Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:2:32) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Marcus Rodney's chalet), Gilded Thranta, and Kwai, and in the Essesia system: Esseles (New Calamar).
El-Nay Darr, Yekaterina Hanson, Commander Kerrie Kiley, Lady Jelena Rodney, Lord Marcus Rodney, Commander Sierra Rodney, Lady Zara Rodney, Commander Iyah Xergo, and Mug Zoran.

Commander Kerrie Kiley was sitting in the passenger compartment of Sierra Rodney's personal transport. Stripped of her Imperial uniform and storm commando armor, she instead found herself wearing a suit of armorweave she had begun wearing during her time with the Mabari on her native Zolan. She glared across at Iyah Xergo with her carefully mimicked human eyes, not sure what to make of the Rebel commander who claimed she could successfully deliver Jelena Rodney back to them. She leaned forward, reaching with her gloved hand to the collar of Iyah's shirts, pulling her closer to her menacingly. "If you are lying. If this is a trap. If Jelena has one hair out of place. I will kill you," she said, before shoving the young Rebel commander back against the bulkhead of the transport. She then turned her attention to checking her weaponry, particularly the power packs, in case this was all leading up to a Rebel attack. She lowered her head, closed her eyes, and mentally prepared what she expected to be a potential battle.

It was going to be one hell of an evening. Sierra recalled waking up sometime in the evening to the sound of Iyah's comlink beeping with a message. The deal was officially in play. She had left Claudius feeling concerned about what was going to happen. If Jelena was not alive, it was going to feel like losing her again. The Rebel's scheme was so realistic. Sierra had listened to Jelena's message over and over again while she tried to figure out a way to poke holes in it, yet it seemed so authentic. Her head was crowded with concerns as she sat in the pilot's seat of her ship. Even she had opted to wear a lightweight armor for the occasion. She was protecting more than herself now, though she wouldn't utter a word of that to anyone else. They'd be in Delaya before too long. Were they ready?

Commander Xergo was beginning to look ruffled up. Being taken prisoner and separated from her family had been her worst nightmare. While she awaited to hear from her comrades, she began to second guess if her life was as valuable as Jelena Rodney. Derek Aito had certainly thought she was something. Though the Rebels had agreed to the trade, she wondered if they would use it as an opportunity to kill Imperials instead of actually give them Jelena. She was scared, shaking like a leaf from where she was cuffed to the bulkhead. Kerrie Kiley, though small, frightened her. Since leaving Jelena at the Rebel space station, Iyah hadn't seen her. She didn't know what kind of condition the girl was in. Iyah's big, brown eyes stared at the small woman. She slunk to the ground when Kerrie released her. At this point, she'd give them anything to be reunited with her family.

El-Nay Darr was standing in the passenger compartment of the ship also, clad in her distinct orange Mandalorian armor that was older than her. The simple Nite Owl armor clung to her small feminine frame, and while she imagined it was intimidating, her choice of color did more to cause ridicule than fear. She could not help but think that if the Nerf Herder had simply allowed her to capture Jelena months ago, instead of his decision to help turn her over to the Rebellion, none of this would have been necessary. "You should not trust her," she muttered beneath her helmet, to Kerrie, speaking of Iyah, as she moved towards the young Rebel commander. Although the Empire had done terrible things to Mandalore and her people, she had no love for the Rebel Alliance like some Mandalorians. From beneath the T-shaped visor of her helmet she glared at Iyah, wondering if they were all in for a fight when they got to Delaya.

Kerrie rose suddenly as El-Nay closed in on Commander Xergo, as she did not trust the brash young Mandalorian around the prisoner. She roughly pushed the armored young woman away from the Rebel, not wanting to waste time on babysitting her. "Shut your mouth. Holster your weapon. If you shoot first or cause me a single problem then I'll be the one you'll have to worry about ... not the Rebels," she said, before roughly slamming El-Nay's armored head into the bulkhead in similar matter to what she had done with Iyah. Satisfied, she moved to the cockpit where she moved towards Sierra. "Are you sure you're up for this? You've been quiet. Like you're somewhere else," she said, as she adjusted the simple blast helmet upon her head. She sat down in the co-pilot's seat, noting how long it would take before they arrived in the Alderaan system.

There was movement near the rear of the ship, though Sierra was not concerned about it. For now, Iyah had value. No one was going to hurt her until they had a reason to believe otherwise. By the sounds of it, Kerrie had control over the orange-armored woman who had come along with them. The "distraction" Mandalorian that Sierra cruelly intended to use as a human shield should she need it. Kerrie brought a welcomed distraction from her worries. Sierra's blue eyes rose to the woman. She felt continuous guilt for being the cause of her reassignment and demotion. "Is it that noticeable?" She sighed, looking over towards her. "It's been a hard life for Claudius lately. If I...if *we* are unable to recover Jelena, or find out that this is just some messed up Rebel scheme, it's going to hurt him very badly. I don't even know what I'd say to him. It's been one thing after the next for so long." She looked back towards the controls. They would be descending soon. "Don't worry. I'm still up for this. I'm sure you have your concerns as well."

Kerrie unexpectedly reached across and grabbed Sierra by the chin, turning her head to look at her intensely. She squeezed tightly, perhaps even hurtfully, in order to make sure that she had her attention. "You *must* put all that from your head now. You must not think about him. You must not think about anything elsewhere in the galaxy. Or you'll get yourself, and possibly others, hurt today," she said, sternly, holding her face in place for a short while longer to ensure her message got across. When she was satisfied, she released her hand, and turned to face the viewport and the swirling blue column of hyperspace that was in front of them. "Whatever concerns I have or don't have I've learned to internalize before moments like this. It is a necessary function of such operations," she explained, as she watched the transport exit hyperspace into the Alderaan system. There was debris all around them from the once great planet of Alderaan that slammed into them, with the distant blue and green orb of Delaya in the distance, slowly growing larger as they drew near. She did not know what to expect when they landed. Would they be greeted by the drunken imbecile Marcus Rodney? Or would they be joined by the fearsome Nerf Herder?

"Ow." Kerrie's tiny, childlike hands had some real strength to them. Sierra listened to the Clawdite's words. This was far from her comfort zone. No one was going to sit around and talk about their feelings. Combat was new to her. She didn't want to fail Kerrie, or even the strange woman which she had brought along. It was important that everyone was functioning, even Sierra. She took the woman's words to heart and began to internalize her worries. There would be plenty of time to lick her own wounds on the way home should things not go ideally. She looked away from Kerrie, having to pay attention to the ship as she navigated it through the debris of her home planet and towards Delaya. "I understand," Sierra said, actually listening to the woman and pulling her head out of the ground. The ship broke through the atmosphere of Delaya. She headed towards Marcus Rodney's chalet. She did not know about him being the Nerf Herder. She didn't know if he'd even show his face while the trade happened, given the chaos that she had caused between him and Claudius. That was a problem from another day, however.

"They'll be here soon," Zara said, glancing out the window towards the frozen lake where Sir Tentacles lived. He hadn't eaten a tauntaun in over a day. He was hungry and furious. She could see his tentacles reaching this way and that. She turned her back, feeling regretful that she wasn't able to aid with the trade. Though she had never met Jelena, her love for her family made her want Marcus' niece to return home too. She'd been present at the beginning of the funeral. You could feel how hard it hit the family. One of Zara's body suits laid on the window seat. She'd *tried* to fit in it, but her stomach had grown too much. Besides, it would be pretty obvious if the Nerf Herder showed up with his pregnant sidekick.

Marcus Rodney was excited about putting on his suit of black and gray bounty hunter armor that had been placed in storage as of late. As much as he wanted to recover his niece, he was also excited about getting back into field. Thankfully his role in the pregnancy did not alter his physique like Zara's, which enabled him to effortlessly fit into his armor. "Do not worry, Zara," he said, just before he placed his helmet upon his head. Marcus Rodney was temporarily gone, but the Nerf Herder was back in full force. He readied his Model AXM-50 "Blast and Smash" just in case the Rebels tried something foolish. He had dealings with the Rebellion before and did not expect them to be the ones that would cause trouble, but anything would be possible. He had a history with Kerrie, and while he respected her skills, he knew she was a killer. Jelena was the x factor ... he did not know how she would react. "I am sorry you are on the sidelines in this one, my dear," he said, as he moved to wrap his arms around her, embracing for a moment. He then quickly left the chalet to make it as if he was arriving separately so that Sierra would not conclude Marcus Rodney and the Nerf Herder were one in the same.

She disliked being sidelined, forced to watch the action from afar. Zara wasn't going to be allowed in the game today. It was obvious, and dangerous, should something happen. There were obvious tense relationships between the Imperials and the Rebels. She looked a little envious of Marcus, whose body hadn't gone kaddywampus to house their two twins. She felt more like a beached Sir Tentacles every day. "It's okay, such is being the easy bake oven for our children. Make sure no one does something stupid, okay?" She embraced him softly. She knew he needed to be there. Of those gathering at their chalet, she believed her husband to be the most sane of them. The young thief moved towards the front door. Her guests would be here soon, but she'd hardly be entertaining them.

"What the hell is *that*!?" Sierra gasped, maneuvering the ship with its belly turned skyward. She had made the mistake of flying over the gigantic squid's lake. Its tentacles batted against the ship like it was slapping a fly away from its rear end. The party had begun mid-air with Sierra clutching the controls on the ship, rapidly hitting buttons to stop them from dying before they landed. "Crapcrapcrapcrap." There was only so much you could do against a massive creature, who was currently clutching the back half of the ship as it attempted to swallow the entire thing in one big gulp. Sierra didn't want to be lunch! "Hold on everyone!" She yelled, slamming the buttons for the ship's missiles. Several of the displays on the ship's diagnostics were flashing red. If she didn't free them from the monster now...well, Claudius would have to endure way more than Sierra was going to allow. The missiles severed through a tentacle. The other tentacle released. The ship went flying forward quickly. Sierra had to make adjustments quickly to land. She was coming in too hot. Instead of descending, the ship simply collided with the snowy ground roughly. It skidded until Sierra was able to stop the ship. Outside, a tentacle was still visibly wrapped around the ship. It was gonna be one of *those*days.

Kerrie never thought she would miss Randi Trainor's chaotic flying until Sierra crashed them into the snowy terrain that surrounded Marcus Rodney's chalet. She thrust forward, impacting the control panel in front of her, and letting out a pained groan. "If we ... if we survive this, you are *not* the one piloting us back," she declared, as she rose from her chair and moved to the back to check on El-Nay and Iyah. She shook her head violently to rouse herself for what was to come. If the rest of the operation went as poorly as the landing they were in for a horrible evening. She unfastened Iyah from the bulkhead and began leading her towards the ramp of the ship. "Remember what I said, Rebel. If anything goes wrong ... *anything* ... you will be the first to fall," she vowed to her, before roughly dragging her down the ramp towards the frozen tundra that awaited for them. It was an inhospitable frozen wasteland. The perfect spot for an exchange like this, but also the perfect place for an ambush. She brought her mask up over the lower portion of her face, trying in vain to stay somewhat warm. Her homeworld was insufferably hot, which caused this climate to be particularly brutal on her.

El-Nay Darr was jostled by the landing, roughly slamming into the bulkhead as the ship ground to a halt on the frozen surface of Delaya's north. "Oh c'mon. I could fly better than that. You should have let me fly," she complained, like the brash youngster that she was. When she saw how rough that Kerrie was with Iyah she rolled her eyes beneath her helmet, feeling that Kerrie was a hypocrite for scolding her when she was going to be so rough with the woman herself. Bitterly, but obediently, she followed Kerrie and Iyah out of the downed transport into the snowy evening where her orange Nite Owl armor stuck out like a sore thumb. Her hand immediately went to the side of her helmet, where she lowered the targeting scanner over her eye. If anything was going on in the darkness, with limited visibility, she hoped the old scanner might give her an advantage. So far there was nothing but an eerie calm. The armor and the environmental suit that was beneath it kept her warm, but she could not deny that there was a chill in the air.

The peanut galleries had much to stay after Sierra had stopped them from being consumed by a gigantic sea monster. She glared at Kerrie. "The seat doesn't scoot up that far, Kerrie. You won't be able to reach the controls." The young ISB officer rose. She picked up her helmet, which had rolled beneath her seat during the collision. She placed it on her head, then proceeded to exit the ship. Outside, the uncomfortable cold whipped through everything she wore. She thought kindly of warm baths and the sun as she stomped through the snow towards the chalet. Her eyes glanced at a time stamp within the display of her helmet's visor. The Rebels would be arriving any time now. If they did not show up, Iyah would be executed in the snowy tundra. It was hard to remain sharp and focused. The moment of truth was upon them. In the distance, she heard the hum of another engine. Someone was coming. Sierra turned, unfastening her blaster from her hip.

Iyah's body was flung back and forth against the bulkhead. She groaned and whimpered. Her forehead had begun to bleed. The only part of Delaya that she had visited was the city, not the northernmost areas. She didn't know that they'd be stepping out in a climate that rivaled that of Hoth. It was bitter cold. Iyah was still dressed as she had been when Sierra had captured her. Her light pants and tank top were covered with ice immediately. Iyah said nothing to Kerrie, the harsh woman who drug her from the bulkhead and down the ramp. She wanted to cry and scream. How had she allowed this to happen? She remembered considering leaving the Rebellion when she was given the mission on Esseles. She should have taken her family and run. Staying had gotten her in a massive amount of trouble. The Grand Moff's little wife was ready to do whatever she needed to do to reach Jelena.

The stark black armor of Marcus Rodney sharply contrasted with the white snow that was falling around them. As he approached the group surrounding Iyah he knew not how they would react, but he was determined that Sierra would not learn his identity. He knew Kerrie could be trusted, but El-Nay was a wild card. "You brought El-Nay Darr?" he asked Kerrie, sounding incredulous, as he had little to no respect for the young Mandalorian. Although he supposed she could prove a useful discretion. His eyes looked to Iyah beneath the anonymity of his helmet, quite enraged by her, and not entirely certain that he could trust her. He readied his massive rifle, poking Iyah in the stomach with it aggressively. The message was clear. He decided to minimize his time with Sierra, and he of course shunned El-Nay. He was not sure what the Rebels would be sending, but he felt they were up to the task of dealing with whatever they were up against.

Kerrie smiled at Marcus beneath the mask that covered her face, as she was glad he had risen to the occasion and donned his armor, rather than observed from his chalet with a hot toddy. "She was the only one I could find on short notice," she replied to Marcus, rolling her visible eyes at the Mandalorian standing beside her. "Glad you could make it," she said, reaching out to squeeze at his shoulder in a polite greeting. "Good to see you haven't become too retired," she said quietly, so that Sierra would not hear. "Commander Rodney, let me introduce you to the Nerf Herder. A very fine bounty hunter who has agreed to back us up today," she said,as she shivered slightly, trying to in vain to stay warm. Her feet began to move up and down as she stood in place, trying to raise her body heat with movement.

"Guys. I'm literally standing right here," El-Nay Darr said to both Kerrie and the Nerf Herder, feeling quite irritated that they were dismissing her talents in such a manner. She attempted to show them all by activating her jetpack and gaining altitude for the impending encounter, but the temperature had fallen so low that the engine did not function. She struck the pose of someone that was about to blast off, but instead was frozen in place. She cursed beneath her helmet, shaking her head at both them and herself, before she obediently took her position behind the group. She readied her 20-year-old weapon, which was older than her, for what she hoped would turn into a firefight where she could prove herself more useful than her rivals claimed. She felt they were lucky to have a brave Mandalorian warrior at their side.

Another figure appeared through the snow. It was that of a man in deep, black armor. Kerrie had not mentioned anyone else joining them, but it appeared she had found someone. The necessity for manpower was so much that Sierra didn't object the man. She also didn't connect the dots leading to his identification. If nothing else, she preferred to leave her brother-in-law and his wife out of this portion of the deal. If they were killed in crossfire, there would be no way to soften that blow. As Kerrie introduced the man, she smiled beneath her helmet. "Hello, Nerf Herder. I appreciate your assistance today. Let us all hope that this runs more smoothly than expected." She watched him mistreat the Rebel, thus aligning himself with her and Kerrie. The young woman in orange was one which she had not formed an opinion on. Kerrie had spoke so weakly of her. She noticed the small woman attempting to warm herself and felt like she should mock the movements. "It's so cold..." It was only made to get colder, especially for El-Nay! "I hear something..."

Commander Xergo was very unimpressed when *another* person who wanted her dead appeared. It hurt when he prodded at her with his rifle. Had she not endured enough? She was shivering worse than a Chihuahua. Goosebumps covered every bare surface of her skin. She had yet to be reunited with her family. She still feared that no one could come for her, or that Mug and Kat would attempt to save her and the lack of Jelena's presence would get them all killed. Her knees buckled so hard together that she fell into the snow. It was humiliating being so weak and powerless. From afar, the kraken screamed as if he was seeking out a round two with Sierra's ship.

Jelena Rodney was tired of being a pawn in the game between the Empire and the Rebellion. She felt like she had been equally used by both sides. When she defected to the Rebellion she did not expect it to be like this. She wanted to help people. She wanted to make a difference. But like so many young people in her generation she had quickly become disillusioned. Whether it was like aboard the dilapidated space station or being bounced around from planet to planet without ever really doing anything she was tired. The last thing she wanted was to go back to her father *again*, but if it was any other Rebel other than Iyah Xergo it was very likely she would never have agreed to be part of this. And as she sat silently in the back of the Gilded Thranta as they descended to the surface of Delaya she did not feel like she was going home ... it felt like she was going to a funeral.

Mug Zoran sat beside Jelena, who technically was his niece, incredibly nervous about what was going to happen. He had lost Iyah. He had lost Callista. Everything that mattered to him was *gone*. "Thank you," he said to Jelena, but she was in no mood to receive his gratitude. He could feel the shuttle lurch when it exited hyperspace, and then slowly descend towards Delaya. After fleeing the planet he did not expect to return there so shortly. He felt terribly bargaining his niece to recover is fiance, and he knew what it meant for not just the young woman, but for the Rebellion as a whole. Then the shuttle touched down on the frozen ground surrounding the meeting point where his half-brother had guaranteed everyone's safe there was a lump in his throat that he could not rid himself of.

Yekaterina Hanson was dressed in the uniform of a Rebel wilderness trooper, knowing quite well the arctic hell they were all heading too. She had an A280 blaster rifle at the ready, determined to get Iyah back. If she had done a better job protecting Iyah and Callista none of this would have been necessary. When the ramp lowered she was the first out into the wintery darkness, followed by Mug and Jelena. She did not respect Mug's combat usefulness, and she frankly worried he might be an emotional liability, but there was no keeping him from this impending rendezvous. The group of Rebels slowly moved towards the group of Imperials. No one could agree on anything other than it was inhospitably cold. No one knew what would happen next.

Sierra spotted the Gilded Thranta first. Inside her chest, her heart skipped a beat. She imagined reunited with her best friend, squeezing her, and letting the truth sink in: Jelena Rodney wasn't dead. It was an emotionally driven response and one which Sierra puffed out quickly. Nothing was believable for now. Heeding her words to Claudius and promise to stay safe, she inched towards the rest of the group. If chaos was going to strike, then the time was coming. Sierra recalled Jelena's funeral and the tiny, little pieces of wood that her coffin had turned into. She had wanted to give her friend a proper funeral, but instead, maybe they could rekindle their friendship. It was questionable how she'd explain that she was now married to her friend's father, but hey! Surely worse had happened...

It all happened in slow motion. First the ship landed, then the ramp appeared, and then *she* appeared. Jelena Rodney. With her face hidden beneath her helmet, Sierra failed to remember Kerrie's words and began to cry. This was no deception. Her old school friend really was alive. Relief spread through her body rapidly. She couldn't wait to bring her back to Esseles and unite her with her father. Sierra stepped forward from the group and slid her visor up to reveal her eyes. "Jelena..?" She called out her name weakly. She did not look like a prisoner being held against her will. Commander Xergo must have meant something to the Rebels. She noticed the bastard and Yekaterina there too. Even he had come to retrieve his wife. Finally, Sierra wasn't the most emotionally invested person in the group. "You're...You're *alive*!" And she wasn't going to lose that woman for the world. She turned, aggressively grabbing Iyah by her cuffed wrists. She drug her through the snow until the Rebel Commander managed to find her feet.

Iyah was happy and sad to see them arriving. Trusting none of the people who associated themselves with the Imperials, she believed that this would not be a clean trade. The fear in the front of her mind was of losing someone. Her life would crumble and fall without Mug. "No..." She groaned, her hands fighting hard against her restraints. Jelena was worth more than her life. She saw it. She understood why her mentor had given his life for her. Before she could object and attempt to run away, Sierra had snatched her up. "Let go!" Iyah yelled weakly. Her time spent as a Rodney prisoner had not been fun. She was tired, hungry, sick, and stressed out worse than she had ever been. Tremors shot throughout her body when she saw *him*. "Mug..!" Oh god, she didn't want Mug to be here. He needed to be safe.

"Easy," Commander Kiley said to everyone as the two groups converged in the silent snowy terrain. "I see that look in your eye," she said, raising her right index finger to point at Mug Zoran. "Remember, we are still holding your daughter," she said, to both Mug and Iyah, menacingly, as she began to lead Iyah forward. "Even if you shoot us all, reclaim Iyah, and escape the system, we will still have her," she said, as she moved Iyah forward into the no man's land between the two factions. "Come forward, Jelena. We'll take you home," she said, in a commanding voice, that had *never* worked during her years of serving as her bodyguard. If all of the emotionally involved parties ... who in her opinion should have never been present ... stayed calm they might all get to return home that night.

Jelena Rodney never came to terms with Kerrie during their complex history during her happier days with the family. She viewed Kerrie as an intruder into her family life who, despite her best wishes, would never be part of her family. At one point she thought she had killed the Clawdite, but although she came close ... she failed. At that moment she had certainly wanted to. "I'll be alright," she reassured Kat and Mug, before she stepped forward towards Kerrie and Iyah. "I won't let anything happen to your daughter," she said to Iyah sweetly, before glaring at Kerrie. "Go to your fiance," she ordered Iyah, before moving herself between Kerrie and Iyah to protect her. "Let's get out of here," she muttered, before walking over towards her uncle Marcus, Sierra, and El-Nay. "You," she glared at El-Nay, who had beaten her rather severely during her defection months earlier. She had not forgotten, and threw her an icy look that fit that climate. She recognized Sierra by her voice and her hostility towards her overshadowed any of her complex history with Kerrie, El-Nay, She reached a hand to Sierra's face, lifting her helmet off so she could get a good look at her old friend who now shared her father's bed. "Cunt," she cursed, as she brought her hand up to slap her across the face. It was the ultimate betrayal. The act had brought a great deal of warmth to her, which was very much needed in this horrifically cold night.

The tension was worse than the cold. Sierra stood with the Rebel while Kerrie spoke her part. The little woman produced a surprisingly commanding voice. It seemed like all parties were willing to obey today. She stood by Kerrie's threats. Callista was still in play no matter how furious it made the bastard. She would be returned at the appropriate time. Sierra released Iyah from her cuffs, then threw her in the direction of Mug. She watched the Rebel fall to the ground once more. Iyah was so sick of Imperials. She smelled of their sickness. She hated that Sierra had not mentioned that she was holding Callista. Her little baby girl had been close to her all along, she just didn't know it. Iyah felt warmth when Mug reached her. She was shivering. She was crying. She was in a lot worse condition than Jelena. "M-Mug.." Her Mug. Her heart ached in a thousand different ways, but, for now, she was back in the right hands. Iyah began to cry.

Sierra was caught up in a daze. Her mind kept running back and forth between the past and the present. She remembered the good times. She recalled mourning Jelena's death and taking it so much harder than she was ready for. As her best friend exposed her face to the cold. Sierra was crying after her emotions had taken hold. She questioned if that was partly hormonal. "I...I..." In Sierra's mind, she was about to have a sweet reunion. That wasn't how it played out. The young woman stepped forward to embrace her, only to step right into a slap. Her cheek puffed and redness identical to the size of Jelena's hand appeared on her flesh. Sierra's hand reached up, touching where she had been hit. An immense amount of sadness settled over her facial features. The slap said it all. Jelena *knew*. Sliding her helmet back over her face, she called out to Kerrie. "Load her up! It's time to go home." She saw that their friendship had been blown to smithereens, but that didn't stop her from achieving her mission of taking her back to Claudius. Sierra made her way towards the ship without another word.

In fact, Sierra was *very* silent. She started up the ship. Jelena was alive. She was going to take her to her husband, who would be pleased with everything that had happened. Sans for the slap, Sierra was unharmed. Their son would continue to develop in her womb, unknown to those around her. "Ready?" She called out once she was sure the ship was safe to fly.

"C'mon. We're letting them get away," El-Nay protested, as she reluctantly boarded the ship with the others. "We can take 'em," she said, her head looking towards the Rebels who were fleeing back into the darkness of the Delayan evening. She saw an opportunity to both capture Jelena and deal the Rebels a serious blow. She was disappointed that she had not been given an opportunity to use her blaster. All this standing around was getting on her nerves. Even she was beginning to feel the cold.

"Silence yourself," Kerrie said to El-Nay, grabbing her by the back of her neck and physically dragging her onto the transport. "We honor our agreements," she said to the young Mandalorian before seeing everyone got on the ship. She then saw to Jelena, getting her on the ship before moving towards the Nerf Herder. "Nice of you to show up. Surprised to see you on *our* side," she said to him, once Sierra was safely away. She then joined the others aboard the transport, not at all expecting that Jelena would have reacted in such a way. "Don't feel bad, Commander," she said to Sierra, as she settled into the cockpit with her. "She only smacked you. She *shot* me the last time I saw her," she said with a smirk, as she did her best to power up the transport's frozen systems.

Jelena was furious, but her anger kept her warm, until she was safely aboard the ship. She moved from the passenger ship to the cockpit, taking a seat behind Kerrie. "I am not sitting back there with that creature," she said, referring to El-Nay Darr, who gave her a horrific beating some months ago. Although she despised Kerrie and what she stood for, she trusted her to do her duty to protect her. She said nothing more to Sierra, who had betrayed their friendship, and took her father's bed. "Are you taking me to father? Or to Arden Zevrin?" she asked Sierra, finally breaking the silence, and spitting to the ground in disgust. The fact that she was in the ISB was a double betrayal. (d)

There was something comforting in Kerrie's words. At least she hadn't been shot...though, that was a story she *needed* to hear one of these days. She hoped that this adventure had settled any doubts Kerrie might have about her and her motives with the Grand Moff. She liked that little woman! Her eyes flashed over towards her. She chuckled. "Thanks. Always look on the bright side, right?" And right now, the bright side was pretty bright. The nose of the ship was pointed in the direction of Esseles. Sierra pulled off her helmet off of her head and threw it to an empty seat behind her, hopefully not hurting El-Nay in the process. She was surprised to find herself joined by Jelena so soon after enduring the slap. Her eyes rolled. "Arden Zevrin knows nothing of anything that has happened over the past few days. Let's keep it that way, shall we? I'm taking you to Esseles, to my *husband*." Sierra was asking for it. She purposely poked the bear. "You look well. What have the Rebels been doing to you?" She let her brief anger defuse. She was happy to have Jelena. Her eyes couldn't stay off of the woman. Her mind had to realize it a, a million more times. She was alive.

"Well they haven't been fucking my dad," Jelena said, with a poisonous venom attached to every word she spoke. "How could you? He's three times your age," she said, ignoring Kerrie's presence, and getting right into the catfight that they both knew was coming. "Did you see no future for yourself other than sleeping your way to the crown?" she asked, always viewing Sierra as an upwardly mobile young woman, but not like this. "If your father was still alive..." she began, crossing *the* line, and folding her arms in front of her chest. "When I saw you and my father together at my funeral I wished I really was in the coffin," she declared, in dramatic teenage fashion. She was having none of it.

Oh. It was going to be like *that*, huh? They were going to start off on that foot. It was probably better to get the cat fight out of the way before Sierra presented Jelena to her husband. "Really!? *Really*? You think I fucked him for the crown? As a matter of fact, if we hadn't both assumed you were dead, then we would have never gotten together. A shoulder to cry on is a vagina to ride in, Jelena." Her face was turning red. "If my father was still alive? *What*!? You'd sleep with him to get back at me?" She was sickened that she would even bring up that man. He had been neglectful and terrible. Of all the words that had come out of Jelena's mouth, admitting she was at the funeral was the worst of all of them. Sierra made a noise of disapproval. "You were *at* the funeral?! Did you see me get blown up by some god damn Rebel bomb or were you too busy feeling sorry for yourself?" She snapped. "How could you? How could you play dead like that? You know you hurt your father badly. After losing Alderaan, it was crushing to hear you were gone too."

"That was no Rebel bomb!" Jelena responded angrily, choosing to focus on that particular accusation first. "For all I know you staged it yourself to play the victim to complete your seduction of my father," she said, bringing her hand up to her head to pull at her hair in frustration. "I agreed to play dead to rid myself of this life. Of this family. You're welcome to it," she said, before letting out a horrific scream. "You know what? I've changed my mind. I'd rather go sit with the trash," she said before she unfastened her safety harness and moved towards the back where El-Nay had been left alone. She was furious. The last thing she wanted was to go back to her family, but there was the war orphan to consider. Someone would have to look after Callista, who was apparently being used as a hostage. She certainly didn't trust Sierra to do it, and her own father had never been there for his own daughters.

"Bullshit!" Sierra grumbled. Jelena crossed over lines again and again. She was greatly offended that her friend would think she staged the bomb for her own gain. It looked like Sierra was either going to scream, cry, or both at the same time. All of the stress while holding the Rebel had boiled down to a rotten conversation with her old best friend, since Jelena clearly suspected her of being a horrible, slutty vixen. Jelena left her fuming. It wasn't just her face that hurt anymore. Internally, Sierra felt sad. She had considered Jelena her bestest friend, and a woman responsible for getting her through the abuse with her mother. It had all ended now. She only looked forward while warm tears streamed down her cheeks. There was no big kid way to say it: this sucked.

"Well that could have gone better," Kerrie said, empathetically, as she pulled the veil away from her face, and then removed her blast helmet. "She is emotional, Commander. She has never been able to govern her passions, her bitterness, her irrational hostility," she said, as she took over the operation of the transport, fearing for Sierra's piloting ability. "The things she has said to you, that she has said to me in the past, are what she is not courageous enough to say to the Governor," she said, having silently observed the complex dynamic between the members of the House of Rodney for years. "Put it from your mind. She didn't mean it ... well, she didn't mean most of it," she said, with encouragement, as she sent the transporting speeding into hyperspace to return them to Esseles.

She still maintained a smooth flight home. She said nothing. She responded to nothing. Her mind grinded forward towards seeing her husband again. Sierra couldn't understand why Jelena would fake her death to get away from the family. She loved her new family infinitely more than her birth family. Claudius was an excellent husband. She felt that he would make a good father to their son too, having realized the error of his ways. When the ship came down in the city on Esseles, it was much more smooth than the descent on Delaya. Feeling the necessity to get home and place some space between herself and her old friend (before they ripped each other's hair out. She rose from the cockpit, first placing a hood over Jelena's face. "If you don't want Arden Zevrin to kill you, you'll keep your face covered." Sierra left the ship briefly to retrieve their speeder. She gathered everyone, including the orange armored woman, into the speeder and set off for her home. It was all almost over. Soon, Sierra could rest.

Jelena resented having a hood placed over her head, but she *never* wanted to see Arden Zevrin again. She begrudgingly boarded the speeder, dreading the reunion with her father. Of course he would be thrilled to see her. Overly emotional as always. But she wondered where that same emotion was when she was a little girl, fell, and scraped her knee, and he was on some cruiser instead of being there to kiss her bruise and dry her tears. She resented him. She hated him. And the familiar drive to the estate on the outskirts of New Calamar in the mountains seemed to pass more quickly than she wanted. She suddenly felt sick, and quickly pulled the hood off of her head within the speeder. "Ugh," she groaned, desperately trying to take some fresh air to settle her stomach. She suddenly opened her mouth and vomited all over Sierra, unintentionally, as the mood of the evening turned her stomach against her. She was horrified, and began to cry, desperate to go anywhere other than what the people around her thought was her home.

Kerrie had comforted the pregnant teenager again, on some level. The pain still resided in her chest. She paid little attention to Jelena on the way home, preferring to focus on the road and on bringing everyone one home in one piece. Jelena's weak stomach blind sided her. Suddenly, there was multi-colored vomit all over her top and trousers. Sierra's stomach was influenced. Jelena had always been the bad influence!!! As she bent her head down to begin throwing up, she swerved into oncoming traffic, colliding with a speeder zooming in the opposite direction. Despite wearing a seatbelt, she was flung forward. Her nose broke against the dashboard of the speeder. She hit her head in the right way where she was out before she really understood what happened. Horns blared all around them. As Claudius Rodney gained everything, he began to lose it *all*.

Kerrie was thrown forward in the speeder with such force that by the time she impacted the seat in front of her she had lost her composure and regressed into her natural Clawdite state. When she realized what had happened she lifted her head up, checking on the condition of Sierra and Jelena in the front. "E chu ta!," she muttered to herself in Huttese, before leaning forward to open the door of the speeder. People were gathering all around and emergency services would still be on the scene, which was the last thing they needed. "El-Nay, get Jelena back to the estate. Try to fuck it up like everything else," she scolded her, before she moved around to the front driver's side to check on Sierra. There was a rule about not moving anyone after an accident, but she did not think she had a choice. She reached in and pulled the battered and broken Sierra out of the car and into the street. This she could explain, but Jelena she could not.

El-Nay was tossed about like a fish in a can within her Mandalorian armor. After she stopped shaking she too felt a need to vomit, but she maintained her composure until Kerrie started in with the insults and the orders again. "El-Nay do this. El-Nay do that," she muttered, from beneath her helmet, as she moved to take hold of Jelena. Her ori'vod was turning into a real control freak, she noted to herself, as she dragged the unconscious Jelena from the speeder. "Shouldn't have had lunch, your highness," you said with a laugh, despite the fact that her face was bleeding beneath her helmet. In an instant she activated her jetpack, flying off towards the estate with the young Alderaanian noblewoman in her arms. "I guess I should thank you for throwing up so you'd be a little lighter," she said, as she expertly navigated her way towards the estate. When she neared it, the alarms began to go off and the guard towers began shooting at her. "Oh shit!" she said, as Kerrie had failed to warn her about this. She took an unexpected blast to the shoulder, which caused her to drop Jelena into the pool, and send her tumbling down to the ground out of control. With a dull *thud* she impacted the ground, and went skidding, an unconscious bloody mess beneath her armor, with a considerable blaster wound. Stormtroopers began to surround her, to take her into custody, having not been briefed on this. The ones that went to the pool quickly identified the woman as Jelena Rodney, causing a considerable stir to go out amongst the ranks. The prodigal daughter had returned.

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