cassan

 @resistancepilots do you really want more ghost RO feels? Because I have plenty.

Like the way that on solo missions sometimes Luke looks out of the corner of his eye to see a dark haired man quietly sitting beside him in the cockpit. He has a gentle smile, and his eyes light up every time he hears Rogue Squadron use their designations on the comms. Luke cherishes his company, even if he never notices how his ship always seems to have a valid imperial code. 

Or how sometimes in the dark of night when it all seems too much, Leia will swear she can feel a hand brush through her hair and the voice of a dead man tell her to keep going, to never give up, to make ten men feel like a hundred. She’ll always wipe the tears from her eyes and greet the next day head on - Cassan Andor might have been a smug, self confident bastard but that didn’t mean he was wrong. 

Han lies awake some nights wondering why he’s here. He’s a smuggler, a no good lowlife with no more than a ship to his name and a price on his head. How the hell did he end up consorting with opinionated princesses and naive young heroes on a quest to take down an evil empire? It would be so easy to just pack up the Falcon and go, leave all this behind and return to the life he knows, the life he deserves. But then he’ll see her, standing in the doorway just looking at him. Not a word, just staring. She doesn’t judge, it’s not that kind of a look, but it’s one that says “I’ve been where you are, I know what you’re thinking. You can run, but you can also stay, and fight. And if you do, it might just be worth it.” . So he stays. Because if she can do it maybe so can he.

No one ever says anything, but just about everyone in the Alliance has noticed that all the droids re-purposed from the Empire tend to be a little… temperamental. OK, maybe snarky or sarcastic would be a better term. All they know is that somehow no matter what the model somehow the code will end up being twisted into something that ensures the droid will always make its opinion known. R2-D2 makes a approving beep and goes back to making sure his pilot doesn’t get himself decommissioned. K2-SO had always understood that you need to be firm if you want to keep your human in good working order.

Trying to learn how to be a Jedi from scaps of footage and partial records is difficult. But Luke Skywalker is determined, and Ben had said that the Force was there if you reached out for it. So he spends quite a bit of time attempting to meditate, spreading out his awareness into the fabric of the universe itself. And as he does two figures become clear, the smaller one grinning broadly while his partner rolls his eyes. Around him he can hear the whisper “… the force is with me and I am one with the force. the forces is with me and…”. As he continues training he can feel the figures watching him. They will not say anything, but he knows they are offering him their support. He could do without them laughing as he dropped the cargo crate though.

Rogue One is dead, but they are not gone. 

Calling

‘Pritchard?’

Adam opened his eyes to the twilight of the apartment, looking around, half asleep.

What the fuck?

Of course, he was alone, finding himself with no one else present; especially not Pritchard. This was Prague, after all; and the tech was still back in Detroit, halfway around the globe.

He must’ve been dreaming. But he could have sworn he’d heard the other call out his name, the sound of his voice still echoing through Adam’s mind, leaving him with a strange sensation.

Adam took a deep breath and tried to rub the confusion out of his face, checking with his cerebral clock.

It was only about an hour after dawn. He didn’t have to be at the Task Force command center for another three hours, so he considered to continue napping, rolling over. But the strange restlessness that had taken hold of him didn’t ease its grip. Pritchard’s voice kept tugging at him from somewhere at the edge of his consciousness.

Cursing, Adam got up and out of his bed in hope a hot shower would finally quell the annoying memory. It didn’t. And neither did coffee and a breakfast, nor Eliza Cassan spreading her propaganda on TV.

Dammit, what was wrong? Why couldn’t he shake this feeling? He couldn’t even figure out if he was worried about the hacker’s safety. He just couldn’t stop listening to Pritchard calling his name.

Back when they parted ways, half a year ago, they had set up a digital mailbox for each other to leave a message in case of an emergency. And Adam was actually thinking about contacting the tech. Only rationality prevented him from picking up the phone, since this wasn’t an emergency, after all. It was just a dream, was it?

~

Two hours later Adam wasn’t any wiser, and his unease had grown even more. Sitting on the couch he had entered an enduring staring contest with his phone. The device was winning by default, silent, calm, patient, while his thoughts were churning like a stormy sea.

Why would he even wanna call Pritchard? Why would he urge to speak with him, hear his voice, counter his snide remarks? It didn’t make any sense. What would he tell him, anyway? It had been just a dream, goddammit!

He knew, on the other hand, he wouldn’t find any peace unless he took action and got it out of his mind.

Stifling a sigh and being aware of his spare time running out Adam shoved his doubts away, leant forward and reached for the phone, speed-dialing that particular number.

It rang just once, then the automated mailbox picked up without any further introduction.

'Hey, Pritchard, it’s me,’ Adam spoke into the unresponsive void.

‘Jensen,’ he added, as if that fact needed any confirmation. 'I…’

What now? What was he supposed to say? He still didn’t know. There was simply no reason for this call.

'Just… call me back, ok?’

No less at odds Adam left his number, disconnected and lowered the phone, feeling no resolve whatsoever.

The tech was unlikely to answer within the next few minutes - even hours. Detroit’s time zone dragged six hours behind. It was right in the middle of the night there. And who knew what Pritchard was doing right now?

Adam could only wait, restrain his odd agitation - and go to work in hope it would distract him for the time being.

~

When Adam still hadn’t heard from Pritchard in the evening and home again he really began to worry. The tech should have received the message by now. So why didn’t he respond? Didn’t he want to, or was he, perhaps, unable to? What if something had happened to him?

The thought of Pritchard being in trouble clenched his guts with an icy grip, as Adam came to realize there wasn’t even another way to contact the hacker or make sure he was ok. And they were literally a world apart from each other. If something had happened to him, Adam would probably never know about it. He could lose him forever, unaware and completely oblivious.

The very possibility of that idea stirred up a nameless fear deep inside him.

What could he do? There had to be something he could do without leaving Prague, abandoning his mission. He couldn’t; not when there was so much at stake, not when he was finally in a place to get somewhere. And he didn’t know any mutual contacts to ask about Pritchard’s whereabouts…

Stopping short, Adam called himself down.

Idiot!

It was way too early to jump to conclusions. It’s just been a few hours. There could be thousands of reasons for Pritchard’s silence. Adam just didn’t know.

Yeah, but it was the not-knowing that slowly drove him insane.

~

Arguing with himself back and forth he likewise paced through his apartment for the next three hours, waiting, hoping.

If worst came to worst Adam would have to go back to Detroit and look for the tech, searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack. A fool’s errant. But it was too premature to make such a decision, right now. He had to wait at least a few days, trying to gather information in the meantime. And if every effort failed, maybe he could get some time off?

Miller would never understand.

Adam hadn’t even finished that last thought when the buzz of his phone froze him in his tracks all of a sudden.

Heart pounding and holding his breath he just stared at the device for some long seconds, barely daring to hope. Was it Pritchard? It had to be. Or was it…

It rang another time, jerking him out of his stupor, and he leapt over in a heartbeat to pick up the call.

Number unknown, Adam noticed before he put the phone to his ear.

'Pritchard?’

'Who else, did you think, it would be?’ the familiar snarky voice retorted. 'You were the one wanting me to call back. So, this is me, calling back.’

'A–,’ Adam had to swallow at the lump stuck in his throat. 'Are you ok?’

'Of course, I am,’ Pritchard strained, then reconsidered. 'Why? Did you hear something else?’

Adam could feel a wave of relief washing over him, turning even his artificial knees to jelly.

'Goddammit, you scared me.’ He let himself slump on the couch. 'Where have you been? Why didn’t you call sooner?’

'What, are you my parole officer now? I had a few drinks last night and slept in, if you must know. And what do you mean by 'scared’? What is this all about?’

'I… don’t know.’ Adam admitted, clueless again. 'I… had a feeling.’

'Well, there’s something new,’ the tech remarked and let a few moments pass before he resumed. 'So, let me get this straight. You were calling me for no reason whatsoever and got all worked up because I didn’t call back right away? And all of that over a ‘feeling’?’

'Pretty much, yeah.’ Putting it straight made Adam feel even more like the complete idiot he was.

'Shit, Jensen, I got things to do on my own. If you don’t have anything of importance to say–’

'Wait, Pritchard,’ he still couldn’t let him go so easily. ‘Can’t we… just talk for a while?’

'Why?’ The tech sounded suspicious.

'I…,’ - want to hear your voice.

He couldn’t tell him that!

'I don’t know. It’s been a while. What are you doing?’ Just a bit longer, come on.

'The usual,’ he answered curtly, still wary.

'And you’re safe?’

Pritchard hesitated again before he spoke his mind.

'Jensen, you’re being weird. You sure everything is ok with you?’

Adam felt like laughing all of a sudden. Yeah, now everything was ok.

'Yeah, I’m fine. Just glad you are too.’

Once more Pritchard took his time.

'Look, Jensen, I really have some things to take care of…’

'Yeah, ok, I understand,’ Adam relented. It was pretty late already, anyway. There was just one more thing. ‘Pritchard, would you… call me from time to time, let me know you’re alright?’

‘Look at that, I didn’t know you cared so much,’ the tech noted - and gave in. ‘But ok, if it makes you happy, I will call you.’

‘Thanks, Francis.’


Pritchard was calling me. Couldn’t help but listen :)

reminded myself of something I’d almost forgotten:
Steve Conte - Call Me Call Me