Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:6:10) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Rodney Castle).
El-Nay Darr, Duke Marcus Rodney, Major Sierra Rodney, and Duchess Zara Rodney.

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 identity before.

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 found.

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 lives.

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 children.

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 extraordinary accomplishment.

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 was perfect.

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 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 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 her.

'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.

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