There was a rage in Major Kerrie Kiley's
face as she ascended the stairs within the Rodney Estate on Esseles,
having lost all of her patience concerning Jelena's recent behavior. She
was wearing her black Storm Commando armor, still marked with blaster
burns, and showing the signs of heavy wear from the recent combat
operation on Chandrila. Without waiting for permission to enter, she
opened the door to Jelena's bed chamber and marched towards the bed. She
was asleep, but it mattered not, and she thrust out her left foot to
kick the side of the bed and awaken the impudent teenager. <Click>"Wake
up!"<Click> she demanded from beneath her helmet, staring at her through
the polarized lenses that made up the visor.
When the bed began to shake Lady Jelena
Rodney emerged from a deep sleep in a state of panic, that soon turned
into a state of absolute terror when she saw the Storm Commando standing
over her. "Daddy!" she screamed at the top of her lungs, searching the
room for any sign of the rest of her family. When she heard the familiar
voice of Kerrie from beneath the helmet, she began to calm, and her
heart ceased pounding. "Oh it's you," she said, slowly sitting up in a
nonchalant manner, which showed she did not take the threat seriously.
"You scared me, Kerrie," she said, before running her hand through her
long, brown hair that was matted from the pillow.
Kerrie reached her gloves hands up to
the side of her helmet, and detached the clamps that held the helmet in
place. A moment later, she ripped it from her head and tossed it in a
cavalier motion to the ground. She revealed her human face, with flushed
cheeks, covered in sweat to compliment her matted red hair. "You have
gone too far this time, Jelena!" she said, still glowering over the
girl, and resisting every urge to strike her for insolence. "Look at
me!" she screamed, her right hand moving over the damage that her armor
recently sustained. "Do you know how many men I lost? I could have
gotten killed myself!" she said, completely exasperated in trying to
explain to this child that what she was doing was wrong.
"Well if you had died down there at
least I would not be subjected to this," Jelena said, in a manner so
harsh that she immediately regretted it. She had become so ashamed of
herself at that moment that she could no longer stand to make eye
contact. "I am..." she started to apologize, but then stopped herself, and
instead released an exhausted sigh. "Senator Omonda will be tortured and
murdered by the Emperor for simply attempting to represent her people,"
she explained to her, realizing full well that it did not manner.
"Represent her people?" Kerrie repeated
in disbelief, not knowing what to say anymore ... it was as if her young
charge had lost her mind. She staggered away slowly, bitterly wounded by
the words, until she was backed up against a chair and exhaustedly sat
down. "She is a traitor to the Empire. A rebel. Who has supported
military attacks against your family!" she exclaimed, waving both of her
arms in front of herself in an attempt to get her point across. "Have
you no respect for your father?" she asked, a large and frustrated
breath following her words.
"My father has ... changed since Alderaan,"
Jelena admitted with some sorrow, tears beginning to form in the corner
of her eyes. "He has done ... terrible things," she continued, bringing
her sheet up to her eyes to wipe away the tears. "...and it's a surprise
to listen to you defend him after all of the things he's put you through
... and what about your people?" she snapped back, in an angrily personal
question before throwing a steely-eyed glance back at her.
"Your father loves you. He does
*everything* for you. Why can't you see that?" Kerrie said, her voice
growing increasingly desperate. She lowered her head, shaking it
repeatedly as she tried to find the words to combat the youngster. "They
are no longer my people. I leave them to their fate," she protested, her
mind flashing back to her last trip Zolan and her banishment from her
homeworld. "It is my sworn duty to serve your father in whatever
capacity he sees fit, and I will do my duty to the utmost..." she said
proudly, rising from her chair to look down at Jelena again.
"Be careful, Kerrie, or your duties may
get you killed..." Jelena warned, before shifting in the bed, and allowing
her legs to swing free and touch the floor. She coldly brushed by her,
without uttering another word, before slipping into the refresher to
take a much needed shower and begin her day. She was confident that
Kerrie's duty to protect her, would prevent her from revealing her
Kerrie's mouth hung open for the
entirety of Jelena's journey to the refresher, choosing not to say a
single word in response to the cruel comment she had just been subjected
to. Once she was alone in the room she slinked forward, bending over to
pick up her helmet, and refasten it upon her head. Once her face was
covered she allowed herself to slip back into her native Clawdite
appearance, unable to properly focus on shapeshifting for the moment.
She was tempted to confront the Grand Moff and reveal his daughter's
subterfuge in the hope he would put an end to it, but she felt she no
longer had the man's confidence and it would likely only lead to further
complications between them. As she descended the stairs, her head sunk,
and she was completely out of ideas as to how to reason with Jelena ...
she was truly lost.