Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:5:4 - 36:5:5) in the Alderaan system: Black Star and Delaya (Leiliani: Rodney Castle) and in the New Alderaan system Blue Haven and New Alderaan (New Aldera: Rebel command center).
Governor Papius Arundel, Ashori Monoceros, Callista Nilar, Lady Jelena Rodney, and Commander Sierra Rodney.

[The previous night]

Ashori Monoceros had been playing the part of the good Rebel. She was out helping build new establishments for the refugees. In the afternoons, she volunteered in the medical tent and helped with minor injuries. At night, she made sure every refugee was fed. The girl was proving herself to her comrades even if Commander Xergo still felt otherwise. To those who had worked with her for a long time, she hadn't changed at all. She was passionate about fighting against the Empire...

She was laying on her bed with her comlink. Her and Papius were careful about their communication. It wasn't frequent. She was beginning to miss the man. Her mind, always at work, had pieced together a plan to reunite them again. It would also please him. Finally, she decided to call him. His endless hate for the Rodney family had bled into her. She began to despise Jelena Rodney, who was trying to make herself a leader within the refugee community. Ash wanted to see her fail. Her plan would, potentially, allow that to happen. "Governor." She said smoothly as soon as he picked up her transmission.

Governor Papius Arundel was sitting in the large garden tub in the en suite off the bed chamber of the Duke and Duchess, lamenting the fact that he had his great victory but had not yet been declared a Moff. As he reached behind him he grabbed hold of Duchess Sierra's shampoo and conditioner and applied it to his hair, wondering if the stuff she used was better than what the Empire issued. As he lowered his head beneath the water he noticed it smelled like starfruit and served to relax him. Maybe she was on to something. As he came up he reached over, grabbing her loofah. He held it to his face, breathing deeply, and inhaling her scent. He was imagining she was here and beginning to enjoy himself when his comlink began to beep. He tossed the sponge away as he answered the comlink. "How is life on New Alderaan among the traitors? Is there running water yet?" he asked, teasing her, as a cruel smile crept upon his face. He blew air from his mouth, causing the bubbles to blow away from his face, as he settled into the warm water.

There was an unhappy groan from the other end of the line. "You like it when I suffer, don't you?" She teased him back. She had remained living within the Blue Haven until there was actually somewhere to stay on New Alderaan. The girl had recently finished an unfilling shower and was now lying in her bed in nothing but a robe. Perhaps she hoped to discuss more than just her little plan. "It isn't half as good as life with you would be." She sighed dramatically. "Most of the waves from my 'betrayal' have calmed. The Rebels have, for the most part, accepted me... Which means it's time to make a move." She shrugged out of her robe and crawled beneath her bedsheets. He was going to like her plan.

Papius smiled as she described longing to be with him, content with the knowledge that he had her in his grasp. "Well if you want to earn your passage back to my side you're going to have to deliver," he informed her, as he began to rise from the tub. At that moment he wished she was there as the castle was quite drafty and a chill came over him as he moved across the marble floor of the refresher. "A move, eh? And what exactly did you have in mind?" he asked, as he began drying himself, but not quite quickly enough as she could have done it if she were there. And of course there was always that one spot on his back he could not quite reach. She would hear him fumbling, groaning, and even muttering to himself as he went through the arduous process of drying himself off. He then moved to slide himself into Claudius' ornate robe and slippers, before moving on towards the bed chamber to help himself to the Duke's wine cellar.

She could hear the distinct sounds of water splashing as he moved out of the bathtub. She was jealous. It had to be like a fantasy living in that castle. She could only imagine how big the tub was...and his bed. Ashori was hungry for his affections. "A fake distress call from a group of remaining refugees on Delaya." She said as she began to imagine how he'd reward her in that big, lavish castle. "The Rebels are so weak for the refugees. They will come running quickly. There's one I'm sure will be first to volunteer to come back..." She paused, letting a little anticipation build before she revealed the name. "Jelena Rodney. Can you imagine how you'd be rewarded for capturing the Grand Moff's traitorous daughter?" Ash was proud of herself. This was the perfect gift for him.

As Papius settled into the large bed formerly shared by Claudius and Sierra he reached over to a remote and pressed the button activating his holographic image of Sierra. As he listened to her idea his dream of fulfilling his ambitions ... *all* of them danced in his mind. "Excellent plan, my idea," he said, realizing that he would have to get back to work to prepare for this mission. It was difficult being a proper host. "Don't go volunteering that mission, Ashori. I have a feeling it will be *quite* dangerous," he said, before he started laughing maniacally at her plan, which he would surely take credit for if it succeeded. "The transmission will be sent shortly," he said, as he rose from the bed and moved towards the closet where his uniform was. In there he saw several of Claudius' uniforms with his Grand Moff's insignia. He reached for it, grasping it, and imagining it on him. "Soon," he said to himself, before he began the process of getting dressed.

Ashori laughed with him. If she had things her way, then Iyah Xergo would accompany Jelena Rodney. She doubted her luck was that good. The Commander had taken to life on New Alderaan like a duck to water. She had seen Iyah and the bastard playing with their adoptive daughter. It made Ash wish that Papius had killed them both while they were in his grasp. "You're so efficient, Governor. I'll contact you as soon as I have information on who will be going. Set them a nice trap for me, okay? I'm going to miss seeing the look on Jelena Rodney's face when she realizes how much trouble she's in." Ashori had just set in motion another hurricane of events. She felt pleased with herself.

As Papius admired himself in the series of mirrors that were in the dressing room he listened to Ashori continued to flatter him. It was clear he had made quite the impression on the young Rebel, and as he made the final adjustments to his Governor's uniform he reached to grasp the comlink. "If this goes according to plan I'll have a quality holovid of that look for you, my dear," he said, before terminating the transmission. With a newly found spring in his step he moved from the master suite to the spiral staircase that would lead down to his temporary staircase. As he labored down the stairs he considered gutting the structure and having a modern turbolift system installed. There were too many stairs.

Jelena Rodney stood in the command center on New Alderaan, which no more than a basic durasteel structure with some old terminals and a barely functioning comms system. A garbled message had been received from Delaya informing them that additional refugees had been left behind, which was a terrible blow to the newly formed Alliance safe world. Jelena could not bare to hear the cries on the transmission and was determined to fulfill the mandate of her friend, Princess Leia Organa, to rescue every possible Alderaanian and provide them safety here. "Commander Xergo, report to the command center. Commander Xergo, report to the command center," she announced over the public address system. Although she hated separating the woman from her family, she knew there was no one more suited for the job. It was this kind of hard decision she would have to get used to making if she were going to succeed in her position as administrator for the colony.

Callista Nilar was seated behind her mother wrapping strands of her soft, black hair around each other. "You're gonna look so pretty, Mama." The little girl pulled on her mother's hair roughly. "Can I do your makeup next? I think Daddy would like that!" The girls had a 'salon' day. Iyah had painted Callista's nails and vice versa. The little girl had a crown of flowers on her head. Each of her pigtails was braided and wiggled from side to side each time her head moved. She was enjoying herself. It was good to be a *family*.

Commander Xergo anticipated the completion of her family's home. It was already going up so quickly. People and droids alike worked around the clock to create New Alderaan. They were all camped out in their future front yard, though the time to return to Blue Haven for the night was nearing. She had massively enjoyed the day. Her fingernails (and hands) were painted in a bright orange color. Her hair had so many flowers in it that she was beginning to look like a Disney princess. Callista had knotted her hair and tangled it badly trying to make it look good...and Iyah loved every minute of it. "Okay, but you can only draw one rainbow on my cheek this time." Iyah teased her daughter. Over the public address system, Iyah heard her name. She frowned. What could it be about this time? "Okay, Callista. I need you to finish up back there. It sounds like someone wants to see me." She could feel the girl rapidly finish braiding while happily exclaiming. "Okay mama!"

Iyah rose. "Sorry... I'll be back.." She was apologizing to her fiance. The job was demanding, wasn't it? She kissed him before jogging off towards the command center. She put on her best professional attitude, but it was slightly hard to take her serious with her new braids and fabulous nail polish. She approached Jelena Rodney with a serious look on her face.

Jelena did a double take when she saw Commander Xergo's appearance, recognizing what had happened almost immediately. "Oh. I'm so sorry, Commander. Were you with your daughter?" she asked of the woman, who she expected would be her aunt any day now just to further confuse things. She had made a point to go and visit her young cousin, but establishing New Alderaan had become a full time job with very little free time. Because of how the refugees viewed her father she felt she had to work twice as hard to earn their trust and confidence. "We received the following transmission from Delaya," she said, before moving towards the control panel and bringing up the recording. What followed was a garbled transmission, audio only, detailing the plight of a group of forgotten refugees on Delaya. "We have to rescue them, Commander. We can't leave anyone behind," she declared, emotionally and irrationally, as she looked to the Commander with more hesitation than determination.

Commander Xergo smiled softly. "Yes... Salon day. Do you like it?" She tilted her head to the side. Her braid came whipping forward. "You should stop by and let Callista do you sometime. She's quite the little fashionista." Callista was her pride and joy. The small girl was so sweet. Callista opened her heart up to everyone. There were still times when she spoke of the Ambassador of Candyland, who happened to be Claudius Rodney. Iyah was intelligent enough to not hold Jelena accountable for her father's crimes. She felt that Jelena was the kind of person the Rebellion needed.

The woman neared the control panel where she hovered while listening to the transmission. She listened as closely as she could. There was a spoken message, but there was also crying and screaming in the background. Iyah's heart made the decision for her: if there was a refugee left on Delaya, even just one, then it was worth it to go back. She hated to think of stepping foot on the terrible man's planet again. She *had* to. She looked toward Jelena. "Absolutely. We should leave immediately. We cannot let these people suffer any longer." She sounded passionate about it. Her thoughts turned to Mug. Her sweet, wonderful Mug... He couldn't come. Papius had been much crueler to him than her. She would *never* allow that to happen again. Regardless, she needed to return to Delaya with the peace of mind that Callista was in the best hands of all.

"I would like that, Commander," Jelena said with a warm smile, as she missed her family despite all that had happened between them. "I have a younger sister who looked like your daughter when she was her age," she pointed out, as she thought about Drusilla, who she thought was better off with her father than here. "Thank you, Commander. After what happened last time I don't think we should take a large team. I don't want my decision to endanger anyone that isn't necessary," she explained, as she looked towards the Commander. "...but what do *you* think?" she asked, recognizing the woman had far more military experience with her. She was still governing with training wheels.

Iyah recognized that it had to be hard for Jelena. Her family was far, far away now. The path she had chosen had led her away from them. The Commander patted her on the back softly. "Remember that Mug and I are here for you. We're all family, even if it's in a *very* strange way." It was the best Iyah could give her. A tiny shelter from the storm. She nodded her head slowly while she listened to Jelena. Derek would be *proud*. Maybe this mission would help Iyah reason with Derek's ultimate sacrifice. "I think you have a solid plan, Jelena. There's no reason to risk additional casualties. We'll quietly go in, collect these refugees, and bring them *home*. Let us keep this mission to ourselves. We're enough for it." She didn't mention that she was suspicious of Ashori. Her hazel eyes took a glance around the command center. She didn't appear to be there... "I'll be prepared to depart shortly. Meet me at the hangar in thirty minutes?"

Jelena smiled when Commander Xergo told her it was a 'solid plan', as she desperately needed some confidence as she filled out her new role. "Thank you, Commander. That means a lot," she said, with a firm nod of her head. "Thirty minutes," she repeated, as she mentally prepared herself for the mission to come. Finally, she thought to herself, confidently as she began gathering some equipment. She had felt used by the Alliance at first as a propaganda tool, but now she was given a real opportunity to make a difference ... or so she thought.

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