Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Liz Dorner and Christopher Levy.
One year before the Battle of Yavin (34:10:15) in the Essessa system: Esseles (New Calamar: Claudius Rodney's estate) and Kwai.
Vice Admiral Claudius Rodney, Lady Htaere Ka`a Sha`ar, and Flight Lieutenant Randi Trainor.

Claudius Rodney strode up the walkway to the landing platform, where a shuttle was waiting. As he reached the top of the platform, he turned around slowly and looked at the estate he had called home for the past several months. It was always sad ... leaving ... especially when so many things were left unfinished and there were so many bitter disappointed. His eyes squinted faintly as he looked at the setting Brentaal star on the horizon, still shimmering brilliant through the mountain ranges towards the outcropping his estate was situated on. "Beautiful," he thought. It was exactly like the first time he had seen it.

Htaere sat in the shuttle waiting quietly. There was little to say, and even had she something to talk about, it was not an appropriate time for such. Her hands were folded in her lap, her posture straight. Grey eyes were fixated on the flooring of the shuttle, resigned to the ultimate fate of the transfer and likewise awash with inner dread at why lay ahead.

Claudius shook his head in disappointment one last time before walking up the shuttle's boarding ramp. He sighed as he crossed the threshold from the boarding ramp into the passenger area. He looked tired and warn out ... perhaps a change was needed, but of course he did not see it that way. He sat down next to Htaere and leaned against her for emotional support, but said nothing. His eyes darted over to Jelena, Drusillia, and Ewwiekewwieikkie ... they all seemed to be indifferent to the move ... at least that was one bright spot.

Htaere's gaze lifted, her head turning towards Claudius slightly. "What about Kerrie?" she asked quietly.

"Oh," Claudius said quietly. He had hoped to avoid this particular conversation at such an early juncture. "I was planning to tell you later," he said, his voice starting to tremble in fear of her reaction, "She is serving out a disciplinary assignment due to a recent failed assignment." He turned away slowly, worried that the reaction might be a particular bad one.

"Oh..." Htaere mouthed the word quietly before her eyes dropped back to her hands. Surprisingly, she left it at that. Despite her attachment to Kerrie, she made the effort to remain out of issues that didn't pertain to she and Claudius, where truthfully, she had no place. She looked towards him once more. "She will be joining us later then?"

"Not immediately," Claudius explained to her as the shuttle lifted off the platform and began to leave the planet's atmosphere. "She has been reassigned ... temporarily," Claudius continued, hoping she would not be too disappointed. "I hope that the assignment will teach her a valuable lesson and improve her contributions in the future," he said, concluding his thoughts on the matter.

Htaere nodded slowly, falling silent again, leaving the topic to rest. Instead she debated the conversation with her mother. Already the woman had called several times, and to her own stubborn credit, Htaere had not bothered to answer any of them.

"I wish," Claudius continued as he tried to change the subject, "That I could provide you with a more glamorous location." He lowered his head slightly, before turning his head to face her, "But I understand they have done a remarkable job preparing our suite."

Htaere's young face moved towards him and a tender smile touched her lips. Her head canted to rest on his shoulder, wrapping her arms around his and heaving a sigh. "This living arrangement does not interfere with your regulations?"

"One of the few perks of being an Admiral," Claudius said proudly, with a boisterous laugh. The shuttle soon cleared the planet's atmosphere and entered the Essessia system. It only took a moment for the pilot to download the navi-coordinates for Brentaal, and the shuttle quickly entered hyperspace.

Her eyes half closing as she settled in, she mumbled in a low voice. "Will time be made available for the wedding?"

"Time has already been set aside for that," Claudius responded to her. A small grin formed upon her face, that would immediately give away that he was 'up to something.' He tried to hide it, but he was a terrible liar.

Htaere's head lifted off his shoulder, her expression curious. "The planning and such...? You have begun making the preparations?"

"This time of transition has presented the opportunity for a more pleasant diversion," Claudius said with a smile as he placed his hand upon hers, and smiled widely. It was clear that he was deeply in love.

"I am surprised. I do not suppose my mother has pushed that her will be done regarding this matter, then?" Htaere resettled her head on his shoulder, eyes staring off to the opposite wall, her focus inward.

"Neither of our parents have, my dear," Claudius said reassuringly, the smile not escaping his lips. "It will be something very appropriate to us," he told her confidently.

Htaere could not help but manage a half smile that was largely mirthless. "Give it time. I am sure as the date approaches they will become more prevalent in the picture" she replied.

"If only they had enough time to interfere, Htaere," Claudius said to her boastfully, the smile on his face growing increasingly wide. The shuttle emerged from hyperspace in the Brentaal system and proceded on a course for the Star Destroyer Watspite.

This time, her smile was completely real. Her grey eyes flickered towards his face. "Taking the offensive Claudius? I am surprised. It is not often you dare to be assertive and over-impose what your father wants of you." She rubbed his arm affectionately for a moment. "I am eager to see what lay in store."

"I have had enough of the taste of defeat, Htaere," Claudius said confidently, as he had fully snapped out of his melancholy period. "This time," he continued, "I intend to be successful." The shuttle entered the docking bay of the Star Destroyer and began its landing procedure.

She looked at him quizzically. "You do not think of yourself as successful?"  It was a stunning confession, if that's what it in fact was.

"Success is judged solely on your last accomplishment, or lack thereof, in life, Htaere," Claudius explained, as honestly and as thoughtfully as he could. "My period in the Ringali Shell will not exactly be at the forefront of my memoirs," he said, attempting to make light of the situation. By now, the shuttle had landed and after a few moments, the landing ramp had extended from the shuttle and onto the deck of the hangar bay.

It took her back a moment. The concept pushed her own failings within Hapan socio-political pursuits surfaced in her mind. She bit at her lower lip for a moment before looking over to him in earnest. "I am unsuccessful as well, Claudius" she stated quietly. "I am not the daughter my mother hoped for. I lack the traits evident in my sisters to be a successful candidate for political intrigue." She took a deep breath and delt another painful blow to herself, though it would be her last. "Why do you think I am here? Hapes does not 'export good will' in the form of her strong demographic. I am here because I am sub-par" she said with finality.

Claudius shook his head at her slowly. "You are far from 'sub-par'," he informed her in a positive, reassuring tone, "You are perfect." A smile formed upon his lips before he moved slowly towards her and pressed a soft, gentle kiss upon her cheek lovingly.

Something like a shy giggle actually escaped her lips as her hard-trained demeanor wavered. "You flatter me so..." she stated, eyes twinkling like some ridiculous school girl swept up in the grip of a youthful crush.

"You're worth of flattery," Claudius told her, truthfully. "I love you, Htaere," he confessed to her, as simply and as truthfully as he could.

"Promise?" she asked, sidling closer to him if such a thing was possible from where they sat. The intoxicating effect he had on her made her smile, her eyes near glazed over in a dreamy and transient bliss-laden daze.

"I promise," Claudius said to her, locking his eyes with hers, unblinking. He squeezed his hand around hers tightly as his eyes slowly closed. He moved his face towards hers slowly, tilting it to the left slowly. He pressed his lips against hers gently, lost in the moment.

Htaere's eyelids lowered, long eyelashes arching upward. The way he felt against her sent her into a tailspin inwardly, that flagrant tickle rising in her stomach as the rest of the galaxy faded into nothingness, leaving only the two of them as a single entity for that handful of heartbeats. Her smaller hand squeezed his in return, desperate to draw the moment out for as long as she could.

Randi Trainor emerged from the cockpit and spotted the couple kissing in the back of her shuttle. "Ya know we've landed right?" she said as she laughed slightly. "I'm sure you have a room somewhere aboard this ship, Admiral. No need to use mine." She shook her head at them, laughing loudly as she made her way out of the shuttle.

Claudius broke the tender kiss when he heard Randi's painfully cheerful voice. His face flushed red with embarrassment ... he had lost himself in the moment. As his eyes opened he looked at Htaere, with the sheepish grin of a child who just got caught in a cookie jar. "Shall we get ouf of here?" he asked her, embarrassed.

Like adolescents caught by a parent, Htaere tried hard to suppress an embarrassed grin as well. She nodded, releasing her hold on him before unbuckling her crash webbing. She got to her feet, straightening the elegant gown she wore and trying to recompose herself. "I am ready when you are."

Claudius took her hand in his and rose from his seat on the shuttle. Holding her hand, he began walking out of the passenger compartment. As he walked down the ramp and debarked on the hangar bay he felt the ship jerk as it entered hyperspace. Their time in the Ringali Shell had truly come to an end. He turned to her and smiled slightly, "Wherever we go ... as long as I am with you ... I will be happy.

Htaere's gaze pulled from the expanse of the bay towards him. A soft smile appeared as she savored the last fleeting moments of their time before protocol and procedure dictated they reserve themselves with stoicism. "I shall be happy as well with you, no matter your post" she affirmed quietly, gazing into his eyes intently.

Untitled 1

Copyright Era of Rebellion 2005-2018. All Rights Reserved
Terms of Use | Legal Notices | Privacy Policy | Press Release | Disclaimer