Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:4:33) in the New Alderaan system: Blue Haven and New Alderaan (New Aldera: Mug Zoran's homestead).
Callista Nilar, Commander Iyah Xergo, and Mug Zoran.

Between the lawless Hutt Space and the forgotten Tion Cluster lay the Ash Worlds, an appropriately named collection of planets that no one ventured near. It was here the Alliance had found a habitable yet barren world where the people on Alderaan could start anew. From Delaya the Rebel fleet moved to this planet, which had been appropriately renamed New Alderaan. Among the array of ships unloading cargo and materials to assist in the construction of the first structures of a new civilization was the Pelta-class frigate Blue Haven. Mug Zoran was standing at the foot of the ramp of the frigate, still psychologically tormented by what Governor Arundel had subjected him to on Delaya. As bad as the torture was, nothing had prepared him for what was to come next ... the battle that left so many of his people dead and injured. As he watched the refugees exit the medium transports he thought of the faces that he did not see. His hand grabbed hold of a support rod on the Blue Haven's ramp, lowering his head, and nearly collapsing. A second disaster had befallen his people ... this new home ... this second chance ... had to stay safe and protected from the Empire.

What had happened on Delaya left the Commander of the Blue Haven feeling crippled. She had watched members of her team die...including Yekaterina Hanson, who had saved her life. During her torture at the hands of the Imperials, she had spent so much time rehashing what had happened. Ashori Monoceros had left Delaya with them. In fact, she was the reason why she and Mug had ever made it out alive. Without her, the Imperial garrison would have buried them underneath its debris. Still, despite what the woman claimed to be the truth, Iyah had mixed feelings. She felt paranoid that she would be betrayed by Ash again. These thoughts were forced to slip through the cracks in her mind, however. There were wounds present that were much greater than what Ash had caused.

Iyah Xergo had overseen the trip to New Alderaan. She did what she could to bring food, resources, and medics to the refugees who had been distributed onto her ship. It reminded her of the first time she visited Tarkintown, only the people looked even more defeated now. She made her way through the frigate. Governor Arundel had done a number on both of them. She wished she could erase all the pain from Mug. All she could do was stand on the outside, hold his hand, and move through the tornado that surrounded them. She didn't have to look long to find her fiancé. Her heart ached for him, for his people. Iyah approached him quietly. She stopped in front of him. Before her men, she embraced him tightly, shifting him from leaning on the support rod to leaning onto her body. She said nothing at first, allowing her hold on him to speak the words for her. She was sorry. She was there for him, for whatever he needed.

Mug was too overwrought with emotion to care about who would see them. As Iyah approached his face lit up for the first time since they escaped Delaya. He moved towards her, nearly collapsing as he let go of the support beam. He returned her embrace, wrapping his arms around her as firmly as he had ever held anything in his life. "I love you," he said, but before he would allow her to respond he moved his face towards hers and pressed his lips against hers. The kiss did not last nearly long enough, but when he reluctantly broke it he slowly pulled his head back and smiled lovingly down upon her. "We will make a home here," he declared, as he looked around at the beginnings of construction. Shelters were going up all around them, but in time these would give way to more permanent structures. "I don't want Callista to grow up on a starship or on a space station. She deserves this, and we do too," he told her, as he turned his body so that she, too, could see all that was going on.

In his arms, Iyah began to feel like everything would be okay. At this very moment, that thought was irrational. Their minds were riddled with the hell that they had gone through. She felt a warmth wash over her as a result of Mug. She kissed him. Iyah had learned to treasure him more than ever before. All those hours she spent fearing that he was dead had changed her. The kiss ended but she didn't let go of him. It was questionable who was holding who up at this point. Iyah smiled. In the dark, Mug always showed her the way. It was his super power. As she traveled into the downward spiral, he plucked her out and pointed her upward. In her depression, she hadn't begun to look at how positive New Alderaan was until he pointed it out for her.

She stood, looking over their *first* home. The ship was no place to raise their sweet little girl. An image constructed itself before her of Callista swinging in their front yard. Her smile grew. This was the chance to be a normal family. Quickly, Commander Xergo kissed him again. Why hadn't she seen it? New Alderaan was the best thing that could happen. They could both actively help the refugees and help them see a better day. "You're right... I never thought of this in such a positive way. I don't want Callista to grow up in a starship or a space station either. I want her to play in the sun. I want her to make friends with other children." Callista was such a social butterfly. Finally, they could give her the life she deserved...the life *they* deserved. "We're going to marry here, Mug." She told him, her smile growing even brighter than before. "We'll begin our new life in the best way a family." None of the other planets they had visited were right for such an occasion. New Alderaan was perfect.

As Iyah planned their future, Mug's mind still lingered on their past. "Are you sure we can trust Ashori?" he asked, in a hushed tone, so that none of the others could hear his doubts. As he closed his eyes he remembered the troops that were gunned down during their mission of mercy to Delaya. "She murdered Kat..." he said, believing the woman dead. Little did he know that she was across the camp with another group in refugees departing a medium transport. She did aid in their escape, but the whole situation was very complicated for the young, and sometimes naive, Mug to understand. He wanted to make sure their new life was built on a strong foundation.

Mug asked the same question she had been asking herself repeatedly. She understood his doubts. He was the only other survive of the massacre that Ash had caused. Her eyes lowered. "Kat... May her soul rest in peace..." She had watched as the woman was stabbed repeatedly. The chances of her being alive were nonexistent. They spoke closely together where no one else could hear. "I don't know, Mug. She has been assigned with infiltrating Imperial groups before. The problem is that she's so good at it. I can't tell if I'm being played." She sighed. "She did provide me with information about..." She didn't want to say his name. "That man. My gut says not to trust her. I'm going to keep an eye on her until I have some hard evidence. Watch her. If she's betrayed us once, she'll do it again." Iyah didn't think she sounded paranoid. She felt she had a solid reason to not trust Ashori. As they quietly spoke together, Callista snuck up on them. She had awoken from her nap and dressed herself in one of her mother's shirts, which functioned more as a dress for the small girl, along with her mother's hat.

"Mama! Daddy! Group huggggg!!!" She squeaked, opening her arms wide to snuggle both of her parents. She had no idea what had happened to them. As blissfully ignorant as can be, she maintained a positive attitude towards all the shifts in their lives. "Mama! Can you give me bun buns like Pwincess Leia?!" She asked, quickly turning around to show Iyah her long, brown locks ... and the hairbrush that was stuck in between them.

Mug was just about to continue the discussion about Ashori when Callista arrived, preventing him from having a dark conversation. "Callista!" he cheered, as he knelt down to make her group hug more accessible. He would never forget the image of their daughter storming the garrison, complete with blast helmet amidst the chaos of the rescue. Though he was seriously going to have to chat up whatever Rebel Marine allowed *that* to happen. As he looked at her hair he laughed, smiling wide, as he focused his attention back on his fiancé. "Hair is your department," he told her, with a wink, before he lifted up Callista into the air so that she could get a better look at what would be their new home ... but he did not tell her yet.

Iyah's heart melted at the sight of her daughter. She hugged her tightly. She was so excited to show Callista her new home. This was the opportunity that she wanted for her family. Iyah laughed at the mess Callista had created in her hair while trying to brush it herself. Mug was right. Hair was her department! "I'll give you bun buns in a minute. First, why don't we all take a walk together?" She winked at Mug, leading the way down the ramp of the ship.

"Yay!! Lookit me, Daddy! I can touch the sky!" She reached her hands out wide and pawed at the blue sky. Her eyes gazed over the new planet. She didn't think that they would be there for long. In her mind, Blue Haven was home. "Wooowww! It's so pretty!" She hadn't experience a home since she lived on Alderaan with the parents who abandoned her.

The Commander led her family through the beginnings of New Alderaan. There were homes in various states of construction, land marked off where more homes would be built. For once, the refugees would rebuild, not sit in a slum and suffer. Iyah didn't stop walking until she reached a marked territory with a big tree just outside the area where construction had begun. "What do you think, Callista?" She looked at Mug. He could tell her. This was to be home.

Mug walked with Iyah carrying Callista as they surveyed the site that would grow to become the capital of the new world. When they reached the plot that Iyah had suggested, he leaned down and placed her down upon the ground so that she could look for herself. "Do you want this to be *your* home, Callista?" he asked her, as he released his overprotective grip upon her so that she could run free. A smile formed upon his face that he wanted to keep forever as he watched her. He rose back to his feet, and wrapped his arm around Iyah so that they could watch together. "That's *our* daughter," he said to her, as he leaned his head down and placed a kiss upon her cheek. No one would ever take this from him ... no one.

The little girl blinked up at the gigantic tree. She wondered if Ewoks lived in it. It seemed *endless*. Her eyes went wide. Her hand squeezed his several times excitedly. "My home?!" The answer was on her face. Her smile exploded to quadruple its normal size. "*My home*!!" She cheered, skipping around the yard. "*My home*! *My home*! *My home*!" It was the first time she'd been able to run wild and free in so long. She ran around, suddenly plopping her rear down on the ground. "We can have our tea parties outside, Daddy! I think Lady Bunny will like that!" She was back on her feet a millisecond later, continuing to celebrate.

Iyah had to wipe tears away from her eyes as she stood with Mug. Her head rested on his shoulder after he had kissed her cheek. "It sure is... What a wonderful girl we have." That settled it. This would be the location of their new home, their *forever* home. Callista would always belong somewhere: in Mug and Iyah's arms.

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