Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:1:27) in the Alderaan system: Blue Haven and Delaya (Leiliani: Auntie Mae's ice cream parlor, Plyum Gardens, Spaceport, Tarkintown).
Callista Nilar, Commander Iyah Xergo, and Mug Zoran.

Commander Xergo's latest mission had brought an extra bounce to her step. Even the gloomy Commander was being, externally, *happy*. A smile had been playing behind her words while she spoke to the group of refugee soldiers, including Mug, who would make up the team of individuals who would aid her in distributing supplies throughout Tarkintown. Under her watch (and pressure), she had been able to prepare the ship half a day early. They set off to Delaya ahead of schedule. It was the first time she had felt so rewarded while on the job. She came to the Rebels with all these wild ideas of improving people's lives. Until now, it seemed like they were only making small steps. This was the first large one she'd been there for. Maybe she was partial. The people of Tarkintown were Mug's people. Over the Holonet, she learned that Zarcus had delivered baby supplies and toys to the refugees. With that selfless act, they had swept into every Delyayan's heart. It seemed that the line of succession would move through them, though she cared nothing about that whole affair.

Blue Haven traveled through the night, a night which Iyah found it difficult to sleep. She lay, chattering away at Mug about a world that didn't exist yet: a world where the Empire no longer reigned as the superior power. A peaceful world where people actually cared about each other. Eventually, she fell asleep with her ear against Mug's chest. The rhythmic thudding of his heart helped her to relax and feel less antsy.

The next morning, she was up and about early. She rounded up some medics to take with them on the trip to Tarkintown, should anyone need assistance. The refugee soldiers were left unsupervised to load up three craft's full of supplies. They'd have to do a second visit to Tarkintown with these crafts, given their limited vehicle sources. All-in-all, Commander Xergo and her troops were headed towards the refugee camp just after breakfast. She sat beside Mug, their knees occasionally bumping together due to the uneven road. Her eyes flickered towards his occasionally. They still held her happiness.

Once they arrived, Iyah immediately had a tent set up with supplies. They would be divided evenly amongst those living in Tarkintown. The medics were freed onto the camp. A smaller group was sent back to the ship to collect the rest of the supplies. Commander Xergo was helping making care packages for the refugees. She was holding herself high today.

The second visit to Tarkintown was so massively different than her first. The Zarcus drop off seemed to have restored hope. She heard children giggling, a noise that had been foreign at her first visit. The second shot in the arm for the refugees came from the unexpected delivery of food. Some semblance of joy had spread through the camp. Commander Xergo pondered how she might continue to aid these people. They needed a long term solution. Band aids were great, but these people had been through so much. She found herself zoning out while distributing food. "I read that the son of the Duke and his wife dropped toys and other various supplies off the other day." She told Mug quietly. "Whatever they did seems to have helped." If she had deep pockets, she'd do a lot more as well.

Eventually, the craziness around them dulled. Iyah found herself in need of a breather. She excused herself, heading toward the speeder truck where Mug was. She held a sandwich in each hand. They'd been working hard since arriving. It was time to take a self-proclaimed lunch. She smiled the moment she saw Mug. It really was hard to carry on their charade outside of Iyah's bedroom. The good Commander had already beginning weighing the pros and cons of allowing her superiors to know about her relationship. After all, she'd never shown him any kind of special treatment other than when they were alone. She stopped in front of him. "Mind if I join you, Zoran? I brought you a sandwich." She offered the plastic wrapped sandwich to him. Her words held an affection to them. Assuming he'd say yes, Iyah sat down. Her feet dangled above the ground. "This is only the beginning of making life better for them, you know? We'll figure out a long term solution. The frustrating part is waiting for it to happen." She reached over. Her finger brushed over his hand. She knew this must be hard for him. The living situation in Tarkintown just wasn't ideal.

"My mother always told me the nobles on this planet were corrupt, dirty people," Mug told Iyah, quietly, as he watched the rest of the food being distributed to the starving refugees. He wondered why they were doing this, but it was not his place to ask ... if they had wanted him to know they would have told him. His eyes widened when he saw Iyah move towards him, and a loving smile curled upon his lips. Anyone close enough that saw the look would immediately know what their relationship was. He was too honest a person to be deceitful about the strongest emotion he had ever felt in his life. "Thank you, Iy- ... Commander," he said, stammering, as he nearly spoke her name instead of the title. He reached for the sandwich, but found it difficult to eat in front of so many that were still so hungry and had gone so long without. He ate the sandwich reflecting on his own time in Tarkintown with the nights he was so hungry he could not sleep. He was ashamed that he had eaten so much aboard the Blue Haven. The brush of her finger brought him back to reality, and he glanced towards her happily, but tried to stay calm as to not damage her reputation.

Mug wasn't alone in his thoughts. Why didn't the nobles of the planets do more? If Iyah was Duchess, she'd be out in Tarkintown every day, doing whatever she could make the situation better with her own two hands. She thought back to that first drunken night with Mug, when they proclaimed him as Duke Mug. Why was it that nobles couldn't manage to be as good of people as he could? She supposed a lot of it came from the fact that people from Mug had worked for what they had and endured hardships, while nobles were simply born into the life. She rose from her thoughts. "No problem. I know it feels selfish to eat in front of them, but we have to keep ourselves going too." She understood the guilt. What he didn't know was that Iyah had traveled towards the cargo truck four times before actually making it there with two sandwiches. She simply couldn't stop the impulse to give everything away, just like she couldn't stop herself from comforting Mug. Her reputation began to mean less and less. As long as they continued to have each other, then they could brave the storm.

"I'm planning on giving everyone the night off today." She told him, her hand sliding away from his so she could begin unwrapping her sandwich. "There's a shit storm brewing right now. I don't know when things will be calm again. I was thinking..." She said, looking forward at the people buzzing all around them, "..that we could go out too." Before her, Iyah witnessed a man accidentally bump into a little brown haired girl. She dropped the sandwich that she was carrying. It fell to the muddy ground in slow motion. The changes on the child's face were heart breaking. Her eyes grew big. She sniffled. The tears gathered at the corner of her eyes and then...and then...

Iyah was there. She knelt before the girl, who wore badly shredded clothing and was much too thin. The Commander smiled lovingly. "Silly butterfingers! I do that all the time." She presented the little girl with her sandwich, "It's a good thing I've got a spare here, huh?" The girl first stared at Iyah, then, all at once, she put her little arms around the Commander as best as she could manage. She cried into the woman's chest. She could hear her muttering a soft, tiny *thank you*. Iyah didn't want to send the little girl off in such a horrible mood. So, Commander Xergo whispered into her ear. Whatever she said made the girl smile and giggle. She crept out of Iyah's arms, happily rounding the woman until she was at her back. She pounced her there, while the woman secured the child in typical piggy back ride fashion with her arms. Iyah straightened herself up, marching towards Mug. "This little Princess has no one to dine with. Shall we have her over for tea time?" She tried to make herself sound pompous and proper.

"The night off?" Mug said excitedly, as he imagined a wonderful, relaxing night with her after their laborious day. But before he could comment further the young girl had approached and captured her attention. He watched from a distance as they interacted, feeling it would be out of place to disturb them. When the piggy back ride began, however, he was quick to get out his holorecorder and capture the scene for posterity. She might just want to look back upon it someday, he thought, as he happily smiled and laughed at their playfulness. "Looks like you've made a friend," he said to her, as he scooted aside to give them more room in the back of the speeder truck. "Tea time? You're sounding more and more like a Princess yourself," he teased, as he set to work of preparing the drinks and laying out some cups. It was hardly an ornate tea setting that was being used in the castle that loomed over them, but this trio it would certainly do.

Iyah was blushing, though she didn't allow her *prince* to see it. She quickly swiveled around so that it would be easy for the small girl to transfer from her back to the speeder truck. She moved as gracefully as a real princess. Her tears had dried up. She was more than happy to announce herself. "I'm Princess Callista!" She said, happily performing a little courtesy for her company. When she sat, she smoothed down her dress like there were layers and layers of fancy fabric. Iyah, much less gracefully, sat cross-legged beside Mug. She was happy that he was working with her to make the little girl feel better. "Princess Callista? What a beautiful name! I am Ambassador Iyah and this is my good friend, Mug. He's a spy." She winked. The little girl looked tickled by everything going on. She had already eaten nearly all of her sandwich.

"Hello, Callista," Mug said in a calm, sweet voice whose affection was met with a smile. He was cautious of her at first, as it was painful to see the war orphans created by Alderaan's destruction. He never imagined there would be so many, and that they would be so young. Technically he was a war orphan as well, as his mother had been killed during the planet's destruction, but he was an adult and was much more adequately equipped to deal with it than a child. "Is she all alone then?" he quietly asked Iyah so that Callista would not hear. Externally he kept a warm demeanor, but internally his heart strings were being violently tugged. He swallowed, but found no moisture in his mouth, and so he simply took another bite of the sandwich to compose himself.

It was painful. The girl looked like she needed serious help. Iyah was amazed how she could still manage to be bubbly and happy after so much had happened to her. Keeping her composure became more difficult by the second. Callista's story remained unknown. Instead of letting her mind fill in the blanks, when Mug questioned her, she continued to smile. "I'm not sure. I know how to find out. Can you keep her amused? I'll get some extra food for her. She looks...." Her voice trailed; *starved*. Mug's kindness was well received. The little girl inched closer to him just as Iyah excused herself. "Hi Mug!" She waved her little hand rapidly. "Is your tea yummy?" She asked, plucking her cup up from the ground. She held out her pinky awkwardly. "Nobles drink their tea like this. See?" She happily demonstrated, spilling the drink down her dress in the process. She lowered the cup while wiggling her little pinky. "It's all about the pinky." She explained to him in a rather serious tone.

Meanwhile, Iyah had escaped off to the supplies tent. She gathered several extra sandwiches, as well as some large cookies for the little girl. She stopped to talk to a woman who cared for all the orphaned children in the camp. When she asked about Callista, the woman recounted a sad story of a family who didn't really want their child. Callista's family had not been on Alderaan when the *incident* happened. They lived in the camp for only a month before abandoning their four-year-old daughter for a better life. They simply had stopped wanting their daughter. Iyah felt sad, furious, and sick. The complicated emotions played on her face as she returned. Her answer hung in the air: Callista was more than just alone. She placed the extra goodies in front of the little girl, who squealed and thrust herself at *both* Iyah and Mug. "Best day ever!" She squeaked.

Mug watched intently as Callista educated him on the etiquette of drinking tea. As he attempted to mimic her style, he found that it somehow came naturally for him to delicately extend his pinky to balance the cup as he sipped. "Yes, Callista. It's very yummy," he said, finding it almost hard to say the word. He wondered when the last time he said the word was, probably when he was about her age he theorized. "Did you get enough to eat?" he asked, as he looked towards the remaining crates in the speeder truck. There was even more aboard the Blue Haven they would be bringing in future deliveries. As he looked towards Iyah as she returned he could tell something was wrong, but he dare not speak to her about it in front of the little one. (d)

The news was disturbing... And also relatable. Though the situation had been different for her, Iyah had also been abandoned around the same age...maybe just slightly older. It wasn't justifiable. The little girl had lost everything, then she lost it all again. She was alone. Iyah reflected on her own childhood while the small girl squeezed both of them with her little arms, then began to eat; a sandwich in one hand, a cookie in another. "I'm a bottomless pit!" She proclaimed, her hand slapping her nonexistent tummy. "I'll never be full!" Ooh, but she would be. Commander Xergo had made sure of that. Xergo inched closer to Mug. Disregarding everything, she took his hand so that he could stop her from tracking the tiny girl's parents down and making herself into one very disgraceful officer. Her fingers were *shaking*.

And so, the majority of the day was spent playing with Callista. It seemed like they did it all. From tea parties to elaborate princess games to hide 'n go seek, to coloring. Iyah, a much better artist than Alice, drew an adorable picture of all three of them, as royalty, living in some Cindrella-ish castle. She made sure to give Callista the most foofy princess dress of all. She sent the girl home with the picture. In return, Callista gave them one of Mug and Iyah standing next to a large box. "Your rocket ship!" Callista had told them during final hugs (and maybe some tears from the Commander). It was heartbreaking to load up in one of the speeders and head back to Blue Haven. In a low voice within the speeder, Iyah told her boyfriend about Callista's life. She didn't mention the idea of taking the girl with them, as it seemed unrealistic and, frankly, unfair to Mug. He'd only signed up for plus one, not plus *two*. Besides, Iyah wasn't sure how motherly she was, or if she could even fill that role. In her mind, the plan was to have a family *after* the war. As much as she tried not to think about Callista, the little girl was in her mind. "Let's meet up at Plyum Garden in an hour. *I love you*." She passed the information off to Mug in a whisper at the port where the ship was docked. Iyah disappear soon after that. She felt emotionally raw. Callista had been a wonderful child and Mug, her perfect companion. It was easy to imagine a life with all three of them. Too bad it was just a fantasy.

When they arrived back at the Blue Haven in Leiliani's spaceport, he made the excuse that he did not want to be seen boarding the ship with her to protect her reputation ... particularly with the local officials sent by the Delayans to verify the deliveries for the deal high command had made. Almost as soon as she was out of sight, he commandeered the speeder truck and moved back towards Tarkintown. As he had lived there for quite sometime he knew exactly where to find the overworked bureaucrat tasked with administrating the poorly run refugee shelter. He could have just taken Callista ... no one would have noticed, no one would have cared, and in fact they would have been happy that there was one less mouth to feed. However, he did not want to add 'kidnapping' to his list of Rebel skills and carefully went through the procedure of claiming the girl. Her parents would *never* be coming back, and with no foster care available on Delaya, the bureaucrat was pleased to help. Mug impatiently watched his chronometer, making sure that he would not be late for his date with Iyah at the garden. He had not been able to think about the poor young child and her plight the entire time, even though Iyah had confessed her love to him. He hoped he was doing the right thing ... he wasn't experienced to know ... so when he added *both* their names to the adoption forms he was taking an awful risk. When the paperwork done he was provided a certificate on flimsiplast and was cleared to collect the child. He found her without too much trouble, but was cryptic as to what their purpose was, instead simply offering her a ride in the speeder. He figured Iyah would be better suited to explain what was going on anyway. They were late to the garden, and he was bringing an unexpected plus one. She had changed and looked ravishing, but he was still wearing his filthy uniform, stained with grease, sweat, and sandwich. "I love you too," he informed her, finally replying to what she said an hour ago, as he handed her the document, and revealed Callista, who he had hidden behind his larger frame. He looked at her sheepishly, with no Alderaanian way of knowing how she would react.

Guilt rode inside of Iyah's chest the entire time she showered and changed. As much as she wanted to see Mug, she felt she should be rushing back to Tarkintown to provide Callista with a better life. Once she had dressed in a light purple floral pattern dress, she deposited herself on the couch with the picture that the little girl had drawn. She exchanged the picture for a holopad, which she used to look at her finances and research mothering. Broaching the subject with Mug would be awkward, not to mention the fact that he hadn't said he loved her too. Iyah sighed. It was getting close to time to meet up. She placed the picture inside of her purse and headed out. She decided she'd be straightforward with him. If he didn't want to take on fatherhood, she would understand. She wouldn't be mad. If he didn't love her? Well, then she'd be *sad*.

Iyah's exposed feeling was set under a magnifying glass where she sat in the grasses at Plyum Garden. Clear across the park, she could see children playing on a play structure. She watched a father push his daughter on a swing. For the first time in her life, she realized that she actually wanted a life like that. Only, she was afraid that it wasn't fated to happen with Mug. He was *late*. Late in a way that made Iyah start to convince herself that she was an idiot to let herself get swept up in her emotions with Mug *again*. The man was her kryptonite. The words had come out so naturally that she didn't think twice about them until he didn't respond. The soft crunch of his boots on the grass lifted the cloud from over the Commander's head. Her brown eyes landed on Mug. She was surprised to see that he hadn't showered and changed like she had. Her hair was still damp from her shower. Regardless, he looked amazing. She was happy to see him. She was even happier to hear him return her love. Her face began to light up, only to turn to confusion when he handed her a document.

Iyah's eyes briefly glanced over the document. A millisecond later, she knew exactly what it was. From behind Mug, that adorable, brown-haired girl appeared. *Callista*. All at once, she broke out into happy tears. She saw that both of their names were on the document. He'd known exactly what she wanted. She wrapped the little girl up in her arms all at once. "I'm so happy to see you, Callista." Teary eyes peered upward at Mug. She opened her arms so he could get in on the hug too. Callista was wiggling in Iyah's arms, making happy noises. "What do you think of coming to live on a rocket ship with us? We'll have tea time every day. Mug and I will take care of you. You'll be *our* little princess."

All at once, the girl squealed. She pulled back. "Really?!" Now *she* was getting teary. "Okay.. but you gotta promise to work on your fancy tea drinking, Mama. Pinky out!" She held out her hand, showing Iyah her little pinky. *Mama*. The word hit Iyah like a ton of bricks. All of the overthinking was insignificant. They could be parents. They could do right by Callista.

Mug was *supposed* to be a man, impervious to emotions, but despite his best efforts to maintain a stiff upper lip he was crumbling. At first he tried to watch their interaction, but soon he became overcome and he broke down. Tears were flowing from each eye, and he turned away, bringing his sleeve up to attempt to dry his tears. Not too long ago he was a lost refugee himself, and now he found himself with the love of a beautiful woman, and a family of his own. He moved towards one of the benches in the park, taking a seat, and doing his best to catch himself and control his emotions. He inhales sharply in a desperate attempt to suck his tears back up into his eyes, but they were far too numerous to control. He was relieved that Iyah was not angry with him for acting so impulsively in regards to the Callista situation, signing over a child to someone was a huge responsibility ... perhaps the biggest. But he somehow *knew* that she would respond in the loving fashion that she did. It all seemed perfect.

She couldn't be mad at him. If he hadn't adopted Callista, Iyah would have left the planet knowing she was making the biggest mistake of her life. He'd done something great...something that soothed every parental fear she had. For now, anyway. She and the little girl huggled each other. She could still see Mug. There were tears in his eyes too. She didn't think of him as less of a man, for that train of thought was wrong. He was a man who'd just met his daughter for the first time. It was natural, right? Iyah made her own insane decision: she wasn't going to hide Mug anymore. They'd live together in her room. A secondary room, connected to her own, would become Callista's room. It all came together in her head. She felt *happy*.

Callista withdrew from Iyah. Her attention centered around Mug. In a second, she was in his lap and hugging him with all the might that the little four-year-old had. She was taking to them quickly. Iyah assumed that if her parents had been willing to abandon her, then they were probably never great parents. She approached the two. "Can we go play on that, Daddy?" Callista pointed towards the play structure excitedly.

Mug let out a soft groan as the child sat down on his lap, as he wasn't quite used to the experience just left. He rubbed his eyes at a furious pace to attempt to wash away the tears, before turning to look at her. "Of course," he said, as he placed two supportive hands upon her, and stood up, awkwardly holding her up in the air. Parenthood was still going to take some getting used to, he thought to himself, as he allowed her back onto the ground. As he moved towards the play area he saw they had the various wildlife of Alderaan and Delaya such as thrantas and nerfs set up for the children to sit upon and bounce. There were slides, swings, a seesaw, and all sorts of things for children to have fun with and get in trouble on. Initially he became the overprotective father as he wondered which of the rides were 'safe' and which were not. Hopefully Zara knew,. Although he was older than Iyah, he hoped she knew more of what to do ... perhaps it was a sexist thought on his part ... but his initial reaction was to put protective padding *everything* where she went.

Iyah walked beside him. Her hand brushed against his, then took it in her own. She didn't know her heart could feel like this; full of love. Her vision of the future had changed to include Callista, as well as her boyfriend. Callista bounced in front of them towards the playground. Her old, dirty clothing reminded Iyah that they needed to do some shopping before they returned to Blue Haven. They wouldn't be on Delaya for long. Tonight was going to be a busy, yet amazing, evening. She stopped at the base of the playground, imagining the one-hundred-and-one ways that Callista could get hurt. Believe it or not, that's just a natural parenting thing. Before Iyah could choose the safest activity, Callista took off towards a nerf bouncey toy. She mounted the pint-sized version of the beast. She rode it like a real professional. Her shrills and squeaks could be heard all over the park. The Commander shot Mug a wink over her shoulder, then darted over to the other ride-on toys. She carefully sat on a thranta, first testing the toy to make sure it was capable of holding her weight. Then, she was off. "Anddd we're off!" Iyah made her voice sound like an announcer. "Looks like Crazy Callista is in the lead with her nerf Princess Buttons. Can she win this race?"

As Iyah road the thranta in a race with their newly adopted daughter, he crept up behind her slowly. "Are you ok with this?" he asked softly, as if there were anything they could do about it now. "I probably should have asked you first ... but I couldn't leave her..." he said, revealing a humanity and a vulnerability to her that he had not yet shared. He was a deeply emotional man, yet quiet and reserved. What happened to Alderaan had caused him to focus for the first time in his life, as he had drifted from job to job and planet to planet without ever finding himself. Now, as he stood in the park with Iyah and Callista for the first time, in a long time, he felt as if he had a place in the galaxy. He wanted to take them both and give them the tightest possible hug and never let go, but right now there was a race to win.

She looked back at him, "I'm more than okay with this. I felt horrible back at the ship. I wanted to ask you. I didn't know how. I couldn't leave her either. Now she won't ever have to be in a situation like that again. She's here to stay." Maybe that was why she told him she loved him. Seeing him interact with Callista made her more aware of everything. Her life couldn't be complete without Mug. They had already acknowledged that life after war included each other, after all. "And the winner, by a landslide, is Crazy Callista!" She cheered. She stopped her tauntaun from bouncing. Frankly, she was still worried that her adult weight would break the thing. Callista hopped right off of her nerf, bowing while Iyah faked a crowd's cheers. She then made her way over to Mug. "I'm hungry. Can we go eat please?" The Commander stood. "I like that plan. We've got some shopping to do for you, little Princess. We can come back and play tomorrow. Our rocket ship doesn't take off until tomorrow." She took one of Callista's little hands, while Callie's other hand opened up towards Mug. They were *family* now.

It felt as if Mug was driving their speeder truck slower than one of the elderly, as he was being overly careful to give a smooth, easy ride to Iyah and Callista. It was his first day as a father and it showed in almost every action he took. Fortunately for him it was not a newborn and he was not burdened with changing diapers fresh out of the gate. There was a whirlwind shopping spree that found them spending most of their meager pay from the Rebellion on all sorts of essentials, along with a few complete unnecessary items. Fortunately, the young girl came with a surprising amount of new toys that had been recently given from her. The shopping had made them all hungry, perhaps bordering on cranky, and as he peered out the window at the crowded city streets of Leiliani he spied Autie Mae's ice cream parlor. The building had an unusually large crowd ever since it became known as *the* spot after being favored by Marcus and Zara Rodney, but to him a crowd always meant good food and service. He found a spot for the large truck, with stood out quite noticeably in this section of town, and he gingerly helped his family down from the cab as they got into line for their chance at a delicious frozen treat and all sorts of other things that would make Callista unreasonably hyper.

The evening progressed so smoothly. The best part of all? No injuries! Callista's mood only seemed to improve the longer they were out together. They mayyy have splurged on a particular pretty princess dress. It was easy to get swept up in the stores filled with pink, girly things. There was nothing Callista couldn't wear. She was drawn to the displays in front of certain shops showcasing what Lady Zara Rodney had worn on her last outing. She'd been exposed to the noble family through tabloids. "Lady Zara is a real princess!" She said dreamily at one display. Iyah chuckled to herself, wondering if she'd need to take on a second job to support Callista's clothing habit when she became a teenager.

As the hangry settled into the trio, Auntie Mae's appeared. Ice cream for dinner wouldn't be usual, however, it seemed like an appropriate way to end the day. Iyah didn't mind the line. Callista had returned to chattering about Lady Zara and how it was her dream to try Auntie Mae's signature purple potato ice cream. In fact, she continued to talk all through the line. At the front of the line, Iyah didn't think twice about letting her daughter select the largest sundae in the house. She, herself, leaned towards chocolate ice cream. When they had their treats and had paid, the trio ended up seated in the back of the speeder truck. Callista was quiet, currently using two spoons to eat her ice cream (and spill it all over herself). Iyah sat with her shoulder against Mug's. "It's been such a wonderful day today." She told him sweetly. "I'd like you to move into my room. There's no need to separate our family. The room next to mine is empty, so I think we should change it into Callista's room. We can all be close together. I'm not worried about anyone knowing about us. I'd rather everyone knew so we can stop pretending."

"I don't see what all the hubbub is concerning that woman," Mug commented to Iyah in a way that Callista could not hear. "So she married some rich noble. So she got pregnant. Whoop-de-doo!" he exclaimed, as they moved through the line and finally it was their time to offer. "I'd be pleased to live with you, Iyah, but do you think the rest of the crew will mind?" he asked, as he saw to the ordering of the food. He reached down to give Callista a boost, holding her up so that she could look down into the case and see all of the ice cream. *Of course* she chose the purple potato ice cream, he thought to himself, as he paid for everyone's ice cream with what few credits he had left. "So when's payday?" he asked her, as he moved them along so they did not hold up the line.

She laughed softly. "Be careful, you're starting to sound jealous, Mug." Iyah lightly teased him. "I honestly don't get it either, especially with the Rodney family. Did you know, the son of the Duke is a Grand Moff? That guy is an *Imperial*. I can only imagine that he's a brat; born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He then proceeds to join the Empire." She shook her head. This conversation was going to turn into a rant quickly. There was no love between Iyah and those of noble descent. "Yes, the crew will mind. We'll be teased mercilessly. Some of the other officers might make you work harder." There had been other men who tried to gain her affection before. It was going to make them feel salty that Commander Xergo went for a refugee new recruit. "I don't care about any of that. Whatever happens, happens." She was trying out this whole go-with-the-flow thing. Seated in the back of the truck eating, she began laughing again. "I know, *I know*. I've never spent so many credits in one day. It's good the ship is stocked with food." She didn't feel majorly worried about finances at the moment. It had been too good of a day to sour like that. Besides, more credits would come in. There would never be another Callista.

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