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Saga - OT Diving In Too Deep (Book 3 of Journey Into Darkness) Rebels AU

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Vialco, May 6, 2018.

  1. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Prologue

    High above the dusky-orange sphere that was Atollon, a small cluster of warships hung in orbit. At the center of the formation was a large, wedge-shaped vessel, the quartet of gaping hangar bays giving testament to it’s classification of a carrier. Surrounding the white-hulled carrier were a handful of swift A-Wing fighters that flitted about on sentry duty, patrolling the hyperspace entry and exit points around the planet.

    One of the fighters flew close to the main exit point before Atollon proper, the A-Wing’s huge Novaldex thrusters emanating a slow burn as it glided. Strapped into the cockpit seat, the pilot was a muscular man of less than average height. Clad in a green flightsuit complete with white helmet and grey gloves, the pilot’s name was Vairn. The sole survivor of the mysterious attack on the corvette Beldon three months ago, he had been transferred to starfighter duty until the Hammerhead corvette was fully repaired and ready to return to active duty.

    Swerving the A-Wing in a leisurely patrol circle, Vairn had a relaxed grip on the stick when his proximity alarms began to blare. Grabbing hold of the yoke with both hands, he scanned the sensors for the source and brought the fighter around to face in the direction of the impending arrival. A moment later, his sensor detected a very faint reversion in realspace. Almost as if a ship had exited hyperspace, but didn’t appear on any scanners.

    Looking out the transparisteel canopy, Vairn squinted at the void, searching for the phantom ship. A second later he though he saw something, A black silhouette of a ship, barely visible against the dark void of space, discernable only by the absence of stars visible where it hung in space. Even as Vairn tried to get a closer look at it, the ship’s engines fired and it shot past him in a flash.

    Reacting quickly, Vairn swung his A-Wing around and rocketed after the mystery ship, calling full power to his own engines. He could see the interloper now, it’s sleek black hull illuminated by the bright wash of it’s dual engines. With a start, he realized that the ship was in fact an A-Wing, identical to his own in model. The only difference was its jet-black paint scheme, a stark contrast to the blue and white colors of Vairn’s own fighter.

    As Vairn chased after the dark ship, he toggled his internal comm.

    “Phoenix Nest, this is Phoenix Seven. Unidentified ship heading your way. An A-Wing with a black paint job!”

    A female voice crackled over his cockpit speakers.

    “Copy Phoenix Seven. Continue your pursuit. The rest of Phoenix Squadron is being scrambled.”

    Vairn complied with the order, pushing his engines even harder, taking the huge Novaldex nacelles past their factory-recommended speed limits. A loud groan of protest came from the rear of his starfighter, but he ignored it. His fighter raced after the intruder, but to Vairn’s shock, it was racing far ahead of him.

    “That’s crazy!” he said to himself, “No A-Wing can go that fast!”

    But the black fighter was clearly no average A-Wing, and before Vairn could do anything more, the unidentified craft was zipping past Phoenix Nest and it’s four escort fighters.

    “We couldn’t stop it,” one of the other pilots said over the open comm net, “Better tell Chopper Base they’re about to get some company.”
     
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Yikes, what an ominous title! [face_nail_biting] And riveting action right off!
     
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  3. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Thank you. I'm sure you can guess who the mysterious pilot is....
     
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  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Ooh, it's continuing, it's continuing! [face_dancing] I take it that this means part two, "Intersection of Fates," is complete and that the series continues in this story. And what an intriguing start! I too am pretty sure I know who's in that black modified A-wing, though exactly what that person is up to is not yet clear. I recall Vairn from the story before this one; given what he experienced back then on the Beldon, I am a little worried for him now. Indeed, I'm a bit worried for all of Chopper Base... waiting with bated breath to see what will happen next! [face_nail_biting]

    Re: "about to get some company": I'm now imagining this well-known meme image with some Ghost crew members instead:

    [​IMG]

    But seriously, looking forward to more, and glad to see this series continuing!
     
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  5. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    I'm glad you remembered Vairn. I tried to use him again since he had a pretty scary experience last time. Chopper Base is indeed about to have company, and not the friendly kind.

    You'll all find out who the enigmatic pilot is in the next chapter here. I fully plan for this series to keep going. I've got an outline for it, I just need to find the time to write it all.

    Glad you liked the prologue and there should be more along shortly here.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
     
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  6. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Chapter One

    The black A-Wing shot through Atollon’ atmosphere at breakneck speeds, losing its pursuers with ease. Beneath his dark flight helmet, the pilot smiled briefly. The pilots of Phoenix Squadron were good, but their ships were no match for his heavily modified A-Wing. The stygian-prismatic polymer he’d used to coat the entire hull of the starfighter rendered it completely invisible to the naked eye and to all sensor scopes. If it hadn’t been for the glow of his engines, the patrolling craft wouldn’t even have been able to spot him.

    As it was, their factory-spec ships simply weren’t able to keep up with the numerous enhancements he’d made to the starfighter’s already formidable engines. Gunning the engine, the pilot dove the ship deeper into the Atollon atmosphere, heading for a location he knew all too well.

    Within a few minutes the towering coral mesa that housed Chopper Base came into view. Slowing his speed, the pilot brought his fighter down, heading for the wide landing field that housed Phoenix Squadron’s main warships and starfighters. Picking a landing spot in between an aged Hammerhead corvette and a more modern CR90, the pilot set his craft down easily and popped the canopy.

    Unstrapping his crash webbing, the pilot sprang out of the cockpit seat in an incredible leap that carried him a full two meters into the air above his fighter. Tucking his body into a ball, the pilot rolled forward in a pair of aerial somersaults that carried him over a patch of clear ground and came out in a vertical stance, landing lightly on his feet on the hard permacrete.

    Standing tall in a formfitting flightsuit that matched the A-Wing in color, the pilot’s hands hung at his side, making no move to reach for the blaster holstered at his side or the slim, black cylinder that hung from his utility belt.

    Rebel troopers were turning all over the landing field to stare at him, and the closest soldier drew his blaster pistol swiftly.

    “Freeze!” he shouted loudly, “Don’t move a fracking muscle!”

    The pilot did the exact opposite and shoved a black-gloved hand outwards at the trooper. Struck by an invisible force, the man was hurled a half-dozen meters backwards, arms flailing and landed hard on the solid permacrete.

    Attracted by the sight of their comrade’s defeat, more Rebel troopers hurried over from across the airfield. A full half-dozen rushed towards the masked figure, their tinted battle visors lowered, sleek blaster pistols gripped in their hands to point at the mysterious stranger.

    As they approached, the black-suited intruder thrust both of his hands outwards and made a sharp grasping motion. A chorus of surprised shouts and curses rang out from the charging troopers as all six blasters were torn violently from their hands and flew past the helmeted interloper to clatter uselessly on the deck behind him.

    Tensing their bodies warily, a few of the troopers raised their clenched fists, preparing to attack the interloper with their bare hands if necessary, while others hung back, wary of the masked stranger and his unnatural powers. A low sound emanated from beneath the pilot’s helmet that could have been a chuckle, and he raised his hands again. The soldiers stiffened in preparation, but nothing could have prepared them for what the masked man did next.

    Raising his hands again, the interloper pulled them close for a moment, clenching them into half-fists and then threw them out in a sudden and swift motion. If it had been an invisible gust that hit the first trooper, it was a gale that struck the disarmed infantrymen, blowing them across the hangar with a host of astonished shouts and screams. Some of the soldiers flew into free-standing ladders or starfighters, while others collided with supply crates or just crashed against the reinforced deck. None of them got up again.

    Giving the situation a single satisfied nod, the black-helmeted figure turned towards the squat structure that he knew housed Phoenix Squadron’s command center. Walking in long, brisk strides he headed for it with a swift, but unhurried pace. He was less than a dozen meters away when another group of soldiers came dashing out of the command center’s blast doors. Ten determined-looking Rebel troopers, toting their compact DH-17’s, accompanied by a petite, pale-haired woman armed with a pair of deadly-looking pistols and a hulking purple-furred Lasat bearing a long double-ended rifle.

    Beneath his helmet, the pilot grinned wryly.

    Coming to a halt a couple feet ahead, the troopers fanned out in an semi-circle formation, their guns all trained on the stranger. At the center of their formation stood the Lasat and his pale-haired companion.

    “Freeze it!” the Lasat growled, hefting his rifle.

    The pilot raised his hands slowly, keeping both palms open in a placating gesture. When the Rebels didn’t fire, he continued to reach up and grasped his helmet with two hands. In a smooth gesture, he lifted the concealing headgear off, to reveal a pale-skinned face that still bore the smoothness of youth marred only by a pair of scars on the right cheek. The young man’s blue-black hair was cropped short and his blue eyes shone with an electric intensity, affixed firmly on the pale-haired woman.

    “Hello, Sabine,” Ezra Bridger said, holding the helmet at his side with one hand.

    “It’s been a while.”
     
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  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wow, what a reunion, one whose nature I am sure Zeb and Sabine never anticipated. [face_thinking]
     
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  8. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Yeah, I'm pretty sure neither Zeb nor Sabine expected Ezra to pop up at Chopper Base and drop a dozen of their best troopers with a gesture. Why he's here is another question though...
     
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Well, my guess about the pilot's identity was right. ;) Though I too didn't think we would be seeing him back among his companions at Chopper Base quite so soon—it's clear that he's not just there to hobnob with old friends (!). From the way he dispatched all those Rebel troopers so quickly and mercilessly, I can tell that this Ezra is much farther down the dark path than the Ezra of Season 3 ever got—and that he is capable of some real ruthlessness. Though it’s something, at least, that he doesn’t exercise that ruthlessness on Zeb and Sabine. Hopefully that’s a good sign—I’ll keep my fingers crossed, anyway, though I’m kind of shaking in my boots at the same time! [face_nail_biting]
     
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  10. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Your guess was in fact correct! Yes, Ezra has certainly gotten much more ruthless and powerful. But you'll notice that he didn't actually kill any of them. Next chapter's up right now!
     
  11. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Chapter Two

    For a moment, a dead silence hung over the landing field.

    The Rebel troopers shifted uncomfortably, their blaster pistols still pointing at Ezra. Zeb’s purple face was contorted in a look of amazement. And on Sabine’s pale face was a look of mixed joy and shock.

    “Ezra?” she asked, her tone laden with disbelief. When the young man didn’t dissolve into vapour or collapse from a fatal wound, as he had so often in her dreams of late, Sabine leapt forward and flung her arms around him in a crushing embrace. She felt Ezra tense in surprise, his body going rigid for a moment. Then he relaxed, and brought his arms up to return her embrace, pulling her into a warm hug. For a long moment, Sabine hugged Ezra tightly, her arms holding him close, noting in surprise that Ezra’s lanky frame had adopted some muscle in his three-month absence.

    After another moment, Sabine released Ezra and her friend let her go. Taking a step back, she surveyed the younger human, taking in his jet-black outfit couldn’t hide his increased height and developed muscle. More than his physique had changed, with his jaw growing more defined, some of the childhood fat having vanished. His face had grown paler in his absence, throwing the two dark scars on the right side of his forehead into sharp relief. But the greatest change that Sabine could detect was in Ezra’s eyes. Once they had shone with a bright innocence and carefreeness that had been Ezra’s hallmark. There was no trace of levity in the boy’s eyes now, and they stared out at Sabine and her comrades with a cold, hard intensity.

    “I can’t believe you’re alive,” Sabine said, her voice filled with wonder and a bit of uneasiness.

    “Yeah,” Zeb added, “We thought for sure Maul was going to kill you as soon as we left that asteroid.”

    A flash of emotion crossed Ezra’s face at the mention of the Dark-Sider, but he didn’t say anything.

    Sabine raised an eyebrow at his silence, and looked at him closely.

    “Where have you been, Ezra? It’s been three whole months since you stayed behind with Maul.”

    “And why did you attack our troopers?” Zeb asked angrily.

    Ezra gave the Lasat a cold glare.

    “They pointed their guns at me,” he said flatly.

    “Because you came down without any notice and in an unidentified ship!” Zeb growled back.

    “Nice paint job by the way,” Sabine interjected, glancing at the jet-black A-Wing that was parked a dozen meters away.

    “A bit unimaginative,” she continued, throwing Ezra an amused smirk, “You know, there are other colors in the universe besides black.”

    An almost-smile appeared on Ezra’s face, his hard expression softening for a moment.

    “Yeah, stygian-prismatic polymer doesn’t really come in any other colors,” he replied, “But the stealth features definitely make up for it.”

    For the first time since his arrival, he grinned ever so slightly.

    “Your A-Wings could barely see me, let alone catch me.”

    “Is that really stygian polymer?” Sabine asked in, her voice awash with awe, “That stuff’s almost impossible to find!” She took a step towards the A-Wing, peering at the starfighter’s matte-black paint.

    “My master knows how to find the impossible,” Ezra replied with a hint of smugness in his voice.

    “In fact,” he added, turning his gaze back to an impatient-looking Zeb and the Rebel troopers, who had now lowered their sidearms.

    “That’s why I’m here. To talk to Hera and Commander Sato about helping them find something that’s hard to get.”

    Zeb glared at him and huffed angrily.

    “What makes you think they want to see you?”

    Ezra’s face grew angry as well, and he began to raise his right hand in the Lasat’s direction when Sabine quickly grabbed the limb and pushed it back down.

    “Hey, hey, there’s no need to fight,” she declared, “We’re all on the same side here.”

    “Oh yeah?” Zeb bit back.

    “Tell that to them, he said, gesticulating to the unconscious troopers scattered across the landing field.

    “They’ll be fine in a few hours,” Ezra replied with a hint of steel in his voice, “And next time they’ll think twice about pointing a blaster at me.”

    Zeb growled again and moved towards Ezra, his muscles rippling in anger.

    “Okay, okay, let’s all just calm down,” Sabine said hastily, stepping in between the human and the Lasat.

    She looked at Zeb, “Zeb, why don’t you and the troopers look after our injured. I’ll take Ezra to see Hera and Sato.”

    She gave the Lasat a very firm look, holding his gaze until he gave a grunt of assent.

    Stepping around Sabine, Zeb headed off towards the fallen troopers, throwing Ezra a dirty look as he did. The ten Rebel troopers paused for a moment, looking at Ezra cautiously. But Sabine waved them off reassuringly, and they turned to follow Zeb.

    Looking back at Ezra, Sabine gestured towards the bunker that housed the command center.

    “Come on Ezra, let’s go.”

    The young man nodded and stepped to Sabine’s side. Together the two of them exited the landing field and entered the command center. As they entered the main chamber, Sabine saw both Hera and Sato standing around the main holoprojector, a tactical representation of an Imperial Battle Fleet hovering in front of them.

    “Hera,” Sabine called out, “Look who’s come home!”

    The green-skinned Twi’lek turned quickly to face Sabine, her long lekku swaying behind her as she did. When she saw Ezra, her pale green eyes widened in surprise and joyful expression.

    “Ezra!” she cried out, dropping the datapad she’d been carrying and dashing over to the young man, her arms spread wide. This time, Ezra didn’t accept the hug, throwing up a hand, palm-first and Hera skidded to a stop, as if hitting an invisible wall. The Twi’lek captain stumbled backwards, her slender face contorted in surprise.

    “Hera….” Ezra ground out slowly, the words coming almost to painfully to Sabine’s ears.

    “Just don’t.”

    The Twi’lek stared at him in confusion, her eyes wavering with hurt.

    “Ezra, where have you been? What did Maul do to you?”

    Ezra shook his head once, a sharp and dismissive motion.

    “That’s not important,” he replied curtly, turning his cold gaze to Commander Sato. The greying officer had been studying Ezra with an inscrutable expression on his weathered face.

    “Commander, I’m here to offer you an opportunity.”

    Sato’s expression remained inscrutable, but his brown eyes hardened.

    “Lieutenant Commander Bridger,” he barked, “You abandoned your post three months ago. You embarked on an unauthorized mission to rescue Captain Syndulla and went off the grid completely, taking your A-Wing with you.”

    His voice was as cold as vardium steel and Sabine could see Ezra’s cool confidence waver just a fraction under the Commander’s biting tirade.

    “Are you now returning to active duty, Lieutenant Commander? Or are you here for something else?”

    Ezra met Sato’s unyielding stare without flinching and looked at him for a moment before speaking.

    “I’m not part of your squadron anymore, Commander,” he said evenly. Sabine couldn’t detect more than a hint of the anger he’d shown towards Zeb in his voice.

    “But,” he continued, forestalling Sato’s angry response, “I still have some information for you. Information I know you’ll find valuable.”

    Sato frowned, an expression of disapproval emblazoning itself on his face.

    “I’m listening,” he said, a grudging note in his voice.

    Ezra threw a glance at Hera, who was staring at the young man with a mixed look of sadness and resignation.

    “You were looking for proton bombs when I was still here,” he began, “Without me or Kanan to help you, I’m guessing you haven’t found any yet.”

    A flash of anger crossed Sato’s face at the implication that his men were helpless without the aid of Jedi. Sensing the start of another tirade, Sabine quickly spoke up.

    “No, Ezra,” she said, “We haven’t found any.”

    Ezra threw her a brief smile, thankful for her support.

    “My master and I have located a large supply of them,” he continued, “And I can lead you to them.”

    “Why does Maul want to help us?” Hera asked, a look of horror on her face at Ezra’s reference to Maul as his master.

    “Yeah,” Sabine added, turning a quizzical look on Ezra.

    “Last time we saw him, Maul nearly killed us all,” her voice grew heated at the memories of being completely overwhelmed by the Force-Wielder and his invisible power.

    “Now he suddenly wants to help us acquire weapons?”

    Ezra hesitated for a moment and Sabine almost expected him to rub the back of his head, as he usually did when he was nervous or abashed.

    “Maul has his own reasons for wanting the Empire to fall,” he said, albeit with diminished confidence.

    “As do we all,” he gestured at the occupants of the room.

    “Helping you acquire proton bombs will only make you stronger and lead to the destruction of the Empire’s factory on Lothal.”

    Sato looked pensive for a long moment, his brow furrowed in thought.

    “Where are these proton bombs?” Hera asked, her tone wary.

    “That’s the tricky part,” Ezra replied with a hint of his old humor. He gestured to the hologram pod in the center of the command center.

    “I can show you.”

    Sato looked at him for another moment, then gave him a nod of assent.

    Ezra strode to the circular pod and withdrew a slim datacard from one his flightsuit pockets. Inserting the card into one of the pod’s data ports, he stepped back and blue light shimmered around the projection cone. The tactical display of the five Star Destroyers vanished and was replaced by an image of an agrarian planet, mostly covered in green-brown continents with a few small oceans scattered in between.

    “The bombs I found were on the planet Agamar,” Ezra said.

    The image changed to that of a derelict warship, lying on a snowy field, near the edge of a yawning crevice. The ship resembled a wide sphere broken into two halves, with a short rectangle connecting the two. The lower half of both spheres was completely flattened, no doubt having been crumpled in the crash that had marooned the vessel.

    “That’s an old Trade Federation supply ship,” Sato remarked, his voice going distant with recollection.

    “That’s right,” Ezra confirmed, “This one was actually part of the Separatist Fleet, back in the Clone Wars. It crashed near the southern pole of Agamar during the battle there and was missed by the Imperial cleanup teams after the war ended.”

    He tapped a key on the pod and the image changed again to a hangar interior. The interior was crowded with catwalks, cargo pods and dozens of squat supply crates. The image hovered on one crate that was half-open, a row of long, slim grey cylinders visible within, a circle of red bezels visible at each of the cylinders.

    “The ship was carrying a full supply of proton bombs,” Ezra said with a note of smugness, “They’re still there, just waiting for you to take them.”

    Sato and Hera both drew closer, studying the hologram carefully.

    “How many proton bombs are in there?” Sato asked.

    “I counted at least a dozen crates,” Ezra said, “More than enough for you level the Imperial Factory on Lothal.”

    “Very well,” Sato replied, a note of satisfaction in his voice.

    “We’ll send a recon team to scout out the location and confirm your findings. If they turn out to be accurate, I’ll order a retrieval team to be prepared.”

    “Don’t bother,” Ezra rejoined smugly, pulling another datacard from a pocket and handing it to Sato.

    “I already did a full recon when I found it. All the details are in there.”

    Sato raised an eyebrow and accepted the datacard.

    “Impressive, Lieutenant Commander,” he allowed, “I will review this data with Captain Syndulla. Once we are convinced that it is genuine, we’ll prepare a team for you to lead to Agamar. In the meantime, you may remain on our base.”

    He raised a finger, “Just don’t attack any more of my people.”

    “Wait a minute,” Hera said in alarm, “Commander, he’s not part of our squadron anymore. We can’t let him lead our people anywhere.”

    Her voice rose in pitch, “Sir, this could all be a trap, set by Maul to destroy our entire group.”

    Sato shook his head, “We will have our best people review the data, Captain Syndulla. If there are any falsifications, we will detect them. But we need these proton bombs.”

    He turned to look at Ezra, “And I trust our young friend here. He has not failed us yet. And if he is the one that scouted this supply ship, he is the best person to lead us there.”

    The aged commander turned and headed out of the command center for one of the smaller analysis rooms that lay deeper within the structure. Hera hesitated and threw a single look at Ezra that mixed concern and regret, and then she too turned away and followed Sato out of the room.

    Ezra watched them leave, his gaze lingering on Hera’s retreating form until the durasteel blast doors sealed behind her. Loosing a single deep sigh, the young man bent down to retrieve his datacard from the projector. Once he had, he turned to Sabine, a hesitant look on his pale face, as if he wasn’t sure he should ask this at all.

    “Hey Sabine,” he began, his voice going low and losing all of the calm confidence he’d displayed moments before.

    The Mandalorian girl looked at her friend with open concern and stepped closer to him, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.

    “What is it, Ezra?”

    Ezra dropped his gaze to the featureless floor.

    “Has Kanan been back since I left?”

    Sabine sighed and shook her head.

    “I’m sorry, Ezra. Nobody’s seen him since he disappeared into the desert.”

    Ezra blew out his breath and raised his face to look at her.

    “It’s just…it’s been seven months, Sabine. You guys didn’t hear anything while I was gone? Not even a comm transmission?”

    “Nothing, Ezra,” she replied sadly, “Hera even convinced Sato to send a full search party into the desert for him after we got back from Maul’s asteroid. She was hoping he could help us find you and rescue you from Maul. They looked for three whole weeks and didn’t find a thing.”

    Something seemed to die inside Ezra then. The hint of human emotion vanished from his scarred face and he straightened up.

    “Thanks, Sabine,” he said in a flat tone, “If Sato and Hera need me, I’ll be at the top of the mesa.”

    Turning, he left the command center without another word, the heavy blast doors hissing shut behind him. Standing alone in the dimly-lit chamber, Sabine stared at the cold, grey metal and wondered when her family had broken apart so completely. And if she’d ever be able to put it back together.
     
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  12. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Followed the 'most recent update' to this, and found it to be a very well written, imagined, and paced piece.

    Very good interactions between the characters, and an altogether engrossing chapter.

    Well done.
     
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    You have Sabine excellently in character, and she is the perfect one to have as the POV -- =D= she is observant and caring. You can also sense strongly Zeb's sense of outrage and Hera's sadness and confusion.

    Ezra has glimpses of his former ADORBS! self, and it seems like Sabine is a bridge to that more than anyone else. [face_thinking]
     
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  14. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    A tense reunion—what was once a family has definitely become fractured, and I too am hoping it won’t be beyond repair. I can’t imagine what it feels like for Zeb and Sabine and Hera to see their once-beloved space!brother (and space!son) in this state, though you give us a good idea of their feelings in the different ways they each react to his return. On one hand, Ezra has become so much like Maul himself, with his “offer they can’t refuse” rhetoric. On the other, though, it almost seems like posturing of a sort—as if it’s less sincere when Ezra does that sort of thing than when Maul does, if that makes sense. Maybe that’s just my own wishful thinking, but when he talks separately with Sabine and asks about Kanan, one can tell that those old feelings of concern are still there. It does indeed seem to be up to Sabine at this point to take steps to heal her space!family’s brokenness; I wonder what those steps will be, but I am sure she’ll have wonderful support from Hera and Zeb along the way. (Hopefully Kanan, too, assuming he returns!)
     
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  15. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Thank you. I write the story as a single coherent work. The chapter division comes much later.

    The old Ezra is certainly in there, somewhere. But he's buried under all the pain and loss and changes. Whether anyone can reach past all that and pull him back out remains to be seen.

    The family is certainly fractured, possibly even broken. The Ghost crew's reaction is very much one of shock, as they genuinely thought Ezra was dead. They mourned for him after they left the Mandalorian Asteroid. That he isn't dead is a huge surprise for them. Ezra does indeed sound much like Maul. He has spent the last three months with him, so it's not too surprising. Ezra's wish for Kanan's return is very much like that of a child, wishing that their father will come back and save them from the trouble they're in. But part of growing up is realizing that your parents won't always be there to help you. Adults need to take responsibility for their own actions and clean up their own messes. That's one of the lessons that Ezra is slowly learning.

    Sabine is the one who sees everything here. In many ways, she is the key. The key to what is something yet to be seen.

    Thank you all for your kind words. Hopefully you'll like the next chapter just as much.
     
  16. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    The next chapter isn't up quite yet, but I just wanted to say that I've finished writing the book after this one. Gotta keep ahead of those self-imposed writing deadlines!
     
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  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= =D= YAY! Needless to say, I'm on the edge of my seat for how this book ends and the overall story arc for Ezra and the rest. [face_love]
     
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  18. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Thanks! Suffice to say, I've finished planning out the basic outlines of Ezra's story for this entire series. Some of the details are subject to change but I've got the plan for the rest of the tale written out here. Just got to write the next 9 parts or so after this one. Ezra's story will definitely be taking some twists and turns but I'm trying to keep true to the character Dave Filoni created, just with a few twists and changes. Such as having the boy mature into an adult by having certain elements in his life change. That, I felt, was the one true failing on the part of Rebels. They never had Ezra grow up until the very end of the show, depriving us of seeing many tales of a mature teenage Force-user. Like we got in Legacy of the Force with Ben Skywalker.
     
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  19. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Well, I've had a very quick week. So here's the next chapter. Enjoy!
     
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  20. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Chapter Three


    The Chopper Base command chamber was packed full of Rebel personnel, a complete reversal from the previous meeting held there mere hours ago. At the center of the room by the holo-pod were Sato and Hera, the former looking serious but with a touch of optimism on his fair features. Ezra stood to the far side of the holo-pod, just far enough to make it clear to all assembled that he wasn’t a part of their group any longer. Still clad in his dark garments, the young man was the subject of numerous perturbed glares from the Rebel troopers that were lined up against the walls of the room.


    Ezra wasn’t sure if Sato was trying to intimidate him with the dozen armed men, or if he wanted to make sure Ezra behaved himself. Either way, he felt little concern over their presence in the room. He’d given the Rebels an irresistible prize. Sato was a smart enough leader not to forgo that over a few injured troopers and some broken pride. Still, he couldn’t help but reach his right hand down to brush against the black hilt of his lightsaber, drawing some reassurance from the weapon’s physical presence on his belt.


    Sabine noticed his subtle gesture from where she stood beside him and bumped her shoulder against his lightly. Ezra allowed himself a brief grin at this. Unlike Zeb who was still glaring at him from his position against the far wall or Hera who refused to even look at him, Sabine hadn’t shown any fear or anger towards him. That one of his friends still had faith in him warmed Ezra’s heart in a way that only Kanan’s return could have matched.


    Sato began speaking and Ezra turned his gaze to the greying commander, listening carefully.


    “Lieutenant Commander Bridger has brought us some valuable intelligence that will be key in achieving our primary objective,” Sato said.


    He touched a key on the holo-pod and the image of the crashed Separatist supply ship appeared in ghostly blue highlights.


    “This derelict vessel contains several crates of proton bombs,” Sato went on, “Commander Bridger has brought us verified data on this ship’s location and condition, and I have decided to proceed with his intelligence. A retrieval team has been assembled, consisting of Commander Bridger, Captain Rex and Captain Orrelios. Several of the troopers arrayed against the walls looked confused and Sato held up his hand to forestall their questions.


    “Some of you may be wondering why you have been called to this briefing for a mission you will not be a part of.”


    He paused for a moment, letting the question resonate for all those present.


    “You are all here to see this,” he gestured at the hologram, “And to understand that there are to be no hard feelings towards Commander Bridger for his actions on the landing field today.”


    A few of the troopers grumbled amongst themselves and Zeb slammed a large purple fist against the durasteel wall behind him.


    Sato turned a stern look on them and continued, his voice filled with the steel of command.


    “That is an order, Phoenix Squadron!”


    He swept his gaze along the line of troopers, looking each one of them in the eyes.


    “With Kanan Jarrus’s departure, Commander Bridger is the only Jedi we have left. He is an extremely valuable asset and we will not be turning him away. There are to be no attempts at retaliation or revenge against him.”


    When none of the troopers replied, Sato frowned.


    “Is that clear?” he barked, putting more than a touch of command authority into his voice.


    Reflexively, the troopers all came to attention and saluted.


    “Clear, sir!” they replied as one.


    Zeb remained slouching against the wall, his vivid green eyes drifting from Ezra to Sato. For a moment, he regarded the Commander with annoyance, then he gave a small, grudging nod. Sato seemed to accept this acquiescence and turned back to the holo-pod.


    “The retrieval team will take the Phantom to Agamar,” Hera said, taking over the operational details of the briefing.



    “Captain Rex will pilot and be in overall command of the mission,” she continued, her pale green eyes staring at the grizzled old soldier.


    Ezra raised an eyebrow at Hera’s pronouncement, but didn’t contest it. He’d meant it when he told Sato that he wasn’t part of Phoenix Squadron anymore. Beside him Sabine stirred, stepping forward.


    “Hera, I want to be on this mission,” she said in brashly, “I’m a better pilot than Rex and I studied old Separatist combat tactics when I was at the Imperial Academy.”


    Hera gave the Mandalorian girl a searching look, then nodded wearily.


    “Go ahead then, Sabine. You’ll pilot, but Rex will still be in command.”


    Behind her, the bearded captain gave a grunt of assent and pushed off the wall, striding towards Ezra and Sabine. After a moment, Zeb left his repose and joined them, his fierce green eyes glaring at Ezra again. The young man met Zeb’s stare with an equally fierce one, not backing down an inch.


    As he locked gazes with Zeb, Ezra heard Sato dismissing the rest of the squadron. As the others filed out of the room, Hera approached them, still wearing that grave expression on her face.


    “Sabine, the Phantom’s all fuelled up and Chopper’s already aboard.”


    Sabine nodded once, “Okay everyone, let’s get going.”


    “You go ahead,” Ezra put in, “I’ll be taking my ship to Agamar. I’ll meet you at the crash site.”


    Hera frowned, her smooth features twisting with discomfort.


    “Ezra, I wanted to talk to you about that,” she said with a hint of apprehension.


    “We need all of the operational starfighters we can get. For the good of Phoenix Squadron, I need to take that A-Wing back from you.”


    Ezra felt a sudden burst of hot anger rise in his stomach and he stood up straight. He had spent months modifying and tweaking out that fighter. It was his, more than anything else in the galaxy was.


    “No way,” he growled, glaring at Hera.


    “That ship is mine.”


    Zeb tensed beside Hera and took a step forward bringing his face closer to Ezra’s.


    “It’s the squadron’s ship, kid.”


    Ezra clenched a black-gloved fist and stared back unflinchingly.


    “It’s my ship,” he retorted, his voice going very cold.


    “And if you want it,” he continued, “You can try and take it.”


    His hand dropped to his lightsaber and a look of fear crossed Hera’s smooth face and she took an involuntary step backwards.


    A sudden pang of regret stabbed through Ezra’s heart at that sight and a cold chill crept into his stomach, chasing away his anger in an instant.


    “Fine,” Hera said in a distant, frigid tone, “Keep the ship.”


    Her eyes went hard and all emotion departed from them.


    “Sabine, you and the team get going.”


    Without another word, the Twi’lek turned and strode away, her brisk strides taking her out of the command center in seconds. Ezra watched her go, regret and remorse for his outburst welling up in his heart. His blue eyes grew misty for a moment and the rigidity bled out of his posture.


    “Ezra,” Sabine said, touching his arm a bit forcefully. He turned to face her, blinking the moisture out of his eyes quickly.


    “Let’s get going,” she said, giving him a quizzical look.


    Nodding sharply, Ezra turned and followed her and the others out of the briefing room, his cool confidence back on display.
     
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  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb reactions from Zeb, very much in character. :zeb: And Ezra's moment of regret and remorse, very promising! But :( Hera's cold dismissal and frigid demeanor and fearful reaction speaks to the changed state of things with the two of them. She doesn't feel like she's his "space mom" anymore. =D=

    The mention of Kanan's return being a welcome and wanted thing for Ezra clues me in that that could undo a lot of the damage, reverse quite a bit, even if it takes a while to do. [face_thinking]
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
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  22. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    In a way, the title “Diving In Too Deep” could apply to Sato in this chapter, too, with his vocal insistence that the members of Phoenix Squadron have no hard feelings toward Ezra. That’s an awful lot to ask of them given what happened earlier on: suddenly they’re just supposed to unquestionably support someone who coldbloodedly shot several of their number with very little provocation. I don't completely blame either Zeb or Hera for their reactions. I could see the way Sato plays the "Jedi card" compounding that a bit—rubbing it in, in a way. (Though I also could see where that might ultimately stem from Ezra himself—maybe manipulating Sato into playing that card is part of his and/or Maul's plan.) Like the other Spectres/Phoenixes, I'm a bit wary of this scenario of Ezra traveling separately to Agamar in this souped-up A-wing of his; he's clearly got something up his sleeve. But I do applaud Sabine's initiative in asking to join the mission; I don't think it's just because she thinks she can do the piloting better, and perhaps Hera has an inkling of that too. As I've said before, if anyone can repair the breach in this space!family, it does seem to be her. May the Force be with everyone on this mission!
     
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  23. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Ezra's desire to have Kanan back is a vestige of that belief that all children have that a guardian figure will come back to save them. But adults realize that there are no such things as guardian angels. That's the lesson Ezra is going to learn. As for Hera I always got the sense from her in Rebels that she was torn between her affection for Ezra and Kanan and her duty to the Rebellion. In Season Four of Rebels, Hera made the choice that she loved Kanan first and foremost, but it was too late for her. At this stage in her life, Hera has lost Kanan and believed Ezra to be dead. Without those two pivotal figures in her life, she's fallen back on her first love. Her cause. Ezra's new behaviour and powers also frighten her a bit. She really isn't going to be his maternal figure for a while here. Perhaps if Kanan was still around, things would be different....

    Glad you liked the chapter!

    Sato isn't corrupt per se, more just ruthless. He's a canny old commander who knows he's up against a superior foe and needs every edge he can get. He was impressed by Ezra's acquisition of the bombers earlier, and the fact is, he didn't kill any of Sato's soldiers. If you re-read Chapter One, you'll notice that Ezra only knocked them out. He didn't kill anyone. If he had, Sato would probably have had a different reaction. I'm glad you picked up on the fact that Hera and Zeb's reactions are pretty reasonable. Ezra is acting darkly in this story. Sabine is the key to much in this story. She still sees her friend in the dark young man that's returned from the depths of darkness.

    Your observation about Ezra being up to something is spot on. He definitely has his own agenda here. The squabble over the A-wing is Ezra just being possessive, though. He's come to think of that ship as his own. Greed isn't the Jedi way.....

    Glad you liked the chapter!
     
  24. Vialco

    Vialco Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Chapter Four


    The Separatist supply ship rested on the snowy Agamarian cliff, it’s exterior pitted and rusted with a decade and a half of age and exposure. Climbing out of his black A-Wing, Ezra made an easy leap from the starfighter’s dorsal hull to the ground beside the Phantom. The yellow-and-white shuttle’s ramp descended and Zeb stomped down, his bo-rifle slung over his broad back.


    Rex followed him down, clad in his battered Phase 1 clone armour, twin DC-17 blaster pistols tucked snugly into their holsters. His helmet was held at his side leaving his tanned and bearded face visible. His brown eyes narrowed on the looming mass of the supply ship and a scowl crossed his face.


    “I never thought I’d see one of these things again,” Rex muttered as much to himself as to Ezra and Zeb. The grizzled war veteran took a few steps towards the ship, his eyes going distant as he relived old memories. Ezra almost raised his voice to warn Rex, then thought better of it. He was best waiting until Sabine joined them to share the key mission detail he had withheld from the Rebels.


    The Mandalorian girl descended the ramp a few moments later, clad in her customary Mandalorian armour. Metal plates gleamed brightly in the Agamarian sunlight, pink and orange contrasting with the black undersuit that was visible between them. Her sleek WESTAR-35 blaster pistols were sheathed in their nerf-hide holsters at her hips.


    Stepping onto the frozen ground, Sabine turned her helmeted head in Ezra’s direction.


    “Well, Ezra? This is your party.”


    Ezra hid a smile and turned to face Rex and Zeb.


    “Okay, listen up,” he said, “The proton bombs are in the port-side hangar off to the far side of the cliff.”


    “Right,” Rex acknowledge with a nod, “I’ve been inside these things before, so I’ll take point.”


    He turned towards the indicated hangar where a large jagged hole was visible in the exterior hull.


    “We’ll make for that entrance,” he ordered, “There won’t be any resistance, so it’s a simple find-and-grab.”


    The three Rebels began to move towards the hangar with Ezra hanging behind, a pensive look on his pale features. They passed through the gaping rent and entered the port hangar, a dank and musty smell immediately filling Ezra’s nostrils. The chamber was vast, with a high vaulted ceiling that was laden with slender catwalks. Most of the overhead lights had burned out long ago, leaving the great room in a permanent dimness. Dozens of large cargo containers were scattered across the wide floor, some stacked as many as six high.


    “Well,” Rex said grimly, “At least there are no battle droids here.” His voice was muffled slightly by his battle-scarred helmet that he had donned upon entering the hangar.


    “Those things can be a serious pain, trust me.”


    Ezra grimaced internally. Then, gathering the courage and steel resolve he’d developed over the last three months he spoke up.


    “Actually, it’s funny you should say that,” he said in the best casual tone he could muster, “There was one thing I forgot to mention. The battle droids on this ship are still active.”


    Three heads snapped around in an instant and stared at him in disbelief. Zeb was the only face Ezra could see, but he could feel the sudden shock and anger in Sabine and Rex’s Force auras.


    “There are battle droids here?” Rex asked in a furious tone.


    “Yes,” Ezra replied calmly, refusing to even sound apologetic.


    “How many?” Sabine asked coolly.


    “Never mind that!” Zeb bellowed, his green eyes glaring at Ezra in rage.


    “When were you planning to tell us this?”


    Ezra met his gaze evenly.


    “Just now,” he said, “Once you were inside the ship and already committed to the mission.”


    The Lasat’s jaw dropped at his companion’s sheer audacity. Rex pulled off his helmet and stared coldly at Ezra with his dark brown eyes.


    “You deliberately withheld information from us?” he asked incredulously.


    “Information that was key to the mission’s planning?”


    “Yes,” Ezra said simply.


    When Rex’s expression grew angry, Ezra felt the need to explain his actions as he had not with Zeb.


    “Phoenix Squadron is too conservative,” he insisted, “Hera and Sato aren’t willing to take risks. To do what needs to be done to achieve victory. I’m helping you, whether you know it or not.”


    “Ezra,” Sabine said, her tone containing more than a bit of pain in it, “We trusted you.”


    A note of sadness entered her voice, “I trusted you. And now you’ve led us into an ambush?”


    “It’s not an ambush,” Ezra scoffed, “I can handle a bunch of outdated battle droids. How you think I got the recon data on my first visit?”


    He looked at Rex and Zeb, “But I knew that Rebel Command wouldn’t be willing to send a team if they knew there were still battle droids here.”


    Rex took a deep breath and then let it out, some of the anger fading from his expression.


    “How many?” he asked in a calmer tone.


    Ezra shrugged, “A couple hundred, give or take. I didn’t get a chance to do a full count. They’re mostly B1’s and a handful of destroyer droids.”


    Rex paled at the mention of the latter, “Those things are trouble,” he said warily.


    Ezra shook his head, “I’ve studied up on them,” he replied, “I know how to beat them.”


    That was one thing Maul had drilled into Ezra again and again. Always be prepared and always know your enemy.


    The three Rebels exchanged looks, Sabine keeping her helmet on. After a few moments of whispered discussion, they all turned back to Ezra.


    “Okay, Ezra,” Rex said with a hint of menace in his voice, “We’re going to go forward with this mission.”


    “But when we get back to base,” Zeb added, “We’re going to have a long talk about your constant lies.”


    Ezra ignored the veiled threat. He didn’t fear any of his former friends. That was another thing Maul had burned out of him with his brutal training methods. Fear was a weakness.


    Turning towards the depths of the hangar, Ezra indicated a tall pyramid of stacked crates.


    “The proton bombs are in there,” he said matter-of-factly.


    Zeb scowled and huffed angrily, turning towards the distant corner. After a moment, Rex and Sabine followed him, with Ezra bringing up the rear.


    “It’s too quiet,” Rex muttered under his breath, “This is a Sep ship. There should be clankers all over the place.”


    Abruptly the aged Captain spun on his heel and faced Ezra, eyes narrowing in suspicion.


    “Where are the droids? Normally they’d be on us by now!”


    Ezra shrugged his shoulders in feigned ignorance.


    “They’re around here somewhere,” he replied nonchalantly.


    Rex’s face grew red with anger and he took another step towards Ezra when a loud creaking sound filled the hangar.


    Rex spun back around to face the direction of the noise and Ezra turned his gaze to it as well.


    Fifteen meters away from the crates of proton bombs, a grimy and tarnished set of blast doors had just slid open, the dusty durasteel slabs creaking and groaning. As they finished gliding open, the creaking sound ceased and a new sound began to echo into the hangar.


    A faint, metallic clanking.


    A lot of faint metallic clanking.


    Rex’s flushed face turned as white as a bonzami’s fur and his age-spotted hands dropped to his holstered pistols.


    “I’d know that sound anywhere,” he muttered to himself. Then he raised his voice quickly.


    “Sabine, Zeb! We’ve got company coming!”


    The Lasat and Mandalorian turned away from the crate they were struggling to wrench open.


    “Battle droids, incoming!” Rex shouted.


    Sabine and Zeb quickly drew their weapons and as they did the clanking grew steadily louder. A second later a handful of skeletal figures entered the hangar. Sporting spindly arms and legs attached to a boxy torso, the droids looked almost comical. Almost.


    Ducking behind a dusty crate with Rex, Ezra peered above the rim of the box, carefully surveying the number of enemies he faced. Seven of them entered the hangar, their elongated heads swiveling around, gazing around the hangar for the intruders they had presumably been sent to find. Each of the droids gripped a black blaster rifle in their flat rectangular hands.


    The droid squad began to fan out into the immediate vicinity, their small black photoreceptors shining brightly in the dim light of the deserted hangar.


    “Fan out,” one of the droids said in a nasal voice. Ezra noticed he had yellow markings splashed on his squat torso.


    “Find the intruders,” the droid commander continued, “Eliminate all targets!”


    Taking that as his cue, Ezra called his buried anger to the surface. Letting his hot rage bubble to the surface, he reached into the Force, calling the great energy to him and allowing it to suffuse his every cell with power. Bending his legs and summoning a burst of Force energy, Ezra leapt out from behind the crate in a high jump. At the apex of his leap, he snatched his lightsaber off his belt with one hand, igniting the emerald blade with a snap-hiss.


    The seven droids turned their curved heads towards him, drawn by the sound of the activating weapon. Gripping his weapon in both hands, Ezra came down from his jump directly on top of the closest battle droid and cleaved the machine in two even pieces in a single mighty stroke. Even as the glowing metal scrap hit the floor, Ezra was on his feet, lightsaber held at guard.


    “Jedi!” the commander barked in a tinny voice.


    “Blast him!”


    The six remaining droids opened fire at Ezra and the young man moved with preternatural speed, using the Force energy suffusing his body to supercharge his muscles. Dashing forward in a blur, Ezra dodged the oncoming blasterfire with ease and leapt into the air again, twisting his entire body in a mid-air barrel-roll that propelled him forward. Landing beside a droid, Ezra came up slashing as the droid was bringing its blaster to bear and bisected the droid through it’s boxy metal torso.


    To their credit the five surviving droids spun swiftly and opened fire on Ezra. Instead of leaping away, Ezra brought his blade up in a two-handed grip and twirled the glowing verdant sword in an incredibly fast deflection pattern. Scarlet blaster bolts flew towards him and reflected off green plasma to ricochet against nearby crates or fly into the distant ceiling.


    After deflecting the initial volley, Ezra focused his parries and sent a flurry of blaster bolts flying back at two of the droids, dropping them to the dusty deck with glowing burn holes in their tan metal bodies. Spinning his lightsaber in a swift Soresu kata, Ezra freed one hand and, summoning all the Force energy he could, thrust his palm outward in a powerful Force push. The three remaining droids hurtled backwards as if caught in a starship’s engine backwash. Crashing to the deck with a loud clatter, the skinny droids broke apart into dozens of useless components.


    Glancing furtively around the hangar, Ezra spied no additional droids. Giving his lightsaber a few cautionary sweeps, he deactivated the weapon, the emerald blade vanishing into the black hilt.


    From behind their cover, Zeb and Sabine rose slowly, awe visible on their faces. From behind Ezra came a series of footsteps and he turned to face Rex.


    “Not bad,” the grizzled veteran said appreciatively.


    “You’re no Skywalker, but not bad kid.”


    Ezra resisted the urge to Force-hurl the old man into the nearest crate.


    “Come on,” he said, gesturing to the open blast doors.


    “The droids will keep coming unless we get to the bridge and shut them down from the main control computer.”


    “Hold on,” Zeb shouted in alarm, “The plan wasn’t to take on a ship full of battle droids. We’re just here for the proton bombs.”


    “Zeb’s right, Ezra.” Sabine added, “You and Rex cover us while we get the crates onto a repulsorsled and get them out to the Phantom.”


    Ezra gave the Mandalorian girl a patient look.


    “The droids will come in stronger and stronger waves,” he replied, putting as much calm and reason into his voice as he could.


    “If we don’t head for the bridge and shut them down, they’ll overwhelm us.”


    “Ezra’s right,” Rex interjected, “I’ve fought these clankers a hundred times and the one thing they always have on their side is numbers. We can’t take them all in a head-one fight.”


    Zeb and Sabine exchanged a furtive look, and then the Lasat let out an loud sigh.


    “Fine,” Zeb snarled, throwing Ezra an angry glare, “Let’s just get this done.”


    Ezra didn’t bother returning Zeb’s look and instead dashed through the doors. Not looking back, he heard the others following him, their boots thumping on the dusty metal decks. The young man raced through two more open blast doors before coming to a sealed portal which seemed smaller than the rest. He studied it for a moment before seeing a control panel on the left-hand side.


    Moving towards it, he pulled a compact slicing tool from his utility belt, Ezra was about to slice into the door controls when he heard light footsteps behind him again. Not bothering to turn around, he inserted the electropick into the data slot, then spoke.


    “Hey Sabine, where are Rex and Zeb?”


    The Mandalorian girl’s voice contained more than a hint of annoyance.


    “They’re catching up, Ezra. Not all of us can run like a Jedi, you know.”


    Ezra resisted the urge to roll his eyes and began to bypass the door locks when the aged metal hatch suddenly slid open with a loud creak. He drew back in surprise and then turned to face Sabine. The Mandalorian had her helmet on but Ezra could hear the smirk in her voice.


    “I had Chopper slice into the main computer. He’s opening the way for us.”


    Ezra had to smile at that and then gestured at the open door.


    “Let’s get going.”


    Sabine shook her head and jerked a thumb at the hallway behind them, “Not yet, Ezra.”


    The young man heard the sound of more footsteps and Sabine continued.


    “We’re a team, Ezra. You may have been working on your own for the last three months, but you’re not alone anymore. Stop acting like you are.”


    Ezra paused at that last statement and his gaze grew distant, as if lost in a memory.


    Rex and Zeb charged onto the scene a moment later, the former breathing hard.


    “Well,” Sabine said, a smirk still in her voice, “Now that we’re all here, let’s proceed. Together.”


    Ezra’s gaze remained distant and he said nothing in response.
     
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  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Ahhh, I love that Sabine mentioned that Ezra is part of the team, not working on his own and that was a great and necessary strategy: disabling the master controller for the droids -- otherwise :eek: Very curious as to how the recovery of the bombs works out and especially what occurs once it comes time for Ezra to part company again from Sabine, Zeb, and Hera. @};-
     
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