Major Sierra Rodney lingered over the holotank, which
was currently projecting an image of Cormond, the
capital city on Brentaal IV. She was clutching a datapad
in her hands. For once, it displayed good news. She had
come to Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca to devise a plan
of attack, and then present it to her husband. The
freedom which Claudius gave her and the fact that he
listened to her was making her eager to become a better
officer. While she didn't play the same games as her
fellow ISB officers, she didn't mind reaping the
benefits from their trickery. Those benefits, today, was
worth its weight in credit. "There appears to be a Rebel
cell operating from Cormond." She began reporting to
Meham'ohorovi'cloca. "Along with it, Rebel sympathizers
have been spotted in the area. Our sources indicate that
they are working out of a shipyard around here." Sierra
said, waving her hand around an area of the holographic
map. "My recommendation is that we send in a small
handful of Commandos to capture them. The Rebels are
worth far more to us alive than dead." She looked to the
Chiss woman for her advice.
Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca blinked her red eyes
as she looked down at the holographic representation of
Brentaal IV. This system was the site of the first Rebel
attack, which drew the Imperial forces to the region.
Over the past couple of years they had attempted to
pacify the system, but the recent reprisals by Arden
Zevrin and the ISB had only made things more difficult.
"I do not believe this to be the main Rebel cell," she
concluded, in her exotic voice that was drawn from
beyond the known region of the galaxy. "Their attacks
are clumsy. Not as precise as what we were dealing with
on Chandrila. There are also no supporting strikes from
their naval and starfighter forces," she noted, as the
Brentaal system had been relatively free of naval
activity. "However, after the ... setback ... on
Chandrila a victory against this cell might provide the
necessary morale boost, along with propaganda value,"
she added, with a firm nod of her head. "I believe the
Storm commandos will more than suffice against such
opposition," she concluded, before moving away from the
holotank and awaiting further orders from the Grand
Sierra nodded her head in agreement. She, too,
believe that this was not the main Rebel cell. Whoever
had been positioned on Chandrila was gone now. The
planet had been combed repeatedly. She had no doubt that
that Rebel cell would rear its head again. Until then,
they needed to clear out any suspicious activity from
the other planets. "I agree with you, Lieutenant. We can
expect to see from the main Rebel cell again, however,
there have been so solid leads as to where they might be
found." She stared at the map. She wondered where the
Rebel starfighter forces were. They couldn't be camped
out too far away. "Strategically, is there a planet
you'd think the Rebels would target over the others?"
There were some planets within the Ringali Shell that
had seen better days. The cell wouldn't return to
Chandrila...not after what had happened. She stepped
back from the holotank. "Yes, exactly. I'm looking for
any way to help us at the moment. We're still hurting
from the Chandrila ... *mess*." She sighed.
"Brentaal IV is the economic heart of this oversector.
As it is the nexus of two of the core's most vital trade
routes it has been their first priority since day one,"
Meham'ohoroiv'cloca concluded, as her attention shifted
back towards the holotank. "If they wish to hit us
economically the target would be Brentaal IV," she
reasoned, with a firm nod of her head. "If, on the other
hand, they wish to hit us politically then the target
would be here on Esseles. Perhaps even against the Grand
Moff himself," she said, as her red eyes scanned over
the delicate features of Sierra. "However, these Rebels
are unpredictable lot and have shown a willingness to
strike anywhere, without a long term objective, short of
causing us to disperse our forces and chase after them,"
she said, before moving her hand to activate the
controls to zoom out of Brentaal and a display of the
entire Bormea Sector. "Still reeling from the ...
setback ... on Chandrila," she began, careful never to
utter the word 'defeat'. "...Corulag and Brentaal IV are
exposed as we reinforced Chandrila. That is what has
probably given the Rebel cell you've discovered on
Brentaal IV the nerve to attack," she added, as her
gloved hands curled around the edge of the tank. "They
could attack anywhere at anytime, milady. We do,
however, have a target in front of us on Brentaal IV. To
leave it, to ignore it, would only invite it to grow.
Destroy it," she said, with an emphatic nod of her head,
wishing she could have been of more assistance. The
larger Rebel cell was simply too unpredictable for her
or the other tacticians to accurately guard against.
They really needed to defend everywhere, which was
exactly why the Rebellion was striking across the entire
It would be ballsy to strike on Esseles, but it
didn't mean it was impossible. In trying to protect
Chandrila, it seemed that they had become exposed in
other places, just as Meham'ohorovi'cloca had said. They
needed to cover the weak spots and regain their footing
for when the main Rebel cell attacked again. She watched
the Lieutenant manipulate the holotank, now showing the
whole Bormea Sector. "I have no doubt that the Governor
will feel the same way. We'll uproot this new cell. I'll
speak to him about what we can do about the planets who
we've left exposed. We can't afford to have a second
Chandrila." Meham'ohorovi'cloca wasn't the only one
dancing around the word 'defeat'. There had been so much
riding on Chandrila for it to end in the way it had. She
stepped back from the holotank, clutching her datapad to
her chest. "Thank you for your time, Lieutenant." She
nodded to the Chiss woman while offering her a smile. It
really was good to have her on their side.
Sierra left the bridge en route back to her office.
At least she had a tidbit of good news to deliver today
amongst all the bad news. There had been an increase in
security around her and Claudius' office for the sake of
their son. Hearing about Sia's kidnapping had been
enough to make Sierra worry. She didn't want the same to
happen to her son. She passed through the doors into her
office. It seemed while she had been at the holotank
that the datapads on her desk had bred like Lepi. There
were even some that had spilled onto the ground. She
laughed softly. Now that she had Kerrie at the estate,
she needed to ask her for advice on how to do her job
better. She passed through into Claudius' office, where
she had rolled Bruce's bassinet into when she went to
meet with Meham'ohorovi'cloca. A little smile revealed
the deep dimples in her cheeks. "Hey you..." Her smile
began to grow. "Did someone deliver me more datapads, or
did you sneak a stack of yours onto my desk?" She teased
her husband as she came to sit in front of his desk.
"I think that if I don't respond quickly enough they
second a second datapad with the same message," Claudius
said, as he looked up at her from behind his desk, a
smile instantly coming onto his face. "That, or the same
thing keeps happening, which we can't rule out as a
possibility," he said, with a soft chuckle, as she moved
towards his desk. "So how did the meeting with the ice
queen go?" he asked, as he placed a hand on the flat
surface of his desk and moved the pile of datapads away
so that he did not lose sight of her when she sat down.
"I'm sorry I missed it, but I was occupied with ...
with..." he said, as he moved his face about as he
considered the answer. "Add making up a reason why I
missed the meeting with Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca
to your list of duties for the afternoon," he
whimsically added, as he smiled across at her.
She laughed softly. "It wouldn't surprise me if they
were sending duplicates... Bastards." She mumbled
quietly. Sierra crossed one leg over the other. She
placed her datapad in her lap. It felt good to report
better-than-usual news to him. His joke made her laugh
again. "Oh, my husband, this isn't my first day being
your adjutant. I told Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca
that the Governor was *very* busy reviewing his reports
and had send me instead. Which, by the way, you owe me
one." She winked. "As to the meeting...it went better
than I could have asked for. I received a report this
morning that there is confirmed Rebel activity on
Brentaal IV within the city of Cormond. I recommended to
Meham'ohorovi'cloca that we sent in the Commandos to
squash the cell, which she agreed with. If at all
possible to bring anyone in alive, that could be
advantageous. Meham'ohorovi'cloca and I are both
convinced that this isn't the main cell we dealt with on
Chandrila, but I'm sure someone knows *something*." She
began to tell him.
Claudius listened to Sierra's recount of the tactical
briefing, nodding his head at each of her bullet points.
"The Storm commandos ... that means ... Inquisitor
Thrope," he said, swallowing slightly, and leaning back
in his chair. He placed his hand upon his desk and began
tapping his fingers repeatedly upon the polished black
surface. "Very well. We will unleash her on Brentaal. If
anything it shall keep her out of our hair," he informed
her, as he moved towards the controls on his desk to
begin encoding a message. "Woe unto the Rebels of
Brentaal," he said, as after what he witnessed the
Inquisitor do he felt bad for anyone who came in contact
Inquisitor Thrope. Sierra's blood ran cold upon
hearing that name. Her experiences with force-users thus
far had been unpleasant, not counting Bruce. She brought
her hand up to her temples, first removing her hat and
dropping it into her lap before massaging herself there.
"Woe unto them." She nodded her head. This would keep
Inquisitor Thrope preoccupied. She had not seen the Lepi
since the meeting with Lord Vader. Frankly, the longer
she went without seeing her, the better. "Moving around
the fleet in order to protect Chandrila has also caused
exposure on Brentaal and Corulag. We need to fix that.
Meham'ohorovi'cloca has no way to predict where the main
Rebel cell will hit next, so it's better to make sure
we're covered everywhere. I wish I had more information
on them but I don't. The fighting within the branches of
the ISB is making them useless. Please remind me how you
do your job without strangling people on a daily basis."
Sierra laughed. She rested both her hat and datapad on
his desk as she leaned forward.
"And how long did it take her to say 'I don't know.
They could attack anywhere'?" Claudius asked her, as he
brought his hand up to rub his left temple. Dealing with
this Rebel insurgency was nothing short of exasperating.
"This was a lot easier when Zevrin was running things
and I just had to sign things," he said, before shaking
his head at the mess she had left him. "Brentaal and
Corulag are my problems, but Chandrila is the Emperor's
focus ... I cannot ignore it, even if it costs us
elsewhere," he explained, as he regretted the fact that
politics was interfering with sound military strategy.
"The good news is that Chandrila has quieted down as of
late. The losses we took were considerable, but we
weathered the storm," he explained, before his face
suddenly lit up. "Oh. I almost forgot to tell you. While
you were in the meeting I received word that Sia was
recovered," he informed her, as it seemed there was a
bit of good news to be had this day.
"Far too long," Sierra answered, rising to her feet.
She rounded his desk where she settled behind his chair.
One advantage of being married to him as well as being
his adjutant was that there were no barriers between
them. Sierra's hands dug into his shoulders in a gentle
massage. "Well, if you wait long enough, I'm sure she'll
come back." Sierra commented darkly. While it had seemed
like a good idea at the time to shoot Zevrin and bring
her down, Arden hardly seemed like the kind of woman who
would be happy working from the shadows. She would claw
her way back into their lives ... and then deal
repercussions. "Yes, we're unable to pull away from
Chandrila. Perhaps we can find some ISB officers who
aren't nitwits to monitor for Rebel activity. If they
come back, I want to know." She paused her massage as he
revealed to her news that was infinitely better than
squashing Rebels on Brentaal. "Oh my gosh! That's
wonderful news! Is she well? Did they catch whoever did
it?!" She was very happy for her brother and sister. The
thought of having such a horrible thing happen made
Sierra's heart hurt. Perhaps that was why she had opted
to increase security and keep Bruce closer than ever.
"Oh don't say that, Sierra. I've heard that if you
say her name three times she appears," Claudius informed
his wife, as if Zevrin were some kind of mythical evil
from pre-history. "I have no use for the ISB," he
commented, bitterly, before clenching his jaw in anger,
but then it dawned on him that his wife was in the ISB
and his facial expression suddenly changed. "Present
company excluded of course," he told her, as her hands
were dangerously close to his neck at the moment.
"El-Nay Darr is not the best source of information. She
informed me that Sia was fine, but that Marcus and Zara
were not, and then went on to complain about not being
involved in the rescue, which caused me to stop
listening and zone out," he informed her, in raw
honesty. "I'm sure she'll fill you in before going on to
complain," he told her, before letting out a soft moan
from the continued rubbing.
"Oh no. We've said it twice already!" She said with a
soft laugh. She wouldn't be surprised if it worked.
Zevrin was one of the last people she wanted to see.
After meeting Lord Vader and Inquisitor Thrope, she was
no longer the worst person she knew. Her fingers
continued to massage him. They rolled up to rub the
knots out of the back of his neck slowly. "Mhm. That's
what I thought. I like to believe I'm different from my
comrades." Hm. It was surprising to hear that Marcus and
Zara were the ones injured. She had utilized Marcus'
alternative persona before. That had ended up in a
mess...a mess she wasn't aware he had recovered from.
"Well, I'm sure your brother will recover. He's had it
worse." As to Zara, she didn't comment. Her feelings for
her sister-in-law were mixed after having been shot by
her. His brutal honesty made her laugh. "You got the
worthwhile information. I'm glad our niece is home and
well. Maybe we'll prolong me having to listen to her by
escaping to the lake house tonight." One of her hands
persuaded him to lean forward to expose his back. The
massage migrated downward from there. "It seems things
are beginning to calm down again." She commented.
"Oh that would be a shame to leave El-Nay to watch
two Squibs and a pouting teenage girl," Claudius joked,
as he leaned his head back to smile up at Sierra. "I
definitely think we're going to the lakehouse tonight,"
he said, before rising up slightly to kiss at the bottom
of her chin. "So which of our officers are we
dispatching to Esseles with the orders for Inquisitor
Thrope to head to Brentaal?" he asked her, as no one was
on his radar for punishment. However, he had been holed
up in his office for so long that he had limited
exposure to the crew compared to Sierra. He almost felt
bad for anyone who drew such an assignment. "Or maybe
just a mouse droid," he added, though in the back of his
mind he event felt bad for the droid.
"I'm still hearing jizz in my head." Lakehouse
tonight it was. She was waiting for Drusilla to simmer
down before extending the olive branch. Honestly, she
wasn't sure when her step-daughter would cool off if
ever. Eventually she'd have to borrow Kerrie's commando
armor in order to enter Dru's room. Sierra's smile
became all the brighter as she looked down at her
husband."Um. . . " Who could she send to see Inquisitor
Thrope? Ensign Sheppard had served out her punishment at
the estate. "Allegra Ames..?" She voiced her thoughts.
Allegra seemed tough, but then Sierra recalled the
antique rattle that the woman had given her at the baby
shower and decided not to send her on a death march.
"No. Not Ames." She withdrew. There was no one in the
crew who she was willing to send to Inquisitor Thrope.
The woman was far too dangerous. "I think a mouse droid
will be perfect unless you think Lieutenant
Meham'ohorovi'cloca is capable of boring her to death."
She stepped out from behind his chair, bent down, and
stole a kiss. "I reserve the right to change my decision
if Ames invades our privacy again at the lakehouse
"I'm not sure what's worse ... jizz or the theme from
the Rainbow Rancor," Claudius commented, as he checked
the chronometer to see how much longer he should remain
on duty. Although he was in charge and could come and go
as he pleased, he nevertheless liked to give a good
appearance and stand a complete watch. "We could never
spare Meham'ohorovi'cloca. If the Inquisitor were to
grow tired of her monotonous speech and silence her we
could lose this damn war," he commented, as he felt that
the fighting within the Empire was more dangerous than
the external Rebel threat. "Very well. Ames is spared.
I'll send a droid," he said, before she temporarily
silenced him with a kiss. When the kiss broke he looked
to her with a surprised look and reddened cheeks. "My
shift is over. Let's get to the lakehouse," he said,
before he backed his chair out and rose to his feet.
"Let's go. Time's a wastin'," he said to her, before
moving towards the doorway.
"A remix." Sierra answered. Rainbow Rancor meets jizz
in some terrible mashup. All the officers would remain
safe on the Retributor, for none had misbehaved so badly
that they deserved to be sent to their death. She felt
bold and rather happy. She wanted to use her time wisely
before the first trimester morning sickness settled in.
Sierra approached the bassinet where she collected their
son. "We're going to see the otters." She told Bruce
excitedly. "And sea Betsy too." It was going to be hard
to top that surprise. Claudius had done a damn fine job
of pleasing her on her twentieth birthday. She had no
idea how she would ever do better when his birthday came
Together, the family flew back down to the surface of
Esseles. The lakehouse stood in Larius Lacus, untouched
and waiting for only them. The lakehouse was a place of
pure seclusion where you couldn't hear the TIEs, nor was
there any sort of Stormtrooper presence. As dangerous as
it was, it made for the perfect hidey hole for Sierra,
Claudius, and their son. After arriving, Sierra opted to
change into a simple blue sundress and abandon her shoes
all together. She carried Bruce through the house and
out onto the wrap around porch. She planted herself on
the wooden swing with her son in her lap. "Looks like
some of the ducks followed us here." She commented to
both of the men in her life. She loved her lakehouse.
There were so many different animals which coexisted
together there. As much as she loved her Squib
daughters, she was sure that their presence would ruin
the peace. "My mother never let me have any animals.
That's a real shocker, huh?" Her eyes rolled.
Claudius was glad to be off his command ship and down
on the surface of Esseles. He was always glad to spend
time on that lakehouse, despite his love for his family.
It would be good to have some time away from both the
war against the Rebellion and the war at home. While
Sierra moved to sit down upon the swing, he moved
forward towards the railing to gaze out upon the idyllic
lake. "It's that time of year," he said, as he watched
the ducks swim around the waters near the estate. "No?
Never? Doesn't surprise me," he said, as he finally
moved to join his family on the swing. "It won't be long
before you have two to deal with," he reminded her,
before he leaned down to place a kiss upon the top of
The swing slowly rocked back and forth. Bruce was
seated against Sierra's chest where he could watch the
animals while still being comfortable. He was really
focused on the wildlife. Sierra smiled. "I know. It's
incredible how quickly I got pregnant again. I guess our
bodies like each other as much as we do." Or luck was on
their side when it came to procreation. She was glad it
had happened again so soon, as she didn't want to be the
reason why Claudius still had very young children up
into his seventies or beyond. "Are *you* ready? You'll
have to go through my sporadic hormones, helping me when
I'm beached on the bed. Oh...and the late night pudding
runs." She snickered. "And then you'll have another
child. We'll have doubled the family within a little
over a year of marriage. Didn't see that coming, did
you?" Her hand found his, fingers locking together.
"Ready? I thought I would just delegate to Kerrie and
El-Nay and, you know ... supervise," Claudius teased
her, as his arm wrapped around her while they gently
swung. "I was prepared for the family to grow when I
married you, although I confess I didn't expect a second
Squib, a bantha, a Delayan sea cow, otters, and ducks,"
he told her, candidly, as he felt like he had become a
zookeeper. "Hopefully when we return to the estate there
aren't any new additions," he told her, as the Squibs
seemed to just do without stopping to ask for
permission. Their excitement was refreshing at times and
helped him stay young, but there were other times where
they were considerably taxing.
Sierra burst out laughing. "Oooh. Your true
intentions behind letting me hire two bodyguards have
finally come out!" She knew he was kidding. All-in-all,
she prayed that the delivery of this child would not be
as difficult as it had been with Bruce. Neither one of
them could handle a second birth like that. She settled
into his side comfortable. She could hear Bruce making
little excited noises. "Yeah... I did turn the house
into our own personal zoo, didn't I?" She smiled
brightly, looking up at him. "I hope so too. All jokes
aside, I don't think I could manage three Squib
children. I barely know what I'm doing with Dru."
Everything came naturally with Bruce. They had bonded
immensely in the hours after his birth. Something
special existed between them. She silently prayed that
they weren't expecting twins. It was worrisome, and part
of the reason why she hadn't gone to see Doctor Tohan
While they sat together, a curious otter began
climbing up the stairs leading to the porch. Sierra had
yet to notice him, but that was all Bruce was paying
attention to. "If we have a daughter, do you think we
should call it quits after her?" She asked him
seriously. "When this war ends, what do you see coming
next?" They hadn't really discussed after war life yet.
Sierra was excited for that time in their lives, for
their stresses would mostly melt away.
"I don't even know how Squibs manage three Squib
children. Maybe they just stop at two?" Claudius
theorized, as he had never been able to imagine life
with more than one until Melickielickie was literally
dropped at their doorstep. "I think we should let our
bodies decide when to call it quits," he told her, as he
realized he would be an old man by the time their
daughter was grown. It was hard not to think about. "As
soon as the war ends I will submit my resignation to the
Emperor and retire to civilian life on Delaya," he told
her, with no hesitation. He wished to live out his days
in the house he had constructed in the sea islands of
Delaya, unaware that his brother had since taken it
"Maybe there's a support group?" She laughed. "I
should have taken some parenting classes on Skor II.
They've gotta have ways to handle having multiple
Squibs." She, remorsefully, recalled seeing
Melickielickie's family. Her mother had so many Squib
children with her...and she was pregnant on top of it
all. She had no idea how they did it. Sierra was getting
closer to taking a page from Marcus and Zara's book and
investing in a nanny droid. His response to her question
made her snicker. "Okay. I'm going to tell Doctor Tohan
about this pregnancy, so *you* get to tell him about the
next one. You might want to wear a helmet when you do."
She teased him. Just beyond them, the otter began to
creep up the porch towards the swing. It stopped less
than a foot away and stared at *Bruce*. The little boy
let out a loud laugh and began kicking his legs as he
loved to do. Sierra kept an arm securing her son to her.
She thought it strange that the otter had decided to
come up so close to them. It reminded her of the thranta
that had injured the evil Governor. "That sounds
wonderful. I can't wait to move the children to our sea
islands home. I hope this war ends soon so we can get
there quicker. You've been fighting it for far too
Claudius was just about to make a comment about
Doctor Tohan when he turned and spotted the otter right
there in front of them. "Gaah!" he cried out, as he
backed away from the creature. "How did it manage to get
in here?" he asked her, but he did not shoo it away
because of how his son was happily responding to it.
"The war cannot go on much longer. We are driving them
back in the Mid Rim and most of their forces are
scattering to the Outer Rim," he explained, reassuring
her, as he kept one eye on the animal that had come to
join them. "Lord Vader will locate their base and put an
end to the Rebellion. When their leadership is
decapitated cells like the ones we're dealing with will
have no choice but to surrender," he informed her,
almost sounding confident, as he succumbed to every bit
of COMPNOR propaganda.
Bruce was trying to reach out to the otter even
though it was so far away that he didn't stand a chance
in actually touching it. The otter, itself, remained
positioned on the porch. Sierra kept an eye on it and a
tight hold on her son in case the animal went rabid.
Claudius delivered nothing but happy news to his wife.
She ate it up, fully believing that the war would end
very soon. It felt like that future in Delaya was
growing closer. Soon, they would rejoin their family on
their home planet. Jelena would come back too. "And then
the end will come. We are going to crush the Rebels on
Brentaal and show them that they have crept into the
wrong sector." The fight in her had been reignited.
There was one hell of a carrot being dangled in front of
her. She was going to work and get it. "Perhaps the war
will end before this child is here." She was starting to
feel uneasy with the otter. She rose with the intent of
retreating inside. "This is probably the most insane
thing I've ever said to you, but I swear, Bruce draws
the animals in." She stepped around the otter carefully.
Bruce peered out from behind Sierra's shoulder. "At our
estate, the ducks were drawn to him. Here...there's the
otter. Countless animals were attracted to us while I
was pregnant. And then there was the thranta that
attacked Papius on Delaya." She moved towards the door.
"I wish I knew more about force-users, or if it's even
capable for him to have such a connection."
When Sierra rose to move inside, Claudius was quick
to follow, closing the door behind him to give them an
added barrier between them and the otter. As he was
barring the door he listened to her recount the close
encounters with wildlife that had occurred both before
and after Bruce's birth. "Well, you know, to one of
these creatures Bruce is just another animal. And a
small one at that. They're probably curious about him
just as we're curious about them," he said, as he moved
over towards them. "Still ... that is a concern that the
thranta attacked Governor Arundel," he said, as he
brought his hand up to scratch at his chin. "I'm no fan
of that wicked man, but I'm sure that Marcus and Zara
will eventually be the ones to pay the price for that
creature's actions," he told her, before moving towards
the kitchen. "Anything in here besides pudding?" he
asked her, as he suddenly felt himself growing hungry.
His reasoning couldn't be flawed. Sierra was basing
her thoughts on what had happened with Papius, when it
could have just been considered good timing. She carried
a sleepy Bruce into their room and settled him into the
bassinet. "I love you." She whispered, kissing him. She
left the door partially closed so she could still hear
him if he woke up, then proceeded into the kitchen to
meet up with her husband. "I am too. Nothing happens to
that man without some sort of repercussion. I hate
him..." Sierra growled. She was still unaware of how
deep his sick obsession with her went. She hoped that by
the time Claudius retired, someone would have killed
him. She had yet to take up on El-Nay's offer to shoot a
rocket up his ass. Maybe someday.
She chuckled, dancing towards the refrigerator. "This
is the safest place for my pudding, Claudius... But yes,
there's more than just pudding. I'll cook for you. It's
been awhile since I've gotten to do that." She was
certainly driven at work, but that didn't make her any
less domestic at home. Sierra began pitter pattering
around the kitchen as she started cooking them a meal. A
realization crossed her mind that brought a large smile
over her face. "It's nearly been six months since our
wedding." She informed him happily. "Despite all that's
happened, the time has passed so rapidly with you. I
swear I was just living in a loop before we met."
"I love you too, Sierra," Claudius said, as he
remained in the kitchen, starting to feel as frantic
about food as his adopted Squib daughters. "It amazes me
how a man like that rose to a position like Governor.
Hopefully he never sees a promotion to Moff," he added,
as he waited for her to come back to the kitchen after
putting their son down. "Six months? It doesn't even
feel like six weeks," he told her, as a warm smile came
upon his face. "Oh how the time flies," he said, as he
moved swiftly towards her, placing his hands on either
of her hips and spinning her around the small kitchen.
"It's been wonderful," he said, as he released his grasp
on her, and then moved to sit at one of the stools near
the island. "Hey good lookin', what you got cookin'?" he
asked her, as he leaned forward, with a hungry look
plastered upon his face.
Ugh. She hated the idea of Papius seeing anymore
promotions. She was happy that he was Marcus' problem
and not hers. She was untouchable on Esseles or any of
the six planets under her husband's control. "It really
doesn't." She commented. Her love for him was so
complete at this point. She didn't bother imagining life
without him because that simply didn't exist. She
enjoyed being spun around the kitchen. Her whole face
lit up that much more. Claudius had changed her so
much...for the better. They had both been riding down
their individual paths of self destruction. "Weee!" She
giggled, acting her age for a change. "The next six
months will fly too. I had the top of our wedding cake
saved for our one year anniversary." She laughed. She
was so old school, but her love for the old fashion had
granted her one hell of a husband. "So, it's either
going to taste good, or our anniversary night will end
just like the wedding night... In the refresher." Oh,
the gross meal with His Majesty. It was yet another
lovely, unforgettable moment in their marriage.
Sierra started cooking a large nerf steak and
prepping some side dishes. There was no rush for her to
cook because the Squibs weren't at her feet, begging her
for food. Her eyes diverted from her work over to her
husband. That look made her bite her lower lip and
consider ordering take out. "I don't know! You tell me."
Sierra turned around and shook her backside at him
The moment the nerf steak began to cook his nose
began to twitch. As he lusted over the food one might
wonder if it were he who developed the habit from
Ewwiekewwieikkie, or if it was she who developed it from
him. When she turned and posed from him he laughed
happily, glad to have a moment of downtime and happiness
during such a horrible war. Even now his orders were
going out to strike at Brentaal. "I'll have to find a
suitable anniversary present. Nothing shiny though ...
it would never make it to you. Not a yacht either ... I
know someone that wouldn't like that," he teased, all
the while looking past her towards where the meal was
She focused herself on cooking. She was *very* happy.
They had established such a good relationship. No matter
what was going on in the war, it never hurt them. They
could still have special moments like these. "A yacht!"
She exclaimed as she began to laugh. Drusilla would
strangle her with her beautifully manicured hands.
"Gosh, you just wanna land me in hot water, don't you? I
don't know if you deserve an anniversary present. You're
being naughty! Maybe I'll fill your day up with tactical
meetings." Such was the misery of being married to your
adjutant! The food was well on its way to cooking, so
she abandoned her post to give her husband some extra
affection. She wrapped her arms around him. "I love you.
All I want for our anniversary is your love, affection,
and pudding... You know, because I'll be in my third
trimester *again*!" Her nose nuzzled against his. She
was looking forward to their first anniversary so much
even though she celebrated their love every day.
"Me? Naughty? Never!" Claudius said in protest, as he
watched her slave over a hot meal for him. "No tactical
meetings!" he pleased with her, as he waved both of his
hands in front of her in protest. "You have my love. You
have my affection. As to the pudding ... that's what
young ensigns are for," he teased, just before she
arrived in front of him. The nuzzle of noses was needed,
and the closeness between them was unlike any he had
ever before felt. But as he wrapped his arms around her,
drawing her even more near, he looked past her towards
the food that was beginning to simmer. "Mmm," he said,
as he tightened his grasp around her, as the smell of
the nearly cooked food filled his nostrils. For the
moment he seemed to have it all.
She wouldn't make him suffer through tactical
meetings. Sierra had covered for him today, and likely
would do it again in the future. As she got to know the
Chiss officer, she liked her a little more. If nothing
else, she made Bruce fall asleep so quickly that it was
magical. She giggled. "Well, then I guess I've got
everything I need." She squeezed him tightly. While she
was snuggling him, she thought she heard a low, rumbling
growl. "Was that your stomach?" She snickered. "Oh my
gosh. You're wasting away to nothing. Let me go get you
some food." She placed a quick kiss on his lips and,
reluctantly, escaped from his grasp. She moved back over
to the stove where everything had finished cooking.
Sierra turned off the stove and prepped two places for
them consisting of nerf steak, seasoned mashed potatoes,
and a combination of various colorful veggies. She
placed his plate in front of him, then sat beside him
with her own. As she began to eat, Sierra felt gratitude
for all she had gained in her life; Claudius, Drusilla,
Ewwiekewwieikkie, Bruce, and the child growing in her
womb. Her life had filled up with so many people for her
to love. She peered over at her husband. The love he
gave her was so individual and perfect. The rest of her
life would be devoted to him.