Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:4:32) in the Alderaan system: Bright Hope, Delaya (Imperial garrison and Leiliani: Alderaan Guard headquarters, Jelena Rodney Center, Medcenter, and Rodney Castle), Kwai, and Nerf Herder.
Governor Papius Arundel, Trooper Kaiya Crion, El-Nay Darr, Farrah Ette, Ewwiekewwieikkie, Luna Flosgermen, Petrus Flosgermen, Yekaterina Hanson, Commander Kerrie Kiley, Ashori Monoceros, Callista Nilar, Princess Leia Organa, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, Lady Drusilla Rodney, Lord Gaius Rodney, Lady Jelena Rodney, Lady Livia Rodney (death), Lord Marcus Rodney, Commander Sierra Rodney, Lady Zara Rodney, Commander Luke Skywalker, Doctor Pilaq Tohan, Captain Thaddeus Updike, Lieutenant Evaan Verlaine, Commander Iyah Xergo, and Mug Zoran.

On the edge of the Alderaan system the Rebel fleet began to emerge from hyperspace amongst the collection of debris that had become known as the Graveyard of Alderaan. A collection of Gallofree Yards GR-75 medium transports had been prepared not just to rescue Commander Xergo, but also the Alderaanian refugees. On the bridge of one the lead transport, the Bright Hope, Leia Organa watched out at the ruins of her home. The destruction of the planet had not diminished the spirit of her people, but they had been allowed to suffer in stagnation for far too long. Commander Xergos had now become the catalyst for what would become the Alliance's most ambitious strike in the Core Worlds yet. The Princess had come for her people.

In the cockpit of his T-65B X-wing starfighter Commander Luke Skywalker was beginning his approach to the planet Delaya. "Red group, on me!" he announced over the comm as a collection of twelve starfighters began moving towards the planet. "Lock S-foils in attack position!" he ordered, as the starfighters expanded their wings into their distinctive X-shaped position. "Our primary target is the Imperial garrison," he ordered, as he looked out of his cockpit at the starfighters piloted by Wedge Antilles as 'Hobbie' Klivian respectively. In the distance the pre-fabricated garrison base came into view, and he toggled the weapon selector over to concussion missiles. With a pull of the trigger two missiles were launched where the TIE Strikers were docked and undergoing refueling. The explosion was catastrophic, sending a plume of fire into the sky, and the technicians and pilots on the ground scrambling in every direction.

In the command tower of the pre-fabricated garrison Governor Papius Arundel became panicked as the proximity alarms began going off. "Launch fighters!" he yelled, but before he could even finish speaking a massive explosion erupted outside of his window. Scrambling, he fled from his desk, and began moving towards turbolift where he planned to take shelter in the lower levels. Just as the turbolift doors an explosion tore through his office, but the durasteel shielded him. The lift fell down the tube until it crashed at the bottom level, leaving the Governor momentarily trapped and slightly injured. When the door was forced open the Governor was incredulous, red faced, and determined to make a statement. "This planet has shown itself to be a hotbed of Rebel activity. Turn out the garrison. Raze the city!" he ordered, as his fingers curled into his palms, clawing at his own flesh.

All throughout Leiliani Imperial forces began attacking civilian installations. The AT-STs began mercilessly firing on any structure within their range. TIE Strikers began strafing runs on the city of Leiliani, causing countless casualties and untold destruction. From the cockpit of his starfighter Commander Skywalker could see the columns of smoke rising from the city. "Red group. Form up and cover the city," he said, as he began to maneuver towards the destruction. As he closed the distance he pulled back on the trigger firing off quad laser blasts and shredding a TIE striker. "They're attacking the city. Send in the transports," he transmitted over the comm, before moving to engage the TIE Strikers. From above the transports began descending towards the city to collect the refugees, while a U-wing moved towards the garrison in a brazen effort to rescue Commander Xergo and any other Rebels. The Battle of Delaya had begun.

Commander Kerrie Kiley was receiving reports from throughout the Alderaan Guard headquarters that members of the guard were surrendering en masse. She stopped in the corridor to assess the situation, checking in with the squad leaders. "Has anyone encountered Gaius Rodney?" she asked, patiently, as each unit reported that they had not. "We're going to have to fight our way into the command center," he informed Captain Updike, who seemed to be relishing the opportunity for action. But before she could give a further order she began receiving strange traffic over the comm. She needed to talk to Sierra, but she could not risk Updike and Crion discovering her identity. "The planet is under Rebel attack. The garrison has suffered heavy damage. The order has been given to raze Leiliani," she said, grimly, to everyone, with the intention that Sierra be the one to hear it. Just then the building began to shake as it was rocked by an explosion. As they were acting without the cooperation of Governor Arundel, no one had bothered to inform the garrison that Imperials were in the structure. They were in danger of becoming collateral damage.

Commander Sierra Rodney was knees deep in the operation. The further she progressed through the Alderaan Guard headquarters, the more level her head became. In her armor, she was much less exposed than if she were wearing her ISB uniform. She squeezed the trigger of her blaster. The guard before her fell to his feet. It was hard to kill people who were supposed to protect her family. Ultimately, she knew the corruption had eliminated the guard. There was nothing she could do except kill to survive. In all the chaos, she had been separated from Kerrie. She didn't make the effort to reunite with her. Instead, she continued her vicious manhunt for the man who had attempted to kill her, her husband, and had successfully murdered her father-in-law. Vengeance was a bitch. Today, that bitch's name was Sierra Rodney ... or so she thought.

Inside her helmet, she could hear Kerrie's voice. Delaya was under Rebel attack. The Governor had given the order to raze Leiliani. Inside her helmet, her calm face shifted to fear. Her thoughts zapped to her family at the Rodney Castle. None of them were safe. Before her thoughts could get too far ahead, the building began shaking. "Oh, shit!" No one knew that the Storm Commandos had come to Claudius' call. Currently, Papius' Imperials would see the Alderaan Guard headquarters as the perfect place to attack. The building shook again. Sierra wondered if *she* would get back to her family alive or if she'd...

No! Sierra fought her way towards El-Nay. "We have to retreat!" She shouted to the Mandalorian. "We'll all die in here if we d-...!" Sierra's words were cut off as a TIE fighter crashed into the building. Fire and explosions erupted all over. Sierra had tackled El-Nay to the ground in a desperate attempt to keep *someone* from dying. As she hit the ground, Sierra's loose helmet tumbled off. It revealed her identity as the woman everyone was looking for. She scrambled to grab her helmet, only to see a large, cat-like foot stomp on it. The helmet busted into a million tiny pieces under her strength. Shivering, Sierra looked upward.

Kaiya Crion was a free cat. She amused herself by ripping on arm from an Alderaan Guard, then using it to beat down an entirely different guard. She kept close to Thaddy at all times while also keeping an eye on that weird smelling Commando. She couldn't place exactly who was behind the helmet. She had never smelled Sierra, so she assumed it was a daughter, or someone else close to the Grand Moff. She did not fear the beginning of the bombing. She only seemed enticed by the way the remaining guards screamed and ran for cover. "Hey! *Hey*! Don't go!" She squatted down, promptly pouncing one guard. She used her sharp teeth to bite the back of his neck while her front claws dug into the woman's back. She ran on her way towards the shiny lady and the smelly lady. At that point, the TIE-fighter ripped through the building. Kaiya's catlike eyes were distracted by the shiny, moving object on the ground. She pounced it, breaking it without really meaning it. The smell reminded her of the strange commando. Her head turned. Her tail twitched. "Captain! Captain!" She called out. She moved towards Sierra, promptly placing a large, sharp clawed foot on her back. She pressed some of her weight down on the woman. "Looky what I found! An Imperial traitor! Can I eat her? Can I? Can I? Can I?!"

El-Nay Darr was attempting to make sense of everything that was happening. It was beyond her ability to comprehend why Imperials were attacking other Imperials. When the explosion struck she was right in the blast radius, but at the last moment she was unexpectedly saved by Sierra. She hit the ground hard, but was protected from considerable damage thanks to the strength of the Mandalorian armor that covered her otherwise fragile feminine form. "Oof," she groaned from beneath her helmet, trying to locate Sierra in the aftermath of the explosion. But, before she could do anything the catgirl commando was poised to strike.

"All squad leaders evac," Captain Updike ordered over the comm as reports came in of explosions throughout the headquarters. He was quick to gather his team as well, but the explosion quickly put a stop to all of his plans. He was momentarily put off balance by the explosion, but when he settled himself he looked towards Commander Kiley. "Commander, we must evac. The destruction of this structure will surely be the end of the traitors," he declared, as he prepared to move Kaiya down the corridor. But that's when he noticed the helmet had been dislodged from the other commando revealing the presence of Sierra Rodney. "Traitor!" he yelled, as he readied his weapon. "Yes, Kaiya," he said, giving her the go ahead and a firm nod of his helmeted head. He then quickly leveled his E-11 blaster rifle at Commander Kiley to prevent her from interfering. "Commander, I place you under arrest for conspiring with a known Rebel agent," he said, sensing his opportunity to strike.

Suddenly everything was coming undone. Commander Kerrie Kiley struggled amidst the explosions, turning her attention to the condition of El-Nay and Sierra. She never saw Thaddeus' move coming, and before she could even react she was in the crosshairs of his E-11 blaster rifle. "Captain Updike, it is *you* who are committing treason," she declared, raising her hand to point at him. "Commander Rodney is an ISB agent on assignment here. I order you both to stand down and withdraw to the transport," she said, getting into a shouting match with her junior officer. All around them the walls were beginning to shake, ceilings were collapsing, and fires were spreading. It was a silly time to be having this sort of argument.

From beneath Kaiya, Sierra let out a scream. Her claws dug through the commando armor like it was paper thin. She could feel them digging into her back, forcing the front of her body painfully hard against the ground. *Damn it*! She had tried so hard not to get caught. The cat above her was overzealous. Sierra could feel the blood lust radiating off of her like hot, hot suns. To make matters worse, the captain had been notified. From the ground, she could see him pointing his E-11 at Kerrie. Sierra's blaster rifle was right underneath her hands. She realized what a terrible position she was in. If she shot it at the cat girl, then either Kerrie or her would be shot by Captain Updike. Sierra couldn't give up.

The situation was absolutely thrilling. Kaiya thought about how her Thaddy would reward her for such a discovery. He'd be promoted, surely. They would wine and dine together, celebrating one hell of a victory. Her captain gave her his approval and so, Kaiya bent down. She grabbed one of Sierra's arms and began to pull it awkwardly away from her body. "I'm so happy you decided to join us, milady! Governor Arundel with be very *very* happy when we bring him your body. He will, he will!" She sang. She kept her foot on the woman at all times. Sierra was pinned to the ground, forced to feel the cat dislocate her shoulder like it was nothing. She screamed again. The pain brought life and retaliation back into her. Sierra clawed at the ground with her other arm. She kicked at it with her boots. Meanwhile, pain numbed her mind. "I won't let you... I won't let you kill me!"

Kaiya liked this toy! The Grand Moff's wife splashed around like a fish out of water. She suddenly grabbed the back of her head, slamming it into the ground. "Sorry milady, I got orders to follow." Then she began to squeeze.

From out of the burning chaos what seemed like a member of the Alderaan Guard emerged, but it was in actuality Jelena Rodney. With a DH-17 firmly in her grasp she leveled it at the catgirl commando atop her old friend, and without hesitation she pulled back on the trigger, unleashing a deadly crimson bolt of energy directly at her. She had arrived just in the knick of time, but all around her her home was being destroyed by the Empire. She always knew this day would come, and she tried to warn anyone and everyone that would listen ... but no one in the family ever seemed to believe her. Now it seemed they were all likely to pay the price.

From her position on the ground El-Nay Darr targeted Captain Updike with her wrist gauntlet and fired off a small rocket in his direction. She needed to save Kerrie from yet another catastrophic wound. All around her the building was on the verge of collapse, but for some reason they were here fighting amongst themselves. It was as infuriating it as it was confusing. It was part of the reason she hated the Empire, only tolerating it to stay close to Kerrie. At that moment she wanted to activate her jetpack and escape the explosions and the chaos, but she had become part of something here and to her own surprise she rose to her feet and stood her ground.

The oncoming rocket exploded into the wall next to Thaddeus, as the dimwitted Mandalorian had missed yet again. Or had she? The collapsing wall fell down upon him, but not before he pulled on the trigger unleashing a blaster bolt at Kerrie. As he became pinned and crushed by the falling the debris he activated his locator to alert the Imperial forces to their location. At least it would bring a rescue ... at best there was still a chance to capture a collection of rebel and miscreants. As the guard opened fire on Kaiya he could only hope that she would survive long enough for the rescue to arrive.

The falling debris caused Thaddeus' blaster bolt to go errant, slamming into Kerrie's shoulder instead of her face. The bolt caused tremendous pain, forcing her to shift back into her native Clawdite appearance, but at least she was still alive. She looked to Jelena, to Sierra, to El-Nay in horror. There was no way for her to explain this in her reports, but for now she was concerned with simply surviving. "We *have* to get out of here ... now!" she ordered, as she dropped her blaster rifle and brought her hand up across her body to examine her blaster wound. She wondered if she could get through one mission without suffering a serious injury.

Sierra's hand curled into a tight fist. It pounded against the ground as Kaiya squeezed her head. It felt like every bone in her skull was going to explode. She was in full panic, convinced that she wouldn't rise from this. She blinked, recalling to mind every single time she promised Claudius that she wouldn't be taken from him, that she would be there until the end. She saw his face, concerned and sad, from just before they left. "*No*!" She screamed. When all hope seemed lost for Sierra, it was her best friend who saved her. A single Alderaan Guard stood amidst the fire and destruction. Tears streamed down Sierra's face as Jelena Rodney took out the cat girl on top of her. Kaiya's hand released her face. The cat fell backwards. She was unconscious and bleeding. She closed her eyes tightly. Thank goodness for Jelena. She owed her *everything* if they survived this.

She could only be relieved when everything was truly over. El-Nay attempted to take out the Captain but failed...or not! The wall behind him collapsed. He was covered underneath the debris. "Shit, El-Nay..." Sierra groaned. She used her one functional arm to help herself stand again. Kerrie was hurt. Gaius was missing. The whole operation had fallen apart. It was time to abandon it altogether. She looked, exhausted, to Kerrie. "Everyone, we need to get back to the castle!" Sierra looked at Jelena. There were tears of gratitude in her eyes. With that, she began heading out with the rest of her group. It was difficult to locate backwards through the headquarters. Sierra felt the extent of her injuries. Her back was bleeding. Her head bled and ached. Her arm would need to be popped back into place before it became of any use to her. She had to abandon her rifle, leaving herself exposed to any further attacks. Still, she was watching over her comrades. They all had to survive.

When they emerged from the structure what was happening in the city was just as catastrophic as was happening inside. Above them X-wings were engaged in combat with TIE strikers while the city streets were filled with terrified civilians running from Imperial troops and combat vehicles. It broke Jelena's heart to witness what was going on. "Sierra ... Sierra I'm not going back to the castle," she told her, as she removed her blast helmet to look at her unobstructed. "Rebel transports are landing to collect the refugees. That's what I am now ... a refugee," she said, as she looked around the death and destruction with tears in her eyes. She stepped forward, wrapping her arms delicately around her friend because of her wounds. "Take care of my father..." she whispered into her ear, before turning her face to give her a peck on the cheek. With that, she placed the helmet back on her head and began sprinting towards what was left of the refugee center.

There was no way to prepare for the sight that waited for them outside of headquarters. Sierra stopped as the breath was whipped from her body. This was her city. This was her people. Delaya had always been home away from home. Now it was being torn apart. She felt hollowed out inside. The importance of reaching Claudius grew. They couldn't go through this apart; alone. She was crying. Her face turned towards Jelena. Her words hurt but she accepted them as her best friend. She sniffed, embracing her as tightly as she could with one arm. "Please be careful. We lost you once... I don't ever want to feel that way again." She didn't know what she would tell Claudius. Given her state, she could simply plea that she wasn't physically capable of stopping her. "I'll take care of him. Take care of yourself.." She had difficulty letting go. It hurt to watch her run away. "Wait..!" She called out once Jelena was too far away. She was *gone*. Without another word, all three women loaded themselves back into the speeder. Sierra collapsed on her seat. She placed her head in her hands and covered her eyes. She was powerless.

Zara Rodney stood over her sister's bed inside of the medcenter. She hated this damn place. How many times had she been here, as a patient, and a visitor lately?! Luna herself had put Zara in her own bed. She had endangered the life of her twins. Placing the E-11 blaster rifle beside the bed, Zara instead pulled a vial of poison from her holster. She didn't have the strength to shoot her sister. She barely possessed what was necessary to pull this off. She sat down in the chair beside Luna's bed. "How could you, sister? How can you hurt me so much?"

The sound of Zara's voice stirred Luna. The short-haired woman awoke with viciousness coursing through her veins. She snarled at Zara, sitting up suddenly. "What are *you* doing here, cow!? Shouldn't you be lactating or something?" The surroundings of the hospital were not familiar for the elder Ta'em sister. She was confused, tired, and weak. Marcus Rodney had done a real good one on her. She couldn't even recall the trip back to Delaya, yet here she was, with her sister again. She caught sight of the vial Zara was holding in her hands. A shrill laugh emitted from her. "Sister, you want to *kill* me!? At least do it like a man! Grab that rifle and shoot me in the...!!"

At that very moment, all hell broke out around the city. A TIE-fighter started a fire somewhere further into the city. Both women could see the flame erupted. Zara blinked to make sure that she was actually seeing this. Shortly after that, she heard the engines of other ships invading Delaya. She had no idea what was going on. She had been using the computers within the Nerf Herder to get her work done. Not she had not a piece of technology to make sense out of this mess. Regardless, the city wasn't safe. She needed to finish her job and rush home to the north. With fumbling fingers, Zara produced a syringe. She removed the plastic tube keeping the syringe untouched. She began pipetting the liquid poison into the syringe. "I was so happy when you can back to Delaya. My sister who I thought was dead. I imagined us being able to reconnect." Zara spoke, feeling increasingly worried over what was happening outside. "You only came back to use me for credits. Do you know how much that hurt?!"

Zara's words were marked by the dropping of a bomb on the medcenter. All the lights shut off in Luna's room. Walls and ceilings began to collapse all around them. Zara was up on her feet in no time. She realized the severity of the situation. If she didn't get back to the ship *now* then she wasn't going to make it home. She started off for the door when a wall fell. She was knocked to the floor with one of her legs pinned underneath heavy concrete. She tried to used her upper body strength to scamper out from underneath the debris but she couldn't manage it. She was stuck!

Doctor Pilaq Tohan was in the next room checking on Petrus Flosgermen when the alarms began to sound. He looked around, wondering what was going on, when he heard the familiar and disturbing shriek of a TIE Hunter soaring overhead. He had first heard that sound on his native Ithor following the Clone Wars when the Empire arrived. It was a sound that sickened him each time he heard it. The Empire had come to Delaya just as it had his world. He turned to begin the process of ordering Petrus and the other patients moved to safety, but before he could he felt his own walking stick connect with his head. The blow to his head caused the old Ithorian to fall to the ground, unconscious with a bad concussion.

Petrus Flosgermen had been laying there, pretending to be unconscious, all the while biding his time to strike. When the TIEs distracted the old Ithorian doctor he wasted no time in striking the man down. An instant later he leapt from his bed and began moving to find Luna. A few short weeks ago he would have fled and left her, but she had become part of him and he would not leave her. He was worried he was getting *soft*, but the fact that he had just bludgeoned an unarmed doctor ... and a senior citizen to boot ... did much to boost his confidence. When he barged into Luna's room he was aghast to spot Zara, wondering what she was doing here. "Luna ... we've got to go before the Empire blasts this rock!" he told her, as he moved near her, and attempted to roughly grab her arm and drag her from the room.

Luna was so confused. The bomb had crashed somewhere close by. It blew out the window in her room. Shattered glass painted her bed. It was weird that Zara had gone to such measures to try to kill her. All in all, she saw her sister as harmless. She didn't fear death...not by the hands of a cow! "Petrus!" She called out as he entered her room. Clutching her hospital gown to her body with one hand, Luna rapidly stood up as he began dragging her. With the Demon's strength, she was easily swayed by him. "Wait..! Wait!" She grabbed his arm to stop him. They had come to stop in front of where Zara lay on the ground. She could see how much pain her sister was in. As fires began to erupt, Luna realized that if she left her sister here, then it would be her sister who perished in the flames. She stopped moving, simply staring at her like she didn't know what to do. Life hadn't been totally bad with Zara. She was a sweet kid who belonged to the wrong family. No one had ever expected things to come to this.

"Ugh... Ughhh..." Zara regretted becoming lax on her workout regimen after becoming pregnant. Her arms felt so weak. Her legs hurt. She wasn't sure if she had broken any bones. Right now, she was worried about escaping. The big man that Luna had made so much noise with in her home came into the room to gather up her sister. Zara felt a new rush of sadness. For all the effort she had gone through, Zara would not succeed in killing her sister. She began to cry softly. "Luna! *Luna*! Please help me.. I'll die if you don't help me... Marcus doesn't even know I'm gone. No one will come!" She whimpered. "Luna, *please*." She attempted to free herself again. She needed *Marcus*.

Petrus was incensed when Luna stopped him from dragging her out of the medical center. "Are you getting soft on me, sugar tits?" he asked her, angrily as his eyes moved from Luna down to the trapped Zara. "If you want to stay here and get destroyed by the Empire then go ahead," he told her, as he began to leave. "*I* am getting out of here. If you want to come with me, move your ass," he told her in no uncertain terms. He moved forward, opening the door that would lead back to the corridor. He stood there for a moment ... and only a moment ... as he looked towards Luna and waited for her to make a decision. Just then another explosion rocked the building as the Battle of Delaya was raging outside on the street.

Luna looked hurt. *She* was getting soft. "I'm not getting soft! I'm coming!" She stepped away from Zara. Instead of running towards Petrus, she bent down and grabbed her syringe off the ground. She tossed it towards her sister. "I was thinking about how horrible it would be to leave her here to die. Now she has the option to kill herself. I was being merciful." Luna explained. "Think of how much damage it'll do to her husband to hear that she killed herself!" She laughed. The elder Ta'em ran out of the room. She purposely didn't look back at Zara. In truth, it destroyed her to leave her sister there to burn in the fires. This wasn't the way she wanted it to end. Together, Petrus and Luna made their escape from the hospital. The Imperials would welcome them with open arms.

Meanwhile, Zara was abandoned. She began to cry harder. "Marcus... Marcus, I'm so sorry." She sobbed, slamming her forehead against the ground in despair. She had no way of communicating of him. As much as she liked to think he could read her mind, she didn't think he could read it right now. In despair, she picked up the poison-filled syringe. Instead of using it like Luna wanted, she threw it across the room. "Damn it!" Luna's room was beginning to fill with smoke. The situation was only becoming worse for her. She had no idea how he could help her, but Zara began to scream for Pilaq. If he heard her then maybe he could get her help!

Just when all hope was lost Marcus Rodney arrived in the nick of time, bursting forth into Luna's room in full armor. When he saw his wife pinned beneath the rubble he feared the worst, and surged towards her. "My brother told me what you were up to," he said, chastising her slightly, as he attempted to lift the section of wall off her. At first it did not move, but he eventually bent his knees, struggling with all of his might to lift it. He let out a loud groan, and eventually he lifted it partially off her. It took all of his strength to toss it aside, and when he did, he collapsed to the ground beside her to collect himself. "Well. I don't see a body. I guess you didn't do what you came for," he said, as he leaned over towards her. "I'm glad," he said to her, as he began to stand back up ... this was not the time to lay down on the job. "We haven't much time. The city is in flames. I have to get you out of here," he said, as he leaned down and attempted to pick her up. She was heavier than the wall, he thought to himself, as he got her back onto her feet.

Marcus Rodney was her knight in damn shiny armor. Just as Zara lay, crying and screaming, it was her husband who showed up. She looked at him, laughing at how he chastised her. "Claudius is such a big, fatty tattletale.." And without him, Marcus would have lost everything during the Battle of Delaya. She watched him attempt to move the wall. She was blindly confident in him. Marcus *would* save her. He had done so much to keep her alive and well. A wall was nothing, right? She could breath again when he had successfully tossed the wreckage aside. Zara looked at him with tears in her eyes, streaming all down her cheeks. "Marcus! You saved me!" Her legs had taken some damage but she could still move her feet. Getting up was going to be a Herculean task, and one which she found she needed him to complete. "I thought I could do it..." She explained to him. "I was so angry at her." She was shocked that he was glad. Now that she had gotten so close, she understood why. It was Zara who would carry guilt for the rest of her life had she killed Luna.

Zara got as far as into the corridor outside Luna's room when she stopped. "Oh!!! Pilaq was here!" She exclaimed. "He went to Petrus' room to check on him. We need to see if he's okay! It's that one...right there!" Zara had taken to memorizing these things before coming to the medcenter. She pointed towards the door as she worried for the family doctor that she, too, had come to love.

The building shook so violently that he was worried it was going to collapse right then and there. Unfortunately, his wife had a heart as big as her stomach, and he was compelled to move towards Petrus room to search for the Ithorian doctor that had served his family since the Clone Wars. When he opened the door he found the doctor on the ground, seemingly unconscious, or perhaps worse. He knelt down next to the doctor, but did not even begin to know where to look for a pulse on an Ithorian. He tossed Zara Pilaq's walking stick, believing she would need it for the journey out of here. He lifted the Ithroian, carrying him as the trio made their way through the medcenter towards the turbolift. When they arrived on the roof the flames and smoke were all around them, as was the case for most of Leiliani. "Get to the ship!" he yelled to his wife, as he struggled to carry the Ithorian.

With Zara and Pilaq safely aboard the Nerf Herder, he moved to quickly strap himself into the cockpit. "Hang on back there!" he yelled, as he activated the ship's repulsors to blast them off the roof of the medcenter. As he navigated the skies over Leiliani he spotted a pair of TIE Hunters strafing the city and he redirected his flight plan to engage them. He pulled back on the trigger unleashing a series of laser blasts that destroyed both of the fighters. "There's no safe place on this planet," he warned his wife, before sending their ship into the atmosphere to find a safe port to ride out the storm in. The world he left behind was in ruins. He had no idea whether or not his family was still alive. But Zara was with him ... and soon the twins would be ... and right now that was all that mattered.

A massive Imperial AT-AT walker began approaching the landing zone where refugees were being loaded onto the Rebel transports. The walker began firing its powerful cannons into the crowd causing refugees to be blown into oblivion. Suddenly Lieutenant Evaan Verlaine descended her Y-wing bomber below the level of smoke and smog that was now obscuring the city of Leiliani. "Ion torpedoes away!" she shouted over the comm as she unleashed a wave of projectiles at the Imperial walker. The torpedoes impacted, causing the AT-AT to become disabled, before tumbling over and crushing the seven century old statue of Germanicus Rodney, the progenitor of the House of Rodney and the first Duke of Delaya. "Woo! That got him!" she announced, before sending her bomber back into the atmosphere to engage additional TIEs.

"I have a child!" yelled Gaius Rodney as he pushed his way through the crowd of refugees, carrying Farrah. They had escaped the destruction of the Alderaan Guard headquarters and killed two refugees, appropriating their wardrobe and blending in with the fleeing crowds. There was too much danger for the Rebels to check identification of everyone being loaded onto the waiting medium transports. He pushed through the crowd, knocking over an old man, as he held up his daughter so that the Rebels could see. "Let him through!" said the Rebels, while Gaius continued to surge forward. As he looked over his shoulder at the destruction of Leiliani he was glad to be leaving this world. He would bide his time with the Rebellion and one day this would *finally* all be his. After this black day Claudius Rodney would *never* be accepted as the leader of a free Delaya.

The planet that Gaius and Farrah had been working so hard to control was now under assault. The once strong Leiliani was now taking a serious beating. Farrah witnessed the battles in the sky becoming more and more intense. After escaping the Alderaan Guard headquarters, they had no choice but to flee from Delaya. As furious as she felt, she accepted their fate and aided her father in acquiring the appropriate clothing. After that, she played the part of a scared child to a T. She clung to Gaius. She forced sad, scared tears from her eyes. She looked at the Rebel with terror. Together, both Gaius and Farrah were granted access to a Rebel transport. Nuzzling her head against his neck, she began to comfort her father. "It'll be yours when the smoke clears." She whispered. "The people will look to *you*." Somehow, someway, Gaius Rodney had succeeded. He had not killed Claudius Rodney, but he had made him into a massive enemy. Later, Gaius could recount his story of how Claudius sent in his men to kill the guard. Farrah settled back in his arms. She would count their blessings when they were looking at Delaya from far, far away.

Yekaterina Hanson was recovering from her wounds in the refugee center when the Empire began attacking the city. She wanted to go fight the Imperials ... even if it was suicidal ... but she was in no condition. She was one of the priority injured being prepared to be brought aboard the Bright Hope. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted an Alderaan Guard helping some of the refugees aboard and she smiled proudly that some of her old unit had survived and would be evacuating. But as she looked closer she noticed the unmistakable characteristics of her former protectee. "Jelena?!" she called out, wondering if she were hallucinating from the medication. *She* was the last person she expected to see here and now. She attempted to sit up, which reaggravated the knife wound inflicted by Ashori the other day.

Jelena Rodney had made it to the refugee center named in her honor ... or what was left of it. She was helping people onto the Rebel transports, including the old man carelessly knocked over by Gaius Rodney. When she heard her name called she expected the worst, but when she realized it was her old bodyguard Kat Hanson a smile came upon her face. "Kat!" she yelled, as she moved towards the gurney carrying the Alderaan Guard who had protected her at school on Alderaan years ago. "Wha-what happened?" she asked as she looked over the woman, before moving to help get her aboard the transport. "Tell me later. We need to *go*," she said, as a pair of TIE Hunters quickly descended upon the crowd, unleashing their laser blasts. Explosions rained down upon them as troopers offered weak blaster fire in response.

When the smoke cleared Jelena saw her old friend and schoolmate, Princess Leia Organa, standing amidst the chaos in a stark white outfit looking calm. It was Leia who had first approached her two years ago about betraying her father and aiding the fledgling Alliance. She had not seen her since the dissolution of the Senate and the destruction of Alderaan. She removed her helmet to reveal herself to her friend, and moved over towards her. "Reporting for duty, Your Highness," she said, as the last of the refugees were loaded onto the Bright Hope. As the ramp closed behind her this chapter of her life was being closed, but a new one was being written. The transports formed up with their escorting starfighters and began to ascend through the planet to make the jump to a new home for the Alderaanians.

"Rebel troops have entered the base! Rebel troops have entered the base!" sounded the voice of a controller at the Imperial garrison before the sound of blaster fire cut the transmission. In the bunker, Governor Papius Arundel was beginning to look very concerned. With his garrison turned loose on Leiliani there was not an adequate defense for the garrison. The city was in flames, but so was his command. He watched on the screen as Rebel marines began fighting their way through the corridors. Desperate to salvage this he quickly turned to the one remaining card he had to play. "Ashori ... you want to prove yourself?" he asked her, before roughly grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her violently in a frenzy. "Get to the detention level. Free Commander Xergo and the bastard Zoran. Tell them you infiltrated my command and go with them back to the Rebellion," he said, before turning his attention back to the monitors. "Where is Sierra Rodney!" he snarled, as he slammed his fist back on the terminal. If he was going down ... so was she.

The tides were turning much too quickly. As the Rebels swarmed into the city and the garrison, dark times fell upon the Imperials. They were *losing*. In all the confusion, Ashori had ended up hiding out in the bunker with the Governor himself. She was clutching an E-11 blaster rifle, the very same type of blaster which she had attempted to assassinate him with ... only now she was using it to protect both of them. She was a warrior first. She had been in terrible situations before. Next to the Governor, she was capable of remaining calm. He snatched her up and began shaking her. "What?! *How*!?" She asked him. He quickly relayed his villainous plot to her. It was time for her to abandon him and begin her time as an undercover Rebel. "I'll do it!" She yelled, rising from the ground. "You can't obsess over her, Governor! If you don't take the opportunity to leave now, you may never get the chance." She looked worried at him. Ashori truly was the physical accompaniment of what Papius Arundel could do. She was blindly devoted. Her warning was marked with a U-Wing crashing through a floor above their heads. She had to carry out his mission.

Ash ran from the bunker. She took the quickest route to the holding cells. She first burst into Mug Zoran's cell. Hitting a button, he stopped swinging around the room. She approached him and began releasing him from his restraints rapidly. She was sweating and looked stressed. "Mug, I'm sorry this had to happen to you. I spent so much time infiltrating Papius' command. When Commander Xergo decided to show up, I couldn't lose all that work. I had to turn you both in." She rapidly explained. The bastard was finally free. "There's a huge battle going on outside. The Rebels have come to rescue the planet from the Imperials." She started towards the cell holding her Commander. "If you want to live, you're going to have to trust me. I have a way of safely freeing both of you!"

Mug Zoran had been endlessly rotating in the restraints within his cell, still wearing the flimsy crown the Governor had placed upon his head. Unfortunately, he had been subjected to horrific torture at the hands of his Imperial captors. When Ashori released him from captivity he fell to the ground, touching the floor for the first time in days. He was not sure if he could trust Ashori after what happened, but for now he had no choice. He clawed his way back to his feet and staggered after Ashori towards Iyah's cell. When he busted into her room he moved to the restraints to free her, but as he did the garrison was rocked by a massive explosion as the battle that raged all around them intensified.

The blasts above had distracted a group of cruel Imperials from their torture of Iyah Xergo. She had been left behind, coughing up blood. There was fresh saliva on her face from their 'disgust' at her alliance to the Rebellion. She tensed as the door opened...what was next?! She couldn't take Papius. He would make her lie and plant horrible doubt in her head. Instead of seeing the Governor, she spotted Mug. He looked even worse than she did. Tears rushed to her eyes. "Mug!" He hadn't left the garrison without her. He *never* would leave her behind. She also spotted Ashori, the girl who had caused this whole mess. While Ash attempted to explain herself, Iyah's eyes were only for Mug. The explosion above broke the device she was restrained to and the Commander hit the ground. "What the hell is happening outside?! She yelled at Ashori. "How could you betray us!?" She fought against the restraints as hard as she had when she first arrived.

Ashori's feet moved to balance herself. She darted over to the Commander, ripping the restraints from her quickly. "There's no time to explain. The Rebels are here for us! We have to go *now*. The city is in flames. There's nowhere safe for us here." The red haired traitor wrapped her arms around both Mug and Iyah. She guided them out from their cells and towards the hangers.

No Rebel had ever appeared as small as the little one running around the garrison wearing a helmet that was easily four times too big. Callista Nilar had overheard the news of her parents. She overheard the plans to rescue them. She even knew which craft to hide in to make sure she reached the place where her Mommy and Daddy were. "Mama! Daddyyyy!" She screamed. She was clutching her favored ballerina bunny stuffed toy. It came *everywhere* with her. "I'm gonna save you just like Leia!" Beneath her helmet, she had done her hair up in tiny buns in attempt to copy off of another woman she admired. She was cowering in a corridor after a blast when a Stormtrooper noticed her. "A Rebel!" He aimed his blaster at her. Callista shrieked, closed her eyes, and covered them with her hands.

The Stormtrooper fell before her. Ashori Monoceros stood behind him with her E-11 in her hands. Callista slowly opened her eyes and removed her hands. She didn't see the red haired woman who had saved her. She only had tunnel vision for her parents. "*Mama*! *Daddy*!" She squeaked, racing towards them. She cried inside of her helmet. "They said bad stuff had happened to you!" She cried harder. "Please come home!" She showed them her bunny ballerina. "Pwincess Leia says there's a ship to take us home outside." She pointed one tiny finger towards the way she had come from. "Mama, she's a *princess*!"

"Governor Arundel," the voice of Captain Updike announced over the comm, after having been dug out of the rubble by the garrison. "The fugitive Commander Rodney is in a transport moving from the Alderaan Guard headquarters to the castle," he reported, before turning his attention to the more severely wounded and unconscious Kaiya Crion. He would see Kerrie, Sierra, and El-Nay pay for this, but for now he needed to see his troops loaded back onto the Umbra and transported to safety. As he looked above he saw the superior Rebel starfighters were quickly gaining the advantage and he feared for his transport's ability to clear the planet.

Governor Arundel's eyes lit up when he heard the report from Captain Updike. "Reroute Ipsilon flight to find that transport ... *now*!" he ordered, as he literally threw the controller out of the seat and took over the comm unit himself. As his command disintegrated around him, he fixated himself in his seat to direct the operation to capture Sierra Rodney and cleanse the rest of the city. This was not over yet.

The speeder was on the mountain pass when the TIE Strikers of Ipsilon flight arrived on the scene. The four starfighters opened fire blasting the speeder and the mountainside behind it. The rocks began to topple down, closing off the road, and partially covering the speeder. Before they could make another pass, a pair of X-wings appeared on the scene and blasted them from the sky ... but the damage was done. "Milady, are you okay," Kerrie asked, as she moved about the speeder, trying to survey the damage. The road was closed and they were going to need to find another way if they were going to make it up to the castle. Her shoulder was killing her, but there was no time to worry about that now. They were vulnerable to both Imperial *and* Rebel attack at this point ... they were a group without a faction and everyone had reason for wanting them dead.

From in between her fingers, Sierra watched the city. Before her, the worst possible scenario was unfolding. The reign of Duke Claudius Rodney was over. There was no way to turn around Papius' order to raze the city. She couldn't even imagine how many innocent had been killed. She worried immensely for the safety of her family. Jelena was gone, lost to her for who knew how long. The castle itself served as a beacon for destruction. How long would it be before they attacked Claudius? Had they already gone after him? Her hand fell as she saw the TIE Strikers. "Oh no...!!!" They opened fire, causing a rockslide down the mountain. Inside the speeder, Sierra had curled up in a ball to avoid being seriously hurt. Her head hurt worse than ever...but she was determined.

"I...I'm okay..." She scrambled to get out of the speeder. She crawled out of the vehicle, groaning as her arm moved awkwardly. Sierra's knees hit the ground. The road had been shut down by the rocks. "No!" She screamed. Sierra moved towards the side of the mountain. She set a single foot in the rocks and reached upward with her one good arm. "I will make it back to the castle!" She growled, attempting to climb the mountainside... Only, she couldn't. No sooner had she launched herself off the ground did she slid down the rocks. "No... No..." She punched the ground repeatedly until she was finished with her tantrum. "El-Nay! She shouted. "Pop my arm back in place. I can climb it if I have both arms!"

El-Nay Darr burst from the remnants of the speeder, and quickly assessed the situation. They *had* to get off this planet. *Everyone* wanted them dead. She lowered her targeting scanner to examine the pile of rocks that blocked the road and she quickly raised her wrist gauntlet. She squeezed her palm and attempted to fire rockets at it, but she had used them all in her attack on Captain Updike. "Fuck!" she cursed beneath her helmet, as she began to panic. Slowly an idea formed in her head, but she knew they would not like it. She raised her other gauntlet at Sierra and Kerrie, biting her lower lip beneath the anonymity of her helmet. "I'm sorry, milady," she said, before she squeezed her palm together and unleashed her grappling cable around the two of them. The tight cable wrapped around both Kerrie and Sierra, placing them both firmly in her grasp. She braced herself, kicking her heels together before activating her jetpack and blasting off into the atmosphere. Behind her Kerrie and Sierra were roughly lifted off the ground below, dragged behind her through the air as uncomfortable, heavy cargo. It was the only way she thought she could get them to the castle.

Sierra refused to give up. She would do anything necessary to reach the castle no matter how insane it was. Insanity was necessary for the move that El-Nay decided to pull. The grappling cable forced Kerrie and Sierra together. Sierra instantly wrapped her arm around the Clawdite. She was shaking from a combination of fear and concern for her family. Her feet were suddenly flung off the ground. Above her, she could see El-Nay struggling with their weight. "You can do it!" She cried out, though even she wasn't overly confident that they would ever reach their destination. She looked down at Kerrie. "I want you to know that I'm sorry about Arden... If we survive, I swear I'll kill her someday and restore you to your former glory." She felt like she was going to pass out. Sierra couldn't give up. She couldn't rest until everyone was away from this planet.

In orbit of the planet Delaya the Rebel medium transport formed up with the Rebel fleet carrying Princess Leia, Jelena Rodney, Yekaterina Hanson, and Farrah Ette. The Nerf Herder with Marcus Rodney, Zara Rodney, and Pilaq Tohan moved away from the Rebel and Imperial forces with their own destination. The U-wing carrying Iyah Xergo, Mug Zoran, Callista Nilar, and Ashori Monoceros formed up with the X-wings of Red Squadron and the Y-wing bombers. The evacuation of Delaya was nearly complete ... only Claudius Rodney and his family were left to escape.

Drusilla Rodney was running through Rodney Castle, carrying as many of the crown jewels as she could in the fabric of her dress. When she came upon Ewwiekewwieikkie she began placing jewels in her mouth. "Ewwie. Swallow these, but whatever you do ... don't go to the bathroom without me!" she said, as she began to force feed the Squib the most expensive babbles from the Rodney treasure vault. "Papa, we need to go!" she shouted, as she looked out at another column of flame erupt from the city. She was getting scared.

"No yum! No yum!" Ewwie whined as she was forced to swallow the jewels. She attempted to chew on them, but they were too hard and hurt her teeth. "Yucky!" she snarled, as she spit out a jewel worth 10,000 credits. "Ugh," she said, as she rubbed her tummy, which was quickly becoming a treasure chest. "Oooh. Fire," she said, in a concerned tone, before becoming transfixed by the image of the fires that were raging throughout Leiliani.

"We can't go. Not without your mother," Claudius said, as he clung to the railing of the balcony, tears in his eyes as he watched his planet ruined. He let out a sigh as his hand weakly connected with the balcony's railing, his head lowering in defeat. Was Sierra dead? Was Jelena dead? Just when all hope was lost he heard the roar of an engine and looked up, spotting the unmistakable orange armor of El-Nay Darr. For once he was glad to see that obnoxiously painted suit of Mandalorian armor, but where was Sierra. It was only then that he saw her being towed behind, wrapped in a cable. "What?!" he asked in dismay, as his hands wrapped around the railing so tightly that his knuckles turned white with fear and anxiety.

"Hang on back there!" El-Nay said, as she approached the castle. She knew there was no easy way to do this, and grimaced beneath her helmet about what was going to happen. She attempted to come in as low as possible before pressing the button on her gauntlet to release the cable and drop Sierra and Kerrie unceremoniously onto the balcony. She closed her eyes, unable to watch what was going to happen, before delicately touching down herself. "We can talk about my fee later," she said to the Governor, before looking at Drusilla and all of those jewels. "...or now. We can totally talk about it now," she said, before moving to *help* with the treasure.

Sierra began to hyperventilate at the bottom of El-Nay's line. She tried not to look down, but down was all around her. It was the only way to reach the castle quickly. That didn't make it easy. She grabbed Kerrie so hard with one hand that it would make the way she clung to Claudius when she gave birth look like nothing. The young woman didn't think about how this was going to end until it was too late. El-Nay lingered over the balcony where Claudius "Ohnoohnoohnoohno..." She, too, closed her eyes. The cable released and down they went. Sierra landed on the balcony awkwardly with a whimper while Kerrie landed on top of her. "El-Nay..." She groaned. From the ground, her eyes met with her husband. Relief didn't begin to rush over her. There were still so many trials for them to conquer before they were off of the planet. Pushing Kerrie aside gently, Sierra rose. "You're safe." She said, entirely disregarding how she felt. She wrapped an arm around her husband as tightly as she could manage. "We have to leave.." She said to him with tears in her eyes. "If you want to get paid, El-Nay, escort the children to the Kwai shuttle on the landing pad!" She yelled at the woman in orange. "Take Kerrie with you!" She was leaning on Claudius for support without recognizing it. "Jelena is gone." She whimpered to him. "She left to be taken off the planet by the Rebel transports."

The children were safe. Sierra was safe. Claudius stood on the balcony take one last long look at *his* city, which he hated to abandon. "What has happened..." he said, as he began to lead Sierra towards the Kwai. He watched with relief as El-Nay and Kerrie got Drusilla and Ewwiekewwieikkie aboard the shuttle, but as they neared the ramp he realized there was someone they were forgetting. "Mother..." he said, to Sierra, before moving to push Sierra onto the shuttle. He turned, moving towards the balcony where his mother too was overlooking the destruction. "Mother ... we *have* to leave!" he shouted to her, as he moved nearer her. Her venerable, worn face flickered by the lights of the fire in the distance that were growing in intensity and proximity.

Livia Rodney watched in horror as the city of Leiliani burned. How many had fallen this day? The terror of the Empire was on full display. As she turned to look at her son the pain she felt was immeasurable. She looked at her bottle of wine and threw it to the ground, not wanting a drink at a time like this. She had been drunk far too long ... she would face this calamity sober. "I will not leave my home, my son," she said to him, stoically and stone faced. "Go now. Go to your family," she ordered him, speaking in the stern tone of a voice that only a mother could.

Claudius stopped dead in his tracks when his mother told him she was staying. In front of him was his past, but behind him was his future. "Goodbye, mother," he said, with tears in his eyes, before hearing the voice of Sierra and his family calling to him. He ran towards the Kwai to join his family, brushing past them to take a seat in the cockpit. "It's been a while," he said, but he trusted no one else to fly his family to safety. A moment later the Kwai blasted off the landing platform at Rodney Castle before moving to accelerate into the atmosphere. Ironically they entered into formation with the Umbra, the transport carrying Thaddeus Updike, Kaiya Crion, and the rest of the ShadowWhispers. The Imperial forces, too, were pulling out to join the Imperial Star Destroyer in orbit. Governor Papius Arundel and the rest of the garrison entered their shuttle too and the ragtag group of Imperial infighters now made a necessary formation to flee in the face of Rebel starfighters.

She weakly looked up at Claudius. What hadn't happened? In the span of hours, the planet had fallen away from their hands completely. She wished she could stop the suffering and save her family but that simply wasn't the way life was meant to be. There was only one choice, and that choice had been made as soon as the bombing started. She was shell-shocked as she walked beside her husband. As he mentioned Livia, Sierra cursed. "Mother..." They couldn't leave her behind. Sierra didn't have the strength to fight Claudius when he pushed her into the shuttle. She stood, weakly watching him leave. *No*. She wasn't going to lose him!

The environment in the shuttle grew stressed. Everyone was worried that Claudius might not return. Sierra, giving in to her injuries, was seated in the co-pilot's seat. She was forced to realize that she couldn't pilot them home. The best she could do was help man the ship's guns. Her fingers thumped on the arm rest. It was taking too long. No sooner had they begun to call him did he arrive without Livia. Sierra realized what this meant: Livia had decided to stay behind. She had no idea if they'd ever see the woman alive again. She wanted to cry and scream over the great loss. Instead, she held herself together. She reached across the cockpit and rested her hand on on his arm. Now, more than ever, they would need to come together to make it through what had happened. As they exited Delaya, she felt like she might never see that planet again. Another home was gone.

On the surface of the planet Livia Rodney watched as the shuttle got away safely, content that at least some of her family had survived this tragedy. She then turned to look down at all of the suffering that was going on, as tears flowed from her iconic violet eyes. She breathed in deeply that last taste of Delayan air before the smoke began to roll in. The castle was no longer safe from the polluted air the commoners had been forced to breath. Her eyes rolled upwards as she looked towards the heavens and the visible array of debris that was once Alderaan. "Oh I miss you, Julius," she said, before lifting herself over the railing and jumping off. She hurled herself into the void below the castle, her body disappearing into the darkness of the oblivion below. The Dowager Duchess of Delaya had gone to join her husband ... and her people.

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