Duchess Zara Rodney stood in the massive library
inside of Rodney Castle. She had been scoping out
her new home with Sia now that she was able to move
around with more ease...aka, without a gigantic
preggo belly. "Ah ha! I knew there were children's
stories somewhere in here." Zara leaned onto her
tippy toes and reached to a shelf high, high above
her head. "Can't. Quite.. Reach..!" Instead of using
the stepstool located less than a foot away, Zara
decided to jump up and down until she grabbed the
book. Several others fell, hitting her in the face
as they fell off the shelf. "Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!" Zara
blindly grabbed a book on the shelf. As she pulled
it off, the whole bookcase moved forward several
feet. It revealed a secret passage which Zara had
yet to notice. What she did notice was the sound of
laughter. She turned around, showing her reddened
face to Sia, who was seated upright in a comfortable
little pink seat. She was laughing *hard*. Zara let
out a squeal as she darted towards her baby girl. "Sia!
You're laughing!" She plucked the little girl from
her seat and embraced her. She *had* to tell Marcus
now! Before she left the library with her daughter,
she noticed that the bookcase had changed. Her eyes
followed it, then landing on the passage. Her smile
grew even brighter. Marcus had warned her of the
passages in the castle which were not even on maps.
She had been determined to find them, but never had.
Now she had *two* pieces of exciting information.
The only problem was that the castle was *huge* and
finding Marcus could be difficult. "Marccuussss?"
She called out, departing from the library with a
happy Sia in hand.
Marcus had descended into his old armory in the
lower level of the castle, from which he first began
his bounty hunting career. He had not warn his armor
in some time, and now that he was a father he
doubted he would ever wear it again. He was
surrounded by weapons of all sorts, explosives, and
surveillance droids. There was a board on the wall
where his most famous bounties were forever posted.
He was sitting at his old desk reviewing the current
list of bounties, but he would not dare attempt to
claim one. For Marcus this was simple nostalgia and
a stroll down memory lane. On his lap he had their
son, Darrus, who he had prematurely introduced to
his old life as one of the galaxy's most revered
Zara searched and searched. When she stopped to
think about it, she knew *exactly* where Marcus
was...in another secret hidey hole within the
castle. She carefully brought Sia with her into the
old armory. Since moving from the chalet, even
Zara's belongings now lived in the armory. All of
the many devices she used to hack and theft
throughout the galaxy. That life had been cut off
unexpectedly when she had gotten pregnant. She
didn't regret it, but she certainly understood
feeling nostalgic over it. With the one year
anniversary since her greatest heist coming, she
found herself thinking about it more often. She
recalled every careful step of planning she had gone
through to ensure she'd come out with a special
chronometer. To this day, she would never know what
made her stop and toy with him. To this day, she was
glad she did.
Zara made her way towards the desk. She purposely
made noise as she walked so she couldn't scare him.
"Hi honey." She spotted Darrus on his lap. He looked
quite content. Zara leaned against the edge of his
desk. "Do you want to put on our old armor again?
Just for shits and giggles? I'll wear the *really*
tight bodysuit." She regretted teasing him as soon
as she did. She blushed. "I hope they don't remember
that then they are older..."
Marcus was slightly startled by Zara, who still had
the stealth of a cat burglar despite her advancement
into motherhood. "Hello, Zara," he said once she
made some noise to alert him, before taking his
son's arm and moving it up and down in a wave. "I
have these two to think about ... and the people of
Delaya," he said to her, as he looked towards his
encased suit of armor and shook his head. "No. That
was for when I was just Claudius' spare with no one
to think of other than myself," he explained, as he
rose from the chair while carefully holding Darrus.
"Not to mention I was a lot younger then," he joked,
as he moved towards her. "What brought you two
lovely ladies down here?" he asked her, as he looked
Her head lifted. She looked at the encased suit of
the Nerf Herder. She had known what a dangerous
target he could potentially be before robbing from
him. She delved deep, *deep* into his life. The
little wave from Darrus made her smile. It was worth
hanging up her hacker hat for their children...for
the people of Delaya. The last time he had worn the
armor, he'd nearly died. She giggled. "Oh yes,
*much* younger then, you old man." She strolled
closer to him. She greeted her son with a kiss to
his forehead and her husband with a kiss to his
lips. "Two things," Zara said. She seemed to become
excited again. "First of all.. I made Sia laugh! I
was in the library and some books fell on my head.
She thought it was so funny. Her laugh is so cute!"
She squeezed the little silver-haired girl. "Ohyeah.
*And*, I found one of your secret passages. Wanna
come explore it with us? Sia and I need some big,
strong men to keep us safe." Zara smiled brightly.
She was glad he didn't resent her for the shift in
"I think our children will laugh at most misfortunes
that befall us," Marcus joked, as he looked down at
his two children. "A secret passage? Oh! That can be
scary," he said before moving towards his collection
of seeker droids. He pressed a few buttons and the
trio of droids came to life, encircling him as he
began to move towards the stairs. "I think I'll
bring reinforcements," he said to her, before
leaning over towards her to place a kiss on her.
With his wife, children, and droids he began to
ascend the stairs back to the ground floor of the
castle to seek out the passage his wife had found.
"I'll have to see if I can get her to do it again.
If not, you can have your droids beat up on each
other until she laughs." With the droids, Marcus,
and Darrus in tow, Zara began making her way back
towards the library. "I wonder what it'll be. Maybe
it's like your great great great great *great*
grandpa's secret lair. We'll find out the House of
Rodney has always made awesome bounty hunters!" She
turned into the library. A large bay window had its
curtains drawn back. The light shone in on the whole
room. "Have you read all of these? There *has* to be
at least a bajillion books here." There were still
books on the floor from Zara's little stunt. The
bookcase was still slightly ajar. "Toldya so. Did
you know about this secret passage?" She stopped,
letting the droids proceed inside first before she
moved through the gap. She found herself standing at
a ramp which descended down into a dark room.
"Well, some of them are in Huttese," Marcus said
with a shrug and an impish grin as he looked over
the vastness of the family library that went back to
the days of Germanicus and Raeni Rodney. With a
motion of his hand the trio of droids entered the
secret passage just in case they were boobytrapped.
"No. I had heard about them, but I just thought they
were stories my father told me," he said, as he
slowly crept into the passage behind the droids.
"There's a lot of family history I don't know.
Truthfully I didn't find it all very interesting,"
he joked, as he wondered if perhaps they should have
told someone in the castle where they were going
before they just descended into a secret passage
behind a bookcase.
She giggled. She had frequently wondered about her
husband's family history. She knew so little about
the Ta'ems. Most of the family history went up in
flames after her father was publicly murdered by
Imperials. They all proceeded further and further
down the passage until they reached a large room
filled with old crates and covered objects. She
snickered. "There's gotta be a Rodney family tree
somewhere. We keep making it bigger and bigger." She
began looking around. Everything was covered in
dust. "What do you know about the founders of your
house? This seems like a stupid question to ask
after a year and two children...but how did House of
Rodney come to rule over Delaya?" She peered into a
box of toys that had once belonged to Magnus Rodney.
"I'm sure there is, but my attention span has never
been such that I could read it all," Marcus said, as
he continued to move down the passageway. "With the
birth of our nephew, the fact that they've taken in
*another* Squib, and Drusilla's impending wedding I
think there are more Rodneys *now* than at any point
in history. We could repopulate the planet with just
our relations," he said to her, being careful where
he stepped because he was carrying his son. If the
Rodney clumsiness happened now there could
potentially be a disaster. "There was a succession
crisis on Alderaan. My ancestor, Germanicus, was one
of the leading contendors," he explained,
remembering at least that much about the family
history. "There was a deadlock and a threat of civil
war, so the Jedi Council was sent to mediate.
Ultimately the House of Rodney was not chosen and
the new title of Duke of Delaya was created. Back
then this planet was nothing. It all started with
Duke Germanicus and later Duchess Raeni after his
death," he continued, before looking to see what she
had gotten into.
Zara laughed hard. Sia, who was pressed against her
chest and peering at her father from beyond her
mother's shoulder, began to laugh too. There is
nothing quite as sweet sounding as the laugh of a
small child. Zara grinned. She knew Marcus had heard
it this time. "You're right. House of Rodney has
done some crazy expansions over the last year. Our
little expansions are the cutest of all." The news
of their nephew had come as a total surprise. Zara,
who *still* felt bad about shooting Sierra, had seen
to it that baby gifts were sent to the estate to
help out with the early addition of Bruce. There was
also *another* Squib. It seemed that Claudius was
happy with his new wifey and expanding his family
after all these years. She listened to him talk
about the succession crisis which eventually lead to
Delaya being given to the first Duke of the family.
"I wonder what it looked like back then when they
were starting fresh. Wouldn't it be funny if Sir
Tentacles had been alive *wayyyy* back when?" Zara
opened up the front panel of the crate. "Look at all
these old toys. They're so cute!" She pulled down a
large sheet which was concealing *something* beside
the crate of toys. "Oh ho!" Zara unveiled an old
nanny bot. "Wow! Look at this thing! It's so old
school!" She patted down on the droid. She wondered
if it still worked. With a wide smile on her face,
she looked at Marcus. She wanted to take her
hydrosplanner to it and spend some time getting to
know its insides.
"No pollution. No industry. I imagine it was very
beautiful," Marcus theorized, before becoming
distracted by Sia's laugh. "This is a strange place
to store a child's toys," he pointed out, as Darrus
instinctively tried to grab the newly uncovered
wonders. "That looks like a nanny droid!" he
exclaimed, after Zara had pulled off the cover and
let loose a column of dust. "I see you've found a
toy too?" he teased his wife, as he helped her
attend to it. "Well if anyone can get it working
it's you," he told her, as he helped her examine it.
It looked to be intact, but he could not be sure if
it was 80 years old ... or 800.
"A nanny droid?" She wondered if it would ever work
again. It looked really out dated. She registered
what Marcus said, idly wondering why someone seemed
to be trying to hide their memories of a child. Zara
snickered. "Mhm. I think we should take it up to the
library with us. I'll get my things and see if I can
make some repairs." She loved how confident he was
in her. It brought a smile to her face. As they
began rolling the droid out into the light, Zara's
nose twitched. "Oh gosh, this thing looks scary. All
the paint has worn off of it. If I can get it
working, I'm going to need to pretty it up." Sia
reached out towards the dust old droid. "Are you
going to help me fix it too, Sia?" She cuddled her
baby girl happily. "Did you have a nanny droid
growing up?" Livia didn't seem like she was winning
any awards for being a great mother, not that Zara
was going to speak ill of a woman who was dead.
"Alright. Maybe it can help translate some of these
old books," Marcus said as he helped her wheel the
old droid back down the passage into the light of
the library. "Total makeover, nanny droid edition?"
he asked her, as they began to get it back in the
light and its age became apparent. "No. Mother
employed a staff of human nannies to tend to me and
Claudius," he explained, as he backed away from the
droid to take a seat and attend to his son. While he
was back on his feet and feeling stronger everyday,
he was careful not to overdo it. "Your sister and
mommy are going to work on the droid while we sit,"
he said, as he looked down to Darrus. "We'd just be
in the way," he added, before winking to Zara.
"Do you think the droid is older than the books, or
the other way around?" She used her foot to scoot
Sia's little baby chair closer to her. She gently
placed her little girl in the seat. "I would totally
watch that. Should I stop and we'll call some
HoloNet producing team to come film?" Zara laughed.
She liked to stay away from the HoloNet as much as
possible. Since Claudius' son's birth had basically
remained in the family, no one had leaked it to the
press. Auntie Mae had yet to add a new flavor of ice
cream. Zara was certain that it was going to be
'Brownie Batter Bruce'. She rose, briefly leaving
the room to collect a toolbox full of her
instruments. When she rejoined them, she sat before
the droid. She thought it was *very* old...at least
a few hundred years by the design, maybe more. "I
wanna try to avoid doing that with our kids. If we
had a functioning nanny droid, we'd at least have
another set of hands." She wanted a different life
for their children. She wanted Sia, Darrus, and
whoever else came to feel loved. There would be none
of the 'spare' nonsense that Marcus dealt with
should they have another son in time. "My mom didn't
really do a good job either. She left me with my
sister while she went off and did her rebellious
thing. My sister was nicer back then, but not *that*
nice." She spotted Sia grasping for a wrench in her
toolbox. She allowed her daughter to have it while
keeping a watchful eye on her. The sounds of her
hydrosplanner kept the room from growing completely
silent as she worked the back off of the droid.
"Don't worry, Darrus. You're helpful from all the
way over there. Daddy too." A worried look briefly
crossed her face. "Are you feeling okay today,
Marcus?" She'd asked him that just about every day
since he started walking unsupported. Zara always
watched out for him.
"Hmm. It's hard to say. The droid looks old, but
some of these books look ancient," Marcus replied,
as he looked towards the droid. "No! My HoloNet days
are behind me. Let's leave it to the next generation
to become media sensations," he said, as his cheeks
flushed red from unpleasant memories of the fact
that most of the galaxy had seen everything he had
to offer. "Oh. Your sister. I had almost forgotten
about her. I wonder what she's up to..." he said,
before muttering to himself about the two awful
encounters with his in-laws. "I'm feeling fine. I'm
just sitting down so that I continue to feel fine,"
he said, as he turned his attention down to Darrus.
"I want to make sure I'm able to beat him at
shockball until he's at least fifteen," he said to
Zara, as he bounced his little boy on his lap while
making cutesy noises.
Zara laughed. She prayed her HoloNet days were over.
It was a hard pill to swallow that forever and ever,
people would be able to find pictures of her
completely, totally *nude* engaging in certain
activities with her husband. "..She's probably
causing trouble somewhere or plotting the next way
to make a credit off of our family." Zara grumbled.
She was not happy with Luna, who had kidnapped her,
her sister-in-law, and left her to die in a
crumbling medcenter. She hoped the droid never
worked again, because her handiwork became
aggressive just at the thought of her sister.
"There's gotta be my weight's worth of dust inside
of this thing. Ugh." She had never worked with
something so old. She'd have to do some research to
determine just how old the bucket of bolts was.
Her blue eyes lifted towards Darrus and Marcus. She
could see the little boy smiling and making loud
cooing noises while he was bounced. Their little son
was such a cutie! And her husband wasn't so bad
either ... kidding! She looked towards Sia, who was
staring at the wrench in front of her. Zara's heart
was so full of love. She had gained an incredible
family. She reached a hand up into the interior of
the droid and pressed a button in hopes that it
would do *something*. "Rest while you can. We're
gonna have to leave soon if we want to make Mug's
wedding. It's so cute that they are finally getting
"Cla-Cla-Cla-Claudius!" the nanny droid exclaimed as
its voice modulator was reactivated. Her
photoreceptors illuminated to a bright yellow. All
of her arms began to flail up and down, while she
spun around 360-degrees. Finally the droid settled
down and focused herself on Zara, whom she did not
recognize. After some scanning she discovered she
was in the library, but none of the faces were in
her recognition database. However, she did see some
facial similarities in the features of Marcus. "Oh
dear!" she exclaimed, as her circuits began to
overheat from all the newly received data.
"Woah!" Zara stumbled backwards as the droid came to
life. She didn't expect it to work and it would
still need a lot of time with her before it worked
smoothly. "Claudius?!" Hmmm. Even though Claudius
was really old, the droid was *wayyy* older than
him. She wondered what Claudius the nanny droid had
served back in her day. "Well hi." She said. "What
model are you?" She asked the droid just before it
began to overheat. "Nonononono! Stop!" She quickly
shut off the droid so it didn't explode from all the
new information. She giggled girlishly, rubbing her
face and accidentally smearing oil on her cheek.
"This thing is cool! Let's keep it! It'll take some
work, but maybe it'll be a good nanny droid when I'm
done with it."
"Funny, I don't seem to remember Claudius ever
owning a droid," Marcus said, as he watched the
nanny droid have her equivalent of a panic attack.
"Be careful, Zara!" he cried out, as the droid began
to spin around. He moved from his seat and rushed to
her side, just as she began powering down the droid.
"Should we bring her with us to New Alderaan to help
with the twins?" he asked her, as he looked over the
now dormant droid once again. He knew they needed
help, but maybe not that kind of help.
"There's noooo way this was his. I mean, unless he
likes to collect antique nanny droids... That would
also make him really weird." Zara grinned. "He could
probably use one of these, huh?" She made jokes at
the expense of her brother-in-law while no one was
around to defend him. She looked up at Marcus with a
thoughtful face. "Maybe. Let's see what kind of work
I can get done on her. I bet she's all sorts of out
of date and look at this paint job... She's
scary..." Zara rose to her feet. She wrapped her
arms around her love. She liked the idea of having a
droid to help them. She could program the droid. She
could control many aspects of the droid to ensure
that their children were getting the best help