"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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.