Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:6:31) in the Essesia system: Esseles (New Calamar: Claudius Rodney's estate).
Ewwiekewwieikkie, Melickielickie, Callista Nilar, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, and Major Sierra Rodney.

"Ugh," Ewwiekewwieikkie groaned as she dug into the front lawn with the shovel she acquired from the Stormtrooper kit. "Hurry, 'lista, get the hose!" she said, as she started to dig deeper. "If we don't make a bond the ducks is gonna leave!" she said in a panic, as she attempted to create a water feature right in front of the house. "Melickielickie! Help! Somehow!" she said, in a panic, as she began slamming her shovel into the ground, and throwing the loose soil over her shoulder right into the flowerbed that Sierra and Doctor Tohan had worked so hard on. "Don't go ducks. We got a pond coming!" she said, as they began to waddle away from the commotion, quacking up a storm. "Oh no no no no!" she said, as they got further away. "Somebody. Give them cake," she said, as she thought maybe food would divert their attention. "...just a little though," she said, as she did not want to lose her food. She was working up quite the appetite.

"Sorbet! Stay still!" Sierra had her arms around the small, but still incredibly large, bantha. It was bath day for the family pet. Everyone knew when bath day arrived, for the smell of the bantha was too much to bare. Only half of the beast was wet, but *all* of Sierra was soaked. Bruce was seated off to the side in his bouncer. He kicked his feet to bounce himself while he watched his mother and the gigantic hairball. Melickielickie and Callista were trying to help by grabbing at Sorbet, but they had become just as wet as Sierra now. Sierra dropped the hose as she grabbed a large bottle of bantha shampoo that claimed it could make even the stinkiest banthas smell like starfruit. She filled her hands with the soap and began to scrub the bantha. She wasn't paying attention to the new addition the estate was getting. Claudius wanted a tea house. He was getting a pond.

"Eeeeee!" Melickielickie ran her hands over the wet bantha fur and giggle. She licked Sorbet. "Ew! *No eat*! *No eat*!" She picked fur from her mouth. Her little ears perked as she heard her sister. "Noooooooooo! No leavessss!" She cried, darting off towards Ewwiekewwieikkie. She plopped down on the ground and began digging like a dog might. The soil flew from in between her legs. It landed near Callista, showering her in dirt.

Callista grabbed the hose and started running towards her bestie. "Ewwie! Ewwie!" Her finger pressed down in the muzzle of the hose, causing water to spurt out in a blast all over *both* Ewwie and Mewwie. "Nooo! Don't leave, duckies! Hurry, Ewwie! Dig faster!" She cried, dancing around anxiously.

Suddenly Ewwiekewwieikkie became very nervous. "Uhm. Uhm. Raise the shields she ordered!" remember the time the giant bubble went over their house. She dropped the shovel and ran towards Sierra as quickly as she could. "Shields up! Shields up!" she said, as she assumed with the shield up the ducks would not be able to fly away. While some people believed that if you loved something you should let it go and see if it comes back, it was not a policy known among the Squibs of Skor II. She began shaking with a bout of nervous energy before running back towards the partially dug pond, where she grabbed the shovel, and began digging as hard as she could. "Order the super troopers to help us!" she screamed, as she felt as if this were their only chance to keep the ducks.

A novice Stormtrooper heard Ewwiekewwieikkie screaming to put on the shields. Sierra was finally succeeding in getting the bantha nice and sudsy when the shield began to go up over the house. This was a new experience for her. While not surprising, she did wonder what the heck was going on. The bantha took Sierra's distraction as a chance to get away. Sorbet slipped from beside Sierra and went running out towards the girls. "Crapno." Sierra whispered as she moved to find out what was happening. The appearance of the shield had been enough to make the ducks stay grounded. They didn't understand either. It was then that Sierra assessed the damage. The flower bed that Doctor Tohan had helped her with was covered in dirt. Ewwiekewwieikkie had gotten much further on the hole in the ground that one would expect. Squib energy was amazing. From out of nowhere, a soapy Sorbet reappeared and tackled Sierra. He licked her hair. "Wait...Ewwiekewwieikkie...stop!"

"Yay. He puttin' up da shields!" Ewwiekewwieikkie cheered, as she looked towards Callista and Melickielickie in victorious triumph. "It's a trap!" she said to the ducks, as a big smile came over her face. "Now we need to fill the pond!" she said, as she saw Callista coming with the hose. But then something else happened ... her bantha had pounced Sierra. "Okay. I'll wait," she said, not understanding exactly what it was that Sierra meant. "Everybody pounce Sierra ... now!" she said, before she scampered over towards Sierra and leapt on her next to the bantha. "Yay. It's a pounce party!" she said, feeling very glad to be hold indeed.

Callista watched the shields go up. "Oooh! Pretty! You made the sky pretty!" She exclaimed, doing a little happy dance. She was still holding the hose when Ewwie told her to pounce her aunt. "Yay! Pounce auntie!" She dropped the hose on the ground. The handle on the hose hit the ground and water spurted *everywhere*. She tackled Sierra. "*Pounce party*!" She bounced up and down on the poor woman. "This is so much fun!"

It didn't take long for the smallest Squib to join in on the party. She jumped on top of everyone else. She licked Callista's face, then Ewwiekewwieikkie, then Sierra's. Before she could lick Sorbet, she seemed to remember how yucky his fur tasted. It seemed everyone was happy to be home.

Sierra suddenly was overwhelmed by the bantha and children. She laughed happily. "Pounce party!" She opened up her arms, attempting to hug all three of the girls...and even Sorbet too. She failed to have the shields put down immediately as she was wrapped up in a sweet family moment.

"Sierra, I have a question," Ewwiekewwieikkie said, as she sat on the ground next to her stepmother. "Why don't Jelly come here anymore?" she asked, not able to understand the complexities of the war In fact, she was not even aware that a war was going on. "She lives so far away now. Did I do something wrong? Did I eat her cake?" she asked, as she remembered the night before Jelena defected to the Rebellion when the girl tried to explain it to her, but she really did not understand. Then she looked towards Callista, realizing that, from her point of view, that Jelena lived with Callista. "Oh. Does she like 'lista better?" she asked, feeling a little jealous.

Ewwiekewwieikkie's statement was met with ass-clenching fear from Sierra. She knew the day would come when the Squib got curious and finally asked where babies came from. Sierra had honestly hoped that would be a conversation that she could weasel her way out of by sticking it on Claudius. It was a serious relief to hear her not go there. Instead, the conversation turned towards Jelena. Sierra sat up. The other girls scampered off to play with Bruce while Sierra was left to have a serious conversation with Ewwiekewwieikkie. She drew an arm around the Squib and pulled her close. "Oh sweetie, you did *nothing* wrong. Jelly loves you very much." She leaned in closer. "Between you and I, she likes you *much* better than Callista." Sierra drew back. This was a difficult conversation. "Jelly... She's a good person. She moved far away to take care of other people, like Callista's mommy and daddy. She's really good at it too." She told her adoptive Squib daughter. "I miss her too, so does your daddy." She ran her hand over Ewwiekewwieikkie's back. It was hard to simply everything going on for her to understand. Sierra couldn't tell her that Jelena was fighting a war on the opposite side of her father.

"Um. Um. But who takes of her?" Ewwiekewwieikkie asked, in her only follow up question. "Is okay. New people here now," she said, as she rose back onto her feet and stood over Sierra. "Brucus is here," she said, as she mispronounced the baby' name. "Melickielickie is here," she said, with a big smile on her face, not understanding that soon they would go to Skor II. "Callista is here!" she said with a big smile, as she did a little dance. "And...and..." she looked down at Sierra with her nose twitching. "Someone else is coming too!" she said to her, before running back over to her duck pond to see to its construction.

The follow up question made Sierra pause. Who did take care of Jelena now? They were so far away from each other now. It was hard to take care of Jelena. She made the decision to start sending monthly care packages to Jelena, simply so she could be reminded that they were always thinking about her. Ewwiekewwieikkie had a positive outlook. She pointed out the family's new additions, as well as Callista. Sierra enjoyed having their home full like it currently was. She slowly rose to her feet with a warm smile on her face. It was Ewwiekewwieikkie's last comment that confused Sierra. "Someone else..?" Sierra looked behind her shoulder but found no other person. Hm. Ewwiekewwieikkie's senses were *much* better than that of a human. She thoughtfully considered the implications while looking for Callista and Melickielickie.

Callista was holding the hose in her hand. She was filling up the hole in which Ewwiekewwieikkie had dug. "The ducks are gonna love the pond!" She piped up. She was a little jealous that her bestie had so many different animals at her home, while the Cupcake Palace had none. She wondered if she could pick up a duck and bring it with her home. "Duckies!! Come to your new home!" She called out excitedly.

The moment Claudius Rodney had been alerted the defensive shields had been raised at his estate on Esseles he was convinced that his family was in danger. Perhaps from the Rebellion, or perhaps from some of his rivals in the Empire. He ran down towards the hangar day where he commandeered the Kwai without even making an attempt to find Lieutenant Anson. Grabbing the controls he dropped out the Retributor's hangar bay and began rocketing down towards the surface. As he approached New Calamar and his estate he could clearly see the shields were up, but did not see any sight of Rebel activity or damage. When his shuttle penetrated the shield he did the least technical landing platform, and immediately descended the ramps. As he searched for his family he found them in the one place he should have expected ... in muddy water bothering the ducks.

It had to have been quite a scene for him to come home to. All *four* girls were soaked. Sorbet had made it very clear that a bath wasn't happening, and ran off to stay away from Sierra. The ducks were in a group quacking loudly. Ewwiekewwiekkie had nearly made a very small pond in the front yard. Callista's short attention span had moved on from filling to lake. Now she was squatted down in front of Bruce making funny faces at the little boy.

Sierra turned off the water rapidly. She reappeared with Melickielickie under her arm. She was tickling the little Squib. "I've got you!" Sierra laughed. When she realized that Claudius was there, she froze. A shy smile appeared on her face as she set Melickielickie down. "Hi... Ewwiekewwieikkie *may* have ordered the troopers to raise the shield ... to keep the ducks in..." She laughed.

"*Daddy*!" A wet Melickielickie barreled straight towards Claudius. "Ewwie! Daddy home! Daddy home!" She announced, gathering up her sister's hand. "C'mon! Daddy home! Pounce party! Pounce party!" Her little feet didn't stop moving until she was right in front of him, wrapping her arms around his legs and jumping up and down. "Pounce party! Pounce party!"

Ewwiekewwieikkie stopped making mud pies when she heard the announcement her father was home. She scampered out of the makeshift pond and moved right towards him when the chant of 'pounce party' came. From that moment on there was no saving him. She bounced in the air very excited, happy to see him. "Did you miss us?" she asked, as she coated him in muddy water and slobbered his face. "I, uh, we ... have ducks now!" she declared, before attempting to drag him towards the pond.

"The shields? To keep in ducks?" Claudius asked Sierra from out of nowhere when he was blindsided by Ewwiekewwieikkie, Melickielickie, and Callista. He had never seen a pounce party before, but by the looks in her eyes he knew what it was. "Oh dear," he cried, as he knew it was likely to injure his tired old bones. He went down *hard* as he landed under the combined weight of everyone. He was covered in mud, water, and blue fur ... but that was not the worst part ... by the sensation beneath his back it was clear he had landed in a pile of duck poop. "Sierra," he cried out to her weakly, as he gave her his trademark pout.

"Uncle, uncle, uncle!" Pounce parties were new, but Callista *loved* them. She couldn't wait to give her mommy and daddy a pounce party. "Didya miss us?! We missed you! I helped auntie bathe Sorbet! It was fun! I chased ducks today!" Callista was reporting her day in full blast all the while dirtying her uncle. Her brown hair looked even darker with muddy mess caked in it.

There was nothing Sierra could do to stop the pounce party. She saw her husband go down in a blur of blue fur and Callista. She started towards him to being wrestling each girl off of him. "Alright, alright. You all are a mess." She said, grasping Melickielickie around the waist. Sierra lifted her and set her aside, then repeated the same process with Callista and Ewwiekewwieikkie. "Off to the bath. Yes Ewwiekewwieikkie, you can get a snack on the way." She looked down at Claudius. There was a twinkle in her eye. "Pounce party?" Sierra grinned. She stuck out both of her hands to help bring him up to his feet. "Welcome home. As you can see, the whole house missed you." Once he was on his feet, Sierra stepped in and kissed him on the lips. She, too, added to the messy state of his tunic.

When the kiss broke, Claudius smirked down at his wife with an impish grin. "Now answer me truthfully, do you wish the Stormtroopers had used the ducks for target practice?" he asked her, as he attempted to dust himself off, but somehow he only ended up becoming messier. "I missed them too," he told her, as he moved over towards the 'pond'. "Should I hire a professional landscaper to complete this job?" he asked her, as despite the calamity, he did not want the girls to lose their ducks.

Sierra laughed hard. "No, no. It's been fun watching the girls chase them around today. We had a conversation about 'duck danger' and not feeding them cake... I'm quite certain Ewwiekewwieikkie wasn't listening to the last part." She took a few steps away from him to collect Bruce from his bouncer. He, too, was watching the ducks. She stood beside him at the makeshift pond. "She made a deep hole for how fast she did it." Sierra saw in awe, then nodded her head. "Yes, please. That'll keep the ducks here." She knew the girls would enjoy that...she would too. The ducks had made for an eventful, pleasant day. She grasped her husband's hand with her free one and began leading him into their home. "Ewwiekewwieikkie asked me about Jelena today." She said quietly.

"...they fed the ducks cake?" Claudius asked, as he literally brought his face down into the palm of his hand. "Alright. I'll see to it. It'll probably be expensive, but it's worth it," he complained, as the conversation shifted to something more serious ... Jelena. "Oh?" he asked her, as he checked to make sure everyone was out of earshot. "What did she ask about?" he pressed, feeling his heart ache, as he considered the various options. Ewwiekewwieikkie was already grown when Jelena was born, but because of the Squib's limited ability Jelena had grown into a big sister over time.

"Does that really surprise you?" Sierra sighed. She would be making a trip to the pet store to collect duck feed, then she'd educate the girls on what was good to feed the ducks. "It is worth it. Thank you." She smiled at Claudius. He was such a sweet man whom she loved *very* much. "She asked about why Jelena didn't live here anymore. She wanted to know if she'd done something wrong, or if Jelena liked Callista more. I explained to her that Jelena is taking care of people like Callista's parents, and that it most certainly isn't her fault. She seemed to happy up thinking about all the new members of the family. I feel for her. I wish things could be different. Maybe there's more we could be doing to make sure she sees her sister." Sierra could hear an array of noises coming from the upstairs bathroom.

Claudius quickly brought his hand up to wash away a tear that was forming in the corner of his eye. "Oh that breaks my heart," he confided in Sierra, as he wrapped an arm around her for support. "Every time we go there we endanger everyone," he reminded her, with a heavy heart. "If someone like Inquisitor Thrope got wind we knew the location of a Rebel safe world and did *nothing*, could you imagine what her response would be?" he asked her, as he lowered his head in somewhat defeat. "Oh!" he said suddenly, as he realized because of the pounce party he had forgotten to give her the news of the day. "King Ebareebaveebeedee sent word he is prepared to hear our petition to formally adopt Melickielickie," he told Sierra, but only if he could get her away from the ducks.

She held him to her. The war times created such difficulties for their family. As badly as she wanted Jelena to return home, each time she saw her Sierra was convinced more and more that Jelena belonged where she was. The thought of what Inquisitor Thrope would do scared Sierra. She'd go to New Alderaan and slaughter *everyone*. The evil Lepi would surely use Jelena to get inside of Claudius' head before killing her. Sierra kissed his forehead. She was sorry things couldn't be easier. There was no way to arrange anything better for Ewwiekewwieikkie.

The gloomy thoughts moved away from her mind when he mentioned the King of Skor II. A smile instantly shot up on her face. "Really?! That's great news! I ... really don't know a lot about this process. Tell me what you know." She already had collected shinies to offer up. She didn't want to lose Melickielickie. Her and Ewwiekewwieikkie had bonded in the most beautiful of ways. They had instantly taken to being sisters.

"From our point of view we may have to buy her. We have to prove our ability to provide as adoptive parents with a grand display of wealth. In short, silverware," Claudius explained to her, as he remember when he adopted Ewwiekewwieikkie 20 years ago. "We will have to do a grand bargain with the King, who is quite shrewd I might add, and when all is successful we'll be granted a legal adoption certificate," he explained, as it was a rather simple process to anyone who could muster enough cutlery. "Don't worry, my dear. I am certain it is merely a formality," he told her, as he wondered what trouble they were getting into inside the bath.

It all seemed simple enough. Since they had decided to adopt Melickielickie, Sierra had made a point to go into town and hit all the thrift stores for silverware, which she then shined and put in a locked box. She wondered what a planet of Squibs would be like. She was interested to immerse herself in Squib culture for the first time. She recognized that this trip was going to lead her husband down a dark memory road, and that she would provide him with all of her support. "Okay, that doesn't seem too bad. I've been shining old silverware that I picked up from thrift stores. I'm not sure if it'll be enough." Due to the common 'finders keepers' Squib law, Sierra was going to make sure she wore nothing shiny that she actually cared about. The last thing she wanted to do was lose her wedding ring to a Squib. Her eyes briefly drifted up the staircase as she, too, wondered what was occurring within the bathroom. She was not brave enough to check herself. "When do you think we should go?" There was so much going on right now. She didn't know if they'd be able to leave until the Rebels in Chandrila were gone. Sierra adjusted Bruce as she began making her way upstairs to shower and change. She smelled like a wet bantha at this point. She was sure Claudius wanted to get out of his clothing too, especially once she saw the back of his tunic.

"Ebareebaveebeedee is a King and it would be unwise to keep him waiting," Claudius said, as the Squib ruler still felt he had supreme authority over his system. He followed her up the stairs, but perhaps a bit more slowly, as he was still recovering from the pounce party. "I think we need to burn these clothes," he said to her, as they walked down the corridor towards their room. But as he took a step forward he felt wetness under his booth. "Oh no!" he said, as he rushed toward the refresher door, but it was locked. There was water coming out from underneath the door and he could hear the sound of three distinct sound of giggles. In a moment of frustration he literally banged his head into the refresher door.

They'd need to go to Skor II as soon as possible then. She didn't want to displease King Ebareebaveebeedee right off the bat. It was in her hopes that the adoption process would move smoothly along. "I think we do too. Ugh. I will never get the smell of wet bantha out of this shirt." Her feet met with wetness. "Ohno..." She darted towards the refresher door where a waterfall was developing. She cursed under her breath, then pounded on the door. "Girls! You open this door right now!" Did she hear a quack? She gently thrust Bruce into his father's arms. "Hang on," she said, disappearing into their closet where she could be heard rummaging about. She found a hydrospanner and darted back. "I'm sorry, house." She said, patting the wall while she began jimmying the door open. All the while, the floor by her feet was getting wetter. When the door opened, Sierra stumbled forward. First, a green duck waddled its way out of the bathroom. The tub was more than full, and there was a mother duck with three duckling swimming around in a circle. Callista and Melickielickie were both submerged in the water and actively splashing each other. The water was *still* running. Sierra's first thought was how on earth they got ducks into the refresher ... then she turned off the water. At least Melickielickie and Callista looked cleaner.

Claudius took hold of Bruce willingly and then fled with him to the relative safety of the bedroom. "You're going to have to get used to the fact that men are a minority in this family," he told him, as he settled down into the bassinet. "Mommy will be back soon. She's busy keeping your sisters and cousin from drowning. Then she'll contact the insurance company to ensure we've kept our flood insurance up to date," he told him, as he activated the mobile above the bassinet. It was the same Alderaan system mobile that was used when he was a boy, but he could not bring himself to remove Alderaan. With Bruce in a good humor he was finally able to begin undressing, but rather than place the uniform in the hamper it went straight into the trash.

Indeed it was true, especially in their home. Males were the minority. Even counting Sorbet, there was only three males in the estate. Sierra was busy with the girls, threatening no Auntie Mae's ice cream for a week next time they locked the refresher door. She was glad she was wet already, because getting everyone dressed soaked her for a second time. While she was dealing with insurance and girls, Bruce was happy as a clam inside of their bedroom. He laid back in his bassinet with his chubby little legs spread out wide. He watched the mobile spin 'round and 'round all the while growing more and more sleepy.

Sierra escaped into the bedroom and closed the door behind her. Her tank top was now covered in a fresh batch of blue hair. Her eyes dipped inside the bassinet to check on Bruce, but he was already well on his way to sleepy town. He had spend a lot of time awake during the garden chaos. She briefly disappeared into the refresher to start the shower water warming for them, then she reappeared in the bedroom to begin stripping. "Someone will be out to fix the floors in the morning." Sierra said with a little laugh. "I threatened taking away ice cream, so I don't think that'll happen again." She held up her damp top, deciding that it was beyond fixing, and threw it into the trash. "They're all in the living room with snacks and Rainbow Rancor. Let's pray that keeps the girls amused so we can get clean. The bantha wouldn't stop licking my hair during bath time. You don't want to share a bed with me right now. Trust me."

"That's a relief," Claudius told her, as he looked to her with love. "Sierra, I need you to promise me that no matter how many adorable Squibs you see on Skor II that we will only come back with the two we arrive with," he pleaded with her, as he knew what a big heart she possessed. "Nothing like the fear of no ice cream. It would like put the New Calamar Auntie Mae's franchise out of business if we had to actually go through it," he said to her, before growing slightly quiet. "Sierra, I want to talk to you about one other thing..." he said, cryptically, before following her into the refresher.

Ohno. There were going to be *many* young Squibs on Skor II. Melickielickie was so tiny and cute. She couldn't imagine seeing ten small, adorable Squibs all at the same time. She laughed, extending her pinky to his. "I pinky swear that we will leave with *only* the Squibs we arrived with." He had broken his own rule of only one Squib per human household for her. His talk of Auntie Mae's reminded her that one had been constructed in New Alderaan and had flavors like Rebellious Raspberry and Starfighter Starfruit. As they moved into the refresher together, Claudius said words that could put fear into anyone. Sierra paled as she stepped into the shower. "What is it..? Did you discover the pudding I hid in your office? It was only for safe keeping! Or was it when my feet were really cold last night and I used your back to warm them?" She turned away from the water so she was facing him when he joined her.

"No. I didn't discover the hidden pudding or your use of my hairy back as a warming device," Claudius said to her, as he slowly moved to place his hand on her thigh. "I am not getting any younger, Sierra," he said to her, as he began to address her in a more serious tone. "I know we just went through such a harrowing delivery with Bruce, but when you're ready ... I'd like to try and conceive again," he told her, uncertain of how she would react. He found it difficult to look at her, fearful that she might not want to have another child with him after what the Emperor, Lord Vader, and Inquisitor Thrope subjected them to.

Sierra giggled all the while blushing. Well, now he knew her secrets. They were married ... what was his was hers, right? That *had* to include body warmth. She fell serious with the conversation, her hand resting on top of his. It wasn't about anything bad at all. In fact, the conversation brought a smile to her face and happiness into her heart. *She* had worried that he would not want another baby after Bruce. Inquisitor Thrope had ruined what was turning out to be the perfect pregnancy...and she hated that woman for it. Her body had managed to recover rapidly and their baby...he was doing perfect. Sierra brought her hands to his face, gently urging him to look in her eyes, which were filled with love and adoration. "I want that too, Claudius. I'm ready. I want to begin *immediately*." As if to demonstrate her point, she closed the distance between them and embraced him. "I love you so much. Bruce may be very young, but I'm ready. I want another child with you." She thought back to Ewwiekewwieikkie in the garden. She wasn't going to tell Claudius about that until she was *sure* it was a possibility.

"Oh that's wonderful," Claudius said, as felt the tears to begin to flow once again. Unaware of the Squib's powers to smell the growth of the child with Sierra he felt they needed to get to work on conceiving a child. "There's nothing to say we can't get started now," he said, as he placed his hand upon her shoulder and lay her back on the bed. He climbed upon her happily as he looked down at her affectionately. He lowered his face, placing a tender kiss upon her lips before they got started. "I know I'm crazy for saying this, but I hope the next one is a girl," he told her, before lowering his face again to begin devouring her. Despite the growing size of his family and extended family there was still enough love in both of their hearts for more.

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