Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:7:26) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Leiliani: Rodney Castle).
Ewwiekewwieikkie, Melickielickie, Callista Nilar, Duke Marcus Rodney, Duchess Zara Rodney, and RO-E11.

"Faster, Auntie!! Faster!!" Callista Nilar was seated on top of Duchess Zara's back ... along with two Squibs roughly the same size as her. It seemed that even though a deal had been struck between Zara and the King of Skor II, the Squibs had yet to leave. The HoloNet reported that there was a shortage of Auntie Mae's, and more was to be transported in from another planet simply to accommodate the needs of so many Squibs. Auntie Mae herself had introduced a new flavor of ice cream called 'Super Shiny Sorbet' which featured flavored shiny edible confetti inside of it. Needless to say, that was gone too. "Fasteeerrr!" Callista cried out, using her foot to prod her aunt gentle. The other two young Squib were less gentle. They jumped up and down on Zara's back while repeating the same word: 'Faster! Faster! Faster!'

What had started out as a quiet moment in the library with Darrus and Sia had been turned upside down for Zara. The Duchess had sprawled out a blanket where both twins still lay. Originally, she had been giving them some 'tummy time' and trying to demonstrate rolling over. Nana had told her that the twins should be able to roll over pretty soon, so she thought she could help. Callista had found her, assumed she was playing pony, and hopped right on. An hour later, Zara was still a pony with two wiggling Squibs on her as well as a hyped up Callista. "Ugh. The pony is tired." She huffed. She was on all fours, but soon lowered herself down to the floor. There was a chorus of 'awwwwww' from behind her, to which Zara rolled again and began tickling the children. "No frowns allowed!" She declared over the sound of children giggling. For the millionth time, Zara was sure she could *never* adopt a Squib. Two was insanity. Claudius and Sierra were *crazy*.

"Zara!" the whine of Duke Marcus Rodney arrived before he, himself, did. He was moving through the corridors with a purpose, clutching a datapad in his right hand. "Zara!" he cried out again, his footsteps now being heard as well. When he came into view his family's hereditary pout was plastered upon his face. "That awful woman," he complained, but was he talking about Colonel Arden Zevrin of the ISB? "Look at the bill she sent us!" he complained, as he offered her the datapad with a bill from Auntie Mae for all of the ice cream, the property damage, stolen items, lost damage ... it just went on and on and on. He sighed, wondering what would be left of the treasury after they paid. It. They *had* to pay it, did they not? There was even a bill for Doo-Doo Fast's food speeder truck. The Squibs had cost them a fortune.

Ewwiekewwieikkie descended from Zara's back, before moving over towards Marcus curiously. "Oh. Oh. Oh!" she said, as she brought her paw up to her chin. "Wow. We ate a lot," she said, as she hopped up and down, trying to look at the datapad as well. "Is there more yet? I'm hungry!" she declared, as she moved her tongue from her mouth and began to swirl it around her muzzle. "You hungry?" she asked Melickielickie and Callista, but she already knew the answer. "I used to eat *a lot* here," she said, s she looked around her former, childhood home. "Oh!" she said, as she moved towards one of the book cases. She began climbing up until she found an area she remembered, and began carelessly tossing books down to the floor. "I hide here," she informed everyone, before she reached behind where the books were and began tossing old candy down at everyone. She never read anything, but neither did anyone else when she lived here, so it made for an excellent hiding place for her candy.

Zara wondered if playing dead would work around Callista and the Squibs. She was merely a teenager and even her back hurt after pony time. She inched towards the twins and sat up just in time to hear her husband whining. "What? What is it?" Nothing could be worse than the datadisk that was 'gifted' to them. She reached out, taking the datapad from him. The young Duchess coughed as soon as she saw what Auntie Mae was charging them. "No! We're not paying this!" She said, slamming the datapad onto the ground. "I didn't even eat a lick of ice cream yesterday." Zara sounded unhappy about that. Unless they traveled off planet, Zara would not satisfy her craving for her favorite ice cream. She picked back up the datapad, reviewing that Doo-Doo was also trying to send them a bill. "Go away, Doo-Doo. You should be happy we didn't sue for emotional trauma at your restaurant." Zara complained, slowly sliding the datapad in between ancient books within the bookcase. She was such an excellent problem solver!

"I hungry. I so hungry I eat wholllllllllleeeee taun taun. Three of them!" Melickielickie explained, showing only one finger. The small Squib made her way over to Callista and hugged her. "My sissy is magical." She explained. "She makes shinies." Nothing was more magical than the moment Ewwiekewwieikkie produced candy from the sky. "*Candeeeeeeeeee*!" She gasped, paws pressing into her cheeks in disbelief. "No candy, then candy there!" She said as she picked up a piece of wrapped candy. She placed it on her nose and sniffed it. "Mmmm."

Callista, on the other hand, didn't think twice about picking up the old candy and eating it. She removed the colorful wrapper from a decade-old piece of taffy. "It's so pretty." She said, glancing down at the pink-and-white striped candy. She plopped it into her mouth and bit down hard. "Owwwiieeeeeeeeeee!" The candy was so hard that it had become impossible to chew. Callista immediately spit it out. "Owwwww!"

"Oh no!" Ewwiekewwieikkie squealed suddenly as she reached behind the candy and found an image of a mother and twin children. "You found my hiding spot," she said, and as she began to panic she began to fall. "Woah!" she said, as she fell backwards off the bookcase, impacted the ground with a loud *thump* that might have made someone think she broke every bone in her body. But she was a Squib, and that meant she was nimble, and she was back up on her feet and scrambling in no time. "It's a picture of you and the twins!" she announced to Zara, before showin Callista and Melickielickie what she found. Only it was not Zara, Sia, and Darrus. It was Raeni, Desdemona, and Romulus.

"Ewwie!" Zara saw her niece losing her footing. She outstretched her arms with all good intentions of catching her. Somehow, Zara totally missed her. "*Ohno*! *I killed her*!" She exclaimed, looking down at Ewwiekewwieikkie. The sound of her body hitting the floor made it seem like more damage had been done. Zara's life flashed before her eyes as she imagined her brother coming to Delaya to kill her. Thankfully, she was up half a second later and totally unharmed. She didn't understand how, but she wasn't going to complain. Zara took the picture from Ewwiekewwieikkie. "What? I didn't hide a picture up there..." She looked down at the picture. She didn't recognize *who* it was of. There was something interesting about the picture. Whoever it was, the woman had certainly had twins just like Zara had. "Do you know who this is?" She asked Marcus, showing it to him. The picture looked old. She wondered if it was as old as Nana!

Marcus was mentally preparing a note to his brother, offering condolences for the loss of Ewwiekewwieikkie when she suddenly sprung up as if nothing had happened. Well, that was certainly a relief. He moved towards Zara, trying to work his way between three very excited girls, to steal a glimpse at the picture. "Hmm. That looks like the depictions of the first Duchess, Raeni," he explained, as he pawed his chin in a manner similar to Ewwiekewwieikkie. "Only I have no idea who the twins are," he said, sounding as if his interest had been piqued. "Maybe the droid would know, but it seems like her memory circuits have decayed over the years," he warned her, to temper her excitement. "I should have asked mother more about the family history. I thought I had more time..." he confided in his wife, with a hint of sadness in his voice.

The picture brought on a lot of excitement. When they had found out that Zara was pregnant with twins, she wondered if they'd won some genetic lottery, or it if had been in either of their families somewhere. Apparently ... it had! "I know who those twins are!" She teased excitedly, unable to temper herself. "They are the reason I had twins. It was a Rodney thing!" Which made her wonder what the probability of it happening again were. At least now they had servants who could help her when she was feeling embarrassed about being beached on the bed. She left the picture in her husband's hands so she could collect both Darrus and Sia from the ground. She squeezed her babies lovingly, then neared Marcus so he had no choice but to feel their love. "I'm sorry, Marcus.. It wasn't fair what happened.." She frowned. She wished she could bring Livia back for her family. Instead, they would have to try their luck with the nanny droid. As Zara moved back through the corridors with her husband, she wondered where Nana was. She hoped that she hadn't short circuited somewhere. In a castle this big, it may be impossible to find her.

Suddenly the nanny droid emerged in the direction of Zara, unexpectedly carrying a tub of Auntie Mae's purple potato ice cream. "Oh Duchess Zara. I have the most wonderful news," she informed her, as she offered up the ice cream. "Auntie Mae herself has sent you a container of her galactic famous purple potato ice cream," she said, before spinning around excitedly in a circle. "She said she wanted you to have it special and, not to worry, she added it to the bill she transmitted early," she continued, before flailing her four arms up and down excessively. "Also, you received a transmission from King Ebareebaveebeedee who requested to know if you 'learned anything'. He also wished you to be informed that he is able to give in person instructions and demonstrations, f-for a f-fee of course," she concluded, before nodding her head to the Duke and Duchess.

"Nana!" Zara exclaimed delightedly. Her eyes widened when she saw the object of her affections: a tub of purple potato ice cream. With all the news of the Squibs, Zara had given up on finding ice cream until they had left. She completely ignored the fact that Auntie Mae had added the fee of the ice cream to the already lengthy bill. "Ice cream..." She turned towards Marcus, handing him off the twins in exchange for the picture that Ewwiekewwieikkie had found. She realized that ice cream was not safe in the castle. As soon as it was in her hands, she removed the top of the container and stuck a single finger into it. She licked her finger, sighing as her craving was *finally* just beginning to be satisfied. "Thank goodness... Ice cream." The second tidbit of information that Nana delivered brought back a very unfortunate video that she and Marcus had seen far too much of. "Ugh!!!! No! No! No!" She squeaked, closing her eyes only to find the image of King Ebareebaveebeedee behind her eyelids. "Um, please let him know I appreciate his gift ... and require no further information." She looked over at her husband in disbelief. Deep down inside, she wondered what the Squibs were using their video for. "Oh, um, Nana." She showed the droid the picture. "Do you know who these babies are? Is that Raeni Rodney?"

The nanny droid took the photo and the moment she saw it her photoreceptors seemed to glow so white hot that they threatened to burst. "Oh my," she said, before spinning around rapidly, flailing her arms excessively once again. "That ... that is Duchess Raeni with Lady Desdemona and Lord Romulus," she explained, but even though she was a droid, there was nevertheless a bit of trepidation in her voice. "These were her second and third children respectively," she said, before offering the picture back to Zara. "Where did you find this?" she asked, wondering if perhaps there was more. Her memories were incomplete on the early days of the House of Rodney family, but she did remember assisting Duchess Raeni with the care of these children and more.

Worried that the droid was about to explode, Zara guided her family a safe distance away from Nana. "Maybe... Maybe I didn't fix her all the way." She commented quietly. Nonetheless, the nanny droid recalled exactly who was in the picture. As Zara looked at it again, she thought that Sia looked a little like Raeni. She could see some resemblance in her husband as well. For someone who knew none of her family history, she found it interesting. It was actually possible to follow the House of Rodney family tree down to those who roamed the galaxy today. "Who was her first child?" She asked Nana, recalling all the toys they had found in the hidden room within the library. She took the picture, looking down at it. "My niece found it in the books in the library. I found you in the library too. There's a room hidden behind the bookcases." She reported to the droid excitedly. "What were Raeni and Germanicus like? Was Germanicus clums- er, prone to disaster too?"

The nanny droid remained silent for a moment as her internal processors went to work. "Count Cla-Cla-Claudius," she announced to Zara, surprised that she did not know. "The library? Oh. Oh. Oh!" she said, before moving past Zara and heading towards the library to search for more. She wondered, perhaps, if she could discover why she was deactivated and placed in permanent storage. She wondered if she had done something wrong to displease the family, which was quite the personal failure for the nanny droid. "Raeni and Germanicus were very complicated individuals, Duchess Zara," she said, as she continued to move through the corridors of the castle. "In public they were very cheerful. Very confident. Very popular," she explained, as she rounded the corner towards the library. "In private they were quiet. Sometimes sad. Focused on their training," she explained, cryptically, as she arrived in the library to find two Squibs and Callista. "Oh no!" she exclaimed, as she began to spin around again. Before moving to search the library she was quick to check on all of the children, as her programming dictated.

"Claudius, huh? Like Marcus' brother! You haven't met him yet, but you will. You took care of his son at the ball." She explained, unaware that Nana had witnessed Sierra, Papius, Bruce, and the attack of the thranta. It had crossed Zara's mind more than a few times why Nana had been deactivated. It wasn't just her, it was the amount of infant things hidden away in the room within the books. She wondered if something horrible had happened which caused Raeni and Germanicus to shut out that part of their lives. She paused briefly on the way to the library to ask a servant to fetch her a spoon and continued on once she had received it. Returning to the library meant that she would have to share her ice cream.

She listened to Nana begin to fill her in. Zara wanted to take the time to write down the family history so that Darrus, Sia, and Bruce's generation could learn the stories about the House's beginning as well. "Training? What kind of training?" Zara's eyes lit up. Maybe Raeni and Germanicus lived secret lives too. Were they bounty hunters? Thieves? Something else?! She stood back, looking to her husband. "The twins came from yourrr side of the family." She chanted playfully. "We should call Claudius and Sierra and tell them! Maybe Sierra will have twins this time!" She opened her mouth wide and shoved a spoonful of ice cream inside of it. She prepared another spoonful, then offered it to Marcus.

"Wowie wow! It's a droid," Ewwiekewwieikkie said, as she rushed towards the nanny droid to give it a thorough inspection. Before she could get to the droid, however, she spotted Zara and the purple potato ice cream. "Oh my wow! The ice cream is here," and she stopped dead in her tracks, stopping only long enough to lick her lips. She began running towards Zara to get into the ice cream when suddenly she stepped again. Her nose began to twitch and she started sniffing, before getting way too close for comfort with Zara. "Oh! Oh!" she said, as she looked up at Zara and began to climb her as if she was a tre. "'Nother cousin," she declared, before giving her sloppy kisses and eyeing the ice cream.

Uh oh. Zara's short love affair with her ice cream was over. She had been *spotted*. She inched backwards with the intentions of using her husband as a human shield. When she realized she couldn't reach safe ground quickly enough, Zara braced herself for the impact. Instead, her niece stopped. Zara redirected the spoon of ice cream towards her. "Want some?" She asked. It was a little uncomfortable that she came so close to her. She could see Ewwiekewwieikkie's nose twitching. Did she smell? Slowly, Zara turned her head to the side and lowered it as to smell her armpit. No, that seemed pretty good. "Nother cousin?" Zara asked, reaching her arms out to help stabilize Ewwiekewwieikkie so that she wouldn't fall. "It isn't nother cousin. It's ice cre-!" Zara was cut short by her sloppy kisses. They tickled her. "I love you too! I love you too!" She said through laughter. Zara didn't think twice about sharing her ice cream. She turned the tub over to Ewwiekewwieikkie. "Here, you can have it."

In a delayed reaction, Zara looked at her niece. "Another cousin!?"

"Om nom nom," Ewwiekewwieikkie declared as the ice cream was handed over to her, but as she looked to Zara she frowned, and pushed it back to her. "You need it more than me," she said, not believing the words that she was saying, even as she said them. "For my cousin," she said, before looking down at Zara's belly. "Sia and Darrus and ... and ... and ... I dunno!" she said, before dropping down in front of Zara and staring into her stomach. "Hello? What's your name?" she asked, before gently knocking on Zara's belly, and turning her head to place her ear against it to listen for a reply.

Zara was brought to tears by her sweet Squib niece. After she had given her ice cream to the girl, Ewwiekewwieikkie returned it. She also made it evident that Zara and Marcus' family was growing--which was something even she didn't know. Happy tears began spilling down her cheeks. "Ewwie...!!" There was even greater news to celebrate. As she knocked on her belly, Zara's head rose to her husband in disbelief. She slowly mouthed the words 'am I pregnant?' to him, which was silly to ask considering she was holding her favored purple potato ice cream. Zara breathed shallowly with Ewwiekewwieikkie's ear against her belly. "Do you hear anything? Are you *sure*?" She asked, looking over at Nana. "Nana, tell the cooks to prepare a bunch of desserts for my nieces!" Her heart was beating fast with excitement. She wanted to find out *now*!

The nanny droid stopped as she watched Ewwiekewwieikkie assail the Duchess of Delaya as if she were one of the Triplehorn Mountains on Alderaan. "I believe Duke Germanicus and Duchess Raeni thought themselves great warriors. They were always training," she said, with a nod of her head, before the subject turned to desserts. "But Duchess Zara the children have already has so much sugar. It is not healthy to feed them this many desserts. They will get hyperactive and then crash and I will be the one that has to deal with it," she said, in protest, as she gave the Duchess some sass.

"I'm super sure!" Ewwiekewwieikkie said, before looking around the room excited. "I'm'a tell everybodies," she said, as she began running around the room. "Callista, Duchess Zara is gonna have a baby," she said, as she grabbed her by the shoulders and gave her a little shake. "Melickielickie, Zara's preggers!" she told her adopted Squib sister before giving her a shake also. Then, she turned to Uncle Duke Marcus, and gave him a quixotic look. "More babies!" she yelled, before surging towards him, leaping up, and tackling him to the ground. "Pounce party!" she yelled, as she began to hop up and down on her best, and only, uncle.

Even if Ewwiekewwieikkie had not tackled him he would have been floored. He lay on the ground beneath his Squib niece, being assaulted with licks and pounces. "Zara!" he cried out, but not because he needed help, but because he had the unexpected news of a pregnancy. He noticed that she had been eating ice cream more, and with greater desperation, but that was hardly scientific. Could a Squib's nose really detect something as subtle as a pregnancy? He needed to find out.

"Let them eat cake!" Zara shouted, completely disregarding the nutrition of her nieces. Sierra could take care of getting the healthy stuff in them. As their aunt, it was her job to load them on sugar. All in all, Zara's mind was mostly preoccupied with the news Ewwiekewwieikkie was spreading around the room. She *needed* to know too.

Callista let out a high pitched squeal. "*More babies*!?" She gasped. "The babies are soooo cute." She gushed. "They have such ity, bity, tinnyy toes!" Callista enjoyed playing with all of her new cousins. Earlier, she had spent some time trying to read to Sia and Darrus. The little girl danced her way over to her uncle, who she pounced. "Pounce party! Pounce party!" She chanted, suddenly throwing herself to the ground in a fit of giggles. She rolled up to her uncle. "Uncle Marcy Marc," she said, placing her chin in her hands. "Where do babies come from? How did the baby get in auntie Zara's tummy? Did she eat something?" She asked.

Melickielickie was still gnawing on old candy. She refused to give up eating it. She nearly choked on the hard candy when her sister gave her a shake. "Preggers? Like Mommeee?" She asked, looking around for Sierra. "Where mommeeee?" Melickielickie liked playing tag on the beach and seeing the big water. She wanted to go play in the big water with her family more. The longing for her parents was brief. The pounce party provided a perfect distraction. She jumped on top of her uncle with all of her other friends. "Yayyy!"

Zara squatted down by her husband, who was currently being assaulted just as she had been. "I wanna find out." She said to him excitedly. The twins brightened up her life. Despite the days that were hard and the sleepless nights, Zara hadn't been swayed away from the idea of making their family grow more.

Marcus was busy dealing with what the girls called a 'pounce party', protecting his ribs from any potential Squib-related misfortune. Unfortunately, when Callista asked him *how* Zara got pregnant he was so taken back that he let his guard down and Melickielickie got in a decent blow to his spleen. "Uh. Um," he stammered, as he tried to think of what to say. "You need to ask your mommy," he finally blurted out, as he brought his hand down to cover his spleen. "I'm sure your mom will tell you everything you wanted to know about babies," he said, with a nervous look upon his face, before seeking out Zara for support. "If I survive the 'pounce party' we can summon Doctors Tohan and Bailo," he suggested, as he did not want to go pack to that meddlesome doctor on Hosnian Prime.

"Very well," the nanny droid replied, before muttering something about Duchess Zara not having to be the one to get the children in bed. She moved off towards the large kitchen where she began gossiping with the pastry chef about the new Duke and Duchess. Moments later, but for what seemed like an eternity for the children, she replied with a tray of delicate cakes. "This is a bad idea," she said, as it seemed whatever repairs Zara had made had released her inhibitors. She lowered the tray of cakes, and then began to back out of the way. Feeding Squibs was not too dissimilar to feeding a rancor monster.

There was a single way to effectively end the pounce party: a tray of cakes. Zara stood back and watched the stampede of girls running towards the tray. She thought it looked like something one might see on a documentary about wild beasts. For a moment, she watched in awe as Callista acted more like a Squib than a human. It seemed she had totally forgotten about her question and moved right into cake. Zara smiled to herself. She enjoyed it when the girls visited. She had granted El-Nay with a break from them. Since El-Nay had protected Darrus, the Mandalorian had gained some credit with her. Zara didn't hate her *as* much...

Her mind snapped back towards the new developments. "Are you okay?" She asked Marcus, offering him her hands to help him back off the ground. "That looked really painful... The doctors can examine you too." She wrapped an arm around his waist to offer support. "We have to call them *immediately*!!!" It would only be a matter of time before Auntie Mae learned of what was happening through the grapevine and produced a new flavor of ice cream for such an event. Maybe 'Conception Confetti'?

"I'm fine," Marcus said, as he looked at her with a large grin and rosey cheeks. Once he was back on his feet he quickly moved to place a hand upon her belly, while continuing to look at her stupidly. "The question is, are *you* okay?" he asked her, before moving his face down to place a delicate kiss upon her cheek. Suddenly he was treating her as if she was made of glass and all of the overprotective instincts he had slowly gotten over following the birth of the twins were returning to the forefront of his subconscious. "Well then, let's call them ... *immediately*..." he told her, before leading her away from the children and towards the holonet transceiver. "You're in charge, nana. Good luck..." he told her, as he started to laugh at her plight. "'re gonna need it," he added, unable to resist, and only saying it loud enough for Zara to hear.

Her chin tilted downward to look at his hand. Ewwiekewwieikkie had seemed so confident, but Zara didn't know how. She learned something about Squibs each time she saw her nieces. It was hard to give herself a reality check when she felt excited about the aspect. She looked up at him suddenly. A smile followed. "Yeah. I mean, I don't feel any different from normal." It wouldn't be long before Zara wasn't allowed to go to the bathroom without him standing by the door. Luna successfully kidnapping her head done nothing to help her husband's overprotectiveness. She was whisked away towards the holonet transceiver. She laughed at the comment he made only for her. "You're so bad!" She didn't look back once at Nana. She claimed that she had experience with multiple children. Zara only hoped this didn't break her beyond fixing.

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