Pairings prompt: Well hell. All of them?? (Okay, okay. #2 Rexsoka.) (oh, you think I'm done...?)
Thank you for not going, “1-28. And 33-40.”
2. “Have you
lost your damn mind!?”
The sharp, unstable shaking of the 501st flagship drowned out the emergency sirens wailing in each cabin and along every corridor, even for Ahsoka’s highly sensitive montrals. Admiral Yularen’s broadcast command of “Non-essential personnel, evacuate to the escape pods immediately,” was certainly lost to the complaints of a damaged ship. But it was impossible to mistake the strobing alert lights, flashing bright orange every ten meters and successfully conveying the immediacy of the situation well before the Separatist droids began trickling in.
Honestly, it was like a bad dream. No matter how many droids Ahsoka carved through, every new corridor brought her face-to-face with more. The task wouldn’t have felt so daunting if she wasn’t the only Jedi on the ship; whenever the Jedi Council had a special mission to complete these days, her master somehow ended up as one of the first candidates selected.
Clearly, the enemy didn’t know that, though. One of the fleet ships had already been destroyed by cannon fire, but the flagship was still intact, only periodically earning a volley of lasers. The amount of droids swarming the corridors felt like an invasion than anything else– what would they be there for except to capture Anakin, one of the most successful Repbulic generals?
Ahsoka reached that conclusion before rounding a corner and running into a squad that pointed at her, shouting, “Look! We found a Jedi!” But that was all they managed to say before a couple rudimentary swings of her lightsaber decapitated all seven of them.
As much as the clones added a variety of color to the blaster fire breaking out in some corridors, Ahsoka was quick to order them to escape pods before they could be of much use. She sliced her way through roughly two enemy platoons alone to make it to the bridge where she found the officers still busily sending emergency transmissions, and locking down whole sections of the ship overrun by the Separatists in attempted containment.
Captain Rex was here guarding the bridge entrance with some of his men, blasters trained down the corridor as a last line of defense for all the unarmed and unarmored officers. That was the problem with the essential personnel: they were the hardest to move, both because they didn’t want to leave their post, and then once they did, the ship had roughly five to ten minutes left before neglected systems began malfunctioning.
“Admiral, you need to move to the escape pods!” Ahsoka shouted over the incessant whine; at least it sounded a little more muted on the bridge. Her announcement caused several heads to swivel, look at her, and return to their previous work. Yularen, though, was a little too wrapped up in a conversation with the coms officer to answer.
“What about you, Commander?” Rex asked from the doorway.
For the first time since the alarms started blaring, Ahsoka’s lightsabers hung on her belt again. “I’ll lead the droids into the hangar bay and try to buy you time to get away. Once I’m there, I’ll shut off the magnetic shields.”
Rex’s visor whipped around faster than Yularen. “Have you lost your damn mind?!”
A gray-clad officer shouted that the engines were failing, and more droids were closing in on the bridge.
“Sir, now is not the time for insane heroics!” argued Rex, deeces dropping from a corridor that had lost his attention.
A frown bent her mouth for only a moment. Rex never contested Anakin’s ideas, even while they seemed to get more farfetched as the war dragged on. If anything, Rex met most suggestions with hesitant approval– not outright challenges as he did with her.
“I know what I’m doing,” she told Rex evenly, nearing him as if proximity would help better convince him. “I’ll be fine.” And before he could disagree, contending her rank with his experience as she knew he would, Ahsoka pulled him down into a light headbutt that stalled all conversation.
Releasing her captain, she glanced back at Yularen to see she finally had his attention. “I’ll take out what droids I can, Admiral, but you have to leave now!”
Ahsoka took off sprinting away from the bridge, lightsabers once again humming at her sides. Every B1 battle droid she came across barely managed to report, “There’s the Jedi!” before its head flew right off its body in one quick slash of a lightsaber.
Halfway to the main hangar, she also heard, “General Grievous wants her alive!” Unfortunately, that droid also met a swift end before it could elaborate. Two corridors later, the familiar premonition of incoming fire tugged at the periphery of her senses. Ahsoka pivoted just in time to divert the laser bolt– but she’d expected a B1 shot, not a B2. The force of it still knocked her off her feet and straight into a wall.
The wailing sirens were all but white noise now, drowning out every other sound around her. Ahsoka only realized the enemy was closing in when she opened her eyes to see a line of B1s fencing her in, aiming their weapons on her crumpled form. She closed her eyes again and inhaled. Reaching out, she felt the familiar presence of the Force, directly around her, directly around the enemy, permeating the corridor, the level, the ship. And she pushed out.
The nearest battle droids flew back as if from an explosion; the successive rows of B1s and B2s fell like dominos. Ahsoka popped to her feet and continued on her mad sprint down the hall. Her lightsabers were more useful behind her, blocking red laser bolts flying from the constantly growing horde following her. WIth as much as the flagship shook from increasing enemy fire, it was a wonder so many clankers stayed on their feet. The few droids she bumped into trying to cut her off from adjacent hallways ended up littering the floor while Ahsoka hardly even slowed her pace.
R7-A7, Ahsoka’s astromech since she landed in the 501st, already sat snugly in her Eta-2 Actis-class interceptor by the time Ahsoka slid into the hangar bay. Only a couple LAAT/i populated the bay now, as the rest of the gunships and every fighter pilot were already occupied in the space battle.
The controls for the magnetic shield– barring the bay enjoying its life support from open space– were set into a recess in the durasteel wall on the opposite end of the bay and protected by a ray shield. Ahsoka hadn’t even reached the halfway point before the enemy fire caught up to her as the droids filtered into the hangar. Thank the Force they were terrible shots.
“Arseven!” Ahsoka shouted into her wristcom. She was met with happy bleeps. “Bring the ship over here; I’m going to need a fast getaway.”
She heard the welcome roar of her interceptor powering on across the hangar floor. A handful of droids pivoted and began firing at the ship, as Ahsoka skidded into the far wall. The ray shield, no bigger than a standard doorway, stood next to a screen of buttons. Ahsoka input the code she never thought she’d have to use; the ray shield blinked off, and all that was left was the clunky lever, about as big as Ahsoka’s head.
R7-A7 blocked all enemy fire descending in the interceptor next to Ahsoka, and she immediately hopped into her seat. She sealed the cockpit, diverted more power to shields, and warned her astromech to be ready to take off.
Ahsoka closed her eyes once more, trying to keep her nerves calm in a ship barraged by enemy fire. She focused her attention into grasping hold of the Force around the lever and pulling it down. The nearing enemy only helped raise her anxiety, but just as a B1 started climbing onto the wing of the ship, the lever swung down, the magnetic shield disappeared, and everything not bolted to the ground slipped toward the open hangar doors.
After the initial moment of free floating, Ahsoka returned the recommended amount of power to the engines and steered her ship out into space, avoiding the floating droids and lazily spinning gunships.
The danger was nearly over now. A second fleet had come to the rescue, sliding out of hyperspace behind the Separatist ships, diverting all their attention and leaving Ahsoka free to look for her men.
“Arseven,” Ahsoka said, rolling her interceptor over the port side of the damaged flagship and scanning the void for life signs, “switch to the pod frequency.”
R7 chirped, the coms crackled, and soon her cockpit flooded with the voices of very chatty soldiers. Immediately after their accountability checks, the conversations strayed. Ahsoka’s attention focused more on locating the wandering pods until a certain comment caught her montrals.
“…and Captain Rex got kissed by the commander.” A mixture of laughter and incredulous noises followed before the first amended, “A Keldabe kiss.”
“You coulda told me it was a real kiss and I’da believed you,” a second said. The laughter roared anew.
“WHO IS THIS?” a third voice broke in. “NAME AND RANK.”
A tense silence followed until one brave soul declared, “Found the Captain.” The next wave of laughter surged from numerous pods as Rex raged on, threatening blindly.
Ahsoka patched her own frequency into the conversation then. “Wait… what’s a Keldabe kiss?” Her distinctively female voice cut through the clone chatter with surprising ease. All communication immediately dissipated into an awkward silence Ahsoka felt even in her own ship.
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