Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:4:33) in the Alderaan system: Nerf Herder and in the Ottega system: Jubilee and Nerf Herder.
Lord Marcus Rodney and Lady Zara Rodney.

The Nerf Herder was situated in the Graveyard of Alderaan among the array of planetary debris that once comprised the planet. The power levels aboard the ship were at minimal, as he wanted to avoid detection by both the Imperial and Rebel forces that had been clashing in the system. His wife had decided to use what little power they had to transmit a message to the rest of the family, but he considered this potentially risky. With Zara in the back attempting to tend to Doctor Tohan, he was left to survey the navicomputer for a safe port in the storm. "Any ideas? We could try to circle back and make it to the chalet..." he said, but as he looked out the viewport he could still make out an Imperial Star Destroyer hovering over the planet. "I hate to say this, but we might consider going to Esseles and using Claudius' rank as a shield..." he suggested, as the computer cycled through worlds, illuminating his face in light as he sat in the otherwise darkened cockpit. It was starting to get cold ... they needed to get a plan together and get moving.

Home had transpired into a battlefield. Zara could only imagine how long the battle would rage on between the Imperials and the Rebellion. The destruction was endless in the city. Zara had callously hoped that Luna had perished there. Her sister had opted to abandon her. It made the young thief close her heart to the woman. It was too damaging. Currently, she was leaning over the unconscious body of Pilaq Tohan. She had not figured out an appropriate way to help him yet. She couldn't find his pulse in any of the places where she would be able to find her own. She was worried for the old doctor. She didn't want him to die...

The stress of the day was wearing hard on everyone. Zara had been mentally compromising with the children in her stomach. *Not now* she told them as they kicked and punched inside of her. It was becoming colder within the ship. It seemed that it was do or die now. They needed to make a choice. She lifted her head, considering going back to the chalet. "I-I think we should stay away from Delaya. If the Imperials find our chalet, that will be the end of it." Esseles was a good option. "Who will help Pilaq there..? Does Claudius know how to deal with this..?" How did one give an Ithorian CPR? "What about... What about Ithor?" She had never been there. She knew nothing of Pilaq's homeworld. All she knew was that they *needed* to get him help. "I can't help him. We have to get him somewhere where people can help him." She looked towards the cockpit.

"Ithor..." Marcus said, repeating her suggestion, as he brought up the Mid Rim on the navicomputer. "There's an Imperial presence, but it's quiet," he said, as he looked down into the cargo compartment where Zara and Pilaq were. "Well we can't just sit here," he said, before he began downloading the coordinates. "Better get yourself strapped in," he warned, as his hand moved over his head to begin toggling switches to bring the Nerf Herder's main reactor back online. It would not belong before their power signature attracted the Imperials, so he was quick to get the hyperdrive ready. As soon as the computer beep his hand pushed forward on the hyperdrive control, causing the starfield and debris in front of them to disappear and be replaced with the swirling blue column of hyperspace. "Next stop, Ithor!" he declared, as he rose from his seat, allowing the autopilot to do the work, while he moved back towards Zara. "Do you think this was the attack, or ... your brother-in-law?" he asked, as he looked down at Pilaq. Not that it mattered, and perhaps it was a sore subject to bring up.

Reluctantly, Zara left the doctor's body. She seated herself and quickly strapped in. The only way today could get worse if they ended up in a space battle with a bunch of Imperial ships. She rested her hand on her belly, rubbing it softly to soothe the twins. For the first time in her life, she wanted nothing more than to be far, far away from Delaya. There was too much happening. She couldn't afford to lose her husband... or her doctor! She didn't seem bothered by the fact that he brought up her brother-in-law. If they weren't dead, she could beat them up next time she saw them. "It's possible... I don't know anything about the anatomy of an Ithorian, but I think I found a bump on his head. Did you find him trapped under anything? That guy *really* didn't seem above hitting an old doctor on the head..." She sounded angry. Her hand curled into a fist. "I should have killed them. They'll come back." She tilted her chin upward to look at him. "What if they hurt us worse next time? What if they tried to take the twins?"

"I should have done it," Marcus said, coldly, as he moved next to Zara, taking one of his arms and wrapping it around her. "If I ever see either one of them again ... I will," he said to her, as his hand moved her stomach. The twins were practically knocking at the door. It would not be long before he would be a father. "I will never let anyone harm our children," he said, before dropping to his knees in front of her. He placed his face against her stomach and kissed it not once, but twice, in honor of each child. "I promise you two as well," he said, before rising back up, until he was standing in front of her. "We can only hope the Ithorians will be able to help him. He has helped my family for a long time. I owe him," he said, as he helped Zara down into a more comfortable seated position. "Before the Clone Wars my brother served as Alderaan's representative to Ithor..." he began, indicating storytime was about to begin. "At the time Pilaq was a herd leader, but after the Clone Wars the Empire cracked down on Ithor ... much like you just say on Delaya," he continued, with a painful grimace upon his face. "Claudius used his influence to get Pilaq offworld, where he became our family physician and guardian of my brother's children while he was away," he said, as he looked down at the unconscious and injured Ithorian. Even someone as kind and gentle of him would not be spared in these turbulent days.

Zara accepted death as Luna and Petrus' only fate. They were terrible people who would, one way or another, die for their offenses. If the day came when Marcus had to kill them, she would never hold it against him. The twins were overactive as they fed off of their mother's stress and elevated blood pressure. She could feel them rotating round 'n round as if saying 'hello' to their father. Marcus was so, so sweet. Tears formed at the edges of Zara' eyes while he made his promise to her and their children. She believed him. He'd been her protector since he made the wild trip across the galaxy to find her. He would *never* fail her. "I love you so much," she sniffed.

Seated more comfortably with her legs sprawled out in front of her, Zara began to relax. If things went well, they'd be able to hide out on Ithor for as long as it took. She listened to her husband recount the tale of how Pilaq had come into the family. She frowned, looking down towards their friend. "How can the Empire do things like this? How can they run in and mindlessly destroy planets... And somehow continue to have followers? I'm sure Ithor deserved it even less than Delaya... Those poor people..." She didn't know how Claudius and Sierra could stay affiliated with the Empire after all of this. There was no room for doubt. Everyone had seen the Imperials destroy Delaya. "Do you think that the Ithorians will accept us?" She hoped they remembered Pilaq and didn't blame her and Marcus for his injures.

"One man's peace is another man's tyranny," Marcus stated, matter-of-factly, despite having always attempted to stay out of his politics. It was getting to the point where good people could no longer stay out he thought silently to himself, but the pending birth of his children would make a Rebellious life out of the question for him. "It's painful to think about it ... impossible to talk about," he said, regarding what they had just left on Delaya. "Yes. The Ithorians are a kind people. If anyone can help Pilaq it is them," he said, before turning his head as he heard a beeping coming from the cockpit. "We're coming up on Ithor," he said, before reluctantly leaving his wife and returning to the cockpit. Just as he entered the ship lurched back into realspace and the vibrant blue and green colors of Ithor appeared in the distance. As he strapped himself into the pilot's seat, he set an approach vector for the planet. As he feared there was an Imperial presence, but nothing like the occupation force he had just witnessed on Delaya. As the Nerf Herder descended through the atmosphere the large, circular Ithorian herdships came into view. He began scanning for the ship that Pilaq had once led and, finding it, redirected their course. "There it is ... the Jubilee..." he pointed out to Zara, as the large city-sized herdship came into view.

Those were strong words that he had spoken. In a perfect world, everyone would mind their own business and let each other live in peace. Zara wondered if she should have joined the Rebellion like her father had. She knew the chance for that was over. Her father and her mother had been publicly hung for their treason. She couldn't leave the twins like that. Her hope sat on the shoulders of those who could make a difference. Maybe, just maybe, this chaos would end someday.

She looked down at the ground. She was concerned for the members of their family. They had received no confirmation from anyone else. Despite not voicing it, she even worried for her old, frail mother-in-law. She didn't know if her heart could take Delaya's fate. She felt sad. She worried for Marcus. "Then our trip there will be worth it... I don't want anything else to happen to him.." Damn Petrus. She was sure that he had hurt the poor doctor. Zara looked towards the cockpit when they exited hyperspace. Ithor was a gorgeous planet. "Woah..." If it was relatively safe, then they would stay until the battle ended. She continued to watch as they descended. It surprised her to find that the Ithorians were living on herdships instead of the actual surface of the planet. She was in awe. She looked down to Pilaq, touching his arm. "We're taking you home." She told the doctor. "We're going to get you help.." It would be heartbreaking if the doctor died. She enjoyed his sass and how he was always there for the family. "I didn't realize that Ithorians don't live on the surface of the planet." You could see why. Unlike Delaya, Ithor wasn't massively polluted. It looked so clean.

Marcus adeptly piloted the Nerf Herder into the landing bay of the large Ithorian herdship, Jubilee, and upon powering down the ship he rose from his seat to assist the very pregnant Zara. When he reached the rear of the ship he had to let go of his wife to take hold of Doctor Tohan. As he lowered him from the transport and reached the hangar bay of the Jubilee there was a panicked onrush of Ithorians who were coming to see what had happened. "Help us," he said to the Ithorians, who quickly placed Pilaq upon a stretcher where he would be taken to be treated by his own kind who were more familiar with his anatomy. All around them the Ithorians were staring, trying to determine who Marcus and Zara were ... unfortunately so was the Imperial observer.

Zara had no idea what to expect. Pilaq was the only Ithorian that she had ever known. Now, she was about to meet several hundred of them...if not more. With Marcus' help, she rose. She limped towards the hangar bay with anticipation building inside of her. After what had happened on Delaya, they needed this to go smoothly. She began to get teary seeing Pilaq placed upon a stretcher by his own people. They rolled him away so he could get proper care. Zara's heart sunk. She felt terrible, and responsible, for what had happened. "Please help him..." She said quietly. Her hand slid into her husband's. Her eyes fell on all the Ithorians who were staring at them. She decided to say something to clear up the awkwardness. "Hi... Um, this is Marcus Rodney, Claudius' brother!" She declared, feeling more tense by the second. "Our home planet, Delaya, was attacked. Pilaq was hurt during the battle..."

The Ithorians became concerned when they saw a woman as pregnant as Zara walking with a limp and before she could get any further she, too, found herself on a stretcher heading for the medical facility. Marcus' eye went wide when she so nonchalantly told them *everything*, thinking that his expert thief of a wife could have perhaps been a tad more subtle. "Uh. What she said," he quickly added, as he walked alongside the stretcher as they all moved through the herdship. They passed through a large bazaar from where traders throughout the galaxy had come to sell their wares. There were street foods of all kinds filling the halls with the aroma of delectable foods. And inexplicably there was an Auntie Mae's franchise selling ice cream. "What? How did that get there?" he asked, puzzled, but had to press on towards the medical facility before getting an answer. Before too long she was in the sickbay getting her legged looked at, along with a requisite inspection of the twins. Not too far down the corridor Doctor Tohan was getting his head examined and the beginning of proper treatment to recover from his concussion.

Zara would have made for a horrible diplomat. There was like a silent peer pressure thing happening between her and the Ithorians. She had to say something! To her surprise, they loaded her up onto a stretcher as well. Her legs were aching from having been crushed underneath the weight of the wall. She looked at Marcus with a guilty expression. It was a testament to how she was feeling by the fact that she paid no attention to all the food smells. She didn't even notice that there was an Auntie Mae's. She would, however, be spending some time there later. The day warranted a small feast of purple sweet potato ice cream. She surrendered to the Ithorians who began checking out her legs and looking into the health of the twins. She would have preferred to linger around Pilaq and wait to hear something about his health. Instead, she was laying on a stretcher receiving peace of mind. She had fractured a bone in her left leg. It was swollen and painful. One Ithorian applied something that was cold and pleasant to reduce the swelling. Another took measurements on her stomach to determine how far along she was. The determination? Ready to pop. Feeling anxious, she began to talk to one of the doctors. "Doctor Tohan has been taking care of me throughout my pregnancy." She rambled on and on anxiously until the doctor turned on a screen, examined it, and then deemed the twins as healthy. It had been some time since they had seen Sia and Darrus. If Zara wasn't cursed, they'd get the chance to hold their children within a few weeks. Zara sighed, looking upon the image on the monitors. "No more Luna hunting. We can't afford for something like that to happen again."

As Marcus looked at the monitors he was relieved that the twins had escaped the Battle of Delaya unharmed, but the same could not be said for far too many of his people. Her room was equipped with a HoloNet receiver, but he dared not turn it on ... it was too soon. "No more anything, Zara," he said to her, as he did his best to comfort her in bed. "If we can ... we should stay here. At least until we figure out what's going on," he said to her, before reluctantly moving away from her. He began speaking with the Ithorian doctors, but not just about Zara's condition, but also about the prospects of staying here. He realized it was a lot to ask. A few moments went by and he returned to Zara's bedside, reaching over the safety rail and holding her arm. "They have said we can stay. As soon as they've seen to your legs we'll be provided with a room," he informed her, as he looked briefly over towards the Ithorian with a smile and a nod. They were safe ... for the moment ... and that was all he could ask for right now.

She knew Marcus was right; no more anything. She, too, saw the HoloNet receiver. It seemed overwhelming to even think of turning it on. So many people had perished in the Battle of Delaya. Even if Luna had died, it didn't make up for the countless innocent who had been killed. She imagined the chalet destroyed and Sir Tentacles killed by Imperials. Marcus' suggestion didn't come as a surprise, but it wasn't easy to swallow. Zara slowly nodded her head. "I agree. We can't be bouncing all over the place right now." Here, there were plenty of people who could help them when it came time for the twins to be born. Not to mention, it was *safe*. She watched him speak with the doctors anxiously. Where would they go if not here? To her relief, Marcus came back with good news. She smiled then began to cry in a fit driven by hormones. "T-That's so kind of them!" She wanted to hug every Ithorian on the herdship. Instead, she hugged her husband tightly. It seemed that their family would survive to see another day.

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