Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:2:24) in the Ringali Nebula: Blue Haven.
Callista Nilar, Commander Iyah Xergo, and Mug Zoran.

Mug Zoran was adjusting to life aboard the Blue Haven. It was much different than the castle on Delaya. There were no luxuries. No servants. There was hardly any space. But none of that mattered to him because his fiancé and daughter were with him and wherever they were was his home. He was worried about Callista however, having to live aboard a military vessel, and gone from the large castle, her tea parties, her uncle, and her cousin Ewwiekewwieikkie. It was an another ordeal to put her through after Tarkintown, and one of the things that made him embrace the nobility on Delaya was being able to make her fantasies of becoming a Princess come true. Things had been quiet aboard the vessel as the Rebels had undertaken no operations since the death of Commander Atio. He knew that would not last long, however, and he feared going into battle with his family's lives at stake. One proton torpedo could end all of their lives at once.

Blue Haven was the home that Iyah Xergo knew best. It wasn't extravagant like the castle they had been staying on in Delaya. However, Iyah had created a false sense of security there. She didn't feel like anyone would turn their backs on her, Mug, and Callista at the drop of a hat like what had happened on Delaya. If not for Kat, the Commander didn't want to think of where her family would be. It seemed like Callista took it hard. She was sad about her best friend, her uncle, and Auntie Zara. She couldn't understand what was happening. All Iyah could do was help the little girl through her storm. Callista was still as loving as ever to her parents. For whatever reason, the tiny tot believed in them.

Iyah was currently in the sitting area of her living quarters which she now shared with Mug and Callista. Little Callista, prim and proper, sat across from her mother cross-legged with one of the fufu princess dresses Iyah had managed to get away with. She was snacking on some fruit. Her favored plush, the black kitten in the tutu, occupied the seat beside her. He looked to be eating too. "Mama," she said, smiling brightly. "Mr. Flufferkitters would like some butter on his toast. Can you please help him?"

Rebel life had come to a stand still, which only meant that something was coming. Iyah's preoccupied mind settled back on Callista. "Oh! Here you are, Mr. Flufferkitters," she pretended to splatter butter on pretend toast. She then placed it on the cat's plate. "You know, Princess. Daddy and I are going to get married soon. I was hoping you'd grace us by being our flower girl."

Mug smiled when he heard Iyah talk about their pending nuptials. He had worried their wedding had been forgotten during their escape from Delaya. Gone was the fantastical royal wedding, but they would make due with a small, intimate ceremony with the Rebellion. He moved towards his fiancé slowly, wrapping his arm around her as he looked down towards Callista happily. Even the sight of the pretend toast stirred a hunger in his belly, as they had less food since turning over so much to the Delayans for more ships. These were the sacrifices they would need to make to win the war. He turned his head, kissing her cheek lovingly. "Mr. Flufferkitters can come to the wedding too," he said, always glad to have imaginary guests that would not add to the cost of the ceremony.

Iyah leaned into Mug's hug. One of her own arms came to wrap around him. Times had fallen hard again for those associated with the Blue Haven. No matter what, the three of them continued trucking along together. Iyah expected to receive new orders any day now. The silence would break and they would move back into the war. She was happy to have Mug alongside her to smooth everything along with Callista. The little girl was so happy and sweet natured that Iyah wanted to wrap up the world and gift it to her. "It's true. You can invite as many of your friends as you want." Iyah reached across the table to stroke Callista's hair. The little girl giggled. "We do need to work out the details, though are locations are limited to places where we have bases."

"Ooooohhh!!! I wanna be flower girl!" She squeaked, nearly bouncing in her seat. "I can't *wait* to see you in a pretty dress, Mama. Mr. Fluffterkitters is coming too! Yay!!" She slid off of the chair and darted around to the opposite side. Her arms latched around her father in a big, tight squeeze. "I love you, Daddy!!! When are you and Mama getting married?" She asked with her big, cute blue eyes staring upward. She was smiling brightly and acting a lot more Callista-like. It seemed that she would make it through this.

Mug smiled at Callista's question, but quickly shifted his focus towards Iyah. "That's a good question, *Mama*. When are we getting married?" he asked, before scooching over towards her. He playfully poked her with his elbow before placing a soft peck on her cheek to let her know what he was only teasing. He sensed there was a mission coming based on her silence aboard the ship while on duty, but she had not discussed it with him yet. With all of the excitement concerning Callista's adoption and the chaos on Delaya he had almost forgotten about their responsibilities to the Rebellion and the fact that a war was raging.

The Rebellion had always come first for Iyah. She owed the Rebellion her life, for her days spent on the dreadnaught would have likely ended in suicide. Now, the tides had changed. Her family became her top priority. Iyah grinned to herself. She was happy to be marrying Mug. If there hadn't been so much constant chaos on Delaya, it would have already happened. She chuckled. "Oye. That's the big question, isn't it? I was thinking we'd get married where ever we're assigned to next. I want to do better for you than the space station," she smiled at Mug. All they had was each other and Callista. It only mattered to her that they were present. "Which would mean... We'd marry on Esseles." She dropped it on him. Her orders had come in earlier that morning. She didn't know how to tell Mug that she had been ordered to take her family into the belly of the beast. She rested against him...or maybe she simply used him for support.

The little girl cheered. "Yay!! It's going to be the best wedding ever!" Callista was certainly happy about it. It was easier to think about the good things than all the confusing stuff that had happened to her since her father took her away from the horrible place. "Family hug!" She called out, tackling both of her parents.

"Esseles?" Mug repeated, trying to minimize his concern in front of Callista. But before he and Iyah could discuss it further they had become overwhelmed by their daughter, forcing them to the ground in an awkward pile. Esseles was the capital of the sector they were currently operating in, which made it home to a massive Imperial force. He looked at her, nervously, but kept his face out of Callista's line of sight. As they lay there on the floor as a family he worried about how long he could keep them together if they were going to draw such dangerous assignments. The war went on. It did not care about marriages.

The feeling was mutual. Iyah had seriously thought about snatching up her family and leaving her post over this. She had imagined a million different ways this could go wrong. They had narrowly escaped Delaya not even that long ago. No sooner had they regained their footing did something new happen. She squeezed Callista tightly. She loved her little, baby girl so much. The Rebellion was asking her to sacrifice the ability to protect her. None of them would be safe on Esseles. This was a conversation that needed to happen away from their daughter. "Sweetie, why don't you go play games on my holopad? Your Daddy and I have boring, adult stuff to talk about."

Callista was wonderfully oblivious. She began to crawl off of her parents. "Okay, Mama!" And off she went, bouncing into Iyah and Mug's room to busy herself with the latest games she'd spammed Iyah's holopad with. The little girl was a damn angel which Iyah knew they were lucky to have found. Without Callista and Mug, Derek's death would have turned her into an alcoholic...or worse. She didn't stand from the ground. Instead, she curled up with her husband-to-be. "Mug.." She was carrying a massive weight on her shoulders. "I don't know if we can do this one. What if something happens? How are we going to keep Callista safe? I accepted the mission because that's my job. I feel so conflicted."

"You're a Commander. I'm just your Yeoman. I'll keep Callista safe. You just worry about the mission," Mug told her confidently, as he placed a hand upon the side of her face to steady her. "Until we win the war and rid the galaxy of the Empire it's always going to be like this Iyah," he told her, with a deep sigh as he, too, considered fleeing. "But the Empire has killed billions ... including my mother ... and they continue to oppress untold numbers of people across the known galaxy. If everyone stops fighting just because of their families then none of us will have families," he explained to her, trying to give her a pep talk. He remembered her back on Tarkintown inspiring the refugees. She had inspired him, and now he sensed she needed him.

The worries would never fade. They lived in war times. If she wanted her family to perish, then there would have been something seriously wrong with her. What she wanted most was to see her family happy. She wanted to see a day where no one cowered because they feared the big, bad Empire. She needed to hear the words Mug said. Alderaan came to the forefront of her mind. It was easy for that to happen again. In the blink of an eye, million of people's mothers, fathers, and children would die again. Mug gave fuel to the weak fire burning inside of her. Right now, there were innocent people on Esseles who needed them. The Callistas of that world needed help. She couldn't ignore it. Clutching him tightly in her arms, Iyah felt some of her strength return. "None of us will have families..." She repeated sadly. There were people who still needed to be avenged. Mug's poor mother was gone because of the damn Empire! "Okay. . We'll go. I trust you more than anyone in the world. I know you can keep our Callista safe. It's going to be more dangerous than anything else we've ever done..." Her hand ran over his cheek. "And then we'll get married...after Esseles. I'll take you and Callista somewhere safe and quiet to have our wedding. It gives us all something to look forward to."

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