind Sierra to greet his brother and sister-in-law. He echoed his wife's sentiments, but was more standoffish than her. As he caught up to Sierra he moved his arm around her back to hold her, waiting for them to make the first move in the conversation.

Marcus descended the ramp of the Nerf Herder still wearing his arctic wear, having not bothered to change given how angry he was. He looked ridiculous. "Brother, this is unacceptable," he said, in a protesting voice before even a formal greeting was offered. "These sea islands should be uninhabited. My wife and I were crucified for merely setting foot on these beaches, and now you're building a house?" he asked, arguing at the double standard. It was yet another strain between him and his brother. As he looked over the massive construction project offshore he only became more incensed. He was feeling the role of the spare more and more.

The sight of Claudius served to anger Zara more. She saw herself as Marcus' protector in everything. She didn't like it when her husband was disrespected and treated like he was less than his brother. From the first meeting with Julius and Livia, she had been defending him. Poor Sierra was unaware that a vicious animal such as Zara was attracted by motion. The second the Duchess opened her mouth, Zara's tunnel vision centered around her. She refused to look at the project again. She wanted to cling to the image of the islands that she had experienced when they were married. It was dark and beautiful. There had been so many fireflies.

"And you're being praised for it!? We saw a report about your new home. All we did was get married. We barely touched the islands!" She couldn't help thinking about the scandal and what it was like to see nude posters of herself hanging in shops. Absolutely *nothing* happened to Claudius and Sierra. "It isn't fair! You guys get to stay here while we freeze our butts up in the north. It just shows the divide between the heir and the spare. That's *exactly* what your father called it. He said it would be the same way for our son. Marcus has had to deal with getting less his whole life."

Sierra leaned against her husband affectionately. Observant as she was, she didn't see this coming. Marcus and his wife instantly began launching their attack on the blind sided couple. They were angry over the sea islands were angry about the division of fairness in the Rodney family. When Zara brought up Julius, she, too, could recall that moment. It had made her feel uncomfortable. She began to speak. "I promise you, the construction of our new home was done with no vindictiveness towards either you or Zara. Claudius and I treasure the islands too. They also offer a level of privacy that we can't obtain within city limits. We have taken every precaution to make sure the environment isn't hurt by this. I am sorry. It was unfair of us to not consider your feelings." She wasn't sure how to calm them both down. "The castle is nearly empty. You two can move in there... " She suggested nervously.

"The castle?" Marcus repeated, incredulously, as he looked down to Sierra. "No one wants to live in the castle. Let mother haunt it until her dying day," he suggested, folding his arms in front of his chest, while rolling his eyes at her ludicrous suggestion. "The natural wonder of these islands should be left untouched. Live in the castle. Live on a Star Destroyer. Just don't live here," he demanded, frustrated by what Claudius could get away with, and what he was persecuted for. He shook his head and began to turn away, as he felt their arguments were falling on deaf ears.

"Don't talk to my wife like that!" Claudius shouted, in dramatic fashion, as he learned the lesson of not immediately sticking up for her during their encounter with Rikka. He grabbed his brother from behind, wrapping his arms around him tightly. Soon they were on the sand, rolling back and forth, and kicking and scratching at one another. Before too long they were in the ocean, rolling into the surf, and even on top of the sea cow. It was up to the women to either break it up or let them get it out of their system.

The castle wasn't frozen solid... It seemed like a good compromise. It did not please Marcus. Sierra was quite sure she had only succeeded in making her brother more upset. He was remarkably rude with her, going so far as to turn his back on her when the conversation wasn't over. Sierra felt mildly irritated while trying to still reason with the couple. To her surprise, Claudius came right up to defend her to his brother for a second time. It all played out too fast to stop him. In the blink of an eye, both men were on the sand acting like they were half their age. Sierra felt pride in him for defending her even when she was damn certain wrestling wasn't going to solve anything. She saw Marcus' warm hat on the sand as the two men trailed towards the water. Sea Betsy watched them excitedly. She thought they were joining her in the water for play time. When they began to fight on top of her, she merely crept further out towards the sea. Sierra shook her head and laughed. "Let them go. They need to get it out. I understand how Marcus and you are feeling. I didn't realize how far the division was between the brothers until speaking with Julius. I know why you're worried. The fact that we all recognize there's a problem gives us a chance of fixing it."

Like Marcus, Zara was turning her back on everything. There was *no* way that they were going to live in the castle again. They had left as a way to live without every eye in the Rodney family focusing on them. Besides, the idea of living with Livia scared her to the core. Zara was still furious. It didn't stop when Claudius savagely attacked her husband. "Get him in the jaw!" She called out supportively. A Zara never forgets. She had not fully let go of the fact that her brother-in-law had broken her husband's jaw. "If I wasn't so pregnant, I'd fight you." Zara grumbled, giving in to Sierra to for the time being. Both of the women sat on a blanket on the beach. "It really isn't fair. The only time Marcus was treated differently was when we considered him becoming Duke, and then when Julius found out about our son. It's fucked up if you think about it." She crossed her legs. Hmph!

Claudius and Marcus were rolling about in the water, much too aggressive as they both needed to let out steam. Unfortunately the next roll slammed Claudius' head into a submerged rock, cracking the back of his skull and rendering him unconscious. Marcus did not realize what happened at first, but eventually he could see that his brother had stopped resisting and the water near his head was beginning to turn red. When he stopped fighting he saw that Claudius was unconscious and he immediately released his grasp on him. "Oh no!" he screamed, as he looked towards Sierra and Zara on the shore. "Help! Get help!" he said in a panic, realizing everything had gone much too far. Once again what started as a small quarrel had become a family altering event.

Until Marcus began to scream, Sierra was content with trying to reassure Zara that all was going to be okay. She was willing to work with them to right whatever wrongs she could. Her eyes went wide, attention shooting down into the water where she saw *blood* and the lifeless body of her husband. Her heart ripped in half, emotions and panic gushing out all over the place. The little voice inside of her head was screaming. If her mind was anything like the movie Inside Out, then all of the emotion personas were screaming. She looked over to Zara. "Use your ship to call a medical transport!" She shouted, having enough of a working mind to help the pregnant woman back to her feet. "Hurry!" She pleaded, heading towards the water. She passed a look of death and violence over Marcus. As gentle as she could, she paddled back to the shore with Claudius. She supported his upper body, especially his head. She quickly removed the wrap she wore over her swimsuit. She wrapped it around his head to keep the wound as free from sand and additional infectants. Sierra checked his vitals. "Claudius..." She whimpered.

The pregnant teen didn't realize what was going on. Zara had become so wrapped up in her anger that she couldn't see the men getting into trouble. The next thing she knew, the Duchess was bringing her to her feet and demanding she call for help. Zara looked down to her screaming husband. His brother wasn't moving. Her stomach shot up to her throat. *Ohno*! She comedically waddled towards the Nerf Herder at full speed where she made an emergency call to the medcenter which everyone had spent *way* too much time in. "Hurry!!!" She said, repeating Sierra's word, only Zara couldn't keep her cool like that woman. The thief was crying hard. The transport would be there soon...was it enough? She came out of the ship looking defeated. Sweet seventeen birthday.

Marcus reached under his brother to lift him up out of the water, cradling him in his arms, as he walked towards the shoreline. He had no idea how much damage his brother had sustained, but it was enough to render him unconscious and draw blood. It was a real disaster, and as soon as he was out of the water he lay his elder brother down upon the beach blanket. He looked to both Sierra and Zara but said nothing, as he was in too much of a panic to say anything. He swallowed nervously, breathing hard, with the water still dripping off of him. "Where is the medical transport?!" he asked in a panic as he suddenly broke his silence. Even though it had just been called he was already growing impatient. It needed to get here *now*.

Powerlessness settled between the three of them. They could do *nothing* more for Claudius. As terrified as Sierra was, she couldn't let go of her sanity. "It's coming, it's coming..." She repeatedly dryly, holding onto her husband like she could inject her life force into him. As a dark hour began, the sound of another engine broke up the silence: a medical transport. The news of the Duke's injury had been taken seriously. They arrived, a team of professionals instantly surrounding Claudius. For Sierra, it was like an out-of-body experience. She heard things occasionally. Head injury. Blood loss. Someone guided the young woman into the transport while they prepared to move Claudius. It all happened so quickly. No sooner had they arrived was the transport taking off. People were already working on him. Sierra kept a hand in his. "You have to be okay, Claudius. Come back to me..." She whimpered, tears breaking through.

Soon, all that was left on the beach was Zara, Marcus, and a bloody towel. Her emotions had shifted altogether. Instead of being angry, she was upset and crying hard. "W-we have to go to the medcenter!" She demanded, grasping her husband by the arm. She dragged him off towards their ship rapidly. What if something terrible happen to Claudius? They were never going to be the best of friends, at the same time, she didn't wish terrible things on her brother. Zara was in such a hurry that she took the pilot's seat and began lift off immediately. "He's where he needs to be," Zara started trying to soothe her love. "The doctors will find out what's wrong and fix it..."

Marcus stood there silently as his brother was lifted onto the medical shuttle. Sierra was a mess and he was the cause. He could barely hear what Zara was saying, and his body began to shake with small tremors. He was in shock. He blinked slightly, and turned to look at Zara, finally hearing what she had said. "Are you sure we'd be welcome?" he asked her, as his eyes slowly moved towards the Nerf Herder. "Can you fly?" he asked her, before letting out a deep sigh and slowly marching towards the ship's ramp like he was going to his death sentence. He practically collapsed into the co-pilot's seat, weakly strapping himself in, before staring down aimlessly at the floor of the transport. "What ... what if he dies?" he asked her, fearing the absolute worst.

Zara didn't respond to his first question. Truly, she wasn't sure how they would be received at the medcenter. If Sierra wanted them gone, she wouldn't blame her. "I'll fly..." It wasn't Claudius alone who she worried about. She saw how upset her husband was. It wasn't something that was fixable either. While she powered up the engines, Marcus gave a voice to the thought crowding up her head: what if Claudius died? Her hands shook on the controls as a bumpy take off began. "Y-you can't think like that, Marcus. He'll be okay. He *has* to be." What if he died? He'd leave a hole far too big to fill behind between his daughter, his wife, and his unborn son. Marcus would *never* forgive himself. As soon as the ship was off the ground, she grasped his hand tightly. Whatever happened, they were going through it together. "It was an accident." She reminded him. He never meant to hurt his brother.

The flight from the sea islands to the medcenter in Leiliani had been a remarkably quiet one, as Marcus sat in the co-pilot's seat unable to live with what he had done. As the smog filled capital city of Delaya grew larger in the transport's viewport his heart rate began to accelerate as he realized they would soon have news of his brother's condition. He had become a pessimist, and had grown to expect the worst. As Zara landed the ship on the roof of the facility he attempted to rise, but was so out of sorts that he had forgotten to release his safety strap and ended up forced back into the seat. He snorted once at himself before moving to release the strap, and then began attempting to attend to his wife. Gradually he made his way down the ramp, but each footstep was labored. He was afraid of what was about to happen next. More afraid than he had ever remembered being.

It took every bit of concentration Zara had to fly them safely to the medcenter in the city. Dark thoughts clawed at her mind. She was still stuck on Marcus' question: what if he died? It wasn't worth confronting him, Zara told herself. She felt bad for ever marching out of the chalet feeling angry at Claudius and his wife. They hadn't started the cycle of unfairness, it was Julius! Upon landing the ship, Zara did not rise immediately. She felt like all the strength had been zapped out of her. Together, the two managed to leave the ship and then, very slowly, enter the medcenter. It was chaos inside. Like a beehive, there were nurses and doctors running every which way. It was *so* busy. Reporters were already flooding the area outside of the hospital.

Claudius had been taken to an operating room. Sierra had been shut out of it. She looked defeated, seated on a chair outside the OR with her head in her hands. The woman anxiously awaited news but had heard nothing yet. After a minute, she noticed her brother and sister. She looked at them with exhausted eyes. She did not snap. She didn't unleash a torrent of fury on them. Zara felt so much worse. She rushed towards her sister, removing her large, tauntaun coat and placing it on her shoulders. Sierra was dressed in her swimsuit, not exactly hospital ready clothing. "I'm so, so, so, so sorry..."

Marcus said nothing. He was completely silent as he followed behind his wife like a broken animal. Unfortunately Marcus did not get very far as Imperial Stormtroopers were upon him almost instantly. "Marcus Rodney, by order of the Imperial Governor of Delaya you are under arrest for the attempted assassination of Grand Moff Claudius Rodney," the lead Strormtrooper said, as he was led off down the corridor. He did not even try to fight as he knew that would make it more difficult on him. "Stay at the medcenter," he encouraged Zara, before one of the Stormtroopers jabbed him in the back with the barrel of his E-11 blaster rifle to silence him. He took solace in the fact that the Stormtrooper said *attempted* assassination, because it meant his brother was still alive.

The day couldn't get worse...yet it did. While Zara attempted to comfort Sierra, a group of Stormtroopers came. They declared that Marcus was *under arrest* for the attempted assassination of his brother. Zara shot up to her feet immediately. "No!" He didn't fight back, so she was going to fight back doubly hard. "You can't take him! He wasn't trying to hurt his brother! It was an accident! He wouldn't do that to Claudius!" She tried to reach him only to be blocked from his grasp by a Stormtrooper who grabbed her by the shoulders and advised her to calm down. Zara grew more upset. She kicked and clawed at the Stormtrooper. "Don't take him away! I won't let you!"

It was the doing of the Governor, Sierra thought. She couldn't let Marcus be taken away. Sierra took a more direct route that her sister. She stood before the leader. "This is not as it seems. It was simply an act of rough housing gone wrong. I demand to see the Governor." Only she could not leave the medcenter. She needed to stay close to close as the walls allowed. Her resolve to help Zara and Marcus quickly crumbled when a nurse softly called for her. She quickly rushed to find out an update on her love. Marcus had to wait for now.

Untitled 1

Copyright Era of Rebellion 2005-2018. All Rights Reserved
Terms of Use | Legal Notices | Privacy Policy | Press Release | Disclaimer