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.
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
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
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.
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...
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.
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?!"
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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...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
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!
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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*!"
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.
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.
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
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.
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!"
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.
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.
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
"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
"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.
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 was...safe.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.