Darr's Kom'rk-class starfighter emerged from
hyperspace in the New Alderaan system a proud and
excited grin came over her face. "Hah! I knew I
could do it!" she boasted, as she momentarily let go
of the controls to look at Sierra and Callista.
"See. The *right* Alderaan this time," she again
boasted, as she began piloting the craft in the
direction of the planet. "We'll have you home in no
time, 'Princess'," she declared, using the nickname
that she heard the family sometimes call Callista
because of her tiara. As they entered the atmosphere
of the planet she steadied the descend, to minimize
the turbulence on the way down. Gradually the clouds
receded and the New Aldera settlement came into
view. Realizing she had an ISB Major on board her
ship, she discreetly landed on the outskirts of the
settlement. With the landing complete, she looked
for guidance from Sierra. "Do you want me to stay on
the ship? Do you need a weapon?" she asked,
realizing that there were quite a number of people
in this camp who would string Sierra up if given the
been so excited all the way back home. She snuggled
her gigantic, de-bugged, nerf and told Auntie Sierra
and Nay-Nay all about her Mama and Daddy. "You did
it!!!" Callista cheered for her friend happily. "Yay!
You're the bestest, Nay-Nay. Thanks!" She, of
course, was wearing her tiara. She wanted to show
off her prize possession. No sooner had the ship
landed did Callista release herself from her seat.
She ran forward to El-Nay and squeezed her tightly,
then began gathering her things with her tiny arms.
Sierra felt like she was tempting fate each time she
came back to this place. She didn't want to see it
end up like the Alderaan that she had grown up on.
Sierra smiled. "Yes, thank you for getting us to the
proper destination." The ISB Major stood. She didn't
dare dress like an agent when she came here. She
kept her face covered discretely by a hooded jacket.
She patted her hip, feeling the blaster pistol that
was concealed there. "I've got a weapon. Let's hope
I don't have to use it. Stay on the ship. This isn't
going to take long. I miss my home and I want to get
back." Sierra explained, pondering if Claudius would
arrive home to chaos or calmness. Bending over, she
took Callista's suitcase in one hand and the little
girl's hand in the other. "Say goodbye to Nay-Nay."
*Nay-Nay*! *Love you*!" She blew her a kiss. "Orange
is the best!" And off she went. The two navigated
through New Aldera while trying not to gain too much
attention. Sierra wasn't even worried about seeing
her mother this time. She simply beelined for
Callista's home and knocked on the door when she
Monoceros had returned to New Aldera with a wedge on
her shoulder. She needed to prove herself. Right
now, it was *her* fault that Papius was living in a
bunker where the old garrison had stood. He was
going to need to rebuild which would take time and
credits. Until the Rebels began plotting their next
big move, Ashori had nothing to deliver to the man
she loved. The day had been dragging for her. She
had handed out food to refugees, did some training,
and now was headed into the residential area to
retire for the evening. That was the moment when
everything changed: she spotted Callista Nilar. Her
relationship with Papius had warranted her
information as well. She was aware that Callista had
been staying with none other than the Grand Moff's
family. She paused, hiding herself so she could
watch a hooded figure march their way towards Mug
Zoran's home. Ash only guessed that it was Sierra
Rodney, for a Grand Moff would be a fool to come
here. Her green eyes went wide with excitement.
There was no better prize for the Governor than the
woman he hated most.
Mug Zoran was
counting down the seconds until the arrival of his
sister-in-law and the return of his daughter. He was
sitting on the front porch of the home that Callista
had designed, nervously rubbing his hands together.
He was filled with restless energy, wanting to
spring forth and run around the settlement, waiting
for his daughter to be returned. "It won't be much
longer, my love," he told Iyah, but in reality he
was speaking to himself. He had thought himself a
simple, patient man, but the separation anxiety
caused by Callista's time spent on Esseles was
eating at him. And then in the distance he spied
Sierra and Callista approaching. "Callista!" he
yelled, as he rose from the porch swing,
accidentally bumping into Iyah. He raced down the
steps, out the front gate, before moving to
intercept the pair. "Baby!" he announced, as he
dropped to his knees in front of her, wrapping his
arms around her tightly. "Mommy's home!" he told
her, as he looked over his shoulder at Iyah. His
family as finally reunited.
wanted nothing more than to be reunited with her
daughter. It seemed she was doing better, having
been helped through this recovery process by none
other than Mug. At this point, she was sure it would
be beneficial for everyone if Callista came home.
And so, Iyah anxiously paced the porch. "It's taking
so long.." She wanted Callista to be there
immediately. Her eyes glanced towards the street. It
was Mug who saw Sierra and Callista closing in on
them first. Iyah was two steps behind him, dashing
towards her daughter. She, too, dropped to her knees
and wrapped her arms around Callista. She planted a
kiss on her daughter's forehead. "Callista! I missed
you so much!" Iyah was crying. Finally, *finally*
her princess was back home.
squeaked. "*Daddy*! *Mama*!" The girl ran much
quicker than you'd imagine those little legs could
go. In an instant, she was surrounded in her family.
"Mama! Daddy! Mama!!!!" She wrapped her arms around
both of her parents. She was making happy noises
because she had missed them both very much. "Mama,
Daddy! I had so much fun with Uncle Claudius and
Auntie Sierra!" She reported. "I got to see a
circumcision! Uncle Marcus and Auntie Zara wore
crowns!!!" She pointed to the one on her own head.
"And...and...and!!!" She wanted to tell them
everything. She'd be a nonstop talking machine for
the next 48 hours.
released Callista Nilar. While the little girl
reunited with her family, Sierra set her belongings
on Mug Zoran's porch, including the giant nerf.
Beneath her hood, she became teary over their
reunion. She could see how happy they all were. It
pulled at her heart strings hard. She was ready to
return to her family. Drusilla would object to such
a cuddle session, but she thought Ewwiekewwieikkie
might like it. Slowly, she approached Mug and placed
a hand on his shoulder. "Callista was a delight to
have. She is welcomed in our home whenever."
said she saw a 'circumcision' Mug assumed she meant
his nephew Darrus, and he cringed slightly, feeling
for the little baby. "Marcus and Zara wore crowns to
the circumcision?" he asked, finding the whole thing
to be a bit odd. "You're so excited. I'm glad you
had a good time, ragamuffin," he said, before rising
up to allow Iyah closeness with Callista. "Thank
you, sister," he said, as he extended his hand to
her. He never thought he would be shaking hands with
a member of the Imperial Security Bureau, but there
he was all the same. "She seems to have had a
wonderful time. If we can ever return the favor,
please, do not hesitate," he volunteered in the heat
of the moment, but he probably should have checked
with Iyah first.
Her eyes went
wide hearing the word 'circumcision' from Callista's
mouth. "Princess, it's 'coronation...' Sierra
corrected her desperately. She looked at Mug. "Sorry
about that... Ewwiekewwieikkie thought it was a
'circumcision' too." There was peace between the ISB
officer and the Rebel. In another time, perhaps they
all could have been a big, happy, semi-normal
family. Instead, Sierra took her brother's hand and
shook it. "You're welcome. I'll remember that, Mug."
Before releasing his hand, she stepped in closer to
him. Her mouth lingered near his ear. "Callista's
nerf plush was bugged. We suspected it played some
part in Iyah's torture. The devices that we found
within it are gone now." She informed him, stepping
back. "Take good care of her. We'll all miss her."
Her eyes turned on the brown haired girl who had
sold her and her husband on having a daughter. She
was currently reuniting with her mother, squeezing
her tightly while telling her all sorts of stories.
Sierra approached them slowly. She smiled. "Okay,
Princess, I gotta get going. I'll miss you."
Callista had jumped into her mother's arms. Iyah
stood, holding her daughter whose arms were locked
around her neck. "Daddy, why *wouldn't* you wear
crowns to a circumcision?" She asked him, totally
missing her aunt's correction. Her eyes landed on
her mother's face. "Mama, don't cry! Daddy and me
made you a bed." She informed her. "You can sleep
with my new friend." She said, pointing towards the
nerf on the porch. When Sierra approached, Callista
reached towards her to hug her. "Bye, bye, Auntie.
Come visit me with Nay-Nay, Dru, and Ewwie soon!"
She wanted to live right next to them. She loved her
family. She didn't understand the division of war.
The little girl settled back into her mother's arms.
It felt so
good to have her family back together. Iyah's
shattered heart was all fixed. She felt better
simply having Callista there. Her sweet, innocent
affection made Iyah's love for her that much
greater. "You made me a bed?" Iyah asked, pretending
like she hadn't been sleeping in it. She looked at
the nerf, though she didn't know that was how Papius
had been making his recordings. After seeing Sierra
in action with her daughter, she couldn't hate the
woman. "Thank you," she said quietly to her,
watching her daughter say her goodbyes. Iyah began
carrying Callista back towards the house. "How about
you and Daddy show me this bed?"
overjoyed to have both Callista and Iyah back, so
much so that he offered Sierra only a meager
goodbye. He would feel bad later, but he knew she
would understand. "Yes. Let's go see," he said,
excitedly, as he bent down to pick up Callista.
Carrying her, he led Iyah into the house, a complete
family once again. "Welcome home, Callista," he
said, as he crossed the threshold to enter the
property. Once down, he began going up the stairs,
which had several landings to accommodate Callista's
design. Before too long the entire family had
reached the living quarters, where he deposited his
daughter on the ground, and waited for Iyah. "Okay.
I hope you like it, because neither of you is ever
leaving again," he declared, only half joking,
wishing he could really keep them all in a bubble
left the residential area feeling good. She was
busily thinking about her own family, both those
that were already here and the additions that her
and Claudius were making. She really did hope they
had a sweet daughter like Callista in the future.
For now, she had a son to prepare for. She had been
meaning to get started on his room while she could
still easily navigate through it.
The red haired
Rebel had decided to wait for Sierra close to the
only port on the outskirts of town. It was the least
risky, and thus, Ash was sure that's where her ship
was. As darkness covered New Aldera, she prepped a
flash grenade. The little whore seemed to be paying
no attention to the world around her. In the
outskirts of town, Ash through the flash grenade and
stepped out from her hiding spot. She was wearing a
helmet on her head so the effects of the grenade
didn't hurt her too. Sierra had been blinded and
deafened in the blast. Ash could hear her cursing.
She could see her grab a blaster pistol. It seemed
the girl wasn't so stupid as to come unarmed. Ash
stepped up, holding a thick, metal nightstick.
Blaster fire was going to draw too much unwanted
attention. Sierra was to be a prize for *her* Papius.
She didn't want to share her prize.
She cursed in rapid fire. The light had come from
nowhere, but she hoped El-Nay had seen it from the
cockpit of her ship. She knew she was in trouble in
an instant. *Someone* had managed to figure out her
identity. She remained calm, grasping at her weapon.
She couldn't see. She couldn't hear ... and she
wasn't going out without a fight. Sierra reached her
arms up in a protective stance. Her ears were
ringing. Instead of aiming in front of her, Sierra
thrust her blaster skyward. The chances of her
hitting her enemy were not great. The chances of
El-Nay seeing Sierra send up a warning shot? Likely,
especially when she *knew* how these people felt
about an ISB *Major* sneaking around. She was
squeezing the trigger when something heavy and hard
collided with her forearm. The grotesque sounds of
bones breaking made Sierra let out a scream...a
scream she couldn't even hear. The blaster pistol
hit the ground. Sierra didn't try to find it. Her
vision had barely returned. Her eyes were watering
so much that nothing was clear. The was a weird
shape that was closed to her. As Ash held up her
nightstick to hit Sierra once more, Sierra sent her
boot colliding with the person's gut. "Get away from
me!" She snarled, clawing at her eyes with her still
functional hand. She needed El-Nay *again*.
sitting in the cockpit of her ship when she spotted
what seemed like an explosion, followed by a blaster
shot into the sky. "Oh no," she said, before placing
her familiar orange helmet with its distinct
T-shaped visor over her head. She ran down the ramp
of her ship, before activating her jetpack, sending
her careening through the air in the direction of
the commotion. As she arrived she saw that a Rebel
was attacking Sierra, trying to restrain her. The
chances of them making it off the Rebel safe world
seemed small now, but she was not going to let this
Rebel choke out Sierra. She brought her hand up to
the side of her helmet, bringing the targeting
scanner down over her eye. With her other hand she
raised her blaster pistol, using the scanner to aim
past Sierra towards Ashori, but she could not get a
clear shot. "I'm afraid I can't let you hurt the
lady," she declared, before activating her jetpack
once again and sending her soaring towards Sierra
and Ashori. In the melee that ensued she hoped she
would knock the attacker out, forcing her to release
her grasp on Sierra. "I'm sorry, milady," she said,
just as she collided at her jetpack's top speed.
It seemed that she had underestimated Sierra. She
was willing to fight back. Ash *needed* this. She
refused to let Sierra leave. As the attack
continued, Ashori got her hands around her neck.
Killing Sierra was out of the question. What good
was she dead? She simply wanted the woman to pass
out so she could take her back to Delaya. To her
surprise, something bright orange came to cause her
hell. "Who are you!?" Ashori snarled. Sierra was
fighting against her, but only able to claw at her
with a single hand since she had purposely broken
the woman's other arm. "I'm afraid you get so say in
the matter!" She spat. The wild Mandalorian took a
damn fine wager against Ash by deciding to play
chicken. She held onto Sierra, watching her
approach. Okay. The Mandalorian could hurt them
couldn't die. If the Max Rebo concert was cancelled
one more time, Drusilla would never forgive her. The
Rebel's hands were around her neck. El-Nay had shown
up, but she understood that there wasn't a shot to
take here. She had become the human body shield for
someone who figured out her secret. As much as
Sierra fought, she couldn't get away from the woman.
Breathing was becoming more difficult. Her heart was
beating rapidly, fighting for life like the rest of
her body. Why couldn't she get this damn Rebel off
of her?! El-Nay's course of action was *not* one she
was prepared for. Sierra was barely hanging on to
consciousness, and now she had a Mandalorian, in
full armor, bounding towards her at the top speeds
of a jetpack. She couldn't even see clear enough to
tell when the collision was going to happen. She
stopped fighting Ash and, instead, held her good arm
in front of her stomach and straightened up her body
so the woman would collide with her upper torso. She
felt weak and woozy. As her eyes closed, as she
began to lose her grip on reality, El-Nay collided
with them. Ashori was knocked out on collision and
tossed to the ground. Sierra hit the ground with the
weight of the Mandalorian on her. She hurt all over
her body so much that she began to weep. Over all
the pain, it was the fear for the safety of her
child that stood at the forefront of her weary mind.
"Get me to the Retributor!" In her mind, the words
came out clear and strong. In reality, they were
barely audibly between her sobs.
her eyes as she expected to impact both Sierra and
the Rebel, colliding awkwardly as the trio crashed
into the ground. The commotion had begun to attract
attention, as a Mandalorian in orange armor was hard
to ignore. She pressed her hands down to lift
herself up, and she shook her head repeatedly to
shake the cobwebs loose. "As you command, milady,"
she said, before rising up to her knee and looking
towards Sierra. She took hold of the woman carefully
and then blasted them out of the settlement back
towards the ship. "Your husband is going to kill
me," she warned her, in flight, already sounding
scared. As she landed in front of the ship, she
delicately carried Sierra up the ramp and settled
her into her seat, and even going as far as to
fasten her safety harness. She then jumped into the
pilot's seat, preparing the ship for takeoff. "I'm
sorry, milady. I should have went with you," she
said, fearing what would be waiting for them aboard
the Retributor. Blasting off the surface of New
Alderaan she quickly had them back into space and
ready for the jump to lightspeed. Under her helmet
she was a ball of nerves, sweating, and feeling
nauseous. Sierra looked to be hurt ... bad ... and a
lot of it was her fault.
The extent of
Sierra's injuries was something she wasn't ready to
process. Right now, the pain was enough for her. She
was bleeding more than she should be. This was not
the way the trip was supposed to go. She had opted
to have El-Nay wait because it was all supposed to
be simple. Her thoughts were completely centered on
her son. Her good arm continued to cradle her
growing bump where she prayed Bruce was still doing
well. This wasn't going to kill her...no, she
wouldn't allow for that. The mention of her husband
made her feel clingy. She *needed* him. She needed
him right now. She didn't care how he treated El-Nay
over this because of how badly she needed to be
reunited with him. She sat within her seat, eyes
closed. Her head slowly shook from side to side like
El-Nay could hear it rattling. "No. It was my call."
She groaned. Sierra didn't speak much. It wouldn't
be long before she'd have access to proper medical
treatment as well as the love of her life. They
hadn't reached the Retributor when Sierra succumbed
to the pain and passed out slouched in her seat.