sat in a bubble filled bath inside of her father's
home. She and Ewwiekewwieikkie had decided to dump
an entire bottle of bubbles inside the giant bath
found within the master bathroom. They had baked a
cake for Mug. Rather they had *attempted* to make
him one which resulted in both girls being covered
from head to toe in frosting, cake batter, and who
knows what else. Callista happily splashed her hands
in the water as the mess faded off of her. She
dipped her face into the water and came up with a
long, bubble beard. "Ewwie, look!" She squeaked. She
wiggled her head this way and that, getting bubbles
on *everything* near the tub. "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!
When's Mama gonna be home? I wanna play with her!"
about this, baby," Mug replied, as he wondered
whether or not the Rebels had any surplus cleaning
droids he could requisition to help clean their
home. "Mommy is on a mission for the nice people who
helped the Alderaanians," he said to her, as he
tried his best not to break down crying right then
and there. In his hand was the richest cake he had
ever tasted. Each bite had more sugar than the
recommended weekly dosage doctors advised eating.
Despite the sugar rush it was giving him, and the
knowledge he would spend a long night in the
refresher, he made a point to eat every bite of it
because of the main ingredient Callista used to make
Ewwiekewwieikkie was taking a bath, and Mug was
about to find out why this was a dreaded occurrence
for the House of Rodney. Not only was her blue hair
likely to clog the drain, but when she eventually
dried herself it got *everywhere*. Right now she was
in the tub blowing bubbles, giggling, and getting
partially clean. "My daddy's on the big ship!" she
said, cheerfully, as she tried to make a dagger
shaped design of a Super Star Destroyer in the
bubbles. She had no idea about the politics that
divided the family, and simply accepted that she was
at a sleepover at Callista's house. "You should come
to the big ship. There's big turbolifts! Up and
down. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. Up and
down," she repeated, slapping her hand into the
bubbling water each time she said 'down'.
asked the same question a million times. It was
likely she'd ask more. As their home came together,
she was very excited to show her Mama. She also
wanted Iyah to play with her bestest friend. She
nodded her head, gracefully accepting the fact that
her mother wasn't going to come home yet. "Okay,
Daddy. Since you don't have Mama to snuggle at
night, you can use Mister Cuddlekins, okay? He's the
best snuggle buddy." Callista certainly had love to
give. Her heart was full of it. Her brown hair was
soaked as Ewwie, too, began to splash. "*Wow*!
Really!? I wanna come!! Turbolifts are fun! Weeee!"
She stood up in the bath then crashed down into the
water, thus making one gigantic *mess*. "Daddy, can
I stay with Ewwie and her daddy tomorrow? I'll act
like a princess and be good!" The little girl
bargained, suddenly tackling the Squib in a tight
hug. "I *love* you, Ewwie!" She completed her
statement by kissing her on the cheek ... and
getting blue fur in her mouth!
flabbergasted by the innocence of his daughter and
unconventional niece. "Um, Sea-mouse, we need to
make sure it's okay with her daddy first," he said
to his daughter, trying to calm down her excitement
about the potential sleepover. But before he could
continue his daughter created a tidal wave, as the
water splashed over the rim of the tub and soaked
his shoes. His good shoes. His only shoes. He could
only help but laugh at her playfulness. It was a
blessing to have Ewwiekewwieikkie there to help
distract from the fact that Iyah was still gone.
"Being the ambassador to candy land is a difficult
job. A *very* difficult* job," he said to them,
trying to subdue his distaste for Grand Moff Rodney.
He rose, splashing his feet upon the wet floor and
moved to begin putting down towels.
"Oh no! A
wave!" Ewwiekewwieikkie announced, as the water went
out of the tub and onto the floor. With the water
level down most of her wet fur was exposed to the
air and she began to feel cold. "Ut oh. Bath's
over!" she said, before scrambling out of the tub
and onto the fresh towels Mug had put on the floor.
She began to shake at a frenzied pace, causing the
water and soap to fly everywhere, including the
floors that Mug had just toweled off. Her blue fur
went everywhere too, but she eventually got herself
dry. Or at least close to it. She reached into the
tub and tapped Callista on the shoulder. "You're
it!" she said, before running from the bathroom,
bounding down the stairs, and trying to hide. As she
played a game combining hide and seek and tag.
"*I will write
him a letter*!" Callista declared. She didn't care
what side Ewwie's daddy was on. She didn't even know
that there were *sides*. The little girl had knocked
out a significant amount of water from the tub. She,
too, began to feel cold until Ewwiekewwieikkie's
method of drying soaked her. Giggling, Callista
squealed. "*I'm it*! *I'm gonna getchu!" She
scrambled to get out of the bath as quickly as she
could. She stood before her father, attempting to
mock Ewwie's shake dry. A second later, naked as the
day she was born, Callista went racing off after her
best friend. "*I'm gonna get you! *I'm gonna get
you*!" Wet footprints and blue fur would lead her
father in the general direction of the girls.
found the door to Mug's New Alderaan residence to be
open. "Hello..?" She called out, stepping into the
foyer after closing the door. She could hear the
pitter patter of little feet on the ground as well
as the thumpity-thump of Ewwiekewwieikkie's feet.
All at once, Sierra watched the Squib streak by. The
bastard's adoptive daughter was next to bound down
the stairs. The young woman stood with her mouth
wide open. She began to laugh and laugh. Oh, let
there be mercy for Mug's soul.
heading upstairs, she moved towards the kitchen. She
found Callista opening up various cupboards until
she let out a happy shriek, having found
Ewwiekewwieikkie underneath the kitchen sink. "Hi
girls," Sierra said cheerfully. "Why don't we go
play the get dressed game? Young princesses
shouldn't be running around without their dresses
on." She gave them no choice. She wrestled each girl
beneath an arm and began leading them upstairs.
Callista was happy to see Sierra. "Auntie!" She
squeaked, her hand inadvertently touching Sierra's
stomach. "*Wow auntie*! *How much cake did you eat*!
Your tummy is soooo big!" She cooed, wiggling in
Sierra's arms as they all moved into Callista's
bedroom to dress.
as she helped Callista into a dress. "It's not from
food, sweetie. I'm going to have a baby." She
smiled. "Ewwiekewwieikkie will have a baby brother
eventually." She explained to the little girl while
hoping that this didn't lead into questions of how
babies were made.
Ewwiekewwieikkie went into a pout when she was
discovered underneath the sink, thinking she had
found the perfect hiding spot. As she climbed out
she banged her head into the pipe, breaking it, and
causing a leak they would all have to deal with
later. "Ouch," she reported, before she saw Sierra.
As they went off to get dressed, Ewwiekewwieikkie
was quick to pick out some overalls, which she
struggled to put on. "Ugh. Ugh. Ugh," she groaned,
as she wrestled on the ground, before finally
getting them on ... backwards. "Tada!" she
announced, as she rose from the ground and
outstretched her arms happily. "A baby brother?!"
she said, as she ran around Sierra in unabashed
excitement. She leapt up onto Sierra, pouncing her,
and began to lick at her face happily. Her version
of kissing. "Baby!" she said, cheerfully, before
offering a hug.
Mug heard the
commotion, but when he heard his daughter yell
'auntie' he knew who it was. His heart sunk when he
did not hear the word 'mommy' spoken by her. He
remained in the bathroom for a while, using the
towel to dry his eyes, until he managed to collect
himself. Eventually he walked down the corridor to
Callista's room, but he did not enter, instead
choosing to lurk in the doorway and watch. He was
glad his daughter was happy, even if he was not.
"Sister," he said to Sierra, finally, as he looked
towards her. "You ... you came alone?" he asked,
weakly, but he knew that if Iyah had been rescued
*nothing* could have stopped her from being here
with her family. His pathetic sight was countered by
his appearance, slightly wet, and covered in loose
strands of blue fur.
Ewwiekewwieikkie looked adorable in her overalls
even though they were on backwards. Sierra realized
that neither her nor Claudius had broached the topic
of the new baby with Ewwiekewwieikkie. She was happy
to see the Squib's reaction, which ultimately ended
with Sierra on the ground receiving Squib kisses.
She was wiggling on the floor, squeezing her
adoptive step-daughter when Mug appeared. "Okay
girls. Why don't you both go play downstairs? I'll
be down in a minute." Callista hugged Sierra. She
made her way over to Ewwie and crawled onto her
back. Sierra didn't speak to Mug until they were
both gone. She looked at him. She could feel for
him. Iyah was trapped with Papius. She had left him
in a house with three girls. "I tried to get her. I
failed." She admitted to Mug, stepping towards him.
"Your brother, Marcus Rodney, aided me. I was
injured. He was hurt much more." Sierra sighed.
into her pocket, withdrawing a data disk. "You can
never reveal where this came from." She pressed the
disk into his hand. "I was able to download the
information on the Imperial garrison where I believe
your wife is being held." Marcus' droids had died
loyally. "If you provide this to the Rebels, there's
a chance that they will be swayed to go save her."
She closed his fingers around it then drew her hand
away. "I'd act quickly. Take this to your superiors
as soon as you can. Go to Delaya. Save your wife
from Papius Arundel." She stepped backwards. She
could hear the girls laughing again. "We shouldn't
make them suffer for the sides that we've chosen.
Ewwiekewwieikkie missed Callista so much."
Mug closed his
hand around the datadisk, realizing it was the only
chance he had at rescuing Iyah from the clutched of
the Empire. "Thank you," he said, as he lowered his
head, considering his next words. "Take your
children. Go home," he said to her, as he began to
leave the room. "Ewwie is here. Drusilla has been
spending most of the time on your freighter. Jelena,
if you can believe it, is the leader here," he
explained to her, offering her a small smile, which
was all he could muster at the moment. "Callista
missed her as well," he said, trying to be
standoffish with the ISB commander, but at the same
time they did share a family bond.
"Thank you for
seeing to my daughters. I'm really, *really* sorry
about your bathtub drain." She started heading
towards the stairs. "Ah, that's not surprising at
all. Contrary to what my husband things, I know
Jelena wants to be here now. I only wish we could
all be together." Jelena was a woman who had the
power to lead. She hoped that the people of New
Alderaan respected their leader. She stopped at the
top of the stairs. "Maybe we can... Maybe we can
figure something out. We may be enemies in war, but
no one would ever hurt Callista." She turned away
from her brother with the intent of grabbing up her
girls and leaving. However, something walked through
the front of Mug Zoran's home that gave her pause.
*see* that dress Na'hal Maz wore!?" Rikka Dakkar was
referring to one of the stars of The Real Huttesse
Wives, who had recently come out wearing a dress
made of bantha meat. "If a woman is covering herself
with meat, it should be of the finest quality." The
woman had run into Drusilla Rodney by chance.
Knowing her connection to her treacherous daughter
and feeling furious with Claudius, she decided she'd
befriend the girl. Apparently she had only briefly
been swayed away from her daughter. She looked
amused the moment she spot her daughter, who was
shrinking towards the ground and looking sick. "Sierraaaa,
darlin'! I've missed you *so* much." And thus, it
Drusilla exclaimed, not expecting to see her on New
Alderaan. "Look who I found. My new grandmama," she
declared, as she strutted through the Zoran
homestead. "Ick," she said, as she looked at how
simple it was. "I'm glad your last name is Zoran,
because a Rodney should never live like this," she
said, as she lifted her chin pompously. She moved
towards one of the chairs in the living room, and
pressed down on the cushion apprehensively. "I
suppose this will do," she declared, before sitting
down and looking over her family whose tree was more
complicated than a bureaucratic flowchart.
Mug looked to
Sierra, then to Rikkia, and then back to Sierra. The
complexities of what was going on was unknown to
him. "Do you ... do you know this woman?" he asked
Sierra, sensing something was 'off' about her.
Perhaps, instinctively, he moved to the room where
Callista and Ewwiekewwieikkie were. Moving close to
them, he put a protective hand on each of their
shoulders before leading them all to the room where
everyone else had gathered. His house had never been
so crowded, but the only two he wanted here were
Callista and Iyah.
The hairs on
the back of her neck were standing upright. That
*witch* would not die! She recalled the last time
she had seen Rikka, when Claudius made use of the
weapon she'd brought to the castle for her to hurt
Bruce with. She felt weak and sick until she spotted
Drusilla. Anger swept into her mind. It was clear
that Rikka hadn't hurt Dru, but she didn't like how
she stood close to her stepdaughter. She disliked
seeing her mother's reptilian-like hand on
Drusilla's shoulder, nor could she handle how they
sat together. Rikka made herself at home. She
nuzzled herself into the rough cushions. She laughed
loudly at Drusilla's joke. "Drusilla, my dear, you
would have *loved* the Dakkar estate. My husband
built me a closet as large as a banquet hall to
house all my shoes. Poor man! Bless his soul!" The
woman was acting nice. With Rikka, the act could
only last so long.
Sierra nodded her head. "Yes. She's my mother." Her
eyes followed Mug. Without verbal confirmation, he
understood to keep a close watch on the children
while the witch was near. Attempting to be civil for
her daughters, Sierra made her way downstairs. She
sat across from Rikka and Drusilla, maintaining a
clean posture like she was ready to pounce if her
mother did *anything*.
look took over Rikka's face. "I wanted to come visit
you on Esseles, Sierra. I heard a *very* concerning
rumor... You know, I have *so* many connections."
The woman had always been a social butterfly.
"...Did you dishonor our family?"
How quaint, grandmama. I have one of those on
Esseles," Drusilla replied, dryly, as she examined
the tips of one of her nails. "I also have a house
being built in the Sea Islands of Delaya, which is
off limits to the wretched commoners," she added,
with glee, as she offered a brief nod to Sierra for
that. "But of course my primary residence is the
Castle," she declared, inhaling through her nose
loudly. No one, but no one, one upped Drusilla when
it came to discussions of real estate and property
castle!" Rikka held her hand to her chest. Drusilla
had derailed her from completely rolling over her
daughter. The time for that would come. "I wish *I*
could live in a castle. I kindly asked your father
to allow me to come live with you. He rejected me!"
She pouted sadly. "Sometimes tells me that your
*evil* stepmother had something to do with that.."
Rikka's fake voice chimed. "Anywho, darling, I heard
that the castle isn't to be yours anymore. Don't you
check the HoloNet, you silly girl? Marcus Rodney is
rumored to be the new Duke. They are trying to keep
the whole ordeal very hush-hush and seeing that his
coronation happens quickly. What *did* your daddy
do? Or was that your stepmommy again?"
deathly still when she heard what Rikka said, like
the calm at the eye of the hurricane. "What?" she
asked, without moving her head. "What?!" she then
erupted, screaming, as she leapt from the chair. She
marched towards Sierra immediately, stepping on the
tips of her toes to get closer to her height. "Is it
true?!" she asked, screaming, as her little face
turned red with anger. "What did *you* do?!" she
asked furiously, as she was nearly hyperventilating
with anger. Suddenly she began stomping her feet
angrily as she huffed and puffed. "No! No! No! No!
No! No! No!" she screamed, as she began flailing
Ewwiekewwieikkie's yellow eyes widened when she saw
Drusilla's outburst, and she burst free of Mug's
grasp to run towards Drusilla. "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Yes! Yes!" she began cheering, as she danced around,
thinking this was all part of some game. She was
glad to have her sister back, especially for an
unexpected dance party. She began giggling as much
as her sister was crying, polar opposites.
moment, Sierra's world burst into a million pieces.
She had endured a stressful flight with El-Nay...now
her mother was there antagonizing her. It couldn't
get worse and then, of course, it did. Sierra's face
went red. Her mother brought up her brother and the
shift who held the Duchy. It was a huge blow that
left Sierra momentarily speechless. The abdication
had happened so quickly. They hadn't decided how
best to tell Drusilla. A yacht was Sierra's first
thought. Instead, her furious stepdaughter had set
her sights on Sierra. She was screaming so loudly
that it hurt her ears. For such a small girl, you
wouldn't expect it to be painful as she squished the
tips of her toes. Sierra looked down at Drusilla.
She allowed the girl to tantrum up until
Ewwiekewwieikkie burst into the middle of it all.
She grabbed Drusilla by her shoulders and shifted
her aside. "This is *not* a matter we are going to
discuss here, young lady. I'm taking you home." And
to Rikka...well, her words for Rikka were better not
spoken in front of the children. Despite what had
happened in the past, it would be wrong for her to
paint her mother in that light. People could
Dakkar could not. While her daughter collected the
fur beast and the tantruming teenager, Rikka took to
following them. She cut Sierra off at the door.
"When he leaves you, you can come find me. I'll be
here for you. If his children hate you, it's only a
matter of time. Goodbye, deary!"
Sierra felt sick. Her heart was beating so hard. Her
blood pressure had skyrocketed to the point where
she felt like she was about to faint. There were
tears of anger in her eyes. It wasn't fair for Rikka
to continuously try to destroy the life she built
up. However, Rikka had won by a landslide today. "Uhhh.."
El-Nay. She should have brought El-Nay into the
house with her. She would have sent a rocket up
Rikka's ass. Her hands released both girls as she
suddenly fainted and fell backwards onto
Ewwiekewwieikkie. It had been a rough day. Sierra
needed a vacation. (D)
Mug Zoran hated the Empire with all of his passion
for the destruction of Alderaan and the death of
everyone he knew, but despite the fact that Sierra
was a member of the Empire's most nefarious branch
he could not ignore what happened. He moved forward,
until he was near Sierra, and raised his hand to
place it upon her shoulder. "Sister. Ignore
everything that woman has said," he said to her, in
a confident voice. "I see you now to be a good
person, and an honorable woman, despite the uniform
you wear," he said to her, with a nod of his head.
"You are a great Alderaanian and you will always
have a home here among our people. Your people," he
said, before wrapping his arms around her tightly.
"I am very glad to have you as a sister," he said to
her, before letting go, and moving towards the door
to help her escort the children towards the ship.
She did not
feel well. Rikka had opened a can of worms that she
wasn't ready to deal with. She prayed El-Nay had a
type of sedative to use on Drusilla, otherwise they
would suffer from her screaming all the trip home.
Mug made an unexpected gesture towards her. She
looked at him with sad eyes. Even the bastard saw
the truth of her mother. He offered her a kindness
that was shocking. While she would never live on New
Alderaan with the Rebels, it was nice regardless.
She hugged him weakly. "Thanks, brother. Good luck
finding your wife." She leaned against the doorway
watching Mug help out with the children. All of a
sudden, there was a tug at her top. "Auntie?" A soft
voice asked. Sierra turned, spotting Mug's
brown-haired child. "Hi sweetie. What have you got
there?" In her hands, Callista was clutching a
picture. She offered it to her aunt. Sierra looked
down at it and smiled. It was a picture of Callista
and Claudius at a tea party. Both of them were
wearing gigant crowns that were the size of their
whole bodies. She turned around the picture to find
a 'message' which was written in multicolor
"Daddy said we
needed to talk to the ambassador of candy land so
Ewwie can spend the night. I wanna come over too! *Turbolifts*!
*Yay*! *Up*! *Down*! *Up*! *Down*! *Up*! *Down*!"
The little girl bounced, sending her damp curls
flying this way and that. She gave Sierra a big hug.
"Can Ewwie's brother play with us next time too?
Pwweeasseee?" The little girl rested her head on
Sierra's stomach awkwardly. She didn't understand
how there was a baby in there until she felt a
tickle on her chin. "Hey!" She squeaked, backing up.
"He kicked me!"
ached when he saw Callista interact with Sierra. He
inhaled sharply, trying to fight back the tears.
"You can go, Callista," he said, before moving
closer to Sierra. "You know what I have to do.
There's no one hear I trust to watch her while I'm
away. Would you look after her?" he asked her,
pleading with her. He knew it was a risk to take,
but after spending time with Sierra he knew that
Callista would be safe ... and happy. If anything
happened to him on his mission to rescue Iyah at
least she would be with family.
Please! Please! Please!" Ewwiekewwieikkie said,
repeatedly, as she began jumping up and down like a
maniac in front of Sierra. When Mug said yes, that
was good enough for her, and she moved to give
Callista a big hug. She let out a loud grunt as she
lifted Callista up as best she could and began
attempting to carry her towards the ship. "We going
to the big ship! We going to the big ship! We going
to the big ship! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!" she
declared, cheerfully, as happy as she had ever been.
elevated moods like there was no tomorrow. The
picture which Callista had given Sierra was
absolutely adorable. She knew how much her husband
would like it. When Mug allowed for Callista to come
back to Esseles, Sierra felt the strength of their
family. She also was sure that Claudius would
understand. Together, Ewwiekewwieikkie and Callista
really did make amazing friends. She would be a
cherished guest in their home. Sierra smiled,
watching Ewwiekewwieikkie carry Callista off. "Well,
I suppose that decides it. We're taking Callista
with us." She looked softly towards them. "Do not
worry about her, brother. We'll take care of her.
Let me know when you successfully find Iyah. If you
see Jelena, please let her know that I did try."
With the picture in hand, she, too, headed back
towards the ship. Claudius Rodney was soon to get
exactly what he wanted: a home where silence didn't
exist. She could already hear the shrill giggles of
Callista as she was happily carried off.
watched as members of her family, including her
stepmother, moved through New Aldera. She decided it
would not be polite to have her come all this way
and not make some effort. Placing her datapad down
and leaving the architects who were busy on
recreating the former city of Aldera, she moved
across the dirt streets to intercept them before
they leave. "I see you have the children," she said,
while being deliberately vague. "Mission
accomplished?" she asked, optimistically, as she
assumed the deal had been executed to everyone's
satisfaction. But then she saw Callista was going
with them, and she wondered what that was all about.
Talking around the children was always difficult, as
she did not want to upset them, because she thought
the complications would only confuse and hurt them.
herself believe that she was going to make it off
the planet without seeing her eldest ... until
Jelena caught her. Since nothing could be worse than
Drusilla's outburst, she stopped and turned to her.
Her head shook from side to side. "No. Go speak with
Mug. That isn't a two person job. I have given him
the means to convince others to help him. He's
informed me that you're a leader here..." She let
the word drag out slowly. "So make sure the
information he has makes it to the right people.
Callista is going to stay with us for a little
while. I will bring her back after her parents have
returned." She informed Jelena. "I know you're going
to wind up back on Delaya trying to save that woman.
Please, please be careful I won't be able to come
for you this time."
to Sierra and deflated when she revealed that Iyah
was still being held by the Empire. She bent down
and gave Callista a hug goodbye. "Enjoy your trip,
Callista," she said, before moving to give matching
hugs to her sisters Drusilla and Ewwiekewwieikkie.
"I love you all," she said, as she looked down at
them, wondering if she would ever see them again.
She then came to a stop in front of Sierra and moved
to wrap her arms around her. She turned her head
slightly, placing a kiss upon her cheek. "Thank you.
I know you tried," she said, genuinely, as she
looked at her affectionately. "Take care of these
girls. If you can manage them, then my brother
should be a piece of cake," she said, as she noticed
that Sierra was already showing. "Keep safe," she
said, finally, as she moved to clutch her hand.
squeezed Jelena. "Thankies!! I'm so excited! I'm so
excited!" The little girl made her way into El-Nay's
ship. Sierra stood aside, watching Jelena say her
goodbyes. There was a bitter sweetness to it. You
never knew when you were reaching your final
goodbye. She hugged her stepdaughter. She placed an
identical kiss on her cheek. "I'll miss you." She
wanted to take Jelena home, hold her against her
will, and save her from all the terrible things in
the galaxy. Yet, she couldn't. Sierra chuckled,
squeezing her hand. "Take care of Mug. It seems you
have some family here that's decent..." She winked.
"I knew you'd always grow up to become someone
great. This is where you're meant to be. I bet
you're one hell of a leader. These people need you,
so don't leave them for too long." With that, Sierra
stepped back. "We need you too." She turned her back
and headed into the ship with the rest of the girls.
At last, it was time to return home.
are!" El-Nay said, as she walked down the ramp of
the ship. But she was not talking to Sierra. She
moved past the girl and went straight for the Squib.
"C'mere," she said, as she began chasing after the
girl. Unfortunately, Ewwiekewwieikkie thought they
were playing a game, and she began to run in circles
around here. "No. Get back here!" she cried, while
the Squib did nothing but giggle, before beginning
to chase her around. She was beginning to sweat, and
quickly got out of breath from her heavy suit of
armor. Then, she considered something, remembering
the sweetness of the girl. "I just wanna give you a
hug!" she said, hands on her knees, gasping for
breath. As the Squib approached, she squeezed her as
tight as possible, causing a bunch of gems to come
out of every hole. The Squib just thought it was a
game and did not seem to mind. She held up two
fingers at Sierra and winked, before squeezing the
Squib again, repeating the process. Once complete,
she reached down, and collected the gems before
leading everyone onto the ship.