Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:7:25) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Auntie Mae's ice cream parlor and Rodney Castle).
El-Nay Darr, Doo-Doo Fast, Dee-Mee Foost, King Ebareebaveebeedee, Ewwiekewwieikkie, Melickielickie, Callista Nilar, Duke Marcus Rodney, Duchess Zara Rodney, and RO-E11.

"Tadaaaaaa!" Duchess Zara Rodney burst through the doors leading into her and Marcus' private quarters. "Look who's working again!" She opened up her arms, "Presenting ... the new and improved Nana!" She stepped aside to reveal the nanny droid. It had been difficult to fix her, taking age into consideration as well as how hard it was to find refurbished parts. "If anyone blows her up again. I'm gonna blow them up..." Zara grumbled, marching forward so he could view all of her hard work. She didn't realize how much she had come to depend on the Nanny droid until she was gone. Nana was good about taking the middle-of-the-night feedings. Though, Zara had to admit that the twins were closing in on sleeping through the night. It was becoming less and less. With a hydrospanner in hand, Zara came prepared for the droid to break. She had never had to do the kind of work she did on Nana before. Ships were common ground for her...but droids? Not so much!

It had been a hard thing for Marcus to watch as the man who murdered his father go unpunished, particularly because his father was condemned, in death, as part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor. He had not said much. There was much to reflect on, and in the back of his mind he worried if this would somehow touch his family. When Zara arrived with a loud 'tada!' he jumped up, almost frightened, with his hand moving for his Model 434 blaster pistol. "Zara ... you startled me," he said, his heart racing, as he tried to collect himself. He was quiet a moment, while he steadied his breathing. "Oh! You fixed her," he said, as he rose from his chair and moved over towards Zara and the droid. When he neared her, he leaned in and placed a kiss upon her cheek. His wife, not the droid.

"Oh goodness. It certainly is good to be back in one piece again," the nanny droid said, as she spun around to display she had been repaired. "I shall return to my duties of caring for Lord Darrus and Lady Sia at once," she said, as she moved over towards the bassinet to examine them. "That awful bounty hunter reminded me of the time when ... oh, oh, oh!" she said, as she started to remember, but her memory circuits began to overheat. Her photoreceptors dimmed for a bit before lighting back up again. A moment later she was back to herself and reaching into the bassinet to check each of the twins diapers.

It was disturbing that Gaius Rodney had gotten away with killing the Duke of Delaya. It served as a reminder: the Empire's influence was strong. In the back of her head, she wondered if they should be increasing security around the castle. If Gaius wanted revenge, killing Marcus and their family was the best way to start. "Sorry... I got excited." Zara brushed her finger through her hair. She felt for her husband. She wanted to wave her hand and make things change. The fact that their wrists were tied behind their backs had become more and more obvious.

"Thank you, Nana. I'm happy to see you're doing better." Zara beamed at her work until Nana began to overhead. "Uuh... I still have to make some adjustments." She reasoned with her husband, turning her head to kiss his cheek. "I'm sorry you got blown up. My sister was that bounty hunter." Zara could feel the guilt inside of her stomach. Her sister was gone now...gone and never to return. Zara stepped closer to the bassinet to check on both of the children. Her overprotective nature had grown recently. She leaned forward, kissing each baby. Her hand ran over her stomach as it grumbled. "Marcus, do you wanna go to Auntie Mae's?"

Marcus watched the nanny droid carefully, particularly as she neared the ship. "You sure she's alright?" he whispered to Zara so that the droid could not hear. "Auntie Mae's?!" he asked her, as he started to smile and laugh softly. He remembered when he rushed her to get the purple potato ice cream and turned the little ice cream parlor into the second greatest evil in the galaxy behind the Galactic Empire. "Sure. If you think she's got things under control, let's go!" he said, with a broad smile, before unexpectedly moving to pick up his wife, sweeping her off the feet, and carrying her through the corridors that would lead to the speeder park.

Zara eyed the droid. It looked like she was seriously considering her answer before delivering it to Marcus. "I think so." She only sounded half-confident at that point. They both had fond memories of Auntie Mae's. Zara liked how cold it was in the chalet, because her ice cream never melted while she ate it. She couldn't help but laugh. Now, Auntie Mae's featured so many different flavors inspired by their family. The woman had really cashed in on the royal family. "Yay!" She grinned. There was nothing like ice cream to shift their minds to better things. "Weee!" He swiftly lifted her from her feet and into his arms where she remained until they reached the speeder. She enjoyed her ride, placing kissing on his neck occasionally to remind him of how much she loved him. "We haven't been there in awhile. Did you hear about the ‘Big Time Hero of Beyond Squib-Deliciousness'?" She laughed. The commercials for Auntie Mae's were becoming more and more ridiculous. Once they were in the speeder and on the way to the parlor, Zara's smile grew. "Mmmm... Purple potato ice cream."

"On guard!" a very sugar filled Ewwiekewwieikkie told El-Nay Darr, as she swiped at her armor with her spoon. She was standing in Auntie Mae's ice cream parlor, surrounded by a dozen empty bowls. She had tried every flavor. Thrice. As she ran around looking at all of the colorful displays, including a new one advertising Auntie Maeland, she was the happiest Squib in the galaxy. "Isn't this awesome Melickielickie. Daddy used to own this planet, but now Uncle Marcy Marc does. He's funky," she informed her Squib sister, before moving back towards El-Nay in a surprise spoon attack. Her yellow eyes widened as the sugar entrenched itself in her blood, causing her heart rate to elevate and a sudden rush of energy to flow through her.

El-Nay Darr was having the longest day of her life. She was sitting in Auntie Mae's in full Mandalorian Nite Owl armor, complete with helmet, in front of a half-eaten bowl of plain ice cream. One of the employees had mentioned naming an orange creamsicle after her, which immediately caused her to lose what little appetite she had. As the Squibs devoured almost every drop of ice cream in the restaurant, she wondered what would come later. They had still not dried off and they had gotten sand all over the floor, the tables, and even on the counters. If they were not the nieces of the Duke and Duchess they likely would have been shown the door long ago. She did not know how Sierra managed to deal with the two every single day. She lowered her head, raising her hand to hold it upright. "You girls almost ready to go?" she asked ... hoping ... praying.

Melickielickie was seated on top of the table beside El-Nay. Her tummy was full of ice cream after devouring her own weight in the sweet, sugary delight. She looked like she might fall asleep as she watched her sister fight off El-Nay. "Funky? What's dat mean?" Melickielickie asked. Today was full of learning experiences for the young Squib. She went to the ‘ocean' for the first time, which she had decided to call ‘the big water'. She had been to an Auntie Mae's on Esseles at one point, but it was nothing like this location. The ice cream was unlimited here. Melickelickie reached behind her, pulling forth a long piece of seaweed from inside her dress. She draped it over El-Nay's neck like a boa. "That looks better." The small Squib declared. She was relatively calm until El-Nay mentioned leaving. "Noooo!" She squeaked, dropping off from the table and running towards her sister. "Stay forever?" She asked, peering up at Ewwiekewwieikkie.

It was that very same moment that Zara and Marcus arrived. "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!" Zara chanted happily. The bell over the parlor's door chimed as Zara walked through it. There were several things she immediately noticed: her nieces, El-Nay's obnoxiously orange armor, and the smell of ice cream. "Hi there guys! I didn't realize you were here." Zara reached out to hug Ewwiekewwieikkie, then Melickielickie. When she made it to El-Nay, she offered her a handshake. Then, she turned towards the case of ice cream flavors. It was... It was... *empty*!!! Zara's smile dropped off of her face. "Where's the ice cream?" She asked El-Nay, or anyone else who would provide her with a decent explanation.

When Marcus and Zara entered Auntie Mae's, El-Nay looked up at Zara with a look of complete and utter desperate that was safely hidden beneath the T-shaped visor of her Mandalorian helmet. "Oh Zara. Uh, I mean, Duchess Zara ... you have to help me," she pleaded, as she accepted her hand, but never let go. "Ewwiekewwieikkie and Melickielickie ate all of the ice cream. All of it," she said, her voice becoming increasingly high pitched and erratic. "And now I can't get them to calm down," she said, her breathing increasingly rapidly as her eyes darted from Zara to each of the Squibs. She still had the seaweed draped over her, which was another story entirely.

Marcus followed his wife in, but he never expected to see what was unfolding before his eyes. There was no ice cream in Auntie Mae's ice cream parlor! It did not take his powers of perception from years of bounty hunting told him that it was his two nieces responsible for it. "Did you girls eat it all?" he asked, as he lowered himself to get down to her level. He had just seen what two Squibs had done to Auntie Mae's. He would hate to see whatever happened if more showed up. "Have more ice cream brought," he told the droids, as he looked towards his anxious, hungry for ice cream wife.

Zara couldn't escape the clutches of El-Nay. The words she said made her stick her lower lip out. "...All of it..?" There wasn't a drop of ice cream left anywhere. The bucket, which previously housed her favored purple potato, was totally empty. Zara sniffed. "But.. But.." She heard El-Nay's plight, but she was having a problem of her own. She looked at Marcus in a full pout. "There's *no* ice cream.." Zara reported to him dramatically. Thankfully, he had a solution to the problem by ordering more ice cream. Instantly, Zara's mood improved. It wouldn't be long before she had her own bowl of ice cream to enjoy. Zara squatted down next to Melickielickie, who she had not spent much time with. "Awwww. You're so cute and tiny." She squeezed the little Squib lovingly. Zara didn't have whatever Claudius and Sierra had that made them capable of adopting two Squibs. She liked being Auntie Zara. Auntie Zara was allowed to hype the girls up on sugar, then return them to their parents for the aftermath.

The small Squib stood before Marcus. "Funky Uncle Marcy Marc!" She recalled that her uncle lived in a castle with a room filled to the brim with sweets. "Ice cream yummy. We ate until our tummies were full." She explained to him, lifting up her dress to show him her furry stomach. "I all full now." Melickielickie let out a grunt as she was squeezed, possibly a bit too tight, by her aunt. "Eeee. Eeee. Auntieeee." She warned, squirming.

It did not take long for the Duke's request to be fulfilled. At the main Auntie Mae's factory just outside of the city, a speeder truck had been filled with new ice cream. As it quietly drove through the city, a herd of Squibs began to follow it. By the time it stopped in front of the decorated windows of Auntie Mae's, there were roughly fifty Squib right behind it. Zara watched, in absolute awe, as a mess of Squib broke into the speeder truck and began consuming *all* the ice cream. Zara was still hungry, yet there were bigger problems than her growing hangry. "Marcus..." She reached out, grasping his shoulder. "Did your brother adopt more Squib..?"

Suddenly a badly out of tune horn blasted, followed by an onrush of Squib guards into Auntie Mae's ice cream parlor. "Greetings, ill-favored stranger ones! Bid welcome to Illustrious Chieftan of Junkyards, King Ebareebaveebeedee!" was announced, loudly, in a commanding voice, before the diminutive King, covered in blue far barged into the ice cream. He glared at the announcer with his yellow eyes and tapped his foot repeatedly. "Oh. Uh. ...and his ambassador extraordinary *and* plenipotentiary ... Callista!" was shouted as loud as he could. The Squib King brought his paw up to his chin as he looked around the Leiliani's Auntie Mae, which seemed much nicer than the one in Metrobig City. Then, his eyes went wide ... they had *real* spoons and scoops. He began surging forward, grabbing as many of the spoons and the scoops as he could. He just could not help himself, even as a King.

"Dududududadadaahhhh!" Callista Nilar was singing her own introduction song while the Squib guards announced her. The little girl burst through the door of the parlor. On her head, she wore the crown given to her by her uncle. In her hand, she held an unusually large spoon as if it was her spectre. She looked around the parlor, suddenly letting out a loud gasp. "*Ewwie*! *Mewwie!* *Uncle Marcus*! *Auntie Zaraaaaaaaaaaaaa*!" She screamed, dropping her spoon as she moved forward to embrace her aunt, and favorite celebrity. "Auntie! Auntie! I brought my friend King Eba... Ebar... *King Ebbie*!" She still couldn't get the pronunciation right. "He says he wants your trash. He's really nice. You should give him your trash." Callista advised like the ‘wise' ambassador that she was. She picked her large spoon up from the floor.

Zara just stared. There were more Squib than she had ever seen in her life ... and Callista too? As happy as she was that three of her nieces had arrived, she was a little worried that the King of Skor II had also come. What did Delaya have to offer them? The city was in shambles. The environment was improving, but that was only thanks to the effort of the Ithorians. "Uuuhh..." She hugged Callista while debating how to respond to his situation. Outside the window, Zara watched as a group of Squib quickly deconstructed the speeder they'd rode to the parlor. One Squib was petting the shiny bumper. "Aw man..."

The HoloNet had been reporting on the horde of Squibs ransacking the streets of Leiliani near Auntie Mae's ice cream parlor due to a lack of food. There was only one man who thought he could make a difference. One man who thought his food held the solution to the crisis. One man who thought he was the hero that Delaya needed. And that man was Doo-Doo Fast. With his restaurant shuttered by Governor Arundel, he had transferred into a food speeder truck that operated in the hipster section of Leiliani. Down the street he came, running every step, until he arrived smack dab in the middle of the Squibs. "Yousa hungry? Well, mesa feed you!" he announced, as he opened up the side of the truck to reveal his assorted array of Gungan delights. He thought these new customers would be the answer to his problems, restore his finances, and make him a hero to the Duke and Duchess. Unfortunately, the Squibs did not possess credits, and we're attempting to haggle and negotiate with parts of his speeder truck that they were pulling up. "Oh noes!" he cried, as he brought both of his hands up to the side of his face and looked on in horror.

Dee-Mee Foost had enjoyed the change in scenery that came with working inside of the food speeder truck. She liked that every day was an adventure. Today was the biggest adventure she had ever had. There were so many hungry Squibs in the city. They flooded the food speeder truck where it stood. Dee-Mee held half a dozen Gungan delicacies in her hand. It looked to be something alike to a cooked newt on a stick. She wasn't worried about credits. She was worried about feeding people. "Heresa you go!" She said, happily handing out free food. One Squib gifted her with a funny statue of some guy who he called a ‘big time hero'. Dee-Mee didn't know much about it, but she thought it was a cool toy. "Thankya!" She said, throwing the remaining newts out into the crowd.

Inside the parlor, Zara realized that she needed to think fast in order to stop the Squibs from picking Delaya apart. "Um. Um. Um." She looked at El-Nay, wondering if she would make a good sacrifice for the Squibs. "Nooo.." Her blue eyes lifted. There was even more chaos outside. She could see a Squib carrying a piece of a speeder truck away. On the piece, it read: Bombad Gungan Restaurant. Zara had a quick flashback to the time she and Marcus had decided to go somewhere new for dinner ... what a mistake that had been. She wondered why Doo-Doo Fast, *giggle*, had thrown himself in the crowd of hungry Squib. "Uhhh. King Ebareebaveebeedee!" She said, approaching the Squib King nervously. "I understand why you're here and I think I might have a solution that will give us both what we want." Zara felt just as nervous as when she had presented herself on the Jubilee. "You want shiny garbage, right?"

King Ebareebaveebeedee looked towards Zara. He recognized her immediately as the one from the ice cream advertisements and the HoloVid that had become standard use in Squib schools on human mating rituals. "Hmm," he said, as he studied the features of her face while considering the bargain. He felt himself getting lost in her eyes and suddenly he felt dizzy. He wondered if she had magic powers and was attempting to hypnotize him. "You grand bargainer, Duchess," he said, in a panic, as he looked towards Callista. "Ambassador. Take over," he said, before moving over towards her. "Get the trash ... all of it," he whispered in her ear, while looking towards Zara. When done he brought his paw up to cover his mouth to conceal the fact that he was smiling and laughing. He had brought a secret negotiator that was sure to bring big profits to himself and his people, but mostly himself.

Duke Marcus Rodney looked on in horror as Squibs and Gungans collided in the streets of Leiliani like two special education schools fighting. "Oh no," he said, as he moved towards Zara, watching as Doo-Doo Fast began hurling food at the Squibs defensively. "You talk to the King. I'm going to see what I can do outside," he said, as he placed a hand on his wife's shoulder for mutual support. As soon as he walked outside ... literally in that exact same instant ... he was hit in the face a small octopus hurled haphazardly by the Gungan. Unfortunately for Marcus the Gungans served octopus raw ... alive in fact ... and the suckers began digging into his face. "Zara!" he screamed, but his voice was muffled and he doubted she would hear it. He outstretched his arms in front of him, unable to see, and began staggering through the street recklessly.

Thankfully, Zara didn't realize that even the King had seen her and Marcus' lovefest. If she wanted to talk to anyone seriously ever again, she had to pretend they hadn't seen her naked. She was relieved that she would be bargaining with Callista instead of King Ebareebaveebeedee. She noticed that he bore Claudius' rank insignia, which had to make him a great bargainer. "Princess," Zara said, bowing politely to her niece. She ruckus outside was impossible to miss. She looked at Marcus, frowning. "I hope this is one of those horrible moments that we can laugh about later on. Good luck." Zara only watched her husband long enough to see him leave. She didn't realize that he was about to be assaulted by an octopus.

Zara sat at an empty table in the parlor, offering Callista the seat next to her. "There is a lot of debris, er, *trash*, in the atmosphere surrounding our planet. That's what makes it feel all bumpy and weird when you come here in a ship." She explained in simple terms. She didn't want to tell Callista that those were the remains of her home planet. "You can take half of that trash as long as you clean it up." She was trying to bargain intelligently with the young girl.

Princess Callista perched herself on the seat. She made her best serious look while correcting her posture. She wanted to be just like her auntie when she grew up. She folded her hands in front of her. The little girl silently listened to Zara speak. She understood what was being talked about, as she had experienced the turbulence coming into the planet earlier. Suddenly, she stood up. Her little fist smashed on the table. "No deal! I want all or nuffin!" She declared, making a scene so the King would see how good she was at being his ambassador.

King Ebareebaveebeedee clapped excitedly as he watched his ambassador put the naked Duchess of Delaya in her place. "Hah hah!" he said, as he raised his feet up and down in rapid succession. "Nice try!" he said, as he moved over to the duo with a big grin on her face. "I think it's time for the present," he said to Callista, with a firm nod, as he produced a small datadisk from his robe. "A gift to benefit the schools of Delaya," he said, with a firm nod of his head. As he slid it across the table to Zara he felt quite confident. On the datadisk was contained a demonstration of the mating practices of Squibs, featuring none other than the King himself. When he completed handing over the desk, he winked at her, and gave her a thumbs up.

Zara couldn't begin to guess what was on the datadisk. The King said it was a gift, and even a gift to benefit the schools. She made the wrong judgment by assuming it would contain anything G-rated. "Oooh! Thank you!" She said, plucking the datadisk from the table. "I will make sure the schools get good use out of it." She smiled, giving him a thumbs up as well. Zara intended on viewing the contents of the datadisk before letting it pass through her hands to anyone else. She slipped it into a pocket within her robes. She had been taught that, as Duchess, it was her role to graciously accept gifts from other rulers. "You both drive a hard bargain..." Zara acted like she was holding out on them. Then, she stuck out her hand. "Okay. Deal. You can have *all* the trash. When you complete your project, come see me again for another." Zara looked around anxiously. Where had Marcus gone? It looked like the scene on the street was beginning to die down.

Callista knew not about the contents of the disk. She had recommended giving them statues of her uncle as a present. The little girl sat across from Zara, beaming. She tried to laugh exactly like the King. When her auntie agreed to give the Squibs *all* the garbage, Callista pointed her chin up to the King. "Did you hear that?! We get it *all*!" She quickly shook Zara's hand, then moved to tackled King Ebareebaveebeedee.

Ewwiekewwieikkie had not been feeling well. She wanted to play with the other Squibs and the Gungans, but she was just too full. Even in the presence of her King she was feeling lethargic. "Oh no," she said, as she suddenly felt all of the purple potato ice cream coming back on her. She knew what was going to happen next. She lurched forward throwing up a big, purple mess in front of her. She started to cry, but after a moment the pain turned to something else and a smile appeared on her mouth again. She waddled over towards Zara excitedly, and began tugging on her sleeve. "Auntie Duchess," she said, as she leaned up to look at her more closely. "I'm hungry!" she screamed, her eyes going wide, and her mouth hanging open excitedly, dreaming of the wonders to come.

The visit to Auntie Mae's had been far from what Zara expected. Three out of five of her nieces had made an appearance. She had met the Squib King and Marcus... Marcus risked himself for the lives of Doo-Doo Fast and Dee-Mee Fost. After doing everything they could to help El-Nay feed the Squibs *again* and get them on their way, Marcus and Zara retired to their secluded castle spire. To Zara's relief, Nana was still working and the twins were happy. "I never did get to have any ice cream..." She mumbled disappointingly. She was perched in her husband's lap, cleaning off his face with a cloth from where the octopus had clung to him. "Oooh yeah. I almost forgot. King Ebareebaveebeedee gave us something." Zara reached into her pocket, showing Marcus the datadisk. "He said it was for the schools. What do you think it is?"

Marcus sat there silently, pouting, as Zara treated the suction cup marks on his face. "Perhaps makeup would be more effective," he said to her, glumly, as he tried not to look at himself in the mirror. Maybe the Empire was right to shutter Doo-Doo Fast's restaurant, if only because of the public nuisance factor. "Something for the schools? Well it could be anything..." he said, as he thought about the possibilities. "It could be instructions on how to negotiate. How to resell merchandise. How to collect trash. Salvage operations..." he went on and on and on, but never quite hit the mark. "Well we had better watch it before just giving it over to the Minister of Education," he said to her, as he considered all of the loony things that had happened during their trip to Auntie Mae's. "You know ... I didn't want to tell you this, but Auntie Mae has been pressing us to allow her to install a kiosk *in* the castle itself..." he told her. He felt that before today she might have reacted with offense, but after today she might react with joy.

"Oh shush. Suction cup marks and all, you're still ridiculously sexy." Zara grinned. "Look on the bright side. At least it was little octopuses and not Sir Tentacles." She demonstrated ‘Sir Tentacles' by moving her arms around like an octopus might then resumed her activities. She giggled. "Well, I guess some of those things can be useful. He didn't say anything else about it." She slowly made her way out of his lap to retrieve a device to watch the datadisk on. She paused in her tracks at the wonderful words he spoke. "What!? *In* the castle!?" Private ice cream. The kiosk would never be out of purple potato ice cream. As she returned to him and sat in his lap, she considered it. "How fast can they install it? Can we make a servant do an ice cream run. I *really* want some purple potato ice cream..." She had started craving it during her time working on Nana much earlier. The datadisk began to load on the datapad she held. When it began playing, Zara was still oblivious. "Ookay..." She said, watching a female Squib appear.

There was something that stood out to her: the background. It looked like someone had painted the Sea Islands on canvas ... badly. "Uuummmmm." The King came out next, only he wasn't quite as dressed as normal. "Marcus..." It took ten seconds longer for Zara to figure out what was happening in the video. "*Ahhh*!" She yelped, throwing the datapad towards the wall. "*Ahhh*! *What did I just see*?! *I can never unsee it*!"

Marcus tried to close his eyes, but the pain of the sucker marks made stretching his skin painful. He had no choice but to watch until Zara had the brilliant thought to throw the datapad. "That ... that is not going anywhere near our schools," he said, as he clung to his wife, trembling with trauma and fear. But as these emotions subsided he considered the day and the lengths they had gone through to get Zara purple potato ice cream. It reminded him of the early stages of her pregnancy with the strange, almost desperate food cravings. As he leaned his face against her neck and shoulders to kiss her, he silently wondered if someone other than Doo-Doo Fast had something new and unexpected in the oven.

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