Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:2:7) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Rodney Castle and Spaceport), Demon Cat, and Kwai.
Lieutenant Sierra Dakkar, Farrah Ette, Petrus Flosgermen, Yekaterina Hanson, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Lord Gaius Rodney, Lady Livia Rodney, Lord Marcus Rodney, Lady Zara Rodney, and Luna Ta'em.

Claudius sat in the co-pilot's seat of the Lambda-class shuttle Kwai, as he watched the young Sierra Dakkar pilot the craft. His attention was focused on the viewport in front of him as his home planet came into view, the blues and greens of his youth replaced increasingly with browns as industrial pollution took hold of the world. It had made his family rich, but at great cost to the people, flora, and fauna of the world, which was once as beautiful as the now destroyed Alderaan. The closer they got to the planet the more uncomfortable and tense he became. He would have to see his parents, his brother, and numerous others he had been avoiding seeing for some time. Worst of all it meant it was time for his daughter's funeral service and the final letting go of his lost child. No parent should have to bury their child, he thought silently to himself, as his head began to lower. As the shuttle entered the atmosphere and approached the capital city of Leiliani, Claudius was overcome with grief, and he lowered his head into his hand as the tears began to flow. "Land at the civilian spaceport. Not the castle. I need more time," he instructed, Sierra, as he had a sharp inhale, as he attempted to bring about a stiff upper lip and get through the coming difficult days. "Keep calm and carry on my people said during the Clone Wars," he said, as he peeked out from beneath his fingers over towards his beautiful, young traveling companion. Claudius Rodney, Count of Leiliani, and heir to the Duchy of Delaya was *home*.

Sierra's blue eyes were focused on landing. The wheels in her head were turning. It had been a long time since she visited Delaya. As soon as she decided that life would take her to the Imperial Academy, she had stopped visiting her second family. She hadn't seen Livia and Julius in years, though she was very away of his deteriorating condition. A longing for Alderaan overcame her while she looked over the lands. Alderaan had once been so beautiful in a natural way, untouched by the harsh pollutants of man. She didn't feel a fraction as nervous as he did. She realized that she played a vital role at this point. Claudius *needed* her. She would be providing him with support. Her course was currently planned for the Rodney Castle until she heard his voice. "Yes, Governor."

The Kwai's nose turned towards the civilian spaceport with ease. Her attention stayed primarily on landing, but her thoughts were with him. "One step at a time," she said, looking over her shoulder towards him for only a second. She looked forward once more, bringing the Kwai to a gentle land at the spaceport. Looking down, she realized her small hands were shaking. She didn't know what to expect on Delaya. They were both different people now, different from the old days. Reluctantly, she unbuckled herself and stood. She leaned against the console, having already killed the engines. A hand rested on his shoulder to give him a reassuring squeeze. "We're in this together," she reminded him, "take as much time as you need."

The KR-TB "Doomtreader" Demon Cat was also making its landing at the Leiliani spaceport. At the controls was Petrus Flosgermen, but rather than wearing his gauche red armor in his persona as the bounty hunter known as the Demon, he was wearing a more suitable civilian attire. This trip to Delaya would require him to blend in, which he reluctantly had to admit was not one of his most honed skills. His eyes turned to look towards Luna Ta'em in the co-pilot's seat, wondering how she ever got him to rename his ship so early in their relationship. He had never had a partner before, and in his mind when he considered the prospect in the past he never thought it would be a petite young woman. However, her skills as a thief, infiltrator, and other subtle arts were things he could not do. He also considered having her using her considerable skills of seduction to their advantage, but the thought of her with another man only proved a source of irritation. "We couldn't have asked for better timing, Luna," he said, as he gripped the controls and landed them next to the Imperial shuttle. "According to the holonet they are in town for the funeral of their niece. Boo fucking hoo," he said, with an evil smirk, as he began to ready himself for what was to come. There was no sport in going after a pregnant woman, but there sure was a whole lot of credits!

It was to be the greatest family reunion that Delaya had ever seen. It wasn't just the Ta'em family who would be attempting to make friendly. There was the Rodneys as well. Luna was ready for anything. This was something she had been thinking about since the first time her sister began trending on the Holonet. After all, the emotional trauma that Zara had caused her deserved to be rectified with credits. Lots of them. Petrus looked incredibly handsome today. His attempts to fit in while wearing casual clothing made him more desirable. If not for autopilot, the couple would have arrived weeks late.

She was a convincing young woman. A new partnership meant a new name for his ship. The Demon Cat was her first suggestion and only. How fitting it was, as Luna's robotic cat slept in her lap while she watched them land. She had attempted to dress like a civilian, however, she hadn't made it a point to be modest. Her green dress had a dramatic plunge at her breasts. She wanted it to be obvious that she was better than her sister in every way. "Hmmm..." The Imperial shuttle signified the landing of Claudius Rodney. "Looks like our escorts have arrived. The poor wittle Rodney." She made a pouty face that was followed by laughter. "I suppose we should send an arrangement."

Luna gathered up what belongings they had brought with them in attempt to remain looking normal. She smiled at the cage inside of the ship where her sister would soon be held. Zara had chosen the wrong lifestyle. She was simply there to clean up a mess. "C'mon babe, let's go steal a cow!" She declared, heading down the ramp quickly. Her hand found his once they were together again. "You'll never see acting like this in the movies," she said with a little wink. Her facial features changed from careless and happy to fear and concern. "We have to find my sister.." She whimpered, nearing the Imperial ship.

Claudius had remained seated in the shuttle, letting out a soft sigh, as his mind ran through every possible excuse to keep him from standing. "Fine. Let's go then," he said, as he stood from the seat, and then pulled down his tunic to adjust it after sitting for so long. He wanted to look presentable, as it could be the first time many people he encountered saw him. Fortunately for the tired Grand Moff descending the ramp was much easier than ascending and without Sierra's help, for matters of political and personal scandal, he was able to move down to the surface of the planet with relative ease. Almost as soon as he took that first breath of Delayan air he found himself coughing at the level of pollution in the air ... the air quality had diminished considerably down in the lowest portion of the city. His eyes gazed skyward at the mountains in the distance where the castle lay and his family lived, far above the smog and pollution. "Lieutenant, please contact the Alderaan Guard and arrange for our transit to the castle. Inform them that as my presence is personal rather than as a representative of His Majesty, we felt it not to be prudent to land the Imperial shuttle at the Castle directly," he said to Sierra, becoming more businesslike and stoic in public. The last thing he needed was to end up in a scandal like his brother.

Whatever personal ties connected them had been forgotten. Sierra, too, understood the importance of a positive outward appearance. She couldn't aid him down the ramp, nor could she touch him in any way. She walked behind him at a respectful distance. It was clear that he was her superior, and she was one of his obedient dogs. One hand held her holopad, while the other sat clenched at her side. Given their current attire, they drew attention. *Bad* attention. "Yes, Governor." She replied, following his orders to a T the instant he gave them. Sierra wasn't a bad officer, she was simply a girl put in the wrong position. She quickly contacted the Alderaan Guard, though she had not finished speaking with them when all hell started to break loose. First, she saw people pointing. Then, she heard something in Huttesse that should probably not be translated, for the words were horrible and disgusting. A second later, Sierra was pelted with blueberries. They instantly stained her cream tunic. People booed and shouted. Others threw whatever was at their disposal. Welcome home, Claudius Rodney.

Luna was already beelining towards the Imperial ship, keeping Petrus with her by the hand. "Hurry! He's going to run away with all this ruckus!" Claudius obviously made his protestors uneasy. They kept their distance, acting more like ape than man. Luna was the only one who dared break through the crowd and approach them. "Lord Rodney!" She called out in distress. There were tears in her eyes. She looked so sad, so pathetic, and so helpless. "I need your help! I'm searching for my sister, Zara Ta'em, the wife of your brother. Can you help me reach her? We were separated years ago. I've come here to reconnect with her but I haven't a clue how to find her." She hoped she was talking too much so that'd he'd simply agree to lend a hand while chaos ensued around then.

Petrus' first instinct was to use his blaster and his second instinct was to use explosives, which is where the scheming Luna fit so nicely into his repertoire. He followed closely behind Luna, respectfully, avoiding eye contact whenever possible. The sob story she told the old man was enough to make him laugh, but his teeth quickly connected with his lower lip to prevent his stoic visage from breaking. Instead he offered a polite, respectful nod to the Grand Moff and the woman who accompanied him. He thought about saying something in support of her, but everything came to mind seemed ineffective. He cleared his throat, and offered a reassuring embrace, as he wrapped his arm around Luna, with affection that was no longer fake.

Claudius was waiting impatient as the locals pelted him with fruit and showered them with boos and catcalls. This was not the Delaya he remembered ... he suspected they were being egged on by Rebel agents. He quietly brushed the debris from his uniform, choosing not to get into a verbal altercation with them. "Perhaps we should have landed at the castle," he whispered to Sierra, as he moved back towards the safety of the shuttle. It was then that he noticed Luna approach, but before he heard her words he saw the marks upon her face. He cringed uncomfortably, wondering if perhaps the crowd had hurt her. "Are you alright?" he asked her, as he motioned for Sierra to assist with this. "Yes. Yes, I've met your sister. We are heading to the castle as soon as possible. You may come with us," he said, as his eyes moved towards the large, silent monster of a man behind her. He had no time to preoccupy himself with this pair, but he would not abandon them to the mob. Marcus would have to settle out his in-laws on his own.

A military speeder suddenly arrived within the spaceport, from which a squad of Alderaan Guards emerged, and began to separate the mob from the newly arrived dignitaries. Last out was Yekaterina Hanson, who knew him, as she was tasked with guarding his family before they left to join him in the Ringali Shell. "Welcome home, Count Rodney," she said, with a polite and obedient bow at her waist. "I apologize for the inconvenience at the spaceport, Milord. We had expected you to come directly to the castle," she explained, as she began leading him towards the waiting speeder. "I do not see the Countess or your children," she pointed out, perhaps too bluntly, but her primary concern was knowing where everyone was at all times to ensure their safety. She did not like the look of Luna or Petrus, and kept a careful watch upon them even as she spoke to Claudius. "Let me add my personal condolences on the loss of your daughter. She was ... she was a wonderful young woman," she said, feeling the personal loss. She had known of her defection to the Rebellion, sheltered her here on Delaya, and later had even joined her briefly on the Ringali Shell after escorting her there. Perhaps had she stayed she would have been able to see things happen differently, and she privately regretted her decision to return to Delaya. The entire population was in genuine mourning for the young woman, and Kat knew that the family had taken it particularly hard. The House of Rodney was not *her* family, but they were her responsibility.

Perhaps the chaos had played to the advantage of Luna and Petrus. It was a hard act to pull off, so far away from the little vixen that the older Ta'em sister was. Her hands clung to his arms, leaning into his larger frame. They were nothing but victims of loving their family... Loving them enough to kidnap them. The old man was accepting of her request. He proved to be the perfect escort, agreeing to take them to the castle straight to Zara. A smile cracked over Luna's lips. "Oh, thank you! Thank you so much! I miss my sister so badly..." Badly enough to hitch a ride on the elder Rodney's back. She looked upward at Petrus. "Did you hear that, honey? I'm going to see Zara soon."

Sierra was not enough being pelted with various foods. Her cream tunic had quickly become multicolored with stains. The makeup which concealed Arden's hit was beginning to rub off as liquids splashed on her shirt. She looked to be handling everything okay. "Perhaps we should have. I think it necessary to move the ship to a safer port later." Not at the castle, but someplace significantly less public. She didn't want the Kwai to be stripped of its valuable metals by the time they revisited it. Sierra didn't know how to deflate the situation. It seemed like the world was moving in high speed and she was stuck clinging to it. "I'm okay," she whispered, diving in front of him towards the couple who claimed relations to the play boy's wife. "We'll be leaving to the castle soon." She told the couple. Her eyes closely examined them, searching for weapons of any sort. She didn't trust them, though, Sierra trusted very few. Thankfully, Kat Hanson was someone whom she knew. The presence of a military speeder meant that they would soon be free of the chaos in the spaceport. She gathered up the other couple, watching Kat and the Grand Moff interact. They were too far away for her to hear. Kat would take care of escorting Claudius into the speeder. It was now her job to watch this idiot couple.

She took on the job of leading them through the crowd and into the speeder. For a small girl, she made one hell of an effective human shield. "Hurry," she prodded them, watching the woman, then the man disappear. Before she could join them in the speeder, a man in the crowd grabbed her by the shoulder and swung his fist directly into the opposite cheek that Arden had hit. The punch was so hard that her legs became putty. A fight erupted all around her. The people of Delaya didn't notice her as anything other than the unknown evil. All she could do to save herself was duck into the speeder quickly. Her lip was bleeding. She looked like she might cry.

It was so damn hard for Luna not to laugh.

The ride through the city of Leiliani was a difficult one. All along the route refugees had turned out to protest the arrival of an Imperial Grand Moff. They were being pelted with rocks and other debris, and whenever they stopped the people actually surged forward and began shaking the speeder. Claudius drew tense, not sure what had happened here on Delaya during his absence. Perhaps he should have actually paid attention to the communiqués from home, he thought to himself, as he watched in horror what was happening to them. He looked across towards Petrus and Zara, and offered a small smile. "My apologies on behalf of my people for the inconvenience," he said to them, as his hands instinctively balled into fists. He was angry ... who was to blame for this? He moved his hand across to Sierra's lap, squeezing her thigh reassuringly, as he tried to steady her. She could not have been used to this, and he regretted putting her through this just to delay his arrival at the castle. But, in a way, he was glad he was able to see what was *really* going on.

Her cheek was beginning to swell into chipmunk-like proportions. Watching the scene playing outside of the speeder assured her that she'd likely get punched again. She worried about Jelena's funeral. The whole planet mourned with Claudius, but it seemed they didn't take a second to sympathize with him. She was quiet. She looked scared. The old bruise from Arden was showing now, in addition to her new injury. It was easy to write off as something that had just occurred. The couple across the way seemed happy. They snuggled and held each other throughout the whole ride towards the Castle. They were entirely accepting of the situation. The young woman smiled, "It's fine. We've seen a lot worst. Haven't we?" Luna smiled. "If that's all I have to endure to see my sister again, then it was worth it."

Sierra's blonde hair was coated in food. Claudius' reassuring hand took her away from her fearful place. She looked at him, taking a deep breath in and a slow exhalation out. Her hand patted his at her thigh. "I'm okay," the words almost seemed robotic when she was clearly feeling pain. "I'll see to it that our uniforms are properly cleaned." She held a professional appearance. As the Rodney Castle came into view, something inside of her felt like she had arrived home. She had spent a lot of time here as an Alderaan refugee long before the planet blew up. Livia and Julius were warm compared to those who had raised her. She wondered what they would think of her. She worried over it as her hand fell from Claudius'. Why had they ever left the ship? They could have hidden and pretended nothing else existed. No Arden. No funeral. No Delaya.

Petrus remained silent like a rock. He watched the subtle, yet detectable, affection between Claudius and Sierra, and wondered if blackmail might be in order. However, he preferred to avoid Imperial entanglements, and he planned to get a large share of the Rodney treasury from the Zara kidnapping. Instead, he put his arm around Luna, and drew him in closer during the speeder ride. "Do not worry, my love. We are in the competent hands of the local authorities. No harm will come to you," he promised her, as he did his best to act the part of a concerned love interest. He thought this worked in their interest, however, as the security forces would be much too occupied with this to adequately protect Zara, nor pursue her kidnappers. He leaned forward, mimicking the Grand Moff in terms of affections, but went one step forward by pressing a kiss upon Luna's bruised cheek.

It seemed that someone else was being naughty in the speeder. Luna could have been blind, deaf, and dumb, yet she still could have noticed that there was *something* between the married man and the young office he'd brought along. She, too, considering blackmail, then felt that it would send the Grand Moff immediately searching under every rock for them. She was perfectly happy with preying on the weak and using Lord Rodney's scandal in the making should the younger brother fight against their ransom. Luna's fire of lust was set ablaze when Petrus affectionately, and successfully, made her feel better. She caught his lips with her own, kissing him as passionate lovers might. Her hands ran down the front of his body. It was totally inappropriate to french kiss in front of the nobleman, but inappropriate was Luna's middle name. She shoved her tongue into his mouth. The speeder had stopped.

Across the way, Sierra had become extremely uncomfortable. The woman was nearly in the man's lap, forcing her to remember the steamy session that her and Claudius had in the Kwai. She could taste his mouth on hers. She could feel his tongue like it was still there, dancing once upon a dream. She allowed herself to realize that his wife, his *children* would soon arrive. There would be no touching. No kissing. No eye contact. No anything. A sadness grabbed at her gut, but it receded as soon as the speeder stopped. "We're home..." She whispered to him. Luna was now in Petrus' lap, creating a serious hazard in the back of the speeder. Sierra cleared her throat, then proceeded out the door while the two lovers untangled themselves.

Lord Gaius Rodney stood stoically as the speeder carrying his cousin arrived. The moment he learned of the man's foolish decision to land at the spaceport he had ordered his guards away from the route, to maximize the man's exposure to the rabble in the city. He hoped that by showing him how much the people hated him, and what a headache the situation had become, that he would simply turn around and go home. "Welcome, cousin," he said, with a diplomat bow at the waist. He vowed he would be nearing the end of the days he would spend bowing to others. Soon they would be bowing to him. "My condolences for the loss of your daughter, Claudius. We all loved her very much," he said, trying to maintain a steady face for him.

Claudius Rodney emerged from the speeder, doing his best to aid Sierra without making it too obvious. He looked towards Gaius, never liking the man, but offering a polite nod in response to his condolences. "Thank you, cousin," he said, as he used the sorrow of his daughter's death to cut short the formalities here at the castle. "It was an arduous journey. For now, I must rest," he said, as he moved forward towards the man, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Would you be so kind as to see to my wife and children when they arrive?" he asked his cousin, knowing full well that each time he asked him to perform a service he did it willingly to further ingratiate himself. His cousin was a weasel. "This is Lieutenant Dakkar, friend of Jelena, who will be assisting me during my stay on Delaya," he explained to Gaius, as he needed to explain her presence quickly to avoid scandal. "Pay her every courtesy," he instructed him, before greeting his new wife, Nona.

The greeting party was already there. Sierra's memories of Gaius were fuzzy. She was aware he had married recently, though she had not met his wife until now. As much as she appreciated Claudius' discretionary helping hand, she also wasn't about to do anything to hurt his appearance. She flashed a smile towards Gaius and his wife, "It's a pleasure to meet you both. I wish it was under more ideal circumstances. I attended school with Jelena. She was a close friend." Sierra confirmed. The death was fresh and it still hurt. She wanted more time to mourn, but she was too busy trying to please her Major and keep Claudius from jumping off the deep end. *Wording, Governor* she thought. 'Assisting' may have improper implications. She was already surprised that he had touched her in front of the strange couple from the station. She was respectful, thanking Gaius and his wife for attending to them. In the crowd, she noticed Marcus Rodney and his wife, looking rounder than ever.

Marcus Rodney stepped forward, knowing full well that his brother did not like Gaius, and frankly neither did he. "Brother!" he said, enthusiastically, as he stepped forward, grabbing him by the arm, before moving into a firm hug. He placed a kiss upon his brother's cheek, in a rare show of physical affection, as he took him into his arms. "I know how much you loved Jelena. I am here for you, so is my wife. If there is anything we can do," he said, before moving aside to allow her to move in. He offered a quick glance to Sierra, wondering what it was exactly that she was *assisting* him with, but never thought his brother the type to go for such things. "If you get tired with castle life, I've converted the old hunting lodge into a chalet. You're welcome to it," he whispered, so that the others could not hear. It was the least he could do. It was then that he looked past the couple to see two more exiting the speeder. They looked *different* ... not nobility, and it was pointed that Claudius had not mentioned or introduced him. "Not like you to carpool, brother," he said with a laugh, but as he looked at the woman behind him, Luna, he noted there was something slightly familiar about her.

There was something different about meeting with Zara's brother-in-law on home turf. The petite pregnant woman was less defensive and more understanding of him. The man had just lost his eldest daughter. Her temperament towards him had changed entirely. She smiled when she saw him, watching her husband reunite with his brother. After Marcus had finished greeting his brother, she stepped up looking significantly different than the last time they'd seen each other. Her tummy was rounded with twins, having crossed into her second trimester weeks ago. She wrapped her arms around her brother-in-law loosely. "I'm so sorry for your loss," she squeezed him. "Like Marcus said, if there's *anything* we can do, please, don't hesitate to ask." She released him and stepped away, her hand linking with her love's. She looked over the woman Claudius had brought with him, and the couple who emerged from the speeder. Her eyes narrowed. What the hell..? Her hand squeezed his for dear life. She couldn't take her eyes off of the woman. Her mind quickly calculated her older sister's age to prove to herself that this woman couldn't be her...could it? "Luna..?"

Aaaawwwwwwwwwww! It was so *cute*! Both of the dirty brothers had greeted each other. She took in little of their interaction. The Imperial Rodney hadn't even asked them their names. He had no idea what hell he'd released at his family's doorstep. Luna acted antsy. She looked around until she could see Zara's long, silvery hair. It was just like their mothers. Just like her own, when she didn't dye it a dirty blonde. It was shocking to see her sister after so long. She could see the same emotions playing over the pregnant woman's face. Realization appeared soon after. Indeed, the young Ta'em recognized her sister. Luna broke free of Petrus as soon as her sister said her name. She darted towards the woman, sweeping her in an affectionate hug. "Zara!!" She cried, real tear, into her sister's shoulder. "I can't believe it's you! Zara!" She clung harder, making Zara feel like she was going to pop.

"Luna..!" She was caught in a storm of emotions. Zara didn't mean to rain in on Claudius' arrival, but he'd brought someone unexpected to her doorstep. She looked towards her brother-in-law. "How..?" She weakly held her older sister.

"We were looking for a way to you in the civilian station. Lord Rodney arrived and agreed to help us find you. It was so gracious of him." Luna wasn't releasing her sister. Not even for the playboy.

When Petrus saw the two sisters greet one another his eyes rolled so severely that they threatened to spill from his eye sockets. "Sisters," he said, to Claudius, Marcus, and Gaius, as he raised his eyebrows in overdramatic fashion. He stood behind them, as he had not been introduced, worrying that perhaps Luna seeing her sister might cause her to forget why they were here. Finally, unable to allow the sappiness to continue, he interjected himself into their conversation. "I'm Petrus. Your future brother-in-law," he said, without thinking, further adding to the impending drama of the day. He offered Zara the largest smile he could manage, given his dark personality. What had he gotten himself into?

Behind everyone, Yekaterina Hanson waddled forward, carrying *everyone's* bags, to her great dismay. She arrived, covered in a thin layer of sweat, which mattered her short hair beneath her large white blast helmet. "Where ... where do you want these?" she asked, almost panting, finally feeling unable to carry them anymore, she allowed them to drop. She tried in vain to catch her breath, bringing the sleeve of her uniform up to dry the sweat from her brow and keep it from stinging her eyes. She never realized there were this many Rodneys.

There were a damn lot of Rodneys, weren't they? The cow ensured that more would be on the way too. Farrah was displeased by the sight of all of them; Claudius, Marcus, the cow, and Nona. It seemed that more Ta'ems had appeared as well, though they meant nothing. They had no right to the throne. The small, angry little girl was part of a trio of maids who rushed in to help Yekaterina with the bags. She grabbed one belonging to Claudius. "Thank you, ma'am. We'll carry the bags the rest of the way." Her blue eyes landed on Gaius very briefly. She looked coldly at him. The last thing she wanted to do was carry the old man's belongings. She thought she might be given the opportunity to go through his things should the reunion take long enough. Her back turned away from Gaius, heading back into the castle. She was furious. She hated those people.

"There is my boy!" the voice of Duchess Livia Rodney shouted from afar, as she was helped towards the resurgence of Rodneys and ton of Ta'ems. She was so glad to be around her husband's *legitimate* children for once, and she moved towards her eldest son. She reached out with her frail son to comfort him, knowing how much the loss of Jelena would affect him. She had come to despise the Rebel General who had come to recruit Jelena away from the family, and her lecherous husband who had encouraged her to go. There was time for blame later, now was a time of mourning. Looking past Claudius she spotted a young woman behind him in an Imperial uniform. "No!" she exclaimed, her violet eyes widening as she looked at the girl. Suddenly her family meant nothing and she brushed them aside to move towards Sierra. "No it can't be. Sierra? Sierra Dakkar? Yes it is you!" she exclaimed, making a drunken scene, as she wrapped her frail, bony arms around her. "I feared you lost with Alderaan. I never expected to see you here, and particularly not dressed like *this*," she said with a layer of condemnation, her eldest son's loyalty to be damned. She was pleased to see the young girl who she knew so well was alive and well, and here to help, but seeing her in the uniform of the vulgar Imperial Security Bureau sickened her. If only her son had the sense to marry a good, honest, Alderaanian woman from the finest of families like Sierra, she thought to herself. She turned around and the crowd and suddenly became quite flushed. "Oh it's not the heat ... it's the humanity!" she exclaimed, when they looked concerned for her, before she retreated to the nearest possible place to sit.

Duchess Livia's voice was still familiar in Sierra's mind. The moment she heard the woman, a smile finally fell over her lips. She watched the elderly woman make her way towards her firstborn. They exchanged words while Sierra patiently waited to greet her makeshift mother. Instead, it seemed like the woman was about to pelt her with the first object she grasped. Her sudden exclamation scared the small psychologist into submission. Had Livia already forgotten her? The woman drank much too much. Sierra worried about her health. At this point, it seemed like she needed to drink to survive. She hoped Claudius didn't follow the path of his parents, though recent times had not been helping that.

Her warm arms moved around the drunken woman softly. "It *is* me. I'm so glad to see you, Livia. It's been too long." Life had taken her down a different path from both Livia and Jelena. Still, Livia was skilled in guilt tripping. She didn't try to explain her new status, but she didn't leave Livia to her own devices. When she went to sit, Sierra followed to aid her. She kept a hand on the woman's frail arm to make sure she stayed upright and didn't fall down.

Meanwhile, Luna and Zara were still greeting each other. It was emotional overload for a woman who had insane hormones. Zara pulled back, "You have to come stay with us at our home. There's so much catching up we need to do." She didn't want to allow her sister out of her sight. For the first time, she looked up at the man who'd come with his sister. She smiled wide, "Nice to meetcha, future brother-in-law. You are welcome to our chalet as well. Stay as long as you'd like." Zara's mouth was writing checks that would need to be cashed. She nudged Marcus with her little curvy hip. "It's my sister"! She reiterated. "She's alive!"

Luna wiped the tears from her eyes. Her mind was sharp, her act was perfect. The young woman wasn't about to abandon her and Petrus' plans. She stepped back, taking his hand in her own. Petrus was better at acting than she was. He dropped a bombshell on her. She jumped into his arms, wrapping her arms around his neck. "You really want to marry me?!" She asked, not acting *entirely*. "I love you so much!" What he said made her... happy. He was a trusted companion. He would make a good husband for her someday. She kissed him, resuming what had begun inside of the speeder. She was nearly dry humping him right there in front of the castle.

Claudius stood there looking at almost his entire family. He was silent as they mingled amongst one another, as he reflected solemnly upon the occasion. He was less focused on who was there, and more focused on who was not: *Jelena*. "No. Thank you, brother, but I must decline. I should not flee the battlefield, and besides, I wish to see father," he said, as he moved towards the castle. His eyes looked towards the young girl carrying the bags, wondering if they were running short on staff. He reached down, patted Farrah on the head affectionately, and took his bag from her. "I'll not have a child carry *my* bag," he said, as he slung his old military duffle over his back, and putting the others to shame. "Come, Sierra," he said, as he returned to his boyhood home. He was surrounded by people, but he felt utterly *alone*.

Untitled 1

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