Major Sierra Rodney navigated through the corridors
of the Retributor towards the medical bay. She was in a
rather good mood, as she had successfully gotten on top
of her work. It was also time for Doctor Tohan to give
her son his one month check up. It was hard to believe
that Bruce had already been with them a little over a
month. It felt like forever ago, but, at the same time,
it felt like no time at all. The little boy had grown so
much since his birth. It brought sanity into his
overprotective mother's mind. The boy was seated in his
carrier against Sierra's chest, gnawing on the stuffed
bantha that Kerrie had gifted him with at the baby
shower. Beneath Sierra's arm a box of Pilaq's favorite
exquisite treats could be seen. In order to deliver the
news she was about to, she needed to butter up the old
As she entered the sickbay, she spotted Doctor Bailo
programming a medical droid. She had heard that she and
Pilaq had taken care of Governor Arundel at Zara and
Marcus' ball. She wondered how tempting it had been for
them to not allow the evil man to bleed out. "Doctor
Bailo," Sierra said with a polite smile. "What kind of
mood is Doctor Tohan in today?" She began testing the
waters early as she moved closer to the female.
Alessandra Bailo let out a long sigh from both of her
mouths. She brought her fingers into a fist and gently
bopped the medical droid on its head. Doctor Bailo was
falling into a routine around the Retributor. She
normally started her day with morning rounds amongst
what patients occupied the sickbay. When her droid
malfunctioned mid-rounds, she grew frustrated. "I'm the
old one here." She grumbled. "I should be
malfunctioning, not you." The doctor was good with her
people patients...not the mechanical ones. She abandoned
her work when she saw Lady Rodney. "Milady." She said,
bowing her large hammerhead respectfully. She began
making her slow way towards Pilaq's office where she
readied to knock. Sierra's question made Alessandra
respond with a slow rub of her chin. "...The kind of
mood that requires you to be gentle with his heart." She
replied nervously. It seemed like he was still
recovering from the traumatic birth of Bruce Rodney.
Asking no more questions, she knocked at his door.
"Doctor Tohan, I believe you have an appointment."
Doctor Tohan was moving from plant to plant in the
Imperial sickbay with a taste of Ithorian flavor, going
through the process of watering each and every one with
the appropriate amount of water. He did this because it
reminded him of home, gave him patients that actually
cooperated, plus the advantage of the therapeutic
benefits of nature. When he heard Doctor Bailo announce
he had an appointment, his large, bulbous eyes narrowed
and he considered squirting some of the water at whoever
had come to disturb him. He placed the water down, and
reached for his walking stick, before laboriously
walking towards the door. When he reached it, he thrust
the stick forward to press the activator, to open the
door. "Hmm," he muttered, as he looked towards the
woman. "What has happened now?" he asked, already
sounding quite weary. He was expecting the worst, which
had been par for the course for the House of Rodney.
This was the first time where Sierra honestly felt
nervous seeing Pilaq. The kind, old Ithorian had stood
up to an Inquisitor for the sake of her and Claudius'
son. That topped the long, long list of the things Pilaq
had done for the House of Rodney. She offered him a
gentle smile. "Oh! Uh, nothing has happened. Nothing
bad, anyway..." She stuttered but quickly regained her
composure. "I was hoping you could perform Bruce's one
month check up." It was a good place to start. Sierra
adjusted, grasping at the box for Pilaq. "I brought you
this too." She offered it to him with a charming smile
on her face. Beneath her uniform, Sierra had begun to
sweat. She could clearly imagine the old Ithorian
clutching his chest in a heart attack. Her blue eyes
lifted from him. She could see Doctor Bailo lingering
nearby like she expected Sierra to deliver bad news. It
was *worse* than bad news: it was good news.
"Of course. Please bring him towards the table,"
Pilaq said, as the long digits of his hand tightened
around the walking stick and he began to move towards a
free table. However, before he got there she offered him
a gift. "Oh. Uh. Thank you. Most kind. Most gracious,"
he said, as he reached out with a free hand and
continued on his way. Being too old to wait for anyone
or anything he opened the box and discovered some
Ithorian delicacies. "Oh. How unexpected, milady," he
said, as both smiles began to widen on his distinct
hammerhead. He reached into the box and picked up his
favorite, devouring it almost in one bite. "Alessandra,
treat from home," he said, as he politely offered the
box in her direction. "Now let's see the little big
man," he said, as his attention shifted to Bruce.
Alessandra was suspicious ... and concerned for Pilaq.
When she returned back to her medical droid, she found
it in perfect working condition like it had never
malfunctioned several hours earlier. She wondered if
hitting it had fixed it. Upon hearing her name,
Alessandra made her way over to Sierra, Bruce, and Pilaq.
Her eyes widened and she, too, began to smile. "Oh,
thank you." She plucked up her own favorite treat and
consumed it slowly. Since leaving Jubilee, she had not
had any authentic Ithorian cuisine. The treat from
Sierra was delicious...and it made her even more
suspicious! She turned towards Bruce. "My! He's grown so
much!" She exclaimed, shocked by his development.
Sierra carefully brought her son out from the baby
carrier and rested him on the table. The boy's darkening
eyes landed on the Ithorian doctors. The sight of them
brought a wide, toothless smile to his face. He reached
upward and outstretched his fingers. Sierra lingered
near to him. As a mother, she found it necessary to
always keep a watchful eye on her children. "You deserve
much more than that, Doctor. I haven't had the chance to
properly thank you for what you did following the
Inquisitor's arrival." Sierra ran her fingers over the
blonde fuzz covering Bruce's head. "I can't thank you
enough." The old Ithorian had enabled Bruce to stay safe
where he belonged.
Doctor Tohan waved his hand at Sierra, dismissing her
suggestion that he deserved more. "You honor me, milady,
but your husband saved my life when the Empire came to
Ithor, and I am forever in his debt, and in the debt of
his family," he said to her, as he began examining the
boy. He began touching his feet and gauging his basic
reflexes while the medical droid began scanning his
vital statistics. To his great relief both his
examination and the droid confirmed that the young Lord
Bruce Rodney was fine. "Your son is an excellent
health," he said to Sierra, before confirming it with a
nod to Doctor Bailo. He had hoped this was the end of
the turmoil that surrounded the youngster, but he was
not yet aware of the Emperor and Lord Vader's interest
Sierra wasn't ready to admit that Lord Vader would
take her son from her at his fifth birthday. It seemed
like if she said it, then she would doom it to come
true. As terribly selfish as she was, she wanted the boy
to grow up with his family. She watched over the checkup
while continuing to speak. "You have repaid your debt
time and time again, my friend. You have saved our
lives, the lives of other members of the family, and the
life of our *son*." She appreciated Pilaq to no end. His
words took years off of her. Sierra released tension she
didn't know she'd been holding. "Oh, thank you, thank
you!" She stepped forward, giving the Ithorian a tight
hug. She quickly turned to her son. Her fingertips
tickled at his tummy softly just to get him to let out a
happy squeal. "You're so healthy. I'm so proud of you,
Bruce." Her lips pressed into his forehead. She picked
up the boy and turned towards Pilaq. "T-There's
something I do need to tell you." Sierra began. Bruce
was now intently watching the Doctor.
Pilaq bowed his head politely to Sierra in response
to her continued compliments, but did not attempt to
dissuade her further. As he watched mother and son he
found himself instinctively reaching towards Alessandra,
and embracing her forearm gently. He thought the visit
was over, and as he was about to return to tending his
garden Sierra stopped him. "Oh?" he asked, as he turned
to look at her. The sound of her voice and her body
language was beginning to signal that there was
something wrong. "What is it, milady?" he asked her, his
fingers tightening around Alessandra's wrist as he felt
he needed the support. He swallowed, which filled the
room with an audible flushing noise.
Watching Sierra's interactions with Bruce made
Alessandra very happy. She could clearly recall the
birth of the boy and how stressed everyone had been over
Sierra's early delivery. It was good to see the boy
making such strides. She had come to understand that
Claudius had been waiting for that boy for a *very* long
time. Alessandra's hand came to rest over Pilaq's. She
turned her head so he could see her smiles. Both of them
quickly disappeared when Sierra made it apparent that
she wasn't done. The female Ithorian made herself stand
strong. Her hands guided Pilaq to lean into her. She
would support him.
Sweat rolled down Sierra's spine. She, too, gulped.
"Well," she began. Her throat had become more dry than
the deserts of Tatooine. "I. . . I'm pregnant." She
rapidly revealed. "I took an at-home test a few weeks
ago. It was positive." The young woman felt so nervous
revealing this information to Pilaq. "I was hoping you'd
be my doctor again, and that you could confirm that the
child growing inside of me is well too."
The words that Doctor Tohan heard come out of
Sierra's mouth caused all of the blood to flow from his
head, making him feel lightheaded and dizzy. "Ohh..." he
groaned slightly, as he tightened his hand around both
Doctor Bailo and the walking stick. He backed up slowly
until he could take a seat at the first opportunity.
"Water ... water," he pleaded, as he lowered his head
and closed his eyes. "Yes. Yes of course I shall be your
doctor," he said, as he looked over at her. "Just give
me a moment and I will begin the exam," he assured her,
as he began breathing exercises to try and regain his
The news that Sierra delivered was shocking.
Alessandra's eyes darted to the woman's stomach, both in
shock and amazement that it had happened again so
quickly for her. She had to wonder if they were getting
any work done upstairs other than expanding the House of
Rodney. The woman could feel Pilaq losing his footing
and wrapped her arm around him to help him to a chair.
She disappeared rapidly to pour him a cup of water, and
returned that much quicker. She offered it to him with
one hand, while the other was placed on the middle of
his back in a gentle form of affection. She looked down
at him with a worried expression. "*We* will begin the
exam," she corrected. Alessandra had infinite more
experience in this than he. "Please, lay down." She
instructed Sierra while crouching down to whisper into
Pilaq's ear. "Let me conduct the examination." Part of
the point of her being there was to take some of the
weight off of the old Ithorian's shoulders. Alessandra
made her way over to Sierra. "It seems we have no need
to discuss birth control options now." Pilaq's sass was
rubbing off on her. She began the exam, first by
summoning her medical droid to take Sierra's vitals.
Pilaq didn't die. He didn't look good, but the news
of her pregnancy hadn't been what killed him. The rest
of the tension Sierra was holding disappeared. "Thank
you. Claudius and I would see no one else deliver our
children." She didn't mind Doctor Bailo at this point,
but she would never hold the same weight that Doctor
Tohan did in her life. Sierra did as Doctor Bailo
instructed and laid back with Bruce on her chest. "It
was a few weeks ago, while we were in Delaya, that I
took the pregnancy test. My daughter, Ewwiekewwieikkie,
told me that there was another Bruce in my 'tummy'. As
crazy as it was, I had to check after that." She
explained to Alessandra while the woman exposed her
Pilaq reached out to take the cup of the water, and
drank it hurriedly as if he had been left to language in
the Jundland Wastes. While he was attempting to collect
himself he found himself losing his duties to
Alessandra, which prompted him to rise up from his chair
far sooner than he was ready. With labored breaths he
hurried over towards the examining table to join in on
the inspection of Sierra. "That girl can smell a cookie
two systems away. It should come as no surprise she can
detect new life," he said, as he moved to stand beside
Sierra's head while Alessandra conducted the
examination. "You and Claudius did not waste any time,"
he commented, with a bit of sass, as it seemed they were
heading right back down the wild path of childbirth
She laughed. "You're not kidding. I hid some Wookiee
cookies in the house one day. I never thought she'd find
them. I was so wrong." Sierra spoke affectionately about
her Squibs. She was doing her best to ignore what
Alessandra was doing. There was no way for Sierra to
maintain control when it came to a baby. She could do
everything right and *still* lose the child. What
Inquisitor Thrope had done to her had a great impact.
She laughed fuller at Pilaq. "Well, considering how much
older he is than me...can you really blame us?" Her eyes
slowly drifted downward.
Doctor Bailo pressed a unholy cold device against
Sierra's womb. Her large hammerhead moved up and down in
a nod. "The test you took was correct. You are, indeed,
pregnant again. If you aren't taking your prenatal
medication, you will need to begin to immediately. You
had a problem with iron deficiency during your last
pregnancy. The more greens the better." Alessandra
ranted. She hoped that this child would wait until the
time was right. While she had said nothing at the time,
Alessandra had worried that what happened would result
in Sierra no longer being capable of conception. She was
happy to see she was wrong. "But you, my dear, are doing
well so far. It seems this child is on the road to being
just as healthy as your son." Alessandra stepped aside
to give Pilaq his own chance to examine her. She had
wanted him to rest, but it seemed she only cracked the
"Your late mother-in-law was compelled to hire a
pastry chef when Ewwiekewwieikkie first arrived on
Delaya," Pilaq informed Sierra, reminiscing about the
late Duchess Livia Rodney. He did not comment about her
sex life with Claudius, but when Doctor Bailo confirmed
the pregnancy his eyes widened again. When Doctor Bailo
concluded, he moved down the length of the table until
arriving at Sierra's midsection. "Who am I to argue with
a Squib's nose?" he asked them both, before reaching for
the tool and begin his own examination of Sierra. "Yes.
Eat healthy," he said, as his hand tightened on the
walking stick and slammed the base into the floor to
emphasize his words.
A pastry chef. That was a great idea ... and a
terrible one at the same time. Sierra imagined the
Squibs ordering sweets all day and night until a section
of the estate's wall had to taken out in order to get
the girls out of the house. She, too, began to think of
Livia. There wasn't a day that had gone by where she
didn't resent the loss of such an amazing woman and a
great influence in her own life. "I will." She promised.
"Between Ewwiekewwieikkie and Melickielickie, the girls
eat more than enough sweets for all of us." She sighed.
Despite all of her efforts, she couldn't seem to get
them eating healthy. She had even tried making 'healthy'
forms of desserts that they enjoyed. Melickielickie
wasn't fooled at all. She simply spat out the
veggie-filled brownies and declared them as 'yucky'.
Slowly, Sierra began sitting up. She had nothing but
good news to report to her husband. "Thank you both.
Life is moving smoothly at the moment. Something bad
will happen sooner or later, so we best enjoy it."
Alessandra's hand helped the young Rodney woman sit
up. She lingered close to Pilaq. "And stay away from
that Inquisitor. Do everything you can to hide this from
her." She warned. "Return in another month for your next
appointment." Alessandra took a step back. She hoped
that this family wouldn't be what killed Pilaq. She
enjoyed his presence far too much. It would hurt.
Doctor Tohan watched as Alessandra helped Sierra up
from the examination table. "Let the Squibs eat their
cakes, but you *must* eat your vegetables," he scolded
her, sounding more like her grandfather than her
physician. "Do not focus on future woes, milady. Live
for today," he instructed her, as he allowed Alessandra
to escort Sierra from sickbay. He turned his attention
back to the box of Ithorian delicacies, now
understanding why she had brought them. He again picked
out one of his favorites, enjoying the now much needed
treat. What an unexpected turn of events this day had
Alessandra took Sierra and her son to the corridor
outside of the sickbay. She nodded to Sierra. "Milady, I
will see you again soon." She would not take Sierra any
further after the bomb that the woman had dropped. She
stayed just long enough to watch Sierra disappear, then
she made her way back to Pilaq. "What a day."
There were many worries that the visit to the doctors
had cleared from Sierra Rodney's head. Against all odds,
Bruce was doing well. Against all odds, so was the child
she was currently creating. She returned to her office
with a skip in her step and a smile on her face. For
once, she was going to listen to Pilaq and live in the
moment. She didn't think twice about bursting into
Claudius' office to deliver the good news. "Honeeyyy,
I'm home!" She called out. As if her smile wasn't enough
of a sign of good fortune, the tone of her voice was.
At the sound of his wife's voice Grand Moff Claudius
Rodney put down the datapad he was reviewing and rose
from his seat. He knew his wife was going to sickbay
both to have Bruce looked over by the doctors *and*
reveal her pregnancy to begin her prenatal care. He had
attempted to bury himself in his work to keep from
thinking about it, but it had not worked and he had
gotten very little done. He moved from his around his
desk in a hurry to reach Sierra, but instead his right
foot made contact with a Rainbow Rancor plush that had
been left out on the floor. "Gaah!" he cried out as he
stumbled forward, crashing into the floor face first
with a tremendous crash. It had been a long time since
he had to look out for children's toys on the floor when
moving about his office.
If Claudius had gone with her, it was pretty likely
that Pilaq would have whacked him with his walking
stick. It was easier to have her husband hide while she
took on the brunt of the old Ithorian's sass. Her smile
grew as soon as she saw him, but that smile turned to a
frown when he crashed into the floor as a result of
Bruce's Rainbow Rancor plush. "Claudius!" She quickly
set Bruce down in his bassinet, then bent down in front
of her husband. "That looked painful." She frowned,
offering him both of her hands to help him up. "We can't
summon Pilaq. He will come up here and beat you with his
stick." She leaned forward to kiss his forehead.
Claudius lay there until Sierra came to assist him,
gratefully accepting her assistance in becoming upright.
"Oh. It was nothing," he said to her, in an obvious lie,
as he smirked at her and began dusting off his uniform.
"No. Please don't. Keep that man away from me. He's more
dangerous than any Rebel," he said to her, before she
placed a kiss upon his forehead. "So ... what news?" he
asked her, as he was genuinely concerned about what the
doctors found during the examination of both his wife
and son. He looked to her, trying to remain optimistic,
but there was always a fear in the back of his mind of
something going wrong.
"Mhm. *Nothing*." She would have needed to be dumb,
deaf, and blind to believe that lie. Instead of making
him admit that he was in pain, she led him towards one
of the chairs in front of his desk where they could sit
together with their knees against one another's. Her
hands remained in his. "I actually have a lot of good
news. Bruce is doing very well, as am I *and* the child
growing within me. I told him. The news certainly seemed
to floor Pilaq, but he's agreed to continue being my
doctor. Thanks for leaving me to deal with his sass
alone." She winked. "There's no other news to report
yet. I'm relieved to hear everything is going so well
for all of us." Especially Bruce, who Sierra worried
"No need to thank me, my love," Claudius teased, as
he was moved to the seating area after his near death
experience with his son's fearsome rancor monster.
"Doctor Tohan is unharmed then?" he asked her, as he
adjusted himself in his seat, becoming more comfortable
now that he knew both his wife and child were alright.
"I could not be happier," he told her, as he reached
across and allowed his hand to come to rest on her knee.
"I am glad that last hurdle has been cleared. Now we are
free to focus on the birth of our next child," he said,
with a broad smile, before reaching for the pitcher of
water to pour them each a glass. With that done he was
quick to raise the glass to his lips, heartily drinking
"He seemed to be. I left him in the capable hands of
Doctor Bailo. It was a good idea to bring him a peace
offering. If I get pregnant again, I think something
stronger than sweets will be necessary." Sierra laughed.
She was happy that good times had settled in over their
life again. "Either could I. The appointment with Pilaq
was very productive. I didn't realize how much stress I
was feeling while worrying about Bruce until Pilaq
confirmed that he's healthy." Sierra's hand turned. She
squeezed his hand. "I promise next delivery is going to
be easier. I never want to put you through what happened
with Bruce ever again." She turned, graciously picking
up the glass of water. Her throat felt dry from
delivering the news to Doctor Tohan. She drank slowly.
"What were you doing while I was gone?" She said, eyeing
the work left on his desk with a playful grin on her
Before Claudius could answer her question there was a
beep from the terminal on his desk, indicating that
there was an incoming transmission. "That's a promise
I'm going to hold you to," he told her, before turning
to look over his shoulder at his desk. "While you were
gone?" he asked her, as he turned his attention back to
her. "The same thing I do *every* time you're gone ...
wait for you to come back," he said, before he leaned
over to place a kiss upon her. "I'm sorry," he said,
quietly, before rising up from the seating area and
moving back towards his desk. When he arrived he looked
down and saw it was an incoming transmission from
Governor Arundel of Delaya. "Papius," he said to Sierra,
in an angry tone, before he allowed himself to settle
back into his seat. Reluctantly he moved his hand
forward, pressing the button that activated the
The holographic projector embedded into Claudius'
desk activated and a moment later a blue holographic
projection of Governor Papius Arundel appeared in the
seat opposite Grand Moff. "Ah. Governor Rodney," he
said, with a smirk, and an arrogant tone in his voice.
"I bring news from your home planet of Delaya," he said,
with a confident shake of his head, as he relished in
reminding him of the fact that he was in the man's home.
"I was actually attempting to reach Major Rodney," he
said, before looking for a hint of her presence. "The
trial of your cousin, Lord Gaius Rodney, disgraced
former commander of the Alderaan Guard, is set to
begin," he continued, as he folded his hands neatly in
his lap. "I request the presence of Major Rodney to
oversee the trial, as this is a matter suited for the
Imperial Security Bureau," he continued, biting down
upon his lower lip to keep from showing too much
enthusiasm. "As she was targeted by the man on numerous
occasions I thought she might relish the opportunity,"
he added, dangling Gaius like a carrot to draw his prey.
"Hm?" She looked towards the terminal on his desk.
Who was trying to reach her husband now? Hopefully not
Pilaq, who was capable of resorting to transmitting his
sass instead of making his way all the way up to their
joint offices. His answer to her question brought the
smile back to her face. She leaned back in her seat to
relax and drink. "You're lost without me." She said it
teasingly, but it was *she* who was lost without him. It
was wonderful to provide him assistance in his work life
and otherwise. "Don't be." She mouthed to his apology.
He was the Grand Moff, after all. He had work to do.
*Papius* he said. Papius was transmitting to him.
What could the sinister pervert possibly want now?
Sierra instinctively folded her arms over her chest and
crossed her legs. She watched the projection of the man
she hated so much appear. He looked so full of himself.
The narcissistic Governor of Delaya looked as if he'd
found himself a fine bone...and it better be fine for
him daring to contact Claudius. Seeing him made her
angry. Hearing him made it worse. He had, indeed, found
himself a bone by the name of Gaius Rodney. Sierra had
taken the first step to justice by arresting him. She
had assumed that she would not be allowed to partake in
the trial, but now Papius was requesting otherwise. She
saw this for what it was: a trap. The first step on
Delaya forced her to step outside of Claudius'
jurisdiction... and his protection. Sierra felt the pull
towards justice. Gaius was directly responsible for
Julius' death and indirectly responsible for the death
of Livia. His list of crimes was lengthy. Could she give
the House of Rodney what it needed.
"I'm here, Governor." She said, neither sounding
pleased or unhappy. Sierra rose. She rounded Claudius'
desk but remained behind his seat as to not allow the
man to look on much of her body. "I would, indeed, enjoy
to see my cousin dealt repercussions for his actions."
She looked down at Claudius. Her gut feeling said this
was a bad idea. She was morally obliged to make sure
that Gaius wasn't set free to terrorize the family
again. "I will oversee the trial under the stipulation
that I will bring my own security detail." She answered.
Her voice sounded confident. Inside, she had her fears.
Claudius did not like the idea one bit, but before he
could answer his wife responded, and despite his
disagreement he felt it important to present a united
front. He grit his teeth and curled his hands upon the
desk, all the while glaring at the holographic
projection of the man who had caused them no end of
trouble. If he had his way he would send an entire
legion of Stormtroopers with her. He was trying to
steady his breathing ... trying not to make a display
that the Governor could use later.
"Oh how wonderful," Gaius said, as he looked up to
Sierra who was hiding behind her husband in such a cute
manner. "Yes. By all means. Bring that sorry excuse for
a Mandalorian. With her history of wanton destruction of
the castle, firing off rockets, I'm sure you'll be
perfectly safe," he added, with a soft chuckle. "See you
soon," he said, before flashing a smile at Sierra and
delicately waving each of his fingers individually at
her. With that the holographic image faded away, as he
had much to do in terms of preparation.
Sierra remained composed as long as it took for the
holographic image to disappear. She was haunted by the
visage of the man, forcing herself to close her eyes and
shake her head until it dissipated into nothingness.
Both of her hands landed on Claudius' shoulders. It
seemed like she was leaning into him to stop herself
from falling over. Inside her breast, her heart was
beating very quickly. "I have to do it," she immediately
jumped into justifying her actions not just to her
husband, but also to herself. "Gaius will slip through
the cracks. Papius will see that he's released if I
don't do *something*." Delaya had stopped being safe
once Papius Arundel settled on the planet. She didn't
want to think of what would happen this time. "The
family has waited far too long to see Gaius suffer for
what he did." Julius... Livia... Gaius had attempted to
murder them so many times.
"That man," Claudius said, angrily, before raising
his right hand and then slamming it back down upon his
desk. The only thing keeping him from a complete
outburst was the presence of his wife's hands on his
shoulders. "I know you *have* to," he replied, with a
defeatist attitude, as she began to recount the many
crimes that his cousin committed against his family. The
loss of his parents was still an open wound that was
never getting a chance to heal. He lowered his head,
bringing both of his hands up to support it. "He must be
put to death," he said, coldly, of the man responsible
for the death and injury of everyone that mattered to
him. His only regret was that he could not pull the
It always seemed like Governor Arundel had a new
trick up his sleeves in which to case trouble with. The
wound that the death of his parents had left behind was
never going to heal with Gaius still out there. Sierra
wanted to provide the family with closure. "There is no
more fitting sentence for him than death." The man had
inflicted far too much pain. Life in prison wasn't
enough. "What are my chances of getting him reassigned
to your jurisdiction after he's sentenced?" She asked.
Her hands gravitated upward through his hair, grasping
at his hands. She guided him to his feet, then on
towards the sofa in the sitting area of his office. She
sat first, then persuaded him to sit with his head in
her lap where her finger could dig into his scalp. She
wasn't going to leave him riled up like this. She
wouldn't even leave for Delaya until the morning.
"With any other Governor professional courtesy might
have caused him to deliver Papius into our midst,"
Claudius explained, but he knew there was no
professionalism when it came to Governor Arundel or
Grand Moff Praji. Before he knew it he was up and on the
move again, but this time without tripping over
anything, which was a small miracle with Bruce's toys
and datapads piled up everywhere. As his head settled
into her lap he closed his eyes and tried to relax, but
until she began to rub his scalp that just was not
possible. "Everything will be okay," he told her, as he
exhaled in a relaxed sigh. "...but I would prefer if you
did not take Bruce to Delaya," he asked of her,
uncertain of how she would react.
"Professional courtesy; two words that are *not* in
that man's vocabulary." She had no doubt that Papius
would harass her even more if she wasn't hiding behind
her husband. As strong as a woman as she was, Papius had
made her feel miserable. "Everything will be okay," she
repeated back to him. It seemed those were words that
they both needed to hear. Her fingers continued their
gentle, relaxing work. She knew Bruce couldn't come with
her. It wasn't safe. At the same time, Sierra was
closely bonded with her son. She would only be able to
leave him knowing that he was in the capable hands of
his father. "I... I would too. Papius hates our family.
He wouldn't think twice about doing something to our
son." She looked downward at him. "I hate leaving you
both. I don't like it when we are separated. Can't I
just hide you somewhere and bring you with me?" She
laughed softly ... she wasn't kidding.
"Hmm. I *could* pull a page out of your playbook and
disguise myself as a mercenary or Storm commando, *but*
if I were discovered the Emperor's advisor has made the
consequences clear," Claudius informed his wife,
although the risk was not so great that it made him
consider not going with her. "Though I confess I might
not be of much use, as I've not had to fire a blaster
since the Clone Wars," he said, with a soft chuckle as
he imagined himself in full armor trying to blast away
Sierra grumbled. Indeed she recalled that last
meeting with the Emperor's advisor and all the
unpleasantness that came with it. Claudius had come to
her aid with the Retributor. Sierra didn't doubt that
he'd do it again if he believed something were wrong,
which would result in serious trouble. She looked down
at him and grinned. "Oooh, something tells me if Papius
gave you the grounds to shoot him, it would be the
perfect shot." Sierra's fingers toyed with his hair
while she giggled. "Disguise yourself and come with me.
We'll have Kerrie fill in for you while you're gone to
avoid suspicion. I'm sure she will welcome some time
away from the estate only caring for one child." Her
hands continued down his face. "As selfish as it is, I
don't want to be away from you. I worry Papius will
prolong the trial to keep me isolated on Delaya. He's
going to make this trial as difficult as he can for me.
I would much prefer you were there by my side, even if
your skills with a blaster are lacking." She winked as
she teased him.
When Sierra endorsed his idea of traveling to Delaya
in disguise he moved his hand over his stomach,
wondering if he could still fit into a suit of armor.
"Alright, my love. I'll come with you. I don't want to
be away from you either," he said to her, as he closed
his eyes, and moved dangerously close to falling asleep
with her lap becoming the most comfortable pillow he had
ever experienced. "I'll be at your side. No matter how
difficult Governor Arundel makes it for us," he said,
before rolling over onto his back so he could look up at
her. "You are smarter and more capable than him. He will
not succeed at whatever it is this is really about," he
explained to her, as he smiled affectionately up at her.
There was no doubt in Sierra's mind that her time on
Delaya would be trying. It was best that Claudius agreed
to come. She felt as if she functioned better when he
was close in every way. The codependency that had formed
between them was immense, but she felt no need to stop
it. One of her hands came to rest on his chest while the
other remained in his hair like she was trying to tempt
him into a midday nap. "Thank you, my love. Regardless
of whatever motive Governor Arundel has, I will get the
justice our family deserves." She promised him, bending
down deeply to steal a kiss. "I can't wait to see you in
armor." There was a twinkle in her eye. The wheels
inside of her head were already turning. She had so much
evidence against Gaius that death was surely to be the
only verdict for him. Sierra sat back and sunk into the
couch. She was as happy as a lark.
After the kiss broke, Claudius turned his head to
look at the chronometer. "Hmm. I wonder if there's time
to hit the gym," he said, as his hand again came to rest
on his stomach. "Nevermind. Let's go home," he told her,
as he reluctantly rose his head and came into a position
sitting next to her. "We should be home just in time to
catch the end of the Rainbow Rancor," he told her, as he
rose back to his feet, but not before checking the path
to the door on the floor. He turned, offering her his
hand, to help her up. He was going home, but the true
purpose of his journey was beyond his understanding for
now. He needed to get to the bottom of this, but more
than that ... he needed to be sure Sierra remained safe.