had emerged from the bacta tank to a very hostile
Kerrie, and had been all but grounded in the Void.
When Sierra contacted her to safeguard the children
while she went to Delaya and the Governor was aboard
the ship, she leapt at the chance, not fully
realizing what she had gotten into. By the third
hour she was wrecked, sitting on the sofa in full
armor, without helmet, with her head lowered and her
hand pressed into her temple. She had a splitting
headache. The girls were so loud when playing and,
while the sweets they shared with her were
delicious, but the affect the sugar had on her brain
over time was quite painful. She needed a cigarra,
but she knew she could not smoke in the estate, or
in front of the children, so she was pretty much
resigned to the fact that she had to sit there until
either Claudius or Sierra returned. The minutes felt
like hours ... the hours felt like days. Any doubts
she had over motherhood had been erased ... she
would never have children.
A good day in
Callista's life was a day when she expanded her
friendship circle. It was El-Nay who the young girl
had set her sights on. Throughout the day, a
majority of her attention had remained on Ewwie, but
she didn't miss the lady in orange... That is, until
lunch time. After finishing her PB&J, Callista used
a stepstool to make El-Nay a sandwich. She smeared a
massive amount of jelly on the bread while the
amount of peanut butter was microscopic. When she
finished, she messily poured starfruit juice into a
cup. She caused a mini tsunami on the counter as the
liquid spilled down the end of the counter and to
the floor. Finished making lunch, Callista grabbed
the plate in one hand and the large, heavy cup in
another. She carefully made her way towards El-Nay
where she sat on the sofa.
She said, resting the plate on her knee. "I made you
lunch!" The small girl offered up the glass of
juice. "I hope you like it!" Her big, blue eyes
noticed that she was rubbing her head. "Does it
hurt? Did you bump it?" Callista asked, remembering
that her Mama sometimes got head hurts too. "Wait!"
She shoved the glass towards Nay-Nay, darting off in
the other direction. The pounding of her feet on the
stairs could be heard as she traveled into her Uncle
and Auntie's bedroom. She had seen Auntie Sierra's
medical kit that she kept underneath the sink one
time when her Uncle had been hurt. She grasped the
kit with both hands and ran right back down the
stairs. To Nay-Nay, she declared. "I make it
better!" Then, she promptly dropped down to the
floor at El-Nay's feet and began rooting through the
El-Nay repeated, as she turned her attention towards
Callista and the sandwich. "Uh. Thanks," she said,
as she took it from the little girl. She pulled back
the upper piece of bread to see what kind of
sandwich it was, and when she realized it was
predominantly jelly she cringed slightly. She turned
her head to look at the girl who was smiling from
ear to ear, and she could not say anything negative.
Raising the sandwich she took a cautious bite,
realizing it was just more sugar she was putting
into her system. As she chewed slowly and swallowed
she knew the effect it would have on her, as she
usually ate much healthier. "Who taught you how to
make sandwiches?" she asked, as she put the half
eaten sandwich back down on the table in front of
her. "Oh my head is fine, Callista," she said,
before the girl swiftly disappeared. Callista was
much faster than her, even with a jetpack. "Be
careful. There could be sharp things in there!" she
said, in a panic, as she got down on the ground and
attempted to close the medkit. "If you got hurt,
your aunt would kick my..." she started, but then
quickly stopped herself. "...my tushy," she said,
after searching for the word.
girl plopped down on her rear and crossed her legs
Indian style. She seemed pleased that Nay-Nay was
eating her sandwich. She had tried really hard to
make it good. "My daddy." She said, looking up at
El-Nay. "I miss my daddy so much. Mama too. Did your
daddy teach you how to make sandwiches?" She
snatched a band aid from the medkit as El-Nay closed
it. She giggled. "Tushy." She repeated. "That's such
a silly word! Tushy! Tushy! Tushy!" She pounced
El-Nay and gave her a big hug. "Bantha hug! Rawrrr!"
She nuzzled herself against the woman. "Nay-Nay, is
orange your favorite color?"
didn't teach me anything," El-Nay replied sadly, her
voice trailing off, and she became choked up. She
did not want to cry in front of the girl, as she
doubted she would understand. "Oh no. You've never
heard that word before?" she asked, wondering if she
had just taught the kid a naughty word. The hug
caught her off guard. She was not used to them, and
wondered if she had ever been hugged by a child
before. She moved her arms around the little girl,
careful not to squeeze back too tight so that the
Mandalorian iron would not crush the child. "Yes.
Orange is my favorite color," she said, with a
smile, as she released the girl from the hug. "You
miss your mama and daddy? Well I'm sure you'll see
them soon," she said, although she was not sure what
was happening with the whole Mug and Iyah situation.
stared up at El-Nay thoughtfully. She continued to
hug her. "It's okay, Nay-Nay. I'll teach you
*everything*. My real daddy was a meanie too." The
little girl never spoke of her real parents. They
had abandoned her on Delaya. She didn't entirely
understand what happened. All she knew was that one
day, her mommy and daddy were gone. Callista smiled.
"My favorite color is orange too. It's so pretty."
Her small hand stroked El-Nay's chest plate in awe.
She thought armor like that would go well with her
crown. She was having a lot of fun with her family,
but she really wanted to show her mama the bed that
she and daddy had made together. "Will you come
visit me, Nay-Nay?"
be meanies," El-Nay said, as she watched the little
girl in awe of her armor. She was the only one she
had ever encountered who did not make fun of it.
"You really like it?" she asked, almost not
believing her. She staggered backwards a bit, still
on the ground in front of the medkit. "Alright. I'll
visit you," she said, without thinking about the
difficulties of getting to New Alderaan. She was one
of the few that knew its location which
unfortunately, due to her carelessness, meant others
would soon learn. Her attention then switched to the
chronometer, hoping that Sierra would be home soon.
was a commotion from the upstairs and the blue blur
that was Ewwiekewwieikkie arrived on the scene,
descending the stairs to look for Callista. "Callista!
Callista!" she squealed, looking everywhere for the
little girl. "Sandwich!" she screamed when she saw
that she had missed out on the PB&J. But then she
saw that El-Nay was seated on the ground, and she
quickly moved behind her. She climbed up onto her
back, until she was sitting on her shoulders, with
her legs draped down in front of her chest. "You're
fun to climb," she announced, before grabbing onto
the shaved sides of her head. "Look how high I am,"
she said down to Callista, before struggling to
reach for the half eaten sandwich. "Ugh. Can't
reach. Can't reach," she complained, stretching her
arm, and trying mightily to reach it. Suddenly her
desire for the sandwich overcame her, and she topped
forward, crashing into the coffee table. As she
landed on it, she crushed the table, and began to
cry ... loudly.
*really* like it!" Callista said, instantly falling
in love with El-Nay. Her smile was so bright. "I'm
gonna show you *everything* when you come visit!
I'll tell my Daddy to teach you how to make yummy
sandwiches." She wanted to snuggle her family so
bad. She had so much to tell them about, like the
big cake she ate in Delaya, the crowns, and the
circumcision. Life had been such an adventure for
her. She had been making a book for her Mama with
drawings of all the exciting things that were
happening. She needed to draw Nay-Nay! All of a
sudden, the energy in the room exploded. "*Ewwie*!"
Callista squeaked, tumbling out of El-Nay's lap. She
lay on the ground, watching her best friend scale
El-Nay like a mountain. "*Wow*! You're so tall now!"
The little girl stood up on her tippy toes. She
began to do a little dance, completely not paying
attention to the fact that Ewwiekewwieikkie was
going after Nay-Nay's sandwich. Suddenly, she fell.
There was crashing and crying. Callista let out a
squeak, diving for the medkit that she had brought
downstairs. "It's okay, Ewwie! Don't cry!"
could hear Ewwiekewwieikkie's cries from the walkway
to the estate's front door. She wondered if El-Nay
had been driven off yet. The girls were incredible,
but also hard to manage at times. Put enough sugar
in Callista and Ewwiekewwieikkie and they would
float away. The wailing was even louder from the
foyer where Sierra deposited her bag. She didn't
have a hard time finding El-Nay, Callista, and
Ewwiekewwieikkie. It took less time to determine
what happened. There was a PBJ on the floor, a
broken coffee table, and a crying Squib. "Aww..."
Sierra went into action right away. She passed
El-Nay a calm smile. She squatted down in front of
Ewwiekewwieikkie and scooped her up in a tight hug.
"It's okay, sweetie." She ran her hand over her back
to comfort her. One of her hands drifted into her
trouser pocket. She withdrew a small sucker. "I
brought you back something." She said, unwrapping
the sucker and offering it to Ewwiekewwieikkie. She
was growing accustomed to carrying small sweets
around for when she needed them. Only when the
Squib's attention was elsewhere did Sierra begin
examining her for injury. "How's it going, El-Nay?
Thank you for watching the girls. I owe you one ...
Ewwiekewwieikkie was flat on her back, writhing
around in agony, and crying in pain. "Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
Ow!" she repeated, endlessly, as she rolled from
side to side. "Not ok. Not ok," she replied to
Callista, as the years flowed from her yellow eyes.
Then suddenly Sierra arrived and she increased the
volume of her crying to maximize her attention. But
suddenly she was offered a sucker and all of the
crying stopped, replaced instead with the eagerness
for the treat. "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" she repeated,
before placing the sucker in her mouth. As she began
sucking on it all of the pain went away, although
she began giggling while Sierra started examining
her. She nearly choked on the sucker from the
tickling, with her little leg flailing excitedly.
"I am so, so,
so sorry, Milady," El-Nay said, apologetically, as
she rose onto her feet and got into a more rigid,
almost military posture. "One moment she was on top
of me, and the next moment ... she wasn't," she
said, trying her best to explain what happened.
"Well, you know," she said, shrugging her shoulders
at Sierra, after all anyone who had spent time with
Ewwiekewwieikkie, as Sierra had, would understand.
"It is no problem, milady. I was honored to serve.
My debt to you remains in effect. 'Entye' in Mando'a,
my native tongue," she reminded her, as she was
compelled to serve the woman for saving her live in
the graveyard of Alderaan. Even if she tasked her
with things like this, which made her wish for a
Auntie! Auntie! Didya see Auntie Zara!? Did you eat
Auntie Mae's?!" Callista tackled her aunt as soon as
Ewwiekewwieikkie was deemed fit to survive. She gave
Sierra an extra tight squeeze. "I had so much fun
with Nay-Nay!" The little girl reported, wiggling in
Sierra's lap until she found a comfortable spot.
"Tickle me! Tickle me!" Callista raised her arms.
It seemed that
Ewwiekewwieikkie was going to survive. After
accidentally causing the Squib to choke, Sierra
stopped surveying her and left her to enjoy the
sucker. Her arms wrapped around Callista, locking
her in place on her lap. "I did see Auntie Zara and
Uncle Marcus. I didn't get a chance to eat Auntie
Mae's. I couldn't go without you and
Ewwiekewwieikkie. Did you know? Auntie Zara just had
her babies. You have a new niece and nephew." The
news excited Callista to no ends. Sierra's eyes
lifted to El-Nay. "There's nothing to apologize
about. I *get* it. Everyone is in one piece...even
you. I appreciate your help." El-Nay's dedication to
her word was amazing. Sierra didn't hold her to
anything. The woman had, after all, saved her life
on numerous occasions. Most recently, saving her had
ended up with El-Nay injured. She was so glad her
friend was well again.
"How are you
feeling? Are you up for taking a trip with me to
*New* Alderaan?" She winked. "I've received word
that Mug and Iyah are ready for me to bring Callista
excitement was growing and growing. "*Babies*! *I
wanna see*! *Do they have crowns*!? *Little baby
crowns*!?" She imagined that Zara and Marcus walked
around wearing their crowns all the time. Her eyes
went wider as her auntie spoke. "*Mama's home*!?"
She let out a shrill of a scream. She was *happy*.
"*Mama*! *Daddy*!" She quickly crawled out of
Sierra's lap. In a Drusilla-like voice, she said.
"Let the servants pack my bags!"
Babies? Ice cream? Babies?" Ewwiekewwieikkie
repeated, ad nauseum, as she looked towards Sierra.
Then suddenly she stopped and it seemed as if there
might have been a malfunction in her brain. "Ice
cream babies!" she suggested, before bouncing up and
down excitedly. She stepped up from the remnants of
the coffee table and began running around
frantically. She tripped, banged her knee, and began
clutching it with a virulent cry. And then, just as
suddenly, she was back on her feet running again. "I
want ice cream babies!" she demanded, before leaping
onto the sofa. She began doing a dance, incredibly
excited, as she envisioned eating a gigantic ice
cream cake shaped like a baby.
follow you to the edge of the galaxy and beyond,
milady," El-Nay Darr replied dutifully, before
stiffening her pose in military fashion as she had
seen performed by the Storm commandos. "I think what
she is referring to is a HoloNet commercial we saw.
Apparently Auntie Mae has capitalized on your niece
and nephew with a limited release of Darrus Delight
and Sia Sensation brand ice cream," she reported,
dutifully, as if it were a tactical briefing. "I
should also like to report that the Lady Drusilla
has locked herself in the room, as the birth of the
children has led to a postponement of the Maxo Rebo
concert you promised her. She ... she attacked me
quite viciously," she explained, shifting somewhat
uncomfortably within her armor. It had been a *long*
day for the Mandalorian girl.
It would seem
that even though Ewwiekewwieikkie was not a male
Rodney, she did posses the clumsiness of her
adoptive father. No sooner had she recovered from
falling on the table, did she bang her knee. She
recovered quickly, with Sierra on standby trying to
determine if she needed to jump into action or not.
Callista was so happy. She jumped up and joined in
the dance. "Ice cream babies! Ice cream babies!!!"
She had no idea what that was, but it sounded cool.
She had much to celebrate. Soon, she'd be in the
arms of her mother and father.
up from the ground. She had no worried about the
trip to New Alderaan. In fact, she thought that it
would be rapid. She'd be home before bedtime to tuck
in Ewwiekewwieikkie and spend some quality time with
her husband. She grinned stupidly to herself,
thinking about telling Claudius about her adventures
in Delaya, especially the part about feeding Darrus.
She broke out into laughter as El-Nay told her about
Auntie Mae's newest ice cream flavors. "Oh my
goodness.. That woman is ridiculous. You know
there's a theme park now." The part two of her
briefing made Sierra frown. "Ah, I'm sorry, El-Nay."
She thought the Mandalorian had a long day before.
Now she realized just how long it was. She patted
El-Nay's shoulder. "I will ... deal with that... Can
I borrow your armor?" Sierra smiled though she
wasn't kidding at all. Reluctantly, Sierra made her
march up the stairs and to Drusilla's room. She
wished that suckers worked for Dru like they did for
Ewwiekewwieikkie. "Drusilla? Let me in."
The sound of
jizz music was pulsating out of Drusilla's room, as
she was lost in the sound of music, trying to tune
out the outside world. When she heard Sierra at her
door she let out a scream from deep within, before
grabbing hold of a boot and throwing it dramatically
at the door. "No! Go away!" she demanded, before
folding her arms in front of her in a pout. Then
suddenly, she changed her mind, and moved from her
desk towards the door. She opened it, but only a
smidge, to glare up at her stepmother from behind
tearstained arms. "You lied! You're a liar!" she
said dramatically, before stomping her feet. Her
hair was a frizzy mess, and her face was flushed red
with anger. "No. It was not good enough that you
forced my father to abdicate so drunk uncle Marcus
got the throne, but now when I was supposed to have
*my* concert for *my* birthday all everyone wants to
talk about is those twins. They were *supposed* to
be afterthoughts. But now because of *you* that boy
is going to be Duke of Delaya one day, and I'm going
to be *nothing*!" she said, before letting out a
shrill screech. "Nothing!" she repeated, before
retreating back into her room. "All I asked for was
one little concert at my home by the galaxy's
greatest jizz wailer, and you could not even manage
that," she said, before collapsing dramatically onto
Drusilla's door, she knew she was in for a
hurricane. She straightened up her back and summoned
her inner strength for whatever would come out of
Dru's bedroom. She heard something hit the door
*hard*, along with a girlish scream. She idly
thought of Claudius. He was safe, far, far away on
the Retributor. For once, she envied him for being
at work while she dealt with the insanity at home.
She was understanding towards Drusilla. Her life had
changed. For Dru, it wasn't for the better. Sierra's
heart ached for the girl when she opened the door a
teeny, tiny bit. She saw that she had been crying.
The trust she had been working to build with
Drusilla was shattered.
She was able
to take Drusilla's words realistically. She didn't
let them hurt her ... too much. The woman grabbed
the door, not allowing it to close entirely so she
could force her way in. She paused in front of Dru's
stereo to turn it down to the point where they could
hear one another while they spoke. Then, she sat at
the very edge of her bed. "I know, I know..." Inside
her head, she began to scheme up another trip to
Delaya to *beg* Marcus to name Drusilla a Countess
and grant her the access to the family funds that
she craved. She'd have attention again too. She
mentioned none of this to her step daughter, not
wanting to get her hopes up when she was already in
the dog house. Sierra reached over, running her
fingers through Drusilla's frizzy hair. "The birth
of the twins is something that I could have never
predicted, Drusilla. I did receive a message for you
on my comm." Sierra crawled up the bed until she was
seated next to the girl. It was dangerous territory,
for she could only imagine what El-Nay had endured
earlier. She withdrew her commlink from her pocket,
selecting a video recording that she had gotten from
Max Rebo himself. He was apologizing, not to Sierra,
but to Drusilla about having to move the birthday
concert. He promised her that he would come see her
the next day. He named several other famous jizz
artists that he intended to bring with him to make
up for having to cancel on the Rodneys so quickly.
The video ended with Max Rebo singing happy birthday
to Drusilla. "You can watch it as many times as you
shaking, flailing her arms in front of her, before
screaming again. "Why did you have to leave just to
see some stupid old babies anyway? Why when this was
supposed to be *my* weekend? *My* concert? Who are
those babies that they should take from me?" she
said, as her hands lowered, clawing into her
bedsheets. When the message from Max Rebo began to
play, she reached out and greedily snatched it from
her stepmother. The longer he spoke the shorter her
breaths became, and gradually she settled back down
into her normal state. "I suppose this will be
acceptable," she said, as she inhaled deeply through
her nose, and began to wipe her tears away. "That is
all. You may go," she said, as she pulled away from
Sierra to lay back on her bed. Without a further
acknowledgment she proceeded to reply the message,
tuning out the rest of the world.
frowned. In her attempt to make sure her extended
family was okay, she had hurt Drusilla. She felt
very bad and prayed that this concert would be
helpful. Drusilla was certainly her most difficult
step-daughter. Sierra was still trying to find her
footing with the girl. She felt that they would find
their common ground in music someday. Sierra watched
her calm down and return to normal. She didn't
object to Drusilla sending her away. The young woman
was already feeling tired. She still needed to
return Callista home. "Feel better, Dru." Sierra
said as she left her room. In the hallway, she let
out a long sigh. She watched as Callista came
prancing out of her room with a stuffed suitcase
behind her. It seemed she was more than ready to see