Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:3:31) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Sea Islands).
Grand Moff Claudius Rodney and Commander Sierra Rodney.

It was nearing the break of dawn in the beautiful sea islands. What was supposed to be a single day retreat to the islands had change from one, to two, to three. Sierra Rodney was still nursing the scars that had been ripped open forcefully. She was deciding how to process the surfacing of her mother, and how she would keep the woman away from her family. Between that and those who strived to kill her and Claudius, it was best to take *break*. Sierra kept telling herself that she'd wake up one day feeling better. In truth, Rikka had dismantled a bomb inside of her head. It took time to recover all of the pieces...

The young blonde haired woman was seated on a bench in the garden. The shrill of a young child's giggling could be heard in the distance. "Weeee! Weeeee!" Tangled in with the giggles, she could see blue limbs and the occasionally brown-hair of the young Bruce Rodney while he romped and wrestled with his older sister. Sierra was reading a book. The sun hung high in the sky. It offered a beautiful day for her family to enjoy. Life sung all around her. From the birds perched in bushes to her lovely children. The Duchess was happy. She wore a smile of contentment.

The next time she lifted her head, it was unnaturally silent. "Ewwiekewwieikkie? Bruce?" Her smile turned to a look of amusement. "Are you two hiding? I'm going to find you!" She threatened playfully. She rose, stalking through the garden. She searched in all their favorite places to hide. Rounding a corner, Sierra spotted a clump of Ewwiekewwieikkie's hair. The girl has been ousted by her own fur. Realizing that she was closing the distance on the children, Sierra snuck up quietly. As she stood over the clump of fur, she realized that it wasn't *just* fur. There was blood. Skin. Her heart went from a resting, soft beat to a fast, war-like drumming. "Ewwiekewwieikkie?! Bruce?!" She followed a path of blood to another blind corner. Upon turning, Sierra's world crashed down on her. Rikka Dakkar stood over the bodies of both Ewwiekewwieikkie and her son. She held a whip with ragged, sharp teeth embedded in it. It was a choice weapon for the demon in Sierra's life. Her blue eyes were not focused on Rikka. Instead, she stared at Ewwiekewwieikkie and Bruce. Ewwiekewwieikkie was badly whipped on her backside. She wasn't moving.

Bruce, the brown-haired spitting image of his father, had taken a lashing to the front of his body. He bled profusely. He cried tears of blood. "Mama," he called out for her weakly, "Mama, how could *you* let this happen? Why didn't you protect us?" Quicker than Sierra could hope to respond, Rikka reached down and grasped the small, dying boy. And then she... And then she...

Screaming. Crying. Sierra Rodney woke up in a torrent of emotions. The blankets were sprawled out everywhere but on her body, which was drench in a layer of sweat. As soon as she realized it was a dream, she stopped screaming. She would have felt embarrassed if the dream hadn't been so graphic. Instead, she was hysterical. She cried so hard that she began to hyperventilate. "Ewwiekewwieikkie.. Bruce.." She moaned while crying into her palms.

The survival tent that Claudius had procured from their Imperial shuttle made for a modest home in Delaya's tropical sea islands. As it was meant for an entire platoon of Stormtroopers they had a great deal of space and accommodations, but at the end of the day it was still a tent. Still, they were away from Imperials, Delayans, family, and assassins and allowed to be alone for one of the few times since they first met back aboard the Dreadnaught. He had been sleeping peacefully, as the sea air had a soothing and aromatic affect on him, but that all changed when Sierra began to stir. "What?" he cried out suddenly, before his eyes even opened. His mind jumped from every possible occurrence to another assassination attempt to a wild creature entering the tent. Finally, his eyes began to open and he blinked repeatedly, desperately attempting to focus his eyes. He quickly realized no one else was there, but that his wife was once again hysterical. "Sierra, what's wrong?" he asked gently, as he moved towards her slowly as to not rise her apprehension further.

Sierra's body shook like a leaf. She was aware that her past often caused nightmares, but she hadn't experienced any in some time. It was harder to see her children nearly beaten to death than herself. The difference now was that when her bad dream woke her, Sierra wasn't alone. She had someone who loved her and understood what had happened to her without her having to tell him *everything*. As he neared her slowly, she retreated into her husband's arms. She nuzzled her face into his chest and continued to cry. "I-I had a terrible nightmare." She weakly told him while trying to catch her breath. "Our children...Rikka had hurt our children." She felt just as raw as she had the day the woman showed up. Sierra realized at that point that she had been living in her own head too much. In order to get through this, she needed him.

It was still taking Claudius some getting used to sharing his bed with Sierra, learning her quirks, and other sleeping habits. The nightmares were something new to him. "The children are fine," he said to her, doing his best to reassure her, as he drew himself more near to her. "She won't hurt them. I shan't let her," he said, frowning slightly, as he looked down on her with his brown eyes. He hated seeing her like this, and it seemed the relationship with her mother had scarred her much more than he had realized. The reemergence of her mother had done more trauma than he had suspected, and it was becoming clear his preventive measures had not had the desired the affect. "What can I do?" he asked, feeling that his own actions had not done enough.

Her heart was beating so quickly. It was hard to come to terms with the fact that Rikka had knocked her from a very comfortable place mentally. Sierra had spent years getting herself through the past. She felt guilty for letting this happen when he needed her too. His words reminded her that Ewwie, Drusilla, and Bruce were all okay. The girls were protected at the castle. Bruce resided in her womb, where Sierra felt like she had the strength to protect him. Her head peered out from Claudius' chest. Tears stained her cheeks. She wanted to be perfect for him...but she didn't feel perfect at all right now. She had to remind herself repeatedly of what he said. Rikka couldn't just hurt a member of their family. There were people she had to go through. Claudius would never let her touch their son.

But what did she need to become fixed again? The elements were all there; Claudius, privacy, no Rikka. Sierra exhaled to calm herself as much as she could. She grasped his hands, leading him down to lay on the bed with her. Face-to-face, Sierra began to open up. "It's so embarrassing to admit to you the damage just seeing Rikka did." Her eyes moved away from his. "She made me feel so insecure in so many ways. She used to repeatedly tell me how no one would ever love me. She swore she'd have to pay someone to give me the time of day. She's said things so much worse than that. It's that hearing those things so frequently...I began to believe them. I don't want to believe them...but then I look at *you*. You are ... so, *so* good to me. I love you so irrationally much. I just wonder.." She said, nose nuzzling against him. "How you can feel the same? Mother always tried to manipulate me into this robotic woman...the woman she said men would love. I've never had to be anyone other than myself with you. I don't know if myself is good enough right now. I guess I've been obsessing about it while letting her voice get in my head. I'm sorry."

"Well she was wrong, because *I* love you," Claudius told her, confidently, as he locked his steely eyed gaze upon her. His face moved towards hers and he quickly placed a kiss upon her lips to temporarily silence her so that she would not get any further worked up. "I don't want you to be a robot, or your mother's foolish ideas of what men want. I just want you to be you. You and only you," he said to her, as his arms began to encircle her tighter. "I'm sorry I didn't put her in her place when she surprised us. I was unprepared, and tried to make peace," he said, feeling guilty about the entire situation now. "I can have her banished from the planet if you wish. It's good to be the Duke," he said, with a quick wink of his left eye. He hated seeing his wife in so much pain.

She kissed him while closing her eyes tightly. After all they had gone through, Sierra felt especially guilty for making him confirm his love to her. However, it helped ward away the darkness that had filled her head. Her eyes opened, now staring into his. He soothed her rapidly beating heart. Slowly, Sierra began to relax. He made her laugh and cry. "I'm so sorry I lashed out at you. I know it's part of the life to not start wars within the family. She caught me off guard. I went into rabid animal mode. Even your words didn't make logical sense to me. I was too far gone, clinging to this idea that I *needed* to protect everyone." She felt lighter talking to him about it. The whole day had broken her. "As much as I'd love to have her banished, we'll allow her to live here. She will give us a reason to banish her in time." Her arms wrapped around his waist. She pressed her body into his. She sniffled while fresh tears fell from her eyes. "See? You're so good to me, so perfect for me." Sierra slowly began to feel whole again.

"You mean we're perfect for each other," Claudius said, before wiggling out of her grasp just long enough to reach his arm to the top of the tent. His hand moved to the fastener and with one pull the skylight became visible, revealing the countless stars to them. There were fireflies dancing about, along with numerous species of nocturnal animals that had called the sea islands home since the down of time. It was a kind of paradise and it belonged entirely to them. It was the perfect location for them to begin their family. Once they were exposed he quickly dropped back beside her, rejoining her grasp on him happily. "I would say we send her to the frozen north, but Marcus and Zara would never forgive us," he said, with a soft laugh, as he knew *something* had to be done with her.

Her heart felt so warm. He was right. *They* were perfect for each other. Lying on the bed, Sierra watched her husband expose the skyline to them. After living in the dreadnaught and a big city for so long, it always made her happy to see the stars. She looked upward in awe. Once their home was complete, this would be her nightly vision. They would fall asleep every night with the sea breeze there to help take them away. Sierra happily snuggled against him. She lay with her side nudged up against him as close as possible. His suggestion made her laugh and shake her head. "No, no. They have a sea beast living in the frozen lake near their chalet." Sierra knew. The damn thing had almost taken her craft out. "I mean... What is it they say?
'Accidents happen!?'" She snickered. "I have no doubt that she'll be back. She feels that I owe her something. Until I pay up her way, she will continue to be displeased." Her voice sounded more even when speaking of her mother. "We'll figure it out when that time comes. For now, we can both be grateful that she has no idea where these islands are." Her hands ran over his face softly. Life was changing again. The Imperials were here. Claudius' monster-in-law had come out from her hiding place, not to mention the ongoing investigation of Julius' death. As she leaned in to kiss him, she felt relief. They could combat all of these things *together*. "I love you," she reminded him for the hundredth time, kissing him in a fashion so passionate that it screamed of newlywed.

"A sea beast you say?" Claudius asked, quizzically, as he made a mental note not to go traipsing up to his visit his brother anytime soon. "Don't worry about anything right now. Let's just enjoy this time we have here together. It's a blessing, and it won't be long before the galaxy catches up with us," he said, with a slight frown, knowing full well that as both an Imperial Grand Moff and the ruler of a core world he could not simply disappear. There was the matter of the dead Imperial advisor at his castle to consider, with the Imperial investigation to cause a predictable headache. There was also the matter of his command, which he had abandoned to Major Zevrin as events dictated his presence on Delaya. He felt regret for being negligent, but he knew that if he did not get a break he would surely crack. It had been a long time since he had taken a vacation and no one could begrudge him one now. Zevrin, content to rule in his absence, certainly would not report him. Most of his adversaries were quite pleased to see him shrink and retreat to his island paradise.

Sierra took in a deep breath and let it out. There was too much building up on the shore to not utilize this time effectively. When the Imperials arrived to conduct their investigation, she doubted they'd get any time like this. Taking his advice, Sierra embraced being *happy* with her husband. The young woman slowly sat up in bed. She was dressed lightly in a sheer, sexy little gown. Since Rikka had burst in on them, she hadn't gotten comfortable enough to sleep nude again. "I highly doubt either of us are getting more sleep. So..." Her fingers walked up the length of his chest. She poked his chin playfully. "Come with me." With that, she rose. The tent had really become quite the home. For a control freak like Sierra, she liked watching the work on their sea home. She also liked enjoying the beach immediately instead of being a patient little Duchess. Light on her feet, she seemed to dance towards the refresher. She would always adore their joint baths. This one, however, was going to be different. As the water began to fill the tub, Sierra opened up the top of the tent to reveal the sky. She also added *wayyy* too much bubble bath to the bath water. "Claudius..." She taunted him like he needed another reason to rise and join his wife, who was currently undressing herself with her back to the entryway.

Despite being an authority figure all of his adult life he had no qualms about submitting to Sierra and following her instructions. He rose to join her, looking out into the sea where a crew of droids continued to work on their future estate throughout the night uninterrupted. He moved with her towards the refresher, which boasted a tub equal to what was aboard his command ship. It was a bit much for a survival tent, but it was an essential element of their vacation. It did not take much coaxing on her part to inspire him to surge forward, joining her in the bubble bath, which threatened to overflow and fill the entire tent given how much she had placed in. It was a paradise within paradise. "I love you," he said to her, again, as his arms wrapped around her, before the bubbles enveloped their two naked forms.

Mmmm. The warm water finished Claudius' work of relaxing her. Sierra was pleased that the survival tent had a bath for two. It was kind of a requirement, after all! She was already so excited to break in the tub in their new home. The constant work of the droids reminded her of how real everything was. The sea home was happening...hopefully with no more troubles from Sea Betsy. No sooner had he joined were they busily getting close to each other. Sierra, sitting between his legs with her back against his chest. Her hands rested over his. She looked over her shoulder with a bright grin. A regular ol' Sierra grin. "And I love you." Everything was rebuilding itself. Her mind, shattered by abuse, fused back together. She squeezed his hands as she leaned back into him. "Imagine it. In a few months time, our home will be complete. Drusilla will have the closet of her dreams. Ewwiekewwieikkie will have all the room she needs to roam. We get the best of all though, a brand new bath." She laughed. "We can start preparing for Bruce then. How long has it been since you assembled a crib?" Sierra prodded him with an elbow while laughing.

No words could more quickly cause Claudius' to lose his libido than the mention of his children. He paused his aggressive onslaught as the subject turned to more practical matters ... like interior design. "Drusilla's closet ... right," a very confused Claudius repeated, before bringing his hand up to the top of his head to scratch lightly. "I'm sure she'll find plenty to complain about, but we'll get her a dinghy and let her call it a yacht," he said, with a wicked grin. "As for Ewwiekewwieikkie, I hope we can keep her dry. Have you dealt with her wet yet?" he asked, as he settled into the bubble bath. "I've never assembled a crib, my dear. I have people who assemble people to assemble things for me," he said, before raising his hand slowly to flick a clump of bubbles in her direction playfully.

In her current position with her rear right against his crotch, she knew when the moment was lost. Wopps! Sierra chuckled. "I like how you think, my love." Drusilla could go power crazy over her little dinghy. Shifting in the water to face him, and, unknowingly place herself into the line of fire. "Yes.. I've dealt with her wet. Perhaps we should have an industrial grade hair dryer installed somewhere in the house?" Poor Ewwie's fur was going to be fixed by trial and error method until Sierra figured it out. Sierra laughed again, only this time she ended up with a clump of bubbles on the top of her head. "Oooh. Looks like Lord Diplomat is looking to start something." Knowing that launching a long distance offense wasn't her strong point, she boarded her husband's lap instead. She scooped up a large blob of bubbles and placed it on his head so they could match. She grabbed more bubbles, slathering him on his chin so he had a nice, big white beard. Sierra looked oh so proud of herself. Her sparkling blue eyes looked at him as if she was taunting him; what are *you* gonna do about it?

"We could install a clean room. Like Advanced Weapons Research utilizes. You place Ewwiekewwieikkie in the room and a giant fan at the top of the room sucks out all of the moisture and she emerges dry. If successful, we could market these on her home planet and use the funds to pay for Drusilla's expenditures," Claudius suggested, barely able to keep a straight face through his little idea. "Oof," he groaned softly, as his pregnant wife climbed aboard and gave her a crown of bubbles. "Much lighter than the crowns of gold we wore in the coronation," he pointed out, as he raised his hand to sculpt the bubbles upon her head to make it more decorative. "I'm not going to do anything about it. As a diplomat and a tactician I can realize when I'm outmatched. I surrender to your good graces," he said, before bowing his head submissively to her.

He did such a good job holding a straight face while explaining the clean room that Sierra seriously wasn't sure if he was kidding or not until the very end when she burst out laughing. Poor Ewwiekewwieikkie. She would be nothing but a poof of blue fluff by the end of that. "Oh my goodness, you should have been an inventor who specialized in Squib technology. All we have to do is hang a really shiny chandelier in the middle of the room to keep Ewwiekewwieikkie in place." She continued to laugh. Internally, she felt so happy again. She was making another moment with Claudius to treasure. "Yes, they failed to mention how heavy a golden crown *really* is back in my schooling days. I'm grateful we don't have to wear those all the time. You know there would come that inevitable moment when I lost it." Sierra wasn't really a clutz like that, but she'd certainly have to worry about something like that happening! She grinned. "I like this coronation. For how fancy it was, those seats were really comfortable." She lifted her hands to adjust his own bubble crown. She lost half of it down the sides of his head.

He admitted his defeat, thus making her beam. "There will be reparations for your civil war. You'll have to pay up. I demand ten kisses, a short back rub, anddddd coitous under the stars." Now it was she who had a difficult time keeping a straight face.

Claudius pursed his lips together as he listened to the victor dictate peace terms. "Harsh reparations indeed," he said, playfully, before he leaned over and placed a kiss upon her. "One," he began, after kissing her lips. He moved his mouth down kissing her neck three times in rapid succession. "Two, three, four..." he continued, his voice muffled by his mouth's close proximity to her body. His mouth then found her left breast with a series of two kisses, then moved to her right for two more, but not before blowing the bubbles away. "Five, six, seven, eight..." he counted again, before grabbing her by the hips and hoisting her unceremoniously out of the tub and up onto the rim. "Nine ... ten," he said, with his face buried between her legs where the last two kisses were placed upon her somewhere much more delicate. Just when he was certain he had worked her up into a frenzy, he pulled her back down into the warm water, and turned her around so that her back was to him. What followed was a decidedly gentle, non sexual back rub, as he played his own sort of game with her.

He knew what buttons to press to make his wife feel incredibly bothered. Those were the buttons he pressed while he served his reparations. The kisses, her first stipulation, were so damn good. They made he feel wonderful both inside and out. They also helped her self esteem to build. "Mmm..." With each kiss, he traveled lower on her body. Her breathing became more shallow. She anticipated how far he would go as he placed five through eight on her chest. "Claudius..." She purred in pure delight. Her body temperature was rising. As he suddenly pulled her from the water and rested her on the rim of the tub, Sierra thought she knew exactly how far he'd go. Her hands sunk into his hair while he buried his face between her legs to leave his final kisses in the place only he had explored. She closed her eyes and settled in for what she thought would be a work out on his tongue.

No sooner had he arrived did he depart from her legs. Sierra's eyes opened. She gave him a look that was a cross between confusion and begging. But..! But!!! She felt hotter than the water which she was immersed in once more. "Mmm. You're so cruel." She sounded so pleased. Back rubs were another favorite of hers. As nonsexual as it was, it felt good enough to make her feel wet. He certainly was playing with her...and he had her right where he wanted her: needy and happy. Now, Sierra was a clever girl who felt she could gain control of the situation again with the right combination of actions and words. So, she launched another attack. Her tight, little rear grinded against his crotch. "You know, I got this package before we left the castle." She told him. It was beginning to look like Sierra would ruin another sexual moment. "Inside was a gift from one of the hot designers on Delaya." She was dragging it out, making sure he was listening before she revealed what it was. "I haven't any idea when I'm going to wear it. I mean...gifting me with a thick, fur coat in this time of year?" She was grinning though he could not see it with her back turned towards him. "Can *you* think of something to do with it? You know...I could just ... give it away."

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