Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:5:14) in the Essesia system: Retributor.
Commander Mark Alexander, Ewwiekewwieikkie, Commander Augustus Hood, Callista Nilar, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Commander Sierra Rodney, and Lieutenant Bethany Sheppard.

Unknown to Claudius Rodney, his whole family, plus one, had returned to the Retributor. It was early enough in the day that Sierra didn't want to go home and wait for him. She had taken Ewwiekewwieikkie and Callista into her office. According to his schedule, he was about to be free of another terrible meeting with the tactical officer. Callista was seated in Sierra's chair with its back to the door. She swung her legs back and forth, unable to reach the floor. In her hands, she held the picture that she had drawn. "I can't wait to see him!" Callista said happily. Claudius had somehow topped the turbolift in her mind. She would get to the turbolift ... as soon as she gave her picture to the ambassador of candy land.

Sierra was seated on the ground with Ewwiekewwieikkie eating a snack-sized portion of pudding. She'd gotten one for each girl, but ended up surrendering half of hers to Ewwiekewwieikkie after she'd drooled in it. "He'll be back any minute now." She promised Callista. As soon as she heard the doors begin to open, she swiveled Callista in her seat so she was ready to greet whoever came in. She was thrilled with the whole situation. She had never been on the Retributor. Like Ewwie said, the ship was *huge*! Today was the best day of her life!

The door to the office opened suddenly revealing the beleaguered presence of Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, who indeed had just come from a meeting at the holotank, reviewing reports of activity of the nearby systems. He was so weary that he had gotten several steps into his office before realizing he was not alone. A smile appeared on his face as he saw Sierra, running towards her with the energy of a man half his age. His hands connected with her, lifting her up in the air, and spinning her around with excitement. As he placed her down he apologized with his facial expression, worrying about their son. His face moved towards hers, placing a kiss upon her lips and allowing it to hold there for quite some time. But, as the kiss broke he noticed Ewwiekewwieikkie was back. And, was that Callista? There was some relief in him, as he looked towards them, although he wondered where Drusilla was. Jelena, he assumed, would not have come back. "You're alright?" he asked her, his face growing nervous as he waited for a reply.

It was incredible to watch how he brightened right up when he saw his wife. Sierra grinned brightly. It was so good to be home. While she would never let anyone know what had happened in El-Nay's ship, it had scared the daylights out of her. She didn't want to die. Dying would mean leaving this amazing man to deal with living alone... Claudius simply wasn't that lucky! She felt her age and weightless as he spun her in the air. Pleased beyond pleased, Sierra shared a loving kiss with him. "I missed you too." She smiled brightly. She could hear Callista giggling excitedly. The little girl was already making her way towards them. Sierra nodded her head. "Yes. I'm fine. Are you okay..? Drusilla is currently pouting somewhere on the ship. I'll tell you more about that in private." She couldn't bite her tongue about Rikka anymore. The woman had made her very angry. All of a sudden, she felt an small arm wrap around her.

"Group hug!!" Callista said, attempting to squeeze both her aunt and her uncle. She looked up to Claudius, smiling. She offered him the picture she had drawn of them. "My daddy said I could come stay with you! We can have tea parties again!" She hugged tighter. "Auntie said she'd fit me into your sc-sc-scheduel..." She said, thinking that to be right.

Ewwiekewwieikkie was equally excited to see her father, and she moved quickly behind Callista, and began climbing up her back until she was standing on her shoulders. As the two stood one on top of the other they were tall enough to be a normal sized person and she wrapped her pudding stained hands around Sierra and Claudius. "Daddy, Dru says we have a new grandmama!" she said, as she thought this was a wonderful thing, unaware of the complex relationship between Rikka and Sierra. To her it was a good thing!

Claudius was overwhelmed by the affection showered upon him by his wife, then his niece, and finally his daughter. He nearly collapsed under the weight of it. "I am now," he said to Sierra, very fortunate to have her back. "When is she not pouting?" he said to Sierra, rolling his eyes, as he was just happy to have her back regardless of the mood she was in. "Commander, see to it that the tea party is placed in my schedule," he ordered, playfully, as he returned to the business of family. But when Ewwiekewwieikkie mentioned a new grandmother he panicked, wondering what she meant. Then it dawned on him ... Rikkka. He grew concerned, turning his attention on his wife nervously. "She survived?" he asked, grimly, as he moved in to tighten his arms around her. If true, she needed it.

"Eeeee!" Callista tried to balance herself with Ewwie on her shoulders. It lasted long enough that she had the chance to hug her father before the little girl fell backwards, diving right into a tickle fight with Ewwie. "*Tickles*!" Her excitement didn't stop when she heard her uncle confirm that a tea party was in the future. "Yayyyy!" It was clearly a much better decision for Callista to be there than on New Alderaan. Mug would have to dive into the belly of the beast in order to save Callista's mother. All of a sudden, the little girl poked her head up. "Turbolift!?" She asked Ewwie with big, brown eyes. "Pwease? Up? Down? Up? Down?"

Sierra's blood started to boil just hearing Ewwiekewwieikkie lightly mention Rikka. Angry tears threatened to escape her eyes. She'd never stop hating her mother. It all stopped when her husband comforted her. Sierra fell into his arms. She held him to her tightly. "Yes..." She nodded slowly. She could hear Ewwiekewwieikkie and Callista romping off together in the direction of the closest turbolift. "That woman really does not learn. After what happened at the baby shower, I'd have expected her to leave me be. Instead, she went and befriended Drusilla." She took his hand, guiding him towards his office where they could sit and talk.

"The one bright spot of what the Empire did to Delaya was the thought that your mother had been a casualty," Claudius informed her, looking down as he spoke those shameful words. "I do confess it, although it is a cruel thought to have," he said, as he reached out his hand and took Sierra's hand into his own, squeezing it. "She will never get aboard this vessel," he vowed to her, as he was led into his office, quickly taking a seat as it had been a long day. "Perhaps she will be killed when the Empire attacks the Rebel base on New Alderaan," he said, with a nod of his head, and revealing his intentions to her for the first time.

Sierra hung her head and nodded it slowly. "As cruel as it is, I agree with you. I slept well thinking she had been part of Alderaan's destruction. She even managed to escape Delaya. That woman may never pay for her crimes." She lowered herself beside him. One of her hands remained in his. She was happy to be home again. She sighed. Claudius was right. Rikka could never reach her on the Retributor. Their family was safe here, and on Esseles for that matter. "She knew so much. She implied that you had abdicated in front of Drusilla. She also made it out like it was my fault. And Dru, being Dru, listened. The tantrum was even worse than the yacht one. I didn't realize she could scream like that..."

There was something he said that stood out like a sore thumb: when the Empire attacks the Rebel base on New Alderaan. There were mixed feelings inside of her. What of Mug Zoran and his family? What of Jelena? What about the refugees? The dutiful side of her felt that it was a good idea to attack the Rebel base. The Emperor would be very pleased by such an aggressive sacking of the Rebels. "Attack it? When? It would be an easy victory. I've seen it with my own two eyes. There isn't much there right now. The Rebels are stretched too thin to properly protect it." She looked up at him. "As far as Rikka goes ... third time's the charm?" She winked. It certainly seemed to be in his situation!

"I'm sorry about Drusilla's behavior. I should have created a courtesy title for her before I abdicated," Claudius said, with a sigh, as he leaned back in the chair. He was tempted to bribe her, but he knew Sierra would not approve of that. "I don't know. It is not in my oversector. It is in the Outer Rim territories. Grand Moff Kaine will conduct the attack once we inform him of its location," he said, as he moved to the tea service that was always in his office. "Would you like some?" he asked, as he poured himself a cup. Assuming she would want one, he went ahead and poured her a cup, before moving back towards the seating area with the tea. He took a small sip of it, as he allowed himself to relax now that his wife and children were back. "I take it there was no battle then?" he asked, before taking a sip of tea. "Was El-Nay in trouble?" he asked, hoping she was, and he would be proven right. He leaned forward, placing the tea down, before shifting uncomfortably in his chair. "Did you see Jelena?" he asked her, awkwardly, as he cleared his throat.

"It's okay. We'll have to make it up to her someday when she marries... What a scary thought." She listened to him while a worry began to form in her gut. "Ah, yes, please." She said in regards to his question. It seemed her stomach had decided to be uneasy again. Tea seemed to help that. She took the cup from him. Its warmth felt nice after the ordeal in El-Nay's ship. "No battle. The bastard had both the girls. They were well taken care of. I don't think that man would ever hurt a child." Sierra smirked. "When *isn't* El-Nay in trouble? I'm sure Kerrie will jump down her throat once she reaches the Void." She hoped the trouble wasn't *too* bad. The whole trip had made her feel much closer to the woman. "...I did see her. She was understanding that I couldn't save her Rebel Commander. Sadly, she's become some appointed leader in their community. If Grand Moff Kaine was to attack, we'd need to tell her whatever necessary to get her back home." Sierra sipped her tea. She didn't know how much longer she'd be capable of slipping in and out of New Alderaan. She rested her tea on the replacement coffee table and sat back with her hands on her stomach. "Do you ever wish that you could simply hold them all in the house against their free will?" She sighed.

"With her attitude I fear no one will want to marry her now that she is without title," Claudius said, confessing the fears that every father has. "I did not spend much time with him, but he seemed a simpleton. Harmless, but misguided," he said, before taking another sip of his tea. "She's the what..?" he asked, never having expected his daughter to have assumed such a role. Suddenly he felt sick, and his lunch was coming back on him. He seemed pale and grew silent. This was more than a simple cup of tea could resolve. "Sierra..." he said, shaken, as his hand trembled, spilling the tea as he set it back down. "Sierra the Empire must never learn the location of New Alderaan. I would never be able to spare Jelena if she is indeed the leader there. We must do our utmost to protect it," he pleaded with her, in an open act of treason. "Can you trust El-Nay? That location could be worth a lot of credits to the Empire," he asked, wondering if he should order Kerrie to silence the Mandalorian ... permanently.

It would undoubtedly be difficult to marry Drusilla off. If luck had their side, then someone with a title would approach her and all would be well. Thankfully, that was a few years off yet. Sierra could rest assure knowing that, so far, she only needed to worry about marrying off one daughter. She watched the color drain from his face. Her stomach lurched sideway. She expected to see his lunch any second now. Her heart thumped. She knew what he was asking of her. More importantly, she knew that she'd commit treason with her husband to keep Jelena safe. She stood, grasping both of his hands. "Yes. She is trustworthy. There's no need to have her silenced. It is unlikely that she even remembers the location at this point." She perched herself on the arm of his chair where she could embrace him. "We can keep this information secret. We can keep *Jelena* safe." There was no way that the Empire had discovered the location as of yet. It was well hidden within the vast galaxy. If the Empire did know, there would already be an attack on the rise.

Meanwhile in the game of turbolift tag the lift had unexpectedly reached the bridge. When the door opened, Ewwiekewwieikkie tagged Callista, before running down the command walkway, bumping into an office and diving into a crew pit to hide. She gasped when she landed in the pit as her eyes caught sight of all of the flashing lights and button. "What this do?" she asked, before pushing a button. "And this?" she asked before pushing another button. "And this?" she continued, slapping down another button. Suddenly the massive vessel began firing its turbolaser batteries and dramatically altering its course, sending into a near collision with the escorting vessels. Alarms began to sound as the crew thought they were under attack.

Commander Augustus Hood, the Retributor's taskmaster of a first officer, was not at all amused with the Grand Moff's alien 'daughter' bumped into her. "Stop her! Stop her at once!" he demanded, but it was too late. She was too quick for him and any of his men, and she had descended into the crew pits before anyone could stop her. He rushed towards the pit, but as he arrived the yaw of the ship began to quickly alter, causing him to stumble backwards. "Get her away from there. Shoot her if you have to!" he barked, as he grabbed hold of a railing to correct his balance. He was furious.

"Oh no! Oh no!" Lieutenant Bethany Sheppard, the Retributor's young helmsman said, as she was pushed away from her controls by Ewwiekewwieikkie. "Stop! Don't push that," she said, as she tried to pull her away from the controls. As the ship began to move out of position she feared for her career, and even her life. *Finally* the Squib moved out of the way, but found her way towards the weapons controls. "No. This isn't a game!" she said, as she heard the commander start yelling. She quickly moved to the terminal to begin getting the ship back on course when she felt and heard the sound of them colliding with another vessel. She cringed, visibly shaking, as she tried to get the massive vessel back on the original heading. The ship did not respond quickly, nor could it stop on a credit. Oh how she wished she was flying something as nimble as a TIE.

The tea party between Sierra and her husband came to a quick closer when the Retributor lurched hard all of a sudden. She clung to the chair as she nearly fell backwards. Their cups slid off of the table and shatter. "What the..?" Was she cursing ships today? Was the Retributor about to have some massive problem, or were they being attacked? A laser was visible through the viewport. Sierra quickly rose to her feet. If they were truly being attacked, then the Grand Moff would be needed at the bridge, not hiding in his office with his wife. She offered him a hand to help him up should the ship twist in another direction. Rushing out of the office and into the turbolift, Sierra found Callista sitting on the ground with her knees to her chest. The little girl looked up at them and grinned brightly.

"*Hi*! *I missed you*!" She hugged both of them. "We go up now!" She declared, pressing buttons rapidly on the turbolift. Sierra looked up at her husband. They lived in insanity, a wonderful insanity. As the turbolift crept upwards, it let out a screech of exhaustion. Ewwiekewwieikkie and Callista had already made it work so hard. They barely made it up two floor before the lift came to an awkward stop. Its doors were closed tightly. For the second time today, Sierra was stranded.

An exasperated Commander Hood moved towards the comm system to inform the Governor what had happened. "Milord, your ... daughter ... has gotten into the crewpits and caused the ship to descend out of control, colliding with our escort, and has also managed to fire the turbolasers," he explained, nonplussed, as he was one of the xenophobic officers of the Imperial officer corps who despised aliens like the Squib. "Shall I have the Stormtroopers collect her, or will you be retrieving her?" he asked, hoping that he was too busy, and that the Stormtroopers would be able to *deal* with the Squib.

"Oh please, Ewwiekewwieikkie. You're going to get me in trouble," Lieutenant Sheppard pleaded with the girl, trying to get her out of the crewpit once and for all. "I think my parents sent a care package. Maybe there's cookies? We could go see!" she begged, frantically, as she tugged at her with all of her might. She was not getting anywhere, but at least the Squib was not able to get back near the controls either. Despite the permission from Commander Hood, she would *not* shoot the girl.

"She did what?!" Claudius exclaimed over the calm, doing his best to compose himself after Sierra burst from the room. "No, no. No Stormtroopers, Commander," he said, as he rose from his chair and began moving towards the turbolift. "I will be right there," he ordered, but when he pushed the button to call the lift nothing happened. Again he pushed the button, impatiently, but there was no indication that the lift was even moving. "What else could go wrong?" he asked himself, angrily, as he stomped his foot in the manner of his daughter, Drusilla. "Sierra, the lift is not responding. If you're on the command level can you collect Ewwiekewwieikkie?" he asked her over the comm, not wanting the Stormtroopers to be called in.

"Oh no!" Callista squeaked. She had ridden the turbolift repeatedly so many times that she realized instantly that something was up. "Why isn't it working? I fix it!" The little girl began jumping up and down. Despite the lightweight of her body, it felt like the turbolift was shaking. Sierra sunk down to sit on her rear on the ground. She examined the doors while also trying to keep Callista calm. "It's okay. Don't worry. We won't be stuck here for long. Remember? Ewwie is out there. She'll save us." She clawed at the metal doors of the lift. Unless she developed so mutant powers right on the spot, there was no lifting the doors. Over her comm, she heard the familiar voice of her husband. She picked it up. "I'd love to help you out but *I'm* in the turbolift. It's broken." The cries of Callista could be heard in the background of Sierra's voice. She hushed the girl, bringing her in close. "Is Ewwiekewwieikkie okay? Did she do something?" This was like nightmare level scary for Sierra. She recalled being very, very young and watching a terrible movie about a deadly turbolift... *Gulp*. Her fingers ran through Callista's long hair. "It's okay, see? Uncle Claudius will help us."

"You're *where*?!" Claudius exclaimed over the comm, feeling completely helpless. "I *think* she's okay, but she's the one responsible for the problems with the ship. She got into the crewpits and crashed the ship," he informed her, before pacing back and forth in front of the turbolift door. "Hang on," he said, before switching frequencies. "Engineering. Commander Alexander. The main turbolift is stuck. My wife and niece and trapped inside. Resolve the problem. Immediately," he ordered the engineer, before switching back over to his wife. "Help is on the way. Hang on," he said, before he reached out with his hand, placing it upon the cold metal that separated him from his wife.

"Acknowledged, Governor," Commander Mark Alexander replied over the comm, before switching his terminal to find the lift in question. As he punched up the service log he determined it had been used more than five times the normal daily amount, which presumable wore out a gearing mechanism. "Get a team to this level," immediately, he said before he left engineering and began taking an auxiliary lift that would bring him to the level where the lift had stalled. As he rounded the corner he was joined by a team of engineers who had a tool that would pry the door open. Inserting it into the space between the door, it quickly pulled apart and opened it, however, it was only halfway up the level. "Are you alright, Commander?" he asked, as he knelt down to the opening and looked into the lift. He crawled in half way, which meant if the lift fell down his body would be cut in half, but it was all in the line of the duty. "Quick. Hand me the girl," he said, as he reached out with both of his hands. Outside the lift the engineers were holding onto his legs and attempting to diagnose the problem.

When Claudius reported to her what had happened, Sierra sighed. "Okay. Hang on," they both said it at the same time, jumping to a different frequency. "Commander Hood," she started. "I am on my way to retrieve Ewwiekewwieikkie. The turbolift I'm in so broken... So let's try something else. Put the comm near her, please." Sierra leaned back against the wall of the lift. She decided right then that after all this mess had cleared up, she was going to gather the family and shoo them off to Esseles. At home, the dangers were minimal. "Ewwiekewwieikkie..." Sierra started, forcing her voice to become cheerful and not indicate that she was feeling scared. "I've got some Wookie cookies in my office. Why don't you go eat them? There's a whole unopened box." She tried to seduce her Squib daughter with the promise of treats. She rapidly switched frequencies to hear Claudius. "Thank you, dear. I'm taking care of Ewwiekewwieikkie. One sec." She flipped back to the other frequency. "Commander Hood, is she still there?"

All of a sudden, Commander Alexander had arrived. Still clutching the crying little girl, Sierra responded. "Yes, I'm alright." She turned to Callista. Her tunic was soaked with tears and snot. "Callista, this nice man named Commander Alexander is going to help you. Don't worry...don't cry. He's nice." Sierra promised, wiping the little girl's cheeks. "We're all going to go home after this. You and Ewwie will be playing again soon."

Callista sniffed. Her face was a snotty mess. She looked up at the man who had appeared out of *nowhere*. "H-hi..." She turned her head, rubbing it back against Sierra's chest. "O-Okay. I wanna go to Ewwie's house." She began perking up just as Sierra picked her up and handed her off to the Commander. "See? Nothing to worry about." Sierra smiled calmly. On the inside, she'd rather take the stairs from here on out!

"Wookie-ookiee!" Ewwiekewwieikkie yelled, as she heard Sierra's voice over the comm. She placed her paws on the walkway above her and tried to pull herself up, but she struggled, her little legs dangling beneath her and flailing wildly. From behind, Lieutenant Sheppard gave her a boost to get her up onto the walkway and out of their lives. "Om nom nom," she squealed, as she bounded back down the walkway to get to where the cookies were supposed to be.

"No longer, Commander," Commander Hood replied over the comm to the Governor's adjutant, before posting guards at the entry of the bridge. "Your little ruse seems to have worked," he informed her, before turning his attention to Lieutenant Sheppard. "You're on report for failure to stop her," he barked at the young woman. "Get me a damage report," he ordered, as he took charge of the situation now that the 'creature' was gone.

Commander Alexander smiled at Callista as he took her firmly in his hands and held her securely. "Hi!" he said back, before looking over his shoulders. "Pull us out," he said, as the engineers pulled both him and Callista out of the turbolift. Once the little girl was secure he knelt down to examine her carefully. "Wait here, okay? I'm going to go get your aunt," he said, before returning towards the turbolift. Suddenly it lurched downward, narrowing the opening to the lift. "Rig something," he ordered his men, before he crawled into the much tighter opening and reached towards Sierra. "Now would be a good time," he said to her, joking, as he reached out to her.

Two problems were resolved. Ewwiekewwieikkie would be distracted, briefly, by wookie cookies. Sierra kept a stash of them within their living quarters. After all, you never knew when they were going to need to lure a Squib somewhere. She watched as Callista was carefully taken out of the lift. "Are you a super hero!?" The little girl asked Commander Alexander. "I think you're a super hero! You saved me!" She wrapped her arms around his neck at the first chance and squeezed. "Thankies, Mister!" Callista was content to sit on the floor and wait for the man to save her auntie. "You can do it!" She cheered.

Inside the turbolift, Sierra was not a happy camper. The lift let out a groan and moved downwards. At this point, she was looking rather green. The area left for her to squeeze out of was not very large. She quickly took his hands. Her small hands were shaking. "I think we can both be thankful that this didn't happen in a few months." She closed her eyes. The lift let out another exhausted groan. She did her best to suck in her stomach (and her ass).

By now Claudius had navigated himself to another turbolift and risen to level where the rescue operation was taking place. Once Commander Alexander had Sierra he joined the technicians in pulling them both to safety. When her butt, which was considerable, got wedged in the opening he gave a strong pull to send them both crashing out onto the floor. Just as soon as she was free the turbolift went plunging to the bottom of the lift in a crash that surely would have killed anyone inside. "Welcome home," he said to his wife, as he looked down at her, sprawled out on the floor. He extended his hand to help her up, smiling from ear to ear.

Noooo! She was stuck! Doomed by her own behind, Sierra felt incredibly embarrassed. All of a sudden, she was thrust forward into a pile of technicians. "T-Thank you, Commander." No sooner was she safe did the turbolift give in and plunge to the bottom of the shaft. Sierra looked like a drenched kitten. It was scary! She looked up, finding the love of her life there. She let out a breath. Taking his hands, she stood. "Without a doubt, this is the best home out there." Ignoring the presence of the technicians, she kissed her husband. It was quick yet still affectionate enough to remind him of how much she loved him. There was no where she wanted to be more than right here by his side.

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