Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:8:21) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Sea Islands: Claudius Rodney's retreat), Gilded Thranta, and Kwai.
Governor Papius Arundel, Doctor Alessandra Bailo, Commander Dillon Hobbes, Major Elayne Hobbes, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Major Sierra Rodney, and Doctor Pilaq Tohan.

"This is just like taking the complimentary soap at a hotel, right?" Elayne Hobbes said as she walked with the comforter for the bed wrapped up in a bundle in her arms. "I mean, think of all the things we can do with this thing. This is *prime* tent material here. We can hide from adult responsibilities!" She made her way to the landing pad where the Sigma-class shuttle Gilded Thranta awaited them. She had already stowed away the comfortable robes for Mr. Cool and Mrs. Sexy. They would be the envy of all at the station if anyone found out what kind of comfort they were living in. "I saw a really cool candelabra in the kitchen... Should we take it? Do we *really* have a use for something so frivolous and fancy?" She lazily shoved the comforter into the Gilded Thranta. Despite Commander Zoran pulling strings to give them a nice honeymoon, she didn't feel the least bit bad about stealing from some jerkface Imperial Grand Moff.

Command Dillon Hobbes was doing his best to drag the Corellian king mattress out of the Grand Moff's aquatic retreat. It was not so much that it was heavy, but that it was difficult to move through the corridors of the circular structure. "Thanks for all the help," he said, mockingly, as he brought his forearm to his forehead to wipe away all the sweat. He clung to the mattress, hanging over it, and desperately trying to catch his breath. "Yes. Take everything. They can afford more," he said, between gasps of breath, as he moved out towards the landing platform. "We're going to be so glad we do this when we get back to base," he said to her, as he began moving up the ramp of the shuttle with the mattress.

Elayne stumbled backwards, acting weak. "I couldn't possibly help you! It's my legs!" She nodded her head seriously even though she did, in fact, start helping him with the mattress once all the hard work was accomplished. "We're going to have to redecorate when we get back. We could sell some of the useless stuff, take some of the good stuff back to our house." She helped shove the mattress into the ship. It took up a lot of room, but it was totally worth it. She and Dillon would sleep on clouds for the remainder of the war. Her hand linked with his as she made her way back into the aquatic home. "It's too bad we can't bottle up the smell and take it with us. That's my least favorite thing about the station." She took him to the kitchen where she grabbed the expensive looking candelabra from the middle of the table. She made her way over to the fridge. "Dillon! Look at all these Auntie Mae's pudding pops!" Elayne reached to the bottom of her shirt to create a makeshift kangaroo pouch and began quickly grabbing *all* of the pudding pops. "Is this what it's like to have money? Do they only eat ice cream and pudding?"

"Everyone is going to hate us," Dillon teased her, as he lay the mattress down on the floor of the cargo compartment of the shuttle. A moment later he dramatically fell backwards, collapsing on the bed, and spreading his arms and legs out. "Okay. I moved the mattress. You fly," he told her, as he closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep. But when he opened his eyes he could hear her from the kitchen looting more stuff. "Ugh," he groaned, as he got up from his makeshift bed and began moving back towards the kitchen. "Pudding pops? It sure beats the rations on the station. Take them. Take them *all*," he pleaded with her, as he reached into the draws and began taking the silverware. "Wait. Why is there blue fur on this?" he asked her, as he began showing her the forks. "I suppose it is, but I have never had money to know what it's like to have money," he said, with a wink, before leaning over to place a quick kiss upon her.

"Let them hate us! At least we'll be well rested." Elayne laughed. She made her way over to him to look at the silverware. There, she kissed him and laughed more. Her mood had been sky high since they were married. It remained there thanks to a rewarding honeymoon. "Ew... Either rich people eat blue fur, or there's some *really* weird kinky shit going on here. I don't want to know! Leave ‘em! You know, in all the pillaging we've done, I've yet to find their alcohol. There's *no* way they don't drink." She complained, sitting down at a bar stool near the counter. "Is there anything else you wanna grab? Ohcrap!" The bar stool cracked beneath her. She rapidly stood up before she could fall over and lose all of the pudding pops. "Maybe they should have splurged on their chairs." She commented. She was still slightly disturbed by the fur on the forks.

"Well we've been beating them so badly lately maybe they drank it all to stop thinking about it," Dillon suggested to her, as he watched the stool began to crack and immediately went into a panic. He moved forward in a flash, grabbing her by the side to keep her from falling to the ground. "Well, a pregnant woman does sit on them," he said, with a smirk, as he smiled over towards her. "I think we've gotten everything. More than we can even carry," he said, as he put back the silverware covered in blue fur. "You're right about one thing. I'm going to miss this air," he told her, as he inhaled deeply, and took in the sea air.

Elayne wrapped her arms around his neck as he came to her rescue. "My hero," she snickered. She kissed him again. "It's true... She probably made the stool weak. What's up with that anyway? Pregnant again? That guy needs to get off of her!" She released Dillon. They had relaxed. They had their intimate moments. They even had stayed up creating elaborate stories about the sea cows with blasters who wanted to kill them. Now it was time to return to the station. "I guess I can't make fun of them too much. You're going to be a damn monster once the war ends." The sound of the Major's laughter was interrupted by something else: an engine. Elayne lifted her head. "Shit, we need to get out of here!" She grabbed his hand, instantly bolting for their ship. The fun and games were over. If the Grand Moff was returning home, she didn't want to be there to meet him!

"He's a dirty old man. What's the age difference between them? centuries," Dillon snickered, as he beamed at his beautiful, age appropriate wife. "Yes. I'd like to have a family when the war ends. I wouldn't want to raise chil-" but he stopped when he heard the sound of an engine. "They are not going to be happy," he said, as he took his wife by the arm and began running towards the shuttle. When he moved up the ramp his foot collided with the large mattress, causing him to fall haphazardly forward. But, fortunately, he landed right on the mattress. "Get her warmed. We've gotta get out of here," he said, as he looked up at her from the mattress.

"I think we're gonna need all of my fingers and toes and all of your fingers and toes to figure out the age difference." Elayne snickered. They would have to continue making fun of Imperials and shaping their future later. Right now, leaving was the most important thing. Elayne opened up her arms wide to attempt to catch Dillon, but instead the mattress caught him. "See! It was worth bringing with us!" She dove into the cockpit where she began preparing for lift off as quickly as possible. The ramp began to raise and draw back into the ship.

The Lambda class shuttle Kwai was descending down towards Claudius and Sierra's private sea home. "That's strange. There's another ship on the port." Sierra informed her husband. No guests had been invited to their home. She knew Marcus and Zara used a G-1A transporter. Her eyes caught the blue hair of the female Rebel pilot along with a male. "We've got visitors!" She announced as adrenaline began to pump through her. She felt overprotective over her home. Immediately, she was on the warpath. She reached forward into a code protected compartment in the cockpit, quickly entering a code. She drew a blaster pistol from it. One should not mess with a hormonally charged pregnant woman. If Sierra got her hands on Elayne and Dillon, they'd learn that lesson.

"What?!" Claudius asked his wife, as he looked out of the shuttle's viewport at the ship on the platform. "Is it Zara and Marcus' ship?" he asked, but as he looked closer he saw that it was another shuttle ... and not of Alderaanian design. "This is restricted space. Is it poachers?" he asked her, as he had remembered his brother telling him about his encounter with them. "Easy there. Think of our children," he said to her, as he reached across the center console and placed his hand on hers as she was grabbing the weapon. "I'll handle this. After all, I was once in a battle," he said, with a wink, as he referenced his activity in the Clone Wars at Skor II.

"Get us out of here, Elayne!" Dillon yelled, as he scampered up from the mattress and began moving towards the cockpit. His hand moved above him to the control panel where he began toggling switches to bring the reactor online. "They're getting closer," he said, as he watched the looming sight of the Lambda-class shuttle approach. "Think I should hop in the turret and try and blast them?" he asked her, arching his eyebrow, as the chance to eliminate high level Imperials was rarely afforded them.

"Come on! Come on! Come on! Damnit, this stupid shit ship is so slow!" Elayne yelled at the shuttle. "Why are you doing this to me?" She complained. "They're too close. Get in the turret! Take them down! There's a million Imperials. No one's going to miss whoever is in that ship." She assumed it was the Grand Moff, or possibly even the Governor of Delaya. She thought that all Imperials were friends. At last, the ramp fully folded up and the engines finished heating up. Elayne grabbed the controls. The next time she looked up, the shuttle was even closer. "Dillloonnnn! I need an opening. It's blocking us!"

Sierra frowned. "Poachers?! If this is another attempt by Papius to eliminate the thranta population I will..." She mumbled some words under her breath. Sierra let out a sigh, releasing the weapon to her husband. He had leverage on her now that she was pregnant again. Compromising the health of the twins wasn't an option. "Okay, but you need to be careful, Claudius. I don't want you to get hurt..." She would prefer not to do this battle in the sky, so she began to land. The platform was big enough for both ships. Next time, she was bringing Haven, Sierra decided.

"On it!" Dillon said, as he jumped up from the co-pilot's seat and ran towards the back of the shuttle where the turret was located. He climbed up the ladder as best as he could until he was in the ventral laser cannon turret. "Try and hold her steady," he asked Elayne over the comm, as he rotated the turret until the targeting computer locked onto the Lambda-class shuttle. When the red screen flashed yellow he pulled back on the trigger and unleashed a torrent of green laser blasts at the shuttle. "Whew!" that got it, he cheered, as he watched the blasts impact with the shuttle's lower left wing.

"Evasive!" Claudius screamed to Sierra as the shuttle unexpectedly opened fire on them. Unfortunately, it was too late, and their lower port wing was hit. "Brace!" he pleaded, as he foolishly removed his safety harness to put himself in between Sierra and the control panel so that her pregnant belly would not slam forward into it. As the shuttle began to spin out of control he held onto his wife for dear life to give her added protection. "I love you!" he yelled to her, over the sound of the straining engine as they spiralled out of control, dramatically nearing the island below.

Elayne did her best to maneuver the shuttle. "This is the best I've got for you!" She told him over the comm. There were many, many advantages to being married to Dillon. A mentionable one was that he could actually use the turret *and* hit his target. Elayne's jaw fell open as the green laser blasts collided with the shuttle's wing. "*Hell yeah*!" She yelled. "You got him! You killed a Grand Moff, Dillon! ... And now we're getting out of here!" The shuttle was going down. Elayne didn't think twice about blasting off out of the Delaya atmosphere as quickly as possible. She didn't know if the Grand Moff traveled in packs. It didn't sound appealing to be engaged by TIEs in the Gilded Thantra. "Holy shit in a handbasket." Elayne said as she programmed the ship to blast off into hyperspeed. Had Dillon really done what she thought he did..?

Sierra's hands were moving over the controls quickly. She attempted to evade, by the Kwai was struck regardless. Her heart burst out from her chest. They were *crashing*. "Oh no!" She didn't know what to do. In a panic, she pressed a distress button on the control panel. If she was lucky, someone would be near and capable of saving them. She began to brace herself for the impact with the island when Claudius placed himself between her and the control panel. "Claudius..." She whimpered. Her hands locked on him. She knew exactly why he did what he did. It was the best way to protect their unborn children, but she was scared for him, for *both* of them. She cried, clinging harder. "I love you!" She yelled. Suddenly, she released him. Her hands grasped the controls, pulling upward in attempt to smooth the spiral as much as she could. The nose of the Kwai was pointed towards the island, which was coming up much more quickly than she wanted it to. "We're impacting!" She yelled in warning, jerking the controls at the last minute. Her hands released to avoid breaking her wrists. The nose of the ship angled just in time. Instead of hitting the island nose-first, it instead skidded across the sand as if Sierra had been attempting to land and failed miserably. She wasn't able to decrease speed, so the shuttle continued to move forward through the trees until nature stopped them.

There were a million different loud, blaring noises coming from the pit. The viewport in front of them had shattered. Trees cut through into the cockpit. Sierra felt like she was going to have a heart attack or five. She had been entirely shielded by none other than her foolish, all too loving husband. "Claudius..!"

When the Kwai impacted Claudius' body was immediately forced forward onto the control panel, bruising his ribs, but he succeeded in shielding his pregnant wife from a rough impact. "Sierra," he said, groggily, before coughing from the force of his lungs being jostled around his rib cage. The power was out and the internal lights of the cabin glowed a shade of red as the emergency backup systems began to activate. Conduits in the shuttle began to burst and smoke filled the cabin, while sparks began to flare and a fire began. Upon impact the emergency distress beacon activated alerting the Imperial forces stationed in the Alderaan system to their peril. "Get out ... before it blows," he said to her, weakly, as he attempted to focus his vision on her. Now he would need a vacation from the vacation he took to recover from his vacation.

Sierra was extremely concerned for the safety of her husband. It had been a terrible landing. There was no way it wasn't painful for him. She was momentarily caught up in shock. It had all happened very quickly. The conditions in the cabin were getting worse. She could smell the fire. Time was running out. The moment the fire reached the fuel tanks, everything would go up in flames. Sierra began to breathe again. She had to get them both out immediately. "You're coming with me..." She weakly declared. Sierra drew herself out of her seat. She slammed her fist on a button which forced the ramp out from the Kwai. Smoke continued to fill the cabin as a constant reminder that she needed to keep moving *fast*. She wrapped her arms around his upper torso, to avoid what she worried would be multiple broken ribs. She quickly moved forward through the flames and smoke, pressing forward down the ramp and into the sand. "Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry..!" The fire was crackling behind them. She guided him away from the crash site and into the debris the shuttle had left behind. She pulled him behind a large tree that was still standing just in time for the flames to reach the fuel tank. Sierra pressed her body into his, this time, she was trying to protect him. They were lucky to both be alive after their insane emergency landing. She looked at her husband with tears streaming down her face. "I'm going to take care of you," she cried. His selfless act had touched her deeply. "We have to get to our home. I'll call for help there." She promised him.

Claudius never expected to be attacked at his retreat in the sea islands. "Those ... those were no poachers," he warned her, wanting to give her opinion in case he lost consciousness. When he was shielded behind the tree he took a moment to catch his breath, panting heavily, as he tried to collect himself. He could not believe they were attacked at their retreat in the sea islands ... no one knew they were going there so he doubted it was an assassination attempt. "Just ... get me to our bed," he pleased with his wife, as he moved his left hand to cover his rib cage. He knew that there was only one person she could call for help ... Governor Papius Arundel. This was going to be hard to explain, and his presence in the system could cause them more trouble than whomever attacked them did. All he could think about was getting into his large comfortable bed and relaxing for a bit.

"No they were not..." Sierra wondered who they were. In the wake of the disaster, she recalled that she had pressed the distress signal. There was a good chance that Papius himself was on his way now in hopes that he would catch Claudius. Sierra wasn't going to let that happen. A broken up plan was formulating in her head as she began shuffling her husband towards their home. "Take it slow.... Really slow." She was very concerned for his wellbeing. She needed one person right now: Doctor Tohan. The Ithorian could examine the damage and help them.

It seemed to take a full thirty minutes to make it up the path of destruction and to their home. It took another lifetime to reach the bedroom. Sierra had missed all the things that were missing until she stood at the doorway leading into their room. She was breathing heavily from stress and exhaustion. "What the *hell*?!" She cried out. "Where's our bed!?" The frame was still there but everything else was *gone*. She began to recognize other problems. There were wet, used towels on the ground that a neat freak like Sierra wouldn't allow. There were items from her vanity scattered about all over the room, leaving Sierra to wonder just what had happened. Out of all of the mess, there was one thing she noticed: a jacket. A *Rebel* jacket. Her blood pressure surged through the roof. She was *furious*. *Rebels* had been in their home! *Rebels* had ransacked their home!

She wordlessly turned around and made her way towards Drusilla's bedroom before the Rebel jacket gave her husband a heart attack. Her comlink began to beep on her uniform. "I pressed a distress signal when we went down." She explained to Claudius, trying to hustle now. "I will bet you any amount of credits that Papius is on our doorstep. We *cannot* let him find you." She ignored all of the obnoxious boy band posters in Dru's room as she lowered her husband to the bed. "I'm going to call for Doctor Tohan."

When they arrived back within the retreat he hoped that he would be soon afforded the ability to rest, but instead he found that their bedroom had been ransacked and his bed had been stolen. "No..." he said, as he settled into a chair to catch his breath while Sierra inspected the rest of the structure. By the sound of her it seemed that other rooms in the retreat had been affected as well. He moved his hand against his bruised ribs and began a breathing exercise to attempt to steady himself. Whomever had attacked him would pay dearly for this.

The sound of twin ion engines began to fill the sky as a flight of TIE Strikers arrived on scene, They circled over a crash site as the shuttle carrying Governor Papius Arundel and a squad of Shore troopers began arriving. As it landed the various wildlife that taken up residence began to scatter, moving deeper out into the ocean, or into the jungle inland on the island. Papius sneered as he looked at the island, thinking it a waste of space, as he began to move towards the crashed shuttle ... slowly ... after the Shore troopers had a chance to determine if all was safe.

Sierra's anger was at a higher elevation than the Manrai Mountains of Coruscant. Just as it seemed like she might explode, she began to calm down for the sake of *everyone*. Claudius had hurt himself over the twins. She couldn't be working herself into a fit that could, potentially, hurt those very same twins he saved. She returned to the bedroom having let out a deep breath. In one hand, she held a cold compress that she hoped would help with Claudius' pain for the mean time. "Pull up your tunic, let's see the damage." She rested the compress on her leg while grabbing her com. The first person she dialed was the most important: Pilaq Tohan. "Doctor Tohan..." The way she said his name was enough of an indicator that something was going on. "Please come to my sea island home in Delaya. Our ship was shot down. Claudius has taken some damage to his ribs. Without proper medical equipment, I don't know how extensive his injuries are." She looked over at him with a frown on her face. Papius was already moving further to the edges of her mind ... for now.

"I'm fine! I'm fine!" Claudius protested as Sierra fretted over him, but as he lifted his arm so his tunic could be removed he felt a sharp, sudden pain on his left side. "Ow," he groaned, before slipping off his tunic to reveal a ghastly black and blue bruise on the left side of his chest. "I assure you. It looks worse than it feels," he told her, but the truth was it hurt terribly and he was attempting to act strong for her behalf. He grimaced when she summoned Doctor Tohan, not wanting to put him through *this*, but it was clear that he needed medical treatment.

Suddenly the room filled with armed Shore troopers who took up defensive positions, as they were uncertain of what to expect. "Well, well," the voice of Governor Papius Arundel announced, as he sauntered into the room. He pulled off his left glove slowly, and then his right, before condescendingly handing it over towards one of the troopers. "I simply *love* what you've done with the place. Very modern," he said, as he looked around the room that was obviously ransacked. "The bed doesn't look comfortable, however. Bad for the back at your age, I'd say, old boy," he said, as he gave Claudius a hard slap on the back, fully aware of the pain it would cause him. "Oh. You're hurt. I *am* sorry," he said, condescendingly, as he moved towards Sierra. "What a pity. This could have all been avoided if you had stayed where you belong," he said, as he lowered his head and then began shaking it side to side. "Next time you're coming ... tell me. I'll provide security," he said, before giving her a wink.

Sierra's eyes took in all the terribly bruising on her husband's chest. She looked like she was going to burst out crying. He was hurt *bad*. Her sanity kept her in line. Claudius couldn't help her through a hormonal break down. He needed her in something resembling a state of sanity. "Okay," she breathed slowly. "Okay." She brought her hands up to his chest. Her touch was gently and fleeting. "I'm trying to tell if you broke a rib or not. Are you having difficulty breathing? Don't act like a tough guy either... I have to know." She leaned over to kiss him on the forehead. Several tears escaped from her eyes. Her husband was a brave man who cared about his family infinitely more than his own well being. Today, his sacrifice had enabled their children to live another day.

As Sierra conducted a gentle exam, the Shore troopers arrived. Her demeanor changed. Her shoulders shot back. Her anger settled right back in. Governor Arundel had come to make his grand entrance. She watched the man slowly remove his gloves while rising to her feet and preparing for battle. The hairs on her neck stood up as he slapped Claudius hard on the back. "I'm sure you saw our shuttle. You know he's hurt. Don't touch him." Five-foot-two had never seemed fierce ... and honestly, even as Sierra puffed herself up, it still seemed so small next to the Governor. She internally cringed. Papius had a way of getting under her skin. In the five minutes since he had entered the room, he had done just that. "No thank you. I'd prefer you spent more time watching what's coming into *your* planet, Governor." She marched over to the bed frame, reaching beneath it and grasping the Rebel jacket. She tossed it towards Papius with as much force as she could give "*Rebels* did this. Rebels entered Delaya and what were you doing about it? By the state of my ship, *nothing*!"

"Yes I am having dif-" Claudius began, but quickly silenced himself when the Shore troopers and Governor Arundel arrived on the scene. His look switched from one of pain to one of disgust as the man began his lecture. The slap on the back hurt him, but he was out of his territory and he had to be careful to avoid another turf war. When he saw the Governor move near his wife his instincts took over and he rose from the chair to defend her, but he only got halfway up until the pain compelled him to sit back down. "I advise you to keep your distance," he said, from beneath grit teeth, which was caused by a combination of anger and pain.

"Rebels indeed?" Papius replied as he caught the jacket and clutched it in his hands. He raised to his face and inhaled deeply, picking up the strong aroma of cigarra smoke. "Perhaps your brother might know about this," he said to Sierra, as he lowered the jacket. He always knew how to strike back at her. "After all, his parents were both in league with the Rebellion," he reminded her, as he arched his eyebrow at her and smirked. "Perhaps the starfruit doesn't fall far from the tree," he added, before spinning around to look at Claudius.

Two conflicting emotions were pitting for Sierra's attention: anger and worry. Claudius needed her help. Papius was getting in the way of it *and* he was causing her husband to hurt more. She wanted to scream at him until he went away. Knowing Papius, he would probably enjoy that a little too much. "Oh, come off it. Neither Marcus or Claudius knew about their involvement with the Rebellion. Perhaps there's a cell operating out of your planet that you've foolishly missed. You should go investigate. You're wasting everyone's precious time." She made her way back towards Claudius. She was dismissing Papius on his own turf. She picked up the warm compress, snapping it several times so it would activate. As it warmed in her hand, she pressed it against her husband's chest. Since he admitted to having difficulty breathing, she worried he had multiple broken ribs. She needed to keep him seated and relaxed until Pilaq arrived.

Since Papius always seemed to be spitting in her wounds, today she decided to show him what he would never have: her love and affection. She leaned over to kiss Claudius' cheek. "I love you. I can't believe you sacrificed yourself like this for the *three* of us." The anger dissipated, worry finally winning her over. She nuzzled her nose against his then, before Papius, she gently kissed him. She was mindful of his difficulties and didn't let it linger long.

"Oh how sweet," Papius teased them, as he moved about their bedroom, looking over what was left of the decor. As he moved towards the window he could see another ship arriving. "Hmm. For a protected wildlife refuge it sure gets a lot of traffic," he said, as he motioned for one of the Shore troopers to see what was going on. "Strange that the Rebels would choose this structure at this time. Almost as if they knew you would be here," he said to Claudius and Sierra, with his back to them. "Perhaps there is a traitor in your midst," he suggested, as he could hear more shuffling than prompted him to turn around.

Doctor Pilaq Tohan shuffled into the crowded room after being transported to Delaya by Doctor Bailo. "Hmm," he murmured, as he looked about the room before settling on Claudius. "What trouble now?" he asked, as he moved over towards him and performed a visual inspection of his rib cage. As he looked over the bruise it *looked* bad, but it would take a more in depth scan to determine if anything permanent had occurred. He was not sure why all the troopers were here and he did not like it.

Doctor Bailo was learning the drill with the House of Rodney. Danger surrounded them. She had to wonder why they even left their homes at this point, though, how many times did someone get hurt within their own home? Plenty, she was sure. The old female Ithorian made her way towards the bedroom carrying Doctor Tohan's medical bag. She stumbled into the room where the Shore troopers had gathered as well as the Delayan Imperial Governor. Her eyes swept over Claudius Rodney. He did not look well. Sierra had mentioned that their had been an accident. Both of her mouths dropped. She wondered how Claudius was so badly hurt, yet there didn't seem to be anything wrong with his wife. The woman read the room and quickly turned towards Papius. "The doctor needs his room. Please relocate elsewhere." She said in a calm voice.

Sierra was relieved to see that Doctor Tohan and Doctor Bailo had both arrived. Her husband was in good hands now...hands infinitely more capable than her own. She stayed close to Claudius, but she slowly moved the warm compress back so Pilaq could visually investigate. "We were shot down onto the island." She said to the Ithorians with a growing frown on her face. "Claudius protected me.. He was hurt doing just that." Explaining everything made her sniffle. She prayed Papius would take the hint and leave them be.

"What are these *things*," Papius asked, as he looked towards the Ithorian duo that were suddenly entering the room. "Governor, please seek treatment at the newly rebuild Leiliani medcenter ... with *human* doctors," he pleaded with him, as he anxiously watched Doctors Tohan and Bailo begin their examination. "I am the Governor of this system. I will *not* relocate," he informed Doctor Bailo, before folding his arms in front of his chest defiantly. He would not be spoken to that way by an Ithorian.

Doctor Tohan listened to the exchange between Doctor Bailo and Governor Arundel, which caused him to become angry. He was simply too old to have the patience for what he was overhearing. "One moment," he said to Claudius and Sierra, as he nodded his large Ithorian hammerhead at the both of them. Then, with walking stick in one hand, he moved over towards Governor Arundel. He raised the walking stick and whacked him on the head with it, dismissively, as he did not want anyone to speak as he did. "Manners, Governor," he said, as he moved back towards Claudius.

Alessandra made a face. *Things*?! As she recalled, he was one of those people who were disgusted by Marcus and Zara using her and Pilaq as their doctors as well. "Why I never..." She began to verbally chastise the Governor. Since actions spoke louder than words, it was Pilaq's hit to the head that either shocked the man, or sickened him into defeat. Alessandra placed her hand on his back and began forcefully shoving him towards the doorway. "Out! Out! All of you!" She shouted loudly. She watched the Shore troopers march out of the room. When they were gone, she shut the door and let out an aggravated sigh from both of her mouths. She quickly drew herself over to Claudius, Sierra, and Pilaq. There, she opened up the medical bag to play the part of the assistant. "Milady, are you okay?" She asked. Her eyes moved down to Claudius' badly bruised chest. She reached into the bag, producing an X-ray tool. She offered it to Pilaq. "He's going to need something for the pain." She muttered quietly.

Claudius watched in horror as Doctor Tohan assaulted Governor Arundel, for he feared the man turning the Shore troopers loose upon him. "Everyone please!" he shouted, which caused him to breath deeply and injure his ribs. He closed his eyes, exhaling softly, as he tried to cope with the pain he had triggered. To his satisfaction the Governor and the Shore troopers left the room, but did not leave the retreat entirely. "Thank you for coming," he said to the doctors, as he stared down at the transparent floor to look at the sealife below. He could see the sea cows and the tropical fish, which did manage to calm him slightly.

It was relieving to watch the Shore troopers leave. At the very least, there was some space between all of them. Sierra lingered close to her husband. She was nervously bouncing from foot to foot as she waited to find out what was going on with him. "Oh, um, I'm fine." She commented to Alessandra, though her eyes remained on Claudius. "Please just help him. He stopped *me* from getting hurt." Reaching down, Sierra's hand held his. Her fingers were shaking. The stress was coming off of her in waves. She watched the old Ithorian, wishing badly that he could move just a little quicker. When she could take waiting no more, she spoke. "Is he going to be okay? What are his injuries?"

"He should know better at this age," Doctor Tohan said to Sierra, as he examined Claudius. "Your body is too old to be an effective shield," he explained to him, as he set down his medical bag and gathered his tools. He began examining his old friend, determining that his ribs were bruised, but not broken. "No. He's not going to be okay. Not if he continues to act as if he is a man half his age," he said, as he turned his attention from Claudius to Sierra. "Which, I might add, would *still* be older than you," he said, as he let out a laugh from both of his mouths that filled the room with noise. "He has bruised ribs. The muscles around the area will be strained. It will make his breathing difficult, but his lungs are undamaged. He will give you no end of trouble, and will be partially immobilized for a short while," he said, as he turned his large bulbous eyes back to Claudius. "In short, you will have to act your age," he said, before slamming the base of his staff into the floor, which attracted sea cows.

He was going to be *okay*. The words hit Sierra with a relief that made it easier for her to breathe. Pilaq's sass made her face turn red. "Pilaq!!" She squeaked shyly. Sadly, the old Ithorian wasn't wrong. Sierra only hoped he wouldn't continue to embarrass her. She listened to Doctor Tohan reveal Claudius' injuries: bruised, not broken. That was a major difference. Sierra would take care of him day and night until he was better. "I'll make sure he does." Her eyes turned towards her husband. "Did you hear that? You have to take it *easy*." Sierra wondered if she should keep him on Delaya until he was better, but that could be weeks. The family needed them back in Esseles. She decided to think about all the details later. She was relieved that he hadn't caused any permanent or extremely long term damage to himself. She planted a hand behind his neck where she began to massage him gently. "Is there anything else I should know? What can I do to make Claudius more comfortable?"

"You can take him to a retirement home," Pilaq retired quickly, half tempted to give Claudius a whack with his walking stick for good measure. "See that he sits quietly. Lays quietly would be better, but I am too old to waste my breath on instructions that will not be followed," he said, as he looked around the ransacked room. He wondered what happened there, but he did not ask, for he did not care. With another House of Rodney health crisis abated he was content to return home with Alessandra and rest himself until Marcus stubbed his toe.

"I'll take it easy," Claudius said, as he attempted to raise his arm in protest, but in doing so it hurt his ribs further. He sighed, exhaling sharply, but that also hurt. He attempted to hold perfectly still which did not hurt, thankfully. "Take me to Esseles. At least there I have a bed," he asked Sierra, as he gave her his trademark pout. He had come to the Sea Islands to recover from the excitement of Coruscant, but now he needed to recover from the Sea Islands as well. Perhaps he should never leave the confines of the estate again.

"Pilaq!" Alessandra said, bopping him on the head gently with her hand. She looked at both Claudius and Sierra. "Be safe. We both worry for you. I told Doctor Tohan that we are going to gift all the members of the House of Rodney with a protective bubble they can live in. As each day goes by, that becomes less of a joke..." She reached over, gently grasping Pilaq's hand. They had left Callista behind during gardening. She began to guide him back to their ship so they could return to the peaceful clean atmosphere of New Alderaan. She eyed the Shore troopers as they departed.

"Thank you for coming," Sierra politely said to both of the doctors. She turned her attention to Claudius. "I will take you back to Esseles under the condition that you actually relax. Remember, I have cuffs at home." Sierra threatened him as she tried to make herself look mean...and failed for the second time today. "Stay put. I will call for Lieutenant Anson to pick us up... and someone to see to repairing our ship." She leaned over to gently kiss his lips. Relief had yet to fully sink in. She felt high strung. The young ISB officer rose. She departed from the room feeling sick and antsy. She grasped her comlink for the second time as she made her way through the mess of Shore troopers and passed the Governor himself to reach her kitchen. When she opened up the fridge, she found it pudding pop free. "Damn it!" She punched the air. "Lieutenant Anson," she quickly made herself professional. "I need you to come fetch the Governor and I. I'll send you the coordinates. Our ship was struck down. I also need someone to come and collect it. If possible, it needs to be put back together." Sierra's hunger quickly dissipated to sickness. "T-Thank you." She ended the transmission just in time for her to dart to the bathroom for a healthy, ‘fun' bout of morning sickness. "Ugh," she gasped.

As the Ithorians shuffled off Governor Arundel made his way back into the room, still nursing a sore spot on his head from his encounter with the Ithorian's walking stick. When he arrived he saw Claudius sitting, but Sierra gone to the refresher. "Claudius Rodney still survives," he mused, as he moved across the room, close enough to the refresher so that he could hear Sierra's unpleasant noise. "It is never uneventful when you two visit," he said, as he moved towards the window where he watched the Ithorians head towards the ship. He hated them. "It is fortunate you survived. To think, had the laser blast gone a meter in the other direction and His Majesty need appoint a new Grand Moff," he said, frowning, as he continued to look out the window rather than looking Claudius in the face.

It seemed like the day was never ending. Sierra was releasing her stress in the way pregnant women's bodies did. Hearing Papius' voice raised the hairs on her neck. He was bullying Claudius around now?! The man was like an energizer bunny. It didn't matter if a thranta tried to peck his eyes out. He could wake up the next day, put his boots on one foot at a time, and resume being evil. "Okay babies, mommy's gotta go beat up the guy who's harassing your father." She spoke to her stomach. When she rose, she felt sick again but decided to fight it. She drew herself over to the sink where she rapidly brushed her teeth and continued to feel sicker. She roamed out of the bathroom looking immensely tired and furious at the same time. "Don't you have other things to do, Governor Arundel? There are other Rodneys you can harass, you know." She stepped in the space between Claudius and Papius. "My husband's position isn't going to change. Stop day dreaming about a promotion you'll never have."

Governor Arundel did not turn immediately, but eventually swiveled around so that he could look at Sierra. "My dear, I wish nothing but good health for your husband, as I do all of His Majesty's servants," he said, as he bowed his head slightly in mock reverence. "I am here to ensure your stay in *my* system does not result in your death or interference with my duties here," he explained, as he looked from Sierra to Claudius. "Next time. Inform me first. My forces will prevent such a near tragedy," he said, before winking to Sierra, and proceeding back out of the room swiftly. There had been Rebels here. He would need to press Duke Marcus on the matter further. Treachery was everywhere in these turbulent times.

It was all bantha fodder. Papius was a sick man...sicker than she had just been in the refresher. Her eyes narrowed with each venomous word he uttered. If he had stayed a moment longer, Sierra would have said something regrettable. "I hate that man," she whispered under her breath. The words were only audible to her husband as she neared him. "Anson will be here soon. When we get home, you'll start feeling better." She promised him. Her hand gently brushed over his face. She still felt worried for him, but such was being married to Claudius Rodney. His well being mattered. She reached over to his hand, guiding it to her swollen stomach. Everything was progressing much more quickly now that she was pregnant with twins Her stomach was bigger earlier. Her hormones were more intense as was her morning sickness. She squeezed his hand. "You saved them, Claudius." She felt teary again. He had kept Bruce from Jessa. He had stopped Sierra from miscarrying during the accident. Her husband was, truly, the greatest man ever.

"I hate him as well. Fortunately, he is my brother's problem now," Claudius said, with a smirk and a laugh, which quickly caused him to grimace in pain from the vibrations that reverberated through his chest. "I swear if we get home and my mattress is gone we're going to steal Ensign Sheppard's bed," he said, with seriousness, as he refused to sleep in anything but a bed this evening. "I would do anything for my family," he said to his wife, as he leaned up, painfully so that he could kiss her. "I love you ... so much. I love the children that we do have, and the children that we will have," he pledged to her, before weakly sitting back down in the chair. Whomever those Rebels were that did this to him ... to his family ... he would make them pay.

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