Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:5:10) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Spaceport), Jubilee, and Nerf Herder and in the Essesia system: Retributor.
Lieutenant Arrik Rost, Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Commander Sierra Rodney, Duchess Zara Rodney, and Doctor Pilaq Tohan.

Time had slowed since Zara Rodney brought her husband and sister-in-law back to the herdship. There had been so much chaos surrounding Marcus. Ithorian doctors swarmed him and took him away to the OR...and that's where he had remained for hours upon hours upon hours. Zara sat on a bench just outside the room. She had *no* idea what was happening to the love of her life. She couldn't imagine a day without him. All of a sudden, it became a possible option. She cried while she waited for someone to tell her *anything*. Doctor Bailo had come to check on her several times. There were three plates of food and a carton of Auntie Mae's which had now turned to sludge sitting beside her. She had eaten *nothing*. She had done *nothing* other than wait. The life she had imagined for her and Marcus was crashing down at her feet. What would she tell the twins? *How* would she raise them? She had already thought that he was going to make the best father ever. All the effort he put into building the children's cribs. Everything he did to keep Zara and the twins safe... Was this one mission with Sierra destined to take it all away?

The young woman sat with her head in her hands. She was three shades more pale than her normal complexion. She had cried until the tears stopped coming. She was beginning to feel spent. Her body wanted to rest, but rest required her to leave Marcus' side. As her eyes began to close, the door leading into the operating room opened. Zara was up and on her feet so quickly that she became light headed and had to grab at the wall for support. "Pilaq!" She gasped. With her world still spinning, she approached the old Ithorian doctor and grasped his arms with both hands. "Please tell me something! Please!" She begged him.

When Doctor Tohan received words there was an emergency, he could only assume that Zara had gone into labor early. Given how close she was to her due date he did not find this to be out of the ordinary, and was prepared for just such an occasion. As he arrived he discovered that it was Marcus, rather than Zara, who was in need of desperate medical attention. The wound he discovered on the man's back was massive, and was clearly caused by a heavy weapon. In order to complete his exam the droids had to carefully cut away the armor, and when it was removed the complete extent of it came into view. Pilaq swallowed slowly in both of his mouths as his large bulbus eyes slowly turned towards Zara, but he said nothing. A device was quickly brought to the bed, which was held over the wound. On the monitor an image similar to the twins emerged which showed the affected area. The Ithorian's head lowered, as he set the droids to the task of preparing for surgery. "You should not be here," he said to Zara, gently, as he moved towards Sierra. "Please. Please we must be allowed to do our work. It will be time until we know anything. Please help get her out of here," he pleaded with Sierra, before he quickly returned to Marcus' side to study the diagram for the coming surgery. He looked down at his tired, old hands ... they were shaking. He closed his eyes, slowed his breathing, and tried to steady himself. This was not supposed to happen seventeen days before the birth of the twins.

Zara studied Pilaq's eyes like she was trying to read his mind. "What is it!? Tell me!" She didn't understand what was going on. The image of the infected area told her neither how good nor how bad it was. Her complete lack of medical knowledge made her all the more fearful. As if to make matters worse, she overheard Doctor Tohan talking to Sierra. In Zara's mind, the situation had just become more serious than she previously thought. The last thing she wanted to do was leave. If she wasn't close to him and something happened... She began to cry again. "No! Don't make me leave!" Even Zara's hands were shaking. "Tell me what's going on with my husband!"

Sierra Rodney felt miserable. Not only had they failed to collect the Rebel Commander, Marcus Rodney's life was compromised. Looking at his back on the way to Jubilee, Sierra had been sure that he was going to die. He took a massive hit to his backside. Reluctantly, she had been treated for her wounds and now sat within his room wearing a hospital gown. Her heart went out for Zara. The poor woman's heart was broken. Sierra could see it in her eyes. They had said nothing to one another. It seemed tension was growing in the room. It burst as soon as Zara could not handle being in the dark anymore. Sierra heard Pilaq's pleas. Her frown deepened and her eyes sank. "I'll take care of her." Sierra promised him, rising to collect her sister-in-law, who retaliated immediately by grabbing Sierra's shoulder (including the injured one) and planting her boots into the ground. "I can't leave him..." Zara sobbed.

Doctor Tohan looked at Zara, realizing he and the droids would never be able to get their work done with her behaving like that. "Lady Zara, your husband has suffered damage to his spine," he said, gravely, as he lowered his head to her. "I am sorry. We will not know how serious until we have a chance to examine the damage, and allow him to safely awaken," he explained to her, as he circled around towards her. He placed his hand upon her shoulder to comfort you. "The people on Delaya need you. The people of this herd need you. Please, allow me to treat your husband," he pleaded with her, while looking towards Sierra for support. "I cannot safely operate with you in the room," he informed her, as his head turned towards the droids. Every moment was precious. "I promise as soon as it's over you can come back in," he told her, before releasing her and moving back towards Marcus where the droids were preparing to make their incision.

Pilaq's words made her step back. Her knees felt weak. Her eyes had gone wide. "Wha...t..." Spinal damage. Her poor, wonderful husband may never walk again? This came so far out of the left field. Earlier that day, they'd been happily planning the move into the Rodney castle and setting up the twins bedrooms. Everything had been so perfect *until* ... Her eyes landed on Sierra. She looked sick and hurt. Her eyes fell on Marcus, who she had failed to protect. She looked back at Pilaq. Warm tears washed over her cheeks. She was still processing the information. The wheels of her mind took it so slowly. Marcus... Spinal damage... They didn't know how bad it was. "Marcus..." She was snapping. Pilaq's words greatly displeased her. "I need *him*!" She screamed, pointing towards her husband. She said nothing more. Zara turned her back on Pilaq and left the room. For an eight month pregnant woman, she moved quickly back to her suite.

Zara wasn't the only one who was taken back by Doctor Tohan's words. Sierra understood what spinal damage could mean depending on severity. She was shocked that Marcus had even managed to survive such an attack. She closed her eyes, thinking of their playful banter on the way to Delaya. She felt like she had finally bonded with her brother-in-law. She didn't realize she was sending him on a death mission. "Zara I'm so-" ... Sierra began, only to watch the young woman snap. She took off from the room rapidly. She pressed her hand into her forehead anxiously. What was going to happen? Approaching Pilaq, she rested a hand on his shoulder. "Please do everything you can. I will take care of her." Sierra promised.

Zara was *furious*. This was Sierra's fault! She paced within the privacy of her room. In her hand, she held her comlink featuring a picture of her and Marcus' wedding. The only good part to come out of the HoloNet leak was that she could get videos and photos of their special day. While her tears had slowed, the pregnant woman had now boarded the crazy train. Marcus was hurt and she was going to attack all persons involved. Her list began with her brother-in-law, Claudius Rodney. She decided to call him. The very second she heard his voice, she ripped into him like a lioness. "*It's your fault*!" She screamed. "*How could you marry *her**!? *How could you bring Sierra into this family*!?" She burst, waving her hand in the air as she began to speak. "This is both of your faults! Because of you...because of *Sierra*, Marcus may never walk again! He nearly *died*! *She almost killed your brother, Claudius*!" Zara's fury turned into sobs as she admitted the truth to him. Before she could let the man get a word in, Zara cried harder.

Aboard the Retributor Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloca was preparing the daily briefing on the tactical situation in the Ringali Shell Oversector. The blue skinned, blue haired, red eyes Chiss was working at her terminal when the emergency comm line from Delaya began to flash. She knew that only members of the Governor's immediate family had that frequency, so she moved to answer it immediately. Before she could give an acknowledge or identify herself the voice of Zara began blasting over the comm, screaming erratically. She blinked silently as she listed the the rage and emotion in her voice, and when she finished she simply blinked again. "Stand by for the Governor, please," she said, before transferring the comm to the Grand Moff. "Milord," she began, clearing her throat, not entirely sure how to explain. "Milord, I believe it is your sister-in-law. Apparently she wishes to know why you married your wife. Unfortunately, I did not have that information on my screens, so I could not answer," she reported, dutifully, before patching Zara through.

Claudius Rodney was seated in his office aboard the Retributor looking out Esseles and the bustling space traffic when yet another message from the tactical officer arrived. This time, however, it came in the form of a confused interpretation of a message from his sister-in-law. "What?" he asked the Lieutenant, before stepping over towards the comm. "I'll talk to her myself," he said, before terminating the line to the bridge, and replaying Zara's message. His eyes went wide as he listened to her screaming and trying to relay the information. "Zara ... what has happened to Marcus? Where is Sierra? What are you talking about?" he asked feverishly, as he had only the scant bit of garbled comm chatter from a very emotional, *very* pregnant woman.

Zara had steamrolled the poor, innocent Chiss officer who got in her way. When the woman spoke, it briefly caused a pause in Zara's emotional tyrant. The brief time on hold served as a chance for Zara to rev herself back up for round two. Her blood pressure was bursting through the herdship. She could hear a gentle knock at her door, but the slicer had seen to it that no one was getting inside. She ignored the person at her door, focusing all her efforts on eliminating Claudius and turning him into a debris field that would make the Alderaan debris look like nothing. She was actively crying while she spoke to him. At least it slowed down her words. "Marcus is having surgery right now! He went on some stupid mission with *your* wife! He was injured badly! He almost died!" She whimpered. "Pilaq is with him right now but they don't know *anything*! He says there's spinal damage. *Spinal damage*!" She rapidly recounted an abridged version of the story. "Where is Sierra?!" She parroted back at him. "She's here! I will send her back to you and *you* can deal with her! She's nothing but trouble! What if Marcus had died!? *What if he dies*!?" Zara voiced all of her fears to her brother-in-law as she collected a blaster pistol hidden in between her clothing in a drawer.

Claudius attempted to process all of the fast facts that were coming in over the comm. This was no way to talk to someone he said, before clenching his hand into a fist and slamming it down onto his desk. He wanted to have his ship prepared, but he had promised Sate Pestage that he would stay within the boundaries of his designated oversector. He was powerless, and it felt terrible. He feared for his brother, he feared for his wife ... he feared for his entire family. Now that he had so much there was too much to lose. "Surgery? Spinal damage? What mission?!" he asked, desperately, unable to understand what those two had gotten involved with. In his mind, his brother was a drunk playboy, and Sierra was an ISB administrator ... what kind of *mission* could they be apart of? "Yes. Yes. Send her back. Please," he pleaded with Zara, as he hovered his face directly over the comm. What the devil was happening on Delaya, he wondered silently to himself.

Zara was bouncing back from furious to a depression-level sadness. It seemed like she could maintain no emotion very long. She fell to the bed where she continued to try to explain the situation to her brother-in-law. Her fingers anxiously pulled at her silver hair. "I don't know what's happening to him!" She wanted to return to the hospital and hover until Pilaq told her *something* more. Instead, she needed to punish all people involved. Zara wiped her tears away. "She contacted us and said she needed help with something. I guess she promised Jelena if she took your kids to safety, that she'd go get Xergo. They went to the Imperial garrison together... Ohno. I *let* him go." She remembered sadly. She had been so determined to keep him close. This was what happened when he was away from her. Zara stopped talking, only sobbed into the comm. "What if he *dies*?" She cried.

"Zara ... Zara please calm down," an exasperated Claudius pleaded with her from across the galaxy. "If Doctor Tohan is with him I am certain everything will be okay. He won't die, Zara," he said, desperately trying to reassure her, despite not knowing the extent of Marcus' injuries. She mentioned spinal damage, but that was hardly enough for him to form an opinion on. He had the utmost faith in Doctor Tohan and his abilities, however, and believed it when he said the doctor could help him. As Zara relayed the news that this involved the Rebel commander and Jelena again he became even more irate. Why had Sierra not told him what was going on? "Is Jelena there? Are my children there? Where are my children?" he started asking her, so rapidly that he nearly tripped over his words. He looked up towards the ceiling as tears began to flow down his face. He wanted to get everyone in the family in one place and put them under house arrest for their own safety.

Lieutenant Arrik Rost, the ISB loyalty officer assigned to the Jubilee who had one day awoken to find out he was no longer above the planet Ithor was moving down the corridors on his way to speak with Marcus Rodney. Unaware that he had been gravely injured, he expected to find him in his cabin aboard the herdship until the refurbishment of the castle below. As he rounded the corner he saw Commander Sierra Rodney, technically his superior within the bureau, and stopped dead in his tracks bewildered. "Commander?" he asked, as he tilted his head while examining her. "I was not told you were aboard. I would have welcomed you personally," he informed her, as he began to suck up to the noblewoman and ISB agent hybrid. "I was contacted by Governor Arundel. He informed he there was an attempted infiltration of the garrison. He ordered me to report the situation to Duke Marcus. Are you here to see him as well?" he asked, having not been told by the Governor that Sierra was one of the assailants.

Zara wouldn't be calm until she had a *real* update. She had to remind herself to breathe in between her sobs. Claudius' questions came pouring in so quickly. The pregnant woman's thoughts were centered so hard on Marcus. It took her a moment to remember anything else. "Um. She said Ewwie was with Callista. She smelled like frosting and...and cookies." Only Zara could manage to say the word *cookie* with such sadness. "I don't know anything else..." She wanted to run and hide with Marcus somewhere else. Somewhere safe.

Sierra was trying to talk Zara down from outside her door. "Zara? Let me in... Please. We can talk. Everyone is here for you. We can get through this as a family." The guilt of Marcus' wounds would ride with her for the rest of her life. They were unimportant right now, but would come back to bite her in the rear. Lieutenant Rost found her in an exposing moment; dressed in a hospital gown, begging her pregnant sister-in-law to talk to her. She wasn't ready to see anyone, let alone a fellow ISB officer. Sierra stood upright suddenly and nodded towards the man. "Lieutenant Rost." She greeted him in her best relaxed voice. Now was not the time to deal with him. She listened to him suck up to her, which didn't impact her at all. "Oh, I didn't want to make a big commotion about coming here. I was only here to have a prenatal appointment with my doctor. It seems my sister-in-law thinks it's funny to lock me out of her room..." Sierra smiled softly.

Concern etched into her features as he informed her about the infiltration on Delaya. "Oh no! Was Governor Arundel hurt?" Her thoughts slowly turned to a dark place: informing Claudius of her lengthy list of crimes. She didn't know if she could face him and tell the truth. She recalled Kerrie complimenting her about making a good wife for the Governor. . . was she still a good wife? She felt uncomfortable when he brought up Duke Marcus. Governor Arundel could not find out what he was involved in. "Oh, *yes*. Did you know that he is expecting the arrival of his twins any day?" She was trying to disinterest him. "Let me go in first. Given Duke Marcus' presence on the HoloNet, it would probably be wise for one of us to make sure that he and his wife are decent." She smiled, clawing at the door until Zara allowed it to slide open. Sierra rushed inside. She saw Zara quickly terminate a call on her comm as her sister-in-law entered. The door closed before Arrik could see anything, but Sierra was already pushing Zara towards the refresher. "We're in trouble." She told her quickly as she turned on the shower water. "Stay in here. Do your best Marcus impression. There's an ISB officer out there and if we don't convince him that Marcus is in here, he's going to figure out what happened at the Imperial base." She explained as she mostly closed the door into the refresher. "Come on in, Lieutenant. They're as decent as they are going to be."

"Ah. Yes. You must not have HoloNet News, or else you would be aware that their impending delivery has been one of the top news stories," Arrik replied, with a thick level of disgust at how the media embraced Marcus and Zara. Personally, he did not see what was so interesting about them. "Unfortunately, they turned down my officer of assistance to have an Imperial physician supervise the child birth, and she has elected to have these disgusting creatures perform the procedure," he said, almost spitting venom as he spoke about the Ithorians. "Perhaps, as both a member of the bureau and a member of the family you could find new ways to motivate her," he began, but before he could continue she disappeared into Marcus and Zara's cabin. "How very droll," he said, as he bit his lower lip and rolled his eyes at her behavior. When the door finally opened, he stepped forward, expecting to find Duke Marcus, but instead only saw Sierra. "Where is Marcus?" he asked, arching an eyebrow at Sierra.

Arrik was a rather unpleasant human being. Doctor Pilaq was the official baby doctor of the Rodney family. When the time came, Sierra would feel just as insistent that he was there. She was reminded of how real the hate for Ithorians was sad. Thankfully, the subject had changed by the time she saw Arrik again. Sierra sat on the edge of the bed. She looked up at Arrik. "In the shower with his wife." She stated.

Zara found herself standing in the shower getting soaked. She had no idea what was happening now. The terrible ISB officer was back. She couldn't lay into Claudius anymore, so her sights were slowly aligned to Sierra. She couldn't take the matter into her hands until the ISB guy left, so, she played the part of her husband. "What is it!?" She asked in her best Marcus voice. It wasn't that bad of an impression considering how deep his voice was next to her soft, girlish one.

"I did not realize both of them could fit in the shower at this point," Arrik shared with Sierra, before moving towards the refresher door when summoned. He leaned against the door, before clearing his throat. "Milord ... Milord, Governor Arundel wishes me to inform you that there was an attempted infiltration at the Imperial garrison," he began, speaking loudly to enunciate his voice through the door. "Imperial forces drove them off, but they escaped. He requested that I offer you additional security," he asked, through the door, before stepping back to look towards Sierra, politely.

Sierra shrugged her shoulders. "I hear Ithorian showers are much bigger." It was hard to play calm and relaxed around him. She imagined Marcus in operation with Doctor Tohan doing his best. The weight upon her shoulders had grown. She didn't know how she'd ever get the girls back from Jelena other than slipping them out under her radar. Somewhere far away, Ewwiekewwieikkie was off having the time of her life with the bastard's child. She watched the man attempt to communicate with the 'couple'.

This was all too much work for Zara. She giggled in her own voice like they really were in the shower together. She wanted nothing more than to be fooling around with him, joking about how ridiculous Auntie Mae's latest advertisement campaign was. She straightened up and prepared Marcus voice again. "What?! They *escaped*!? See to it that these people are captured! Did they cause any damage?" The sound of her fist slamming against the shower wall could be heard. "No! No additional security. My wife and I will remain here until my twins are born. I don't want to worry her by allowing strangers to linger nearby." She wanted Marcus. She *needed* Marcus.

Arrik cleared his throat again before placing his mouth to the door. "Only superficial damage, milord. Nothing to be too concerned about," he explained, not going into the amount of destruction caused by the droids. "Very well, milord, however the Governor did want me to express to you that your safety is of his prime concern," he explained, before backing away from the door. "Commander," he said to Sierra, with a nod of his head, before departing from the cabin to make his report to Governor Arundel. In his report he would lie, claiming he *had* met with Marcus, if only to make himself seem more useful than he actually was.

The comm had never been deactivated. Claudius had remained silent as he heard the ISB officer enter the room, as he knew his wife and sister-in-law were up to something. When he heard the man exit and the door seal he turned his attention back to the comm. "Sierra! Sierra you get back here this instant!" he exclaimed, sounding more like her father than her husband. He needed her back. He needed to be told what was happening face-to-face rather than over the blasted comm system. As far as he was concerned if he could not go to Delaya, neither could she.

The water to the refresher shut off a moment after Arrik left. Zara hadn't expected to shower, but she found that she needed it to level her thoughts for what she was going to do. As she dried off and quickly changed, she heard Claudius' voice. *Oh no*! She'd forgotten to deactivate the comm before Arrik had arrived. From the crack in barely open door, Zara watched Sierra pick up the comm.

Sierra let out a yip. "Claudius!?" Oh no! She saw the comm on the bed and quickly grabbed it. It showed that he was a father of three girls in the way he verbally reprimanded her. She hung her head... Then she felt the cool barrel of a blaster pistol on the back of her head. *Zara* ... The woman had snuck up on her. Sierra was unaware of Zara's illegal life. She didn't realize that the woman's slicing was more than a digital affair. Zara bent down, whispering quietly into her ear so Claudius wouldn't pick up how much the situation had changed. "Tell him you'll come back right away." Zara instructed.

If Sierra denied her angry sister-in-law, she had a feeling that she'd end up back in the hospital ... or dead. She looked down at the comm. "I-I'll be there right away." Sierra commented dryly. She deserved this. Zara, more than anyone else, should kill her.

Claudius breathed a sigh of relief when he heard Sierra's voice, which only grew as he heard her assume she would return right away. "I'll have the pudding ready," he promised her, as he began to dry his eyes. He was smiling from ear to ear, as he leaned back in his chair, satisfied to know that at least his beloved Sierra was okay. "I love you, Sierra. I'll see you soon," he said, before deactivating the transmission. Now he would have to track down his very confused Chiss Lieutenant and return to the business of governing so he would be free of responsibility when Sierra arrived.

Her thoughts were racing. All of the ones centering around if she *could* return to Claudius, tell him everything, and still be graced with his love came to a sudden stop as he mentioned the pudding. She frowned. The tears followed. "Claudius.." She wanted nothing more than to race back into his arms. She was sorry about Marcus. She felt *miserable* about it. He reassured her of his love before terminating the call. With that, Claudius was gone. She was stuck in a room being held prisoner by a *very* pregnant Zara. "Zara, you don't have to do this. I'm sorry about what happened to..."

"*Shut up*!" Zara yelled, pressing the barrel harder to Sierra's head to remind her of who held control. "We're going for a ride. You. Me. This pistol. I want you to walk to the hangar and board the Nerf Herder. If you try to get help, I can have this gun on you in seconds. Marcus isn't the only one who's been leading a double life." She warned, shoving the girl forward towards the door. She concealed her blaster pistol by putting it on her hip beneath her maternity shirt. She grasped Sierra's arm. Together, they made their way through the corridors and all the way down to Jubilee's hangar bay.

The flight to Delaya was terrible. Sierra was seated in the cockpit with Zara beside her, a blaster pistol in her lap. The young woman said nothing until she had landed at a familiar port...the very same one where El-Nay's ship was waiting for her. As the engines fell quiet, Zara set her sights on her sister-in-law. Her features were all scrunched up. She was furious. "I never want to see you again." She calmly informed Sierra. Her voice cracked as her emotions came to life again. "*You did this*!" She screamed. "*You hurt Marcus*! *You're responsible*!" She stood up to gain height on Sierra. She shoved her pistol in the ISB officer's face again. "All you do is tear this family apart! Did you *really* have to hurt Marcus too!? He's all I have!" She grabbed Sierra by the hair, dragging her towards the ramp with no regard for her safety. "I should kill you!"

Each of Zara's carefully chosen words visibly hurt Sierra. She was giving a voice to her worries. She felt so guilty. "Zara, I'm sorry! Ow!" She had to follow Zara towards the cargo bay. The woman was ripping out her hair along the way. "Zara!" She pleaded only to find herself left on the ground.

"I should kill you! Nothing good *ever* comes from the ISB. It's your fault if Marcus never walks again! Yours!" Zara leveled the gun with Sierra. She squeezed the trigger. The shot collided with Sierra's already injured shoulder. The close range shot hurt so *bad*. "You're going to run home to your Imperial husband now." Zara growled. "And you'll never come back here again. I *banish* you, Sierra Rodney. *Never return to my home*!" She pistol whipped the girl in the cheek. "*Leave*!" She screamed, watching Sierra scamper off towards El-Nay's ship. With her anger semi-soothed, Zara returned to the cockpit and blasted off towards Jubilee. She was *done* with her sister-in-law.

Nothing was getting through to Zara. She was so upset that Sierra seriously thought she was going to kill her. Her eyes closed tightly as she shot her, opening up the injury in her shoulder in the worst of ways. Sierra cried. "Zara... Stop..! I didn't intentionally hurt Marc..!" You wouldn't expect such a little woman to have so much physical power, but it hurt when the pistol collided with Sierra's cheek. She coughed. The words were so much more painful than every individual wound. Sierra was crying. She realized that she didn't belong anymore. The perfect family that she had been trying to build had just blown up in her face. Sierra took the chance to limp away back to her ship. It took off with no questions asked as Sierra cried her way back to Esseles.

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