Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:5:3) in the Essesia system: Esseles (The Void).
El-Nay Darr, Commander Kerrie Kiley, and Commander Sierra Rodney.

The recent events in Sierra Rodney's life had reminded her how important it was to be capable physically. A long, long time ago a man named Maath Tafo had trained her. He taught her martial arts and how to never end up in a situation identical to the one that Rikka had put her in. She had expanded on her training by introducing weapons. Still, she had much to learn before she was ready to provide adequate protection to her family. Bruce Rodney would arrive in the world nude and beautiful. He would also come complete with a target on his back. It was in Sierra's best interest to seek out Kerrie Kiley for additional training. She refused to find herself under a Cathar's foot again, exploiting her team to so much damage.

The Kwai flew through Esseles smoothly. She was headed towards the Void where she knew she'd find Kerrie and El-Nay. Luna and her man-beast surely had been transferred over, as well as the Cathar who had nearly ended her life. Sierra let out a long sigh. The snow capped mountain range soon appeared before her. She had *arrived*. She directed the shuttle towards the hangar with a growing feeling of anticipation. It wasn't Kerrie who she contacted when deciding that she wanted former training. It was El-Nay. El-Nay seemed like a kind young woman who could understand her motivations for gaining some new skills. Slowly, she landed the ship and powered it down. She stepped out onto the ramp no longer wearing her ISB uniform. She wasn't here to play, she was here to work her rear off. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Her torso was covered in a heavy, furred jacket for all the right reasons. Simply stepping out into the hangar was freezing cold. She shivered, wondering if she should have worn something thicker than leggings. She looked around the hangar bay in search of one specific color...*orange*.

As the Kwai entered the hangar, a loud alarm began to sound, alerting everyone to the presence of an unauthorized arrival. All around the hangar Storm commandos and mercenaries began to take notice, but as Commander Kerrie Kiley was working on a mission briefing she immediately recognized the identifier as the Kwai ... the personal shuttle of Grand Moff Claudius Rodney. She has missed serving the Governor and his family, so at first she thought perhaps he was coming to inspect her new command. "Shut off that blasted alarm!" she ordered, and the controller eventually silenced it. She strode across the hangar towards the shuttle, but as she neared it she saw *only* Sierra. It was a minor disappointment as she worried that she might have been forgotten in her new role, but she nevertheless obediently bowed her head in reverence to the ISB Commander who was also the wife of the man she owed an unbreakable life debt. "You honor us with your presence, milady," she said, curious as to why she had come ... and out of uniform at that.

Hearing the commotion El-Nay Darr landed herself in the hangar bay, having been flying around conducting a training exercise in preparation for her next assignment. "Whatever it is ... I didn't do it!" she said, to no one in particular, before bringing her head up the top of her helmet to lower the targeting scanner down over her eye. She began looking around for the cause of the disturbance when she noticed the unmistakable sight of Sierra Rodney. Perhaps she had come to reward her for her rescue, or perhaps she found out just how many gemstones she plucked from her adopted Squib stepdaughter. Whatever it was, she was not going to get the news secondhand, and so she pushed her way through the crowd towards Kerrie. She did not like seeing her bow like that, but she understand that *a lot* happened in her time with the Empire prior to their reuniting that she would never understand. "Nice coat, milady. Where'd you get it?" she asked, before reaching out to tug at her sleeve.

Oye. This was the problem with Imperials. You could never plan a surprise party with all the damn alarms that went off. Sierra made a note to herself to get an authorization code prior to coming in next time. Now she was standing in front of her husband's ship feeling like she was naked with her underwear on her head. The hangar had filled with people who were *staring* at her. She had yet to spot El-Nay. It was Commander Kiley who found her first. She was happy to see that the Clawdite looked well after all she had been through. She made her way down the ramp and towards the Commander. She made a face. "You *really* don't have to do that, Commander." She respected Kerrie and didn't like seeing her bow.

Their conversation had yet to begun when another familiar friend appeared. There she was, sporting that orange: El-Nay. Sierra was oblivious as to how much the woman had made off of. She had been recovering during the first bout of Ewwiekewwieikkie's sickness. "Thanks, El-Nay. It's something my step-daughter threw out because it was out of season." Sierra laughed. Even she had to admit that Dru's had much better fashion sense than she did. She simply refused to ask the girl to shop for clothing for her. "I wanted to ask a favor of both of you. This one doesn't involve anyone bathing in bacta either." She smiled softly. "I was hoping that you both would train me. After everything that's happened, I've realized some areas of improvement. I want to be capable of protecting myself and my family." She came out and said it right away.

El-Nay swiped her gloved hand at the back of Kerrie's head, knocking her hat off her head. "Yeah. Don't do that," she said, with a great deal of emotion from the pain of seeing her in a form of servitude. "Train you?" she asked, stepping forward in front of Kerrie. "You came to the right place. My people are the best warriors in the galaxy. If anyone can train you, it's me," she declared, proudly, as she grinned from ear to ear beneath her helmet. She raised her hand to her chest, pounding her gloved hand upon the Mandalorian iron breastplate as if she were beating a shield.

Kerrie grit her teeth as she flashed a sideways glance to El-Nay, before bending down to pick up her hat. She dusted it off before carefully setting it upon her head again. El-Nay would never understand the history she had with Governor Rodney, and she suspected Sierra never would either. She would continue to bow to every member of his family for as long as she was physically able to. "Milady, it would be my honor to go over some basic defensive tactics with you," she said, as she moved forward until she was standing in front of El-Nay. "I do not recommend you take any advice from El-Nay, as she is lucky to be alive with the way she conducts herself in the field," she said, as she gave her another sideways glance. "Forget anything you have ever seen her do. *That* is your first lesson," she explained to Sierra, and she was *not* kidding.

She trusted both El-Nay and Kerrie. . . but maybe Kerrie a little more. El-Nay tactics were sometimes terrifying. She had to give the woman credit, she had reunited her and Claudius on Delaya. For that, her gratitude to the Mandalorian would never end. She was pleased that both women agreed to train her. "Thank you both. This is very important to me. I don't want a repeat of what happened on Delaya ever again." She laughed softly over the way El-Nay and Kerrie interacted with each other. They reminded her like an old married couple. Recalling the Mandalorian at the medcenter, she was sure that there were at least one-sided feelings there. "First lesson learned, Commander." She grinned, winking at El-Nay. She wondered if she could get some of that armor. It was so *cool*!!!

"Hey!" El-Nay groaned from beneath her helmet, as she slowly tilted her head to glare at Kerrie. "Both of you would still be kicking rocks on Delaya if it weren't for *me*!" she declared, as she placed both of her hands on her hips and puffed out her chest like a hero in a HoloNet cartoon. "So how many people you killed, lady?" she asked Sierra, getting right to the point. She wanted to see what kind of experience she was dealing with. Already in her mind she was outlining plans to teach Sierra how to blow up all sorts of things. She was approaching this thing a bit too heavy handed, but that was her nature.

Sierra laughed. "Oh yes, I'm sorry. You're my *hero*, El-Nay." They really ought to make action figures of her, she thought while looking at her pose. To her next question, Sierra had to stop and think. "We were supposed to be counting?" The Alderaan Guard Headquarters had been her first massive kill experience. She had gone into the building with an understanding of what was necessary to survive. "I don't know, maybe twenty, twenty-five people? I don't have a lot of experience. Up until a few weeks ago, what I knew was for defense, not offense." She explained to El-Nay. She had ever intended to occupy the battlefield all the time. Now the war was at her doorstep and there were people who would pay.

"El-Nay, do not speak to her like that, and do not ask her those types of questions. It's inappropriate," Kerrie said, talking to her as if she were a child. Her carefully mimicked human eyes blinked slowly when she heard Sierra discuss offense. "Is it offense you wish to learn then, Milady?" she asked her, as she began to wonder exactly what this was about. "Perhaps if you could explain your intentions I might be able to focus your training on the applicable skills," she told her, as a backdoor way of trying to gain more information. She was beginning to suspect the Governor did not know his wife was here or what she was up to.

"Offense *and* defense. My combat is weak all around." She explained to Kerrie. The Clawdite was pushing for more information. Sierra bit her lower lip. Her husband didn't know what she was up to. She highly doubted that he would approve of it. She would have never come to Kerrie and El-Nay if the training was dangerous or potentially hazardous for her child. She was sure Claudius would understand in due time. "I want to learn how to protect my family, even if that means being offensive about it." Her voice dropped in volume. "So much happened on Delaya. People continually attempted to kill Claudius and I. The very Imperial Governor who now sleeps in *my* home forced me to strip before him and humiliated me. Even when we left to arrest Gaius, there was so little I could do because my training was limited. I wasn't ready for the headquarters and you suffered for that." Sierra's focus was on Kerrie. "My son will be exposed to all these dangers as well. I don't want to feel helpless to protect him, Claudius, or my step daughters." She explained.

Kerrie let out a pained sigh when Sierra described the attacks against herself and the family. "I wish I had not been reassigned, Milady. During my tenure as bodyguard to the Governor I did my utmost to ensure everyone was safe," she said, revealing that she was still unhappy about being stripped of her previous position. "I will attempt to continue in that duty by helping train you to defend yourself," she said, as she raised her head back up and locked her steely blue eyes on her. "Please do not blame yourself for my injury. It was a wound that occurred in the line of duty and there is no shame in that," she declared, with a firm nod of her head. "You are not helpless. You conducted yourself with honor during the operation," she said, before reaching out with her hand, and placing it upon her shoulder.

"Oh blah, blah, blah," El-Nay said, mocking Kerrie from beneath her helmet. "If you get your head any more up her ass it's going to take a binary load lifter to pull you out of there," she said, rolling her eyes so severely beneath the T-shaped visor of her helmet that they practically rolled out of their sockets. "Everyone says I'm offensive, so I'll handle those part of the lessons," she said, proudly, unaware of what they meant. "I'll get you running and going in no time. Anyone takes a shot at you and you'll be able to blow 'em up no problem!" she declared, as she raised her wrist gauntlet with her rocket launcher.

Sierra's head lowered. Kerrie wasn't the only one who wished she had not been reassigned. Ultimately, Sierra had played a hand in all of that...hadn't she? "I know. I'd do anything to have you assigned to my husband once more. There is no one who has his back on the *I* shall have his back." At least Kerrie understood her motives. Eventually, there would be a counterattack on Papius. Sierra needed to be ready for that. Kerrie was so kind to her. The Commander's head slowly rose. She offered Kerrie the briefest of smiles. "Thank you."

El-Nay had such a potty mouth. Sierra blushed wildly and let out a gentle laugh. "Your eyes are rolling so hard I can feel it." They were both confident that they could train her...which made sense. Sierra laughed again, patting El-Nay on the shoulder softly. "Thank you...thank you both. I'm here to train, so let's get started." She felt so guilty sneaking around without Claudius knowing. Her mind then recalled the last time she'd checked on 'Pompous' Papius. He roamed around her home like it was his. His damn Grand Moff had pulled strings against her husband. She was tired of it. She was done being pushed around. (D)

"El-Nay, remove your armor," Kerrie ordered, as she turned her attention to the younger Mandalorian standing beside her. "I will have her demonstrate a couple of techniques you may find useful, milady," she said, as she moved Sierra away from the changing Mandalorian. "What type of sidearm have you selected?" she asked, as she unholstered her own KYD-21 blaster pistol. It was a finely polished weapon that reflected the artificial light in the hangar. It was quite old, but it had served her well in her previous career as both a bounty hunter and an assassin. "It is really not my place to ask, milady, but ... did your husband ever learn about his brother's extracurricular activities?" she asked, quietly so that El-Nay could not hear. The younger woman was a bit of a gossip.

"Why do I have to remove my..." she began, but Kerrie interrupted before she could even finish her question. Reluctantly, she began to remove the plates of old Mandalorian iron that covered her young, slender, but athletic frame. Eventually she was stripped down to the dark environmental suit that lay beneath the armor, removing her helmet as the last step. Beneath the helmet lay the unexpected appearance of a young woman with artificially dyed blonde hair and shaved sides, which betrayed her natural hair color. She felt quiet uncomfortable without her helmet on, and found it difficult to make eye contact with any of the other Imperials and mercenaries that were around. Expecting a demonstration to be coming, she began stretching and limbering up so that she could defeat Kerrie and show off in front of Sierra.

"I haven't selected a sidearm. I was hoping you'd be able to help me with that. I've only really used the standard E-11." She admitted to Kerrie. She stood in front of the woman as clay that needed to be molded. Her trust for Kerrie and El-Nay had brought her to them. She rocked her head from side to side slowly at Kerrie's question. "Eh... We're talking about the extracurriculars that don't involve the HoloNet, right? Have you *seen* the recent Auntie Mae's commercial?" Sierra snickered. "Yes and no. I told him that his brother played a part in ending the whole... ransom ordeal. Of course, he's as curious as a cat and wanted to know more. I told him not to press Marcus..." El-Nay had even told her the name of Marcus' other identity. "Given all that's going on, perhaps it'll slip his mind..?"

Sierra backed away from El-Nay. As surprising as it was, this was the first time she'd seen the woman with no armor on. It was shocking because it was so different! The armor was just a part of her. "Good luck." Sierra waved at El-Nay then crossed her arms over her chest. This was going to be interesting.

A smirk came upon El-Nay's young face as she watched Kerrie and Sierra having a private conversation. *This* was the opportunity that she needed, and she began surging toward Kerrie from behind. As she leapt in the air to tackle Kerrie from behind, the Clawdite heard the surge of movement behind her and knew what was coming. She sidestepped out of the way, catching El-Nay as she was diving, and slammed her down to the ground ... *hard*. El-Nay let out a groan of pain as her face was slammed into the deck, causing a combination of blood and saliva to go flying from her mouth. Kerrie quickly followed up, pressing her knee against El-Nay's throat and pressing her into the ground. "The first lesson is to never be overly aggressive, milady," she said, as she looked down at El-Nay's face, which was beginning to turn purple. "A good defense will *always* beat a good defense," she said, before she pulled her knee off. A defeated El-Nay curled up into the fetal position, desperately gasping for air in a pathetic display. *This* was not what she had intended.

Sierra watched the demonstration that the Clawdite put on. She smoothly slammed El-Nay to the ground, thus proving that size didn't matter ... in combat, anyway! She couldn't help but chuckle as El-Nay began turning all the various colors of the rainbow underneath Kerrie's knee. "A wise lesson indeed." Sierra commented, stepping towards the Mandalorian. She crouched down, patting the girl on the back. "There, there. Maybe next time?"

After comforting her, Sierra rose. She shrugged off her jacket and threw it aside. Beneath, she wore a simple tank top that clung to her body. She came ready to begin her training today. There was no time like the present, after all. She looked at Kerrie, waiting further instruction.

El-Nay grumbled as Sierra pat her on the back. She was more embarrassed than hurt, and as she managed to sit up she flashed a deadly glance up at Kerrie. She sat there, bringing her knees up against her chest, before wrapping her arms around them. Finally, she lowered her head, turned it on its side, and lay it upon her knees. She needed a moment. "Time out," she said, as she began to rock back and forth.

Kerrie felt bad for El-Nay, but she did not want the girl to get in the way of the very serious training Sierra would need. She did not want to be responsible for her injuring herself if she were not properly trained. "In reality it would take a grave situation for you to find yourself in melee combat, milady," she said, as she moved towards a rack of E-11 blaster rifles. "The E-11 is a versatile weapon that has served the Stormtrooper Corps well," she said, as she picked one out of the rack. She gave it a careful once over, making sure the iron sight were properly configured and the power cell had a full charge. Extending the stock she handed it over to Sierra, before leading her towards a firing range. A series of targets were moving across the wall, from left to right, and up and down at variable speeds. "Take your time and be steady with your shots. A slower, aimed shot will almost always beat a fast shot off the hip," she said, with a nod, before stepping out of her line of fire.

She took the E-11 from Kerrie. This was a weapon which she was becoming increasingly more comfortable with. Though she owned a pistol, she preferred the power of a blaster rifle. She quietly followed behind Kerrie towards the firing range. She eyed the moving targets. She knew full well that her aim needed some help. She stepped up and positioned her gun where she could see the crosshairs. Heeding to Kerrie's advice, she took her time. She watched. She waited to squeeze the trigger until she was sure that she would hit the target. When she did, she actually hit it. A little smile briefly appeared on her face, yet she kept a level head. Getting too excited could derail her concentration or allow her to become *cocky*. She continued to practice her shooting skills. She didn't hit every target...she was far from perfect, all-in-all, but this was day one. Sierra had much work to do before she was more equipped to protect her family.

Kerrie watched as Sierra shot at the targets, smiling when she hit one, and slightly grimacing when she missed one. "Very good, milady," she went, as she stepped forward and began reprogramming the targets. When she was done they began to move quicker and in less predictable routes. As Sierra began, Kerrie went to her holster and pulled out her KYD-21 blaster pistol. She raised the weapon above Sierra's head and began gently pulling back on the trigger, unleashing blaster bolts above her head to simulate real world conditions. She wanted to see how the noblewoman and ISB agent would react to this part of the training. "Being able to aim under normal conditions is one thing. Being able to aim when they're shooting back is another," she said, between shots.

Sierra's focus had been on the targets in front of her. She barely noticed Kerrie come up behind her. When she did, the Clawdite was already shooting over her head. She wasn't ready for it and fumbled with her weapon for a second. This had been the most difficult part about the Alderaan guard headquarters. The targets actually fought back. She felt her head beat begin to race as her body dared to go into panic mode. She fought down the flight response of fight or flight and continued to shoot. A few moments later, she regained her footing with the blaster rifle and began hitting targets again. Sierra realized she needed to be aware of everything going on around her. If her flank was left exposed and Kerrie had been an enemy, then she would be dead. She started to examine what was around them...the storm commandos practicing further down the firing range. El-Nay, temper tantruming on the floor. Her heartbeat slowly steadied. Her breathing leveled. She could do this...right?

El-Nay rose from the ground, dusting herself off, as she watched Kerrie shooting off her blaster from behind Sierra. *Now* she surely would be unprepared for an attack, she thought to herself, as she surged forward in a second attempt to blitz her. Despite all that was happening around her, Kerrie once again heard the pitter patter of El-Nay's feed as she approached and at the last minute she twisted her body once again. This time, she grabbed hold of El-Nay by her arm, dislocating her shoulder as she flipped her into the air before slamming her onto the ground. El-Nay writhed in agony as her right arm grotesquely hung from her side, out of its socket. "Medic!" Kerrie cried, as she stood over the blubbering El-Nay. "And that concludes the lesson for the day," she said, businesslike, as she adjusted her uniform and stood rigidly in front of Sierra.

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