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Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:7:23) in the Essesia system: Esseles (New Calamar: Claudius Rodney's estate).
El-Nay Darr, Ewwiekewwieikkie, Commander Kerrie Kiley, Melickielickie, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, and Major Sierra Rodney.

"This is *never* going to work," El-Nay Darr commented, as she watched Grand Moff Rodney attempt to squeeze himself into a set of armor they had acquired. "I told you we needed a bigger size, but you never listen," she continued, as she brought her arms up and folded them in front of her chest. "Here," she said, as she stepped forward and attempted to pull the chest plate down over the aging man. "Ugh," she groaned, gritting her teeth, before releasing her grip and looking towards Kerrie and Sierra. "Look. Either of you ever seen a Gamorrean? I can take a quick trip to Tatooine, kill one of the little buggers, and bring back the armor for the Governor to wear. With the kind of guts those creatures have I'm sure it'll fit," she said, before she backed away from the scene and took a seat to watch what would happen next.

Commander Kerrie Kiley had made the decision on the set of armor they had acquired for the Governor, but she was a terrible judge of body size. "I apologize, milord," she said to him, as she began to panic, bringing her hands together as she nervously intermingled her fingers. "El-Nay! Stop! You're going to hurt him," she said, as she scolded the Mandalorian, before looking towards Sierra. "Perhaps a pill that could get the water weight off?" she asked Sierra, desperately seeking a solution. When El-Nay started rambling about Gamorreans, she turned her head slightly to glare at her, before raising her right index finger to silence her. If a solution was not found she feared she would be held responsible.

In hindsight, this had been a pretty good idea. Kerrie acquired the armor, which would, in theory, fit Claudius with no questions asked. Sierra was standing behind her husband attempting to pull down the chest plate from the backside. "That talk is for quitters, El-Nay." She groaned. The idea of finding Gamorrean armor wasn’t a bad one, but they didn’t have that kind of additional time. She wondered if they should gather butter from the kitchen, slather it on Claudius, and pray that it worked without hurting him *too* bad. She stopped pulling on the armor when she realized it wasn’t going to work. "No... He’ll spend the next hour in the refresher. Here. Take it off." She needed El-Nay’s help in order to remove the armor. It was ill fitting, simple as that. "Maybe we can expand it underneath the armpits. Do you have anything to cut the armor with?" She thought that maybe they could alter the armor just like Sierra had to do with the Squibs’ dresses occasionally. She set the chest plate down, making her way into her closet to retrieve the hidden armor which El-Nay and Kerrie had given her long ago. Somehow, the smell had gotten out of it. Instead, it smelled like bubble gum. Clearly, Ewwiekewwieikkie had found it. She gave Claudius a look. "I’m sorry, love. We’re going to solve this without seriously injuring you." Sierra promised.

Claudius had remained silent throughout the whole torturous ordeal. There was nothing more humiliating than discovering the armor would not fit his present condition. Well, there was one thing ... discovering the armor would not fit in front of his wife, Kerrie, and El-Nay. His face was flushed red, but whether it was from anger, embarrassment, or a combination of both was not immediately certain. "I am *not* wearing Gamorrean armor taken off a corpse," he said, as he, too, shot a glance in the direction of El-Nay. As the armor was stripped off him he turned his back on them, bringing his hand up to his stomach. He inhaled sharply, before trying to suck in his gut. "I am sorry for the delay," he said to Sierra, who was busying herself with another set of armor. When he heard her discuss 'expanding' the armor it only made him feel worse.

When El-Nay felt the glares from Kerrie and Claudius she raised both of her hands and began to backpedal. "Sorry," she said, before muttering something indistinguishable beneath her breath. "We're going to need a lot of expanding," she said, as she moved towards Sierra to help her with the other set of armor. "I mean, I can cut it," she said, as she raised her gauntlet and activated the torch for a moment, while giving her a little smirk. "What did you have in mind?" she asked her, as she began to lay out the two sets of armor. For a moment she stopped, twitching her nose a couple of times. "Why does it smell like that?" she asked, as she shook her head and rolled her eyes.

Sierra laid a hand on her husband’s back. She felt bad that the armor that Kerrie had retrieved was far too small. Her arms briefly wrapped around him to comfort him. "Don’t be. Thank you for dealing with this so you can come with me." She whispered. Claudius proved to her time and time again that he was husband of the century. Sierra had to wonder if this time took the cake. Reluctantly, she parted with him to work on the armor with El-Nay. "I was thinking we can cut it right here." She said, showing El-Nay the spot beneath the armpit. She drew a line with her finger. "We can do that on both sides, and add pieces of this armor." Her eyes flickered to the other set. "What do you think..?" She could smell it too. Instead of enjoying the scent, her nose scrunched up. "Ugh." An instant later, she felt nauseous. She recalled certain scents making her sick during her first pregnancy. This bubble gum smell had her stomach doing cartwheels. Sierra stood, gripping her stomach. "M-Make it work. Ugh!" She darted towards the refresher to experience the first round of morning sickness in many, *many* months.

"Where does it go?!" an excited Ewwiekewwieikkie asked Melickielickie as they occupied the refresher that Sierra desperately needed. She hit the lever to flush the toilet for the umpteenth time, watching the water get sucked down and disappear. "Hmm. Hmm. Hmm," she contemplated, as she brought her paw up to her chin and tapped her foot while considering it. "Under the house?" she theorized, as she looked towards her adopted Squib sister. "We can put all our things in here and then it'll get transported under the house where no one can find it," she said, as she started grabbing silverware and attempting to flush it. She wondered why she had not thought of this sooner.

Melickielickie couldn’t comprehend what was going on with the toilet. She watched curiously as the water swirled and disappeared. "Eeeeeeeee!" Melickielickie pushed her head behind the toilet. "No here." She said, darting over to the other side of the toilet. "No here." She looked up at the ceiling. "*No here*!" Where could it go? Her older Squib sister’s explanation made sense. She imagined the ducks in the front yard playing with the silverware. Since she liked the shinies so much, she thought the ducks would too. "Oooo!" She grabbed a handful of spoons and threw them in the toilet. "We hide our treasure." She said, wrapping her arms around her sister and squeezing tightly to see if she would produce a gemstone.

The door slammed shut behind Sierra before she realized she wasn’t alone. "Girls!" She exclaimed. Her stomach won a silent argument, and she was forced to lose her breakfast in a trash can. No sooner had she finished did she heard the sound of something colliding with the porcelain toilet. What were they...?! "Ohno." Sierra spotted the silverware clogging up the toilet. Water was beginning to rapidly fill the bowel. Without thinking, she reached her hands into the bowel and grasped as many pieces of silverware as she could. "Ewwiekewwieikkie, Melickielickie, the toilet is only for potty time." She began explaining. She felt like she was going to need a shower after this. The water stopped flowing just before it made a mess all over the floor. "You see, when you flush something that doesn’t fit in the toilet, it breaks the toilet. You never want to put *anything* like this inside of it." She said, resting the damp silverware on the ground before turning to the sink to cleanse herself.

"Oh noes! She found the treasure!" Ewwiekewwieikkie whined to Melickielickie as Sierra began handling the silverware. Her little feet began to go up and down anxiously as she counted each piece as they were laid out on the floor. She was shaking with anxiety over even losing one piece. "Not safe! Not safe!" she told Melickielickie, before diving on the floor and grabbing as much as she could. "C'mon," she told her, as she grabbed her by the arm and led her out of the refresher, and then out of the estate itself. Once she was outside she began to nervously look for a hiding spot, but Stormtroopers were everywhere. "Um. Um. Um," she panicked, before noticing the newly constructed duck pond. "Oh. Maybe there's where the toilet goes," she said, suddenly feeling very smart. She was halfway to the pond when she caught a glimpse of her father's shuttle. Her eyes went wide and she gasped, before dragging Melickielickie towards it. As she bounded up the ramp she opened up one of the storage containers in the back and began filling it with her silverware. "Hmm. Now we gotta protect it," she declared, before helping Melickielickie into the crate. She was next to climb in, before closing the lid on top of them, and occasionally peering out with her yellow eyes. She giggled, believing no one would ever find them.

"Oh noes!" Melickielickie squeaked. She grasped the bottom of her dress to make a sack where she could shove more silverware than she could carry in her paws. The little Squib darted after her sister as quickly as she could go. There was a trail of spoons from Sierra and Claudius’ room down to the bottom of the stairs. Outside, Melickielickie was momentarily distracted by the ducks. "Quack!" She mocked, then burst into giggles. "Quack! Quack! Quack!" She pretended as if she was a duck, waddling beside her sister until she was taken elsewhere. "Weeee!" By now, she had dropped roughly half of the treasure. She thought her sister to be quite smart. Melickielickie wanted to be just like her when she grew up. "Woah. Cool hiding spot." She said, patting the crate until she was lifted into it. Though it was dark inside, she felt safe cuddled next to her sister. "Eeee. I love you, sissy!" She snuggled Ewwiekewwieikkie. Now Sierra wouldn’t be able to trade the silverware.

Roughly ten minutes later, Sierra left the bathroom. She avoided the armor on the bed. "Were you able to expand the armor, El-Nay?" She asked, deciding not to mention the bathroom debacle to Claudius at the moment. Instead, she sat on the bed and let her stomach relocated to its proper position. She was feeling anxiety having to do with going back to Delaya. There was no way to tell what would be waiting there for her.

El-Nay probably should have taken her project outside, but not being the least bit aware of her surroundings she had began cutting the armor right on the kitchen floor. "Somewhat," she said, now from beneath her helmet, as she had placed it back upon her head to keep from getting sparks in her eyes. A surprisingly appropriate caution for a woman not exactly known for being safe. "Here. Try this," she said, as she handed the modified armor back over to Sierra. After what had just happened she was not about to attempt to force it on the Governor by herself again. She began looking towards the exit, as she would make a speedy getaway should the armor not fit even after the modifications.

She was less bothered by El-Nay being careless in her kitchen than the Squibs attempting to flush every shiny object in the house. At least she had taken proper precautions to not hurting herself. "Thank you." Sierra took the chest piece from her. If this didn’t work, than the embarrassing situation was only going to get worse for her husband. Sierra turned to Claudius with a little smile on her face. "This should be better." She promised, carefully placing the armor on him. It fit. It fit perfectly. They wouldn’t need to cut it off to remove it either. Sierra let out a sigh. Her smile widened. "There. How does that feel?" He was going to be able to accompany her to Delaya. His presence made her feel charged and ready. She had spent so much time the prior day gathering all the evidence she had against Gaius. All she needed was for Claudius to be there too.

Claudius had been dreading this moment ever since he watched the Mandalorian begin cutting the armor. It was a humiliation that was unfolding in a manner that only seemed to make things worse. He was hoping that the armor would be ready before Sierra returned so that he could test it without her there, but unfortunately she was ready before the armor was. Another thing to blame El-Nay for. To his relief the modifications to the armor did make it fit easier, and as Sierra placed the armor on him he could actually breath and move about. "Don't tell her yet, but she actually did a good job," he said to Sierra, quietly, in regards to El-Nay.

Sierra was happy to see that the armor was no longer constricting him. The volume of her voice dropped, "Don’t praise her until we get back." She leaned forward to steal a quick kiss. Sierra would take care of all of his negative feelings once they were on the way to Delaya. It had been a trying morning for him. Now that Claudius was prepared, Sierra plucked up a clean, ironed uniform and offered it to Kerrie. "Thank you for doing this, Kerrie. I don’t want anyone to be suspicious about Claudius’ absence." She turned away from the Commander, stepping into the kitchen where Bruce had been sleeping in his bassinet. She scooped her son up into her arms and began placing kisses on his chubby baby cheeks. "I love you. I’m going to miss you so much."

Kerrie was upset that she was being left out of the mission to Delaya, particularly given the history of attacks they had endured while on the world. She consoled herself with the knowledge that she had been entrusted to watch over their children, but it was a particularly bitter pill for her to swallow that El-Nay was going. "Of course, Milady," she said, as reached out and took the Grand Moff's uniform. She gave a careful glance to Claudius upon realizing she would have to make an adjustment to how large of a stomach to shift into. "Don't do anything stupid," she said to El-Nay, as she again raised her finger, tapping it against the T-shaped visor of her helmet. "In fact don't do anything unless they tell you to," she said, in perhaps too harsh a criticism. "Fear not, milord, milady ... no harm will come to your family whilst you are away," she vowed, confidently, as she moved to join Sierra at the bassinet.

El-Nay was relieved to see that the armor fit, grinning from ear to ear beneath the privacy afforded by her helmet. When Kerrie began to chastise her she stuck out her tongue and began to make silly faces at her, which of course could not be seen. "I'll wait on the ship," she said to Sierra, as she could see there was a tender moment beginning that she would only be in the way for. Without making another comment to Kerrie in response to her lecture, she slipped past everyone and moved towards the shuttle, not noticing the silverware that Melickielickie had dropped. When she arrived on the shuttle, she sat down on the crate containing the two Squibs, not being perceptive enough to notice their presence. Once safely on the shuttle she reached to the sides of her head and pulled off her helmet, setting it beside her, as she waited for the Rodneys to arrive.

El-Nay and Kerrie were back to bickering like an old, married couple. Sierra wondered if they had made up from what had happened in the Void. It wasn’t any of her business, so she wasn’t about to butt her head into it. All she could do was hope for the best. "I trust you, Kerrie." She said, nodding to El-Nay. Sierra assumed the Squibs had moved on to playing in another bathroom and didn’t think to check on what they were up to. She took the moment to love on her son, then offer him to his father so Claudius could say his goodbyes too. It was necessary to leave Bruce here. Sierra was convinced that Bruce had indirectly caused the thranta to attack Papius. The next time something like that happened, she wouldn’t put it past Papius to try to punish the boy. Her fingers brushed over Bruce’s sprouting blonde hair. "Mommy and daddy will be back as soon as possible." She promised the infant.

Claudius reached out to take Bruce from Sierra, having a difficult time holding him because he was now in a suit of unfamiliar armor. He smiled down at his baby boy, wishing that he did not have to leave him, but Sierra needed him more. He lifted the boy while simultaneously lowering his head and placing a kiss upon his forehead. When the last goodbye had been sent, he placed the boy back down in the bassinet. He considered going to say goodbye to Drusilla and the Squibs, but that would only turn the long goodbye into a neverending one. "The sooner we go ... the sooner we can get back," he told Sierra, logically, before moving with her from the estate towards the shuttle. As he boarded the ramp he gave a polite nod to El-Nay, before taking his seat in the co-pilot's chair. As he attempted to strap the safety harness across him, due to his increased weight and the bulk of the armor it would not snap into place. "Blast!" he cursed, as he gave up with the eternal struggle. He folded his arms in front of his chest as he stared out the viewport in silence. "Just take off," he told Sierra, before letting out a sigh.

Sierra glanced down at her son one last time. Knowing he was in good hands made it easier to leave. At the same time, she loved her family and hated parting from it for any amount of time. She turned away from him, quickly making her way out to the shuttle with her husband. Sierra took her place in the pilot’s chair and quickly began making take off preparations. From her peripheral vision, she saw Claudius struggling with the safety harness. There seemed to be no winning today. Her hand briefly rested on his arm. She felt gratitude for all the hoops he jumped through to come with her, but did exactly as he said. The Kwai blasted off from Esseles. It wouldn’t be long before they were in Delaya again. Sierra silently wondered if they were ready for what was coming.

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