Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:7:11) in the Essesia system: Esseles (New Calamar: Claudius Rodney's estate).
El-Nay Darr, Ewwiekewwieikkie, Commander Kerrie Kiley, Melickielickie, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Lady Drusilla Rodney, and Major Sierra Rodney.

"Keep away! Keep away!" Ewwiekewwieikkie yelled as she clung to Kerrie's black Storm commando helmet in the front yard near the makeshift pond she had help constructed for the recently arrived aquatic birds. She threw the helmet as best she could to Melickielickie to keep Kerrie from reclaiming it. "Kewwie in the middle!" she said, mispronouncing her name, as she giggled in delight. She was having so much fun playing with her 'friend' Kerrie and her new 'sister' Melickielickie. Time had been passing so smoothly that she had forgotten that her adoptive father and mother were even gone. "Don't let her get it!" she encouraged Melickielickie, as she watched Kerrie helplessly run back and forth. She sat down on the grass, staining her dress, as she began frantically clapping as she watched the 'game' unfold.

Commander Kerrie Kiley knew that Claudius and Sierra would be gone for some time, but she had underestimated just how intense it would be to watch over two Squibs. It seemed that even taking a brief nap resulted in unmitigated disaster. The loss of her helmet was small in comparison to some of what had gone ... including the consumption of Sierra's emergency pudding reserves. She continuously had been running back and forth between the two Squibs trying to get her helmet back, but every time she closed the distance they threw it again. "Ugh," she groaned, as she finally gave up, and just sat down in the middle of them. She had hoped they would eventually blow steam and rest, or at least become distracted and move on to something else. The attention she was giving them was just making them play with the helmet more. "Ugh," she groaned, as she lowered her forehead into the palm of her hand. She thought it had been a challenge with Ewwiekewwieikkie, but dealing with two of them was showing her what a real challenge was.

Melickielickie had made a new friend. It seemed the small Squib had forgotten that it was Kerrie who brought her to the estate and to her new life. She was open and loving towards the Clawdite. Those feelings didn't stop her from enjoying the game with her sister. As Melickielickie reached her hands out to catch the helmet, the weight behind it made her fall onto her rear end. "*Gots it*!" She yelled, looking pleased with herself. The beginning of the game hadn't been nearly as fun since she kept dropping, or missing, the helmet entirely. Now she was getting the hang of catching it and throwing it. "Eeeee!" Regardless, it was heavy! She bent down into a low squat, bringing the helmet between her legs before throwing it in a granny-like style. It landed a foot away from her. That didn't bother her, because when Kerrie stopped playing, she assumed there was a new game to play, preferably 'pounce party'. The little Melickielickie opened up her arms and ran towards her. "Kewwie!" She said, having learned the mispronunciation of the name from her older sister whom she looked up to. She hugged the Clawdite's legs.

The Lambda-class shuttle Kwai began its descent to the Rodney estate overlooking the city of New Calamar on Esseles. As it touched down on the platform the aquatic birds began to scramble in every direction, flapping their wings, and quacking angrily. They had no tolerance of the comings and goings of the Imperial forces at the estate. As the ramp descended Lady Drusilla Rodney ran down the ramp at a ferocious pace, her face red with anger, and her eyes stained with tears. She did not acknowledge the trio playing in front of the estate, but when she entered and found the bantha she let out a shrill scream. An instant later she ran up the stairs to her room, quickly slamming the door, and sealing it behind her. Moments later the sound of loud jizz music began pulsating from the room, so loud that it could even be heard outside, an entire story below.

The trip back from Onderon had not been an easy one...not after Claudius and Sierra had to drag Drusilla back home. The last image she saw on Onderon was Prince Pollix giving her puppy dog eyes and *begging* on his knees for his bride back. She had a feeling that they'd be seeing the boy again, which was exactly why Sierra intended to permit Kerrie to kill him at first sight. "We made it home." She said, standing in the cockpit with Bruce in her arms. She could hear the Squibs playing in the yard. The sound of the ducks was in the distance. As soon as she could hear the jizz music, she realized that life at home was back to normal. "Ah, home sweet home." Sierra turned to her husband, offering him a loving smile. "Are you feeling better?"

Claudius rose from his seat in the co-pilot's chair of the Kwai, glad he had his daughter back, but even more glad he never had to beg the way that Pollix did. Unfortunately, he had to settle the suit brought against him and his personal wealth was at an all time low. "I'm feeling much better," he assured his wife, as he took her by the hand and led her safely down the ramp towards where the Squibs were playing with Kerrie. "There, uh, seem to be more birds," he said quietly to Sierra, as they began scrambling back towards the water now that the shuttle had calmed down. "Commander, you are out of uniform," he said, sternly, as he pointed to her lack of a helmet.

There was no reasoning with Pollix's parents. For lack of a better word, they were anal. The Rodney family had no choice but to pay up and try to close a chapter in their lives with the House of Drayen. Sierra smiled as she took his hand and moved down the ramp. "More birds?!" She said excitedly. Her head snapped towards the pond. Sure enough, they had gained more than just ducks. There were even small, baby birds. "Oh goodness," Sierra gasped. "Look, Claudius!" She pointed out a brown, fuzzy baby duck standing beside a mother duck. All of Sierra's life, she had wanted pets. Now she had a zoo ... and it was amazing! Bruce fed off of his mother's excitement and turned his head to look too. He stared, in awe, at the ducks. She had totally ignored Kerrie over the new additions to the pond. She looked at Ewwiekewwieikkie, then Melickielickie. Everyone except Jelena was home.

Kerrie scrambled when she heard the Governor dress her down, unaware that he was joking. She came to a stop in front of them in military fashion, but her eyes were slanted down across her face to look at the Squib clutching her helmet. "I apologize, milord, but the children..." she said, stammering, as sweat began to form at her brow, causing her carefully mimicked human hair to matte to her forehead. "I apologize. The constant shifting of my duties caused me to forget how diffi-" she began, but then stopped herself. Instead, she simply dropped to a knee in front of the couple and bowed her head in obedience to the Grand Moff and his wife. "There is no excuse, milord. I *will* do better," she said, cowering in fear of losing her last remaining assignment ... again.

Claudius barely noticed Kerrie's display as Sierra had distracted him with the sight of the baby aquatic birds, which caused a smile to come upon his face. "It looks like we aren't the only ones breeding," he said, as he moved his hand to the small of her back and began to draw her in. "Do you think it'll be safe to show Bruce?" he asked her, and only then did he notice the Clawdite groveling in front of him. "Oh Commander, please do get hold of yourself," he instructed her, as he began to take his family towards the pond. "Just don't let it happen again," he said, looking at her over his shoulder, as he continued to tease her, which she had yet to pick up upon. "Look, Bruce, babies like you!" he said, as he turned to his son, and pointed down at them. The closer he got, the more excitable the parents began. Before he knew it there was one proud papa of a bird moving directly towards him, flapping his wings, and making the loudest of sounds. It then snapped its beak forward, pecking at his boots. "Ow! Hey!" he said, as he began backing up. "It's okay, my good fellow. I would do the same," he said, as he tried to calm down the bird.

Sierra couldn't help but chuckle. Kerrie had no idea that her husband was kidding. As she spent more time around the estate, she thought that maybe it would change. She also wondered if El-Nay and Kerrie had kissed and made up while they were gone. "He's just teasing you." Sierra mouthed as they passed by Kerrie. "Thank you for watching the girls." She said verbally while offering her a gentle smile.

Claudius' breeding joke made her laugh and blush. "At least I didn't have quintuplets like that duck. And let's hope I didn't just jinx us." Sierra said, thinking of how Zara had twins. No one seemed to be sure if it was a Ta'em thing, a Rodney thing, or just something that had randomly occurred. "Yes. I think he'll like it." Together, all three of them approached the pond. There were so many different types of aquatic birds now. Sierra was all the more happy that they had decided to add in a pond. Now that she was up close, she could see all five little ducklings. If there hadn't been a pond already, she might have grabbed a shovel and started building her own like Ewwiekewwieikkie had. This family was rubbing off on her ... or vice versa? She turned Bruce around. His back pressed against her chest. The boy stared at the ducks. He had a look of awe on his face and a huge, toothless smile that you couldn't miss. Sierra watched the overprotective papa duck lay down the law with her husband. She chuckled softly. "You know, I think I've seen that same move before. Hmm. Did you do something like that to Pollix?" She giggled. "What's going to happen if you end up with *another* daughter?" She stepped back to give the father duck his space while allowing Bruce to enjoy the birds.

"Quintuplets? Oh ... suddenly I feel faint," Claudius told her, as he brought his arm across his forehead in dramatic overacting. As he moved to a safe distance away from the babies the assault by the father relented, and he was able to bask in the simple enjoyment of them with his wife and son. "This is a nice gift Ewwiekewwieikkie and Melickielickie have given us, and I've always heard that water features increase property value..." he teased her, as he shifted his attention from watching the birds to watching Bruce watch the birds. "If you bless me with another daughter I intend to lock her in a room guarded by an entire company of female Stormtroopers hand picked by Kerrie, and if any man gets within a kilometer of her the troopers will have shoot to kill orders," he informed Sierra, as a joke ... or was it?

Sierra felt so happy. It was very nice to be home. She laughed at his overacting. "Oooh. Woe is you, only I'm the one that would have to carry said quintuplets!" She was joking! *Joking*! Her ovaries didn't need to be getting any wild ideas. She laughed again, shaking her head. "Thinking of selling, hm? I guess we could live on the Retributor. With all those ISB devices installed inside of our private quarters, we'll have a lot of home movies." She grinned. The birds were exciting Bruce. She could only imagine how happy he'd be once he could walk, and someday run after them with his sisters. That pleasant image lingered in the front of Sierra's mind. It was exactly what she wanted. That image included bars on Olivia's windows, of course. She didn't think he was joking. After the Pollix pandemonium, she didn't think he was joking at all. "I like how you already had a plan for it our next child is a girl. We really need to go break the news to Doctor Tohan. He might beat you with his walking stick." Sierra teased. Her good mood was turning her sassy.

"No! No! Anything but that," Claudius said, as he would *never* get the image of his brother out of his mind again. "We're staying," he declared, as he looked over the shoulder at the Squibs continuing to torment Kerrie with her helmet. "Do we *have* to tell him? I'm not sure the poor man can take it, nor whether or not my noggin is fully healed from the last time he struck me with his walking stick," he reminded her, before bringing his hand up to rub the back of his head where he momentarily experienced psychosomatic pain. "I *always* have a plan. Remember, you're talking to a former thranta scout," he informed her, with a childlike smirk plastered upon his face. He was so happy to have *most* of his family returned to him, but after what happened on Delaya he believed it was now for the best that Jelena remained safely hidden on New Alderaan. He still believed once the Empire defeated the Rebellion they would be reconciled and reunited.

The sound of an engine filled the sky heralding the arrival of an orange blur that eventually slowed to reveal the arrival of El-Nay Darr. The moment she landed in front of Claudius and Sierra, she took the woman by the arm and began to lead her dramatically towards the estate. "Milady, there has been an attack against your family on Delaya. The Lady Sia has been abducted," she explained, as Stormtroopers began to fan out over the ground. All around them everyone was going on alert, and the massive weapons batteries began aiming towards the skies. Soon, the sound of twin ion engines began to roar, causing the birds no end of calamity. The estate had been placed on lockdown as no one could be sure if this was an unrelated incident or if the entire family was in danger. No one was taking any chances. No one was waiting to find out. Underneath her helmet, she was hoping there would be an attack, so that she could prove herself in battle and defend Sierra and her child. Her heart was pounding and adrenaline was pulsing throughout her entire body. She was at a fevered pitch, and as soon as she got the principals inside of the estate she moved to bar the door.

"Perhaps we could send him a card informing him of my pregnancy, then we can hide on the third floor of the estate. He'll never come get us." Sierra grinned. "It would feel almost like cheating to use another Doctor. I've known him for quite sometime too." She worried about him. The birth of Bruce had been hard on everyone and especially hard on Pilaq. If the next child didn't come easier, it might not just be Pilaq who needed to recover afterward. "Oh my gosh. You were a thranta scout? Are there any pictures of that? I *need* to see." She said, trying to imagine it. The only thing she could think of was the time Livia had been exceptionally drunk and showed her some silly pictures of Marcus and Claudius when they were younger. The memory made her start laughing again. She missed that woman. She wished they had spent more time together, for Livia had been a real mother. "Alright thranta scout. How are we going to deal with Drusilla's jizz music? Are we all going to sleep outside with the ducks until she turns it down to a reasonable volume?" She wondered if they should hide at the lakehouse until everything blew over. Sierra could only imagine how much her step-daughter hated her at this point.

Her worries were momentarily tossed out the window when El-Nay appeared in a panic. She reported that there had been an attack. Sierra's heart began to hurt, but the news that followed was even worse. "Abducted?!" She repeated. Her overprotective nature showed as she readjusted Bruce and brought him closer to her. She felt very sad for Marcus and Zara. They had just seen their niece at the ball. Sierra wanted to dash to Delaya and offer her assistance to her family, but she *couldn't*. There was family here to keep safe. The Stormtroopers were already locking down the estate in anticipation of something happening. Sierra didn't understand how Sia had been abducted from the castle, as there had been so many guards when she and Claudius lived there. "You need to go to Delaya and help Marcus and Zara." She instructed El-Nay. "They are already dealing with the Imperial invasion...and Governor Arundel isn't going to do anything to help them. You need to. Help them get their daughter back."

Kerrie had managed to get Ewwiekewwieikkie and Melickielickie into the estate as well, but unfortunately neither of them understood what was happening and, fearing there was an attack neither would leave until all of the ducks were safely brought inside. As Kerrie worked to seal the rear entrance, the ducks began to fan out through the estate, making wet, muddy footprints all over the place. Without her helmet she did not have access to her comm, so she reluctantly opened the freezer so that she could distract the girls long enough to retrieve it. Placing it firmly upon her head, she marched back out into the living room where the others had gathered. "There is no sign of enemy activity in the vicinity of the estate. The systems force is dispatching additional starfighters to help cover the grounds," she informed them, through labored breaths from beneath her helmet. "Grand Moff Praji has declared it a local matter, and will not deploy his forces to aid in the search," she reported, bitterly, as she was convinced that Imperial infighting would be their undoing.

Claudius was trying to listen to everything that everyone was saying. It was almost too much. He had just seen the baby Sia the other day on Delaya and now she was *gone*. He had been warned by the Emperor's Grand Vizier himself that he could not send his forces into Praji's oversector again, limiting what he could do. As he looked across at Sierra and Bruce he was blessed that they were okay. He was reminded that at any moment tragedy could strike and he could lose everything. He was glad to have Kerrie and the Stormtroopers around. He was even glad to have El-Nay around, because she at least made for a very obvious distraction. "Yes. Aid them if you can," he said to El-Nay, when suddenly he heard the sound of quacking all around him. "Oh for the love of..." he began, before sighing, and then beginning to laugh. "Of course. Of course," he repeated, before navigating between the ducks to reach Sierra and Bruce. He wrapped his arms around them both as it seemed the girls had decided to make sure *both* families were safe.

Sierra could not begin to imagine how Zara and Marcus were feeling at the moment. She felt relieved to be in a good situation where someone would have to get through the blockade, Stormtroopers, Kerrie, and even Sierra and Claudius themselves before being able to touch Bruce. She cradled her boy as Kerrie reported in more bad news. The Imperials weren't going to help them. Her brother and sister were on their own. "Leave immediately ... please." She said to El-Nay as a duck ran past her feet. "What the..." She looked around. All around the house there were ducks. She spotted the proud papa duck walking around the living room with his chest puffed out like he was looking for a fight. There were muddy duck prints everywhere. Sierra couldn't help laughing. Bruce looked even happier now that the ducks were inside. He let out a shrill that sounded like his best attempt at a laugh.

She wrapped an arm around Claudius. It was relieving to know that their family was safe. "I love you ... but the ducks can only sleep over tonight." She smiled. She trusted El-Nay to take care of Sia. Sierra needed to watch over her growing family.

"It will be done so at once, milady," El-Nay said, as she turned to make a hasty exit, but as she moved her foot collided with one of the ducks. She nearly stumbled, but she extended her hand to brace herself from falling. "This place is turning into a zoo," she muttered, before opening the front door of the estate, where the Stormtroopers were looking at any excuse to shoot her for the slightest transgression. "I feel the love boys," she said, as she sauntered down the stone path towards the landing platform. Although there was no intel on who had abducted Lady Sia, given her past encounters with Petrus and Luna she certainly had her suspicions.

"It gets worse," Claudius said to her, as he smiled down at his beautiful, young wife. "I believe we're out of pudding," he revealed, as he brought his hand up to his eyes to wipe away imaginary tears. He could hear the sound of metal spoons clashing with ceramic plates in the kitchen. He wondered if he could even afford to feed the two Squibs after the price he had paid on Onderon. "I don't think anyone is going outside tonight," he said, as he looked out through the window at the Imperial activity. The troops stationed at the estate loved whenever something happened so that they had an excuse to go on alert. Although he was glad they were well defended, he did not expect for them to face any danger. But suddenly he heard the sound of the Rainbow Rancor theme song ... it was coming from inside the house! "Oh no," he said, as he turned and looked, and saw the two Squibs, the bantha, and five ducks all watching the holovid.

El-Nay's departure was reassuring. She was confident in the Mandalorian. Marcus and Zara could use her assistance since the Imperials were doing nothing and the Alderaan guard would only get them so far. Her attention turned on Claudius, who'd broke her heart with the revelation. "My pudding?" She thought to the secret pudding she had hidden in his office aboard the Retributor. Her fingers danced up his chest playfully. "It's good I have a Grand Moff for a husband. Someone who can *order* Ensign Sheppard to bring more pudding." She gave him an extra cute smile just so he wouldn't say no. She couldn't help abusing his power when it came to pudding. She peered outside to the lockdown going on. It would enable her to sleep better tonight knowing that everyone was watching out for her family. The addictive Rainbow Rancor song began to play from inside the house. At first, Sierra swore it was in her head, but Claudius confirmed that she hadn't fallen that far off of her rocker yet. She turned and saw the cutest image of her life. Sierra grasped her husband. "Where's the holocam!? I need a picture of this."

"Instruct Ensign Sheppard to bring pudding. Find the holocam..." Claudius said, acting as if he was mimicking her, but the smile that never left his face indicated he was just kidding. "Who's whose adjutant?" he asked her, as he moved towards one of the cabinets to begin looking for the camera. When he finally did find it, he moved back towards Sierra and handed it to her. "Do you think we'll ever ... I mean ... do you think Ensign Sheppard will ever get it clean?" he asked her, as he smiled across the room at his family and the herd of animals.

Suddenly the sound of the jizz music grew louder as Drusilla emerged from her room and began creeping down the stairs to see what all the commotion was. As she peeked she saw her parents and her sisters surrounded by animals. "Ick," she said, as she rolled her eyes, and ran back up to her room. What a home she had found herself coming back to. As she locked herself in her room, she made sure to turn up the music *extra* loud to drown out the sound of the Imperial alarms.

She couldn't help laughing. Claudius made her so happy. "At home, you're my adjutant, clearly." She teased. She was thrilled that he was able to find her holocam, giving her a chance to snap a couple of pictures of the girls and the animals completely engrossed in the Rainbow Rancor video. Happy memories of Auntie Maeland and all the adventures they had together kept her concerns for Sia and their children at bay. "Thank you, my love." She said, leaning forward to kiss him on the lips. "Ensign Sheppard cleaned the bathrooms after the whole 'thunder from down under' situation. Muddy duck prints should be easy for her." She noticed the increase in the volume of music. Dru had come out of her room far sooner than Sierra ever expected. She looked up to the stairs just in time to see her running back up towards her room. "I tried to get Dru to like me the right way, but it isn't working. Are you sure buying her love is off the table? I'll take up a second job." Sierra was kidding, of course. She did wonder what *she* could do to make things better. Taking Claudius' hand, she moved to sit with him and Bruce on the couch.

"I may have to give her the promotion back to her original rank if we keep up with all of these chores," Claudius said, but his middle-aged hearing did not detect his daughter coming down to spy on them. "You're asking the wrong person for advice on Drusilla. I fear I know her as little as you do. My mother raised her, and we don't have her to ask for advice anymore," he said, as he bit at his lower lip in resentment. "Do you want me to try and get the yacht back?" he asked her, as he tilted his head down at her. "I could, uh, borrow the money from Marcus after they recover Sia," he said, frowning again with the knowledge that *someone* had his niece. As he sat on the couch with his wife and son he did his best to try and watch some of the holovid, but he could not bring himself to pay attention for more than a couple of minutes before he felt his brain cells dying. At least everyone was happy, and for that he could be glad.

"At this point, she deserves the promotion." Sierra admitted. Her thoughts moved back to Livia as Claudius brought up his mother. She wished they did have her for advice. Sierra felt like she needed it. She groaned at the 'y' word. The yacht had begun all of this rebellion. She leaned against him and crossed her leg over the other. She settled Bruce against her chest so he, too, could become exposed to Rainbow Rancor. The little boy watched it in the same way his sisters did. Sierra had no idea that she was starting Bruce's love with the show. "I should have let her keep the damn yacht." She grumbled. "Let me try to solve the problem without a yacht first. No promises. This is the first time I've mothered a teenaged girl." She sighed, snuggling Bruce. She hoped that Sia was returned home quickly. The family had endured far too much over the last year.

"I would certainly hope so!" Claudius said, with a smirk and a laugh, as Sierra was still a teenage girl herself. He never understood how the loss of his mother would affect Drusilla, and how the result was the loss of a second maternal figure to the poor girl. They had never spoken about how she felt about the death of her mother and grandmother, nor did he think he would be able to given how raw the emotions still were. "She's just going through a phase. The Squibs love you," he reminded her, as he turned his head to place a kiss on her. "And Bruce loves you," he said, as he placed another kiss on her. "And Drusilla loves you too, even if she is acting out right now," he reassured her as he placed still yet *another* kiss upon her. "This too shall pass," he told her, with a nod of his head.

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