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Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:5:30) in the Essesia system: Retributor.
Lieutenant Allegra Ames, Doctor Alessandra Bailo, El-Nay Darr, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, and Major Sierra Rodney.

The Mandalorian Kom'rk-class starfighter piloted by El-Nay Darr exited from hyperspace in the Essesia system in the middle of Imperial space traffic. "Hang on, milady," she said, to the unconscious Sierra Rodney as she guided the starfighter towards the Super Star Destroyer. "I am declaring an emergency on behalf of Major Sierra Rodney," she announced over the comm, as she passed the picket ships en route to the massive vessel. "Please be okay. Please," she said, as she reached over towards the fallen Sierra. "Ohh," she whined, nervously underneath her helmet, as she suspected the Grand Moff would have her head for this. As she entered the massive hangar bay of the Retributive strike, she landed the craft in the middle of the deck, which was quickly filling with Imperial Stormtroopers. "Oh great. A firing squad!" she said, having a conversation with Sierra, before slinging her over her shoulder and moving down the ramp, onto the deck of the ship. "Help me! Somebody fucking help me!" she screamed, but her voice was muffled by her helmet. In the distance she could see an Imperial officer approaching with Stormtroopers in tow. She was toast, but at least Sierra would get help.

Lieutenant Allegra Ames was the office of the deck when the call for help came in, and when she heard there was an emergency involving the Grand Moff's wife she viewed this is a way to ingratiate herself. Commandeering what troops she could, she moved towards the Mandalorian starfighter where she easily spotted the orange Mandalorian and the Governor's wife. "Medic!" she yelled, and troopers took Sierra away from El-Nay and placed her on a stretcher. She sneered at El-Nay, before following behind Sierra's stretcher. "Detain that bounty hunter," she said, in a condescending tone, as they headed towards the turbolift that would take them to sickbay.

El-Nay readied her wrist rockets when the Stormtroopers approached her, taking up a defensive position. "Easy, boys. You can detain me ... in sickbay," she said, as she moved into line with the group heading towards the turbolift. "I'm not leaving her until she orders me to," she declared, folding her arms in front of her chest defiantly, as she moved into the turbolift. She heard the Stormtroopers talking about the condition of Sierra, but they were using medical terms that were beyond her comprehension. As they moved the crash cart into the sickbay, she took up a defensive position next to her bed. She was going nowhere. "Please be okay. Please be okay," she repeated beneath her helmet.

Doctor Alessandra Bailo was making her second visit to the Retributor in order to gather up some specific supplies from Pilaq Tohan's office. She realized that he was going to leave Delaya as soon as Zara was deemed recovered, and the twins continued to show how healthy they were. She suspected it would be only a few more weeks. As she stood in his office, her bulbous eyes fell. She recalled when he had left Jubilee long, long ago. Would she let it happen again? Lady Zara had been coaching her on how to get back 'out there' but Alessandra wasn't so sure. Now that time was running out, she realized that she was going to need to grow up, corner him, and ask him if he'd like a new assistant. After all, House of Rodney was expanding.

She had just exited Doctor Tohan's office when she noticed a mess of people around a single crash cart. Her eyes widened when she saw the blonde hair of Sierra Rodney, whom she had just visited with when the elder Rodney brother's children were sick. "Oh no." Without Doctor Tohan there, Doctor Bailo decided to take control. She had seen all of Sierra's medical charts, after all. The Ithorian moved towards the crash cart with several assistant droids. "What has happened?" She asked, looking down at her patient. She noticed that Sierra's arm was bent unnaturally over her bleeding chest. It looked like she had collided with something *hard*. She didn't realize that something was the Mandalorian in orange armor. Grasping the crash cart, she looked towards her assistant droids. "Take her to the operating room and prep her!" Doctor Bailo demanded as she quickly moved to prepare herself. "The patient is pregnant. I want an update on the baby as soon as I arrive." And to everyone else. "Wait out here." The Ithorian doctor moved to wash her hands, dry them, and put on gloves. Her heart was pounding out of her chest. The House of Rodney had run out of luck.

"She was being attacked by a Rebel on..." El-Nay began, before realizing she was about to give away a big secret. She started stammering as she searched for a word, wondering what she should do to get past this. "! Yeah, Chandrila!" she said, suddenly sounding much more confident. "I was forced to tackle them both in order to free her from the Rebel. I admit, I may have used too hard a touch," she informed the doctor, not wanting to hide anything from the medical staff. "I am not leaving her side. I need to protect her," she said, puffing up her chest, and getting up in the much larger Ithorian's face. She swallowed under her helmet when she was reminded about the baby, had she considered that at the time she never would have done something so foolish. Instead, she attached herself to Sierra's gurney and began walking with it towards the operating room.

Alessandra saw that the orange armored woman wasn't going to back off. The lady Ithorian couldn't help but make a face as El-Nay explained what had happened. "You *tackled* her? This woman is *pregnant*!" She said, in case the Mandalorian had missed it before. Alessandra let out a long sigh from both mouths. "You may stay...but step back and let me do my work." The doctor stopped beside her droids once they were all inside of the operating room. The droids immediately went to work, first focusing on the baby. Doctor Bailo looked concerned. This was *not* good.

By now word had made it towards Grand Moff Claudius Rodney that his beloved wife had been injured. It was one thing for her to have been hurt, but another thing entirely now that she was pregnant. He did not say a word the entire trip down the turbolift, but wild speculation was running through his head. Did Mug and Iyah betray her? Was it the Rebels? Something else entirely? He needed answers, and he needed Sierra to be okay. When he arrived he caught the tail end of El-Nay's conversation with Doctor Bailo. He did not hear about the Rebel attacking Sierra, only about El-Nay's collision with her. "You!" he said as he glared across the room at the orange imbecile. "I should have known. I told my wife to stay clear of you," he said, as his face turned red with rage. His heart was pounding, and his breath was heavy like a wild animal. He moved towards her angrily, before grabbing hold of a large oxygen tank. "You will pay for this," he said, before he swung the tank down at the woman's unsuspecting head.

"No, no. Governor..." El-Nay said, acting more the coward than the warrior. She could not defend herself, because she knew it would only lead more problems. "I was trying to save her," she pleaded, but before she could get in another word the tank collided with the side of her head, causing her head to bounce around inside of her helmet. Blood came forward from her nose and mouth, and her eyes rolled back in her head, before she dropped straight down onto her knees. She grabbed hold onto the side of Sierra's gurney, trying to hang on to it. Even now she did not want to abandon her post. "Let ... me..." she began, before choking on her blood and losing the ability to speak. She tried to look up, but her vision was blurry, and she was finding it harder and harder to maintain her grip on the side of the gurney.

Claudius was unsatisfied, bringing the tank down again to finish the alleged Mandalorian. She had hurt his wife ... potentially his burn son. She had proven herself to be garbage, just as he had always suspected. As the Mandalorian dropped to the ground he threw the tank down on her one last time for good measure. He stood over her body, but decided not to kick at her because he knew the plates of armor would hurt him more than it would hurt her. He was sweating profusely, breathing endlessly, and practically foaming at the mouth. "No one treats her until my wife and unborn child are well. No one!" he ordered, before stepping over her body and moving to be with his beloved wife. His father had been murdered. His mother had been driven to suicide. There had been multiple attempts on his life and his children. Now this ... he had lost his title and could not even return to his home. He would *not* lose Sierra. He would *not* lose his unborn son. And anyone who tried would feel the wrath of an Imperial Grand Moff. He could very much be the villain when prompted.

Doctor Bailo witnessed the whole event between the Grand Moff and the woman who, seemingly, was semi-responsible for Sierra Rodney's wounds. The man was absolutely brutal in his attack. The first time El-Nay was hit would have been enough, but he went as far as to hit her *two* more times. The amount of patients in the sick bay was growing. She was already mentally calculating how injured the Mandalorian was. Claudius Rodney was a man to be feared. Alessandra developed a healthy fear of him right then and there. Looking down at Sierra and the work in front of her, she realized that *she* might be the next person to feel his wrath if the worst case scenario happened. What was even worse was that he remained close, making her sweat beneath her scrubs as she worked on his wife.

Sierra Rodney remained in the operating room for several hours. Doctor Bailo was able to stabilize the woman fairly quickly. Sierra was hooked up to several different machines while Bruce had one of his own which monitored his movements and the beating of his heart. The boy had survived the attack, but his mother had taken on her own set of injuries. Doctor Bailo had to wonder exactly what happened with how many broken bones her patient had in her torso. The collision had to have been *very* hard. If Sierra had not been pregnant, she would have sent the woman to a bacta tank. Since she was, Alessandra was forced to place bacta patches to inspire all of Sierra Rodney's broken bones and wounds to heal faster. "She'll need to relax for the next week." Doctor Bailo informed Claudius Rodney after she had moved Sierra into recovery. "I've thoroughly checked on your son. It seems he was not affected by whatever happened." Doctor Bailo had avoided looking at El-Nay throughout the whole entire procedure. She was concerned for the woman, but she didn't dare lend her a hand until she received permission. In the hospital bed, Sierra began to stir.

Claudius Rodney watched Doctor Bailo like a thranta. He wanted *his* Doctor back looking her over, but his brother had stolen him. His breathing had yet to relax, and his hand was clinging to Sierra's unbroken arm, as he was terrified to let go of her. When she informed him that their child was alright there was some relief, but there was still the matter of Sierra. "Thank you, Doctor," he said, diplomatically, but he did not take his eyes off his beloved bride. His hand moved to her head, gently rubbing her head with his hand, and running through her blonde hair. "Come back to me," he whispered sweetly. Everything he wanted out of life was laying right there on that gurney. He was nothing without Sierra now. He had not given El-Nay a second thought ... they could flush her out an airlock for all he cared. She had hurt his wife ... she was dead to him.

Doctor Bailo nodded her head. She realized then that she had sweat so much with him around that her scrubs were damp. She had even noticed her hands shaking at one point as she tried to treat Sierra. The Ithorian made herself scarce as soon as her job was done. There was another patient who needed her help now, if she had managed to survive. With the help of the droids, El-Nay was loaded up onto a gurney. Doctor Bailo had no doubts about this one: El-Nay was going to the bacta tank to spend her recovery there. Hopefully she would survive...

It had been hours since she lost her battle with remaining conscious. Repeatedly, Sierra was presented with the same nightmare. Each time she awoke, she saw Claudius seated beside her bed with his head in his hands. Doctor Tohan was there. Every time she woke, he said three simple words that made her world explode: I'm sorry milady. Sierra had sworn off her wild missions. She didn't want to end up in this situation again. Her life mattered too much. As greatly as Claudius needed her, she needed him just the same. That expanded to their unborn son. From somewhere in these repeated nightmares, she could hear the voice of her sweet husband drawing her back to reality. "Claudius," she spoke quietly, her blue eyes fluttering open. Reality wasn't like the nightmare. He didn't look like a man who had just lost his son. "Is Bruce..?" She began, stopping when she felt a sudden, strong kick. His movements kept Sierra's worries at bay when she wasn't injured. "He's okay, isn't he?" She felt so weak and tired. How could this have happened? She remembered it all: El-Nay, the pain. Her hand squeezed Claudius' tightly. "I'm so sorry, my love. I didn't intend for this to happen. I took Callista home. I was attacked." She wanted him to know that she hadn't betrayed her promise to him. Despite what she had been through, she looked like she felt *very* guilty for what had happened.

Claudius sat on the edge of his seat when Sierra stirred, and he leaned forward over the gurney until he was hovering over her. "Bruce is fine. You're going to be fine," he said, smiling down at her, as he continued to rub her head. "Try not to talk. Don't apologize. You'll have to rest for a week," he told her, before leaning down just a little further to place a kiss upon her lips briefly. "We can sort out what happened later. Right now you need to rest. Do you need anything?" he asked her, practically clutching her, as he leaned back to give her some breathing room. In that moment he began to think that everything was actually going to be okay. His breathing slowly began to steady ... he would never let his wife go off on one of these errands again. Not unless she had a company of Storm commandos with her.

They had *both* survived the ordeal. Sierra smiled back at her husband. "Thank goodness." She exhaled. She was glad that El-Nay had followed her orders and taken her back to her husband. There was no one else that she trusted to be around when she was like this...when she was weak and recovering. It did her mind, and body, wonders to have him close. However, it was going to be *really* hard for her to rest for a full week. She kissed him, relieved that she would live to see another day with her love. "I only need you." She said to him, not thinking about where El-Nay was. In the back of her mind, she assumed the Mandalorian was hiding from her husband. Her fingers linked with his. "We cannot let this change the Max Rebo concert." Sierra said, sounding momentarily insane. "I made Dru really upset by going to see Marcus and Zara on our special weekend. I don't want to disappoint her again."

"You have me, Sierra. You're never going to lose me. I love you," Claudius pledged to her, still clutching her arm. "Forget Max Rebo. Forget Drusilla. You need to get well," he told her, as he continued to fret over her. "I'll handle Drusilla," he said to her, before leaning forward again, until this time he kissed her forehead. "I took care of that wretched El-Nay who assaulted you," he told her, with pride, thinking he had dispatched the woman who caused all this. When the doctors were done he would turn her over to be imprisoned with the other Mandalorian rebels, or perhaps even put her into slavery to mine Mandalorian iron for the Empire.

Tears began to form at the edges of her eyes. The moment the collision happened, Sierra had sworn it was over. The extent of the pain she felt ruled out her sanity. The worst part of dying would be missing out on time with Claudius. She sniffed. "I love you.." She held him harder. "I love you so much." Her heart monitors reflected the way he made her heart flutter. Mentally, her recovery process was progressing along extremely well. She did feel guilty about Drusilla, but there was little she could do at the moment. With all the rescheduling Sierra had to do, it would be Dru's actual birthday before the concert happened.

She looked confused when he explained that El-Nay had assaulted her. The events that took place right before the pain were not clear to her. "What?! She *assaulted* me?" The Mandalorian had never treated her wrongly. In fact, El-Nay had done much to keep her safe. Sierra trusted El-Nay enough to allow her to watch the children. That said a lot. Her eyebrows furrowed as she thought about it. Callista. Gasping for air. Pain. "She.. she.. She used her jetpack and collided with me." She said, recalling the orange blur and bracing for the collision. Sierra looked hurt. "Why would she do that?" Her eyes fell to her tummy. She really could have killed her *and* Bruce.

"I love you, Sierra," Claudius said sweetly, never releasing his hand on her. He loved her with his entire heart and soul. "Yes. She admitted to it. I don't know why, and I don't care why," he said to her, as he began checking all of the monitors to ensure that she was *really* okay. "I'll have her interrogated and sent to prison ... or the mines," he told her, viciously, as he continued to attend to her. "Do you remember if Callista got home safely?" he asked, as the fate of the young 'Princess' was of some concern to him. She was, technically, his niece after all.

There was a pain in Sierra's chest that wasn't associated with her injuries. El-Nay had become a very close friend to her. She felt like she had been betrayed, but also that she didn't know the whole story. She darkly wondered if someone had offered El-Nay a hefty sum to take her out. Would that be enough to shake the Mandalorian's commitment? Sierra watched her husband. "I feel like a fool. Now I know, you're the only person that I can *really* trust." She didn't know if she could do anything to help El-Nay out at this point. Hadn't she told El-Nay to bring her here? Her head wasn't straight. Not yet. When Claudius asked about Callista, she could distinctly remember meeting with Mug and Iyah. "She did. She.. She kept calling the coronation a circumcision again. I think her father thought something strange was going on with crowns and circumcisions." Sierra smiled, laughing softly. Mug, the man who made a great first impression by choking on a scone. "I got to meet your brother's children in Delaya." She said, recalling the happy things she wanted to tell her husband about. "Oh my gosh, they were so cute, Claudius." You could hear the sound of her ovaries screaming.

"You're not a fool, Sierra. You're far from it. You're kind. You're loving. And your heart is open. Don't lose that because of an imbecile in orange armor," Claudius said, as he continued to hover over her, moving his hand occasionally through her blonde curls. "Your pureness and goodness is what I'm fighting for. To protect the good from the evils caused by the Rebel terrorists," he reiterated, as he moved his chair closer towards her. "Poor Callista. She's so sweet. When she's older we'll remind her about it and really embarrass her," he suggested, nodding his head, as he slowly remembered how to smile. "The twins? They were well?" he asked, as he had not gotten a chance to meet them yet. "Perhaps when Doctor Tohan is returned to us Marcus and Zara can accompany him and bring the children so that I can get a look at him," he suggested, not being aware that a turf war would soon brew over where the reunion would have to take place.

She looked down. She was blushing. He was so kind to her. Claudius always went above and beyond for her. Even at this moment, he received Sierra and began making her feel better about *everything*. If El-Nay truly had done something to her maliciously, then Claudius didn't blame her for it. Her head tilted towards his hand. "Thank you, my love." She wished they could return home immediately. It would be easier to rest in her own bed around the people she loved. Sierra's eyes lit up. She laughed. "I agree! It would be wrong of us not to tease her." It made her happy to see him smile again. Her hand reached up, brushing over his cheek. "Mhm. Both of them are healthy. I even got to feed Darrus. Their daughter was sleeping for most of my visit." She would *really* like to see the twins again. "That would be great. When the time comes, I'll ask Marcus." After all, she needed to talk to him about the Drusilla situation. She had no expectations there. Dru was spoiled, after all.

Sierra tried to move her broken arm, which was currently healing inside of a cling with the touch of a bacta patch. It still wasn't ready for use. See? She was going to have a difficult time taking it easy. With her one arm, she hugged her husband tightly. "I'm so relieved that everything is okay." She kissed him. This would only serve to pull them closer, just like every other obstacle in their lives. Each day solidified one single fact: Sierra couldn't live without her husband.

"When the time comes," Claudius repeated, with a firm nod of his head. "Right now you're going to lay in this bed until Doctor..." he began, but then stopped, looking towards the overhead lighting. "Doctor... Doctor..." he again repeated, searching, but he could not find her name. "The Ithorian woman!" he said, finally, giving up on trying to recall her name. "I want my doctor back. His name I can remember. I'm too old and set in my ways to learn a new doctor and their ways," he said, as he let out a sigh. He was always competitive with his younger brother, but being older he was used to losing. He had lost his title and now his physician. In many ways that was intolerable. The apple that was Drusilla had not fallen as far from the tree as must suspected.

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