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Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:3:16) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Rodney Castle).
Farrah Ette, Grand Moff Claudius RodneyDuchess Livia Rodney, and Commander Sierra Rodney.

It was questionable how everyone ever got ready on times. Sierra used some of Yekaterina's mind tricks to fool Drusilla into not wearing every accessory she had brought with her. Regardless, every Rodney had arrived at the exquisite chapel holding the viewing of Julius Rodney's body. Sierra was simply overseeing everything and ensuring that nothing happened. Her paranoia had caught the better side of her. Though concealed, she was still armed. Speaking with Marcus and Zara beforehand had reignited her worries that someone would strike. She had even gone as far to have the casket searched before, and after, Julius' body was placed in it. Sierra, herself, had yet to gain the strength to look at the man in the box. She had already seen him dead.

There was one person she had been avoiding: Livia. The old woman had taken some serious blows lately. First, Mug. Second, the death of her husband. Sierra realized that she needed to seek out her mother and comfort her. And so, she took tiny steps towards the woman. Her purse clinked with each of her movements as she had shoved it full of shiny trinkets to entertain Ewwie with. Seriously, the bag weigh roughly ten pounds. "Mother," she said, moving to embrace the woman.

The funeral was exactly as it was supposed to be. The mournful feelings settled in over the chapel. There were flower arrangements, large pictures of Julius, and the deep red family color accenting everywhere. Sierra had only recently abandoned Claudius. She was worried about him. She was afraid he would push himself today and find himself sicker than ever tomorrow.

The doors to the chapel were opened to allow access to the now Dowager Duchess of Delaya. Livia Rodney stumbled into the chapel, having consumed more alcohol than a student at the University of Alderaan. She was wearing a pair of dark glareshades to conceal the bags under her eyes and the redness that still lurked in her eyeballs. She was wearing a dark gown of blacks and purples that looked like the antithesis of a wedding dress. She moved down the aisle towards the casket slowly, but with deliberate intent. When she finally reached it she fell to her knees, whaling in dramatic fashion, as she reached in to cling to her deceased husband one last time. He was really gone.

Ooh Livia. From across the room, Sierra could smell the alcohol on her breath. She could see Zara scrambling to hide. The commoner feared Livia's emotions turning towards her. It wasn't like the woman had enjoyed her youngest son marrying what looked to be a gold digger. Sierra glided down the aisle quickly to help her mother. She bent down, embracing the woman on her knees. "We're all here for you, Mother," she told the woman while aiding her in rising to her feet once more. Sierra was forced to look down into Julius' casket at this point. The sight of him so ... *dead* made her stomach do a dozen cartwheels. She wished he would sit up and molest her belly like he once had. She'd rather complain to her husband about his handsy father than see him dead. Sierra took in a deep breath, directing her attention to the frail, drunk old woman.

In the moment that Sierra approached her, Livia was grateful to be blessed with a daughter-in-law that was of her society and knew exactly what to do. She doubted that either of her son's previous wives would have been at any use to her at a moment like this, and she imagined her other daughter-in-law, Zara, was already at the buffet meant to follow the ceremony. She reached with her frail, bony hand, placing it over Sierra's hand and clutching it gently. "Thank you, daughter. Thank you," she said, as she attempted to rise to her feet. She faltered, roughly clawing at Sierra to avoid collapsing to the ground in a potentially dangerous situation. "Help me to my seat, child," she said, clawing her long fingernails into Sierra's arm as she awkwardly stumbled to her seat next to her eldest son.

Claudius watched as his mother stumbled dramatically, but before he could react he saw that Sierra was already on top of things. He had chosen a wife who so expertly and adeptly handled every situation that life had thrust upon him. As his mother moved towards him, he reached out to help her sit next to him. Then moved his arm to rest on her to reassure her and stiffen her resolve for what he was sure would be a difficult ceremony for them all. He knew when this was over something would have to be done about his mother's drunken and mental state, but that, too, he would place on Sierra's able shoulders. She, after all, was a trained psychologist.

Owww. Those beautiful french manicured nails sure could *hurt*. Sierra managed to keep a calm look on her face while she was mangled by her mother-in-law. She was careful with the woman. Between her and Claudius, they successfully sat Livia down without any harm to her. Sierra quickly rolled down the arm of her dress so no one spotted the claw marks. She knew this family was going to need her after all of this. Unless Livia wanted to die too, her drinking problem had to be resolved. She was damn proud of Claudius for not slipping and drinking himself away. Sierra eyed the crowd. Everyone had began to settle in their seats for the ceremony. The blonde took her spot on the other side of Claudius. Her hand grasped his and squeezed it... And then she felt the need to be a damn irritating little wifey. She brought her purse into her lap. From it, she withdrew bottled water. Her hand left his as she placed the bottle in it. "Are you feeling okay?" She whispered quietly enough that only they would hear.

The ceremony was beautiful and touching. Julius's name came with much praise. Even Sierra became teary at some parts. Nothing exciting happened during the ceremony. No explosions or people trying to kill them in some other way. She held onto Claudius the whole time. She feared that if she let go, they would both become overwhelmed by the assassination of Duke Julius. As it ended, the family was escorted back to a buffet while the Duke was prepared for his last trip through his city towards the catacombs near Castle Rodney. Sierra was beginning to feel exhausted despite the fact that the day was only halfway over. She sat at a table with a plate of food in front of her that she hadn't touched. After Claudius had been poisoned, she realized that even the food they ate was not safe. Once the Duke was in his hearse speeder, the family would follow the procession in armored speeders of their own. In her opinion, it was then that they would be most exposed.

Claudius had never heard so many kind things said about his father. He wondered how many of them were actually true. The ceremony passed quicker than he thought and it was over there was the sense that the man was finally gone. Well wishers from across the planet paid their respects to him, but he had gone with Imperial service for so long that he hardly knew any of them. He would need a staff to brief him on the who's who of Delayan society after the coronation. The trip through Leiliani from the chapel to the catacombs was not without incident as many, particularly the Alderaanian refugees, were protesting the fact that an Imperial Grand Moff was soon to be their Duke. He was too filled with grief and worry for his family to pay any mind to the protestors. He had not been to the catacombs in some time, as the presence of Jelena and Drusilla's mother still haunted him. They were ancient in nature and housed shrines to members of the House of Rodney going back to before they even held the Duchy. One day he would lay there with Sierra, but as much as he did not want to think about it, it was a day of morbid thoughts. He wanted to get through it and move to the investigation of his father's death.

The procession went by in a blur. Sierra noted the rioters who disrespected Julius' funeral. Those were fires for her to put out at a later time. Today wasn't about them. Today was about family... and mortality. A sadness filled her thinking that one day, she would endure this procession without Claudius at her side. Instead, it would be Bruce holding her up. She tried to not let Claudius see her selfishly crying over the future. As close as she was to the Duke, this day was a tiny fraction as sad as that day would be.

It was her first time visiting the catacombs. That part was quite possibly the worst part of the ceremony. There, Julius was laid to rest for all of eternity. It was *so* cold in the catacombs. When at last all was said and done, she felt more wiped out than ever. The castle was near. That was where her and Claudius had taken refuge. Sierra had taken to checking in on all the Rodneys; Marcus, Zara, Drusilla, Ewwie, and Livia, whom she helped into bed after she had drunk entirely too much. Finally, she made the hike up the castle spire. She felt a large amount of regret for wearing pumps, which she ended up carrying in her hands after she took three steps up to their private quarters. It was she who felt emotionally raw when, at last, she reached their semi-permanent home. She dropped her pumps on the floor and unarmed herself.

"You should relax in the bath, Lady Sierra." An unfamiliar voice said to Sierra. She instantly grabbed one of her small throwing knives in a panic. Her eyes scanned the room until they fell on a petite servant girl who was currently straightening the sheets on her and Claudius' bed. The small girl had been so silent that she gave Sierra a heart attack. Farrah Rodney's small hand patted away the last wrinkle in the bed spread. She turned, moving towards the woman. "I heard you've had a long day, ma'am. Relax. I hear you're to be the Duchess very soon. I made your bath just like Duchess Livia enjoys." She put on a childlike innocence for the psychologist. She had returned from the wonderful funeral in time to set new plans into action. Julius was gone. If Sierra died, Claudius would be gone too.

Sierra's heart had stopped beating so quickly. "Child, you scared me." She stepped further into her room. Her eyes gazed in through the open bathroom door. The large tub was filled. She could see a fine bottle of wine beside the tub that made Sierra roll her eyes. Perhaps the girl did not know she was with child? As much as she wanted to reject the bath and get to work, she realized how *tired* she was. Her whole body ached. Okay. Five minutes in the tub. "Thank you, dear. Please take the rest of the day off when you're finished. You've worked plenty hard enough." With that, Sierra disappeared into the bathroom. She stripped of her clothing and sunk into the warm, relaxing water of the bath. Resting her head in her hands, Sierra let out her emotions. She cried.

Farrah's work was complete. Claudius' bimbo wife was in the tub. It would be a matter of time before she cleaned herself and the GHB inside of her shampoo bottle caused her to pass out. She'd drown herself in the bathtub like a good, depressed little wifey.

The smell of death lingered from the time spent in the catacombs where every soul who had born the last name of Rodney for the last millennia had been laid to rest. While most of the family retired he saw to his mother, allowing Sierra to retreat to her bath after her long day. While Farrah attended to Sierra, Claudius sat at his mother's bedside until he was sure she was asleep. He wasted no time in moving back towards the spire of the castle where they had taken up residence. Seeing the door to the refresher slightly ajar he realized what she was up to and thought it was a good idea. "Room for one more?" he asked, before he began to slowly remove his uniform. It was only then that he noticed there was a priority transmission from the Ringali Shell. Instead of moving to interpret her relaxing bath, he moved towards the HoloNet terminal to see what was going on with his command. "I'll be right there..." he said, his voice trailing off, as he stalled for time. Unaware of what was about to transpire.

Her head perked up when she heard his voice. "Yes please." Sierra did not want to be anything but close to him for the rest of the evening. Even when they began their investigation, she'd do it in close quarters with him. She was so scared of losing him. Her overprotective nature was showing. Before he could even reach the tub, she saw him drift off towards the HoloNet terminal. She assumed work was summoning him and that he'd be in soon. With her hair wet, she grabbed her bottle of shampoo. She was happy to see one of the servants had seen to it that her favorite scent was there now. She began to wash her hair. She took time to massage it into her scalp and provide herself with some more relief. It wasn't long into her scrubbing that she began to feel really strange. Her hand reached out to grasp the edge of the tub. She couldn't remember if she ever actually caught hold of the tub. One second she was upright, the next, she had lost consciousness. Her body began to sink into the water. She had no control. There was darkness in her subconsciousness as she sunk further down. Farrah's plans were working again. Sierra lay in the bath tub, ten feet away from her husband, with her head beneath the water. Her limbs did not move. Nothing moved.

Claudius terminated the HoloNet transmission when he received the latest reports of ISB roundups taking place in the Ringali Shell. It seemed that he had lost control of the situation given his attention to family. He had to choose between rushing back to his command to fight Arden Zevrin or stay here with his family to uncover the threat to him. Ultimately, he chose his family over his career, something that Jelena had criticized him for not doing ages ago. He rose from his desk and made his way into the refresher, but rather than seeing his wife's beautiful form upright in the bath she was beneath the water. "Sierra!" he cried out, as he surged towards the tub. He was quick to lift her out of the water, leaning her over the side of the tub. He then began roughly slapping her on the upper back in a desperate attempt to knock out any of the water she might of swallowed. "Sierra! Speak to me! Please be alright!" he pleaded with her, as he cradled her from his position on the floor. He could not lose her. He could not take anymore.

The world was black. All Sierra could feel was the despair of the day. Her heart continued to ache while her lungs took in bath water. She was lost until her husband discovered her before she could drown. At first, there was no response. Her body couldn't handle alcohol. Her head was still soapy with drug laced shampoo. After the third slap, she began vomiting a combination of water and sickness onto the bathroom floor. She felt just as miserable as her husband must have, only her head was messed up on top of it. "Claudius!" She cried out pathetically. Sierra was crying as bout of nausea hit her that was nothing like morning sickness. It was as if he was twirling her round and round and round and round. She threw up again. She tried so hard to piece together what had just happened. "I-It's the shampoo! The shampoo and the servant girl!" She sounded like she had lost her mind in the bathtub, yet she said these words while clinging to him and focusing on him very hard. Everything quickly slipped away from her again. Instead of passing out entirely, she began to hallucinate. There was no way Farrah could have known what adverse effects the drug would have on the poor woman. It was playing into her hand.

A look of sheer horror had settled on her face. It was the most scared she had ever looked in her life. "No!" Behind Claudius, her mother stood with a sharp, kitchen knife. "You're dead!" What the hell was happening? Sierra's sanity had left the building.

Claudius was initially relieved when Sierra regained consciousness, but not too long after she began raving like a lunatic. He was not sure what to make of it. "Shampoo? Servant girl?" he asked her, but when she began screaming at some presence behind him he became totally unnerved. He turned to look over his shoulder in a panic, but no one was there. "It's ok. No one is there," he said, as he moved to get a towel. He began doing his best to dry her off, and once that was complete he carefully carried her towards the nearby bed. "You're alright," he said, several times, before wrapping her up in the blanket carefully. He sat down at the foot of the bed to catch his breath, wondering what had happened to his wife. The day that seemed like it would never end desperately needed to.

The woman was shaking like she was naked in a winter storm, but her body was sweaty. She had forgotten about what she was trying to tell Claudius thanks to her worst nightmare standing there in the bathroom with them. Her mother watched them like a prowling panther. Sierra was more distressed than ever. While he dried her off, she tried to explain herself. "Mother is there! She's going to hurt me! She'll hurt our baby. She'll hurt you." She did not understand how he was missing the violent stranger in their bathroom. Sierra symptoms did not get better once she was blanketed in bed. Her arms wrapped around his pillow. She cried into it. Her little body moved into the fetal position. "The shampoo and the servant girl." She repeated like a lunatic. Somewhere in the sea of fucked-up, Sierra was still seeking out her husband. "The shampoo..." She touched her sudsy hair. She had to get it out. She had to make the crazy train stop. No sooner had he placed her in bed was she standing up. She made it to the end of the bed when she saw her mother in the doorway to the bathroom. Both of her hands clutched her long, blonde hair as she fell to the floor in front of him. "Claudius!" She yelled, "There's something in the shampoo!" It was the most logical sentence she had spewed since he pulled her from the water. "Get it out!" She cried, clawing at her head. The sanity ended there. "Mother won't let me back into the bathroom. She says I've been bad. She says she's going to punish me."

Despite the fact that they had spent so much time in the medcenter lately, Claudius felt he had but no choice to turn Sierra over to the care of a medical professional. Perhaps even a mental health professional, but he would have to be careful to manage the situation so that the people would not think their new Duchess was a loon. "I will protect you, Sierra," he said to her in a calm voice, deciding it was best to humor her, rather than argue with her. He moved towards the bathroom, collecting the shampoo bottle so that his people could analyze it. Once finished he hurriedly dressed before moving to attend Sierra once again. "The doctors will get it out," he pledged to her, as he cradled her naked body in the blanket and began to carry her out of the room. There was no time to grieve his father on this, the day of his burial, as this new tragedy had befallen the family. Had someone attacked Sierra? Or was the poor girl just overwhelmed from all of the recent events? He could not chance it, and therefore he provided maximum security as he headed to the medcenter with his bride, never leaving her side. The official cause was exhaustion and grief over the loss of Duke Julius, but he knew that cover would not last long. There was a shadow war against his family that had cost the life of his father. Now it seemed they were coming for him and his wife.

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