Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:6:12) in the Essesia system: Esseles (New Calamar: Claudius Rodney's estate) and Retributive Strike.
El-Nay Darr, Ewwiekewwieikkie, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, and Major Sierra Rodney.

El-Nay Darr had not said much during the flight back to Esseles. Being stripped of her armor by Duchess Zara had been humiliating, but the fact that the outsider had worn her armor brought great dishonor down upon her. She decided not to tell Sierra, because she feared that if Sierra learned that she could not defeat a woman recovering from childbirth that she would lose her faith in her ability to protect her. "We're coming up on Esseles," she replied, with no emotion, from beneath her helmet as she studied the navicomputer. This was the first time, in a long time, that she had not removed her helmet in the presence of Sierra. *Something* was clearly wrong.

It was with great relief that Sierra Rodney was headed home. She seemed to sink into the seat of El-Nay's craft. Though there was an odd amount of silence, Sierra didn't press. She was tired from having stressed out so much over the meeting with Papius. Now that it was over, she released the tension. The girl wasn't so lost in her own world that she failed to see the pink rancor in the room...something was wrong with El-Nay. She wondered if it was Kerrie. The two had been close, and the fallout between them had to have been incredibly painful. It wasn't a subject that Sierra had broached out of respect for the Mandalorian. "Yes, I can almost smell the bantha from here. Thank you for accompanying me on another adventure, El-Nay." Sierra could see the planet she called home. She was nearly back where she belonged. "You know..." She began, reaching forward to pat El-Nay's shoulder twice softly. "If you ever need to *talk*, I'm here to listen." All she could do was open the door of communication. She couldn't force El-Nay to talk.

"That bantha has made your husband no longer view me as his least wanted house guest," El-Nay commented, dryly, before her ship suddenly slowed and the spiraling blue of hyperspace was replaced with the star dotted blackness of realspace. In front of them was the massive Imperial armada from which the Grand Moff attempted to govern his oversector. "Do you wish to be taken to the command ship or the planet, milady?" she asked, with a bit of a tremor in her voice ... she was barely holding on at this point. When Sierra patted her shoulder she tensed visibly, like a victim of abuse, clenching her jaw and closing her eyes from beneath her helmet. "It was no problem to accompany you, milady," she replied, lying through her helmet, before swallowing deeply. "Thank you for the offer," she concluded, but there was no way she was admitting to Sierra how easily she had been disarmored.

"It's one way to move up in the world, I suppose..." Sierra couldn't have ever said no to Ewwiekewwieikkie once she had bonded with the pet. The Rodney Estate was filling up with all sorts of beings. As she checked into the moment more and more, Sierra realized that something was really going on with El-Nay. They had been separated within the garrison. It made her wonder if someone had done something to her that she couldn't say. She looked at El-Nay with worry in her eyes. She could only read between the lines so much. All in all, Sierra wasn't sure what was wrong. "Um... Please take me to the planet. Unless there's a hangup on the command ship, Claudius should be home." He probably was. They had both been feeling anxious about this separation. While the ship descended towards the estate, Sierra tried not to harp on her friend too much. "I mean it. Anytime, I'm here for you. If someone did something to you in the garrison, we can turn this ship around and I'll go beat them up."

When Sierra determined their destination, El-Nay took over the controls of her Kom'rk-class starfighter and began manually piloting them towards the planet Esseles. Her hand moved above her head to the control panel to increase power to the engines so that their trip would be shortened. She wanted this over as quickly as possible so she could scrub her armor and take an endless shower. "I'll have you on the ground in no time," she pledged, as the planet grew larger in the viewport. Before too long the darkness of space dissipated, replaced by the blue of the Esselian sky periodically darted by white clouds. Her angle of entry was a bit off given the speed of the descent, causing the craft to shake more violently than usual. It was only then that she realized the problem and attempted to correct it before they were blown off course. "Sorry," she muttered, between grit teeth, before adjusting their trajectory. She was practically trembling now, but with some adept adjustments to their flight plan the Rodney estate and the city of New Calamar began to fill the viewport. As she landed the ship next to the Imperial shuttle that indicated that Claudius was, in fact, home her hands remained firmly gripped on the controls. She did not move, but simply exhaled deeply. She would not move until Sierra had long gone from the ship. "Thank you, milady. Nothing happened to me in the garrison," she said, truthfully, as she had not even been with Sierra in the garrison.

When El-Nay said she'd have them on the ground in 'no time', she didn't realize what 'no time' meant until they were shooting downward to the surface of Esseles. As a pilot, Sierra felt she was going much too quickly. The craft rattled and shook. She grabbed the armrests of her seat with white knuckles. Her rash descent made Sierra all the more sure that something had happened, but she wasn't getting anywhere with El-Nay. Before Sierra could lose her cookies (or pudding), the terrible descent ended. The craft successfully landed with everyone in one piece. Sierra closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "I-It's okay." She gulped, giving her legs a moment to stop feeling like jello. She unbuckled and stood. When El-Nay stayed put, she realized that she wasn't going to leave until Sierra had gone. Her nose twitched. What was wrong?!

The sight of Claudius' shuttle derailed how bothered she was that her friend wasn't talking to her. "I'll see you..." Sierra grasped her bag carrying what little she'd brought along as well as her violin case. She headed down the ramp, onto the flight pad, and towards the estate. Each step brought her further away from the Governor...and closer to the love of her life. She looked back at El-Nay's ship several times. She was still worried. She decided she'd corner the woman at a later time and get her to talk.

Sierra walked through the front door feeling a mixture of pure happiness and exhaustion. "Honey, I'm home." She called out comedically, already beginning to seek out her family.

Unfortunately for Sierra when she opened the door she was not greeted by the sight of her loving husband, but rather the bantha that seemed to have grown since her departure to Delaya. Having a diet of people food had caused it to grow much faster than if it simply had been grazing in the yard. It's large tongue slid from between his mouth and licked at Sierra while it's large nostrils flared, sniffing incessantly to determine whether or not she had food. Ewwiekewwieikkie was fast behind the bantha, also looking to investigate whether or not there was food either. Her overeating had spread to her pet with unfortunate consequences. "Welcome home," she said, before pushing aside the bantha to get closer to Sierra. "Did you see Auntie Mae?" she asked, before being nudged aside by her pet.

It had been a little under a minute since Sierra had entered her home that she realized she was going to need to shower. The bantha seemed to have gotten much bigger. The bigger he was, the more slobber he produced. "Gah!" Sierra covered her face while the pet licked and sniffed at her. Thankfully, she had no food on her persons so the bantha wouldn't find her interesting for long. "Ah, yes, it's nice to see you too, Sorbet!" She wiped her face off with the sleeve of her uniform. Ewwiekewwieikkie was next to greet her. Sierra gave her the biggest hug she could manage, for it wasn't the bantha alone who had been growing. "I missed you, Ewwiekewwieikkie. I did not have the opportunity to see Auntie Mae. How could I see her without you?" She smiled. "Is your sister doing okay? Where is your father?" Hiding from the bantha, no doubt...

"No food," Ewwiekewwieikkie said, when Sierra revealed that she did not see Auntie Mae. "C'mon," she said, as she grabbed hold of her bantha and attempted to drag her back into the living room to watch her holovid again. "Dru is in her room. Daddy is..." she stopped dead in her tracks, before letting go of her bantha. "Hmm. Oh! In the room with the big shiny!" she said, as her face lit up remembering the object. "Can I come?!" she asked, as she moved back towards Sierra with a big smile on her face. Unfortunately, if she were allowed to come she would surely destroy the massive telescope.

Uh oh. The big shiny. Sierra recalled what she had to do to save the big shiny. She bit her lip at Ewwiekewwieikkie's question. As much as a sucker as she was, Sierra couldn't risk the telescope again. "I think it's better if you stay down here and watch Rancor Rainbow with Sorbet... You can have some of my pudding..." Sierra had to bargain with the Squib. She began heading towards the stairs with her belongings in hand. She kept looking behind her shoulder, ensuring that her adoptive-daughter had not decided to follow. First, Sierra stopped at her and Claudius' room to drop off her belongings, then she continued on up to the observatory. She checked one more time for Ewwiekewwieikkie, then disappeared into the room. A smile began to form on her lips. "Well, hi." She announced herself, standing just inside the door.

His estate had become home to an array of individuals and creatures that afford him little peace or privacy, so Claudius Rodney had virtually barricaded himself in the observatory until his wife returned from Delaya. When she arrived on the scene he was initially startled, fearing that Ewwiekewwieikkie may have found her way up there. He moved so quickly that he banged his head into the telescope, causing him to unleash a small *yelp* of pain. "You're home!" he said excitedly upon realizing it was Sierra, while bringing his hand up to rub his bruised noggin. "You seem unharmed," he asked, as he rose from the ground and moved towards her hurriedly. He wrapped his arms around her in a warm embrace, having missed her tremendously. "Tell me. How bad was it?" he asked her, as his hands moved up and down her back while the hug remained. But as he was close to her he smelled the unmistakable scent of bantha. Clearly there had been a welcoming committee.

Eek! Rodney clumsiness strikes again. Sierra winced, watching him hit his head. Their poor son was doomed. She hated to think of the boy learning to walk and constantly being struck down by his inherited clumsiness. She stepped forward towards him. Her arms locked around his neck. The tension that she had continued to hold inside of her finally released. Regardless of what was going on, *this* was her place of safety. "It was unpleasant." Sierra nudged herself as close to him as she could be. She didn't think twice about kissing him after the bantha had given her kisses of his own. "That man is so creepy." She said, kissing him again and again. The trip had seemed so much longer than it actually was. Perhaps Sierra was just having a clingy day. "Nothing happened. He didn't hurt me...he didn't even touch me. As my performance concluded, he gave me the news I wanted. Your leave is secure." She looked into his eyes, awaiting his reaction.

"He didn't?!" Claudius asked, more surprised than relieved at the news that Governor Arundel had kept his hands to himself. "I wonder what his game was..." he asked, wondering if there was more going on than either of them yet realized. "Well, regardless, I am glad that you are returned to me, and that I will have time to spend with our son when he arrives," he told her, before turning his head to place a series of firm, brief kisses upon her cheek. "Thank you," he said to her, before leading her towards the seating area beside the telescope. "I am glad you are here. Every hour or so there was a knock at the door with Ewwiekewwieikkie asking to come see the 'big shiny'," he explained to her, as his gaze shifted to the princess telescope that was positioned beside them. "Fortunately the bantha has trouble with stairs," he explained, with a smirk, as he considered again how crazy life around the estate had become.

Sierra thought something more was going on. Governor Arundel excelled at making her uncomfortable, but surely he had other motives for bringing her to Delaya. Though he was far away, she thought it possible for the Governor to still get under their skin. Who knew what his next move was. She smiled, happy to have succeeded in getting what she wanted. Seeing Marcus with his children had only backed her decision more. Men needed time with their newborns just as much as women did. Following Claudius toward the seating, her smile grew a little brighter. "You're welcome. This is the best case scenario." She settled on the plush seating, laughing while he spoke of Ewwiekewwieikkie. "Yes, when I arrived home she asked if she could come with me. Downstairs, pudding cups are laying down their lives for your 'big shiny'."

She nuzzled in close to him. "And he's too big for Ewwiekewwieikkie to lift. As long as we reach higher ground, we're safe." It would be a long, long time until there was a moment of silence in the estate. This year, the family was making a huge expansion. Speaking of expansions...Sierra's eyebrows knotted. "You know, there was one thing that Governor Arundel said that stuck with me. He said that the Emperor intends to take Sia to court when she comes of age. He said that perhaps the Emperor would take a daughter of our own to court as well." Her hand ran down his cheek lovingly. "As honorable as it is, I'm not so sure I like that idea."

Even though all seemed well, Claudius could not help but think there was some larger plot between Zevrin and Arundel that they had yet to uncover. "I am sorry about your lost pudding, my love. I will send for more," he pledged to her, but was worrying that the dessert bribes, while effective, might not be best for Ewwiekewwieikkie. "It won't be long before it grows so wide that it will no longer fit out the door frame," he said, with a smirk and a snort, as he feared having to remodel the house to accommodate the 'pet'. "Sia?" he responded, not sure that he liked the idea of the Governor meddling in the affairs of his niece. "His Majesty was gracious enough to receive Jelena, Drusilla, and even Ewwiekewwieikkie prior to my promotion to Grand Moff," he said, sounding like quite the proud father as he looked back fondly on that moment. "He mentioned our daughter?!" he pressed her, incensed, despite the fact that they had yet to conceive a daughter.

"Wait... Are we talking about the bantha or me?" Sierra snickered, patting her swollen stomach. She could only imagine how Zara and Marcus reacted to that news. They had taken their position. They wanted to stay far, far away from the Emperor. She had not known that His Majesty had taken all of Claudius' previous daughters to court. It seemed like any female offspring they had would be destined for the same fate. There was something discomforting about Papius talking about their daughter, though she was but a twinkle in their eye. It made her feel better that Claudius grew angry over it as well. At least if she was crazy, then they were equally insane. "He did. I think that's the worst thing he did. There's something about him. When he looks at me, I feel like I'm back at that moment; nude, exposed, and humiliated. I never want him to look at our daughter like that." She shivered. "I didn't like him even poking at the *idea* of her." She looked upward towards her husband to see if he thought she was off her rocker or not. Maybe all the bantha hair she inhaled was going to her head.

"The bantha! The bantha!" Claudius pleaded with her, hoping she did not think he was talking about her. He leaned in again, showering her face with additional kisses in an attempt to apologize to his potential faux pas. As Sierra detailed the way the Governor looked her his anger only intensified, causing his hands to clench and his face to redden. "If we are blessed with a daughter we will never let him anywhere near her," he said, as he leaned into her, turning his face into her chest so that she could not see the angry expression on his face. "Hopefully neither of us has to go back there until his term as Governor expires," he told her, finding it hard to believe how much he wanted to avoid setting foot on the planet he considered home. So much had changed in such a short amount of time.

Sierra laughed as she was showered with kisses. "I know, I know! I was just playing with you!... But seriously.. In a few weeks, we're going to have a long talk about all the stairs..." She flashed him a smile which soon faded to their unfortunate discussion about Papius. Her arms held him close to her. Her chin lowered, rested on the top of his head. Governor Arundel would never be able to touch their daughter. She squeezed Claudius tightly. "I wish he'd come visit us for a change. I'd like to get him in your sector and rip him to shreds... He's such a terrible person." Sierra groaned. Sierra didn't want to linger on such an uncomfortable topic anymore. She wasn't going back to Delaya until Bruce was born...that was that. She leaned downward, nipping at his ear playfully. "Enough of this. Onto happier things." She declared with a final nip. "Do you want to see something weird?" She asked him mysteriously.

"Fortunately this estate is not a national treasure and therefore we can install a turbolift, however..." Claudius began, but then paused, almost feeling bad for what he was about to say. "...we would need to program an access code to keep Ewwiekewwieikkie from playing in it and breaking it, like what happened aboard the Retributor with you," he reminded her, feeling bad that he had to Squibproof the estate. He hated restricting her, but there were steps that had to be taken to both protect her and safeguard the estate. "I doubt he'd be stupid enough to make that mistake, but if he does believe me ... *I will*," he said, as his hand reached for hers, clutching it delicately. "Something weird..?" he asked, with a bit of trepidation in his voice. He imagined it involved the bantha, so he preemptively laughed. "Sure. Why not?" he asked, as he pulled his head off her chest and focused his attention on her.

A turbolift would be like a dream come true during her third trimester. Each time she visited Delaya and had to scale the spiral to Zara and Marcus' quarters was harder than the last. "We'd need to program an access code regardless. I don't want that bantha in our room ... or to be stuck in the turbolift." She trusted Ewwiekewwieikkie in a lot of things. When it came to turbolifts, she had no doubt that the girl would use it until it broke. Her fingers laced with his. They could dream all they wanted, but Papius simply wasn't that stupid. He'd stayed on top long enough in Delaya to prove himself.

Sierra grinned playfully. "I see you like to live on the wild side." She slouched down in her seat slightly. Reaching to the bottom of her tunic, she pulled it up over her stomach. "Watch." Placing both hands on her stomach, she began to rub. Once, twice, three times. When she pulled her hands back, their son went into a fit of kicks and punches that was visible on the surface of her tummy. Her grin went wider. "Try it!" Sierra was one excited, first-time mother. Most of the changes to her body were exciting...minus the swollen feet. This certainly fell into the exciting category. She wanted to show off.

When Sierra began to undress Claudius thought that this might be going in an entirely different direction. But then she began to rub her stomach and he now wondered if she was doing one of Ewwiekewwieikkie's hungry dances. But then something happened. Something wonderful. He watched her stomach move as their son reacted inside of her, causing a wellspring of emotion to breach the surface. The tears began to form in the corner of his eyes and then slowly flow down his face. "Is it safe?" he asked, before delicately rubbing her stomach. He did not want to hurt her, but he especially did not want to hurt their son. He had never seen anything like this before, as he had been absent during the pregnancies of his daughters.

They had taken every step of this pregnancy why not take this happy step too? Sierra enjoyed sharing everything with her love, especially when it came to their unborn son, who she took much pride in. His reaction made her heart skip a beat. He already love his son so much. Her hands reached up to collect his tears. "It's safe." She promised him. He was much more gentler than she was. His touch made her heart beat quicker, and thus created a greater stir from their son. Claudius didn't even have to remove his hands before they could both physically see the boy's movements. "It's amazing, isn't it? He feels so strong. According to the baby book I have, he should weigh about a pound now." She gushed information out happily. Her hands slid to his shoulders where she rubbed him softly. "I can tell he's just as happy as I am to be home with you."

"Of course he's strong. He's my son, isn't he?" Claudius said proudly and boastfully, as a smile so broad appeared upon his face, threatening to tear his face in half. "Just a pound? But you eat several pounds of pudding daily," he reminded her, wondering where it was all going. "I need you both to stop leaving," he told her, as he considered using his powers of Grand Moff to place her on house arrest so that she could not go on anymore adventures. "Did the orange menace behave herself?" he asked, still searching for any excuse that might permit him to exorcise that particular demon.

"That's the hope, huh!?" There was no doubt, but she didn't mind pulling his leg! He got her back almost immediately by pointing out her pudding addiction. "Hey!" She leaned forward to bite his nose affectionately. Her mouth released his nose when she decided that a punishment had been dealt. "I need that too. Once the concerts are finished, I shall cuff myself to you and there will be no more leaving. I *hate* being away from you. We both do." If Arden requested she do anymore concerts, she'd have Doctor Tohan place her on an early leave. It was too dangerous to keep putting herself, and their son, in harm's way. "Yes, El-Nay came with me. Governor Arundel shut her out of our concert. I don't know what happened, but she's acting really strange with me. I assumed she was upset over Kerrie or something." She cuddled close. For now, the family was reunited. That made this moment worth its weight in gold.

"I'll hold you to that, my love. There's plenty of Stormtroopers outside with cuffs at the ready," Claudius teased her, before reaching out with his index finger and poking her. "That's a shame," he said, politely, but he did not really care about the ups and downs of El-Nay's personal life. As he tightened his arm around her, drawing her more knee, the gentle sound of knocking again filled the room, breaking the silence. "It seems we're out of pudding," he teased his wife, before placing another kiss upon her lips. He extended his legs, doing his best to keep his feet upon the door so that she could not get in.

Sierra laughed. "Hmmm.. Maybe I should go outside and retrieve some cuffs *before* my concerts." The young woman winked, letting him know that she didn't intend on doing innocent things with them. She enjoyed that he listened to her ramble even though he didn't care for El-Nay. It was reason five million why Claudius made for a good husband. The knock drew her attention to the door. "Uh oh." She turned her head to kiss him. Just like that, the affairs of Delaya had been washed from her. There was not a doubt in her mind that she had done the right thing. "I'll help." She said, extending her legs forward. Sadly, Sierra wasn't exactly graced in height. Her feet didn't reach the door. In fact, there was a pathetic amount of space left. She relaxed her legs. "Let's hope Bruce takes after your height, otherwise he'll make it to about age twelve and stop growing forever. Like me." She didn't envy him for having to ward of Ewwiekewwieikkie on his own. Still, she resumed conversation. "Were the girls decent while I was gone? Have you heard any news about Drusilla and that Prince? Should I begin arranging the wedding or no?" She teased.

"I won't stop you," Claudius said with a wink, but before he could get too flirtatious with his wife his feet began to move up and down as his adopted Squib daughter began attempting to force the door open. Claudius watched as Sierra tried to help, but her legs simply were not long enough to reach the door. "And that's why I married you for your butt and not your legs," he teased her, with a wink, wondering how long he could bar the door. "The male members of the House of Rodney have all been blessed with height. I'm certain he'll grow into his role. If not, we can always stretch him," he teased her, as his feet again were momentarily lifted. "Define 'decent'," he fired back, with a smirk. By now Sierra knew the drill and had first hand experience with the girls and their quirks. "You know Dru. She doesn't talk to me. She just locks herself in her room. For all I know they may be already married," he scoffed, rolling his eyes and laughing slightly. As one daughter had locked him out, and he had locked out the other, he was not exactly Esseles' father of the year.

It seemed that they were going to need to spend some time at the lake house to live out certain fantasies involving cuffs. She briefly felt very frisky as pregnancy seemed to be having that kind of an effect on her. She laughed at his comment, filing it away to torture him during lake house time. "And here I thought you loved my glowing personality." She stuck her tongue out at him. She knew full well that he was joking. In all honestly, she was thrilled her husband found her backside so attractive. She didn't need to feel ashamed to have a large rear end anymore. "Stretch him? Like with old of those old torture devices?" Uhno. Ewwiekewwieikkie was going to burst in at any minute. She didn't want to risk the telescope getting hurt. It didn't matter how much she enjoyed their playful banter and time away from everyone else.

"No... There's no way they're married yet. If Dru could be living in a luxurious castle right now, she would be. Besides, there's no way she'll regain a title without telling us." She stood up, moving closer to the door. She looked at Claudius and sighed. "Ewwiekewwieikkie, I brought you something home from Delaya. Why don't you wait downstairs and I'll bring it to you? It's *shiny*." Father of the year, maybe not. He certainly collected awards for being a wonderful husband. His time for redemption was coming.

"Yes. Stretch him. I recall hearing stories back when the Alderaan Guard had a height requirement of fathers stretching their sons so they could serve," Claudius informed her, not knowing if it was really true. "I would love nothing more than for her to be at the center of a royal wedding. I can't see her reacting well to our son's birth being born," he shared, reluctantly, with a slight frown. And then, just like that, their time together had come to an end. The mention of the word 'shiny' had temporarily caused the pressure at the door to stop, but he could hear the pitter patter of footsteps as she ran around just below them, working herself up into a frenzy from all of the sugar contained within the pudding. He sighed, as he looked up at her. Reluctantly he rose from the chair and stood next to her. "I won't have you face this alone," he pledged to her, as he took her hand in his. From now on they would face all of the ups and downs of parenting together.

Untitled 1

Copyright Era of Rebellion 2005-2018. All Rights Reserved
Terms of Use | Legal Notices | Privacy Policy | Press Release | Disclaimer