Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:4:34) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Rodney Castle) and in the New Alderaan system: Blue Haven and New Alderaan (New Aldera: Mug Zoran's homestead).
Governor Papius Arundel, Farrah Ette, Yekaterina Hanson, Ashari Monoceros, Callista Nilar, Lord Gaius Rodney, Lady Jelena Rodney, Commander Iyah Xergo, and Mug Zoran.

Jelena Rodney was standing on a supply crate trying to motivate her people. "The shelters will be up shortly. There's food enough for everyone. The Alliance will help us," she said, as she tried to bring a warm smile to her face. There were so many suffering people around her ... men, women, children, the elderly, and even some of the alien species that got caught up in the evacuation. As she stood there she felt like she was blossoming into the leader her family always wanted to be. In a word, she felt proud. But that's when she was hit in the side of the face with a vegetable. "Your family did this. You're responsible!" said voices in the crowd, as a mob suddenly formed, threatening to get hostile towards her. To many her contributions to the Rebellion went unnoticed ... the only thing they knew that she was the daughter of an Imperial Grand Moff. They needed someone to blame and it was *her*.

Ash Monoceros was doing her best to be cast in a brighter light than she currently was. While none of the refugees knew about her betrayal, she felt uncomfortable around her fellow Rebels. All morning long, she had spent time with the refugees providing medical attention to those who were hurt. She had ended up in the camp of Jelena Rodney...a woman she didn't know but hated by her association with the Rodney family. From afar, she watched the woman make her speech only to find herself attacked by the angry refugees. Ash rose and made her way towards the crate where she stood. She bent down, picking up the vegetable. "Everyone...I know you're angry but you're blaming the wrong person. Jelena Rodney is not the culprit. Everything began to change when that damn Governor Papius showed up. If you want to be angry at someone, be angry at him! Don't waste food by throwing it at someone who saved you!" She threw the vegetable back down to the crowd. "Refugees, this is your chance to start over. New Alderaan will become your home. Let go of your hate and embrace the fact that finally you have somewhere to belong. We will keep you safe here!"

Behind Jelena, Yekaterina Rodney was *trying* to keep guard. She was still recovering from her vicious standing at the hands of Ashori. She was too slow to bat down the vegetables that were flying towards Jelena, but she had begun to move forward to pull her away. *That* is when she saw Ashori. "Traitor!" she yelled out, surging forward past Jelena and the crowd towards Ashori. She leapt up in the air to tackle her to the ground, but the crash did more to hurt her than it did her target. The bacta patch was dislodged and her shoulder began bleeding again. The crowd who viewed Ashori as a member of the Rebel Alliance who had saved them, and Kat as a member of the Alderaan Guard who had persecuted them, began attacking Kat and trying to help Ashori. It was not long before she was in a world of hurt.

Uh oh. Ash noticed the woman who she had stabbed immediately. By making a speech, she had just called the woman's attention to her. Kat successfully tackled her to the ground where the red-haired girl covered her face. She didn't fight back against her *comrade*. Kat's display caused a huge backlash for her. The refugees, already hyped on adrenaline, turned on her. "Stop! Stop!" Ashori called out, grasping Yekaterina and helping her to her feet. She used her body to shield away anyone else who was trying to hurt Kat while leading her away. She noticed the blood on Kat's shoulder while recalling what it was like to stab her. Papius had changed her ... for the worse. "You're bleeding." She stated obviously. "Go rest. You can't protect Jelena like this." She made no mention of Kat calling her a traitor. She would prove herself.

Mug Zoran was sitting in what would ultimately become his family's homestead. He watched as Callista drew the blueprints for their home in the dirt with a stick he had fashioned. "This is going to get expensive," he whispered to Iyah, as he watched it get bigger, and bigger, and bigger. It was then that he heard the commotion surrounding Jelena's speech, and he looked over towards the crowd and the dust that was getting kicked up. "Something is wrong..." he said to Iyah, before placing his hand upon her in an attempt to get her to stay while he went. As he rushed the crowd was getting more and more riled up. As he pushed forward his eyes first caught a glimpse of Jelena ... his niece, who he had thought dead! But then as he looked down he spotted Ashori in trouble ... again ... and the unexpected sight of Kat Hanson upon her. "You're alive!" he said, as he tried to get closer to her to protect her. That's when a fist suddenly connected with the side of his face, knocking him to the ground as well, where he promptly began to get trampled.

"Lalalalala..." The petite Callista lay on the ground with her head propped up by one of her hands. She held the stick in her other hand, drawing something that was beginning to look more and more like a castle. There were large balconies coming off from both her and her parent's bedrooms. She had even drawn in the furniture. The only problem was that she kept adding rooms. There was even a room for her best friend, Ewwie. She never realized how many rooms a house needed until she was busy drawing one. There was a room for ice cream, several bathrooms, rooms for all of her stuffed toys... Indeed, the Zoran house was growing.

Iyah was seated on the ground cross-legged beside her daughter. After a ridiculous amount of work, she had managed to untangle the little girl's hair and form it into buns on either side of her head. To Mug's whisper, she nodded her head. "She suggested we paint every room pink.. Even the outside of the house..." She loved her daughter's imagination. She couldn't wait for the house to be built. She had plans to make Callista a nice table specifically for her tea parties and attempt to acquire the sweet little girl a better tea set.

The sound of the ruckus made Iyah raise her head. She was ready to run off to see what was wrong when Mug let her know otherwise. "Be careful." She said. People had mixed feeling about the bastard of Delaya still. Many of those mixed feelings were negative. She watched over their daughter. "Is that a gigantic crown on top of our house, Callista?"

"Yup!" She squeaked.

The situation in the crowd was becoming worse. Ash tried to navigate away from the refugees when she noticed the Rodney bastard. He was another person that wasn't going to like her any time soon. She saw a fist collide with his face. He went down right afterward. Ash cursed, rounding back through the crowd. She shoved away a group of vicious refugees and wrapped an arm around his waist. With more effort than she thought she possessed, she successfully brought Kat and Mug away from the crowd and into one of the empty supplies units. She ducked her head out. "Medic!" She cried out to a group of Rebels passing by. One parted from the group to come help with Mug and Kat's wounds.

"No! Please stop! No!" a panicked-stricken Jelena Rodney cried out, as she attempted to calm the tensions in the crowd, which had surely turned into a mob. She briefly saw her uncle, Mug, of all people enter the fray and quickly get laid out. She wondered what Leia would have done in a situation like this and she wished her friend was here, but she knew that she could not always rely on her. In a fit she reached down towards Kat and pulled up her A280 blaster rifle. She raised the weapon into the air and began firing off deadly bolts of energy into the sky. *That* got the attention of the crowd, who began to back off and gave Kat and Mug room to breath. "Listen. We cannot build our new world if we're too busy fighting with one another. I have no love for the Empire and no love for my father as long as he continues to wear that uniform. I am one of you. A refugee. A woman without a home," she said, as the tears began to well up in the corner of her eyes. She did not let them flow though ... she bit down on her lower lip and breathed in sharply through her nose. She would inherit the stiff upper lip her people had been known for right there on the spot. She *was* a leader.

Jelena's rash action had earned her what she wanted: attention. Everyone in the mob stopped what they were doing. Wide-eyed refugees stared at her. Some were swayed by her speech. Others would never believe that the daughter of a Grand Moff could truly side with them. Against all odds, the crowd began to disburse into smaller groups. There was much talking about New Alderaan and the trials they had been through on Delaya. There was no hope in the air here. If anything, hopelessness hung between them.

"Mama, Mama! All done!" Callista began to rise from the ground. She brushed off her sundress and held out her arms before the picture. "Tadaaa!!" She looked around for her Daddy. Where had he gone? Her tummy was beginning to rumble. She didn't want to have lunch without him. "Where'd Daddy go?" She asked, pouncing her mother just as Jelena began to shoot off the blaster rifle. She clutched her mother, shaking like a little leaf. "What's happening!?"

Iyah peered over her daughter's shoulder at the blueprint of their new home. They'd have to make compromises but overall... it was wonderful. She squeezed the little girl until she squeed. "I don't know. Why don't we go find him?" No sooner had Iyah asked the question did blaster fire erupt. The woman went into defensive mode. She held Callista close. Instead of heading towards the noise, she moved in the opposite direction. She worried for Mug. What the hell was going on over there!?

*Crunch*. The sound of a starfruit being bitten into broke the silence at the other end of the camp. It was Gaius Rodney, former commander of the Alderaan Guard, clinging to what little he had in his flimsy tent. "Would you listen to her?" he scoffed to his daughter, before aggressively tearing into the fruit with his teeth and getting his face covered in juice. "To have leave Delaya and the rulership of Claudius Rodney just to end up on this rock ruled by his daughter?" he said, before throwing the starfruit as hard as he could in her direction. He was getting riled up. He was in danger of drawing attention to himself. There would be many in the crowd just as angry with the Alderaanian Guard commander as they were the Imperial forces. He had to calm down, and he had to formulate a plan to get control of this world.

Farrah was *not* happy. The last thing she wanted was to be reduced to this: a refugee living among Rebels. She had been thinking about how they could come back from this...*if* they could come back from this. She had nothing. As she sat in the tent, listening to Jelena Rodney, she scoffed. "It's an insult!" She cried out, slamming her fist against the ground. "I *refuse* to let her rule us." Farrah ducked. The remainder of the starfruit flew out of their tent. She wanted everyone to pay. If Claudius Rodney still lived, then she would kill him eventually. She was feeding off of her father's anger which was getting them nowhere. With a sigh, Farrah crept towards him. She crawled into his lap where she began to massage his shoulders. "We could cause an uprising here. There are some people who won't side with us, but there are many who will." She suggested to give her father hope.

"Jelena has the support of the princess. The Organas always did play favorites," Gaius muttered, as he settled into the tent with Farrah. He brought up his legs up, so that his knees were in front of his chest, and he clung to them. Inside his head the wheels began to turn as he focused on what best course of action to take. "I'm a gambling man. I don't think the kid has it in her," he said, as he turned his head to look out at the dispersing crowd. "She'll fail. She'll crack. And then they will welcome my experience. They will view us saviors," he said, before moving closer towards Farrah and embracing her. For now let's make the most of our new home.

"Are they alright?" Jelena asked Ashori, unaware of who she was and what her involvement might have been. "Oh, Kat ... you've gone and opened up your wound again," she said, as she rolled her over onto her back and smiled down at her. She looked across to Ashori, wondering why Kat had attacked her ... but now was not the time for accusations. She held pressure to Kat's wound until the medics arrived to cart her off for yet another repair job. Her attention then turned to Mug, who she recognized as her grandfather's bastard son and therefore her uncle. "Uncle Mug?!" she said, as she helped him sit up. "What are *you* doing here?" she asked, as she helped him up. "Oof," she groaned, as he weighed quite a bit more than she was expecting. "Here. Help me," she instructed Ashori, as she began leading him back towards the area from which he had came. "We'll get you home," she said, as she struggled to help him walk. "...maybe," she muttered to herself, between labored breaths, as she stopped to wipe her forehead.

Ashori decided it best not to tell Jelena about what had happened in the refugee center. "They'll be okay..." She said, watching as Yekaterina was taken away. That only left them with one injured Rebel to take care of. She ducked over to Mug's opposite side to help Jelena with the man. She groaned. "H-He weighs more than I thought!" Ash followed Jelena, who seemed to know where to deposit the bastard. She thought of Papius and how he had tortured Mug. She recalled watching it, laughing and smiling while she did it. Killing Mug was out of the question, as much as she thought Papius might like it. It would expose her betrayal once again.

"Daddy!!! Lookit Mama, it's Daddy!" Callista's head could be seen over Iyah's shoulders. She wiggled in her mother's arms excitedly as Iyah turned around. She spotted Jelena, an injured Mug, and *Ashori*. She held Callista closer to her body. Iyah stomped towards them. "What happened to him?" Iyah glared at Ashori. Her words sounded accusing. She allowed a worried Callista to slip from her arms so that she could take over for Ash. "Thank you for bringing him over..." Iyah said. She noticed that Mug had been punched. On top of that, his uniform was dirty with boot prints. Iyah felt furious.

Ashori sensed that she wasn't welcome anymore once they met with Commander Xergo and her child. She freed herself from the bastard. She looked at Iyah. "Commander Xergo, please excuse me..." Ash left casually. It was going to be hard to sway Iyah to like her again.

Mug staggered forward, quickly moving to sit back down on the blanket they had placed next to Callista's drawing. He brought his hand up to the side of his face where he had been sucker punched. As he touched it, he grimaced, as the pain was considerable. "Callista, I'd like you to meet your cousin, Jelena," he said, as he stood back up, picking up his daughter as he did so. "Niece, this is my daughter, Callista," he said, as he held her up close so that Callista could get a closer look. He mumbled as he spoke, as his jaw was still quite sore. He moved it around gingerly, content that it was not broken. It was more his pride that he had damaged as he foolishly went rushing into a dangerous situation without knowing what was going on. And that was then he remembered that he had forgotten to tell Iyah the biggest news. "Iyah ... Kat was there!" he said, careful not to mention that she was *alive* because he did not want to scare Callista with the mention that they thought she was dead.

"Hello, Callista!" Jelena said, as she gave her niece a big smile. She stepped forward giving a group hug to both Callista and Mug. "Commander Xergo, it seems I am always having to thank you and your crew," she said, as she looked towards the bruised Mug. "I am sorry for the injury he sustained in rallying to my defense," she said, lowering her head in a slight bow of thanks. "I would ask another favor of you, if I could..." she said, as she moved closer, and grew quieter. "I am concerned for the defense of our new home. It's all very fragile right now. It would not take much for it to all just blow away..." she said, with a frown, as she cringed slightly, almost hugging herself. "Could you and your crew stay? At least until we have some semblance of a defense?" she asked, flashing her blue eyes and hoping to elicit her aide.

The little girl looked to Jelena, who she did not recognize. Nonetheless, Callista's whole face lit up bright to meet someone new...especially her cousin! She thought hard back to their limited time living at the Rodney Castle. It seemed to take her a minute, but as soon as she figured it out, she was in love. "*Oooh! You're Ewwie's sissy! Ewwie is my bestest friend *ever*! We had an ice cream fight at Auntie Mae's! I think she won..." Callista giggled. "We were both covered!" Callista was happy to squeeze Jelena and her father in her little arms. "*Daddy*! You saw Auntie Kat!! Is she still warm? I promise I'll be a better fan this time!"

Iyah looked worried for her husband. After all he'd been through, to get beaten by the refugees was just the shit cherry on top of the world's worst sundae...certainly not the kind they serve at Auntie Mae's. Mug provided her with something to be massively relieved over: Yekaterina Hanson was *alive*. She looked like she might cry. She didn't even know how it was possible. She thanked the stars regardless. "I'm so glad to hear that you saw her. We'll have to go visit her and see if there's anything we can do to help." Iyah, too, avoided letting Callista know the dimmer fate that they thought Kat had suffered. She offered a soft smile to Jelena, while she touched Mug's back.

"Don't worry, Jelena. Things happen. Mug is the finest man on my crew so... I think he'll be okay." What a wonderful double entendre. She didn't know what kind of favor the girl was about to ask of her. Her stomach cringed. They had just picked out a plot for their home...was Jelena about to send them away again? Iyah listened to her quiet words. She knew that they were building on unstable ground. It was going to take time for everything to work out. Iyah's face lit up in a fashion alike to Callista's when she finally reached her favor. The Commander wrapped an arm around Jelena, giving her a squeeze to offer strength and support. "We'll stay as long as we can. Since we adopted Callista from the refugee camp, we've been wanting an opportunity like this to come along. I'm devoted to the Rebellion, but I am also devoted to my family. I get both here, so thank you for considering us."

Across the galaxy Papius Arundel had settled into the suite previously occupied by Grand Moff Rodney and his wife. With the garrison a wreck he decided to occupy the vacant castle to see what it was like to live the life of excess that he suspected the Alderaanian noble lived. The smoke had settled over Leiliani and in the dawn of the new day the catastrophic damage was visible. In its place he would build a new city ... an Imperial city. Despite the fact that most of the Rebels escaped he considered it a victory because he had rid the planet of the Rebels ... from a certain point of view. However, to secure his position he would have to find where those Rebels went and deal them a final, fatal blow. As he sat at the desk used by Claudius Rodney he kept looking at his comlink. When would Ashori Monoceros make contact? Had she infiltrated the Rebel Alliance? Was she even alive? The silence was killing him and he stared at the device time seemed to set still. His hand curled into a fist and slammed down on the desk sharply, knocking over the image of the Grand Moff and his family.

The Rodney Castle was left mostly disrupted. The master suite where Sierra and Claudius Rodney had dwelled looked as if they would return at any minute. Their Imperial uniforms hung in the closet. Their memories were showcased all over the rooms from pictures to datapads which showed the first ultrasounds of Bruce. There were no Rodneys left to live in the castle now. It, and every possession within it, now belonged to the terrible man.

Ashori wiped the sweat from her brow as she settled into her room within the Blue Haven. It had been so long since she'd lived there, yet everything was exactly as she remembered it. The only change was in herself. She sat at her desk with her comlink. Most of the other Rebels were out helping rebuild. She had done her duty earlier in the day. No one would bother her, she was sure of it. It had been too long since the last contact between herself and Papius. She didn't want him to think that he was the one being double crossed. With no reluctance, Ash contacted him. "Are you alive out there?" She asked into the comlink. The last time she had seen Papius, the city of Leiliani had been suffering. From what she had heard, many people had died on both sides. What would she do if Papius had failed? Destroy the Rebels from the inside without him?

Papius leapt for the comlink like a bird of prey diving out of the sky to claim its victim. "Of course I'm alive," he said, condescendingly, as he activated the comm and acknowledged her single. "I didn't know you cared," he continued, as he leaned back in the chair, kicking his boots up on the desk. He was making himself quite at home. "What do you have for me?" he asked, as his foot collided with the framed image of Claudius and Sierra's unborn child, carelessly knocking it to the floor. He cared not about the imbecilic Grand Moff or his treacherous wife. They were gone. No longer an obstacle in his rise to greatness.

"Of course I do." Ash was grinning on the other line. She turned in her chair so that she was facing the door leading into her room. "I know where the Rebels have relocated to. Within the Ash Worlds lays a planet they are calling 'New Alderaan'." She chuckled, "Which will be all too fitting when this place is destroyed. I have coordinates for you. I'm still doing research. Give me time, I'll have an adequate report for you on these Rebels." She already wanted to be back on Delaya, serving him in ways she couldn't from thousands of light years away.

"*New* Alderaan?" Papius replied, restarting her words, with a combination of a laugh and a snort. "Not very creative ... these Rebels, eh?" he said, as he turned his attention towards the coordinates. As he moved to his terminal to bring up the map of the galaxy he was disappointed by how remote it was. If he smashed it like a bug no one would even notice. "Time is a resource on short supply, my dear Ashori," he said, as he rose from the desk, carrying the comlink. The sound of screeching thrantas was coming from someplace, grating his nerves. As he reached the balcony he walked out, spotting the thrantas flying near Sanctus Mons. How did the Rodney family deal with all this noise? He wondered silently to himself. *Something* would have to be done about it.

She cringed at the sound coming from the other side of the comlink. It prompted her to wonder if he had somehow ended up staying with an army of toddlers. "I know. I'm not going to let you down. I have a pleasant surprise for you when you come to visit. Not one, but *two* Rodneys are here. I saw Jelena this morning making some pathetic speech which pissed off the refugees. She isn't a confident leader. The refugees will stand off against her. The bastard is here also. Considering his time in the garrison, it doesn't seem like there's much fight left in the man." She ran her fingers through her hair. As unlikely as it was, everything was looking up again.

When Ashori revealed that Jelena Rodney was alive and well on New Alderaan it was almost too much to ask for. He fell to his knees on the balcony, and tears began to flow from his eyes. "Thank you. Oh, thank you," he said, as his eyes looked toward the heavens. He had just been given the gift that would result in him becoming a Moff. Victory was in sight.

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