Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Christopher Levy.

One year before the Battle of Yavin (34:2:34) in the Alderaan system: Alderaan (Aldera: Alderaan Select Academy for Young Ladies, Royal Palace, and Spaceport), Delaya (Leiliani: Rodney Castle), and Kwai and in the Eriadu system: Kwai.


Major Kerrie Kiley, Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, Senator Bail Prestor Organa, Princess Leia Organa, Vice Admiral Claudius Rodney, Lady Drusilla Rodney, Lady Jelena Rodney, Duke Julius Rodney, Duchess Livia Rodney, Doctor Pilaq Tohan, Flight Lieutenant Randi Trainor, and Major Arden Zevrin.


Major Arden Zevrin cleared her throat as she stood at the base of the ramp of Admiral Claudius Rodney's Lambda Shuttle. She took the time to adjust her tunic carefully, going over the talking points she had prepared. It would be her first one-on-one conversation with the Admiral and she wanted to make a good impression.

As Zevrin made her way up the ramp into the passenger compartment of the shuttle, she came face-to-face with Major Kerrie Kiley, the Admiral's ever-present adjutant. She and Kiley exchanged glances briefly before Kiley proceeded into the cockpit. Zevrin turned her head to follow Kiley's departure, but the Admiral interrupted her.

"Welcome aboard, Major," Admiral Rodney said politely.

Major Zevrin's head immediately snapped forward to look at the Admiral. A forced smile appeared on her lips. "A pleasure to serve under you, sir," she said cordially.

"Please," the Admiral began politely, "Take a seat."

Major Zevrin nodded to the Admiral before taking her seat across from him. She folded her hands across her lap and awaited permission to speak.

"Now," Admiral Rodney asked, "What is on your mind?"

"Well," Zevrin informed him, "I have received a directive from the Select Committee."

"Yes?" the Admiral questioned her. He was not used to having COMPNOR intervene in his affairs and did not like the sound of this.

"COMPNOR is concerned that the recent attacks near Brentaal may cause some misguided individuals to believe that the rebels pose a threat," Major Zevrin explained, "It is our desire to show that the recent attack was an isolated incident ... the work of a one time terrorist, not the actions of a rebel cell."

"But of course it is the work of a rebel cell," the Admiral interjected, "Or else we would not have been deployed to the region."

"Well, yes," Major Zevrin said with a nervous laugh, "I know that and you know that, but there is no reason for civilians to know that."

The Admiral nodded to her before continuing, "How does COMPNOR suggest going about this charade, Major?"

"Your family, sir," Major Zevrin explained.

"My family?" the Admiral repeated, unsure of what she meant.

"Yes," Major Zevrin continued, "COMPNOR feels that if you move your family into the region it would show your personal confidence in the region's safety."

"But," the Admiral replied, "The region is not safe. Surely the rebellion would target them."

"This fledgling rebellion is no threat, Admiral," Major Zevrin assured him, "Your family will be well protected."

"I believe that is what your predecessor, Colonel Eklon, said, Major," the Admiral informed her condescendingly.

Major Zevrin did not appreciate that comment and it took every effort to avoid losing the polite smile she had forced upon her face since entering the room. "The Select Committee feels this is of the utmost importance," she explained to the Admiral, "I am afraid they are quire insistent."

The Admiral sighed and waved his hand towards her. "Fine, fine," he reluctantly told her, "Is there anything else?"

"No," Major Zevrin said with a wide smile, "That will suffice for now. The Select Committee will be very pleased, sir."

As Zevrin turned her head, the door to the cockpit once again opened and revealed Major Kiley.

"Major," the Admiral began in a tired voice, "Inform Ran that there has been a change of plans. Set your course for the Alderaan system ... and raise my parents on the comlink."

Major Kiley raised her eyebrows as she received her instructions. "At once, sir," she replied before returning to the cockpit.

Moments later Kiley's voice was heard in the passenger compartment once more, "I have your mother on the comlink, Admiral."

"Mother," Admiral Rodney said with a smile as he looked at a holographic image of his elderly mother, the Duchess of Delaya.

"Is everything alright, son?" the Duchess asked in a concern tone.

"Yes," the Admiral explained, "Yes ... everything is fine. Look ... I do not have time to explain completely, but I need you to have Drusilla made ready to move within the hour."

"She is not going to like that," his mother quickly interjected.

The Admiral sighed before his reply, "Does she ever like anything?"

"You spoil her too much," his mother was quick to point out.

"Mother," the Admiral replied, "Now really is not the time. I am also going to need you to contact Jelena on Alderaan and tell her to get ready."

"Alright," his mother told him, "When you get here your father wants to have a word..."

"Time is a factor here, mother," Admiral Rodney informed her.

"It will only take a few minutes," the Duchess reassured him, "And besides, he is your father."

"Alright mother," the Admiral replied, "Just make sure the girls are ready."

"I love you," the Duchess told him.

"I love you too, mother," the Admiral replied in an embarrassed tone.

"Touching," Major Zevin interjected as the comlink shut down.

"Raise the Warspite," Admiral Rodney said to those in the cockpit.

Moments later the familiar sight of Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, the Warspite's Chiss tactical officer, appeared through the comlink.

"Lieutenant," the Admiral began, "Give me a status report."

"The squadron is nearly ready to depart, sir," Meham'ohorovi'cloca informed him, "All should be in order by your return."

"About that," Admiral Rodney replied, "I am going to be delayed. My family will be joining us. Inform Captain Anson to prepare quarters for my daughters and our new COMPNOR liaison officer."

Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca's face briefly showed her confusion. Now was not exactly the best time for the Admiral to bring his family aboard, she thought, though of course she would never voice her discontent. "Understood, Admiral," she replied, "Warspite out."

Jelena Rodney looked at the Alderaan star setting on the horizon. She raised her hands to her face and tried to wipe away the tears that had been welling in her eyes. She sighed deeply, sniffling to clear some of the mucus that had filled her nose.

"What's wrong, Jelena?" the familiar voice of Princess Leia asked.

"Oh," Jelena said startled, increasing the pace of wiping away her tears, "Nothing ... nothing's wrong, your highness."

"How many times do I have to tell you," Leia said sweetly, taking a seat on the ground next to her, "You don't have to call me that."

"And how many times do I have to tell you?" Jelena replied jokingly, "You know that I am required to call you that."

Leia put her arm around Jelena's shoulder. "Now tell me," Leia asked her, her voice filled with compassion,  "What's wrong?"

"My father is forcing me to move," Jelena informed her dejectedly.

"Move? Leia questioned, "Why? Where?"

"Brentaal," Jelena said disgustedly, "He has a new long-term assignment there, and he wants us to join him."

Leia's face turned grim. She knew of the rebellion's plans for Brentaal and as much as she wanted to warn her friend, she knew that she could not. "Brentaal's not so bad," she told her friend, "At least it's not the outer rim."

"Yeah," Jelena attempted to smile, "At least..."

"Do you need any help packing?" Leia inquired.

"Thanks," Jelena replied, "But I cannot ask you to do that your highness."

"No," Leia jokingly replied, "I didn't mean me! I meant my servants."

"Oh," Jelena said as the two girls burst into laughter.

"Hey," Jelena asked, "Wasn't there just some rebel attack near Brentaal? I hope it's not dangerous."

"I really don't pay attention to things like that," Leia informed her. She had become a good liar.

"Mother ... father," Admiral Rodney said warmly as he entered his family's estate on Delaya. He embraced his mother first, giving her a polite kiss on the cheek. Then he turned his attention to his father, connecting in a firm shake of the hand.

"I am glad you came, son," his father informed him.

"I hope mother explained that I really do not have much time," Admiral Rodney replied.

Just then, the Admiral's comlink began to beep, signaling that he had an incoming transmission. "I'm sorry," he politely said to his parents, "It will just be a moment." He then activated his comlink, "This is Admiral Rodney ... go ahead."

"Admiral, it's Lieutenant Trainor," Randi informed him over the comlink.

"What is it, Ran?" the Admiral asked her.

"There's a problem with your daughter," Randi responded.

"Is she alright?" the Admiral frantically questioned, "What happened?"

"She's fine," Randi replied quickly to alleviate his concern, "It's just that she's saying that the ship is too small. I mean we fit her stuff on board ... well most of it anyway ... but she's demanding that I go get a bigger ship and that this one is, and I'm quoting here, 'absolutely dreadful.' What do I do, sir?"

"Have Major Kiley drag her aboard if you have to, Ran," the Admiral instructed her, "We don't have time for this."

The Admiral placed the comlink back within his pocket and turned his attention to his father. He was embarrassed that they had to overhear the conversation he just had, but he knew they were aware of just what a brat Drusilla could be.

"Now," the Admiral shifted his focus back to his father, "What is it you wanted to talk to me about?"

"I have spoken with Baron Zoran," his father informed him, "And we are in agreement that a marriage between you and his daughter Octavia would be ideal."

"Father," Admiral Rodney replied angrily, "We have been over this time and time again ... I am not going to remarry."

"Son," his father pleaded, "I am an old man and I cannot go on much longer. When I die I want to know that the family line will go on. I need a male grandchild."

"What about Marcus," the Admiral questioned, "He is still young, perhaps he will give you that grandson."

"I do not understand it," his father lectured, "Lady Octavia is beautiful by all accounts."

"She is also half my age," the Admiral Rodney quickly replied.

"Since when did things like that become problems," the Duke replied only half jokingly. Not amused by this, his wife threw him a quick glare of discontent.

"I am not going to marry again," the Admiral informed his father bluntly.

"I know you are hurting from your loss, my son," his mother said sympathetically.

His father sighed. "It has been nearly fourteen years," his father pointed out, "It is time for you to get on with your life. Julia would not want you to be alone all this time."

"I do not have time for this," Admiral Rodney replied, "I really must get going."

"Will you at least meet her?" his father implored.

"If it will end this discussion," Admiral Rodney frustratingly told his father, "Yes."

"Excellent," his mother said, "Leave all the arrangements to us."

Jelena stared at the glistening skyline of Aldera as she stood on the ramp of the shuttle her father had sent for her. She lived her entire life on Alderaan and she was not ready to leave and go out into the galaxy. She smiled at all of her friends from the Select Academy for Young Ladies. She had hoped to join most of them at the University of Alderaan at the start of the next term, but now that would be impossible. She wanted to be strong and not cry, but looking at her friends now made it nearly impossible. She raised her hand to signal her goodbye and then walked up the ramp to join her family.

As Jelena made her way into the shuttle's passenger compartment, she could hear her younger sister Drusilla complaining as usual.

"But, daddy," Drusilla whined, "I don't want to move. I like it here. I like my friends. I like our home. I like our servants. I like my room!"

"Honey," her father explained, "You are going to love Brentaal and we get to spend time with each other. It's been so long since we had time together as a family."

"I don't care!" Drusilla said as her face sunk down into a pout.

"Your sister is taking the move well," her father pointed out, "Why can't you be more like her?"

"Obviously she isn't upset because her room wasn't as big as mine!" Drusilla pointed out to her father, "My new room better be twice as big or I'm not going to be happy, daddy!"

"Don't worry," her father said to appease his youngest daughter, "I have selected a marvelous estate. When we get there, I'll even take you shopping and you can get a new outfit."

"Only one new outfit, daddy?" Drusilla greedily inquired.

"And, daddy," Drusilla began to explain, "There is this awful thing on my foot and it hurts terribly."

"It is just a verruca," Doctor Pilaq Tohan, the Admiral's personal Ithorian physician informed him in his distinct stereophonic Ithorese speech.

"A what?" the Admiral asked his doctor in a confused tone.

"A verruca," Doctor Tohan restated.

"Isn't it an absolutely ghastly term, daddy?" Drusilla interjected.

"Do not worry child," Doctor Tohan informed them, "It is merely a wart on your foot."

Drusilla's face sank deeper as the doctor seemed to downplay her condition. Drusilla continued, "It is all of these cheap shoes you force me to wear, daddy. They are ruining my feet!"

"Your shoes come from the finest shops on Alderaan," the Admiral pointed out.

"Well obviously the finest shops on Alderaan are not very fine after all, daddy," Drusilla responded quickly, "You're just going to have to replace all of my shoes with brand new ones from the shops on Brentaal."

"Whatever you want, dear," the Admiral informed her.

Drusilla's face curled into a wide smile as she once again managed to get exactly what she wanted. "Now," she continued, "About my new room, it is going to need new furniture. What I had before simply will not do. That was good for Alderaan, but this is Brentaal."

Jelena turned her head away from the argument as the shuttle moved further away from the surface. She slumped over as she watched Aldera grow increasingly smaller in the viewport. She sighed and said a silent goodbye to her home.

"Do you think Jelena will be okay?" Leia asked her father through the holonet.

"Brentaal is shaping to turn into a war zone," Senator Bail Organa reportedly grimly.

"Is there nothing you can do?" Leia pleadingly asked her father.

"I can make no promises," Bail informed her, "But I will alert the sector command to be extra careful."

"I hope nothing happens to her," Leia said dejectedly, "It's not her fault her father is commanding the Imperial forces in that region."

"Honey," Bail said quietly, "We always knew one day the war would touch us all. The cause is just and, come what may, we must restore the Republic."

"I know, father," Leia replied, "I know."

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