Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:10:3) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Sea Islands) and Nerf Herder.
Pontifex James Caldwell, Lord Marcus Rodney, and Zara Ta'em/Rodney.

The equator of Delaya was as hot as the north was cold. The Nerf Herder was skimming just above the waves of the planet's largest ocean, having drawn further away from the capital city of Leiliani and the probing eyes of his family and their security forces. In fact, it had been a while since they had seen any land at all. Eventually, a chain of islands began to appear on the horizon, partially obscured by a mist, as if out of some fairy tale. It was here that Marcus had chosen to marry Zara and spend a romantic honeymoon. It was one of the few regions of the planet untouched by industry and had been protected by his mother as a wildlife and nature sanctuary. As a result there should not have been anyone on the islands, which also worked in their advantage as he did not want anyone to bother them. "We're finally here," he said to her, with a smile as warm as the midday sun that was beating down upon the sandy beach that they were approaching. The landing was uneventful and within moments they had touched down on the beach. "No one should bother us here," he told her happily, as he rose from his seat and then quickly moved to unstrap her. He helped her up from her seat and down the ramp of the transport with as much care as if she was the baby. He was giving new meaning to the word 'overbearing'.

For Zara, Marcus had brought in a parade of events she never thought she would ever experience. He'd given her the opportunity to *really* fall in love with someone. He helped show her that the future wasn't a suicide mission across enemy lines...but something *happy*. He had even created a life with that was so little yet caused an immense amount of worry. Now, now he was marrying her. Even when they had gotten engaged, Zara knew she wanted to be with him forever. However, she feared that he'd get cold feet or stumble into information on her that he didn't like. Yet the man continued to love her. Maybe he was injured one too many times!

After the unexpected family meeting on the Star Destroyer, there was only one option; they needed to get married. There was no telling when Zara would begin to show or if the information would leak back to his parents in one way or another. She had some ideas for a doctor, but there was no telling if they would keep that special patient-doctor confidentiality or not. The wedding location was another problem. Where in the universe could they go? It had to be somewhere free from peepers. Marcus had a plan. He spoke of the hidden islands on Delaya. He sounded so confident that no one would find them there. And you know what? Zara trusted him. She allowed the stress to wash off of her. After all, stress was only going to hurt her and the baby.

Her emotions twisted and turned until she felt happy. Ultimately, Zara was getting to marry the man of her dreams. It was *their* special day; a day they would remember until they died. She found that she became happier all the way to Delaya. Finally, when they did reach the surface of the planet, the little thief was bright eyed and bushy tailed. She flashed a smile just as bright at him. "We're getting married!" She squeed. Her hands brushed over his while he unstrapped her. He was being so careful with her. It was sweet! A single hand slid into his as they moved down the ramp. The smell of the ocean filled Zara's nose immediately. The vision that stood in front of her was breathtaking. Sandy white beaches and a beautiful crystal blue ocean stood in front of her. There were no unnatural noises, only the sounds of chirping birds and the ocean waves as they moved back and forth across the sand. She looked totally flabbergasted...then she looked worried. She turned toward him. Her free hand ran over his cheek. "I love you so much, Marcus. We don't have to do this now if you don't want to. I don't want our marriage to be a result from our baby, but from our love."

As they exited the transport the sun beat down on them like a hammer on an anvil. They were very near the planet's equator where they were nearest the bright Aldera star that illuminated the entire system. He had spent so much time in space, and in the planet's north, that the brightness took him momentarily off guard and he had to bring his hand to his forehead, as if giving a salute, to shield himself. "Not too many people know this place exists, and it's illegal to be here. We should be safe," he said to her, as he kicked off his shoes and allowed his naked feet to make contact with the coarse sand of the island, whose heat took some getting used to. "Ah. Hot," he complained, as he frantically lifted his feet in rapid succession until he grew accustomed to the sensation. "I love you too, Zara," he said to her, once he had become acclimated and was able to fixate his attention properly on. "I'm not doing this because I *have* to, Zara. I'm doing this because I *want* to," he explained to her, as he reached out with both of his hands to gently take hold of her by her wrists. He looked down at her with deep sincerity, smiling at her blissfully on their temporary island paradise.

Wow! It was hot! Apparently Zara had gotten used to the coldness on their home planet, which made the heat that more of a shock. She had to resist the urge to disrobe right there on the ramp. Surely he wouldn't have minded, right? "Good. That means I can shoot any bastard that I see." It was like the Star Wars universe equivalent to *get offa mah property!* She watched him test the heat of the sand with his bare foot. "That bad, huh? I hope you have a gallon of sunscreen with you." Because she was going to need to take a dive in it. Zara stood in the sand. There was a soft, ocean breeze that made the sun less murderous. Still, Zara needed Marcus' certainty that he wasn't diving into this for the wrong reasons. She knew that if they didn't get married and had a baby, it would be seen as extremely disgraceful. She smiled, nodding her head. He wanted this too. He wanted the crazy thief who had busted into his room with the intent of stealing his treasures to be his wife. It was such an amazing story. Too bad they could never recount their first meeting to anyone but themselves. "Okay, then let's make you Marcus Ta'em." She giggled, guiding him further into the sand. She danced in it with him, finally allowing herself to fully enjoy the moment with no worries.

"Marcus Ta'em, eh?" Marcus asked her, arching an eyebrow as he turned to look at her following her little joke. In a flourish he grabbed hold of her by the waist and literally swept her off her feet. Carrying his fiance, who was growing with each day of her pregnancy, he made a beeline for the nearby ocean, whose waves were crashing against the sandy shore. As his feet entered the warm water it was a relief from the scorched earth he left behind, and in moments he found himself in waist deep water whose waves began to crash against her as he refused to let go. But once they were suitable in water that was deep enough as to not hurt her and the baby she carried he did let go, and with a *splash* he found himself covered in seawater as well. He had a sense of humor also, but his retort was of a mischievous prank rather than words.

"Yup. I think people will appreciate it." She stated matter-of-factly just before he swept her off of her feet. "Marcus!" She yipped cheerfully. It took Zara all of a split second to realize he wasn't whisking her off of her feet in a fit of romance, but instead taking her for a dip. "Noooo!!!" She laughed while playfully objecting to his plans. She fought, though it wasn't real fighting. She prepared herself for cold water and was pleasantly surprised when it was warm. The dress she wore was instantly wet and clinging to her body when she hit the water. She was laughing, sweeping her damp hair from in front of her face. As soon as she got her footing in the sand far beneath her, she splashed him. "No fair!" She shouted, "It's not like I can carry you and dump you in the water." It was a good visual, right? She started splashing him with both of her hands as she closed the distance between them. When her body pressed against his, she wrapped her arms around his neck. "Jerkface." She whispered playfully while kissing his chin. No sooner had she made herself comfortable with him did she jump towards him, forcing their weight to shift backwards and hopefully topple him into the water. All this was done while Zara laughed her best villainous laugh.

The brief moment of romance shared between them served as an intermission before a second round of playful fighting between that served to knock him from his feet and send him backwards into the water. There was a catastrophic splash from his entry into the water that sent rippled out in every direction. Beneath the waves he was able to see small schools of colorful fish swimming at best possible speed to avoid being crushed by his downfall. It took him a moment to stabilize himself, but when he did, he allowed himself to float back to the surface, laying still, while being gently rocked back and forth by the tidal current. As he looked up at the sun that was beating down upon him, he closed his eyes and entered a state of deep reflection of all that had transpired lately. He had gone from no good bounty hunter with a reputation for carousing and womanizing to a man in a stable relationship that was about to lead to marriage and fatherhood. He sighed contently, eyes still closed, as a contented smile crept onto his lips. It had taken far longer than it should have for him to get his life together and settle down ... by all accounts he was behind schedule ... but if he had gotten his life together earlier it would not have been with her, so he was glad it took so long.

Oh my, was Zara ever pleased when her little plans were fruitful. Even if it meant that she crashed into the water too, it was worth it to see him go down. The warm, wonderful ocean water swept over her in a sudden rush as they hit the water. She surfaced quickly, pushing her lengthy hair back again. Her heart thumped full of joy and love. This is one of the reasons why they were perfect for each other. They could go through a major shit storm and still find time for happiness after it. Remember when he burned his back for her? Zara did. It didn't stop him from making her happy. Her mind wandered to another place. There was no one else on the island, so, did that mean she could make love to him *anywhere* she wanted? She peered over at him. The smile on her face had turned naughty. "Marrcccuussss..." She pinched the material of a small strap of her dress in between two fingers. She took her time in sliding it down her pale arm. The process was repeated on the other arm, only Zara didn't remove her dress afterward. Instead, she let it cling to her body and showcase all those beautiful curves until the ocean current began to pull it downward.

As the galactic civil war raged on, the civilian population increasingly needed distractions to take their minds off the serious problems in life. No holonet programs did better than the tabloids, which broadcast the private lives and scandals of celebrities and debutantes into the homes of billions. Marcus Rodney, given his title and reputation, had from time to time found himself as a subject of entertainment and ridicule by these agents, and as such his movements were tracked by several members of the gutter press waiting to profit off his exploit. While it was true that no other sentient life existed on this island, off in the distance a small seeker droid was recording their every movement, their frolicking in the waves, and was now getting the money shot ... topless photos of the young nympho who the eccentric nobleman had been seen gallivanting about with. As Marcus enjoyed his time in the sea with his beautiful young fiancé, little did he know a series of events that were about to dramatically alter both of their lives ... and more importantly their plans for privacy ... had been irrevocably set in motion.

The idea that anyone, or anything, was recording every second of their intimacy was far from her mind. Zara hadn't experienced the life of royalty like he had. Until now, she had no reason to worry about someone taking pictures of her. Unknown to her, that part of her life had changed. Zara made the moment so much worse than it could have been. We can all imagine that she didn't stop undressing once her breasts were digitally caught. She went all the way. Eventually, a heated session in the ocean led to the shore where the youthful young woman rode her husband into oblivion. While she thought she was showcasing herself for Marcus, she was really showcasing herself for the whole god damn galaxy. Regardless, after all was said and done she lay on top of him simply enjoying life. "Mmmm..." Zara purred. "I think I messed up the order of things. We consummated our marriage first. Shame on me!" She was teasing. The honeymoon was supposed to be filled of, well, incredible martial sex. "Let's get married. I don't want to wait another minute to be your wife." It didn't matter how insane his family was, she was glad to be in it.

Hours transpired as the duo made limited use of the cramped refresher aboard the Nerf Herder to undo the damage of the sea and sun to make themselves more presentable for the wedding that was to come. Marcus, being a man, was freshed up in under a half hour, whereas Zara had already been in there for several hours with no end in sight. He had changed into the more formal attire of an Alderaanian nobleman in rich shades of blue, and had set about lighting torches to illuminate the beach as Zara's lengthy preparations had caused night to fall. In the night sky the graveyard of Alderaan was painfully visible, a reminder of the Empire's unspeakable cruelty, and the occasionally fragment of debris would burn up in Delaya's atmosphere causing what would be considered a beautiful streak across the sky, if not for the knowledge of what it truly was. He stood there, nervously, her ring in hand, shifting uncomfortably as he waited for his life to remarkably change forever.

In the distance the sound of a speeder could be heard in the distance, hopping over the waves, as it approached the private island. When it touched down upon the surface, a single, solitary figure stumbled out of the vehicle. He was dressed in elaborate robes that were slightly unkempt in need of ironing and better care. The unmistakable smell of alcohol was about him, particularly on his breath, which was enough to get anyone who breathed it above the legal blood alcohol limit. He moved into position in front of Marcus, revealing an aging, worn out face, that needed a shave ... and a bar of soap. He was one of holy men of Delaya who had taken up drinking after the destruction of Alderaan and became increasingly withdrawn and erratic. Marcus had arranged for him to perform the ceremony because he believed that no one would believe him if he blabbed about the ceremony, though privately he doubted the old man would even remember.

It was true, Zara took infinitely longer than her counterpart to prepare herself for their special moment. In her defense, he had short hair while hers nearly reached the small of her back. That alone took time! Determined to keep her appearance secret, she shuffled him out of the Nerf Herder as soon as he was ready. She left him with an empty threat and the image of a towel wrapped around her body, hair messily pinned behind her head, "Don't peek! If you do, it's back in the ocean for you!" She huddled off in a corner of the ship where she groomed herself to perfection. Her long, silver hair was dried and left to its own devices. On top of her head, she wore a crown of flowers. There were soft, purple flowers mixed it with white ones. It was one of the last pieces of her family that she had; her mother's wedding crown. The flowers on it only grew on Alderaan. Because they had been expertly preserved, the crown remained flawless. A corset-like top covered her torso. It was gorgeous and intricate. At one point, it had been a gift for restoring a family's treasures back to their rightful owner. She had never worn it until now.

The skirt of the makeshift wedding dress fell to her ankles. The material was light and would blow in the wind as she walked closer to him. She wore no shoes, taking away any of the added height that she desperately required. At long last, Zara pressed her husband's ring into her palm. It appeared to be a simple black band made of an extremely durable metal. What made it different was what it could do...

It wasn't long after the drunk holy man appeared that Zara *finally* presented herself. She looked shy as she stood on the ramp, staring out over the path he had lit up. For the first time in Zara's life, she was actually blushing. Her pretty blues met with Marcus, causing a smile to instantly spread over her lips. Life was changing for the better. No matter what, Zara would *never* look back. With small steps, as to not trip, Zara began to walk down the beach towards her hubby-to-be. Hopefully it was dark enough that he couldn't see the tears in her eyes. How was this even her life? How did she get so lucky? And goodness! What was that smell?! The holy man?! Well, if he was as drunk as he seemed, all this was going to be a blur in his mind by the time he sobered up. Though taking her time, Zara eventually made it to the love of her life. She was in awe of how handsome he looked. It took everything in her not to kiss him right then!

When Zara appeared before him, Marcus did not speak, for fear of ruining the moment. Instead, he just stood there in silence to marvel at the sheer beauty of the woman he had chosen to spend his life with. Even the odor surrounding the holy man could not put a damper on the sense of joy that was rapidly filling him. The smile that formed on his face was genuine and was the physical embodiment of the unparalleled love that now filled him. He took her by the hand and turned to face the inebriated officiator, giving him a soft nod of the head to begin. At first nothing happened and the trio stood there in awkward silence until Marcus moved his foot forward to give the man a little nudge. With that, he began reciting the ancient Alderaanian marriage vows, which had gone out of fashion as civil ceremonies had begun to become the norm. As he spoke, occasionally slurring his words, Marcus found himself becoming slightly choked up and constantly fiddling with the ring in his hands. When the time was right, he slid the ring onto Zara's appropriate finger, and then lowered his head to place a passionate kiss upon her lips. As he held his face against hers, eyes closed, he could see her in his mind more clearly than if his eyes were open. It was done. They were married.

The words had escaped her entirely. This morning was too good for them. The moment he took her hand and Zara looked in his eyes, she *knew* how much he loved her. She was basked in a love so pure. Whatever he may have been before was gone now. The idea of infidelity couldn't even be found at the far reaches of her mind. When the ceremony continued, Marcus would be hers until the end. As much as she tried to fight off her tears, somewhere in the Alderaanian marriage vows, she lost it. Tears ran down her cheeks while her emotions overwhelmed her. She didn't know how she function enough to place the ring on his finger, nor did she know how she managed such a sweet, tender kiss. The words the priest had spoken would never leave her mind. She believed they could weather any storm together, even the shit storm that was brewing as they shared their first kiss as husband and wife. Zara's hands were clasped on his face. She could feel her ring on her finger. Its weight was new, yet it made her fill with joy. They were *married*. Her torrent of emotions filled the kiss. She loved him so completely. She closed her eyes and let the image engrave itself into her head. "I love you..." She heard herself whimper while keeping that kiss going as long as possible.

Before Marcus could inform her that he, too, loved her the holy man interrupted the solemnity of the mood with a loud, obnoxious burp, before withdrawing from the scene to allow them their moment. It was only when he was gone that Marcus was finally able to have the time alone with the woman he had just committed his life to. "I love you," he assured her, with a hint of desperateness in his voice that revealed just how scared of losing her he now felt. He would possess her, as he no longer could imagine a life that did not involve her. He stood there, illuminated only by the light of the torches which caused shadows to dance upon their faces as if they were having a large reception, but in reality were as along as two people could be on this overpopulated core world. He did not want to leave, or even move, as he did not want this moment to end. Little did he know that the entire ceremony had been recorded by the droid and would soon be available, on demand, to everyone with a holonet transceiver.

Zara tossed a murderous glare towards the belching, drunk holy man. She would have told him to scram if he hadn't done to himself. Now, the engines on his ship were just a sound barely audible in the distance. Like Marcus, she didn't move an inch. His declaration of his love made her smile, just as it always had. She wrapped her arms around his neck. Her little nose bumped against his when she moved to her tippytoes. She said not a word, but the glimmer in her eyes that the light caught told a story. She was happy. She was in love. She was also being recorded. The little droid had struck gold in finding the secret ceremony of the newly wed. "Let's just stay here forever." She broke the silence. "We can eat fish and make some interesting clothing out of leaves. Think about it." Her lips touched with his, then his chin, then along his jaw. "My husband..." The words were so new on her lips that she giggled.

Untitled 1

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