Title: That Was What Mattered Author(s): @teamhansolo with an awesome Beta by @bango31 Timeframe: Original Trilogy time period, but the story takes place a couple years before ANH Characters: (ALL OC's) Shira Kett/Es (SL-4836), Lix (LX-4926), , Lieutenant Kamik, Admiral Reck, Genre: Friendship, Romace, Drama Notes: I actually wrote this story for English class last year, then kept adding stuff on, but was never really happy with it. The few parts I really liked were a confusing and I wasn't sure how to combine them, but a few days ago I got the idea to ask for a Beta, and with his help, My story is now actually readable. Ok guys, I hope you like it! A group of about twenty cadets stood at attention, their hopeful faces focused on the two highly-ranked officers before them. Cadet SL-4836, nicknamed Es by her friends, stood in the first row smiling expectantly. This was the day she had been waiting for—the day they had all been waiting for. The taller of the two officers, Admiral Reck, spoke first. “Cadets, today is a day of importance in the Imperial Academy. Several of you will be chosen to accompany Lieutenant Kamik,” he gestured to the woman beside him, “on your first mission. Your first chance to fight for the Empire.” He removed a small datapad from his uniform. “If you are called please step forward.” He then began reading the list of chosen cadets. “RK-4827, CF-0961, GL-1138, LX-4926, and SL-4836.” Es stepped forward, still wearing hear smiling proudly. Admiral Reck handed each of the four chosen cadets a datapad with the information they would need already downloaded on it, and after saluting the senior officers, the cadets dispersed. Afterwards, Es hurried over to her best friend, LX-4926, and congratulated him with a high-five. “It’s so cool that we were both chosen!” Es laughed. Lix, as she and the other cadets called him, didn't seem as enthusiastic as his friend. He ran a hand through his long hair, styled in his trademark gradient, starting with jet black at the top, and slowly making its way to silvery white at the tips. He leaned back against the wall and sighed. “Yeah, I definitely wasn't expecting it.” His reaction worried Es. Lix was known for being strange and thoughtful. He was an artist and a dreamer, and typically upbeat. It wasn't normal for him to be this moody unless something was bothering him. It seemed to Es something certainly was not right. “Hey, are you okay?” Lix wouldn't meet her eyes. “I guess I'm just nervous.” He shrugged, reluctant to admit weakness as usual. “And my leg has been bothering me…a little.” Lix had broken his leg the previous month in a speeder crash, and every so often he would complain of pain creeping back. Es put her hand on his shoulder to reassure him. “You'll be just fine.” He gave her a half-smile and a nod. “Yeah, Es. I hope.” *** You'll be just fine. Those words now haunted Es. She had believed every word at the time, but reality had a cruel way of proving her wrong. While escorting Lieutenant Kamik, Es and her team was attacked by a group of marauders close to their shuttle. The locals called them “resistance fighters,” but to Es, they were criminals and murderers. Outnumbered, the team had made a run for the shuttle. Lix’s leg failed him, and he tripped and fell behind the group. Es had stopped to go back, but Lieutenant Kamik ordered her back to the shuttle. She insisted the success of the mission was at stake. But to Es, Lix mattered more than the mission. Disobeying Kamik’s orders, Es fought her way back to Lix and managed to pull him to safety. She had saved her friend’s life and the mission was ultimately deemed a success. No praise or accolades awaited Es back at the Academy, though. Instead, a quartet of stormtroopers greeted her along with Admiral Reck, as she disembarked the shuttle, and she was placed under arrest. Two weeks later, she was found guilty of having disobeyed direct orders and was expelled from the Academy. All because she had saved a friend’s life. 12 Years Later On an uneventful night, on one of the thousands of forgotten levels of Coruscant, A young woman sat at the small desk in her apartment. She was in the middle of recording a message—well, another message, as this had become a weekly event—intended for the Rebel Alliance. Her name was Shira. Shira couldn’t remember when she started sending these messages, but she had long stopped caring about the risks that went with it. Too many people would benefit from these messages, most of whom she would never meet. She belonged to a group of deep-cover informants, all of whom used the same codename: Fulcrum. It still struck her as something a bit surreal, to think of herself as officially part of the Rebel Alliance. She had become a member of the organization which she had once hated, once blamed for practically everything wrong in the galaxy. But no more. That was her past, and she was proud to put it behind her. Proud that she now had her freedom, something that she had grown up without. Proud that she had sought to learn the truth about her parents, who they were, what they did, why they did it, and who they did it for. When she learned the answer to the last one, that they had done everything for her, she knew she only had choice. She would follow in their footsteps—she would fight back the Empire. She would help win freedom for the galaxy, and give so many what she never had for so long. *** Two months later, Shira had just completed her weekly transmission when she heard yelling at her apartment door. The words chilled her blood. “Open up in the name of the Galactic Empire!” At first, Shira froze. Then she remembered her training, and she ran. The Empire must have traced her transmissions, and if they didn’t already know her true identity, it would only be a matter of minutes before they did. Shira raced into her bedroom, frantically searching for her identicard that would tell the Imperials all they needed to know about her. She found it, grabbed her go-bag, and quietly slipped through the emergency exit in the back of the apartment. The exit door had barely sealed itself shut when she heard her front door explode as the Imperials made their entry. She could hear them yelling as they fanned out through the apartment. Shira made her way to the apartment building’s hangar bay as quickly and quietly as possible, running whenever she could but still trying to remain inconspicuous. She was nearly to the hangar bay’s entrance when a gloved hand grabbed her from behind and spun her around. “Stop right—” The stormtrooper’s head tilted to the side and he released his hold on her. Shira’s eyes were wide with panic, but they quickly gave way to confusion. Why wasn’t the trooper calling it in? After what felt like an eternity, the stormtrooper removed his helmet and revealed a face Shira knew all too well. “Lix?” *** “Es, what are you doing here?” Shira seemed to tense at the mention of her old cadet name but remained silent. “I’m not Es anymore, Lix.” “I don’t under…. What are you doing here Es?” Shira looked at him with eyes filled with what Lix could only describe as sadness. “I’m sorry Lix, I wish I could make you understand. I-I’m just not the same anymore. I belong to something greater than either of us.” Lix’s dyed-purple eyes widened in realization. Es was the Rebel he had been sent to find. His first impulse was to subdue her and report her capture. The promotion he had been wanting for years would certainly be his, and... He stopped himself. No. Es was his best friend. No war or force of nature would ever change that. She had once risked everything to save his life, and he would do the same. Lix looked over Es’ shoulder at the hangar bay door then back at her and nodded. She smiled gently and put her hands on his shoulders as she leaned in close and whispered in his ear. “I’m Shira.” She gave him a kiss on the cheek, and then she disappeared through the hangar bay door. Lix sighed deeply and put his helmet back on. His commander’s voice boomed through the internal comm a moment later. “LX-4926, why aren’t you answering? SITREP, now!” “LX-4926 here. Sorry sir, comms are taking a beating inside this building. All clear here.” He heard the roar of sublight engines and looked up to see Shira’s ship escape to safety. Lix smiled, sadly, and headed toward a nearby stairwell. “I'm going to search the next few levels down, I’ll check back shortly.” If his commander—or any Imperial—ever learned what he had just done, Lix would be arrested, tried, and executed for treason. But rather than worry, he felt a strange calmness. He knew he had done the right thing. The honorable thing. That was what mattered.