Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:4:2) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Imperial garrison) and Nerf Herder.
Governor Papius Arundel, Commander Sierra Rodney, and Lady Zara Rodney.

In orbit of the planet Delaya an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer had deployed a pre-fabricated garrison base to the surface of the planet, near the capital city of Leiliani. The base was accompanied by Stormtroopers, walkers, and even TIE strikers. It was a most unwelcome sight to the population, particularly the survivors of the destruction of Alderaan. From the upper levels Governor Papius Arundel looked out at the city ... what he could see of it through the layer of pollution ... and saw nothing but Rebels. In the lower level he had Lord Marcus Rodney imprisoned, who he believed to be a Rebel sympathizer and responsible for the death of the Emperor's advisor. Everything was fitting together nicely in his mind. Grand Moff Rodney's daughter was a traitor so it was logical that his brother was also. Soon he would deploy troops through the city and uncover what other traitors were embedded on the planet. When finished he hoped he would be elevated to Moff and given an entire sector to govern.

Zara Rodney was not a patient girl. She had been working out an escape for Marcus since he had been taken away from her. Inside the Nerf Herder, Zara attempted to use her slicing skills to find out about the garrison base where her love was being held. When she finally had succeeded, she began to see all the holes in her plans. If she successfully pulled off saving Marcus, then they both would be fugitives of the Empire. They would become bounties, hunted with the promise of reward for those who brought them in alive... or dead. While Farrah attacked Claudius, Zara screamed and cried in the comfort of their ship until she had a plan. It was time to go see the man in charge of these Imperials. As much as she didn't want to press Sierra, she *had* to. The need to have Marcus by her side mattered more than anything else.

And so, that's what leads us to now. Zara, anxiously piloting the Nerf Herder while the Duchess of Delaya drooled over herself in the copilot's seat. She was surprised that Sierra had been so happy to tag along.... Until she started rambling about purple unicorns. Zara worried her sister-in-law was in no position for this. After they had landed, both women were quickly received by a group of Stormtroopers. Sierra sputtered out. "Take us to see the Governor." The Duchess said. Sierra was tired, stressed, and messed up in the head. She wanted to free Marcus so she could return to the medcenter and protect her husband.

The door to the Governor's office opened, revealing a dark room accented with a massive window that gave him a view of the garrison below and the city in the distance. Even the Rodney Castle could be seen in the distant mountain range. The message was clear ... *he* was watching. His back was to them as they entered, and he did not greet them with the formality they were used to from the local population. "Ah. Commander Rodney," he said, with a slightly annoyed tone of voice. He was careful to use her Imperial rank to always remind her that he outranked her, and her husband was not currently able to check him. "I was displeased to learn of yet another attempt on the life of your husband," he said, referring to Marcus' assault on the sea islands. "Fortunately we have the traitor, Marcus Rodney, in custody. He will soon be publicly tried, and when found guilty quickly dispatched as to not prolong your family's suffering," he said, crudely, all the while watching the TIE strikers take off to begin their patrols over the city. He never bothered to turn to acknowledge them, nor did he even bother to verbally acknowledge Zara's presence. He knew exactly who she was ... the wife of a traitor.

Sierra had yet to visit the garrison. In fact, it was the last place she wanted to see. She understood she didn't have home field advantage...nor did she have the assistance of her Grand Moff husband. Her eyes landed on the window. She felt a sudden rush of relief that they weren't staying in the Rodney Castle anymore. "Governor..." Sierra didn't sound cheerful either. They were meeting to discuss the release of a prisoner. She made a mental note to herself to learn Claudius better ways to deal with people in higher positions... She was still worried sick about him. Beside Sierra, Zara let out a whimper. The man was good at evoking emotions. Even Sierra felt raw: angry, tired, upset.

"Marcus Rodney is exactly why I'm here. He is not behind this. There was another attack on my husband's life just earlier today." She announced, "A young girl came into our suite and attempted to suffocate him while I slept. I ran after her but the Alderaan guard stopped me." As Sierra told the story, she produced what looked to be a sealed cup that one might pee in. She thrust it towards him. Inside the cup, there were dark hairs. After the drugs had mostly worn off, the hairs tangled up in her fingers reminded her that she *wasn't* crazy. "This is all I have of her. Perhaps you can identify her by her DNA? What happened between Marcus and Claudius was a mistake. It was siblings feuding. Claudius hit his head by accident." Her free arm wrapped around Zara's shoulders. She squeezed the girl. It was going to be okay. "I question why you decided it was all Marcus so quickly and failed to continue protecting the Grand Moff. I saw no Stormtroopers inside of the medcenter proceeding his arrest."

"Another attack?" Governor Arundel said, speaking as if he was in disbelief. His body slowly turned until he was facing both of the pregnant women whose combined estrogen levels were enough to destroy the entire planet. "How rude of me. Would either of you care to sit?" he asked, as his right hand extended from him in a flourish at the two uncomfortable metal seats in front of his desk. He motioned for a ubiquitous Lieutenant to step forward and take the DNA sample for testing before resuming the conversation. "It is simple, my dear. Marcus Rodney has the most to gain from Claudius' death. He was also directly responsible for his current state of incapacitation," he declared, wrapping up everything in a bow. "Your closeness to the situation has clouded your vision," he declared, before slamming his palm down on the desk for emphasis. "He is part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor," he declared, glaring directly at Zara as he spoke. " his niece," he added, disgustingly, with a sneer and a roll of his eyes.

Sierra thought that the attack would be enough to free Marcus but ... she was wrong. She opted not to sit, but watched carefully as the *very* pregnant Zara sat in one of the metal chairs. It creaked beneath her like it was going to give out. "No thank you." She preferred to linger as it made her feel more in control of the situation. The DNA sample had been taken away. Sierra had made sure not to share all of the girl's hair with the Governor. He had not proven himself, so she needed to continue heading her own investigation. Sierra didn't begin to feel *really* emotional over the situation until Papius brought up Jelena. It stung to hear the terrible man talking about her. Sierra played her part. "Jelena got what she deserved for being a traitor..." She let the spite show in her voice, though it was for him and not her best friend.

"No!" Zara objected suddenly. "It isn't like that!" She cried. "Marcus has nothing to do with the Rebellion! H-He has been spending all of his time making us comfortable in the north. All he wanted was to raise tauntaun and feel like he wasn't a second rate citizen." She scooted closer to Papius' desk. Her small, shaking hands grasped the Governor's. "Please, please, *please* give him back to me! He didn't do it! It's all my fault! Marcus was mad because Claudius is always getting praised and we're the one who get shit on. I told him we should go see his brother. It's directly *my* fault. Arrest me!"

Governor Arundel examined Zara carefully, as he listened to her pathetic pleading. "Yes. One wonders how a criminal mastermind like Marcus Rodney could carry out his nefarious plots without his wife knowing," he said, before his eyes looked towards the Stormtroopers who were guarding his office. "The woman wants to be arrested. And since her ladyship is used to her requests being granted ... arrest her!" he said, as he watched the two Stormtroopers move towards the *very* pregnant woman in the seat. He was making his mark on Delaya very quickly at the expense of Marcus and Zara Rodney.

Oh no. Sierra heard his words and realized the meaning behind them. She quickly cut off the Stormtroopers, standing directly behind Zara's seat. "Governor, arresting a pregnant woman? She is not behind this. She was kidnapped at the time of the bomb at Jelena's funeral. Marcus and Zara have tried to stay away from matters having to do with the Duchy. He may have the most to gain, but neither of them *want* that gain. Let her go." This situation was becoming progressively worse and worse. By resisting Zara's arrest, she could find herself in a cell of her own. She could *not* afford to be cut off from her husband right now. In front of her, Zara continued to sob all over Papius' desk. Sierra could hear her repeating 'arrest me' through her sobs. Damn it.

Governor Arundel inhaled sharply through his nose, as he continued to sneer at the behavior of Zara Rodney. "Very well, Commander. I place her in *your* custody," he declared, before waving the Stormtroopers off. "This woman is *your* responsibility as a member of the ISB. Should she be identified as a Rebel or a traitor then it will fall on you, and your husband won't be able to protect you. He won't be able to claim ignorance as he did with his daughter," he said, before moving back towards his window and turning his back on them. In the assembly area below AT-ST walkers were preparing for their first patrol of Leiliani. It was a new day on Delaya. An Imperial day.

Oye. Before the Governor, Sierra aged. She wondered if she should have allowed them to arrest Zara for self preservation. Placing Zara in her custody sounded worse than having them arrest her on the spot. Sierra did not know her sister-in-law well. While she didn't expect her to be a Rebel, she did suspect that there was more going on in her life than she was telling. The girl had gotten her hands on some hard-to-reach files. Papius had punched the air from her gut. Her face was pale. "That's gracious, Governor." She said, grasping Zara's hand. "We need to leave now." Her heart strings were pulling her back to the medcenter. She trusted no one other than herself to keep watch over the man she loved. Helping Zara up, the two women started towards the doorway. Zara was shaking in a way that made Sierra pity her. One brother was jailed. The other brother...

"I won't leave without Marcus!" Zara pushed Sierra away suddenly. In a speed that no one had seen from the thief in sometime, she crossed the length of the room. Sierra cursed under her breath. She saw what was coming long before it did. Zara Rodney, pregnant with twins, punched the Governor square in his nose. It was the kind of rash, physical retaliation that Sierra might have given to Arden. "Zara!" She called out. It was too late.

Governor Arundel was not expecting Zara Rodney to be foolish enough to touch him, but the sucker punch nevertheless connected with his nose ... breaking it. The Stormtroopers immediately raised their E-11 blaster rifles and unloaded on a double barrage of stun coils at the woman at near point blank range. The Governor brought his hand up to shield his nose, which was bleeding profusely. "She was in your charge when she struck me, Commander," he said to her, menacingly, before pulling away his hand to reveal his crimson mask. He took his hand and wiped it upon her cream colored tunic, leaking a bloody handprint on her otherwise pristine uniform. "You will pay for this," he said, before instructing the Stormtroopers to drag off Zara's body unceremoniously, paying no mind to her pregnancy.

It seemed that Zara was proud of herself. She growled at Governor Arundel throughout the whole time she was captured, arrested, and taken away with no regard to her, or her children's, health. If she couldn't break Marcus out, then she would be content to share the same space as him.

Papius' words struck Sierra *hard*. She immediately feared that he would prosecute her for what Zara had done. Beginning to feel like a caged creature, she knew she needed to get out of here as soon as possible. Her heart was thumping quickly in her chest. Anxiety was settled into her. She bowed to the Governor. "I apologize for her actions. T-There are other places for me to be right now. I must attend to my husband once more." Bringing Zara here was a huge mistake. If Claudius never woke, the whole Rodney family would end up arrested.

Governor Arundel was seated at his desk with a bacta patch covering most of his face. It was then that his terminal began to beep repeatedly. His attention turned to it briefly and he acknowledged the transmission from the lab on the lower level. The DNA test was completed ... it was Rodney DNA. A smile curled upon his lips, despite the fact that it caused him a tremendous amount of pain. He leaned back in his chair, intertwined his fingers, and began to laugh excessively. He had been proven right. He would rid the planet and the Empire of this corrupt family once and for all.

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