Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:7:13) in the Essesia system: Esseles (Larius Lacus: Sierra Rodney's lakehouse) and Retributor.
Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, and Major Sierra Rodney.

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 Moff's adjutant.

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 oversector.

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 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 with her.

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 tonight."

"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 around.

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 her head.

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 yet.

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 over.

"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 long."

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 playfully.

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 being prepared.

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.

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