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A Thief Finds a Different Treasure

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Ahsoka Tano, lately called Fulcrum, once called Padawan of the Hero With No Fear, was doing all she could to keep her head down and not be noticed. The hood she wore was shaped and padded to help minimize the outline of her montrals, and beneath it, she kept scarves up over her distinctive markings on her face. She was, without a doubt, using all precautions here on Lothal, even as she traced Imperial activities.

Having someone not only get too close to her but manage to get hands into a pocket to try and slip free what was in it made her curious, though, more than apprehensive. She did react quick enough to get her hand around the slender wrist and evade attempts to get free. When the youth opened his mouth to use a waif's tricks to set the crowd against her, she locked eyes on him and exerted her will.

"Don't," she said in a very soft voice, intended for their ears only.

To her greater surprise, the youth's defenses pushed back against the defenses, but their eyes widened too, as if aware of the Force suggestion.

"You're like me," the youth whispered, body still tense for flight, but they weren't fighting against Ahsoka's grip. She gentled it, then let go entirely. The youth debated between flight and the potential for an ally in life.

"I am. And you, little one, are at risk, if you are able to resist my suggestion. The Imperials would love to have young people like you to mold and train into their machine."

The youth scowled fiercely. "The Empire took my parents, because they resisted!"

Ahsoka smiled, and listened as the Force spoke to her. "Would you like to learn how to fight them? You're still very young, but you're in as much danger living here alone as you would be with me."

The youth got cagey in his gaze and studied her eyes, all they could really see of her. "Why should I trust you?"

"Ahh. Trust comes later, or not at all, little one. It is for you to decide based on my actions, over time." She started walking, her hand making a motion for the youth to keep up. After half a moment, they did.

"Can you teach me to actually use whatever this is? The thing, in my head."

Ahsoka smiled behind her scarves, nodding. "That, and more. I don't ask more than you listen and weigh what I say, as I will not have you commit to more than learning."

"But if I do want to fight the Empire?"

"I promise you will have all the chances you can stand for that. I lead a very dangerous life, little one. Because I am no friend of the Empire."

The youth was quiet a long moment, then gave a sharp nod. "Name's Ezra. Ezra Bridger."

Ahsoka glanced down, assuming they were a boy, if she remembered human naming conventions correctly. "Fulcrum. Let's get off the street, and you can maybe help me finish why I am here… and then we will go, together, and start your teaching."