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Saga Saga - OT Under Twelve Parsecs | Kessel Run Challenge

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, Jan 16, 2022.

  1. rktho

    rktho Jedi Knight star 2

    Apr 29, 2020
    This is the most beautiful Kanan death fic I have ever read.
  2. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Wow! I love this—and I’m so glad you decided to take the Kanan angle after all, as bittersweet as it is! In just a few short, beautiful words you managed to sum up Kanan’s entire relationship with the Force, his whole life long from padawanship to drifterism to Spectrehood, and then some. It really and truly has been with him every step of the way, even (especially) when he didn’t know it or even outright refused to know it. And most importantly, you show us that it was in the connections Kanan made that the Force really shone through—his Spectre family, his beloved Hera, his student and son-figure Ezra—and that, in a way, his death (as rough as it was to watch and think about) was the last and biggest connection of them all. So perhaps when I find myself asking myself “what even was the point of Kanan’s death”—which I have been known to do :p —I can come back to this story as the answer, because you really did give it a point in a way I haven’t seen before. Bravissima on a superb piece and yet another prompt knocked out of the park! =D=
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2022
  3. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Force Ghost star 7

    Oct 3, 2016
    Now, he walks and is One with the Light. Jedi Knight I think was one of my all time favorites of Rebels, overall. Diehard Thrawn and Imperial fangirl that I am, how Filoni told the story was well done. Thank you for writing this.
  4. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it :)
    Thank you! I think this challenge to write from the Force’s POV has inspired a lot of really intriguing stories. It was a little tough for me to wrap my head around at first. I wasn’t sure how to do a story about Kanan’s death without turning it into a totally angsty mess until it hit me that the Force was with him through every step of his journey, even in the ordinary moments of his life.
    *blush* Thank you so much [:D] (I had no idea that “Kanan death fic” was a genre, but it doesn’t actually surprise me.)
    Thank you very much for this lovely comment. Kanan’s death was the first idea I had for this piece, but, as I mentioned, it was hard for me to figure how to do a story about it without wallowing in the tragic elements. I think that it all came together when I realized it wasn’t just about the Force being present at Kanan’s death but rather in his life. And you summed it up beautifully—the Force manifests in the connections that Kanan makes and his death is transition that, in a way, completes his connection to the Force. Thanks, as always, for your encouragement!
    Thank you. “Jedi Night” was incredibly hard for me to watch, even though it was dramatically appropriate. Kanan’s character arc was so well done that I actually mourned his death. He shows that a Jedi can still be selfless even when they have attachments. (Thrawn is a great character too, but my heart is always with the Rebels;) )
    Findswoman and Nehru_Amidala like this.
  5. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Week 5
    : Dear Father
    Characters: Kazuda Xiono, Senator Hamato Xiono
    Time frame: 34 ABY
    Synopsis: Kaz writes a letter to his father, Senator Hamato Xiono, after leaving the New Republic Defense Fleet to become a Resistance spy.

    Notes: This story is canon compliant, so the Kaz who appears here is just a bit different from my AU Kaz who is involved with Wren.

    Kaz’s relationship with his father is one of the story threads from Resistance that I wish had gotten some resolution, but unfortunately the show was canceled after 2 seasons. I always felt that Hamato unfairly underestimated Kaz, who speaks of never really having a choice about what he did in life. I played a little bit with those ideas here.


    Dear Father,

    By now you’ve probably heard that I left the New Republic Defense Fleet after my last mission without being cleared for leave. But it’s not what you’re thinking. I didn’t just run off; I would never do that to our family or to the Republic. I joined the Resistance. I know you probably don’t think that’s a lot better, that the Resistance is nothing but a bunch of extremists, but this is something I need to do. I tried to explain that when I commed the other day, but things didn’t work out. I guess you were too busy with your Senate duties and weren’t in the mood for conversation.

    I know you’ve always had things all planned out for me. I was supposed to go to the Academy and finish with honors, join the Defense Fleet and build a career in politics off my military service just like you did. I did my best to live up to your expectations even though I’d always dreamed of racing on the Sabers circuit, and I tried my hardest to become the best pilot I could be. I know I messed up a lot, but I learned a lot, too, and I’m proud to serve the New Republic.

    You taught us that the Republic exists to protect its member worlds, even the ones that are way out on the Outer Rim, and make sure their citizens can live free and prosperous lives. That’s why I have to do this. I hear on the holonews every day about the First Order annexing some new world on the edges of the Republic. I hear the rumors about how they’re building up their military in secret against all the agreements they have with us, how they’re drafting everyone on the worlds they take over without exception—and what happens to those who object. I know you think the Senate can negotiate with them, but I don’t know. The things I hear from the pilots who’ve come back from the Rim are pretty bad. What if it’s already too late for negotiations?

    I don’t believe that someone like General Organa would have joined the Resistance if they were only a bunch of crazy extremists, and I don’t think we can just wait around to find out what the First Order is planning. So when Commander Dameron offered me the chance to help the Resistance, I had to take it. I don’t think the First Order is interested in its citizens living free and prosperous lives. Someone needs to find out what they’re up to, and it might as well be me. I can make a difference for the Republic this way.

    I know you’re probably disappointed in me. It’ll be a mark on my record in the Fleet that I left without permission, but…well, look at it this way, if I made the right choice, I’ll be a hero and that should count for something when I come back. And if I didn’t make the right choice… I was never really meant for politics anyway.

    Give my love to Mother and the rest of the family.

    Your son, Kazuda
  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    I love that Kaz is clear about his goals and that he is fighting for what he believes in. [face_thinking]
  7. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    A great letter of Kaz doing what he wants
  8. rktho

    rktho Jedi Knight star 2

    Apr 29, 2020
    Ah, Resistance. The only sequel trilogy content where the worldbuilding makes sense. Love that show. I completely agree with you about Kaz's relationship with Hamato. This is a wonderful insight into that. It's very relatable as well, having your life planned out for you and then not having it work out that way, to the disappointment of your parents.
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    This, everyone, is what a thoughtful Republic/Resistance pilot sounds like! You show us in a few words that there is so much more to Kaz than that happy-go-lucky klutz of an ace (though that side of him is wonderful, too): he also is a strongly principled person, as well as deeply compassionate. He considered this decision very carefully, and the fact that he is writing a proper letter to his dad to tell him about it and hold nothing back, even with the strain in their relationship, says tons already. It sounds like Hamato has spent a large part of his son’s life blinding himself to who he (his son) really is, vs. what he (Hamato) wants him (Kaz) to be. Perhaps from this letter he will get a glimpse of the former, and learn something—even if it’s in a bittersweet way. Finally, I notice (and love) Kaz isn’t saying goodbye for good here, leaving the way open for reconciliation later. As with so many of your entries for this challenge, you did another wonderful job encapsulating a character in a few words—and it’s always so fun to see what you do with Kaz! =D=
    Kahara, rktho and Raissa Baiard like this.
  10. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Force Ghost star 7

    Oct 3, 2016
    Of course Kaz would want to join, even born in peace time- war and fighting the Empire runs in his blood.
    Kahara and Raissa Baiard like this.
  11. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Kaz’s goals may not be the same as his father’s goals for him, but he has a strong moral compass and a desire to do what’s right. He may not be a swashbuckling hero, but his persistence and determination makes up for his lack of panache.
    Thank you. Kaz has a heart to do good, and he will see it through, even though it’s not the easiest path.
    Always nice to find a fellow Resistance fan! (There’s what, like ten of us? :p Just kidding, I know there’s more than that, but sometimes it feels that way.) I think that Hamato has an unfortunate tendency to see all the places where Kaz doesn’t match his preconceived notions and none of the places where he excels. So of course he’s always disappointed. If he’d taken the time to talk to Kaz (instead of just berating him for always needing something), he’d have known that Kaz had completed a dangerous mission and held his own against Major Vonreg until Poe showed up—not a disappointing performance by any measure!
    That duality is one of the reasons I love Kaz—he is goofy and klutzy and exuberant, but he’s also brave, compassionate and determined. He’s got a good heart, and as you note, strong principles and beliefs, for all the happy-go-luckiness. I’m not sure I’d say that he considered his decision carefully, simply because Poe didn’t give him much time to consider, but he was adamant about contacting his father before he left. Unfortunately, Hamato was too caught up in his own narrow view of what Kaz should be and do that he never really listened to what Kaz wanted to say. I think your estimation of Hamato and Kaz’s relationship is spot on. I think that Kaz does love and respect his father, even though their relationship is strained and I think Hamato loves his son deep down, despite all of his expectations. One of these days, I am going to write a reunion scene for them in which Hamato admits that his son is pretty darn heroic after all. Thanks so much!
    He truly does have a heart to protect the Republic, however he can. Thanks for reading!
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  12. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Week 6

    : Taungsday Night at Okadiah’s
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Timeframe: OT, (I don’t have an exact date for this, but it takes place sometime before 4 BBY/ S1 of Rebels)
    Characters: Hera Syndulla, Kanan Jarrus/Caleb Dume, Garazeb Orrelios
    Genre: AU
    Synopsis: Independent pilot Hera Syndulla gets a job offer from an intriguing pair of strangers.

    The Asteroid Belt
    The Pits, Gorse City • Okadiah Garson, prop.
    Open all nite
    Come in and get belted

    The Asteroid Belt cantina was exactly as classy as the sign outside implied—a gritty, grimy dive bar full of gritty, grimy miners, ore haulers, and refinery workers. Hera normally wouldn’t have wasted her time in that sort of place, but there wasn’t any place better in this part of Gorse City. She was strapped for credits, too, and she hoped that Okadiah, who was also a foreman at Moonglow Polychemicals, could throw some work her way. Hauling thorilide ore from the moon of Cynda to Gorse to be refined wasn’t sexy. It wasn’t exciting or even particularly interesting, but it was a steady gig and sometimes all a freighter pilot could ask for was enough credits to fuel her ship.

    And even if the Asteroid Belt’s atmosphere and clientele left a lot to be desired, the drinks Okadiah served were decent enough, at least as long as you stuck to the ale and stayed away from his “locally sourced” rotgut.

    Hera sat in the corner booth, keeping a wary eye on the assortment of drunk, half-drunk and lightly spiced workmen. She’d already been hit on three times that night—which was not actually that bad for an evening at Okadiah’s but tedious all the same. His Taungsday night regulars were so not her type. The Belt—the entire planet of Gorse—was the last place Hera would look for decent company, let alone love.

    And then she saw him.

    The Human man at the bar chatting with Okadiah was too clean by half to be a regular; instead of the usual surliness, he projected an easy self-assurance. The DL-18 holstered at his hip suggested he could handle himself in a fight, though he had a ready smile and a spark in his blue-green eyes. He had a neatly trimmed goatee, and, even though his dark brown hair was cropped into an outdated short and spiky style, he was rather attractive.

    The man’s companion also stood out, but for totally different reasons. He was a hulking, purple striped alien of a species Hera couldn’t immediately identify. He loomed nearly two heads taller than the Human, and it was hard to tell if he was scowling or if that was just the permanent set of his craggy features. There was a fearsome-looking rifle slung across his back, and he did not look like anyone you would want to meet in a dark alley—or possibly even a well lit street. He nursed a large tankard in silence while the Human carried on a lively conversation with Okadiah.

    Hera wondered what could possibly have brought the duo to the Asteroid Belt and what could have brought the two together. They seemed like such an unlikely pair. As she watched them, Okadiah pointed across the cantina, and the man followed his gesture…

    …to look directly at Hera. His gaze was frank and might have been slightly disconcerting if not for the smile that accompanied it. As it was, there was something in it that made Hera sit up straighter and smooth out her flight jacket. The man stood, motioning to his companion, and they made their way to her table.

    “Hello, are you Hera Syndulla?” he asked, smiling, and up close, his smile was truly devastating. He probably had women falling all over themselves when he flashed those deep blue-green eyes their way.

    But Hera didn’t plan on being one of those women. The man might be clean and good-looking with a killer smile, but he was hanging out at Okadiah’s on a Taungsday night, and that automatically made him suspect. She tilted her head in a noncommittal movement that could have meant either yes or no. “That depends on who’s asking.”

    “I’m Caleb, and this is my friend Zeb.” He gestured to his colossal purple shadow; Zeb lifted an enormous hand in greeting, and his lips twitched into something that was probably meant to be a smile but could equally well pass as a grimace or even indigestion from whatever was in his oversized mug. “We’re looking for a pilot,” Caleb continued.

    Hera relaxed slightly. Business….business was always good. She knew exactly where she stood when it was business. “Well, you found one,” she said, waving a hand towards the seat across from her. “What’s the job?”

    Caleb slid into the booth, and Zeb crammed himself in after, the two of them crowded in like a tin of pressed giju. “Okadiah said that you’re good at getting past…Imperial entanglements,” Caleb said. His tone was deliberately casual, but Hera could sense that he was observing her carefully for her reaction.

    She hid a smile behind the rim of her mug. Ah, so it was going to be one of those jobs. Not that Hera objected to taking those kinds of jobs. They were often the most profitable kind. Clients who needed the special modifications she’d made to let her ship slip past Imperial sensors like the ghost she’d named it were willing to pay a premium. And, quite honestly, she enjoyed testing her ship and her skills against the Empire’s “best”. She had yet to find an Imp she couldn’t outfly, outmaneuver or outthink.

    Some pilots would have bragged about their prowess and given a boasting recitation of their exploits, but Hera had never felt the need for that. The Ghost was the best ship in the sector and she was one of the fastest, most reliable pilots. She knew it, and her clients knew it. No point wasting time bragging when there was business to discuss. “What kind of entanglements are we talking about here? What’s my cargo and what will I be up against?”

    “No cargo, just passengers. Me and Zeb inbound, and some others, maybe a dozen, on the outbound trip.”

    “Mmm-hmm.” She didn’t like where this was headed. She couldn’t think of a good reason for anyone to hire a VCX freighter to pick up passengers. The Ghost could handle them, at least short-term—there were three empty cabins, the common area, and of course the cargo hold, if push came to shove—but there were far more comfortable options that could be chartered. Unless, of course, avoiding the Empire was more important than the passengers’ comfort. Caleb didn’t seem like the ruthless sort to whom passengers and cargo were interchangeable (though one never knew these days), which suggested this was…

    Oh, dear Goddess, a rescue mission. “And where would we be picking up these passengers?”

    “Coloma,” came the answer, and Hera nearly choked.

    “The Imperial work camp?!” she hissed. “You want me to fly getaway for a prison break!?! Why don’t I just jettison us all into space? It’d be faster and less painful than trying to break a dozen prisoners out of Coloma!”

    Zeb, who’d been quiet until this point, banged his tankard down with a mighty thunk. “This isn’t a joke,” he snarled. “You heard about Lasan, right?”

    “Hasn’t it been occupied by the Empire?” It was hard to keep up these days. The Empire was quick to send occupation forces to any world that had resources it wanted or whose populace it deemed insufficiently cooperative—or, in the case of her own homeworld of Ryloth, both.

    “Not just occupied.” Zeb clenched his mug so tightly that his claw-tipped fingers left scratches in the metal. “Destroyed. The Empire sent an invasion all right—but they sent ’em with disruptor rifles and orders to kill. Wiped out almost all of the Lasat; there’s just a handful of us left. A week ago, Caleb and I got intel that the Empire had taken some Lasat as prisoners after all. There’s ten or twelve at the camp on Coloma. And I don’t plan to let ’em stay there,” he growled, banging his tankard on the table again for emphasis.

    Hera sighed. This was why she hated rescue missions. The type of people involved in them were idealists, the kind who believed that a righteous cause was all that mattered. She could concede that Zeb’s story was awful. By all accounts, disruptor rifles were one of the most hideous and inhumane weapons ever designed, and “Imperial work camp” was just the polite term for slavery. But two men and a getaway pilot against an entire Imperial garrison? That was so ill-conceived as to be suicidal. “You’d need a small army to do this right—an army you obviously don’t have, since you’re looking to hire me.”

    Caleb had the good grace to look slightly abashed. “We have a plan,” he assured her.

    “A plan?! Wonderful!” Hera snorted. Goddess save her from idealists and fools! Well, there was one sure way to get rid of these two.“You want to do this? Fine, but I want twenty-five thousand for the job, half up front, and I reserve the right to break off the moment things start going Rimward.”

    “Twenty-five thousand?!” Zeb spluttered, lurching halfway across the table towards Hera. “You can’t possibly—”

    “Yes, actually, I can.” Hera shot back. Zeb might be big and intimidating, with his bulked up muscles and sharp-toothed scowl, but she was the captain and no one told her what she couldn’t do. “Look, I’m sorry about what happened to your people, really, but I’m not running a charity outfit here. I’ve seen what that sort of idealism gets you.”

    “And what does it get you?” Caleb asked mildly, even as Zeb continued to sputter and snarl in indignation.

    There was no reason Hera had to answer nosy questions about her past, but if Caleb really wanted to know, then fine, she’d tell him. She’d tell him the whole sordid story. She leaned back in her seat, crossing her arms tightly over her chest. “My father—during the Clone Wars when the Separatists occupied our planet, he was one of the founders of the Free Ryloth movement. He trusted the Republic and the Jedi to help us. Which was great, except that their troops stayed after the Separatists left and became an Imperial occupation. And when my father dared to suggest that Ryloth didn’t need any more ‘help’, he was framed for murder. His idealism made him a fugitive. It got my mother killed.”

    “Oh…I’m very sorry to hear that.”

    Hera shrugged. Of course Caleb was sorry; everyone was always sorry, but sorry didn’t change anything. “Yes, well… I learned my lesson. I don’t take sides; I take jobs. And when I take risks, I expect to be well compensated for them. For the kind of risks you’re asking me to take, the pay’s going to have to be pretty damned devastating.”

    “Thank you for your honesty, Captain Syndulla,” Caleb told her. “I’ll be honest, too. I’m afraid we don’t have twenty-five thousand credits—”

    What a surprise. “Then good evening, gentlemen—and good luck with your mission.” You’re going to need it.

    “—but we can offer you this.” Caleb pulled something from his belt and laid it on the table in front of her. It was a cylindrical object made of dull gray metal, with a ridged handgrip, a series of activator switches, and a belt hook at one end. Hera had seen similar weapons before when she was a girl—in the hands of the Jedi who’d come to “liberate” Ryloth.

    “A lightsaber? Half a lightsaber,” she amended, because it was missing the top part that would have emitted its plasma blade.

    Caleb’s mouth quirked into a grin. “Like you said, half up front. You’ll get the other half when we complete the mission.” He laid a finger on the metal cylinder and nudged it closer to Hera. “I hear that the Imperial bounty on these is close to thirty thousand now…”

    Zeb’s heavy brow ridge shot up, and his leaf-green eyes went wide. “Caleb,“ he choked out, voice low and urgent. “You can’t—”

    Caleb laid a hand on his friend’s muscular shoulder and smiled. “To save a dozen lives? Yes, I can. And I will, if Captain Syndulla accepts,” he added, giving her a questioning look.

    Hera hesitated. Thirty thousand credits would put a lot of fuel in the Ghost. The money could buy her some upgrades to the ship’s sensor array and fix the glitch in its central computer that was making it frotz out at inopportune moments. But it would only buy those things if she was around to spend it.

    She regarded her potential clients critically. Zeb had the muscle and the drive to take on a whole garrison and probably take a lot of them out in the process. And then there was Caleb…Caleb who just happened to be in possession of a highly illegal Jedi weapon. There was something about his implacable calm that reminded her of the Jedi who’d come to Ryloth. They’d had the ability to pull off missions that should have been impossible. So maybe between the two of them—plus her ship and piloting skills—they could make this thing happen.

    “All right,” Hera said. She reached across the table and closed her hand around the half-saber. “I’m in.”

    Zeb looked frankly astonished at her pronouncement, but Caleb took it in stride, as if he’d never expected anything else. “Great. Zeb and I have a flat in Okadiah’s rooming house next door. Why don’t we go there to discuss the details?”

    “Mmm.” Hera slugged down the last of her lomin ale, wondering just what she’d gotten herself into and what sort of mad hoojib had possessed her to do it.

    It couldn’t be that she bought into Zeb’s story, tragic as it was.

    It definitely wasn’t because this Caleb had a killer smile.

    And it certainly wasn’t because she was signing up for their cause.

    The one thing she’d never become was an idealist.
  13. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    I like the discussion Caleb and Zeb had with Hera, convincing her to take the job
  14. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Force Ghost star 7

    Oct 3, 2016
    Hera playing Han Solo, nice.
  15. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Your last few responses have all been fantastic! So, don't mind me while I do a bit of catching up . . .

    This was an emotional gut punch if ever there was one! =(( I could have quoted this entire ficlet, each word just so beautifully expressed the Force's relationship with Kanan, and Kanan's relationship with the Force. [face_love] =D= (Even if I will happily take your AU 'verse any day. ;))

    I had a tough time trying to figure out exactly what to quote from Kaz's letter, too - because the entire piece was such a great piece of characterization, and every word felt so perfectly in place. This bit in particular really stood out to me, though. Kaz is just so strong - he's brave and he's determined to do the right thing and he has such a dazzling inner light that makes him such a beautiful person. It's that juxtaposition with his more awkward traits that makes him especially endearing as a character. This wasn't an easy letter to write to the father who doesn't, exactly, see and appreciate the same things in his son that we do, but Kaz didn't back down from saying the hard words that needed to be said, which is all the more admirable. [face_love] =D=

    Now, onto the absolute brilliance of your AU!

    I loved this description of Zeb! All of your descriptions were fantastic - I could perfectly envison the scene thanks to your prose - but this description, in particular, was just perfect!

    This is such an interesting difference, already. [face_thinking]

    Ooh, I like the way this mirrors ANH! I see what you're doing with Hera, and I love that this is the inversion you chose to go with! This is . . . it's something not far from the realm of possibility, and that's half of what makes this story so intriguing. =D=

    [face_laugh] [face_love]!! Some things never change. [face_mischief]

    You know, when you put it that way. [face_worried]

    It's fascinating how the tables are flipped on both Hera and Kanan, again. [face_thinking]

    This was such a Jedi line. :p But what's more than that, Hera still has that heart of gold deep down inside, and Kanan sees it. [face_love]

    Oh, but this tugged right on my heartstrings!

    Absolutely never; it's none of those things at all. [face_tee_hee] [face_mischief] [face_whistling]

    I love how this ending read more like a beginning, that said. If you're ever inspired to write more in this 'verse, I'd be there to read it in a second. [face_batting] [face_love]

    This continues to be such an excellent collection of stories, and I look forward to seeing what you're inspired to write next. :D =D= [:D]
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2022
  16. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    I promise to catch up on responses ASAP, but I wanted to get this entry in before the deadline. Thanks to @Findswoman for beta reading on short notice! @};-

    Week 7

    Title: Sleepless
    Characters: Ezra Bridger, mentions of the other Rebels
    Timeframe: OT some time between 5 and 10 ABY
    Synopsis: On his way home to Lothal after years in the Unknown Regions, Ezra ponders how he will fit in with his family after he returns.

    Ezra couldn’t sleep.

    That was nothing unusual. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a really good night’s sleep, but tonight was different. He wasn’t lying there with one eye open, planning his next escape or waiting to be ambushed by Imps or monsters or who knew what else. He wasn’t listening to strange noises trying to figure out what was lurking in the dark. He wasn’t reaching out across the vastness of space, trying to find the tiny sparks in the Force that were his family, wondering if they still thought of him.

    Tonight was different, because he was going home, and the anticipation would not let him sleep.

    Anticipation…and more than a little nervousness.

    He wanted so badly to be with his family again; the thought of them was all that kept him going some days. He’d chosen his exile to keep them safe from Thrawn’s scheming, and he didn’t regret it, exactly, but…

    He hadn’t known how long it would take for Sabine to find him. He’d never thought that he would be away from his Spectre family longer than they’d been together. The Galaxy had moved on without him. His family’s lives had moved on without him.

    Zeb lived on Lira San now, at least when he wasn’t scouring the Galaxy for the few remaining Lasat. Sabine’s art had become famous; her Phoenix in Flames had become an emblem of the fledging New Republic that had risen from the ashes of the war, and her mural The Skies Over Scarif was displayed at the Senate on Hosnian Prime. Hera was no longer active in the military; instead, she was teaching the next generation of pilots at the Republic’s Flight Academy on Lothal, the better to have time with her son, Jacen.

    Her son with Kanan.

    Ezra had nearly wept when he saw the emerald-haired boy in Sabine’s holos. There was so much of Kanan in Jacen’s features—his eyes, the set of his chin, the curve of his smile. Was he Force-sensitive like his father had been? If he was, would he want to train as a Jedi? Would he want to be Ezra’s padawan, the way Ezra had been his father’s? Would he want that—would Hera want that—knowing what it had led to for Kanan? And if they did, would Ezra be able to do it? Would he be capable of being the kind of teacher and guide to Jacen that Kanan had been to him?

    Would he be able to be the kind of friend and mentor Kanan had been, even if Jacen wasn’t Force-sensitive? Would he want his newly returned—Uncle? Cousin? Brother…ish guy?—to tell him stories of his father, or would that be too painful? Would he see Ezra as any of those things, or would Ezra be just some weird guy his Aunt Sabine found out in the Unknown Regions?

    And Hera…how would she feel about Ezra’s return? Would it be the joyful reunion he hoped, or would it bring back too many painful memories of those last few weeks on Lothal? Would he matter to Hera now that she had her own son? Would his return just be an intrusion on their little family? She deserved to live a quiet life with her son after all she’d been through, and he didn’t want to come back only to turn their lives upside down with his presence.

    Ezra turned over with a sigh. The Jedi part of his mind—the part that sounded an awful lot like Kanan—reminded him that he couldn’t know the future and that worrying like this was only stealing the joy of his homecoming. He’d learn the answers to all these questions soon enough, and maybe his worst fears would be true and maybe they wouldn’t. But until then—

    Emotion, yet peace.
    Ignorance, yet knowledge.
    Passion, yet serenity.
    Chaos, yet harmony.
    Death, yet the Force.

    Ezra reached out to the Force, letting it draw him deeper, until his mind was calm and sleep claimed him at last

    Notes: I don’t have an exact date on this piece, because the Rebels epilogue was supposed to be set 5 years after the finale, but Ahsoka is looking for Thrawn in The Mandalorian, about 10 ABY. Mr. Filoni is, as usual, vague on the details of what happens when.

    The remaining Spectres' lives after the war ends are pretty much my conjecture, though it seems that Sabine does enjoy some fame as an artist. A poster of her art can be seen in Torra Doza’s room on Resistance—this is the one I’ve titled Phoenix in Flames. The Skies Over Scarif is fanon.
  17. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Great thoughts from Ezra, worrying about his friends and reaching out to the Force to get calm
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  18. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Playing massive catch-up on your wonderful last two entries here—don’t mind me! :D

    “Taungsday Night at Okadiah’s”: I know you’re very proud of this story, and with great reason—I love it, too! :hera: You made Hera very convincing as a Han Solo-type spacer whose loyalty is only to herself, and it works so well precisely because you know her so well—that comes through every time she speaks. In a way, the caring side of the canon Hera is still there, only in a different form—this Hera, too, was affected strongly by the loss of her mother and the occupation of her homeworld, and those things have led her to where she is now. (And she is still an A1 pilot, and the Ghost is still a superb and unique ship!) Reversing both her and Kanan’s New Dawn roles—making him the idealist and her the jaded, hardboiled one—was an extra stroke of genius. (Zeb is his usual self, which I love too, of course!) And no, I don’t believe for a moment that Hera was influenced at all by Zeb’s story or Caleb’s winning smile or their cause. Not in the least. :p :D This will be a real New Dawn for her! Wonderful job with this very convincing AU recharacterization and congrats on another Hera triumph! =D=

    “Sleepless” (somewhere presumably very far away from Seattle): You just keep bringing it with the lovely Rebels feels! I know you are very proud of this one, too, and I think it came out beautifully. I can totally understand Ezra thinking every one of these thoughts, feeling every one of these feelings, and fearing every one of these fears as he prepares to see his Spectre family for the first time in way too long. Of course it would move him to tears to see Jacen and the reflections of both his mom and his dad in his smiling face! Of course he would wonder how Jacen’s presence might change Hera’s perception of him (Ezra), and of course he would wonder what Jacen would think of him. But at the same time, of course he is proud of all the great things his family continues to do—Zeb’s work to resettle the remaining Lasat, Sabine’s celebrated artwork. And even after all the time that’s gone by and all that’s happened, he is still a Jedi, still has the Force within him (and aspects of Kanan, too!), and still calls on it to help him calm himself and come to terms with the encounters facing him—I love that touch, and it’s a great way to lead him back to some sleep and some peace. You bring all those sides of him together in this short moment, and it’s just amazing. Congrats on this Ezra triumph, too, and yet another fantastic contribution to the challenge! =D=
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  19. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks! They didn’t have to do too much convincing, though. ;) like Han (maybe even a little more so), this version of Hera is still a decent person underneath all the “I’m in it for the money” bravado.
    Glad you enjoyed it! It really hit me when I was writing how in some ways SpaceMom Hera is the inverse of Han, but they’re very much the same in some ways—like the pride in their ships and their abilities. It would just have taken a nudge in the wrong direction to make Hera like him.
    Thank you! The idea of writing from the Force’s POV was pretty daunting to me at first, as was the idea of tackling Kanan’s death, because they both seemed like such big, weighty topics. But the Force wasn’t just present for the big, weighty moments in Kanan’s life, it’s been there through every tiny, quiet moment, too—as you said, it’s their relationship that matters. (And yes, I realize why Kanan’s death was necessary for continuity purposes, and I think it was dramatically appropriate, but no matter what else happens in canon, I’m going to hang onto my ‘verse where he and Hera and their kids live happily ever after.)

    Thanks. That is why I love Kaz so much—he can be awkward and a little goofy at times, but he is sincerely good and he does what’s right despite that. And it kills me that Hamato never sees past the awkwardness to the brave, steadfast young man his son really is. I need (and someday I’m going to write :p) a scene where they meet after the Battle of Exegol and Hamato finally admits that Kaz is a true hero, not just because of what he’s done, but because of who he is.
    Thanks! It was fun to imagine what Zeb must look like to someone who’d never seen him or any other Lasat before. :D

    I wound up playing off ANH more than I meant to, but “it’s like poetry, it rhymes” as George Lucas’s quote goes. And I agree that it would have been so easy for Hera to end up like Han if she had taken a different lesson from her parents’ travails.

    Pilots gotta fly, whatever the ‘verse.

    I had a lot of fun switching their roles:D Someday I guess I’ll have to figure out how Kanan avoided becoming a bitter drifter and stayed Caleb, the calm, compassionate Jedi we see him become again in Rebels.

    I have to thank @Findswoman , my beta reader par excellence, for this line. As usual, her suggestion improved a spot that I had some difficulty with [face_love]

    For this version of Kanan, it’s no question. It’s worth it to sacrifice to save the Lasat prisoners, for their own dignity as well as the fact that it is so important to Zeb.

    Nope, none of those things. Especially not that bit about Caleb’s killer smile ;) And thank you, I’m keeping this ‘verse in the hutch, because it would be interesting to see how this rescue mission turns out—and how Definitely-Not-a-SpaceMom Hera handles the addition of Sabine and Ezra to the crew :D
    Thank you! It’s natural that he would have these concerns after being away for so long, but the Force is there to help him.
    Thank you so much! I’ve played a lot with Ezra’s character, but this is the first time I’ve done a really different take on Hera and it was a blast What do you think, “The Infininte Heras project” ;) :D —maybe the Infinite Kanans along with it? When I was looking for a mission for jaded Hera, it seemed natural to get Kanan/Caleb involved, and Zeb, too. I’m sure the two of them will win her over and together they’ll storm Coloma. (A story for a.mother time, perhaps)

    Well, we don’t know where Ezra wound up…it could be Seattle! :D (down, plot bunnies…back!). I think that’s one thing that bugs me about it possibly being closer to ten years before Sabina and Ahsoka go in search for him—that’s a lot of time to have passed for him and his family both, and a lot can change in that time. As excited as Ezra would be about seeing them again (and meeting Jacen for the first time), he’d have to wonder how he will fit into their lives. But he is still a Jedi and the Force is constant. Thank you again for your kind words and for your encouragement.
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  20. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    The Ballad of Garazeb—by Ezra Bridger
    : Ezra Bridger (narrator), Zeb Orrelios, mention of Hera Syndulla
    Genre: humor, poetry
    Timeframe: 4BBY, Rebels S1
    Synopsis: Ezra composes a poem in honor of his bunkmate, but finding rhymes can be tough.

    Notes: This started out as a discussion with @Findswoman about the possible rhymes for various Rebels characters’ names. I kicked the first verse together in a fit of silliness, with no intention of posting it, but sometimes silliness takes on a life of its own. So, imagine if you will, the Spectres gathered in the Ghost’s common area, and Ezra reciting this bit of poetry in honor of his bunkmate :D


    Ohhhh, this is the ballad of Garazeb!
    He’s big and stripey and purple!
    But nothing rhymes with “purple”
    And not much rhymes with “Zeb”!

    Ohhhh, Zeb is a big, hairy Lasat,
    The most fearsome of all the Spectres!
    But what the heck rhymes with “Spectres”?
    Can you please tell me what?

    Ohhhh, he is a mighty Honor Guard
    And he slings a mean bo-rifle!
    I can’t find a rhyme for “rifle”.
    Poetry is hard.

    Ohhhhh, when Zeb gets in a bashing groove,
    He strikes fear in the hearts of troopers.
    I’d rhyme “troopers” with “poopers”
    But Hera wouldn’t approve!

    Ohhhh, this was the ballad of Garazeb!
    It made him shout, “karabast”!
    Not even gonna try to rhyme “karabast”
    And I still can’t rhyme “Garazeb”!
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  21. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    He sure can write poetry
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  22. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    YAY! Love how this came out—so much fun! Well can I imagine that this (and the whole scene) made Zeb yell “karabast”! But Ezra did his very best (especially considering his lack of schooling), and one sees the sincere admiration (of the Ezra kind) shining through! Great job on this cute and humorous piece, and thanks so much for sharing! =D=
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  23. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Mar 18, 2002
    This poem sounds exactly like something Ezra would write. [face_laugh]
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  24. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Force Ghost star 7

    Oct 3, 2016
    Ezra should write for "Monty Python", I liked this a lot.
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  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Taungsday Night at Okadiah’s

    =D= Very intriguing mission and each of them are in character even in this different context. =D= Naturally, Zeb would want to rescue his fellow Lsat, Caleb would be all for it on compassionate/altruistic grounds, and Hera would initially be wary after being scorched for idealism. [face_thinking]


    Ezra's reflections of his 'family' is touching. Highly anticipated but also wondering... will there be a bit of discomfort at first? @};-