Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:1:34) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Rodney Castle).
Lord Gaius Rodney, Commander Iyah Xergo, and Mug Zoran.

Mug Zoran was in the most comfortable bed he had ever slept in. The only thing that made it better was the fact that Iyah was with him. They had been provided with a magnificent suite in the one of the castle spires, with an adjoining room for the young Callista. It was like something out of a holovid with the wonderful decorations, phenomenal amenities, and amazing view. The young couple was being seduced by the wealth and opulence of the House of Rodney, whom they had no pledged themselves to, by agreeing to succeed as Duke and Duchess of Delaya. Marcus had agreed to renounce the claim for himself and his children, and the rumor was that Claudius was on his way to do the same. It was all happening so quickly ... there was to be an inevitable funeral, a coronation, and a wedding ... that would have to ideally happen before the first two. There was a rush, rush, rush to everything, but for now they were being allowed to sleep.

For just a brief moment, the eye of the storm had arrived for Mug, Iyah, and Callista. While chaos whipped viciously around them, the family found themselves staying in the very same castle Callista had only dreamed of. Soon, Blue Haven would depart with Iyah aboard. All of their belongings had already been shoved into a pod and sent towards the Rodney Castle. The future was cruising down a winding road with blind turns every which way. At this point, Iyah expected anything to happen. Granted, this bed was *really* soft. She had been sleeping on a cheap bed that more closely resembled a rock after one night in this puppy. Iyah had never seen a place like it. What few memories she had of her parents' home didn't compare to this one. She couldn't believe they were going to live here and rule Delaya. Neither could Callista. The little girl had bounced from floor to ceiling until she could take no more, passing out in a gigantic bed in the adjoining room. Iyah liked how close together her little family was. She was a control freak like that.

She lay in the bed, sprawled out like a starfish. "This bed..." She started, turning her head to look at him. "It must be made of baby Ewok." There would be a rush as soon as she got out of it, she just knew it. The couple had to get married before Mug became the Duke. Iyah had never planned a wedding. She wasn't sure what she wanted. She wasn't sure it mattered what she wanted either. The dark-haired Commander rolled to her side. She inched closer to Mug until she was right at his side. It was nice to see him feeling better. She found that she cherished her time with him more since he'd taken that bullet. All it took was one incident to remind you of your mortality. You never knew what day would be your last. Her fingers danced up and down his chest slowly. The weight of her engagement ring on her finger still felt so new. Jolts of happiness shocked through her each time she saw it. The Duke insanity aside, Mug had stolen her for himself from the first look. She rolled a final time, this time, settling herself low on top of him. Her breasts rested on his abdomen while a majority of her body was positioned between his legs. It was sometime in the early morning. Iyah wasn't ready for the day. Her little blue nightie fearlessly showed off all of Iyah's curves. Her fingers began to massage him.

Before the young couple could even properly awake the doors to their bedchambers where flung open by two members of the Alderaan Guard. There was no knock, no request to enter, nor even a warning. Into the room stormed Lord Gaius Rodney, commander of what was left of the Alderaan Guard, and he was none too happy. He had turned public opinion against Claudius, the Imperial and Marcus, the playboy, but was now left with the prospect of losing the Duchy to Mug, the bastard. He had planned for every eventuality and nearly seized the throne ... if not for this eleventh hour appearance of another of Julius' sons. It was too convenient, and he was skeptical of it. How could this man have appeared at exactly the right time? He knew that Julius and his line despised him, as he despised them, and wonder if they had bribed the man to take the position. He had reviewed the genetic test endlessly, but could find no flaw ... now he was determined to see the man himself. "Greetings, I am your *cousin*, Gaius," he said, offering a diplomatic bow at the foot of the bed. "I am here to discuss security and protocol," he explained, without missing a beat, as he acted as if he was impatiently waiting for them to rise. He wanted to make them as uncomfortable as possible.

Iyah listened to see if Callista had awoken yet. By the silence that came from her room, she could assume no. Between the hospital and all the Duchy-ness, the couple had no opportunity for intimacy. After sleeping well with Mug, she felt rejuvenated and ready. Sadly, she had absolutely no time to initiate. No sooner was she in a teasing position, did the doors swing open. Her mind reacted immediately. One second she was between his legs, the next she had crept over Mug's body to grab her blaster from the nightstand. The soldier in her made it impossible to entirely neglect her weapon. It was always close. This time, it was in her hand and being aimed towards the man, and the Alderaan Guards, who had rudely disrupted a new morning routine. She looked at them with cold eyes. She understood that these people were made out to be on their 'side', but with the puppeteer of the assassin still unknown, Iyah wasn't taking chances.

Iyah listened to see if Callista had awoken yet. By the silence that came from her room, she could assume no. Between the hospital and all the Duchy-ness, the couple had no opportunity for intimacy. After sleeping well with Mug, she felt rejuvenated and ready. Sadly, she had absolutely no time to initiate. No sooner was she in a teasing position, did the doors swing open. Her mind reacted immediately. One second she was between his legs, the next she had crept over Mug's body to grab her blaster from the nightstand. The soldier in her made it impossible to entirely neglect her weapon. It was always close. This time, it was in her hand and being aimed towards the man, and the Alderaan Guards, who had rudely disrupted a new morning routine. She looked at them with cold eyes. She understood that these people were made out to be on their 'side', but with the puppeteer of the assassin still unknown, Iyah wasn't taking chances.

Mug listened as Iyah spoke, and silently wondered where *that* came from. It seemed some of her experience serving as Commander of the Blue Haven were beginning to show through and she had not even been crowned Duchess yet. He looked towards Gaius, another of the seemingly endless House of Rodney ... he would have to make a point to sit down and review the family tree and its intricacies at some point. "Please respect my fiancé's wishes," he said, as he took a back seat to the discussions fo far. He expected Iyah would prove him a valuable resource during this tough transition.

Gaius was a bit shocked by how unfazed Iyah seemed, but then he remembered she was a Rebel commander, and it was too be expected. Had his wife not made a deal with the Rebellion for the foodstuffs, it was very likely the two would have never come to Delaya, and he would now be preparing for his own coronation. If only Mug had been killed with his mother on Alderaan, he thought to himself, before addressing the couple. "Very well," he said, before taking a seat on an antique loveseat in the corner of the room. "As you're aware the recent attack on the Duke has left us on edge. The formal announcement regarding your addition to the line of succession will come after a ceremonial meeting of the council in which both of your half-brothers must abdicate," he said, reading down a list of protocols without being asked to proceed. "You have mentioned a desire to marry before the coronation? That is most wise, *cousin*," he continued, as he shot them a brief glance. "I was recently married and many of the same protocols can be reused for your ceremony due to the lack of time," he continued, as it seemed he was taking over their wedding plans. "Lastly, I'll be assigning my buest guard, Kat Hanson, whom you've met, to lead your security detail. You'll find her quite capable," he added, before putting the datapad down and looking towards them. "I'm sure this must all be very new to you. I'll of course be on hand to help. Now, questions?" he asked, as he hoped an information overload would draw them into his control.

A family tree would be nice. At least she was aware of Mug's other half-brother, Claudius. Gaius had a home turf advantage, as well as the element of surprise. He rubbed Iyah wrong from the moment she saw him. She trusted her gut instinct and appreciated that Mug backed her up, even though she might have been slightly out of line. Her military experience gave her a tough attitude when it came time for business. She would need time to gauge how to act during meetings such as this one. For now, she sat, digesting all the information he gave to her. He was speaking quickly. If she hadn't been on her toes, she likely wouldn't have caught everything. She wouldn't have caught the things she didn't like either. She scooted towards the edge of the bed. Less space stood between her and the Rodney cousin. They were going to be living in high speed until everything had settled. The most important event that came next was their wedding. She didn't like how Gaius brushed over it, assuming he'd be able to make a carbon copy of his own wedding. She did like that Kat would be assigned to them. That woman seemed knowledge. In honor of trusting her gut, Iyah felt good about her. She seemed legitimately saddened by the Duke's death.

"When will the ceremonial meeting be held? I appreciate you trying to cut corners with our wedding due to time restraints, however, I'd like to review all the protocols and change them accordingly. Every wedding is different. I'll commit the time to planning something more applicable for us while still making our tight deadlines. What's the projected date for the wedding? I *do* like Kat Hanson." Iyah smiled. They were getting married. She looked over her shoulder at her fiancé, feeling a warmness inside of her heart. She was ready to marry him right now. It seemed irrational to wait any amount of time to make him her husband. When she turned back to Gaius, she looked pleased.

"I'm not sure if you are aware, but Claudius Rodney is an Imperial Grand Moff. As such, we are beholden to his schedule," Gaius explained, as he looked to his datapad. "Upon his arrival, Julius will convene the council, and the public abdications will begin. Of course, prior to that, Mug will have to be publicly acknowledge by Julius and take the Rodney name..." he explained, dropping that little nugget on them. "As to the wedding date? The sooner, the better. Should Mug ascend to the throne it will make marrying a commoner more difficult," he explained, as he looked towards them again. "You are sure you want to go through with this?" he asked, wondering if he could make it sound as difficult as possible to scare them off. "By the way, I do recommend you discard your uniform and any other symbols of Rebellion, before the Grand Moff arrives," he said, although he wondered if that, too, could play into his hands in his bid for power.

Iyah was aware. She didn't fear Claudius, just as she didn't fear the rest of the lot of Rodney family members that kept darting into their lives. She nodded her head thoughtfully. They'd handle the meeting when the time came. The news of taking the Rodney name did not come as a surprise. It was essential to show that the Rodney line had remained in power. She peered back at Mug, as if to tell him, with her eyes, that they'd talk about it in private. Her attention moved back to Gaius quickly. It seemed like she never missed a beat. "He's sure." She finally replied while letting her feet touch with the ground. The petite woman rose to show the men out. "Thank you for all this news, Gaius. I'm sure we'll be speaking again very soon. Next time, please remember to knock." The Commander wasn't giving anyone a secondary option. She rushed the guards, and Gaius, out of the suite. She made sure to lock the door, because apparently some people were savages around the castle.

She made her way back to Mug. Iyah laid at his side again. An arm draped around his waist. "I don't like him." She commented. "He was trying to scare us off, you know?" It was easy for Iyah to place her emotions back in check. They did have things to discuss. "I know that taking on the Rodney name doesn't sound appealing at all. In order for all of this to happen, you have to." She explained to him. She looked concerned. "That doesn't mean we're forgetting the Zoran side of our family. It will always be there. We could name our first biological daughter after Octavia. We can get her a proper tombstone here and visit her as much as you'd like." She rolled to her tummy, propping up her head with her hands. "Are you sure *you* want to do this? I believe in you, my love. I'll follow you wherever we may go."

Gaius nodded to Iyah, before looking towards Mug, who seemed to be cowering behind her. A content smile formed upon his face before, bowing politely to them, and quickly departing the scene. It was clear who wore the pants in that relationship, and while she seemed determine, he did not. Perhaps, in time, the bastard would break. For now he had more obstacles to lay down before them to plan.

"I didn't realize I'd have to take the name," Mug said, as he sat there in the bed, his legs folded beneath him. He was not going anywhere soon. "Am I being unfair to mother?" he asked her, as he looked towards Iyah for approval. "I am sure. My father gave me nothing ... I feel I deserve *something*," he said, bitterly, before tilting his eyes down to look at her. "So which one of us has to break the bad news to Callista that she'll only be a Countess instead of a Princess?" he asked her, trying his best to lighten the mood of what had otherwise been a very stressful, sexless, morning.

Would he break? No one could tell. She would do everything in her power to stop that from happening. There would be hard days ahead for them. Surely, not every day as Duke and Duchess was going to be a walk in the park. At least Mug could help his people more promptly this way. Iyah moved again until she was seated upright. She inched her way behind him, then extended her legs on either side of his body. Her fingers worked into his shoulders and his upper back. She was mindful of where he was still recovering. She didn't touch the surrounding areas. The point was to make him relax, not to make him feel pain. "You aren't. Being unfair to your mother would have been opening your arms wide to the Duke, despite all he has done, just because of who he was. You don't love him. You're never going to love him. As much as your mother disliked royalty, I'm sure she sees it the same way I do. You aren't like them. You didn't grow up like them. Your perspective changes everything." She peered over his shoulder. His comment made Iyah crack a smile. "Not it!" She said, giggling. The woman inched closer to him. Her arms wrapped around his waist. The front of her body gently pressed against his back. "All we have to do is get her a crown and she'll be happy. She seemed appalled when the Duke said they weren't commonly used anymore." She laughed again. That little girl already had her mother wrapped around her finger. "She'd make one heck of a cute flower girl though, wouldn't she?" Iyah leaned closer to him so she could kiss his neck.

When Mug heard her refer to Callista as the flower girl, he flopped back on the bed, outstretched his legs, and looked skyward. "Are you sure cousin Gaius will allow her to be flower girl? It seems he has everything planned out already..." he commented, sounding somewhat resentful about the whole ordeal. "Maybe I am just overthinking it?" he asked Iyah, as he enjoyed the unparalleled comfort of the mattress they were sharing. "Though I have to admit I am a bit nervous about the fact that neither Claudius nor Marcus want it ... I wonder what they know that I don't?" he asked, as he looked to her, hoping that she had all the answers. He never would have gotten this far without her, but he was disappointed it seemed she was having to put her career with the Rebellion on hold. Were they giving up the cause for selfish reasons? He had only just joined and now he was laid out in a castle.

"I really don't care about whatever Gaius has planned out. We're only going to get married once. He doesn't get to control the details. If I have to become a little bridezilla to get what I want, so be it." She laughed. It was hard to imagine herself like that. Callista being the flower girl was one detail that wasn't changing. Iyah's limbs slowly crept over Mug. She settled on top of him, where she could properly hold him and comfort him from all the thoughts overflowing from his head. "I've thought about that too. Here's my theory. If you had grown up with your father, not your mother, would you want to be Duke? The man is a drunken asshole. I can't imagine that he was ever a good father for either of them. I wouldn't want to be Duke either if I had been watching that man all my life." She nuzzled herself against him. She didn't resent Mug for her career being placed on hold. He mattered to her more than any of that. Besides, she believed that they could do good for this planet too. "What makes you want to be the Duke, Mug?" She asked him, looking into his eyes.

Iyah had positioned herself upon him in a way that would prevent him from escaping, but he would *never* leave her. "Marcus told me the best way to help the rest of the refugees was to become Duke," he explained to her, filling her in on his private conversation with his half-brother. "I wish that I had met you before all this, so you could have met my mother," he said to her, as he moved his hand to stroke her hair. "I love you, Iyah," he said to her, before moving his face upward to press a kiss upon her tenderly. "You know ... I think this room is bigger than the frigate," he said to her, as he struggled to lift his head up to look around the room. His world had changed so much since the time in Tarkintown, he almost could not believe how fortunate he had become.

All in all, Marcus was right. The best position to fix the refugee crisis was nearly in Mug's hands. She nodded her head thoughtfully. She understood. He wasn't the only one who longed for her to meet his mother. The woman must have all sorts of interesting stories, and embarrassing ones too! Her stomach churned. It was horrible what had happened to the innocent people of Alderaan. "I wish too. It isn't fair." She said, head pushing towards his hand like an affectionate kitten. "I love you too, Mug." Her heart continued to swoon for him throughout all of the insanity. She kissed him. It was so soft and so sweet. She snickered, looking around the room. "I think so too. We could put all of our belongings in here and still have a huge amount of room. It's so weird. I haven't moved in anything besides a ship since I was very young. Can we really call this place home?"

"My home is wherever you are, Iyah," Mug said, as he forced himself from beneath Iyah's clutches. He swung his legs over the bed, allowing his bare feet to make contact with the cold marble floor. He yelped in pain as the cold flowed through his body, running up his spine, and causing goosebumps to appear on his arms. He gingerly walked towards the large window, each footstep staying upon the ground longer ... he was getting used to it and eventually he'd get used to everything in his new surroundings. Eventually he made it to the window, where he pulled aside the drapes, and looked down at the city of Leiliani below. That would all be his now, he thought to himself, as he placed his hand stoically upon the glass.

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