Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:5:9) in the New Alderaan system: Lady Julia, New Alderaan (New Aldera: Mug Zoran's homestead), and Retributive Strike.
Ewwiekewwieikkie, Callista Nilar, Lady Drusilla Rodney, Lady Jelena Rodney, Commander Sierra Rodney, and Mug Zoran.

Jelena Rodney sat at the controls of the Lady Julia, a Nella 342 light freighter, named in honor of her late mother. She had taken hold of her sisters, Drusilla and Ewwiekewwieikkie, and set a course for New Alderaan while her father and stepmother went to deal with the wrath of the Empire. She did not speak to her sisters during the voyage because she was preoccupied with the capture of Commander Xergo. What was she going to tell her uncle, Mug? What was she going to tell Callista? As the ship exited hyperspace she quickly descended towards the encampment that would eventually become New Aldera. "Hang on girls," she said, over her shoulder, as the freighter entered the atmosphere. As she was not a particularly skilled pilot it was a difficult, bumpy descent, but she ultimately managed to the land the freighter near the Rebel command center.

"Mommy's home!" Mug said excitedly to Callista, before bringing his hand up to cover his face as the wind swept dust up at them. He was careful to put a hand on his daughter's shoulder so that she would not go running too quickly while the ship was in motion. He hated these missions his fiance went on, but he knew there was no sense trying to talk her out of her duties to the Rebellion. After all, without people like her the Empire's tyranny would spread across the galaxy unopposed. He wondered if he could ask Ashori or Yekaterina ... or even Jelena ... to watch Callista tonight so that he and Iyah could break in the bed he had assembled while she was away. While she was busy freeing the galaxy, he was trying to build his family's dream home.

Callista Nilar was the happiest girl on New Alderaan. She had formed her Daddy's cheer team while he built his and Mama's new bed. At long last, they had a *home*. They were even building an Auntie Mae's up the street. She could hardly wait to share ice cream with her parents. Callista began to jump up and down as Mug announced that her Mommy was home. "*Yayyayayyay*! *Mommy*!" She bounced around in a small circle beside him. Her little sun dress flapped in the roughly whipping winds. As soon as the ship had landed, the little girl darted towards the ramp. Her hair was in shambles. She had asked Mug to give her bun-buns, but ended up with some strange looking piggy tails. "*Mama*! *Mama*! *Mama*!"

As the ramp of the Lady Julia lowered the first to exit was, of course, Ewwiekewwieikkie. She went running down the ramp, her nose twitching rapidly as she took in the smell of the new location. Her yellow eyed tried to look everywhere at once, taking in her new location so quickly that she quickly became dizzy. But then she saw her ... Callista. "Callista!" she yelled, before running directly at her at her top speed. As she closed, she leapt into the air, pouncing the young Callista to the ground. When she impacted a jewel shot from her behind back towards the ship, while she began licking Callista's face sloppily.

Drusilla was next down the ramp, but as she got halfway down the jewel slammed her into the head, knocking her for a loop. "Ow," she said, as she was forced to sit down on the ramp, bringing her hand up to her head to rub her bump. "Ooh," she said, as she reached over to the jewel that fell, quickly snatching it up. She shook her head, rose back up, and began walking down the others. As she looked at the hastily constructed shacks and shelters that had been thrown together to accommodate the refugees. "Ick. Gross," she said, as she brought the sleeve of her dress up over her face so we could filter the peasant breath out of the air. She turned on her feet and moved back into the ship. "I'm staying on the ship," she declared to Jelena, before she plopped down in the passenger compartment.

Jelena looked out of the viewport of the ship as she saw Ewwiekewwieikkie meet with Mug and Callista. Great, she thought to herself ... they were waiting by the ship. "Time to be a leader," she said quietly to herself, in order to self motivate. She rose from her seat in the cockpit, gave a cursory glance to her younger sister, and then marched down the ramp where she found Ewwiekewwieikkie devouring Callista. She looked towards Mug and suddenly she felt as if someone was choking the life out of her. She could not breath let alone speak. She looked to him, her eyes beginning to fill with tears, and lower lip broke. She closed her eyes, turning from him, as she cursed herself for not being stronger. This weakness is what got Commander Xergo captured, she thought, blaming herself. "Uncle," she began, still finding the family tree connection a bit dubious. "Can we talk in private?" she asked, as she moved towards him, attempting to lead him away from the children.

"Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!" Callista continued to chant. She couldn't wait to show her Mama what she and Mug had been working on back at their new home. Everything was coming together so quickly. Most of their belongings had already arrived from the Blue Haven. The house had begun to feel more like a home, especially because Callista's tea parties were back. As she romped up the ramp, she didn't expect to see her bestest friend. The blue Squib appeared, making Callista's eyes go wide. "Wha?!" She rubbed her eyes. She still thought of Ewwie. She was her first best friend. "Ewwie?!" She squeaked, dropping her hands from her eyes so she could open up her arms. "*Ewwie*!" The little girl screamed, dashing towards her. "*Ewwieeeee*!"

The girls collided. Callista tumbled backwards on the ramp as Ewwiekewwieikkie landed on her. "*Ewwie*!" Her arms attempted to wrap around the Squib and squeeze her tightly. She was so happy! Mama had brought Ewwie home to visit!.. Or stay?! That would be Callista's dream come true. Her limbs wiggled while Ewwie's tongue soaked her face. "Hehehehe! You came to see me! I missed you!" She was momentarily derailed from realizing that her mother wasn't part of the returning crew. "Come see my house, okay?! You can sleep with me in my bed! My Daddy made it for me." Callista was going to adopt the girl. She hadn't realized that there were other people she liked: Sissy Dru and Cousin Jelena. Callista looked at Drusilla like she was her big sister. Her sense of style was so amazing!

Mug was *very* surprised to see Ewwiekewwieikkie, but as she collided with his daughter he was thrilled to see the best friends forever were back together again. His attention then turned to the ship, wondering where Iyah was. As he looked towards Jelena and saw her face he *knew*. He felt a pain in the small of his gut that was growing exponentially. His face sunk, and he nearly collapsed, but he did not want Callista to see what was going on. "What happened?" he pressed Jelena, his niece, as they walked out of earshot of the children.

Jelena heard the playful giggling of Ewwiekewwieikkie and Callista, which reminded her of her own innocent time before the dark times. "I am sorry, Mug. We fell into a trap. There were no refugees. They were waiting for us," she explained, laboriously, with a heavy heart. "I was freed, but the Imperial Governor of Delaya has Iyah," she informed her, as she reached out to grab at his arm desperately. "I haven't given up on her, Mug ... and you shouldn't either. We'll rally our forces and go back for her ... I *swear*," she pledged to him, even though she did not how.

Unaware of what was happening, Ewwiekewwieikkie sat up when there was talk of a house to see. "Castle went bye bye," she declared, sadly, as she took Callista by the arm and began running about in circles. She had no idea where the house even was, but that did not stop her from trying to get there. For the simplest and sweetest member of the family everything was always bright ... especially when things were most dark.

Sierra Rodney had fallen asleep at the wheel... Thankfully, she had autopilot. The young woman was curled up in the cockpit snoozing underneath a blanket in El-Nay's trusty Kom'rk class fighter. She had promised the Mandalorian that she wouldn't break anything and that she'd refill the tank once she was finished using it. However, she didn't realize how much sweet talking it would take to inspire the ship off the ground.

The Kwai couldn't follow her to where she was going ... where ever that was. If Sierra knew Jelena was well as she thought she did, then the girl had taken Ewwiekewwieikkie and Drusilla to a Rebel camp. It would be idiotic to go racing in a Rebel camp with the Grand Moff's personal ship. Something said that she wouldn't be welcomed kindly. Regardless, Sierra had no idea what she was up against. There was a single empty pudding cup and a spoon beside her seat. She had decided to make good on the prescription that Pilaq gave her.

The ship began beeping insistently. "Mmmm... That feels so nice, Claudius." She rolled, nearly falling out of her chair. Her eyes shot open. Eek! Oh yeah, she was flying a ship...and not just any ship. Gripping the controls, she began preparing the ship, and herself, for landing. "Okay. Take it easy. You can do this. You've done it before. Landing is really easy." The ship seemed to groan at her words. "I know. It's been a long day. I promise I'll drive you home gently..." Where was she? As the ship entered the atmosphere, Sierra was in for one hell of a bumpy ride.

By the grace of... *something*, Sierra successfully landed the ship right next to the Neila 342 light freighter. It took her a moment to collect herself, as landing the Kom'rk fighter was not easy. "We made it! See!? I told you that you could do it!" Since she had already changed into simple civilian clothing, Sierra put up her hood, grabbed up her sack, and made her way out of the ship.

What she found outside was very clearly a Rebel camp. There were people creating a settlement there. Sierra felt out of place. It was in her best interest that no one noticed her. She kept her head down as she searched for Jelena. Ultimately, she ended up asking someone to point her in the right direction...which had led her to Mug and Iyah's house...her brother-in-law. Sierra could hear Ewwiekewwieikkie and Callista's shrills as they played together within the house. Ooooh boy. This was going to be a *terrible* day. Anxiously, the out of place ISB officer knocked on the door. She had a promise to make good on.

The kitchen of the dream house had become a nightmare. The girls had commandeered a droid and begun operating the food preparation unit to make nothing but desserts. Ewwiekewwieikkie took a freshly baked cupcake and slathered on the icing. Her tongue then slid from her mouth to lick all of the icing off. She then slathered on the icing again, and once again ate just the icing. A third time she applied the icing, but then realized she was being selfish, and offered the twice licked cupcake to Callista. She was wearing a pot on her head, and using a wooden spoon to bang on the side of it to make her own special song. With no adult women around the duo had turned what was supposed to be health meal planning into four desserts a day. Their tummies were sick, their blood sugar was dangerously high, and the sugar rests led to long bits of running around, crankiness, and then power naps. But to them it was the best possible outcome.

Callista was having, quite possibly, the greatest day of her young life. The little girl was seated in the kitchen. Her floral patterned dress was destroyed. There was everything from batter to beverage all over her. There was something that was strangely brown but no one was asking questions. Her hands were banging on an upside down pot. She also wore an apron...but it was on her backside instead of her front, where it did nothing to block the mess. She was currently providing backup vocals for Ewwie's song. "*Yeahhhhh yeahh yeahhhh*..!" The little girl sang. "Oh! Thank you!" She leaned over, licking the cupcake. She had no shame. She didn't even care when she had to pluck a piece of blue hair from in between her teeth.

This was the scene that Sierra walked in on. The door had been partially opened. She felt increasingly more uncomfortable, but was so relieved to see Ewwiekewwieikkie that she didn't think twice about entering. She moved towards the kitchen. "My! What's going on in here?" She bent down, wrapping an arm around both girls happily. She squeezed them. "It smells delicious. What are you little chefs making?" The answer was obvious. Within seconds of Sierra entering the kitchen she, too, was wearing frosting. She wondered where Mug was ... and Jelena as well.

"*Auntie Sierra*!" Callista squeaked, cuddling the woman. She looked around behind Sierra. Her brown eyes showcased confusion. "Where's the Ambasssasador of Candy land?!"

The Galactic Civil War was beyond Ewwiekewwieikkie's ability to understand, so when Sierra showed up she thought nothing of it. "Sierra," she said, before reaching out with her paw and dragging her deeper into the kitchen. "Sit down!" she insisted, as she pulled out a chocolate splattered stool for her. She then set out a plate for her, and then quickly disappeared beneath the kitchen islands. When she reappeared she had a box of gumdrops she began to place on Sierra's plate. "Goody! Goody!" she cheered, before reaching to pluck one off the plate and devour it. "Now you have dinner too!" she said with a big smile, before reaching to take just one more off her plate. Her eyes went wide and she began to around the kitchen, before dripping on a baking tray. She grabbed at her knee before beginning to cry, coughing up another gemstone. She then rose up, as if nothing happened, and began to coat the cupcakes with more icing *and* saliva.

Sierra didn't object to sitting in the chocolate mess. She needed to remember to cover the seat in El-Nay's ship before she sat down again. It was difficult being involved in a family that was parted by war. The girls playing was touching, but she didn't know if it was possible to continue. She opted to play the ignorance is bliss game for the time being. "Mmm. Gumdrops! My favorite." She began eating the gumdrops. While she couldn't consume sweets like the girls, she still had a remotely healthy sweet tooth. She rose as Ewwiekewwieikkie grabbed her knee and began to cry. "Oh no! What's wron-" ... *Clunk*! Another gem!? Sierra had made sure to pick up laxatives and lubricant for the girl. She was sorry for what was going to happen when she administered them. Sierra looked down at the small, bouncing Callista. She silently wondered what her blood sugar level was. The girl couldn't stop moving. "Oh, I'm sorry. The ambassador of candy land couldn't make it this time. Maybe next time?" Sierra smiled softly. Unless she took Callista home to Esseles, that wasn't happening.

Callista bit into a cupcake then dropped it on Sierra's boot by accident. "Oopsies! Sowwy!" She reached down to clean up her shoe. Instead, she smeared the cupcake around to make it worse. She looked up at Sierra and frowned. "I miss him! I'll make him an invitation to my next tea party." Callista declared, scampering off to find a paper and crayons. The kitchen was so messy. Sierra felt guilty and began placing clean cookware away.

Mug had thrown himself into his work to occupy his thoughts at the loss of his beloved Iyah. Despite his pleas to the military, a rescue mission had been deemed out of the question until they had better intelligence on her whereabouts. He wanted to steal a ship and fly to Delaya himself, but unfortunately he never learned how to fly. He had been busy building structures in the campsite from sunrise to sunset and now he was headed to a half empty home to check on his daughter and her less the capable Squib babysitter. He was determined that they would eat something green tonight. As he entered the house he knew the kitchen would be a disaster, but never did he expect to find his sister-in-law waiting there. As he stood in the doorway his jaw clenched angrily, and his hands curled tightly into fists. He wanted to scream at her, but he did not want to risk upsetting the children. "Well I certainly did not expect to see you again," he said, bitterly, as he moved into the next room. "Could you come here a moment?" he called out to her, as he turned his back, his facial features stained red with anger, as he tried to compose himself. She represented the Empire that had destroyed his home, murdered his mother, and captured his wife.

The longer she remained in the kitchen, the greater amount of icing that ended up on her. It was nice to have Ewwiekewwieikkie's blue hair staining her clothes again. All-in-all, she had swore that she would not survive the meeting in the Retributor. Callista was an added bonus. That little girl could make the sun shine with her smile. Sierra was focused on trying to arrange her brother-in-law's kitchen when the bastard himself arrived. She stopped dead in her tracks, slowly turning around. She was furious with him and his wife. His wife had built the grounds for Papius to make his arrest. Now he had her...which made the situation that much more risky. With a huff, Sierra rose and headed towards Mug. She remained calm while he looked like he was ready to scream. "Honestly, I wasn't expecting to see you either. I'm assuming by Ewwiekewwieikkie's presence, that Dru and Jelena are here too." She looked at him. "I'm here to make good on my promise to my step-daughter. I'm here to save your wife." Sierra wanted to go home. She was still tired after her nap. She wanted to do whatever she needed to do to take the girls home.

As the kitchen overflowed with delectable baked goods, the living room was boiling to a simmer with tension. "They are here of their own free will, unlike my fiance is who being held prisoner by your colleague, Governor Arundel," he explained, angrily, as he turned his face to look at her. The veins in his temple were noticeably twitching and his eyes appeared twice their normal size. He was filled with an anger that he had never felt before, and all of it was unfortunately focused on Sierra. "What promise? What are you talking about? Where is she?" he asked her, in rapid succession, getting his face directly in hers. He considered at that moment holding her and using her to trade for his wife, but that was not the kind of man he was. He was trying to free the galaxy from the oppression of people who thought like that.

"Colleague isn't exactly the right word, *brother*." Sierra growled, recalling how much hell that man had caused for her family. This man didn't stand down. He got right in her face like a rabid dog. Sierra wondered what would happen if she turned him into Kerrie for a week. She could break his bad habit. The woman stepped back to place distance between them once more. "I'd take a step back if you want to get your wife back, bastard. Being that you're still here means that none of the other Rebels are willing to help you. What is it? It is because there isn't enough intelligence?" She sprayed citrus in his wounds while feeling angered by the way he came at her. "There is no love between us, but right now, you *need* me. I made a promise to Jelena that I would save your wife... As long as she made sure all of my girls made it somewhere safe. There are no other questions for you to ask me. I have no idea where exactly your wife is. I know she was taken from Castle Rodney by *that* man."

Sierra was infinitely more fierce than Mug and he wilted at her first sign of aggression, backing up quickly. He winced when she correctly guessed that the Rebels did not have the ability to launch a rescue mission, causing his body to deflate as if she had poked him with a pin and let all of the air out. "How can you save her? That's all we know too," he said, as he briefly lifted his head to look at her, before shaking again. "He could have her *anywhere*," he said, as if already defeated and resigning himself to never seeing her again. In the background there was a loud crash in the kitchen, followed by the sound of screaming, which was quickly followed by the sound of frenzied eating.

She watched the man stand down. His wince told her that she had hit the target. She thought about pinning him down and interrogating him for the reasons why Iyah had said the things she did. Sierra recognized that now wasn't the time. The loud crash drew Sierra's motherly instincts to the surface. In seconds flat, she was away from Mug and standing in the kitchen doorway. There, the girls had somehow managed to produce ice cream, and were now busily lapping up a gigantic sundae. *Phew*, they were okay.

Turning back to Mug, she shrugged her shoulders. "Governor Arundel likes to let his presence be known. I have no doubt that he's still hiding out on Delaya. I don't think it'll be very difficult to find him either." She knew where most of the Imperial establishments were within the city. That seemed like the best place to look at first. Sierra held her hands behind her back. She looked out the window. "What is this place?" She asked Mug suddenly. "Are these... Are these the refugees?" She had heard they were gone. Though she was no longer the Duchess, she hoped that they would find themselves somewhere safe.

"This place?" Mug asked, as he turned his attention to her. "This place is home to those whose home was taken by *your* Empire," he said to her, defiantly, despite the fact he knew it would antagonize her. "No. These people are refugees no longer. They have a home now, and the Empire will never take it from us," he told her, as he finally showed some backbone behind the emotion. "We call it *New* Alderaan," he told her, as he locked his eyes on her. He did not look away this time. He was confident, even proud at what he had helped to build here.

Her gaze softened despite the fact that he had become defensive again. If she was truly vindictive, she could have taken this information back to the Empire and been rewarded greatly. It was something she couldn't bring herself to do. "Good. I'm glad. It holds such a small light next to the large one Alderaan produced, but one day, surely it will be strong again." She turned back towards him. "Alderaan was my home as well. My birth place. I will never forget the beauty of that planet." She released her hands and brought them to her front to soothe out her jacket. "When you see my step-daughter, please let her know that I'll be back with your wife. This all needs to stay fairly hush-hush. There are those in the Empire who are already doubting my allegiance. Please don't make this any harder for me."

As they spoke about Alderaan his heart ached. The wound was still fresh and he doubted it would ever heal. "I will look after the children," he said, as he reached out and clasped the hand of the woman who was, bizarrely, his sister-in-law *and* his only hope to get Iyah back. "Please. Please bring her back to me," he said to her, behind tearful eyes, as he heard another burst of giggling from the kitchen. "Back to *us*," he said to her, squeezing her hand, before releasing her. He could hardly swallow. This world was starting to come together, but his world was nothing without Iyah.

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