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The Exile's Order: The Phantom Menace

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     "Varr, dodge!" The Padawan's warning cry was the only one Amara got. Her eyes burning, tears blurring her vision, she barely had time to pivot to the left as the lead droid fired. Disoriented, slowed, she moved a moment to late. Agony ripped through the woman as the shot that would have went through her heart instead nailed her arm. Her lightsaber slipped from now useless fingers as she cried out, her right arm dropping to swing limply at her side. It was the Jedi Master who acted then, the droids before her knocked back by a Force push. The Padawan was amongst them in an instant, his lightsaber flashing as he cut them down. His Master joined him, the two descending down the hallway in an intertwining dance of green and blue. Droid after droid fell to their blades, and after Amara snagged her lightsaber she drew her blaster, adding her own shots to the fight. She managed to nail the last of the droids as the Master halted before an ornate door, pivoting sharply to plunge his lit saber into it. Amara flinched at the sparks that showered them, flicking her visor down as she turned to face toward the hallways before them. The woman stepped to the Padawan's side, giving him a nod as she fell into a ranged combat form. If they were to be overwhelmed, her aid would not mean much, but she would do her best to protect the Jedi behind her. She never got the chance, the arrival of higher grade droidekas forcing her to abandon any pretense of attack.

     "Master," the Padawan warned them both, "Destroyers!" Master Jinn spun away from his task, adding his own lightsaber to their defense as the droidekas slowly advanced upon them. Her training in the way of the Fourth was what saved her, each glancing shot further scorching her armor as she only barely dodged them.

     "They have shield generators." Padawan Kenobi observed, his deflected shots bouncing harmlessly off them.

     "It's a standoff," the Master agreed. "Let's go." Once more, the Jedi moved as one, Amara following a heartbeat later as the three took off down the corridor. They did not go far, thankfully, sliding to a stop in the adjacent hallway as Master Jinn looked to the ceiling. The woman followed his gaze, surprised to see an entrance to the ventilation shaft above them. With a single harsh pull of the Force, the Jedi yanked the grating down. He leapt up into the opening he had made, his Padawan following after him not a second later. Amara paused, feeling her heart sink as she eyed the distance between herself and the opening. Without the Force, she couldn't make that jump. She clutched her blaster tighter, turning to eye the rapidly approaching Destroyers.

     "Jump," Padawan Kenobi encouraged her, laying flat as he reached for her. Amara holstered her blaster, extending her hand as she turned back and did as he asked. His hand closed around hers, and after a moment's struggle, she clamored into the shaft beside them.

     "My thanks," she murmured to him, and he gave her a grin as they turned to follow after his Master.

 

     "Here," Master Jinn whispered back to them, and she questioned not his certainty as the man unhooked the grate before him. He lowered it slowly to the ground, slipping out only once he was sure the faint clatter had drawn no attention. His Padawan smoothly followed, a sound barely made at his descent. Amara winced as she pulled her legs forward, clutching at the opening's sides. Their time spent in the ventilation shafts had rubbed her knees near raw, her armor unforgiving as it dug in with each movement forward. She slung her legs over the edge, leaning forwards as she pushed off. The woman winced once more at the sound her boots made as they hit the ground, thankful that neither Jedi seemed interested in rebuking her as they crept forward. Amara took a moment to rub at her knees, wincing at her touch, before she moved to join the Jedi. She crouched beside the Master, leaning to his left as she hesitantly peered out from behind their cover. Even with her earlier suspicions, she was unprepared for the sheer mass of the droids she found.

     "Battle droids," Master Jinn whispered, examining the situation before them with a frown.

     "It's an invasion army," Padawan Kenobi agreed, surprise coloring his voice as he watched the droids.

     "This is an odd play for the Trade Federation," the Master Jedi murmured, and Amara caught the faintest hint of confusion from the older man as he glanced towards them. "We've got to warn the Naboo," he continued, and she could practically see the man before her shifting from peaceful ambassador to Jedi Master, "and contact Chancellor Valorum. Let's spilt up, stow aboard separate ships, and meet down on the planet." She gave a nod of understanding when he glanced back at her, watching as they split off before she turned towards the hanger bay's entrance. Alone now, Amara bit her lip as she watched the passing droids, dismissing the first groups of them as they passed. They all moved to assume their positions in the growing lines of battle droids, following them would do her no good. It was then that she saw them- a group that angled not towards the lines of droids, but towards the ships. A squad, if their few numbers were any indication, and Amara cautiously darted out to fall into step behind the lattermost droid. The unified clank of their feet upon the ground masked her approach, and she prayed to the Exile that none would glance back. Her dark armor could only mask her presence so much- she wished desperately for a stealth generator. Her luck held, though, and she boarded the transport behind them without being noticed. Releasing the tight breath she had held, Amara crouched low as she slipped deeper into the ship.