Title: One Last Job Authors: Anedon, Adalia-Durron Timeframe: Beyond-Legends Characters: Ethan Malek -52yrs, Amber Tehanis - 22yrs Summary: Seeking to return home after the battle of Endor Amber and Ethan are caught up in one last job, that might turn out much more dangerous than they could have guessed. This story is yet another collaboration between myself and @Adalia-Durron, featuring character from the Black Sheep RPG. Chapter One It was a cold and quiet morning, the greatest contrast to the loud and heated night behind them. The woodland of Endor was filled with fog and silence, even the animals where mostly quiet during these early hours. When he looked outside the small hut, he had spent the night at he saw a cold, grey sky. Seems that even killing the Emperor doesn't turn everything into sunshine and rainbows. Ethan thought as he continued shaving himself. This was it, he had fulfilled his promise, had done his duty. Flashes of the battle returned before his eyes; he wasn't sure if it was the worst of his life but it was definitely up there. It had been an insane gamble but it had payed of, against all odds. Even after the destruction of the Imperial Flagg-ship and the Death Star the imperials had outnumbered them, but then their fleet had broken apart as more and more ships had left, leaving the field, and the victory to the Rebellion. It had been during the celebration afterwards that Ethan had officially left the Black Sheep Squadron, making good on his promise to return to his homeworld. Now he was Ambassador Malek, representing the New Republic to the people of Eriadu, which sounded at least ten times flashier than it actually was. But as hollow as this title ultimately was it did reassure Ethan and gave him comfort; he wasn't leaving the Rebellion he was just going to serve it in a different way. The night had been truly magical filled with hopes, dreams and celebrations, while Ethan had felt more cautious, even sad in a way. They had won, but so many had died, so much damage had been caused by this war, so much would still be caused before the galaxy could truly heal. But the old soldiers had kept that to himself, not wanting to destroy the happiness of his friends and comrades. For a brief moment he turned away from his small mirror and looked at Alec. The young Corellian was still sleeping quietly, a weak smile on his face still filled with youthful idealism. An idealism that might have taken a hit if his mechanic had been alive and able to listen to the news report R7 quietly broadcasted. We have reports about riots and uprisings in the whole galaxy, from Coruscant to Naboo, but the empire is cracking down on them will full brutality reports speak of hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests, numbers that will only rise over the next few days... He had heard nothing about Eriadu yet, every com channel he had tried had been filled with chatter, but he knew information would get better the closer he came to his homeworld. Endor wasn't too far from Eriadu. Only a few days, maybe a week and he would be home again. His bag was packed, his ship ready and he hadn´t drunken a single sip of alcohol during the night. He was ready he knew, ready to leave. Ethan had long since debated with himself on how to go about this moment, his friends knew of his promise, it was probably better if he left now and spared all of them a tearful goodbye, best if he just ventured out into the cold morning like he had done so many years ago when he had left the imperial forces. Amber stood on a precipice gazing at the vast forest below as she tried to catch her breath. She'd woken before dawn and was now completing a run, the distance she didn't know, she'd just run till she'd reached her current destination. The planet was alive, she could feel it, so much life around her and her abilities seemed to buzz with the almost electricity of it all. Looking up to the sky she noted the clear sky, and smiled. The feeling of freedom was washing over the galaxy and for the first time since she'd joined the Rebellion, she could feel it, it was intense and seemed to be spreading over the galaxy. Her run she realised had taken her around the entire encampment, probably in a very large circle but she could see the thin tendrils of smoke rising from dying fires so turning she began to make her way back, thankfully it wasn't too far. Entering the camp she saw many pilots, techs, leaders and fighters all lay about in makeshift huts, under branches and curled in sleeping swags. The night before had been a massive celebration as the news of the destruction of the second Death Star and subsequent death of the Emperor had spread out to the galaxy at large. It may be days, weeks, before everyone knew, but last night everyone here knew, and they celebrated. Amber never drank, well not galactic alcohol, she preferred the Namana juice from her own home world of Bakura, it had a mild affect and tasted so much better, there was none around so there was no real recovery for her this morning. Picking through the sleeping forms she was intent on finding her wingman, Ethan. They'd been paired when she joined the Black Sheep and since that day, she'd built a trust and friendship she'd not had since her childhood. Her painful teen years had driven her to the Rebellion and Ethan had guided her through to the end, the end where she just needed to go home now. Go home, take control of her family estate and face her destiny. One she was excited to meet. Yesterday’s battle was fierce, powerful and passionate as they'd risked everything for this one victory. The joy had subsided as despite the win, it was going to take time to bring about change. The galaxy was scared, wounded and would take years to recover, she knew that but her immediate plans were clear. She wanted to find her friends, the Black Sheep, most of all Ethan. They'd not talked much last night and she wanted to know what his plans were now. She saw him in the distance, she smiled. He, like her, was up early and she'd noted he'd not drunk anything other than water the night before so it didn't surprise her, he was awake. Approaching the entrance to the hut where she'd seen him, she smiled as she looked down and saw his bag packed and his droid R7 broadcasting almost silent reports. She frowned. "Hey, you going somewhere?" she asked in a hushed voice so as not to wake the other asleep nearby. Amber frowned as she gazed at him. "Were you going..........to leave without saying goodbye?" She asked in a hiss, "I thought we were friends!" She was upset now. "We are," Ethan replied. "I just thought it might be better to spare all of us," his glance fell on the sleeping Alec for a moment, “a tearful goodbye." Amber snorted. "Selfish you mean." She folded her arms. Ethan lowered his gaze. "I know, but... maybe a part of me feared I wouldn't be able to go through with it if I said goodbye, that I would once again find a reason to stay just as I did a year ago." Amber gave her head a shake, her golden red pony tail bouncing as she did so. "I had no intention of stopping you Ethan, you know that. If anything, I was going to take you up on that offer to visit your home, but I guess that's off the table now." "Eriadu will become a warfront in a few days, weeks at most, might already be once we get there." Ethan explained. "I don't want to..." "get us in danger?" Alec said as he sat up in his sleeping bag, blinking the sleep from his eyes. "As if it was the first time we were put into a dangerous situation." Amber allowed half smile and shrugged. "What he said." Ethan raised his hands, "Okay, sorry for mistrusting your intentions then. You can come with me, if the commanders are okay with it." It would delay the goodbye, even if only for a few days." "Rebellion's over, I can go where ever I want when ever I want. I told Flagg I wasn’t hanging around after this." Amber said, "Try and stop me." "Not gonna try then," Ethan said. Then he gave Alec a glance but the young Corellian shook his head. "I'm not leaving just yet, I've come this far with the rebellion I want to see what happens next, when this war is over, I'll have more than enough time to visit you." Amber turned to Ethan, her arms still folded, and eyebrow raised. "So, when we leaving?" "Today, if that's okay with you," Ethan responded. "But first we should say goodbye to the others."