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Nobody Wins But Most Of Them Live

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Nobody wins.

From a purist Jedi pointo of view they lost as soon as the war started and from a general Jedi point of view they passed acceptable terms for 'victory' a long time ago.

It all comes down to an enterprising journalist comparing very illegally acquired holos of someone she was told, by a confidential informant who just wanted to retire and spend life as a nurse droid instead of a battlefield droid, to be the 'true mind behind the separatists' and a 'traitor to the republic' with holos of famous politicians, until she hits the right combination of reconstructional software, a Mandalorian one, and on the Palpatine's notorious family nose.

The news break just as Master Mace Windu is leaving the Temple with his fellow Councilors and between the time it takes for the transport they are on to land in the suddendly buzzing hive that is the Senate and for them to make their way to the Supreme Chancellor's Office, the man is no Supreme Chancellor anymore voted down with a motion so swift that it goes down in history as the fastest motion ever voted by.

By the time Darth Sidious calls for Order 66, the Clones know that he's not the Acting Chancellor anymore and that's enough to make the man an invalid source of authority for the calling of the Order.

It flashes through their minds, yes, but they also have traction to fight against it. The voice giving them the Order is not the voice of their supreme commander anymore and what Darth Sidious gets is not 'aknowledged' so much a series of variations on 'You kriffing son of a Hutt, you want me to do what to my General?'

Peace, of course, is not easy coming but the Separatists have lost their major Generals, the Republic has discovered they had been puppets, and the Trade Federation and the Banking Clan are in the crosshair of both sides as soon as Mas Amedda starts talking (and he's singing operas about Palpatine's dealings like a canary, more than simply talking, as soon as the man is deposed, almost, playing up the 'I was scared for my life' angle).

Yoda and a Jedi Stealth Team quietly assemble and slip away to deal with Sidious while the Republic licks it's wounds and Padme Amidala checks herself in a hospital room that she works out of to help her secret husband to calm the hell down before he can have the panic attack to end all panic attacks (because she got pregnant way earlier).

The Clones, it's quickly decided by the Senate, are a Jedi problem.

They were made for the Jedi, they are the Jedi responsability, that will keep them working for the Republic but take the 'care, clothing and feeding' problem out of the Senator's hands. They can be conflated in the Jedi Corps or repurposed as guards or left with their former Generals, now once again just Masters and Knights, that's up to the Jedi and to whatever liberty they want to allow to the army no one needs now.

The 212th on Utapau (they went there earlier and Obi-Wan did kill Grievous much ahead of schedule) kind of freaks out, in very quiet and deeply horrified ways, as soon as Order 66 comes in, only instead of firing on their general as they were supposed to be, Commander Cody orders his men to lock the whole planet down and locks of all them up in every possible spare brig and prison available to them, just in case the Order comes back in a fashion they are forced to obey.

(It's not an uncommon reaction, though there are some Jedi who do have to either talk their troops down or put them in Force-enforced sleep to keep them from suiciding to avoid being a risk to their Jedi. Not everyone is fast enough, some of them will be scarred by it for life).

Taking the chips out is the first order of business for the Order, even before the Senate actually dumps legal responsability and ownership of the Clones on them.

When it all finally settles down there is not much celebration so much as confusion and uncertainty and 'what will we do now?' coupled with General sticking like glue to their troops and troops sticking like glue to their Generals, though the 212th and the 501th are a mixed bag where half of the combined total of them is with Skywalker guarding his wife and the other half stays at the Temple hovering near Kenobi.

Because Kenobi gets sick.

As soon as everything is de-chipped, everyone is in the clear, Yoda announces the death of Palpatine for his crimes as a Sith, as well as those against the Republic, Kenobi's body kind of shuts down.

Commander Cody is the one who finds him collapsed in his kitchen, with a fever high enough to scare ten years Cody can't afford to waste out of the man and calls the Healers.

Kenobi is checked in at the Temple's Medical Center for chronic exhaustion, signs of battle fatigue and what turns out to be the first, and probably most vicious for decades to come, case of adrenaline poisoning since the time of the Revanchist and the ban of adrenaline stims as illegal. It's bad enough that the healers do suspect him of having somewhat acquired and used adrenaline stims, though the suspicion doesn't go in the official report for the Senate.

His 212th/501th contigent camps out in the Room of a Thousand fountains and starts drawing up guarding / visiting schedules, to make sure his ass stays in there until he's actually fully recovered.

Cody doesn't leave his damn fool Jedi's room and actually let Rex vent at the unconscious tank full of bacta in which Kenobi is stuffed, once his brother gets there from Kamino, nodding along gravely as the blond brother gets the worst of his panic-attack-induced-anger out.


Rex sat himself down heavily, breath coming a bit short and his heartbeat loud in his he looked with burning eyes at the unconscious shape floating in the bacta tank. It had been stripped down and put into a pair of knee-length, skin-tight shorts that did nothing to hide the fact that even the man's thighs were nothing but muscles, not even healthy fat left behind.

You damn fool Jedi. He thought, fingers clenching into fists.

"The healers think he might have been sneaking adrenaline stims on the side, to keep himself going." Cody said, low and bitter, as he held a mug of caf within Rex's reach. His brother waited for him to unclench his fists, and slide his nails out of his palms, and take the mug. "I've put Echo and Fives on finding out if it's true."

"If it is, I'm going to track down whatever sleemos sold them to him and kill them myself." Rex replied, self-aware enough to hear how his voice had slipped into the low, rough register that he usually never allowed to come out.

"You and me both, vod." Cody agreed, his voice neutral in a way that made every hair on Rex's body want to raise itself out of mammalian self-preservation instinct.

Good, Rex thought, viciously pleased that, as ever, they stood side by side on the issue of how to deal with sentients who hurt one of their Generals.

Kenobi didn't need any help in doing things to himself that were bad for the general health, considering that he seemed to get a kick out of it all on it's own. More than the general Jedi and just as General Vos, if the stories about the man were to be believed.

'Disliking his company'. Ha. Bantha poodoo. Those two had been made from the same genetic strain, no doubt about it.


Kix was in heaven.

Something Echo had said, about access to Jedi sources, had gave him the idea to ask the Healers if there were any books or reports he could read about adrenaline poisoning. It was probably all going to be stuff from that Revanchist period they had mentioned, but some were better than none. Kix just needed a clearer idea.

After some talking between each other, the Healers had sent for a Togrutan male from the Educational Corps, whatever those were, named Yeman Khret and told him to see to it that Kix got the materials he needed.

And Khret, who had looked non plussed to be ordered around like a shiny on his first mission, had delivered in spades. He had introduced Kix to Madam Jocasta Nu, who was terrifying in the ways Kix liked best, and then had showed him how to check out books and printed him a very simplified version of the library rules. He'd also helped Kix figure out not how the search and advanced search worked, he wasn't a kriffing moron, but how to find and get his texts sent to his padd from ancillary libraries and, most wonderful of all, medical libraries.

Hevy had tackled Jesse to the ground before he could actually finish swearing a blood feud against Khret, the asshole, when Kix had shared the wonderful news.


"You should go help them." Padme suggested, giving a squeeze to his hand. "Nobody knows Obi-Wan and how he thinks like you. I am surrounded by the best healers in Coruscant and they know to call you if anything changes, both good or bad."

Anakin squeezed her hand back, torn. He felt sick dread pool in his stomach, at the idea of leaving her, but he couldn't deny that she had a good point nonetheless. The men had fought for and alongside his Master, but they had never shared an apartment with the man and didn't know how good he was to make things he didn't want noticed disappear.

He also felt guilty, for not realizing just how much the war was weighting Obi-Wan down, how much of him was given up for the sake of being everywhere he was needed as soon as possible as fast as possible.

He'd never given much thought to it. It hadn't been that bad for him and while he had his own war-inspired nightmares to deal with and while he felt the losses of his men too, it seemed that Obi-Wan had been more deeply affected, more consumed by it than Anakin had let himself be.

Of course, Obi-Wan didn't have someone like Padme waiting for him at home, someone he could go to and talk with, share his life with in ways that let him get away from his duties and responsabilities. Obi-Wan had the Council. How terrible was that?

"Ani." Padme called, bringing him out of his thoughts, and he found her looking up at him, face set in that beautiful expression she always had when she was about to kick his butt into action.

"Obi-Wan needs all the help we can give him now and no one can do that better than you. You will not be able to stop thinking about it, either, and you won't forgive yourself if something happens and you could have prevented it. So go help your Master." She instructed him, her tone firm and taking no prisoners. Gods, but he loved her.

"Yes, dear." He said, jokingly, and leaned down to stealthily steal a kiss from her, relishing the feeling of her hand, when she cupped his cheek as she kissed him back.


Fives was in hell.

The High Council had assigned one of theirs to him and Echo, because General Kenobi collapsing had scared them badly too, apparently, and they wanted an investigation that was more official than them looking into it for Commander Cody. Which was far more than official enough, as long as Fives was concerned but whatever.

They had assigned them a Jedi Investigator, because it had turned out that there were a lot of kinds of Jedi with a lot of very different jobs.

They had assigned him another asshole who was a knew it all about regulations and loved to jabber about it.

Kriff and Siths. As if Echo hadn't been enough on his own, especially ever since he'd found that he could borrow at his heart's content from the Jedi Archives, because of that bullshit 'wards of the Order' bill the Senate had passed to wash their hands of Fives and his brothers.

Now he had two of them, talking his ear off about current regs and old regs and war time regs and the difference there in and oh kriff, he was gonna need so much alcohol to bleach it all out of his head.

He grumbled to himself, marching down the corridor that was supposed to lead them from the hangar (where they had left the shuttle they had gone up on, to search Kenobi's quarters on their latest Star Destroyer) to Kenobi's rooms in the Temple (he kinda wondered how well off they were and if they had the same soft mattresses that were making sleeping hell for him).

He also wished for something to happen that would draw Knight Beran P'nall away from them and possibly get him reassigned to someone else at all.

At least, when it was just him and Echo, Fives knew perfectly well how to get his brother to shut up about the damn regs.


Kix had worked himself up to a pretty woering rage, one that General Kenobi was going to bear the brunt of, if the man had actually been so kriffing stupid as to hop himself up on adrenaline stims.

Kix wasn't actually convinced the General had done it, but so far it was the only explanation that fit, despite the fact that it was a behaviour Kix might have watched for in the files of his brothers, had he known about it beforehand.

(As it stood, everyone was going to get a physical either way, because he knew more than enough of them who might have for his comfort and Force help if he found out some idiots had actually gone through with it).

The more he read about the potential longer term consequences, the more it made him want to go out there and blow up any smuggler willing to sell the things around.

"Excuse me?" A female voice asked, approximately two meters on his left, down the aisle, by the stacks.

Kix looked up.

A human female was standing there, with a little pile of pads (well, little compared to the stacks on his table) in her arms.

She was unarmed, no lightsaber in sight either, and wearing the same uniform Khret had worn, though the symbol stitched on the chest was different from the one he'd worn and the same of some of the sentients he'd seen around in the Temple's Healing Ward. She looked to be in her fifties, with short salt and pepper air and the kind of calm to her that he would have expected by most Generals who weren't Kenobi, Skywalker or Vos.

"Khret told me that you are looking into adrenaline poisoning, because of General Kenobi's case." She said, coming closer now that she had his attention. Her stride was firm, her manner no-nonsense and she didn't ask that, she just apprised him to what she knew of the situation.

"I was wondering," She went on, setting her pile on books on top of one of his stacks, the spines turned towards him. "- if you had considered that he might have accidentally poisoned himself through a combination of substituting meditation for sleeping, psychosomatic presentation of battle fatigue and his natural tendency to put himself in situations where his body would produce massive quantities of adrenaline, which sometimes can be a byproduct of the use of the Force."

Kix blinked.

Well, that actually did sound like something the General might have done.

Huh.

He looked at the books' spines.

They were a motley assortment of Jedi Healer treaties on arguments that ranged from over-extending one's body's limits with the Force to inadvertently abusing Force-enhancements to over-reliance on the same, along with two different books on psychosomatic presentation damage in Jedi and a study on Jedi And Survivor Complex that looked like it hadn't been touched in decades and gave Kix the impression it was treated as nothing worth reading about.

Which was preposterous.

The Kaminoans had seen to it that all brothers be not only mentally capable of handling what was thrown at them but also mentally capable of handling surviving what was thrown at them and what came after, to avoid any break-downs in the troops they were churning out.

He had given for granted that the Jedi did the same.

Kriff.

He looked up, to ask the healer about it, but she was gone.

Kix swore.

(Low, because he wasn't about to encur in Madam Nu's censure).


Hevy kept an eye on Jesse, just in case he'd try to sneak off again, but the kids were keeping him pretty busy.

Waxer and Boil were in the creche with them too, though Boil was pretending to be both far more done than he actually was, the big softie, and pissy to have drawn this rotation, the liar. Waxer looked like he was thinking plans for adopting all of the younglings and sneak them off to Ryloth to be a happy little family with their Numa.

It was adorable, though Hevy wasn't gonna admit that much out loud any time soon, more for the good of his own image than because he feared Boil's reaction. That brother was more grumpy than actually aggressive.

The young wookie he had been playing with raised his arms and howled his version of an 'up'. Hevy snorted at him and then leaned down, raising him up high and then settling him on his shoulders, much to the delight of the kid, who couldn't be older than fifteen standard.

He didn't mind this rotation at all.


Anakin knew what he was about to do wasn't fair to his Master, but as far as he was concerned, he wasn't going to feel all that guilty about it. Especially not after being briefed by Cody on Obi-Wan's chart.

As far as things went, his Master hadn't been fair to himself to begin with.

He was standing in front of the bacta tank that contained Obi-Wan's far too skinny body, Rex and Cody bracketing him at the sides, eyes narrowed as he took in the damage Obi-Wan had done to himself.

This is not acceptable, Master. He thought, grimly, as he closed his eyes and reached through their bond, the one that was laying dormant between them, and poked at Obi-Wan with as much gentleness as he could muster.

Just enough to draw a sliver of Obi-Wan's consciousness up, not enough to actually wake him. It was some of the finest work Anakin had ever done, control wise, but he had a clear objective in mind and that helped him navigate the complexities of being close but not too close.

'akin? Obi-Wan muzzily thought.

You are safe, Master. You should go back to sleep. Anakin sent, soothing him before he could rouse fully. I just need to know where the stims are. He whispered, in the same tone he would have used to ask for where the report forms were or some non-critical but time-sensitive information.

The stims? Obi-Wan sounded confused, uncertain.

Yes. Were are they? Anakin asked again, trying to press without shoving, which was much harder than he had thought he would be, because to ask about them was to think about them and to think about them was to think about Obi-Wan taking them and ... and that wasn't a productive line of thinking.

But I turned them down. Obi-Wan said, confused.

Anakin blinked his eyes open, in shock, and swore in Huttese as Obi-Wan slipped back down into unconsciousness with a sleepy We will talk about this later. that was near incoherent, as far as the tone was concerned.


"No." Cutup said, looking down in disapproval to the padawans he had caught trying to sneak out of the apartment they were supposed to share until their Masters were discharged. "I know that you are bored and that your Masters are all in the Healing Wards, but this is not the way to deal with things."

The Mon Calamari looked like hir might be about to just try and find some pond to sink down into. The Zabrak boys were looking at each other as if trying to decide how to best get out of this and, damn, had no one taught them how to front already? This couldn't do.

"Come with me." He ordered them, briskly, and waited until they were hauling ass to look at them over his shoulder and smirk. "You are going to need much better supplies than those, for whatever thing you were thinking of repainting."

When the boys made to cheer he turned on his heels and raised his hands, palms up, shaking them.

"No, no, no! You are gonna give us away! You have to pretend to be contrite and about to be punished!" He hissed, low enough that with any luck the incoming patrol of brothers wouldn't hear him.

The Mon Calamari dropped hir's head and the two Zabrak's boys immediately hunched their shoulders and looked like they were wishing the earth would swallow them.

Well, that was at least something. A base to build on.

These kids were lucky it had been him, who had found them.


"Yes." Kix did his best not to grind out, breathing in deeply and then exhaling slowly. "Everyone joins the Force. We are clear so far. But is there counseling after, for those who haven't joined it and saw others do it?" He asked, trying to phrase his question in a way that might be understandable to the Rodian padawan he had enlisted as help.

The Rodian inclined his head, pondering the question, and Kix turned to look at Khret, who seemed more bemused than actually worried, as he ought to have been. What was wrong with everyone?!

Kix waited, holding on tightly to his temper as the padawan kept thinking about what should have been a really easy to answer question, goddamnsit.

Finally, the Rodian padawan looked up and turned to Khret. "What does he mean, by 'counseling'?" He asked.

Kix just stared.


"He means if it's mandatory for Jedi to talk to mind healers, after witnessing someone passing into the Force or after a loss." Khret specified, taking pity on padawan Graab Liss and on Chief Medical Officer Kix both. They clearly weren't speaking the same language, as often happened between reasonable people and Jedi.

"Why should we? We are Jedi. We accept it and we move on." Padwan Liss asked, taking a step back immediately after, probably in reaction to the warnings the Force had started shouting in their ears. "So say the Masters." He added, a bit precipitously.

"You should go." Khret cautioned him, gently, and Padawan Liss nodded and turned, walking away at a steady enough pace that it wasn't fleeing but it wasn't quite calmy leaving the field either.

Chief Medical Officer Kix turned to him, eyes glaring daggers, mouth opening for what, Khret was sure, would turn out to be an impressive rant.

He raised a hand to forestall it.

"I am not a Jedi." He specified, since the human might actually not be aware of it yet, given the ignorance he was displaying about the traditions and conventions of the Order.

Chief Medical Officer Kix blinked, looking at him, completely thrown.

Khret allowed him the time to turn that into his head and look at it from various angles. He wasn't going to be the first sentient Khret had had to explain the difference between the Order and the Corps too. He actually had quite a bit of experience in the matter.

He suspected Keran would have been better at it, since Khret was not even the right kind of Educational Corps branch (he was an archivist, not a teacher) and she at least was on the same wavelength as the man, what with both of them being healers.

Keran, however, had barely had the time to drop off the research she had done with the Chief Medical Officer before she had been commed back for an emergency. He had plans to hand her number over to the Chief Medical Officer but, until then, it was still his duty to see to it that the man found the informations he needed and he was certainly going to try.

That it was also fun, and somewhat vindicating, to watch his reactions didn't hurt one bit.


General Kenobi's digs were pretty much a dump.

A really nice, really well kept, really clean dump, but a dump nonetheless. There was one tiny-ass bedroom that wasn't much bigger than the cabin he'd had on board of their star destroyer, one living room that doubled as kitchen and a tiny fresher without even a bath-tube.

"Are you sure we have the right room?" He asked Knight P'ain'in'my'ass.

The kid didn't even blink, despite the fact that this was the third time Fives had asked that question in the last four minutes.

"Yes." He confirmed. "Master Kenobi used to have a Master/Padawan apartment, but after Master Skywalker was Knighted, he generously left it to Master Skywalker and Padawan Tahno and moved here. This is the standard set of apartments for a Knight."

He checked the padd in his hands. "There had been provisions made to move Master Kenobi to an apartment suitable for a Councilor but the first few weeks he procrastined and afterwards he was never around long enough to sign the paperwork, so it was indefinitely post-poned." He explained.

Corayo's soul, Fives thought, looking around.

There were only a few boxes, all stacked together in an angle. The only clothes in the wardrobe had looked like what Kenobi had regularly wore on the front and there was enough tea to satisfy the thirst of a whole Company but no food to speak of.

This was a huge amount of Bantha's poodoo, it was.

This couldn't be where their General had lived planet-side for as long as the war had been going on.

Mother of Kwot! He couldn't have waited until Commanders Rex and Cody heard about it, if he hadn't been one of the two unlucky bastards who had to deliver the news.

The two of them were going to have kittens by the litter, over this.


"Let's see if my understanding is perfectly clear." Kix said, feeling distantly proud that he wasn't yelling the words but instead calmy, reasonably speaking them through his grinding teeth but still managing not to have them come out like a snarl. And with no Mando'a sprinkled in between.

Khret waited, patiently, looking like he could watch Kix come to terms with just how completely insane the Jedi actually were when it came to their own people. He looked like he considered this as better than the Holonet. Kix could respect an asshole of that caliber.

"Jedi younglings are found either by Jedi on missions or because there is a midichlorian count that is administered by doctors all over the Republic to check in a semi-mandatory fashion and the Order gets notified when someone pings certain levels." He recapped.

"Yes." Khret agreed. "Some planet have it as a tradition, some planet have it as a rule. Depends. There's not an actual Senate bill regulating that."

Kix nodded, taking a note, and then went on: "The children are allowed to stay with their families until they between four to six years old, or their species mental development equivalent."

"Yes, if the family wills it." Khret confirmed. "If they want to send the child immediately, the Order takes them. If they don't want to send the child, the Jedi usually let the family keep the child, though they have the authority to bring them here, but that was ruled a fair few administration ago and only Yoda is still alive to remember it. The fact that they can doesn't mean that they do." He shrugged a bit. "I've only ever heard of that rule being applied when there is suspicion or proof of an abusive or dangerous situation for the child's health."

Fair enough and pretty in line with the Jedi he'd met so far. Kix underlined a passage on the padd he'd been taking notes on.

"The children are given a basic training. If they pass the Initiate Trials, they become Initiates and keep on training. If they don't, they are either brought back to their families or reassigned to the Corps." He summed up. "Agricultural, Medical, Educational or Exploration."

"Depends on if the family wants them back or where you've shown to have talent." Khret nodded. "Though most kids who don't make Initiates end up in the Agricultural Corps. The other three are kind of above the level of skill of a kid. If they show skill later on they can always transfer."

"So far so good." Kix muttered.

Kriff, it was a more compassionate than what the Kaminoans did to defective clones or, worse, those who weren't defective but failed to perform to standards. They cleaned up their act when the Jedi showed up, sending them to maintenance and cleaning crews, and they did let 99 stay on, mostly as an example of what it meant to be a failure, but Kix remembered how it was when he was young.

Now, for the utterly insane part.

(But still not as outright insane as ’What does he mean by counseling?’ WHAT COULD HE EVER MEAN? HUH? DROIDBAIT COULD HAVE ANSWERED HIM, THAT WAS HOW SIMPLE THINGS WERE.)


"You have the wrong place." Commander Cody said, in the kind of flat tone that meant that they had to have the wrong place or consequences were going to be had.

Fives wished he could say it had all been a prank. He might have gotten murdered for it, but at least it would have been a clean death by glare.

"We checked, sir." Echo answered, leaping forward in the fray because Echo was ARC in his soul to levels that even Five didn't completely managed to touch, what with actually having a somewhat working sense of self-preservation and all. "Five times on the paperwork and then we found a couple of Jedi who know the General and asked them and they confirmed that this is his allotted apartment.

The last time Fives had heard that kind of silence, Rex had caught a group of shinies playing at 'most badass fictional Kenobi fact'.

Even Echo slipped closer to Fives than regulation demanded.

It was that kind of silence.

"I got the paperwork signed as Obi-Wan's prox-- huh. You already packed everything up?" General Skywalker asked from the entrance, looking around with an impressed opinion.

"This was how we found it, General Skywalker, sir." Echo replied, before Fives could elbow him and make him keep his damn mouth shut.

Fives had the chance to get a generous earful of General Skywalker's vast and varied knowledge of Huttese curses, in the next good three minutes. He committed as many as he could to memory. From the way Echo's eyes looked happily glazed, he figured that whatever he missed, his brother would share.

"Agreed." Was all that Commander Cody had to say to that.


Hardcase wasn't sure what was going on with most of his superior officers, but he was pretty sure he didn't care either. General Skywalker was good, Senator Amidala was good, General Kenobi was not good but he was also in bacta so he was going to be good.

As far as it concerned him, things were on track and he could let himself get distracted by something very different.

"There is more of this?" He asked Rea'Vil.

They were sitting next to him on the bleachers as they watched younglings train with lightsabers set to training mode. It had set him on the edge, in a really bad way, to see the younglings surrounded by flying clankers who fired off little zaps of light that looked far too much like blaster fire for his comfort.

The Knight had approached him before his finger could start sliding towards the trigger and had reassigned Chopper, who shouldn't have been there at all and wouldn't have been if their Commanders had known what 'training room duty' was going to mean.

After clearing up how he was supposed to address the Knight (she / her pronouns, but he hadn't been sure initially because hir was pretty decidedly male, physically, but had also taken pains to hide male apple of his throat, wore decidedly feminine-looking eye-markings and wore low heeled sensible boots that would held well in the field while also showing off the legs), Knight Rea'Vil had struck up a neutral conversation about weapons (she knew her blasters about as well as Hardcase, which was pretty impressive for a Jedi).

From there they had moved on to talk about sounds and how some of them were just programmed into them by now, to trigger certain reactions.

She had talked about losing friends on Geonosis and how she both regretted and was glad she hadn't been planet-side, because her Ataru, a particular style of wielding the lightsaber she had explained, would have probably gotten her killed. Hardcase felt he could understand the feeling and shared about his first campaign with her.

She had admitted to having been with the 22nd on the Lemiah, and that had been when he had realized that her left sleeve had been pinned up at the height of her shoulder and that both of her eyes, surronded as they were by healed scarring, were bionic replacements.

"I'm no Skywalker, nor do I have that much seniority, and I -- well. I'm pretty young, so I have time, and I didn't have any big command. There weren't any of my guys left and nobody was in a hurry to assign me another command." She had shrugged and leaned back on the bleachers.

"I ended up pretty high on the replacement for the eyes, because those were a priority, but I'm somewhere in the middle of the requisition list for bionic limbs. The troopers get priorities because they are needed in the field, more experienced Jedi take the precedence because they are more useful to the Order." She hadn't seemed bothered by it, but it had bothered him and not a little.

"I'll probably get scheduled in in four or five months." She had explained and then had shrugged again, like it didn't matter to her one way or another. "The war is done with and anyway, I can't access the Force with my bio reps. I think maybe I'll switch from Peacekeeper to some other Path."

Which didn't make much sense to Hardcase, who didn't know what she meant by that. It still had made something inside his chest go tight, both for her and for all the brothers they had lost on that damn planet. The brothers who would have wanted for her to be better taken care of, he was sure of it.

She was too skinny, he had decided, and had been about to tell her as much when she had offered him what had looked like one of the fancy ear comms.

"What's that for?" He'd asked.

"They are about to step it up." She had nodded with her chin to the younglings. "The sound is gonna increase. I have some Outer Rim stuff on my audio padd. If you want, we can share."

Hardcase had hesitated, not sure what 'Outer Rim stuff' actually meant, aside from the obvious meaning of the Rim of provenience. After a moment he'd decided that anything was going to be better than having to watch natural aging Jedi younglings come under heavier fire, real or fake that it was. It might just sting them when it hit, but every sound that came out of them left Hardcase seriously dizzy with the need to destroy every clanker in sight.

He had slipped the ear comm in, watched her fiddle with her audio padd and then sound had filled his ear and mind, fast and hard and rhythmic like nothing else he'd ever heard. It was fast paced, whoever it was that was speaking along with the rhythm sounded female, angry and not sorry about either. It was in Rodian, so it had taken him a few moments to start catch what they were yelling about.

Then he had turned to Rea'Vil with raised eyebrows.

She hadn't been looking at him, her bionics pointed at the children, and even when she had felt his eyes on her she'd just smirked and gave him a side-look, as if challenging to say anything about the fact that she was listening to what was basically Sep music about Coruscanti corruption.

The next piece had been deeply different, a lot of instruments coming together in something far more catchy, no singing but just a fast paced cadence that had made him tap his foot. He had liked it better, felt more good to his ears than the previous yelling, more smooth and like something he could have listened at again and again.

Which had led him to the question.

"There is more of this?" He asked Rea'Vil.

She laughed, low and deep and amused and nodded. "Of more types I can remember off my memory. My guys used to love putting it on during attacks, especially Nip and Bite." Her eyes were soft and sad, resigned in a way that was way more peaceful than Hardcase felt like, watching her.

"You're gonna have to make me listen to the stuff they liked and chose what's approrpiate. I don't want you bringing stuff in our barracks that would gave our Commanders conniptions." He informed her, brisk and businesslike.

She just blinked at him.

"If you think you're getting out to showing me more of this Outer Rim stuff, you are all out of luck." He informed her and then reached out and adjusted her coat some. It wouldn't do, for his Jedi to be less than perfectly presentable.

And he was gonna get some proper, nutritios food in her, even if he had to go to Kix and ask for dietary suggestions. She needed to put some meat on her bones.