Opportunity was arriving for Zara Rodney. An early
morning message from her sister, Sierra, had given
her a nugget of information that was worth its
weight in gold: Sierra was going to be in the
Governor's garrison. This was a place that Zara had
not been in since she and her husband were
imprisoned, yet she knew the layout from the
information collected by Marcus' seeker droids. Her
mind ground right into action. Simply sitting around
the castle acting like an idle, idiotic noble was
not uprooting the Governor from their lives. Zara
had to do something...but that something had to be
done *very* carefully. Thankfully, the girl had been
a successful slicer. No one had discovered her
She spent some time in the wee hours with Sia
sleeping on her chest while she worked with an old
data pad, and several devices which she could use to
infiltrate systems. The best way to hack was to have
something physically implanted in one way or
another. Zara simply needed to make sure this device
could never be traced back to her should the bug be
As the sun crept up over the mountains, a new
morning had come. Collecting her daughter, Zara made
her way up the spiral stairs to her and Marcus'
quarters. She did not intend to reveal her plans to
him. It was dangerous. She *knew* it was dangerous.
For the wee girl in her arms, she had to do
*something*. In her room, Zara carefully deposited
Sia into the bassinet with her baby brother. She
smiled down at her sleeping children as she tucked
them in. She loved them so much.
At last, she made her way onto their bed to wake her
love. "Marcussss." Zara kissed his chin then both of
his cheeks. "Wake up," she spoke quietly as to not
wake the twins.
Marcus' awoke slowly to the sensation of Zara
kissing his face, which was better than any alarm
chrono he had ever come across. It took a moment for
his vision to come into focus, but when it did, he
looked up at Zara affectionately. "Good morning," he
said to her sweetly, before lifting his arms above
his head to stretch. His legs moved slightly as he
attempted to stretch them, but there would still be
a long recovery before he was his old self again.
"Are the twins okay?" he asked, as their condition
was the first thing that entered his mind each
morning. They dominated his thoughts and he worried
about them endlessly ... particularly since their
encounter with Governor Arundel. His one goal was to
be walking before them, as he did not want his
children to outperform him this early in their
She scooted in close to him. It seemed like his
personal bubble had become that much smaller since
the twins had arrived. Regardless of who it was,
there was always *someone* who wanted to snuggle
him; Zara, Sia, or Darrus. "Yeah. They're both
sleeping now. Sia woke up a little bit ago. She was
hungry. I swear, she eats more than the little guy."
She laughed softly. Their babies were always
growing. They were Zara's pride and joy. She
understood why Marcus worried for them. She did too.
She didn't feel like the twins could be left with
anyone besides them. She simply couldn't risk Papius
nabbing them. "It's just us for now. Did you sleep
good?" It was hard to be patient with Marcus'
recovery. She wanted him to wake completely better
one day so they could fight the evils in their lives
together ... or simply run and hide with their
Marcus gripped the bedsheets with both of his hands
as he struggled to pull himself up into a sitting
position. As a result of the limited use of his legs
his upper body had been getting quite the workout.
"I slept well, but you should have woken me if they
were keeping you up. I'd have tried to help, or at
least kept you company," he explained to her, as he
moved his hand up to brush gently against her cheek.
"How long until Sierra arrives? Did she give any
additional indication as to why she was coming?" he
asked, as he brought his hand up to his face to
measure his stubble in order to determine whether or
not he needed a shave.
"You always help out. I wanted you to have the
chance to get some good sleep. Don't worry, I'll
wake you up tonight." Even now, Zara could hear the
coos of their infants from the bassinet. They were
beginning to wake for the day. Her head shook
slowly. "No. I only know she'll be here today. I bet
it won't be long." She groaned. She had a complex
relationship with her sister, especially because
Sierra involved herself with the ISB. She had to
question how good a person could be who associated
themselves with that. She slowly sat up. "I guess
that means we have to get dressed and make ourselves
presentable, huh?" She rose from the bed and made
her way back over to the bassinet. It was Darrus who
was awake now, while Sia's hands shielded her eyes
as she tried to sleep just a little longer. Sia
really was taking after her mother. Zara carefully
picked up her little boy and made her way back over
to the bed. She paused briefly to make a bottle for
him before settling beside Marcus. As much as her
thoughts were muddled up in revenge and destroying
Papius, Zara couldn't help but smile.
"I'm sorry, Zara, but that offer was only good for
last night," Marcus teased her, with a wink to let
her know he was only kidding. "They're waking!" he
said, as he was able to hear them the same as her.
"Prepare the boob juice!" he ordered, before lightly
clapping his hands as if he was commanding a waiter.
"Well maybe you do, but I like to think I wake up
looking quite presentable," he joked, again, as he
had found himself being in a wonderful mood everyday
since the children were born. He was more *alive*
than he had been in ages, smiling, and telling jokes
in rapid succession. Zara left and then quickly
returned with their son, and he was careful to keep
a hand in safeguarding position as he worked on his
bottle. He smiled down at Darrus, grinning from ear
to ear, as every little thing he did seemed to be an
She laughed. "Hey! No fair!" She knew he was teasing
her. They'd equally been putting in night hours with
the twins. It would have been impossible if not for
a solid team effort. "Boob juice..." She giggled.
"You should be proud of my boobs. They feed our
babies!" It was taking Zara time to get used to
breastfeeding two children at once. She tried to
think ahead by also pumping. After all, it was
important Marcus bonded with the babies too. There
was something precious about feeding time.
Especially when it was late at night and Zara was
nearly asleep, she felt warm in her heart when she
looked down and saw her babies. She handed Darrus
off to his daddy in order to get Sia up too. "Mhm.
Presentable. Is that what we're calling it these
days? You've still got bed head!" Zara loved seeing
Marcus like this. The arrival of the twins had
brought them so much closer. In times like
these...times when she wasn't thinking about Papius...life
She made it back to the bed, feeding Sia. She had
only just settled into feeding time when there was a
knock on the door from one of the guards followed by
a, "Lady Sierra Rodney is here to see you." Zara
looked down and sighed. "Can you give us five
minutes?" She called out, rolling her eyes like the
teenager that she was. "Can't we hire people to
dress me? Ugh..."
"I am eternally proud of your boobs," Marcus
informed her, before his attention focused entirely
on the process of feeding his son. "Nothing a good
hat can't fix!" he shot back at her, as he brought
his free hand up to his neatly cut curly locks. But
then, just as he was settling into feeding Darrus,
the knock at the door indicated his sister-in-law
had arrived. "We had people on the staff who would
have dressed you, as they did mother, but you said
you didn't want them," he reminded her, before
finishing the feeding process. "Throw any old thing
on," he suggested, as time was now against them.
Well, at this point, her boobs felt mighty special.
Unfortunately, she didn't have the time to feel
proud of them. She was in the closet, fussing over
what to wear like a true Duchess before ultimately
settling on a robe that was fancy enough to make her
look nice, while not requiring a full wardrobe
change. "I know, I know. I didn't think they were
necessary. Now I know why your mom kept them
around." All-in-all, Zara was *never* ready to face
Sierra since becoming the Duchess. When Marcus was
the spare, it didn't matter that she had come from
nothing. Now that he was the Duke, light had been
shed on those portions of her life. She supposed she
still didn't feel like she *deserved* it. As ready
as she would ever be, Zara cradled Sia close. "Okay,
let 'em in."
Sierra Rodney was not a happy woman. She disliked
leaving Claudius. She disliked coming to Delaya
alone. More than anything else, she disliked what
she was here to do. Papius Arundel was pure evil.
She had been more than happy to tell El-Nay *all*
about it throughout the trip to Delaya. Sierra
decided to make this end quickly. The sooner she met
with Papius, the sooner she could go home and
attempt to forget it had ever happened. Standing
before the doors leading into the Duke and Duchess'
room, her mind flashed back to a time when her and
her husband had shared these quarters. What seemed
like a lifetime ago had only been mere months.
Before the doors opened, she looked toward El-Nay.
"Thanks for coming with me. I couldn't do this
alone." She stepped forward into the room as the
door opened. She wanted Marcus and Zara to know why
she was doing this, as Papius seemed like the type
to tell them Sierra was against them.
"It's no problem, milady," El-Nay said to Sierra as
she moved with her through the corridors of the
Rodney Castle. Her last trip to this structure had
nearly taken her life, and it was fresh in her mind
as she moved down the passageway that had once been
a battlefield. "Glad they didn't send me the bill.
Heh," she commented, remembering how her rocket had
brought the ceiling down on a group of Stormtroopers.
As Sierra entered Marcus and Zara's personal suite
she decided not to proceed much further as she felt
it was just for family. Give her complex history
with everyone involved she felt out of place, and
was content to simply protect Sierra without getting
involved in the discussions.
"You're not kidding. I cannot imagine how many
credits were put into fixing all that damage.."
Sierra shuddered. She didn't push El-Nay into
following her in. Sierra awkwardly approached
Marcus, Zara, and their beautiful children. How
happy they looked made her remember why all this was
so important to her. In several months, she wanted
to make sure her love was just as happy. "Brother,
sister..." She said, a smile cracking over her face.
"And the little ones. So cute..." Business was the
most important thing right now. This wasn't a
visitation for her niece and nephew, as much as she
loved them. "I'm sure you saw my message. I will
only be here long enough to entertain Governor
Arundel, then I'm going home. I wish I could do
something to improve your situation here, but my
plate is full too." Sierra bent down in front of
Darrus, who had finished eating. She tickled his
little cheek softly.
"Sister," Marcus said, remaining in his position in
the bed with Darrus. "Forgive me for not rising, but
I'm sure you understand," he said to her, before
looking past Sierra towards El-Nay. "She knows she
can come in, right?" he commented, before hearing
what she said about Governor Arundel. "*What*?!" he
exclaimed, briefly startling his infant son with his
reaction. "What do you mean *entertain* him?!" he
asked, not wanting any of his relations anywhere
near that vile man. He hated the Governor and would
have already killed him if he did not expect the
Empire to simply send more forces and an even worse
Governor in response. He knew that the Empire was
the real problem and that the Governor was just
their representative here. They would have to
support the Rebellion and drive the Empire off
Delaya once and for all ... in time.
Oh, she understood. She would never forget the
mishap at the Imperial garrison. Sierra looked
behind her shoulder, tossing El-Nay a look. "Yes,
she knows. It seems she's giving us a moment."
Sierra stepped back. She could feel Zara's eyes on
her. The woman was always watching her like a hawk.
It made her feel uncomfortable. After letting out a
sigh, Sierra began explaining things to her brother.
"I'm to play a private concert for him. It seems
that the biggest pain in my ass, Arden Zevrin, has
some sort of connection to the biggest pain in your
rear end. She will not allow for Claudius to take
any time off when our son arrives if I don't do
this. She gives me no choice." Sierra explained. She
came to sit in the closest chair to the bed. She
looked uncomfortable. "It's not easy with her being
on the Retributor. I wish there was a way to make
all these meddlesome people go away." Her fingers
massaged her temples.
"Even as a Grand Moff Claudius cannot take his own
leave? Ridiculous..." Marcus complained, before
briefly shifting his focus down to Darrus. With the
bottle finished, he repositioned him and ensured
everything was alright with him before proceeding.
"A private concert? For that madman? Are you sure
that's wise?" he asked, sounding very
overprotective. He knew how much Sierra meant to his
brother and, perhaps more importantly, the unborn
son she was carrying. "Might be better he just keeps
working than you having to go through this ordeal,"
he suggested, before looking towards Zara, who had
thus far been silent.
Zara was thinking about how she was going to steal
El-Nay's armor and accompany her sister to the
garrison. She was willing to risk Sierra's safety
for the sake of her children. After all...an eye for
an eye... She didn't envy Sierra for having to seek
out Governor Arundel alone. "Marcus is right." Zara
finally chimed in. "You're setting yourself up by
going in there. Did you forget when he jailed me and
Marcus?" Zara didn't know what Sierra had done to
free them. She never would either. "Why don't you
just go back home? Your hubby will be happier if
nothing happens to you."
"It is ridiculous, but such is living under the
finger of Colonel Zevrin." Sierra grumbled. She was
sure it *wasn't* wise. There was no telling what
would happen. If something did happen, she didn't
want Claudius to race her and get himself in hot
water with the Emperor again. You could only anger
that man so many times before he decided to dispose
of you. She decompressed in the seat, shaking her
head. "No, no, no. I'm committed. I'm going to do
it. At this point, if I don't, these horrible people
simply continue to win. Besides, Claudius has been
waiting so long for a son..." Her words trailed off.
Maybe she was being an idiot. Sierra began to rise
from her seat. She wanted this to be done.
Marcus looked to Zara who was more direct than he
ever could be, who said what he wanted to say
perfectly. However, by the time his gaze returned to
Sierra he realized that she had made up her mind and
there was nothing they could do to dissuade her. In
that way at least Zara and Sierra had a lot in
common. "Is there anything we can do to help?" he
asked her, after some contemplation, as he realized
that any involvement on his part, or Zara's, would
likely risk their children from this point on. He
had to be a father first, and everything else second
... even if that meant sacrificing his honor or
being cowardly. He simply could not allow anything
to happen to Darrus or Sia.
Sierra was making her way towards the door when
Marcus' question reached her. She stopped and turned
around. "Yes. If this goes on too long and I can't
return to Esseles tonight, I'd like to stay with
you...me and El-Nay both." The thought made her hurt
as she wanted nothing more than to sleep in her own
bed with her husband close by to keep her demons
out. Sorbert the Bantha had potential to become one
hell of a guard pet too.
Zara gently handed Sia off to Marcus. "I'm going to
follow them out." She said, kissing his lips
quickly. The young Duchess made her way over to her
sister, patting her shoulder. "Yeah! You can stay
here. Claudius' old room is untouched." She said.
"Why don't you go rest? I'm sure you're tired." Zara
said, looking down at Sierra's belly. The thief
closed the doors leading into her room, shielding
her husband from what she was about to do. Sierra
parted to head to the opposite side of the castle
once they all reached the bottom of the spiral
staircase. Alone with El-Nay, Zara withdrew a
blaster pistol from beneath her robe. Though she
wore no armor and posed little threat to El-Nay, she
pushed the Mandalorian against the wall. She pointed
the barrel of the pistol at the space underneath her
chin, where her helmet and armor didn't protect her.
"If you don't want to die, you're going to lend me
your armor for the day." Zara's finger ran over the
trigger. Would she do it? Yeah, probably.
El-Nay never expected Zara to be a threat. She felt
relatively safe in the castle as she did not expect
Sierra's family to harm them. She was not even
looking at Zara when the blaster came out, and
before she knew what had happened Zara had managed
to get the drop on her. "Hey. What are you..." she
began, but quickly silenced herself as the blaster
was pressed against her neck. "Hey. Take it easy.
Calm down," she pleaded with her, her face going
white below the safety of her helmet. "If you're not
careful you're going to make me shit myself and then
you won't want to wear this," she said to the woman,
in an attempt to diffuse the volatile situation.
This was her mother's armor. It had never been worn
by an outsider. It was sacred to her in every way
that was possible. The thought of Zara wearing it
would bring great dishonor to her clan. But was it
worth dying for? To some Mandalorians ... yes. But,
to her? She thought about it for several moments
before sighing sadly, alerting Zara to her
intentions. "Go ahead. Take it," she muttered, in
defeat, as she hoped that her father would never
find out about this. That would truly be the end of
'No' wasn't a valid answer in Zara's book. She'd
shoot the Mandalorian and steal her armor before
giving up. All in all, El-Nay wasn't that much
taller than her. Zara felt she could pass off as the
woman once she wore her armor. Sierra wouldn't know
that it wasn't the quirky Mandalorian, but an expert
slicer, who accompanied her to the Imperial
garrison. Her joke didn't deflate the situation at
all. For Zara, this was very serious. She needed to
get a leg up on the Governor in some way or another.
El-Nay made the smart decision, allowing her to have
the armor so she could live another day. To make
sure that she was serious, Zara removed the woman's
helmet before dropping her weapon. "Marcus is going
to worry. You'll stay here and watch over him. If
*anything* happens to him while I'm gone, I'll kill
you." Zara busily began collecting armor. She needed
to get herself changed and ready. Today, Zara Rodney
began her revenge.