Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
718 years before the Battle of Yavin (683BrS:1:18) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Germanicus Rodney's undersea lair).
Raeni Corliss and Baron Germanicus Rodney (Darth Crassus).

After an entirely silent trip between Ylesia and Alderaan the starfighter finally emerged from hyperspace. In his mind he attempted to replay the vision that he had, but the more he reached for it the further it fell from his grasp. In the distance a vibrant world appeared before them ... much different than the one Raeni had left behind. A smile came upon his face as he looked towards it ... there was no place like home. He accelerated the starfighter towards the neighboring planet, Delaya, closing the distance in what seemed like no time. As he descended through the atmosphere the lush green terrain and distant snow-capped mountains of the largely undeveloped planet came into view. But as they neared the surface of the planet he did not pull the nose of the starfighter up. In fact, it soon became apparent that if he did not adjust the trajectory of their approach they would slam right into the lake on the outskirts of the city. No adjustment was made, however, and the nose of the craft slammed into the water. He did not seem alarmed, or even slightly concerned, as their ship moved deeper into the lake. In the distance an illuminated structure came into view and it became clear that it was their destination. A force field deactivated allowing them to enter an underwater hangar. As they landed the force field reactivated and the water began to be bumped from the enclosure. The cockpit of the fighter slowly rose with water still dripping off the fighter. He let out an exhausted sigh as he rose from his seat, and moved down onto the wet surface of the hangar bay. He was home. She would soon learn that she was too.

The flight had been promptly terrifying. Raeni spent its entire duration white-knuckled and silent. She wasn't sure what to make of all the sudden changes in her life. All she knew was that they were changes for the better. As they made their way through the atmosphere of Delaya, Raeni was greeted with the sight of a planet much more beautiful than her own. Even she had to awe at the breathtaking views around her. She especially like how the distant snow-capped mountains loomed. Due to the lack of conversation, Raeni didn't know what to expect when the man suddenly went on a suicide mission guided towards the lake. She wondered if he was aware that she was seconds away from ruining his upholstery if he didn't pull the nose of the ship up. He didn't, and much to her surprise (and delight) they didn't die. Instead, the ship cut through the lake's water like it was no different from the skies above.

The most magical part of the lake was the home that was hidden within it. She sat with her jaw positioned in her lap. It had yet to occur to her that she had come home for the first time. She did not stand immediately. It took time for her to feel like she could accomplish such a feat without vomiting. Finally, she reached her feet. By some miracle, she made it down to the hangar bay where she surveyed the mystical shield keeping the water from leaking inside. None of it made sense to her. How did it work? She drew her curiosity away from it. Instead, she followed along several footsteps behind him.

As Raeni approached the forcefield there was a flourish in the seawater and suddenly tentacles began appearing, probing against the shield, and attempting to get her. Germanicus was not frightened as this was a common occurrence. He viewed the creature as a pet ... a guardian for his underwater lair more fearsome than he. Anyone foolish enough to explore the region would surely meet a quick and gruesome death with no evidence left behind. "Do not be afraid. The shield will protect us," he said, speaking to her for the first time. He laughed to himself slightly, as it dawned on him that *those* were the first words he had said to her. He extended his hand towards the shield, closed his eyes, and began to concentrate. He reached out to commune with the massive creature and gradually it became more calm and stopped probing the shield. "Tell me, girl. Can you feel the creature? I mean, really feel it?" he asked, in rapid succession, with a sense of eagerness and his trademark impatience. He bit on his lower lip, his eyes glaring at her, as every moment she delayed in answering tortured him.

Her eyes grew ten times their size. She certainly hadn't been expecting gigantic tentacles, surely belonging to a massive beast. Raeni let out a ridiculously girly scream that didn't feel warranted after she had slaughtered her entire village. She didn't realize her new home also came with a pet. Her head snapped towards him. His words weren't very reassuring now that she had seen his behemoth pet. She said nothing, digesting everything that was happening. The girl always seemed to be watching. She picked up every detail and quickly memorized it. Through some means of telekinesis, the man soothed the beast beyond the shield. As strange as it sounded, she recognized that she *could* feel the beast as he asked his question. His glaring eyes brought on a sense of pressure, like the clock was ticking down to her answer immediately after he finished his question. She stepped forward, beside him now, and extended one hand just as he had. She closed her eyes. Lately, she had been noticing *different* feelings inside of her. It was those feeling which had caused such an internal eruption on Ylesia. It was those feelings that made her feel the monster before her. "Yes," she replied quietly. She didn't understand it, but she still tried to relay calm feelings to the monster. She wasn't here to challenge its existence, but to live in harmony with it. Her eyes opened suddenly, looking to the man. "I don't understand any of this."

"Of course you don't understand it," Germanicus replied, condescendingly laughing at the young girl's ignorance. "You are a slave from the spice mines of Ylesia. You have stepped into a world you could not possibly understand," he said to her, as he began moving away from the forcefield towards the set of ornate stairs that would lead to the lavish living area. "*I* will teach you," he informed her, as he led her up the stairs. What was revealed to her was an obnoxiously lavish living area with expensive artwork and decor and large transparent viewports that showed the rich and vast aquatic life that surrounded him. He had chosen this area to be away from people, to calm his rage, as he was constantly thrown into temperamental furies by those he encountered on Alderaan. Here he heard nothing ... no one ... not even the omnipresent voice of his master. "You ... you are the first person I have shared this with," he told her, as he moved to take a seat in a rather plush and comfortable chair. He was watching her every move ... every facial mannerism ... as she took it all in. He was captivated by her captivation.

The girl began to follow him. She felt it was safe to assume that he had nabbed her from Ylesia because of the power she had displayed. Raeni wasn't ungrateful to be away from that planet. Instead of being useful, she might of rotted away there or giving in and committed suicide rather than fighting for life. His attitude was obnoxious and cocky. Without seeing his capabilities, the young girl could not surrender herself to him. Like him, she had her own dreams of power. She would *never* be caught under thumb in such a way again. With his words rolling over in her mind, Raeni followed him up the stairs and into a lavish living room that was finer, and larger, than the home she'd shared with several other families.

She was still in shock. Who was she dealing with here? A man of nobility and power, clearly. Raeni didn't stay near to him like an obedient slave. She had stolen her freedom. Now she was making use of it. She stood at one of the viewports, staring out into the aquatic life. There were sea creatures of many sizes and colors. She immediately found that she liked watching them. Something about it was ... calming. Behind her, she listened to what he had to say. It was she who was the first person to dwell within these walls. It was an understood secret that she wouldn't be sharing. She turned around to face him. "What will you have me do now that you've shared this with me?" There was an innocence to her despite her violent past. The hint of childish curiosity could be found beneath the dirt and muck.

There was a gentle tapping upon the thin layer of transparisteel that separated them from the waters of the lake. A Delayan sea cow had descended from the surface with as much curiosity about them as they likely had about it. When occupied the structure gave out a bright light that drew in creatures from throughout the body of water. In a flesh a series of tentacles enveloped the sea cow and it was gone ... leaving only a cloud of blood. "*That*," Germanicus said, as he pointed towards the circle of life that went on beyond the transparisteel in the wild, natural world. "That is what I will have you do," he said, rising out of the chair and lunging towards her. He placed his hands upon her shoulders and shook her violently to get her attention. "We are at the top of the food chain. Surely you can feel it within you. Surely you've always known," he said, frantically, and erratically, as if desperate. Spittle flew from his mouth as he practically shouted his words in her face. "Surely you can feel it within *me*," he told her, always believing he was destined for something greater. For now he had to be content with being master of nothing but his undersea kingdom.

The tapping drew Raeni's attention back towards the viewport. Her eyebrows furrowed as she stared at the Delayan sea cow. She had never seen a creature like it. It had big eyes and an awkward body. No sooner had Raeni acknowledged it did the tentacle monster make it into a meal. Raeni stared at the cloud of blood. Other predatory fish came to look for any scraps the monster might have left behind. It was too much like the real world. She understood what a future with the man held. She would kill like she had over and over again.

He same at her quickly. Soon, Raeni was in his grasp. He shook her and nearly screamed his proclamations at her. Like with the sea beast, she attempted to reach out and touch him from the inside. The powers within her were so far beyond her understand, yet she was fumbling to quickly grasp them. She wanted control. She wanted power. "I *have* always known. I could never leave Ylesia because I knew I was going to kill them. Everyone responsible for my suffering would die." She confessed to him. "You'll not make it far without me. I am not like that... like that *thing*!" She said in reference to the sea cow. "Did you feel it when we met?" She asked him. "Did you know immediately like I did?"

Germanicus could feel her lust for power and it drew him in like a sweet aroma. He salivated at the prospect, his tongue briefly slithering from between his lips to moisten them. When she asked what he felt when they first met he released his grasp on her, pushing her away, and turning to look elsewhere. He was reminded of his vision and it was suddenly painful to look at her. "I felt..." he said, staggering away from her, as suddenly the sensations came over him once more. He felt weak, and needed to sit down before he fell down. He did not like the way that he felt ... it was unnerving. "I felt something. Something beyond your understanding," he told her, dismissively, but in reality he had no more a grasp on it than she did. "What did you know?" he asked her, wondering if she had seen it too.

She fell back several feet. Her eyes remained on him like a predator. Her words had injured him. She didn't understand how. Raeni kept distance between them until he was seated, then she came after him. She perched herself on the arm of his chair. He wasn't very good at sharing, she decided. She sensed his dismissive attitude and didn't continue to push him. Her vision had nothing to do with how his life would end, but how it would begin. Her hand idly stroked the plush chair. "I knew that I'd find my power through you...and vice versa. We exist to empower each other." She told him, looking down at him. "I would have never left Ylesia without a word had I not experienced a vision. It isn't the first time either." She said, glancing out the viewport. "Surely you don't want to remain beneath the lake, ruling over sea monsters? Tell me your ambitions."

"Your tongue is made of gold, girl," Germanicus said, as he rose from the seat and began to recoil from her. She was in danger of getting under his skin and taking the upper hand already. "What do you know of power?" he said, as he turned his back to her and moved towards the viewport. "What had happened on Ylesia?" he asked her, slowly turning his head to examine her more carefully. "My ambitions are mine and mine alone. If I wish to rule over sea monsters than so be it..." he said, disgustedly, as he turned and slammed his fist directly into the transparisteel. No ... the truth was he wanted more, but his master was holding him back ... for what he had no idea. The slow, methodical return to power for the Sith that was proposed to him was something he could not possibly begin to wrap his mind around. There was a kingdom waiting for him one planet that away that his family had held some distant claim to. A death here ... a death there ... and it would be his, but his master said *no*. It was a word he never wanted to hear. Each time he heard it the pain that went through his body threatened to break him. As he looked at this girl he wondered if this would finally bring about a *yes*.

Her eyes narrowed. He was on the move again, distancing himself from her. Raeni crossed one leg over the other. With her bloody hands, she untied her first boot. It fell on the floor with a hard *thunk*. The other boot followed, then both of her holey socks. She was already distancing herself from her life as a slave. The man would never see her dressed in shreds like she was now. "Power makes people tremble. Power makes people bend at your will." She seemed to recoil at his question. The wounds were still open from her home planet. It would take time for them to scar over. They would always inspired her to delve into the dark side. Hate. Anger. Despair. Sadness. Every emotion could be empowering with the proper training. "I worked in a spice mine in a city called Pro Unione under the rulership of a band of Hutts." She began explaining to him. "They instituted a monthly cost for life. Those who could not pay were executed. My mother became ill from her time in the mines, so I began working double time to pay for her to live. Someone informed the Hutts that I wasn't playing by the rules...surely it was someone who we lived with. They came. They murdered her before my eyes..... So I destroyed them. Every single one of the people who had watched me suffer my entire life. Every person who had ever hurt me...obliterated under *my* hand." She explained to him. Her voice became angry and passionate while she told him the story.

The girl rose from the chair. She crossed the room. "I can't help you with your ambitions if you aren't truthful with me." She moved in front of him with her back to the viewport. "Look me in the eye and tell me all you want is to rule the fish. Tell me you'll be satisfied that way." There was no way he'd brought her here with the intention to use her as a means to an end of solitude. He stole her away because there was so much more to her than meets the eye.

The difficulty with living in an enclosed space that there was no escaping her. She had lit a fire beneath him that suddenly made sitting still impossible. If he could harness her powers everything he wanted could be his ... and more. If he failed a catastrophe would likely occur that would cost him more than his ambition ... it would cost him his life. As he listened to how she came to this point he was marveled by her tale. He had heard tell of such an occurrence of Darth Bane, but he thought it only a legend. So much of what went on among the Sith before him was kept a mystery to him. A few moments with his master's holocron and he thought he might have some answers, but he had yet to be able to unlock it. "If you want to help me then the first thing you must do is find the refresher on the upper level and clean yourself," he said, before bringing his hand up to his chin and turning to look out at the sea again. "...then we can talk about satisfying me," he said, lecherously, as his eyes closed and he tried to make sense of everything that had transpired. The force had a path for him, but he was no longer sure he was on it.

His words produced a long, hard laugh from the girl. For a man who had been locked up in close quarters with her for a lengthy amount of time, he'd done well to handle the smell. "That's fair." She said, stepping away from him slowly. "I hope you know what you're in for." Her voice inflicted a flirtatiousness, but she was also being very serious. He had swooped her up into codependency with him. She hadn't even been on her own for a day when he'd come along and took her to a home beneath the water. She left him alone to consider himself. Following his direction, she scaled the stairs into the upper level of the massive home.

On her second try, Raeni found the bathroom. She cared not about getting an exchange of clothing. She cared more for quickly removing everything she wore and placing it all in a garbage can. Nude, she stood in the bathroom awaiting for the shower water to warm. She planted her hands on the counter and stared at herself in the mirror. She hardly looked like herself anymore. She had spent three days within the mines before the day her mother was killed. The dirt was caked on so much that she felt sick with herself. Jumping the gun, she escaped the image of herself and moved into the cool water. She kept her head down beneath the spigot, allowing the water to roll over her entire body. The water at her feet was dark and disgusting. With her hands planted on the shower wall, Raeni closed her eyes. It was *over*. A life of slavery, the life that she hated, it had all come to an end.

It seemed like she was gone for hours. It took a lengthy amount of time to find herself again. Upon emerging from the shower, she was a completely new person. Her hair had gone from black to a soft blonde. Her skin was slightly tanned from what little time she spent in the sun. Her facial features held a maturity that made her look older than she actually was. In that instant, she was a woman again. She dried herself off and firmly wrapped the towel around her body. Never a modest girl, Raeni made her way back down the stairs to frighten her new ... companion. "Do you have clothing for me, or are you going to have me *satisfy* you like this?" She asked by way of announcing herself.

Germanicus was sitting in his chair, clutching a glass of Alderaan ruge, as he observed the feeding habits of the tentacle monster. It had become a nightly occurrence for the young Alderaanian lord who had grown accustomed to a life of isolation and repose. He glanced in her direction briefly to acknowledge her return, but as his head pulled away it dawned on him what he had seen. She was naked. She was blonde! He cleared his throat, placing his drink down on the tide table on top of a coaster, and moved towards her carefully. His hand reached for her chin, grasping it, and holding her head in place as he examined her with the intensity of a collector reviewing the potential purchase of a work of art. When finished, he loosened her grasp and pushed her away, as he began considering his options. "Clothes make the woman," he finally said, as he turned slowly to look at her again. "We're going shopping," he informed her, as he moved towards his private bedchamber. As the door closed behind him, he brought his fist up to his mouth and bit down upon it firmly. He let out a primordial scream, frustrated by her alluring nature and seductive behavior. He knew that if he gave in to his base urges she should have the upper hand rather than he. He exhaled a deep sigh that blew such a powerful column of wind that his sheets ruffled on the bed. She was getting to him. Once had had calmed himself and refocused his intentions he joined her back in the living area. "Go and wait by the ship," he ordered, before moving back towards his desk to review a datapad.

Raeni stared at him calmly. He was looking for something in her, though she wasn't sure what. The girl had spent her life in a mine, yet beneath all the dirt, there was beauty. She wasn't flawless like the noble women he may be accustomed to. His comment made her snicker. "I can retrieve my old clothing if you'd like." Raeni could easily read the room. She had shocked him by returning from the shower as a mere shadow of what he had found on Ylesia. The young woman remained quiet while he was gone. She stared outside. Admittedly, she was flabbergasted by where she ended up. Her wants were once so simple. She had never considered living so lavishly. She waited for him to regain composure and join her once more. Without question or debate of any form, Raeni tugged her towel closer to her body and headed towards the ship. She stood before it with her back to the house, staring outside the forcefield. A childish smile formed on her face. It was incredible to be here. She was happy...but what price would she pay for this new life?

Germanicus watched her in the hangar bay from the monitor embedded in his desk. Who was this girl? What was her role to be in his life? He saw on the terminal that his master had transmitted a message. He had never disobeyed him before. He was taking an awful risk. "Let's test the mettle of this girl," he said to himself, before he flipped the switch that deactivated the force field in the hangar. He leaned forward, watching intently as millions of gallons of lake water suddenly rushed into the hangar along with a variety of aquatic life. If she was the girl he thought she was ... who he needed her to be ... this would not be a problem. However, if she failed this simple introductory test he could report to his master that the disturbance he felt was nothing. Before he flipped the switch, however, he knew that she was *something*.

Hm. He was taking a lengthy amount of time. Raeni remained patient and still. She didn't realize that he was readying her first test. Her eyebrows pressed tightly together when she noticed something: the force field was coming down! Her eyes went wide as the lake water instantly surrounded her body. She barely had the time to suck in a final breath. Her mind went into panic over the sudden changes happening around her. She wasn't ready for something like this. The panic blinded her for crucial seconds...then logic settled in. Raeni didn't count on him to save her. If she couldn't do this by herself, then she deserved to die. Recalling how she had reached out to the sea beast, she repeated the same process. Her eyes closed. Her body floated in the water. If this didn't work, Raeni would die.

She summoned the beast, silently beckoning it to save her. A long, thick tentacle wrapped around her waist. The beating of her heart remained still and calm. She willed the beast to remove her from the water. She prodded inside of its mind in ways that she didn't understand. The tentacle moved backwards in the water to where the hangar bay was. All of a sudden, it thrust her threw the water. The small girl blasted through the water rapidly. She gasped for air. Her body soared into the ground beside the lake. She landed chest first. It was unpleasant and painful. The woman was furious. Her face was red. Coughing, she sat up. "Come out here, you damn bastard!" She called out to him. In all of the chaos, her towel was gone. She was nude, but no less fearless.

Beneath the water Germanicus' seeker droids tracked her every movement, broadcasting the entire ordeal to his terminal like a HoloNet adventure. He smirked and laughed once as he observed her actions ... quite satisfied with the results. He rose from his seat while pressing the button to prepare the hangar for his arrival. By the time he descended the stairs it was bone dry and his starfighter was ready for him. "Oh. Quiet," he said to his astromech droid, which was beeping at him in a language only he seemed to understand. An instant later his craft burst from the hangar, tore through the lake, and emerged on the surface of the water. As he neared her, he raised the cockpit, and approached the shore where she was recovering. "I thought I told you to wait by the ship," he said, condescendingly, as if he was unaware of her achievement. "Come. Let's get you some clothes," he said, with a nod of his head, as the craft came to a stop in front of her. As good as she looked naked and wet he knew that he could not very well parade her around in this condition.

It was nice to get clean twice in one day, she supposed. When he arrived, Raeni was no less happy than when she'd been tossed from the lake. She glared at him in a way that made the planet Hoth look warm. She responded promptly by showing him her middle finger while muttering some colorful words in Huttesse. The girl stood and made her way to the ship. Before she reached it, the monster of the lake threw something else her way...her soaked towel. Raeni sighed, picking it up from the ground. "Yeah, thanks." It was useless to attempt to cover herself when she'd already given him a show. She decided to join him in the cockpit, sitting in the same seat she had when she arrived. She was still dripping wet. "I hope you realize that I intend to spend a quarter of your credits today." She folded her arms over her chest. If she couldn't hurt him, she could hurt his wallet.

Germanicus smirked when she heard her suggested she would spend a quarter of his credits while his hand moved overheard to power up the main reactor. The starfigher climbed out of the lake and began accelerating through the atmosphere of Delaya, scaring a herd of nerfs that was drinking at the shore of the lake. As they climbed a flight of thrantas came next to him, as if flying in formation, before the starfighter reached too high an altitude for them to follow. "I doubt you could count to a number as high as the credits I possess," he informed her, before downloading coordinates into the navicomputer. He could not take her shopping on Alderaan ... she needed to be an unknown factor. He had to outfit her elsewhere to make her debut to Alderaanian society all the more stunning. They were headed to Corellia.

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