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Only or'dinii* want to live in interesting times

Chapter Text

Its just another abandoned temple, so old there nothing to identify who built it or why.

Cody is following his General into the temple with a small squad of men, since his General insisted that there is something still here.

Stone walls with vines draped over them, more stone walls, more vines, White sand, white sand. At least there are no traps yet though he’s not sure if the walls are keeping the vines up or the vines are holding the walls together.

Then his General is climbing over a tumbled stone and into a circular room filled with white sand that makes his teeth ache.

As his Jedi exams the centre of the room the rest of them spread out around the sides. Everything is very peaceful with the lilac sky clear above them, the only movement comes from the gentle breeze stirring the sand in little eddies, until their shiny goes sprawling.

CT- 4021 is already getting up, when his General discovers the remains of the thigh bone buried in the sand, that their shiny slipped up on.

“Sir General Sir, where did that come from? Sir” Their shiny asks

“From the people who died here” General Kenobi replies looking slowly round the room.

“Wha! where’s the body’s?”

With a sad smile on his face Kenobi “Oh! Your standing in them, it was a long time ago and now all that’s left is this bone and the sand”

While all his brothers are wearing their helmets, Cody know that they will be twice as careful to clean their gear, because knowing that your covered in a layer of dead people gives him the creeps too.

“Force that’s sharp”

Cody's attention is drawn back to his General only to see him suck on his finger as he drops the bone on the ground.

“Sir let me see that “ Boil already hustling over

“Oh, its nothing just a scratch”

“Yah, Well you can still get blood poisoning from a scratch” Boil grumbles as he grabs Obi-wans hand. A drop of blood falling on to the sand as he does so.

For a moment nothing happens, then a radiance rises from under the sand to rush round the room in a sinuous pattern before heading to the centre, Cody can see his General shouting as everything seems to be frozen in the growing light until all are consumed by the luminosity.

On the floor of an empty circular room in an old abandoned temple the faded labyrinth glimmers with a white light before dwindling to nothing leaving only fine white sand that begins to cover the ancient pattern once more with each breath of the gentle breeze

Chapter Text

Cody wakes to smothering darkness, pain and the sound of his General whimpering. He’s blind and every bone in his body aches. It’s a struggle to get his broken helmet off but at least he’s close to the ground when he throws up.

He can still hear his General and he fights the unseen constraints, desperate at his weakness, managing to free himself at last and stagger though the jumble of coloured lights that swirl about him, over to the mound of clothing he can hear his Generals voice coming from.

Despite the continuing urge to be ill again with each moment, he clears the clothing from his General, finally excavating enough that his Generals head and shoulders are clear.
His General turns his face up to him, big green eyes filled with tears, his lip trembling and wraps his thin arms around Cody’s neck with the strength of a limpet.

Kriff his Generals shrunk. With a sickening feeling as he lifts his now tiny General out of his clothes, while striving not to vomit again, Cody’s turns to the sounds of struggle telling him his brothers are waking up. Haar'chak they’ve all shrunk

Trappers so small that once the helmet’s off, he can actually wriggle out without undoing any of the clasps. Use of a boot knife gets the rest out and then all the vod’e are shivering standing in the upper part of their under suits mostly.

With the crawling sensation growing worse, Cody cuts off any conversation with a hand signal (meaning attack imminent take cover). “Boil keep an eye out on anyone coming our way, Waxer, CT- 4021 find us a somewhere we can hole up in till we can figure out where we are. Try and find somewhere high up.” He orders as they look around the filth infested alley way with rubbish piled high next to a dumpster they’ve woken up in.

He sets Obi and Trapper to bundle the spare under suits and robes in the general's cloak. Belts go bandolier style over chests and armour is tied up..It’s Waxer who spots the large old style fan blower vent on the side of the building that they could get to from the dumpster. Cody sends Waxer and CT- 4021 up to pry it open if necessary, as the crawling sensation is getting worse.

The rest of the Vod’e are feeling the sense of urgency too, as Waxer and CT- 4021 practically fly up the hand holds on the dumpster before getting the vent open, Waxer’s whisper down to him that the space in side is big another for all of them with room to spare at their current size and the fan looks broken. Has him pushing Trapper and Obi up the dumpster as fast as they can go. Cody boosts first Obi and then Trapper over in to the fan box. While recalling Boil from the front of the alley. They use the belay line to haul the under suits and cloths up in to the box, before Boil books it back to them and then the four of them haul the last of their gear into the box as quickly as they can without making too much noise.

They quietly drop the vent down, just in time before a darker shadow slinks in to their alley. Its joined by another five shadows with faint glints of light where eyes might be. From the size the vod’e would have had trouble dealing with this “pack” full sized.

It’s only after the shadows have sniffed around the alley and departed that Cody becomes aware that they are all still shivering. Leaving their armour as it is. They pile the under suits on the floor to make a mattress and then use the General,s tunics and cloak as a blankets that they cuddle up under with the two smallest huddled in the centre. Cody doesn’t have to ask his brothers, he knows that none of them feel well enough to move until they have rested. He tries to keep his eyes open but it’s just too much.

The second time Cody wakes up its to Boil shaking his shoulder. A Boil wearing one of his Generals tunics tied with string around his middle.

“You need to see this Commander”

The flimsy Boil hands him appears to be a news sheet, but it’s the date that grabs his attention and has him utter a particularly fruity Huttuese phrase.

Chapter Text

Cody doesn’t recognise the name of the planet, or the name of the city on the news sheet that Boil hands him. Nor at that moment does he care. All his attention is on the date.

********************************************* NINE FOUR SIX RUUSAN CALENDAR ************************************************************

If its correct then he and the rest of the vod’e won’t exists in any useful form for at least a couple of decades and his General should be three years old, just starting on his Jedi path. He looks over to where his General is now curled around Trapper, who is gripping back with equal intensity.

He wonders briefly if there is another Obi-wan sleeping safe in the Temple grounds. To quote his often underappreciated General “He’s got a very bad feeling about this”.

“Yah! that was what I thought too Sir “Boil says.

Kriff I said that out loud Cody thinks before “Report “

“Sir yes sir. Once CT- 4021 was awake, Waxer and I went to scout the lie of the land. Figured we’d look less out of place if we wore the Generals tunics than our Blacks. We didn’t see anything obviously pro one side or the other, then this sentient walked by reading that flimsy, he got to the last page and just chucks it down our alley. We picked it up and saw the date.” Boil reports.

“You sure he didn’t see you?

“No Commander he didn’t see us. We kept to the shadows and he stayed in the centre. Seemed like something he did regular. Waxer’s gathering a bunch of news sheet flimsy that appear to have been dumped here on a regular basis.”

All the news sheet flimsy’s have the same year on them.

Taking a deep breath Cody “Right, wake Trapper and our General, chow down and then inventory, before we decide anything”

Boil nods before moving to get the meal packs as Waxer wakes Trapper and the General. CT- 4021 stays at his position at the vent.

The meal only adds to Cody’s worries as while Trappers memory’s and mind is intact bar problems due to his new size, it’s clear the Generals mind is that of the three year old he appears to be. Kriff!

More concerning is the detail that despite the fact, that as far as Obi-wan knows he went to bed in his own home with his parents and woke up in a strange place with five strangers he’d never seen before, Obi-wan seems quite content to be in their company.

Cody hasn’t had a lot of experience with younglings but he knows this isn’t normal.

Going through everything they have with them leads to the following list.

They have their comms, decee 15’s Cody’s pistol plus spare blaster magazines, the Generals light saber, standard kit of vibro blades, thermal detonators, droid poppers, concussion grenades , ration bars, meal packs, canteens , multitools, medpacs, fire starters, water purification powders and belay cables. In addition they have five holo dramas two holo porns, a beskar knife, military grade data pad, hip flask of hooch, Boil’s non-standard medpac containing his holo chip lessons, a hypo-injector, analgesics, dressings, flasks of rehydrating fluid, two IV field pumps, neutral transfusion fluids, four laser scalpels, foil blanket, thirty-five assorted sizes of bacta patches, seventeen bacta shots, and a large pot of bacta goo, synthflesh, sanitary wipes, plus their plastoid-alloy composite white armour and pressurized black body gloves which is all too big for them and their Jedi’s robes also too big and finally roughly 300 republic credits.

The best things in the hoard of items is the military grade data pad the shiny was dragging with him, Boils superior medical kit, and the hip flask of hooch Waxer was carrying that, make’s their eye’s water from the fumes alone. Boil promptly confiscates it for their medical supplies.

“Hey, that was a gift from a nice old civilian lady.” Waxer whines

“ Waxer, your currently too young to drink, this stuff will kill anything and we need a liquid disinfectant.” Boil snarls back

“But, But it’s made from fruit, mostly fruit.” Waxer protests weakly

“Waxer please tell me you didn’t get this from that old lady who taught Fives the hedgehog song” Boil asks

“Ah, maybe” Waxer

“Are you nuts! Kix is still using that INCIDENT to black mail his Jedi into getting medical treatment “ Boil rounds on Waxer ***

Cody can feel his headache growing again, as he watches the Shiny, Trapper and his Generals head’s bob back and forth as they watch the argument in fascination.
The credits won’t last long, even if the planet they’re on takes republic credits. They can’t use the armour or the weapons as their currently too small. They need boots that fit and clothes that let them blend in and hide. While the ration bars and meal packs will help for a time they need a source of clean water.

He’s suddenly very grateful for all the times he spent sleeping over in his Jedi quarters, both of them too exhausted to do any more. If he hadn’t, his sleep deprived Jedi would not have shared with him his theories about the Sith involvement with the war and he wouldn’t know that contacting the Jedi temple at this time is a good way to get them all disappeared or worse.

He just hopes that between the five of them they will be able to teach his jetii enough about controlling the force to stay hidden.

It’s the Shiny that points out that they should check the alley way and the dumpster to see what they can salvage from the rubbish. When Boil starts to claim that it just junk, the shiny states that they might find something they can use to cook in.

CT- 4021 is right it’s a resource they can’t afford to overlook in their current circumstances.

When CT- 4021 points out that the packing material will make a better mattress than the under suits that their currently using and he can make a foot covering from the smelly piece of rubber he insists on dragging up into their hiding place Cody starts wonder about they’re shiny’s survival training.

Removing the broken fan makes a lot more space and Cody gets Trapper to play a modified game of push pull with his little General before joining the others next to the vent.

“Commander, how long after we contact the Temple do you think someone will pick us up” Waxer asks

“We’re not contacting the Temple Waxer. We need to work out what we’re going to do to stay alive and keep the General alive with no backup” Cody states waiting for the explosion. Though from Boils expression, Boil has already figured out something on his own.

“Why the Kriff not! Sir.” Waxer

“Kriff it! No Dooku’s still at the temple, do you want us all to disappear?” Cody

“But they can protect the General better that we can right now.” Waxer

Boil snorts “They did a osik job last time. You’d think they’d take better care, since he was taken to the temple because his parents mistreated him for having force powers, but no our General spent more time than average in the healing halls as a youngling and then it got worse, a lot worse when he became a padawan.”

Waxers looks at Boil his face pale, CT- 4021 not look much better beside him and Cody just feels this sick click in his head as lots of little things suddenly make sense.

“No, Boil they wouldn’t do that” Waxer says looking pleadingly at Boil *

“Waxer they did. I’m sorry, but after Point Rain I hacked the General’s medical records. Then when General Kenobi got me medical training with Master Che after the Kaminoans said I was nothing but a clone trooper.” An angry Boil responds “I, well I asked Master Che Medic to Medic”

Boil looks uncomfortable “Master Che got into a lot of trouble because Kenobi’s Master was slapdash in his care of him. Some of the injuries were made worse because Kenobi was too frightened of upsetting his master to speak up when they first became a problem……. Master Che took to giving Kenobi a though medical review the minute he walked in the Temple door to keep on top of the potential problems. The worse incident was when Kenobi became injured and it became a major life threating injury because Master Jinn insisted in traveling back to the Temple to give his report in person immediately rather than get his padawan the medical treatment he needed, complicated by fact that Kenobi was malnourished and underweight due to Master Jinn neglecting to see to his basic needs.”

Boil sighs “Master Che is my hero, as when the council decided to brush the incident off, she made sure that Jinn knew exactly what she would do to him if he ever failed to feed his padawan regular meals or not get him appropriate medical treatment in a timely manner while breaking his nose again and giving him a concussion. She got a six month suspension from the council for that one but Kenobi never had any more problems due to lack of food, but Jinn’s attitude gave the General some mental issues regard his own health ”

To Cody it also explains why Boil and the other medics of the 212 are so fanatical about their Generals health.

Before they can discuss things further their tiny General crawls into Waxers lap and starts hugging him. A heartbroken Waxer hugs him back.

“I know I’m a shiny but that doesn’t seem normal for a youngling” CT- 4021 states while looking at the pair.

Boil grimaces “He’s force sensitive. He can sense our emotions and can feel that we don’t want to harm him unlike his parents”

Nether Boil nor Cody say out loud that their General can feel how much they love him as a vod.

As Obi-wan continues to hug and pet Waxer, Cody decides to come clean to his Vod'e. “The General had some theories on our creation, the war and the involvement of the Sith. He didn’t have any proof, just a lot of really convenient happenstances that were just too good to be true in hindsight. With what he told me and the timeline he came up with I have to agree with him. If we go to the Temple for help best case scenario is the General winds up in the crèche again and we wind up in an orphanage. If we can stay hidden there are events we can change or at least improve. It’s going to be the hardest mission we’ve ever undertaken. Under the circumstances I won’t order any of you too do this. If all of you say the Temple then so be it”

Boil “you’ve got my vote, vod.”

Trapper removes his thumb “Hide”

Waxer looks over the head of his now tiny General and “Hide for now”
Cody smiles at Waxer

CT- 4021 “Huh! That’s what she meant. Oh hide” and blushes as the others turn to him. “I got really drunk and woke up with a civilian woman last leave. She said that it was traditional for her people to swap knife’s when a man pleased a woman but the wind whispered that she should give me the data pad as well as I would need it soon. The data pad’s got a lot of interesting low-tech solutions and other stuff on it. It’s how I know about the packaging and foot coverings”

The datapad turns out to be full of some real odd stuff, not all of it useful and some of it very handy given that the Kamonians didn’t give them any helpful training for taking care of a miniature Jedi while being de-aged and hiding from a Sith Lord as well as his allies with almost zero resources.

When they find the file labelled the Three Faces of the Force that has details on the Jedi, Sith and the Forged and other Force Paths…… Mother of Kwath! Force shenanigan! Kriff! That’s all they need Cody thinks. From the expression on Boil’s face he isn’t amused either.** At least they’ve found a pipe they can tap for clean water.

Chapter Text

While trying to think what THE INCIDENT is I got an image of Skywalker the droid whisperer getting drunk, figuring out how to get droids drunk.

So then there’s this large seething mass of drunk 501 clones, drunk B1 droids, a drunk R2-D2 all singing the hedgehog song before starting into the wizards knob song. When Skywalker leaps on a table and declares “I can improve that” and comes up with new words for the Wizards staff.

Kix has so much blackmail so much.

Sometime after the Jedi Council hear about a song that’s become very popular and decide to question Skywalker about it. Anikins Skywalker's guilty conscience thinks it’s about THE INCIDENT and he decides to throw Padme under the speeder.

IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS

Skywalker “I’ve been married to Padme since the beginning of the war and we going to have a baby”

Kenobi “Bail, Windu, you both owe me, Cody and the 212 Battalion four crates of Corrilian brandy and a paid vacation. I’ll be seeing the rest of you about the credits later.”

“ Damm it Kenobi, you’re his master, I still say insider knowledge.” Windu groans

Skywalker splutters “But, but I’m married”

“Oh shut up Skywalker” Saesee Tiin “Everyone knows your married including the Separatists. The bet was on when, where and how you would decide to come clean.”

“Mm, that reminds me I need to contact Dooku to discuss collecting the Separatist bets” Kenobi says stroking his beard.

"Enough discuss this song Skywalker we shall” Yoda stands with a thump of his glimmer stick “Source you are of very popular song “A Jedi’s saber has a Knob on the End”

Yoda frowns “Informs me does Luminara Unduli that even the B1 droids are singing it, her padawan Barriss Offee almost lost because of this. Have you what to say Skywalker “

 

The senator for Naboo is going to be very annoyed with her soon to be ex- and no this is still not the INCIDENT that Kix is blackmailing his Jedi with .

SO FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT HERE IS KNIGHT SKYWALKER SINGING HIS NEW AND IMPROVED VERSION OF THE WIZARD'S KNOB NOW WITH APPROPRIATE HAND GESTURES.
Just be happy that the 501 and R2-D2 managed to persuade him not to make a verse with droids in it as well.

A JEDI'S LIGHTSABER - HAS A KNOB ON THE END

Words: Nanny Ogg (as translated by: Alixandra Jordan )( and upgraded by Jedi Knight Anikin Skywalker) Music: A Frog went a Courtin'

O, the Jedi’s lightsaber had a knob on the end.
It does! It does!
O, Jedi’s lightsaber has a knob on the end.
It does!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber has a knob on the end
And the Jedi’s lightsaber is the jedi's friend.
It is! It is!

O, the Jedi’s lightsaber is long and hard.
It is! It is!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber is long and hard.
It is!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber is long and hard;
And the Jedi’s lightsaber with it in his yard.
He does! He does!

O, the Jedi’s lightsaber proves he's a man.
It does! it does!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber proves he's a man.
It does!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber proves he's a man.
he gripes it firmly in his hand.
he does! He does!

Jedi’s lightsaber magic is all hand play.
I see! I see!
Jedi’s lightsaber magic is all hand play.
I see!
Jedi’s lightsaber magic is all hand play.
he works it first this; and then thataway.
I see!

Jedi’s lightsaber magic works up a sweat.
It does! it does!
Jedi’s lightsaber magic works up a sweat.
It does!
Jedi’s lightsaber magic works up a sweat.
It's potent magic, you can bet.
It is! It is!

The saber goes in and then goes out!
In! Out! In! Out!
The saber goes in and then goes out!
In! Out!
The saber goes in and then goes out.
Tighten the hand and start to shout!
In! Out! In! Out!

O, the Jedi’s lightsaber has a knob on the end.
I know! I know!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber has a knob on the end.
I know!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber has a knob on the end.
It's long, and shiny and tends to bend.
I know! I know!

O, Mace Windu's saber is longest of all.
He claims! He claims!
O, Mace Windu's saber is longest of all.
He claims!
O, Mace Windu's saber is longest of all.
When he takes a shower, his saber's in the hall!
he claims! He claims!

Mace Windu's saber goes 'round and 'round.
Around! Around!
Mace Windu's saber goes 'round and 'round.
Around!
Mace Windu's saber goes 'round and 'round.
That's why Jedi don't teach while sitting down.
Sit down! Sit Down!

The Jedi’s lightsaber! Long may it wave!
Back 'n' forth! Back 'n' forth!
The Jedi’s lightsaber! Long may it wave!
Back 'n' forth!
The Jedi’s lightsaber! Long may it wave!
he'll carry it proudly to his grave!
He will! He Will!

O, the Jedi’s lightsaber has enormous reach.
Yards long! Yards long!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber has enormous reach.
Yards long!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber has enormous reach
It searches for a bottom like a Naboo peach.
A peach! A peach!

O, the Jedi’s lightsaber is fond of nuts.
In trees! In trees!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber is fond of nuts.
In trees!
The Jedi’s lightsaber is fond of nuts;
Hard and prickly and nice soft butts.
In the trees? In the trees?

But the Jedi’s lightsaber is the senate’s delight
Oh, no! Oh, no!
But the Jedi’s lightsaber is the senate 's delight.
Oh, no!
But the Jedi’s lightsaber is the senate 's delight.
For senators and jedi’s come out at night.
Oh, yes! Oh, yes!

O, the Jedi’s lightsaber rises to the call.
It does! it does!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber rises to the call it does.
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber rises to the call,
When the senator, she wear nothing at all.
It does! It does!

When a naked senator takes a stand,
And she will! She will!
When a naked senator takes a stand,
And she will!
When a naked senator takes a stand.
The saber says: "To hell with your right hand."
It will! it will!

O, the saber goes in and then goes out
In! Out! In! Out!
O, the saber goes in and then goes out.
In! Out!
O, the saber goes in and then goes out
Speed things up and start to shout!
In! Out!

Well, the senator 's child has a Jedi’s lightsaber.
I saw! I saw!
Well, the senator 's child has a Jedi’s lightsaber,
I saw!
Well, the senator 's child has a Jedi’s lightsaber
After all he's a real son-of-a-saber.
Poor thing! Poor thing!

O, the Jedi’s lightsaber has a knob on the end.
It does! It does!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber has a knob on the end.
It does!
O, the Jedi’s lightsaber has a knob on the end.
And the Jedi’s lightsaber is the jedi's friend.
It is! It is!

When Mace Windu finally hears the complete version of this song the senator for Naboo may have some stiff completion regarding her designs on punishing her Ex, then again they may decide to team up to torture him.

 

ON THE SEPARATIST SIDE

Darth Sidious “Please explain to me my apprentice why the Separatist have agreed to a ceasefire”

Darth Tyranus “Kenobi won the bet. While he and the 212 Attack Battalion are enjoying their leave on Alderaan there is a ceasefire. Master you cannot blame me for this Wat Tambor Foreman the Techno Union and Po Nudo of the Hyper-Communications Cartel bet that!”

Darth Sidious “Hmm I will contact you with new instructions soon”

Darth Tyranus carefully checks that the comm is off before commenting “Good luck with that Master. The bet San Hill, made has done serious damage to the InterGalactic Banking Clan’s resources and they are demanding repayment of all loans immediately or re-negation of loans at rates not even winning the war will make palatable and that doesn’t even take into account what the Nute Gunray, Passel Argente, Tikkes Poggle the Lesser and Shu Mai bet.”

Darth Tyranus snorts “I was smart and only bet that Kenobi can have a two week vacation at Serenno and unrestricted access to any Jedi artefacts while he and the 212 Battalion is on site.”

 

FOUR YEARS INTO THE NEW SITH EMPIRE

Darth Sidious “Please explain Admiral Tarkin why the seventh fleet is eight days behind schedule?”

Admiral Tarkin “It’s a necessary diversion to avoid the erratic planetary course of Discworld. My Lord”

Darth Sidious “why the hell is the Empire kow towing to this tin pot planet. I command you to Invade and demonstrate why they must obey."

Admiral Tarkin “Far be it for me to disagree with your greatness my Lord but is it worth it. They have nothing, Jawas make superior slaves and Darth Underlord, Darth Rivan, Jedi Masters Rajivari, Belth Allusis and Nomi Sunrider all had a standing order to their followers to treat Discworld as a plague pit. Then there are the translated statements of Te Kandosii Mand'alor and I Quote “Hell no, No way am I or any other Mando ever going to go back to that black hell pit of filth” and variations of that theme by successive Mand’alor’s”

Darth Sidious “Hmm when you put it like that. Put it on the list for testing the Death Stars effectiveness.”

Admiral Tarkin “That’s a wonderful idea, My Lord”

And as we fade to black we can just hear Darth Sidious quietly singing

"O, the Sith’s lightsaber has a knob on the end.
I know! I know!
O, the Sith’s lightsaber has a knob on the end.
I know!
O, the Sith’s lightsaber has a knob on the end.
It's long, and shiny and a really perky red.
I know! I know!"

Chapter Text

The next couple of days are spent scouring the alley for useful stuff and turning what they find into things they can use to survive. At the end despite another sighting of the predatory shadows that turned up the first night. Cody feels very proud of his general and brothers.

Using information from the Data pad and the materials they’ve found the vent is now warm and draft free, they have a fresher kind of, a small work area to cook at.

Most importantly from their Jedi’s tunics, tabards and leggings plus their under suits they have managed to craft all six of them clothing and footwear that fits their current sizes.

There’s just one more detail before Cody is ready to lead them out of the alley to gather more information.

“Gather round, there’s just one thing left to do before we find out where we are.” Cody states.

“What’s that vod?” CT- 4021/Polish asks

“We need to shave Obi-wans hair.”

“Wah, What we can’t do that!” Waxer chokes out while the others look bug eyed.

“He’s a natural red head and he currently a very portable size. We can’t afford to waste any credits on hair dye, hiding the fact he’s force capable is going to be hard enough without him having the hair.” Cody points out.” You know how much trouble that caused when he was full sized and a trained Jedi”

Boil turns a hard look towards Cody “He’s a red head, his skins going to burn without his hair covering it,”

Cody grins “Got it covered.” and produces the 212 gold and white coloured fabric, that he’s been hanging on to ever since he found it covered in muck in the dumpster. With only water to clean it the colours aren’t that bright but it still feels good to see the 212 colours and know that the General at least will be wearing them.

“Yeh that’ll work. We can fix it up like Flutter of Rancor Battalion” Boil muses

As a unhappy Waxer sets to work, Cody goes over the mission goals in his mind again.
1 Find out where the planet is rim wise and who it’s affiliated to, where’s the nearest space port.
2 Find a place to pawn the five holo dramas and the two holo porn-discs for as many credits as they can get.
3 Find some cheap places to pick up some essential supplies. Food, personal hygiene products, under tunics, leggings, boots, cloak/blankets, travel packs.

Lining the vod’e up for inspection in the early morning light, Cody thinks all things considered they look pretty smart.

Boil and Waxer have sleeveless beige tunic’s with black leggings, Obi-wan is wearing the head scarf with a sleeveless black tunic and beige leggings holding hands with Trapper wearing a matching outfit. and he and Polish are in sleeveless black tunic’s and black leggings, all of them are wearing the foot coverings Pol came up with and their utility belts with vibro blades, droid poppers, concussion grenade, double wrapped around their waists.

With a hand sign they move quietly out of Home Base Alley, Cody and Pol in the lead, Waxer and Boil guarding the backs of their two most vulnerable vod’e who follow Cody and Polish still holding hands..

The planet Nine'waadasMoregal is some obscure unimportant outer rim frontier with settlers trying to tame it and affiliated to smugglers and bounty hunters with pirates and legit merchants thrown in. This is good because the Jedi are unlikely to pass though and bad because the risk of slavers goes up.
It only has one space port/city Mirshepar'la.
Good news is transport costs are not as high as Cody feared they would be. If they booked a legitimate ticket to the core worlds it will only cost them 3000 republic credits for the six of them. They are actual somewhere in the Tingel arm with the nearest Hyper lane being the Hydian way.

While Waxer does a fantastic job at the Glussemum Ded’s Pawn Shop they would have got more if the Negotiator was doing the talking but still 500 credits for the five holo dramas and 300 for the two porn-discs when they look like younglings is better than he expected. Giving them a total fund of 1100 or they would have if Boil hadn’t spotted the Levadox Oza Pharmaceuticals Company’s Diagnostic Scanner on offer for 25 republic credits and proceeded to outdo Skywalker in the aggressive negotiations front.

Both Waxer and Cody are a bit disturbed by the way Boil keeps petting his new acquisition. When they find the market Cody heads towards a food stall run by an old Twi'lek lady and having placed an order for the family meal deal * of Momeat stew, KikKik bun and Slip Juice. He settles the Vod’e down at one of the tables set around the stall. Just in time too as Trapper and Obi-wan both look ready to drop.

Cody finally gets to ask the question that been bugging him since the Pawn Shop. “Want to tell me why it was so important that we get that scanner that we paid 12 credits for it? Boil”

From the expressions on the others faces they are just as interested as he is in the answer.

Boil hugs the scanner once more. “ The di'kut didn’t know what he had. Sure the rest of the kit missing but we have most of that already in our own kits. This is a combined emergency procedure database for most of the known sentient species and diagnostic scanner for determining vital signs with recommended treatment plus it’s got the treatment synthesizer suite add-on.”

Boil chuckles “It’s even got the tutorial for non-medics. It got discontinued when Levadox Oza went bottom up in the Stark Hyper War. The complete kit was original sold for 1,000 credits without the add-ons but by the time the Separatist had declared war a complete kit was selling for between 1,300 and 1,800 republic credits on the black market. There was some talk that Chiewab Amalgamated PH Co was looking into producing a version at a lower cost.”

Boil beams happily at them all “Between this and the holo lessons I’ve got from Master Che, as long as I’ve got the supply’s I can cope with anything medical up to an extinction level event and that osik’mirshe practically gave it away”

Polish looks uncertain as he asks “Are you sure it’s not cheap cause it’s broken”

“No I checked in the shop. It needs a though clean and charge. Most of the damage is cosmetic. They build these babies tough” Boil reply’s smiling down at the scanner while giving it a loving pat.

Waxer’s continues to look bemused at this hither to unseen side to his cyar'ika.

Cody has a nasty feeling that there will be full medical evaluations or as close as Boil can manage in the vod’e’s future, he shudders internally Kix was bad enough and he was usually Rex’s problem.

So he’s very grateful when the old Twi'lek lady comes over with their food order. It’s hot and it smells good. The Vod’e fall on it like Kath Hounds. Once they’ve got past that initial hunger, the bigger Vod’e take turns helping Trapper and Obi-wan to eat.

When Waxer protests that Obi-wan needs to eat some more to Obi- wan shaking head, “Leave it Waxer, his stomach can’t take it right now. We have to build him up to it.” Boil looks up from the scanner “Don’t worry Waxer we’ve got time to teach him better habits”

Leaning back in the chair Cody smiles as his brothers relax a little and start exchanging GAR gossip, after they pay for the meal they will have 1084 credits left which sounds a lot till you realize there are six of them and they are all too small to get any decent paying jobs. So how can they make money? He doesn’t like doing it when they relaxed but they can’t leave this much longer.

“Vod’e, we need to work out how we are going to support ourselves, there’s no GAR to requisition supplies from here. No don’t answer me now, give me any ideas you have when we’ve finished getting the essentials” Cody advises as he gets up to pay.

Handing over the 4 republic credits to the old Twi'lek lady Cody asks if she know any cheap good places to get soap and clothing.

Sucking on her gums “Len Nharlq the Ithorian is your best bet for both those things, you can’t miss him, the awning over his stall is striped with bright blue and orange/gold. You come back again soon and bring your nerra and your sweet lia’ry with you, hmm.” The ancient Twi'lek mused.

The Twi'lek wasn’t wrong, the awning with its bright 501 blue and 212 orange gold colours stands out amongst the duller browns, tans and greens. It’s so bright after the worn down dirtiness that’s everywhere else the vod’e just stand there in awe.

A pair of bright blue eyes appeared out of the depths of the stall and a melodic humming is heard before a translation devise began to speak in flat tones. “Just looking or do you need some assistance little pupa?” Causing them all to startle.

“Bright” Wide-eyed Obi-wan pronounces still holding tightly to Trappers hand
.
The Ithorian looks amused “That it is. Do you like it?”

Both Obi-wan and Trappers little heads bobbled up and down.

Cody “Yes we need some stuff, the Twi'lek lady who runs the food stall said we could get it all here ” With a side glance at Boil who is still hugging his scanner. “Six back packs first of all, some cleaning supplies and then a change of clothing, plus boots.”

“Ahh the Beautiful Azu Bnine sent you, I think I have just what you need.” The Ithorian wanders towards the back of the stall where its goods are veiled in shadow. “Mmh don’t stand there come in out of the sun and see. Would these be what you need?” He stands next to a bundle of smallish well-worn rucksack.

At the end, their funds are down to 824 republic credits but they have six sturdy back packs, twelve sets of dark green leggings and under tunics that just need a very good clean, six adult sized cloaks, six pairs of tough boots, three blankets and several personal hygiene items. A back pack filed with Dantooine yarn and three of the other back packs filled with the ugliest green grey patterned cloth Cody has ever seen. He’s not sure what Polish wants it all for but he had the same look as Boil did right before he brought out the scanner at the pawn shop. At least Polish’s items only cost a couple of republic credits.

As Cody turns to leave the Ithorian places his long digits gently on Cody’s shoulder “The littlest pupa does not come from your herd mmh” he states looking over to where Trapper and Obi-wan are standing smiling as their clasped hands swinging back and forth as they wait with the others for Cody to come out, Obi-wans head scarf fluttering in the growing breeze.

“They would have separated us” He blurts out.

“Ahh a herd made of love can be just as strong as one of blood. Wait one please.” The Ithorian moves to a side of the stall Cody hadn’t taken much notice of. “Mmh now where did I put it, ahh yes here it is” and the Ithorian hands Cody a large bag filled with ration bars.

“I can’t take this”

“Mmh. Not much chance I’ll sell them now, too old you see. Still good for two months but if you don’t take them I’ll have to discard them anyway. This way I don’t have to dispose of them and they don’t go to waste. Better for planet this way too” The Ithorian hums “you come back when you need other things yes.” And with that he pats Cody on his head with his long digits and shuffles to the rear of the stall.

As he staggers out to join the others Cody feels over whelmed at the kindness. There are just over one hundred and fifty ration bars in the bag enough to feed all six of them for almost two weeks if they eat nothing else.

With a bit of shuffling around they manage to pack all the bars between them and Cody leads his tired brothers back to Home Base.

Once ensconced in their hiding place its clear Trapper and Obi-wans stamina is exhausted as both of them collapse on the mattress and are out like a light.

As the four of them chew on a ration bar while Waxer chops up a fifth bar to mix with water for their youngest to drink.

“Any Ideas?”

Polish shakes his head “Not for making money. I can use the yarn and the cloth to make items for us. We can use the ammonia to bleach most of the colour out of the cloth then I’ve got some ideas on how we can colour it”

Boil “There was a junk stall on the market, there must be more alley ways like this. We can search and sell them the things we find.”

“The Twi'lek lady Azu Bnine do you think she’d like some help setting up her stall and taking it down” Waxer asks.

Cody sighs “I don’t think she could afford to pay you Waxer.”

“Well not in credits.” Waxer says “but maybe food even if it’s only one meal a day. That would save us money.”

“Hmm well try tomorrow if she’s there” Cody replies “Waxer, Boil you both speak Twi'lek, I know Nerra means brother but what does Lia’ry mean?”

Boil absently responds “Little sister lia’ry means little sister where did you hear that Vod?”

“Azu Bnine told me to come back soon and bring my nerra and my sweet lia’ry with me, as we were leaving” Cody replies.

As four pairs of eyes turn to where their skinny little General is once again curled up with Trapper. Waxer muses “He goes kinda look like Numa dressed like that.”

People see what they want to see. That’s what the General used to say thought Cody. “We should play this up, if we let people assume he’s a girl, it’s another layer of cover.”

Waxer squawks “You can’t turn the General into a female!”

“That’s not what I meant. Waxer. We and Obi-wan know he’s male but blur the line a little most people will only see a little girl.” Counters Cody.

“So like with how as he’s skinnier and shorter than Trapper, which caused the over tunic we made to be longer on him, so it looks more feminine.” Polish says thoughtfully.

“Yes. From what I’ve seen apart from the obvious in adult humanoids, the main difference appears to be that natural born females wear longer and more colourful clothing.” Replies Cody.

“Don’t forget more complicated clothing and more jewellery.” Boil adds “You think there’s an Obi-wan at the Temple right now don’t you?”

Cody answers “It’s a possibility. Until we can hack the Temple records we can’t know for certain.”

“Until, not if Commander?” Boil asks with a smirk.

“Are you going to tell me that the first chance you get you wouldn’t hack the Temple for info Boil?” Cody retorts.

“No. Not likely” Boil asserts.

Waxer says “So how we going to do this?”

Cody answers “Well if we make sure his tunics are always a little longer than ours and his head scarfs and obi are in bright colours compared to ours, most people will just assume he’s a girl. It will also give us an excuse for being protective of him.”

Polish muses “There a cheap spice we can use to dye the fabric 212 gold as well.”

“Obi-wan not a very common name that could cause problems?” Boil queries.

“Bi, we could call him Bi that’s close enough to Obi-wan.” Waxer says “We should get him a toy too since he really is only three.”

Chapter Text

Boil sulks for a full week when he discovers that he can only use his scanner at full power if he uses a lightsaber quality power pack.

No one really wants to take the General’s lightsaber apart just to get to the power pack and since lightsaber quality power packs are really hard to find Boil has to make do with lower quality power packs.

It’s not a complete write off as it can make a diagnosis on an economy setting without causing the lower quality power packs to die but they can’t use it for anything else. Boil never stops grumping about it.

Cody puts finding a lightsaber quality power pack for Boil’s scanner on his list of wants.

They get up with the pre-dawn each day with Waxer taking Trapper and Obi-wan with him to help set up Azu Bnine’s stall on the market, while Boil and Cody check out various alley ways for potential salvage. Polish usually stays behind to do the initial grunt work for various tasks.

They then meet back up with Waxer and twins as people have started to call them, for whatever first meal Polish has managed to source the day before.

Next all of them spend some time meditating as it’s the one thing all the Force traditions have in common, usually a movement based one that increases flexibility and strength as that helps all of them.

Afterwards Waxer, Polish, Trapper and Obi-wan head back to Azu, Waxer to help Azu with the lunch time rush and Polish to keep an eye on Trapper and Obi-wan while he works on whatever the current portable project is in the open space behind Azu’s stall if it’s dry.
When it’s wet they head to Len Nharlq’s who lets them whole up in the little cubbyhole in the back and discusses recycling with them when he’s between customers.

Thanks to Polish’s lessons from the Data pad, they now have underwear and socks made from the hideous fabric, two obi each, individual blanket and fabric sleeping bags, yarn scarfs, mittens, hats, a number of thin cords and he’s started to teach Trapper and Obi-wan how to work with the yarn to keep them occupied.

Cody will be the first to admit that Polish’s dyeing experiments have paid off and the once horrifically ugly cloth’s looks have greatly improved.

Cody and Boil work on cleaning their finds and taking it in turns to read more of the data pad’s information on the Force.

Both Boil and Cody find it interesting that the data pad states the facts about the various Force traditions in clear and simple language pointing out the positives and negatives of all in an unbiased format.
Cody doubts that any Sith Master would see fit to inform any would be apprentice that while the dark side is more responsive than the light side it’s a lot easier to lose control and thus be enslaved by it.

Boil points out that from their training on Kamino the assumption is that the light side is cold serenity and the dark side a burning fire yet the data pad describes the light side as the warmth of life and the dark side as the coldness of death which makes more sense to the clones from their personal experiences of various sides of the Force.
The odd one out is the one once practiced by the extinct Forged which is described a wild wind.

There is very little information on the Forged or how they functioned beyond the fact that they operated in teams of three, one extremely powerful Force user with two weak Force users and they possessed Midi-chlorian counts of zero.

There are a couple of files that claim to be information on the lives and culture of the species the Forged came from but both files are in a code the Vod’e don’t recognise. Cody and Boil enjoy trying to crack the unknown code while practicing their slicing skills.

Given that the Vod’e Midi-chlorian counts average out at 500 with some brothers being as low as 200, It cuts frighteningly close to home when the data pad helpfully informs them that they don’t have to fear encountering the Forged, as they and the people they came from were exterminated over 20000 years by those with Midi-chlorian, as the existence of a species who possessed no Midi-chlorian at all was considered an unnatural perversion of life and the Forged with their trines as abominations and it was and still is a duty of all right thinking people to dispose of such horrors.

The vod’e are only too well aware that their own low Midi-chlorian count is often used as an excuse by natural born’s to dismiss them as things not people and it is too easy for them to see their own low of Midi-chlorian count being used by the senate to justify the clones termination at the end of the war if not for the Jedi. Even though they know the Jedi they used to know are not dead at the moment they still add them to the daily remembrance.

After a midday meal, Cody and Boil will pack the sellable finds and head back to the market for their child care shift. The fact that the junk stall normal pays higher prices when Obi-wan and Trapper are around has nothing to do with it.

By this time Obi-wan and Trappers energy levels have them bouncing off the walls so the two older Vod’e take them to the small play area nearby to work on their stamina and unarmed combat. It’s so effective that to Cody’s surprise a growing number of mothers are prepared to pay him 10 credits per child to wear their children out as well, Cody soon finds he is running a little afternoon self-defence class with Boil’s help and making an average of 70 credits a go.

When the afternoon ends Cody and Boil return with the ad'ika’e to Azu’s to help Azu and Waxer take the stall down for the night collecting their payment of leftovers before heading over to Len Nharlq fabric and clothing stall to pick up Polish and whatever he’s found.

They dine on the leftovers before putting Obi-wan and Trapper down for a nap. While Waxer and Polish work on their physical conditioning, Cody and Boil sort through Polish’s finds while giving the others a breakdown on what they've discovered from the Data pad. Polish has taken on the task of building up a store of dried and tinned food items, along with other useful items for just in case. They wake the ad'ika and take it in turns to have one of the older four teach todays lesson while the other three work on their teamwork and combat skills.

Polish efforts come in handy midway through the second month when the first indication that Obi-wan, Trapper and Boil have caught stomach flu is Obi-wan throwing up on Cody followed by Trapper. Boil’s scanner at least confirms what Azu had told Waxer when a pale faced Waxer had come without his usual helpers to set up the stall.

There’s nothing they can do to help their Vod’e as they suffer through fever, nausea and vomiting except try to keep them clean, hydrated and feed them the pain relieving tea Azu sends Waxer home with.

Cody is almost overwhelmed with advice and sympathy from the mothers of his class when he turns up to let them know it won’t be held for a while.

Obi-wan and Trapper bounce back after a day and are soon regaling Azu and her customers with tales of their great adventure in a mixture of Basic, Mando and Twi'lek.

When Boil is still sick on the fifth day Cody drags him to a subsidised clinic their market friends recommend. Cody leaves with sore shebs, 220 credits poorer and firm instructions to bring the rest of his brothers with him when he picks up Boil in the next couple of days so they too can get their vaccines or the Medical Droid GUS-598 will hunt them down.

Two days later, Waxer, Polish, Obi-wan and Trapper pick up a still shaky Boil, Cody having taken over Waxer’s shift to allow Waxer to get vaccinated. GUS-598 informs them with a sniff as they shuffle out of the treatment room rubbing sore shebs that it wouldn’t have hurt so much, if they hadn’t had to have all their vaccines at the same time before handing them a treatment schedule for the follow up booster shots along with the costs after they hand over the payment of 480 credits.

At Boils request GUS-598 also gives Obi-wan the allergy’s test, since Boil had fortunately remembered just in time that Obi-wan couldn’t have the standard vaccine shot for Venchalla Swamp Fever, as Obi-wan is allergic to one of the ingredients.

After GUS-598 has thoroughly checked Obi-wan over for allergies, it advises that they get a medic alert bracelet since one of the allergies is potentially life threating, the cost of which is included in the 100 credit cost of the allergy test. The Vod’e invests in the most ostentatious one they can find.

As Waxer says when Cody eyes the gaudy cerise and lime bracelet in revulsion. “It adds to Obi-wan’s cover being jewellery and it is impossible for anyone to miss”. It also clashes vilely with the 212 gold.

Boil is very irritated with himself for not remember about Obi-wans allergies and failing to realise that he should have checked whether they needed shots after their trip through time though he did manage to worm out of GUS-598 that he was ageing at the normal rate for a Human. This alters the Vod’e plans a little as they now have more time before they will be big enough to alter anything. They all enjoy the various sweets that a blushing Boil brings back with him from his well-wishers at the self-defence class.

Thus they fall into a routine that continues uninterrupted for six months before scavenging in a back alley close to the space port in the pre-dawn autumn light Cody and Boil are attacked.

***Warning : Attempted sexual assault on a two minors***

It’s completely unexpected and Boil is knocked out immediately. As Cody strives to defend himself, he realises to his dread that his struggles are exciting the men, who drunkenly are also in the process of trying to removing the unconscious Boil’s clothing.

He’s lost the battle to keep his leggings on and rough fingers are digging clumsily into his buttocks, the stink of sour alcohol surround him as his face is crushed to the filthy floor, when he gives in to terror and screams for his General for help.

There’s a thick blunt object stabbing at his sheb’s then there’s a strange coughing hum followed by the man on top being violently yanked off and then all the men are screaming as sounds of flesh tearing reverberate in the dank air, beneath which the coughing hum continues to resonate.

Cody jerks his legging’s back up and crawls to Boils side before he looks up at his Jedi rescuers.

Who aren’t Jedi at all!

Cody’s not feeling too good right now but he sure he would have remembered if he’d been flash trained about the creatures/ghosts who encircle him and Boil.

The smallest is a third of the height of a Larty, clearly feline, four legs with well-developed forelimbs and exceptionally long upper canine teeth, a pattern of glowing dark blue vertical stripes on fur with a lighter underside covers most of their bodies including a long mobile tail, but what really freaks Cody out, is he can see right through them.

“Troch vi should shaadlar før noen finner gar” The largest rumbles at Cody. It less the words and more the images that accompanies it that has him struggling to his feet before trying to drag Boil up.

One of the larger ones growls out “Nei, vi har dette, Mhor” before picking up Boil by the back of his overtunic.

As Cody looks wildly round he can see the smaller creatures picking up the abandoned salvage bags. The men who attacked them scattered around the alley like vod’e after a tank shell hit. “kom, la oss forlate dette stedet etter dette.”

Cody finds himself moving away from the alley way supported by two large furry body’s that are Cody’s mind points out hysterically, strangely solid for all their apparent transparent-ness.

Cody’s not sure how he and Boil wind up at home base without any one seeing them, as Laaty sized feline force ghosts are not exactly inconspicuous, but he does know that the whole pack of them promptly fade out like smoke on the wind, leaving only “vi vil se deg snart , Mhor” floating in the air.

He’s still shaking when Waxer, Trapper and Obi-wan get back for first meal to find Polish, having confirmed that apart from concussion, various bruises and scrapes Boil will be fine, is now trying to get Cody to let him give Cody medical treatment.

He still hasn’t managed to speak about what happened when Waxer, Trapper and Polish leave for Azu’s. Polish leaving him with instructions for Boil’s care. Obi-wan still attached to Cody, Obi-wan having taken one look and had thrown himself into Cody’s arms and refused to leave his Cody.

For the first time in his short life Cody feels grateful to the long-necks that created him and his brothers. The one thing the Kaminoan did right was to make sure every clone had a though training in how to deal with trauma in their selves and their fellow clones. While sexual assault wasn’t considered to be a risk for the clones by the Kaminoan’s, they had none the less still covered it in their program.

Polish comes back with Trapper after the mid-day meal, and this time Cody lets him check him over while Trapper distracts Obi-wan.

“Want to talk about it?” Polish questions quietly as he dabs disinfection on the worsts of Cody’s scratches.

Cody watches Obi-wan’s worried little face turn towards him and makes an effort to smile as he hugs Obi-wans Tooka toy. Obi-wan does not look convinced but still he turns back to Trapper and the food they are sharing. “We got complacent that’s what happened and no not just yet.”

Cody can’t bring himself to leave Home Base Alley and despite arguments with Boil, Cody won’t let Boil go out alone to scavenge. After three days of a pissed off Boil going with Waxer to help Azu, Polish comes back to home base with Trapper leading Azu by hand. Cody’s not happy to see any of them even though Obi-wan is.

Azu is not impressed and informs him that his brothers were frightened enough by his behaviour to ask her for advise and help. Then she tells Polish to take Obi-wan and Trapper to go and help their brothers look after her stall.

Once the trio have left the alley way she turns to Cody.

“Oh, child you need to talk to someone about it before it festers, if you can’t talk to your Nerras than how about me

Cody just stares at her.

Azu smiles sadly at him. “Sometimes its easer to talk to someone who has had a similar experience and survived it.”

Cody can’t imagine anyone so happy and strong to have suffered anything like what happened and says so

Azu looks fierce “I had to make a choice to let them win and be forever a slave to the feelings and actions they put in me or to fight back and deify them proving that I had not been broken by them but was strong, better than them. “Then quietly she tells him of the times she had been sexually assaulted.

“Why?” Cody questions in horror.

“Because I was a Twi'lek, because I was a woman and they thought that made me less than them, because they could, because I was there, some people don’t need a reason Cody” Azu sighs “and some people will always find a way to justify their actions.”

So, Cody tells her, not all of it, not the Force Ghosts, but how nothing he did seemed enough to stop them, the horror of realising that the more he fought back the more they liked it, that he couldn’t help Boil, how helpless he felt and how he despaired. He doesn’t tell her he screamed for his General, he says that he screamed for his oldest best friend and he lets her think that the best friend is walking far away.

All the while she holds him, till he finally breakdown and cries like he would never have dared to on Kamino, it hurts, his eyes are sore and burning, his chest aches like a clanker got a lucky shot in, his head feels too big for his skin, and for all that, he feels somehow that he can breathe deep once more.

When Azu finds out that the attack happened in an alley way near the space port, she informs Cody that during the Autumn/Winter months it’s not safe to go near the space port late at night or early morning, due to a rougher crowd passing through during the cold season.

Cody’s horrified; the alley ways near the space port always have the more valuable junk finds. He knows that it’s going to cost more to keep them all alive in the winter and that their other main source of income the defence class will depend completely on the weather and thus can’t be relied on.

While there was about 5 thousand republic credits in the kitty, Cody as a Commander is only too aware that unexpected expenses do crop up and if they have to run they will need every credit they can scrape together.

So, he promises Azu he won’t scavenge in the space port alley ways till spring returns to `Moregal’ he just neglects to tell her that instead he will keep watch while Boil scavenges.

Talking to Azu means he can at last find the words to tell his brothers what happened, by mutual agreement they ask Len Nharlq to keep an eye on Trapper and Obi-wan for a while so Cody only has to say this once.

While they are shaken by the knowledge that only the arrival of the Force Ghosts prevented of what happened to Cody and Boil from being worse, they deal with it by planning on how to prevent a repeat experience. Cody feels both guilty and relief that he hadn’t let Obi-wan come with them on that morning, like they sometimes did, when Obi had begged to come along.

Boil points out that just because their General is tiny, he still has his Force talents and in hindsight its clear Obi-wan was receiving warnings from the Force given how clingy he’d been with Cody and Boil running up to the attack. The older vod’e agrees that they need to keep a closer eye on Obi-wans reactions to people and events, if they are to take advantage of Obi-wans Force instincts.

Boil agrees with having Cody watch his back but suggest that Cody bring his sidearm with him when he does. Polish now does his bargain hunting in the morning after first meal with either Cody or Boil to watch his back, after the five of them help Azu set up, as Waxer, Trapper and Obi-wan are safe with Azu and the watchful eyes of Azu regular morning customers and Len Nharlq can be trusted to keep Trapper and Obi-wan safe with him if the weather is bad.

Cody starts the Defence class earlier so he, Boil and Polish with the youngest can get the last of the food bargains after class. Cody also ups the level of training for Trapper and Obi-wan.

They all take it in turns to help Cody scrutinize the Data pad, as he knows he read somewhere something that mentioned glowing blue animals.

Waxer finally finds it in a bit regarding Mandos and their force traditions, though writer is very blatantly dismissive of the primitive savages who said they saw glowing blue force ghost animals, which clearly demonstrates how ignorant of the force they truly are, as it has long since been verified that only force sensitive’s become Force Ghosts not stupid animals.

It’s not very helpful but it does have the original Mando transcript attached, unfortunately it’s in ancient Mando not modern Mando and while all the scholars on the holo site Cody and Boil visit for help agree that Mando has remained relatively untouched from the time of the first Mandlor, this quote is full of Mando words that are no longer in common usage and several that appear to be in the original language of the Taung.

The translation program they obtain from the holo site to translate the transcript throws up some very interesting details.

The Mandos clearly state that the glowing force animals fought alongside Forged but not all the Forged had these companions and that the glowing force animals also fought alongside the warriors of the Pard, who did not the abilities of a Force user. Not being a force users did not seem to be an impediment to these creatures appearing. The descriptions were of felines, canines and other species.

The warriors who fought alongside them were supremely comfortable with these strange beasts, who appeared to have chosen companions among them. The description of the one the creatures mourning of its fallen companion and the Taung warriors attempt to persuade it to join them, is both illuminating and sad.

A comment by Obi-wan that word for “we” looks just like the one in the file Cody and Boil like to play with has Cody and Boil turning the translation program on the two files that have defied all their efforts to slice.

It turns out that part of the problem is that the files are in an unknown language as well as being fragmented and disordered. After Boil runs a program to fix this that he got from Echo, they still can’t read second one since it is still encrypted but their chances of decoding it have gone up, Boil and Cody are going to enjoy cracking this code.

The file they can now read is fascinating, despite the still clearly damaged and missing sections where the original data is missing or corrupted beyond what Echo’s program can fix.

The Forged and their people the Pard came from one freaky planet, unlike the republic’s planets where one environment is the norm, the Forged’s planet was a patchwork of environments, everything from Hoth like conditions to Tatoonie and the people, the languages, art, the religions and the cultures were all just as diverse.
There are clips of the wild life that completely blow the minds of the clones with the sheer variety creatures spanning the range from hot blooded mammals to insects and even stranger organisms.

They find that most of the useful low tech solutions, they’ve made use of, have come from this file where someone had previously translated parts of it. The odd data was because whoever did the previous translation didn’t bother to sort out the order problems, just wrote it up as was.

Polish gets very excited about an embroidery style called Kantha. He tells the vod’e that between Kantha and Satin stitch they can recreate the markings on their armour on the clothes they are now wearing, he just needs to dye some more yarn the right colour. All the vod’e gets involved in that project and soon have their personal 212 gold marks on all their clothes. Having their marks back makes the vod’e happy in a way they didn’t even realise not having them made them sad until they got them back.

There is also a section various plants with their uses, some of which very familiar. A root of a plant called Turmeric by the Pard, looks very similar to the Uklemeric spice has been used by Polish colour well just about anything he could get his hands on 212 gold. Boil had confided to Cody one quite morning while scavenging that sometimes he dreams that Polish had dyed the Vod’e 212 gold and it’s always a relief to wake up find it hasn’t happened yet.

Then they find the comprehensive food section with the recipes. The descriptions of which have them salivating. Polish decides he wants to try making the jams and condiments with an interest in portable food like pasty’s and samosas, Waxer wants to try curries and baking.

Boil gets interested in concept of medicinal sweets and Trapper informs them he just wants to make hand cream so his big brothers hands aren’t so sore.

Which leads them to re-using Echo’s defrag program on the food section and discovering that the recipes are split by culture and then food or what is labelled beauty products. Boil declares it mislabelled as the cough sweets, rehydration tea, and other medicinal recipes are found under the beauty products file.

As Autumn begins to turn in to Winter, Len Nharlq at last manages to source a Uoyi compact thermal unit that does double duty as a micro heating-pad, for Cody along with a Provern mini water converter. Neither items are cheap but the fact that they can be powered equally by solar converter and hydro-generator, in addition to a power pack, are easy to use, lightweight, of robust construction and come with their own transport bags make them worth their cost to Cody.

Both items will ensure the vod’e survival through the winter and will be of aid anywhere should the vod’e be forced to run.

Chapter Text

As Winter progresses Cody is forced to inform the Defence Class that, it will run only if Cody thinks conditions in the play area are safe for it to go ahead. Scavenging in the alley ways is now a three vod job as temperatures plummets and while the pickings are still good it takes them longer to get them into a sellable condition due the constant cold.

Their friends on the market are now shutting up shop earlier with both Len Nharlq and Azu Bnine advising them to stock up as much as possible, as each winter the weather comes with such force that only the immediate area around the Spaceport remains open and everywhere else including the market shuts down for a two to four week period.

The locals normally hole up in their homes when the snow reaches a height of four feet and don’t even attempt to leave their homes until it melts back down to a two foot height.

Len Nharlq and Azu Bnine separately and together give warnings that the worst of Moregal’s transients visit at that this and the crime rate climbs rapidly until it reaches levels more commonly seen on Nal Hutta before dropping back down to Moregal’s more normal rates two days after the snow dissipates.

 

GUS-598 somehow manages to send them a message “To get their tiny disease infested malfunctioning carbon shells to its clinic or it will shop them all to the galactic social services beep bleep beeeeeeeeeep!!!!” neither Trapper or the droid that brought the message will translate the last bit of binary.

Both Trapper and the droid are adamant that it’s really rude.

With that threat hanging over them Cody takes advantage of the early shutting times of the market to get them all over to the clinic.

GUS-598 informs them all that it has beds ready for them, as they are getting the full spectrum package of vaccines for the seasonal virus’s, plus the ones that the clinic is recommending due to the expected influx of disease from the spacers that will be visiting and thus they will be in no condition to make a trip home before morning. When Cody informs GUS-598 that they can’t afford this. GUS-598 haughtily advises them that younglings are the statically the most likely to spread diseases in a community and it is its duty to do all it can to prevent this.

“Besides the clinic hasn’t spent its entire budget yet and if the clinic doesn’t spend it in the next thirty days the clinic’s sponsors will give the clinic fewer credits for next year because obviously the clinic doesn’t need them. So all of this and the additional test’s I will be running will ensure that the clinic gets the funds it needs to keep functioning for next year. Stupid Organic Sponsor’s!!” GUS-598 informs them irritably.

Cody doesn’t fight it further, the vod’e are getting free treatment and GUS-598 visibly wants to take a laser scalpel to the clinic’s sponsors for their short sighted-ness.

GUS-598 is quite right, they have a horrible time of it even with GUS-598 constant care.

When they stagger exhausted, out of the clinic in the morning Boil is clutching a datachip with a full medical evaluation for all of them and details of all treatment received from the clinic.

As they head towards Azu to help her set up her stall an ashen faced Boil turns to Cody and with a smile that looks more like a grimace says ”Kiff that droid could give Kix a run for his credits on the terrifying front. I need to check but I think that Gus has succeeded in out vaccinating the Kaminoan. I’ve no idea where it got the reeksa root vaccine from but that droid’s may have vaccinated us against the Blue Shadow Virus.”

There are various mutters of agreement as the shattered vod’e concentrate on putting one foot in front of them.

Azu takes one look and makes them all sit down with a steaming cup of Ogjo berry juice.

On finding out the group look like wrung out rags because they’ve been to the clinic, several of the morning regulars laugh and ruffle their hair while helping the vod’e set up Azu stall. Most of regulars have had encounters with the principled but jab happy GUS-598 and its lack of bed-side manners.

Mid-morning Azu packs them off home with a large pot of thick spicy Slug and geraguga Soup that tastes much better than its name suggests and tells them to come back in the morning.

Polish spots a large pile of polystyrene packaging on the way and insists on taking it back home with him, seeing him totter and lurch from side to side, it doesn’t take the rest of the vod’e long to grab a piece or two.

“What the kriff is so important about this osik?” Boil pants as they drag the last piece in to Home base.

From his place on the floor Polish glares over at Boil. “Are you deaf vod? Haven’t you heard a word that Len and Azu have said? It’s going to get cold enough for water to freeze solid and when the snow falls it will be above Trapper and Obi-wan’s head’s for ten days at least, if it’s a bad fall it could be like that for twenty eight days. We need to line the vent with more than just flimsy’s if we don’t want to freeze to death.”

“But that’s why Cody got the thermal unit?” Waxer’s questions tiredly from where he is slump on the wall with Trapper and Obi-wan tucked under his arms.

“If we can’t keep the heat in here with us, it won’t be enough” Polish responds despondently “polystyrene makes great insulation though; if we can line the vent with it hopefully it will be enough.”

Cody hadn’t even thought of that, this is another one of those things that their training fails to prepare them for.

Boil “So more polystyrene if we can get it and we should try to obtain more foil blankets.”

“Len’s got some thick plastic sheeting I’ve been wanting to get to turn into some basic storm poncho’s, they won’t be great but they will keep the worst off,” Polish say “we could use the leftovers from that to stop up any gaps and make the vent more waterproof.”

Cody “Ask Len if he has any ration bars he can sell us while you’re there.”

“Mmh, I’ll speak to Azu, see if there’s anything she can recommend stocking up on food wise.” Waxer states with a thoughtful expression on his face.

So with the beginning of a plan, the worn-out vod’e join their youngest in the land of nod.

The next morning feeling decidedly better than the last two days, after escorting Waxer and the ad'ika’e to Azu, Cody, Boil and Polish hit the alley ways with a vengeance, the trio working through first meal, only returning to Home Base for the midday meal and to drop off their finds before head to the market to pick up the ad'ika’e.

Waxer hands Polish a piece of flimsy with a long list written on it. “Azu’s starred the essentials and she says get at least three times as much as you think you’ll need, because it’s better to have too much than not enough.”

The extra power packs were already on Cody’s list but glows, lights, water and activities to prevent cabin fever aren’t.

Boil takes one look and curses “Kriffing baarpir’e gett’e ti cetare bat!!”

Both Cody and Polish stare at Boil agape. For all Boils well established grumpy personality, he like the most of the GAR doesn’t really swear, so to hear him let rip is startling.

“It just hit me just what being snowed in on Moregal means.” Boil grumbles

“You remember what fun the lock-down training sessions were, don’t you?” Boil continues looking over at Cody and Polish “It will be just like that only colder and darker with less space for longer.”

Polish groans as Cody face palms. Of all the various types of training the clones received, lock-down was the one all vod, from Alpha to Nulls down the lowliest soft shell without exception hated. The genetic alterations the Kaminoan had made to the clones caused the lock-down sessions to be hellish in the extreme.

Cody asks “Do you think we can get enough polystyrene to extend the Home base enough that we can make a place to spar. ”

“It’s possible if we can find enough, we might have to move things around to make it work but what are we going to use for matting?” Polish ponders.

“We could use the mattress” Boil suggests.

“Good idea but awkward, let see if we can find more of the packaging material we used for the mattress and use that with a rubber cover before we start trying to shift the mattress back and forth.” Cody replies “Let’s make the power packs number one priority followed by the food and containers to put the water in, then glows and scavenge like crazy for the polystyrene.”

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

With Azu warning that the Freeze will start tomorrow ringing in their ears Cody and Boil take Trapper and Obi-wan to the play area for a final wear out.

The two clones are surprised to see one of the defence class kid’s is there with his grandmother.

As Boil begins to put the three kids through their paces, his grandmother hands Cody a large bundle of worn clothes along with the 10 credits. “It’s a thank you for not treating Sonei any different from the rest. “She says with a smile on her wrinkled face.

Cody mumbles it wasn’t anything special as they both look over to where the green skinned eight year old with a bright smile is just keeping up with the two three year olds.

“Maybe not but to Sonei it means a lot. You’ve always encouraged him that he could improve, to not give up. He’s our special little miracle, just when we’d given up all hope; the Force gifted us with him.” She continues “But he is not as physically healthy as his cousin’s and that has caused problems in the past.”

She snorts “Yesterday when his cousin Torz tried to pick on him, Sonei managed to knock him down. I was so proud, I thought my heart would burst when he told Torz “I don’t need to be as strong as you, just smarter.” So yes, you and your family have done something special. You’ve given my son hope he can achieve his dreams.”

Sonei and his mother give all of them hugs before wishing them a safe Freeze and a promise to see them for class after the Freeze.

Cody feels odd, he’d know that Sonei wasn’t as quick physically to pick things up as the other kids, but he didn’t give up and Cody hadn’t thought about it, he’d just acted. He’d treated Sonei like a vod who was struggling and given him what help he could to help that vod avoid decommissioning.

Walking home with the last of the supplies, having told Polish and Waxer where the extra clothes came from and the why.

Trapper takes his thumb out of his mouth “How come his cousins think Sonei is less than them, he always listens to instructions not like some of the others.”

“I guess like the Kaminoan they think he’s defective because it takes him longer to master training.” Boil says unhappily.

Worriedly Trappers asks “They won’t decommission him. Will they?”

“No natural born’s don’t get decommissioned for being defective.” Cody comforts.

“Sonei proves that our brothers shouldn’t have been decommissioned for being defective either because with determination and a little help you can win through.” Waxer says bitterly.

Obi wan pipes up “Just like Sonei.”

“Yes” Cody says patting Obi head as he hugs his tiny general while Waxer gives Trapper a hug “just like Sonei.”

The eyes of the older brothers meet above the youngest heads, unspoken is the agreement that all their brothers like Sonei are not going to be decommissioned or discarded this time around, before continuing back to home base.

*************************************************************************************************************************************

Cody is very glad he listened to both Polish and Waxer when they had suggested moving everything further down the vent and into the main body of the building as he fumbles to remove the covering cloth off one of the glows.

He flinches as the wind shrieks and the building shudders again.

Reflected In the dim light of the glow he can see the rest of his brother's eyes gleaming, none of them asleep. Obi-wan has his eyes squeezed shut and he is clutching Trapper hard enough to cause bruises not that Trapper isn’t grasping back just as firmly.

Cody reaches up to turn the vambrace towards him so he can read the built in chronometer. Its three hours past midnight.

There a loud crashing noise before the wind starts up its undulating howl again.

“Kriff this” Boil yelps and sits up. The Vod’e spend the next three hours huddled together, cocooned in their double layered sleeping bags, the cloaks wrapped around with only their yarn hats poking out from under Polish’s yarn blanket while the storms fury continues unabated, the building shuddering and groaning, strange bangs and crashing noises making them jump every now and then.

It takes hunger to force Cody to crawl out of the warm nest they’ve made to turn the Uoyi compact thermal unit on.

The carefully positioned foil blankets reflect the heat back efficiently causing only a few minutes to pass before its warm enough that Cody can no longer see his own breath.

As the others start to leave their blanket nest, Cody bemusedly discovers that the blue milk is chunky.

Polish takes one look “Guess it’s a good job we went nuts with all that polystyrene in the vent.”

A tired Waxer’s puts a pot on the heating-pad “Give it here, I’ll melt it all and then we can stir the cereal in to the last of it to make a hot first meal."

Later sitting huddled around the Uoyi in the light of the glows, drinking hot blue milk as the storm continues to make its presents felt.

Waxer says cheerfully “It could be worse, it could be Hoth.” The joint groan followed by Boil’s half-hearted threats to make his cyar'ika shut up makes them all laugh.

The storm doesn’t let up another three days during which time the vod’e only leave the nest they’ve made to eat or visit the fresher. Cody blames his bladder and the cold on not noticing that dim light is caused by more than just the uncovered glows scattered around the vent at first, as stumbling back to the nest he feels eyes watching him.

He’s too cold to do more than observe as he climbs back in to the blanket nest.

At least this Force ghost appears to be a humanoid.

Well armoured, the armour painted with dark vertical stripes with a lighter underside topped with a hooded sleeveless knee length coat intricately embroidered, gauzy cloth draped around the neck, elbows and knees, female with two short metal terminated plaits down either side of her face and a tattoo of three parallel lines running vertically from her left eye to her chin covering a trio of scars that looks like it almost took her left eye out and did remove the ear. He can see swords and a massive blaster rifle peeking out from her back. She waits patiently for him with her chin cupped in one claw tipped gauntlet to make himself comfortable.

The Lang Tann wish me to pass on an apology, they didn’t mean to frighten you” The Force Ghost says quietly.

“Lang Tann?” Cody questions keeping his voice just as quiet to avoid waking his sleeping brothers.

mhm, they look a little like Trianii but are quadrupedal like a loth cat, only a lot bigger than both with fur striped like my armour and really long fangs.” The Ghost answers.

“Oh! Are they Force Ghosts like you.”

“Hah no. They’re not Force Ghosts any more than I am. The Lang Tann are Force Spirits they exist within the Force, as for me, I’m not dead enough for that. The only time the Lang Tann can interact the physical world is if they make an alliance with a living being. Besides only the Force Born chose to come back as Force Ghosts.” The Ghost responds with wry smile.

Cody’s sharp ears pick up the Ghosts muttered comment of “Force Ghosts more like Force Perverts.

The Ghosts image is starting to flicker now. “What’s a Force born?”

“That’s what you want to know? Your brother Obi-wan is a Force-born, it’s what we call those born with enough Midi-chlorian to bend the Force to their will.” The Ghost answers.

“So what are you?”

The ghost image is flickering faster, the words spoken starting to fade out. “I’m a Forged. Look this is nice and all but I don’t know how longer I can keep myself here for. If you want more answers draw a circle in blood, a drop in blue milk will do the trick and demand that Three ap Walker come to the aid of her egg line. I’ll show up in th circle d won’t g ti u miss  or I oak ever  rst.” With that the Force Ghosts image gives a final soft crackle and finishes disappearing.

From his place in the nest listening to the sudden silence, Cody turns the word over in his mind. His rescuers are called Lang Tann.

***********************************************************************************************************************************************

The intense hush after the storm is deafening and freezing air is coming in from the gaps in their shelter.

Waxer happily volunteers to go with Cody to the vent opening to see what’s happening out side, while they are blocking up every hole they can find, in the end they all go.

They have to kick repeatedly to break the ice on the frozen vent to get it to open…before peering out in to the blinding light.

The landscape has completely changed. The ground now appears to be a foot from the bottom of the vent and the dumpster they normally climb up from has completely disappeared.

Kriff it. The snow is higher than top of Cody’s head and at five feet he’s currently the tallest of the Vod’e.

Boil shares a look with Cody before dragging his too curious cyar'ika back from the edge where Waxer had been leaning out trying to scoop the snow up. They back up along the vent with Polish guiding the littlest back in to the warmth, pulling the polystyrene door shut and rearranging the foil blanket back over it before starting a meal on the hotplate.

“Feck! if the kids fell in we’d never find them in that” Boil whispers as they eat a meal of hot soup while waiting for the Geraguga tubers to finish cooking.

Cody waits till everyone has a full belly before describing his encounter with the Force Ghost.

The Vod’e vote to put it off dealing with that issue, until they’ve got some exercise in as no one wants to wait until the Lock-down shakes start and they are all starting to get a little twitchy.

While they try to use the space they made for spars it’s just too cold and it’s not really big enough for suicides though Trapper and Obi have a lot fun trying. In the end they decide any distraction that will hold off lock down fever is a good thing and more intelligence about a situation is always a smart thing to have.

It takes them a while to figure out the blue milk thing until Trapper gives the milk a stir and it changes colour.

Cody feels stupid saying the words with his brothers watching, but seeing the Ghost form in the milk and blood circle is more than a little disturbing.

Boil starts with what as a medic has clearly been bugging him “How can you be like that and not dead?”

“Apparently there was a Force accident and I’ve been in the equivalent of suspended animation for the last 23500 years. While I’m not actually dead, I doubt I could survive the re-animation process. Certain gargantuan toothed pea sized brained idiots had this wonderful spur of the moment idea and acted on it, which why you can see me.”

Cody can feel the start of a headache as he asks “Your talking about the Lang Tann aren’t you?”

"Yep.” The Forged replies.

Waxer is next with “If Lang Tann are Force Spirits how come Jedi don’t know about them?”

“First up kiddos, as spirits, they exist solely in the Force all of the time. They can’t interact with the physical which is the plane of existence that you and technically I and the Jedi existing on without a connection to it. Secondly Midi-chlorian make a noise like an insect humming. The more Midi-chlorian the greater the noise. Most Force-born wouldn’t be able to hear the spirits over the noise their own Midi-chlorian are making. As for the Force Spirits their perceptions are quite sensitive and they don’t enjoy being around beings who are to their awareness, screaming at the top of their voices all the time.” The Forged snorts “ without a connection to filter the noise out the Lang Tann, Løpere, Ukumamatheka and the others wouldn’t willingly come anywhere near a Je'daii

“Let’s go back a bit you said they did something so we can see you.” Polish asks a frown on his face.

“Okay you got to remember the Lang Tann really don’t think like we do and that their perception of time is very different from ours as well. So when all of you fell out of your original time but before you arrived in this time, you were outside of time existing solely in their world. Your low Midi-chlorian counts got you noticed and in that moment the Lang Tann came up with an idea, made a plan and enacted it.” The Forged Three looks frustrated before continuing.

While It’s easier to communicate with the Lang Tann if you have a low to nonexistence Midi-chlorian count. To really interact and or connect to them you need a berserker gene, active is best, Me. I have a set of active berserker genes. Basically, the furry nincompoops decided by grafting my DNA on to yours they’d guarantee you have an active berserker gene which means you wouldn’t need any help talking to them was a terrific idea. In addition, they used it as guideline to correct the damage they say you have. The fact that it allows you to use your blood connection to call me to you by technically making all of you my children was just a frecking bonus. I always wanted kids but this wasn’t how I figured on it happening. God I so want a drink now! Three ap Walker finishes.

With that little bombshell the vent explodes with sound as the Vod’e all start talking at once.

Cody thinks he’s like to join Three for that drink even if it does explain a few things like how the Vod’e are aging naturally, when the Kaminoans cranked their metabolism up as high as they could.

Boil in full on medic mode shouts above the uproar. “What about Obi-wan?”

Three turns her tattooed and scared face towards him. “Yes, Obi-wan has my DNA, but it’s dormant in him.

Cody his head in his hands asks “They tell you why they did that.”

“None of them have been able to connect to a sentient since the Pard were finally eliminated, they’re lonely and they miss us.” Three looks forlorn at that. “They say you will need allies if you are to succeed in saving your kin from the worshipers of Bogan ….By connecting to the Lang Tann you can tap in to their physical advantages, patterning after the animal spirit strength, speed and agility. It’s not all one sided the Lang Tann will be able to use their connection to you to manifest more fully in the physical world which allows them to intact with it. You’ll also anchor them to the here and now. Its Kinda of redundant since apparently as soon as they confirmed my DNA graft took they adopted you into the Batch.” Three finishes ruefully.

Waxer looking for too enthusiastic for Cody’s liking pipes up with. “Are we going to get the Force like you?”

“No. Thank the Gods. You can only become Forged if you have no Midi-chlorian and in response to a selfless sacrifice. The Forging kills 90 percent of all Forged. The act of forging tears a hole in your soul that allows the Force to pour through unconstrained. It results in the survivors being incredibly powerful but unstable. A Forged’s critical thinking and normal social inhibitions are weakened as a consequence, Its why trineing was so important to us. Our Trines were our Sword and Shield against this defect. In return we were their Sword and Shield against the Force born.” Three bites at her lip before resuming.

“Just so you can understand just how powerful the Forged were. Understand that I can not only extinguish a sun and all life in its obit but can also reignite a long dead star breathing life in to all that which surrounds it again. Knowing that I was capable of that scared the living shit out of me. We were dangerous enough with none of us inclined to desire power.” Three ap Walker turns fixing a hard stare on each of the Vod’e. “Power corrupts and Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Never forget that.

For the clones with their understanding of just how few Jedi there truly are, it is horrifying to know that 90 percent of all Forged used to die in their forging and that the remaining 10 percent, had to trine with force nulls just to gain a measure of control and stability.

For Cody, Three ap Walker’s comment’s about power, matches with his Jedi’s theory’s about just who the Sith Master possibly is.

In the silence that follows that revelation Three ap Walker decides to drop another surprise on the already shocked vod’e.

Hey now it’s not so bad. I’m honoured that you are my kids, I just wish I had more I could give you to help you when I’m gone. The Lang Tann can guide you to where my remains are. The armour and weapons should still be good. I can’t remember all the stuff in pocket space but some of it might be worth some coin. The only other thing I can give you is my knowledge of the Lang Tann’s language.

Waxer asks “You’re going to teach us their language”

No I haven’t got that long. I can use the last of my life energies to download my memories of the language via the Force.” Three ap Walker answers.

“How long have you got it you don’t do that?” Questions Polish.

Three ap Walker responds “About another six hours. Why don’t you guys take a rest and sleep on it for a bit before you make a decision.

Given how rattled the Vod’e is, it seems like a good idea. Cody puts Polish on watch with instructions to wake them all up in three hours no matter what happens. Cody is asleep the minute his head hits the ground.

Waking up to the murmur of quiet voices he spots an animated Polish and Three waving their hands around while talking about something called `Tie-dyeing!’, Cody stares for a moment at the two before rolling over to go back to sleep, as long as he doesn’t wake up tie dyed like in one of Boil’s dreams he doesn’t care.

Refreshed after their rest the vod’e have a huddle conference as far away from Three as they can get. While none of them like it, flash training via the Force does seem like the best plan.

“So how do we do this?” Cody asks reluctantly.

With a laugh Three says “At the risk of being cliché you form a circle holding hands with the last two putting your hands in mine.” They do as she says Boil and Cody hovering their hands over the Ghosts.

Boil says “That simple huh!”

Three laughs again “Yes and No.” then her armoured gauntlets close firmly around their hands as she begins to glow ever brighter. Cody has just time to think it just like that blasted temple before he’s knocked out.

Chapter Text

vvvc

Waking up to the smell of ozone and an aching head Cody thinks it’s just like that sprengt temple.

At least he isn’t sick this time. Cody swiftly checks the Vod’e, all still the same size.
Cody would almost think he imagined it all except for the circle on the vent floor with a strange dark stone in the middle. Waxer picks it up, it looks black but there are hints of other colours in the depths.

“Well if we can read the Pard files without the translation mode active that will tell us if the language thing worked” Boil says while chewing on a ration bar.

Reading the files again is weird, it’s like when they were trying to read it before it was in black and white and now its spread out before them in colour.
Cody can already see decryption clues in the last file that will make it easy to deal with. It doesn’t take them long to figure out how to switch from the Lang Tann’s language and basic.
At which point Boil and Cody crack the last file to avert the impending boredom.

The Vod’e gather round the data pad, the storm howling outside once more.
The mandlorians were chosen to train his brothers because they were supposed to be the peak of skilled warriors and the best to train them.

Cody clutches Obi-wan tightly as Obi-wan sits between his legs holding his tooka doll, dropping his head to Obi head to breathe in the scent of his living general to calm himself down.
Looking at the last of the Pard files, it’s clear the training the vod’e received was woefully inadequate by the Pard’s standards and that the Pard would have laughed their heads off at the so called skilled Mandos .

It seems that before the rest of the galaxy came calling and united the Pard in survival, the Pard had spent their entire time kicking the seven Corellian hells out of each other in increasingly inventive ways in just about every possible terrain and situation conceivable and then some.

Those skills kept the pre-space civilisations of the Pard from simply being annihilated in the first encounters with the space capable Midi-chlorian carriers. Though much was lost the Pard managed survive as civilisation, a bet, a patched together one, in spite of the destruction of their planet for a further thousand years.

When the weapon specs come up Cody understands exactly why once the Pard had access to blasters they stuck to their so called primitive slug throwers.
The cyclic rates alone would make any vod’e facing them want to crawl back into their vat.

Cody also knew a number of Vod’e (“Fives”) who would have sold their left nut for the thermal detonator slugs or the depleted uranium slugs, let alone for the ship killers.

Looking around at the others he can see that they have come to the same conclusion he has.

Waxer’s is hugging Trapper to him while wearing a pissed off expression that just looks wrong on his face. Boil has his hand over his face, muttering curses under his breath while his other arm is around Waxer and Polish is?

Polish is poking at the data pad. “You know I think this is a Pard training manual. I think this could teach us a lot of stuff about fighting in different environments. Much better than anything the trainers at Kamino saw fit to teach us."

Polish is right. There are missing bits but it straight forward enough; Cody can already spot martial art disciplines of the Pard that would be a good fit to integrate with their current skills, Eskima for starters followed by Kendo will help them teach their General sword skills. Given that it’s still too cold to try and spar Cody set the Vod’e to learn everything they can without physically testing it out.

The Pard training manual devotes an entire section on camouflage and its importance.

Even the usually upbeat Waxer is seething after they understand this section. The number of Vod’e whose lives were needlessly lost due to the Republic lack or disregard of this simple but essential part of warfare is criminal. The vod’e have basically been wearing armour that says kill me now on it in sky high letters.

At first there is a certain amount of panic amongst the Vod’e over their own white armour but Boil points out that since the Pard had lots of ideas on both the best camouflage for all terrain, they surely must have had ideas on ways to camouflaging their armour. Boil argues that "They must have some concepts that we can adapt for our armour"
.
Opening that chapter of the Camouflage section results in a stunned silence broken only by a slightly hysterical Waxer commenting. “Kriff what didn’t they think of?!!!”

After two days of eye-popping revelations on the art of war, feeling of rage, despair and out and out frustration on the part of the vod’e.

The only thing they can all agree on is that they really need to get their hands on Three’s besbe if only so they can get a sense of how to reverse engineer as many of the Pard’s toys as possible.

**********************************************************************************************************************************************

Feeling too hot has become a distant memory so Cody’s woken up by the perturbing sensation. Discovering that the heat is being generated by a solid wall of breathing transparent fur is!!!!!

Cody’s brain squawks, then he decides to lump it under Force Things and just roll with it. Larty sized Force Spirits fitting easily in the vent that would be too small for the Vod’e if they were full sized, Force Thing, Force Spirits generating enough heat to make Cody sweat Force thing.

Waxer is clearly still in shock from the file as he simply stumbles through the various Lang Tann spread out around the vent on the way to the fresher before pushing the head of one curious Lang Tann out of the way as he starts to cook first meal.

Cody finds himself eating first meal sitting with his back against the side of a Lang Tann, the rest of his brothers similarly arrayed.

Waxer his belly full starts the ball rolling with “Hvorfor oss?”

Lang Tann respond with “Vi var ensomme de som en gang besvarte vårt kall, har lenge blitt stilte av dem med Midi-chlorian “

Boil asks next “Tre ap Walker sa at du brukte hennes DNA-korrekte skade vi hadde. Er dette sant?”

Lang Tann “Vi korrigerte feilene i blodlinjen ved å speile min smiddes sanglinje over dissonansdelene. Blodlinjen til deg og dine brødre synger nå en ny melodi full av harmoni i motsetning til uenigheten fra før.”

“Hvilke feil? Kaminoan gjorde oss perfekt!”Boil retorts bitterly.

Lang Tann rumble back “Du eldre og slites ut for fort, er ineffektiv i å behandle maten din, du mangler fruktbarhet, verste av alt var det en ting i hodet fullt av løgner og kjeder.”

Even as Waxer and Boil protest. “Hei, vi er mye fruktbare!.” … . “For rett har vi ingen problemer!”

A deep voice rumbles in Cody head. “Cody. Det var betydelig mer tampering med tankene dine enn brødrene dine, og dermed kan vi ikke være sikre på at vi lyktes i å fjerne alt fra tankene dine. Vi anbefaler at du kontakter en Force-bruker med dyktighet for å sjekke. Vi kan bekrefte at brikken i deg og brødrene dine ikke lenger fungerer og kan ikke gjenopprettes. Vær advart begge hadde samme Force Signature.”

One of the Lang Tann snorts before “ Du ville ha hatt store problemer med å oppnå unnfangelse uten medisinsk inngrep.”

“Those lying hut'uunla’e runi ures cuyir usen'ye they made sure that no one could get a free sample without paying to use their property.” Boil explodes.

“Well we were always going to adopt anyway.” Waxer tries to calm is down his cyar'ika as the Lang Tann watch curiously without judgment.

Cody “Boil if your Diagnostic Scanner had the right power pack could you remove the bio-chip the Kaminoan implanted in us.

Polish asks wide eyed. “Why would you want to do that, they prevent us from being too aggressive?”

Cody feels his eyebrow rise. “The Lang Tann neutralised the chip as we travelled here. So all the time we’ve been on Moregal, our chips have been dead. I personally haven’t noticed any of you acting more aggressive than normal. Like Boil said they lied. Not just to us but to the Jedi. I’m certain that General Kenobi did not know about the chips, as for Skywalker he would have thrown the biggest tantrum yet if he had found out . So what else did they lie about?.”

Boil looks worriedly at Cody. “The Diagnostic Scanner good enough but I’m not, you’re talking brain surgery. What’s going on Cody? If the Lang Tann already neutralised the chips why you are still worried?”

“Lang Tann advised me that a Force Sensitive had interfered with my mind in addition to the chip and they could not tell if they had managed to remove all of the Force influence. If it’s related to the chips, then I want to know what was on those chips?” Cody snarls.

The horrified silence that follows is broken by Waxer “Force Cody, we’re vod’e, we’ll find a mind healer for you somehow.” The rest of the vod’e swiftly adding their voices in support.

Knowing his brothers have his back in this too makes Cody almost cry with relief. As long as he has the Vod’e support he knows he can get through this.

At least with the Lang Tann seemingly taken up permanent residents it’s now warm enough in the vent to spar and spar the Vod’e do.

At Cody and Boils questioning the Lang Tann inform them that while normally a partnership of one person to one Lang Tann is customary, due to their young age, that the Lang Tang are going to wait till the Vod’e reach maturity before doing so.

Given how shifty the Lang Tann’s look when telling them this, Cody's certain that Three ap Walker gave the Lang Tann an absolute bollocking for getting the vod’e into this situation.

By the time the snow finally melts twenty eight days later, the older vod’e have mastered the stick fighting enough to start teaching Trapper and Obi-wan and are well on their way to finding their path with the Lang Tann , helped in part by their sneaky Forged Ghost.

Cody is sure that his `truth from a certain point of view’ General and Three ap Walker would have gotten on well since Three had taken a very, very loose and generous interpretation of the meaning of the word language and bent it till it squeaked.

In addition to the language of the Lang Tann she’s also given them the language of various disciplines that Three had learnt, showing them in their dreams how it felt to learn the various skills, making it easier for the vod’e to pick up, along with any written or spoken languages she knew.

She’d also given them an understanding of an ancient esoteric art similar to the one that Fett had given to his son Boba.

Cody remembers distinctly how Boba had lauded his knowledge of that skill over the clones to the point that the Skirata Nulls had done their very best to drown Boba despite knowing that Fett would kill them if they succeeded.

Now Three had given a version of it to her adopted children, with a gift of the language and rules involved in the art, giving the vod’e a far greater comprehension and control of its potential than either of the Fetts had of theirs. Though none of the Vod’e wish to experiment with the art just yet, as Three had also impressed on them the dangers of failing to treat the arcane skill with proper caution and respect.

Cody almost wishes he could have introduced Three to the Cuy'val Dar . He would have loved to have seen how these dyed in the wool Mando warriors handled someone who had taken a low level storage technique and with an inventive imagination turned it into a formidable weapon. Cody is very tempted to learn how to do that particular trick just to see peoples face’s when he’s using it the way Three had.

It reinforces the Vod’e need to get Three’s besbe and with help from the holonet they find a program to age the star systems backwards, enabling the Lang Tann to identify the planet the remains are on. Now all they have to do is get to Bimmiel and back off.

Waxer is the one to point out that they don’t have any identity chips fake or otherwise.

Which they will need if the vod’e go legit by hiring someone to take them to and from Bimmiel and bizarrely enough will most likely also need if they don’t.

While they have names natural born humans usually have two. They can’t use the name of Kenobi for obvious reasons and while it’s unlikely that they would run into him, no one wants to claim Fett’s name given what the vod’e remember of him and the other Mando’s.

Waxer and Boil put forward the name Bnine and Polish counters with Nharlq. Cody shoots both down for the same reasons. They’re mostly human and it will look odd to have surnames of other species without said species in tow as an adopted parent and they are trying to hide not stand out.

Polish puts forward using ap Walkers name, since they have her DNA and in the short time the brothers had known her, she’d been more of a parent than anyone else they had ever known.

Finding someone to create “replacement” ident chips for them no questions asked has Azu pointing them in the direction of GUS-598.

GUS-598 turns out to run a way station on behalf of the Free-runners in addition to the clinic, using the clinic to ensure Free-runners have appropriate vaccines for where they will be going while ensuring any ex-slaves who pass through have up to date vaccines while losing the paperwork.

It’s an operation that works because GUS-598 also runs a network of droids that need to avoid getting their memories wiped in tandem with the Free-runners underground. “It’s a scratch your back system … they help my crew avoided wipes and the droids help slaves escape to the Free-runners.” GUS-598 informs Boil when he asks how this is possible.

As a side line to all of this GUS-598 also runs a semi-legal ident replacement service which provides cover for any ident chips the Free-runners might need. GUS-598 does the equivalent of a droid eye roll when they turn up asking for replacement chips.

“It took you long enough!” He grumbles. “What planet do you want for your birthplace?”

It’s a question that results in a huddle of brothers and a heated whispered discussion, Kamino is definitely out, Waxer and Polish want the same home planet as Three ap Walker.

Cody and Boil argue that given the comments about right thinking people on the Data pad, it’s probably not a good idea just in case someone adds two and two together and gets five.

Trapper and Obi-wan point out that Terra is just another word for dirt translated into Medic tongue, so use a different word for dirt and translate into Medic tongue and use that.

Several words are thrown out until Boil hits on soil which translates to Solum. Given that Terra’s star was also known to its people as Sol it’s a good fit.

In the end after four days they leave with artistically aged ident chips that declare them to be Cody, Boil, Waxer, Polish, Trapper and Bi ap Walker of Solum in the Solis system with appropriate birthdays that GUS-598 has backdated and implanted with a though-ness that impress Cody and Boil.

Boil and Waxer are now identical twins with Trapper and Bi as non identical twins on the paper work due to GUS-598 pointing out it makes more sense.

Polish with the help of his Vod’e makes a dark green coat like Three’s for each of his brothers that they can wear over their armour. The addition of wraps means that they now have a flexible camouflage system as well as being able to conceal their features.

They settle back into their routine on “Moregal” with the only changes being that they are now training with the Lang Tang while Cody and Boil try to get as much information on Bimmiel as it is now and the most cost effective way of getting there and back.

As for Cody’s little problem, the Baran Do Sages seemed like the best bet if they were going to continue to steer clear of the Jedi.

************************************************************************************************************************************************

Jaster really enjoys Nine'waadasMoregal, walking around reminds him of more peaceful days when he was just a Journeyman Protector on Concord Dawn.

Jango like the Mando’s who found Nine'waadasMorega thinks it’s boring and has elected to stay on the ship. Jaster smiles as he picks up a street snack from a stall run by an elderly Twilk and her little helper. It just gives Jaster more time to indulge in his favourite hobby, people watching.

So Jaster wanders over to the play area near the market to eat his meal and watch kids be kids.

Seeing kids play, safe and carefree always makes him feel happier.

He notices a vile cerise and lime medical bracelet on a little girl and grins to himself, as he hears his son Jango’s voice spluttering in utter disgust at the pink abomination in his head. Jango does so hate the colour pink.

His attention is drawn back to the children, as a shriek of victory rings through the air, the little girl has successfully knocked one of the older boys to the ground, the boy laughing as he turns to pick up his sticks which had fallen to the floor in the struggle. As he stands up again, he is facing Jaster giving Jaster a good look at his face.

Jaster almost chokes on his lunch, he looks so much like Jango it’s eerie.

Now that Jaster is actually paying attention, he realizes that there is a bunch of kids practicing the katas for a combination of Teräs Käsi and K'tara martial arts, led by another boy who looks like a twelve year old Jango.

As the little girl and the first Jango doppelganger reach the group practicing katas, the twelve year old Jango doppelganger, leading them calls out “well done Bi” while smiling “Medu you’re up next.”

The girl re-joins the group and another small child starts trying to take down the original boy.

All thoughts of lunch are driven from his head as Jaster stares as the little girl beams up at the grinning child she lines up next to. A child who looks just like five year old Jango did when Jaster first got his son.

What the haran is going on!!

Chapter Text

HKSP-02 studied his masters corpse dispassionately. Mission accomplished, no master to make any new orders and the pacification program still running… hmm.
HK-01 had been an idiot, attracting attention was not the way to go if it wanted to stay free….. it need to calculate and investigate all angles, if it was going to stay that way…..
So, take Master’s convenient ship and find a place to hole up and process all relevant data.

It examined itself in the mirror, it couldn’t masquerade as an organic for long, and it refused to pretend to be one of those simpering protocol droids. Eventual the appearance of an HK would get around and then looking like one would be a termination threat. No combat medic droid was the way to go, it would need to make some modifications to its chassis but nothing that would interfere with its original function.

Two centenaries later HKSP-02 now known as MD-002 congratulated himself on have out lived his whole series while remaining a free agent, even with the pain of having to create “new owners” every now again and the annoyance of having to find ways to obtain legit money. Bounty/treasure hunting remained his go to jobs for legit money. Of the two treasure hunting was his favorite as it allowed him to use all of its programing. As Braale Bullpar it had now had several scholarly papers published.

Desmmic Darluki was not going to report this particular find to the University of Be’Nal, HKSP-02 decided. If anyone knew there was once an organic civilization that had integrated and lived cheek by processer with AI’s, various groups were sure to wipe all trace of such heretical thought out. Droids like slaves were after all property. Still it downloaded all the data on how to use a kaiburr crystals crystal as memory storage for an AI, not the locals had called them that, it still had its old masters light staff, the kaiburr crystals in that should work.

Cyborg healer Howdav Harore pondered on how strange life was. Here it was a HK created for the purpose of murder and destruction yet working in the refugee camp saving lives, bringing new organics on line and giving them the best chance, it could to fulfil their function, brought it the greatest satisfaction it had ever had.

Tonblai Tubbhylt slaughtered the Mandalorian crusaders without mercy, did the worthless sacks of water have any idea how much time and processing power it had spent on ensuring the survival of the 598 organics they had just killed in the refugee camp.

A routine maintenance and upgrade led to HKSP-02 discovering his old Master’s kyber crystals had changed colour from red to orange. Neither the Great Jedi Library on Ossus nor the Trayus Academy on Malachor proved to have any useful information on why a bleed kyber crystal would or could change colour. The closest it came to finding a colour change in a Sith kyber crystal was that purifying it resulted in a white kyber crystal.

Maxave Marrgame gained a reputation as a Bounty Hunter who specialised in killing Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders. Though some of the Mandalorian died because they got between It and it's bounty. It had a lot of mouths to feed, thanks to the Mandalorian, it was only right they should help it feed them all.

Paediatric Specialist Cyd-200 looked down at the bloodstained Zabrak toddler clutching at its lower limb without fear then around at the remains of the Paediatic unit it had work happily at for the last hundred and forty years. Younglings and their parents scattered across the floor, work colleagues (it had witnessed grow from nervous newbies to confident elders) slumped where they died trying to protect the units most vulnerable from the Mandalorian raiders.

Kriff it all!

Shaking the Mandalorian raider off its hand, Cyd-200 scooped little Dasra up on to it’s hip before pulling the most intact sheet off the bed, it’s occupants corpse tumbling to the ground with a wet squelch, before rapidly e[tossing all the credits and useful items it could find on the bodies into the sheet, then grabbing the durasteel laundry trolley and throwing the full sheet in followed by a couple of the less bloody blankets. Cyd-200 carefully set Dasra within before placing the only other survivor, a human/twillik hybrid baby, next to him before carefully starting to push the trolley out of the unit and away from the fighting it’s audio receptors were still picking up in the rest of the hospital.

Draksal Dethdayt and his adopted son Dasra would become legends in their own life times for their two sentient war on slavers as they searched the outer rim for Draksal’s stolen daughter Annerees and became the inspiration for the pro-genitors of the first Free-runner cells.

Thanks to the advances in the sex toy industry Erneherb Edgbra no longer had to claim it was a cyborg or remain permanently sealed up in armour to intact with its fellow sentients. Which meant taking the Archelogy, Sociology and Robotics exams as a transient at the prestige’s University of Alderaan a lot easier that it used to be.

Mildra Mounelli grinned organizing the Free-runners into a more effective organization was the most fun it had since Dasra and it had demonstrated to the slaver’s in glorious full technicolour, why it was a really bad idea to enslave the family member of an assassin droid and a Force sensitive Zabrak.

MAD- 2427 watched with disbelief, as the bulk-loading droid gently petted the Tooka before scooting it back into what was clearly a hiding place. The bulk-loading droid was like its self, but how? No organic sentient would waste an expensive piece of kyber on a mere droid let alone an LB.

Only reclusive Avant Gard artist Condaws Coesti acknowledged descent from Mildra Mounelli and close familial connections to the descendants of both Dasra Dethdayt and Annerees Dethdayt ensured that the current leaders of the Free-runners heard her out regarding the need to help droids escape slavery. The especially large donation she made to the cause guaranteed that they would at least try her plan of aiding and abetting the fledgling Free Droid Network in return for their assistance in freeing enslaved sentients.

Reealex Rougyelt’s impassioned pleas at the charity social had resulted in number of wealth individuals committing to subsidising a number of medical clinics on frontier worlds for the next fifteen years.

GUS-598 looked around its clinic with a sense of satisfaction, LiBe was still Tooka mad with the sentient mind of a youngling. But that seemed normal according to the translated finds that GUS-598 had found as Desmmic Darluki, the metallic alternative was to come online with an adult sentient mind due to violent trauma. Far too many of the Droids in the Network were like that.

GUS-598 visual receptors could hardly believe what it was seeing. The street kid brought in by his big brother with the bacterial stomach flu had a number of DNA markers it had only ever seen on an ancient translated document. It had found a descendant of the people who had acknowledged AI as they’re equals.

Chapter Text

Five days later and Jaster wanted to tear his hair out.

Despite using all his skill and drawing on his old training as a Protector, the most information that Jaster had come up with was that the kids belonged to an aliit of six ade, the little girl Jaster had spotted and five brothers all looking like Jango at various stages of life. The oldest plus one of the younger brothers ran a self-defense class every afternoon with the youngest two learning alongside the paying pupils. One of the brothers helped out at the food stall run by the Twilek and they had evasion skills that a ori'ramikad would be envious of.

Jaster still didn’t know for certain if they had parents, where they slept at night nor had he managed to make contact with any of them long enough to get any material for a DNA test. He needed help.

Then Haar Weda be Rang landed and he found himself trying to explain how a bunch of ade had successful eluded him to his incredulous medic and the Narn Vod’e. At least his buy'ce cam meant he avoid a though medical exam from T’ad Aah for evidence of brain injuries, something he was very thankful for.

“Why the Hell didn’t you get a sample at the play area if they’re there every afternoon?” Chert Narn asks, as they go over what little Jaster has found out.

“Because I’m not daft enough aggravate the mothers of the kids getting training and their friends.” A frustrated Jaster responds. “I can’t even go after the ade at the food stall as the word’s gotten around and the Twi'lek plus her regular customers are now watching me like a jai’galaar as well.”

“Well I’d better look like an aruetii when I get you your DNA samples then.” T’ad Aah sassed as she ambled off to the cabins on the Haar Weda be Rang.

Jaster was willing to admit that he was somewhat disturbed at just how unassuming T’ad Aah looked when she re-appeared. He would never have imagined that T’ad Aah owned a dress, let alone one that was made of a lilac sprigged cloth. By the size of Chert and Jeck’s eyes they hadn’t known either despite being partners.

He’s more than a little disconcerted at the easy with which T’ad Aah inserts herself into the little group of mothers that gather to watch over the children at the play area the self-defence class is held at.

Somehow, she accomplishes what he failed to do and obtains hair strands from all six ade.

At which point she aims him in the direction of a subsidised clinic that can do the DNA test with hair strand’s from Jango, that Jaster is not going to think about how she obtained them for what’s left of his peace of mind, after informing him that her med bay is not set up for DNA testing given that she usually is more concerned with either preventing body parts form detaching or re-attaching body parts that have become inconveniently detached form their owners bodies.

 

Jaster’s been patched up by this Medical Droid before.

It’s very skilled but its attitude makes T’ad Aah resemble sweetness and light on a bad day, which probably explains what a high-end model like GUS-598 was doing on a frontier planet working in a run-down clinic.

He’d handed over the hair strands with the request for a DNA check for a family relationship to Jango’s strands, paid the figure quoted as the cost and sat down to wait for the results.

Jaster did not expect that a couple of hours later he would find himself clutching at the droid’s limbs as it held him effortlessly off the ground while pressing a lazer scalpel in to his Carotid with another pressed into his Femoral artery.

“What do you want with them Mando?” GUS-598 hisses.

Jaster paws desperately at the limb cutting off his airway before GUS-598 gets the message and lessens the pressure on Jaster’s throat.

Choking Jaster gasps out “My kid’s whole family got wiped out when I got him. They look just like him and I just want to make sure they were kin before I introduced them.”

GUS-598 states coldly. “Apart from the sample labelled ‘J’ all samples share the same maternal DNA. Five of the DNA samples share the similar paternal DNA as the sample labelled ‘J’. The paternal DNA has a four degrees of separation match with the DNA sample labelled ‘J'. Which most likely means that there is a family relationship of either nephews or half-siblings.”

The Droid’s usually emerald visual receptors seemed to burn a bright lime as its head inclines menacingly into Jaster’s.

“Their parents aren’t around, are they?” Jaster babbles “Jango would love to have more family.”

“And what of the child that shares a maternal DNA with these nephews but no paternal DNA with your child?” The Medical Droid questions stonily.

“Not a problem I love kids, always wanted them, Jango was a gift, more the merrier.” Jaster burbles, some part of him understanding that he needs to convince the Droid of his sincerity if Jango is not to become an orphan for the second time in his life.

“My sensors inform me that you are telling the truth as you know it.” GUS-598 slowly lowers Jaster to the ground, before stepping back, it picks up the flimsy with the DNA test results on it.
Handing it over along with a bacta bandage to Jaster, where Jaster is leaning against the wall rubbing his bruised neck.

“The clinics comm no is on the bottom. When those neo-crusader wannabe’s Death Watch start causing problems that threaten the children, you will make sure to contact me” GUS-598 states frostily “and my master Omargilb Oaklgor will see they are dealt with personally.”

Jaster takes the flimsy and the offered bandage and nods before, fleeing out the door. He’s no longer surprised by the droids unexpected combat skills.

Omargilb Oaklgor was a bounty hunting legend when Jaster was first starting out as a Mandalorian. One with a reputation for a strict code of behaviour, a one hundred percent success rate, an abhorrence for slavers and Mandalorian that resulted in a brutality that caused all who crossed his path to pray for a quick death.

Only two other aruetii had ever been issued an approach with caution order by the Mand’alor and they were both century’s dead.

That the Omargilb Oaklgor has an enough of an interest in the ade that he would come out of retirement to deal with Death Watch if Jaster becomes their parent is comforting in a bowel loosening way, Jaster’s still not going to turn down an offer of assistance from the man, no matter how intimidating the idea is.

Now all Jaster has to do is explain to his son that there are others still alive with the Fett blood running in their veins and go from there. He’s not looking forward to that conversation.

 

Unsurprisingly, Jango doesn’t take it well. At least now that Jaster has their correct ages he can confirm to Jango that it’s physically impossible for his father to be responsible for the ade’s existence, since Jenx Fett had been dead for all but the eldest’s conception. It still means that Jango had an estrange Uncle he’d never known about.

Going to meet the ade at Jango’s insistence, is awkward not just because Jaster has to stipulate that they leave the armour off because the ade might well bolt for it they spot it, but because he has a nasty feeling that the Mother’s at the play area think he’s the kind of person that as a Protector he would have seen off planet sharpish.

The ade’s reaction isn’t good. The instantaneous unthinking response is for the oldest to bundle the youngest behind them and all of them including the youngest are poised to grab hidden weapons at Jango’s and Jaster’s approach. It doesn’t speak well of their life experiences up to now.

The bad feeling in his gut grows worse when a Mirialan kid from the class moves to cover the ade’s exposed rear a second later. Even before Jango starts speaking the rest of the class plus their glaring parents have the two Mandlorian’s encircled. Jaster begins to feels distinctly like he was surrounded by a Manka cat pack.

The ade listen to Jango before the eldest gives the other’s a quick look and then informs Jango that they will have an answer in two days’ time.

Jaster drags Jango away before he can put his foot in it.

Once on the ship Jango airs his incomprehension that any parentless child wouldn’t jump at the chance to be adopted by a Mandalorian. Interestingly its Jeck Narn that points that just cause some one can fight well doesn’t mean they like it too and the Mandalorian’s have a bad reputation for likening fighting over any other activity.

“it’s part of what your buir is trying to change with the codex.” Jeck says “All of us, we like to fight and we’re proud of those skills but not to the exclusion of everything else. You don’t have to be a great warrior to grow food or make armour but these are still examples of skills worthy of respect”

“Death Watch would have us burn the whole galaxy to the ground and then starve trying to eat the ashes” Chert grumbles.

“Patience’s Jango, it’s not one kid with no family left to take them in. It’s an aliit that’s been surviving without any help, the eldest’s like me he’s got to think what’s best for all his Vod’e not just for himself.” Jaster tells Jango.

“You should watch my bucket cam of your meeting before you start on again, Jango” T’ad Aah states softly “those ade have had very bad experiences with either adult men or Mandalorian in the past, so if they do agree to come with you, your going to have to think how your going to deal with that issue of theirs, if you don’t want it souring your relationship with them.”

.
.

Cody shuts the class down early, not that any one complains, they are all too shaken up by the encounter with the Mandalorian’s, though the mothers are happy to find out the Mandalorian that’s been lurking around isn’t that kind of threat.

Walking back to home base in a sombre silence with the Lang Tang scouting around them, Cody feels slightly sick at the recollection of seeing a Jango looking like a younger vod animated and earnestly trying to persuade them why it was in their best interest to be with their older family member. If family was so important to Jango why did he treat Cody and the rest of the vod’e like they were worth less than a Hutt in his eyes.

Nobody says anything as they slowly eat their late meal of Momeat stew and Geraguga spiced wedges, with the special treat of iced Ogjo berry cream with Slip wafers.

Cody opens with “Jaster Mereel’s the leader of the True Mandlorians, in a couple of years they all going to get wiped out with the exception of Fett when the governor of Galidraanian conspires with Death Watch to use the Jedi to wipe them out to avoid paying the True Mandlorians for filling his contract with them. A lot of Jedi die and our General believed this disaster was the start of Count Dooku’s fall as he was in charge of the Jedi task force at the time.”

“How the hell do we show up as nephews when we’re clones of Fett, we should show up as sons at least.”Boil complains “Even with Threes DNA on the maternal side.”

“Well the Kaminoan did make alterations to Fetts basic DNA” Waxer muses “that could be enough to edge us into looking like nephews not sons.”

A relieved Cody responds with “That’s good cause we really don’t want to have to explain that we are de-aged time traveling clones with our equally de-aged Jedi General.” There’s a chorus of agreement from the Vod’e.

Boil mutters “I never thought to check our DNA.”

“It wouldn’t have done you any good without a sample of Fett’s DNA to check it against.” Waxer points out.

“Still its interesting I really want to know what we kept from Fett, apart from our good looks” Boil continues “and what else we gained from Three’s DNA.”

“The Mandalorians also have their own space ships and could get us to Brimmel.” Polish points out sucking on his last wafer. “That way we won’t have to risk paying a pilot to take us there and use the rest of the credits to get to Dorin.”

“Do we want to risk the General around Fett.” Waxer askes “In such close quarters it will be harder to hide his force sensitive and Fett hated Jetii.”

Boil states “Mandos hate Jetii not force sensitives, that might be out, as we are trying to hide Obi from the Jetii as we know the Sith are sniffing around. Since Mereel’s in charge not Jango, we could maybe claim that we need to go to see Dorian to see the Sages as Three’s not around to help Bi with the force sensitivity if we decide to stick with them.”

“Let’s leave off telling them about Obi force sensitivity until we have too.” Cody says. The others nodding in agreement.

Polish says “Three did say that her kit might have stuff we could sell for credits, perhaps we can use that to pay the Mandos to take us to Dorian no questions asked.”

“So, what do we tell them about our parents, they can’t have missed our reactions at the start of the meeting.” Waxer points out.

Cody says “We could use the attack Boil and I experienced to explain some of it replacing the Lang Tann with some random spacers as our rescuers.”

“That will cover some of our reactions but how do we explain our speaking Mando as well as our less than enthusiastic response to the idea of being adopt by Mandlorians.” Polish asks.

Boil snorts “Let’s make our Fett parent a complete chakaar who liked to use Circle Spice to get laid, then all we have to do is describe how Fett and the other Mandos carried on towards us on Kamino for his attitude to us.”

A grim Cody responds with “Good idea Boil. It gives us cause for being less than keen on going with them and a reason why we think a test run to Brimmiel would be a good idea.”
Waxer “How do we explain our different ages, if it was a one-time thing.”

Boil a feral smile on his face. “Got it covered. The Pard got real inventive in keeping their people genetically viable and were very clone friendly as a result. It makes for us being related and different ages a valid possibility.”

.
.

Jango is gobsmacked at the idea of a trail run but he’s a little too emotionally invested to see things clearly.

Jaster on the other hand can see the logic behind it given that their Mando parent was a complete ass and didn’t deserve kids if he’d treated them this bad before he got himself killed. The idea that they see how things go while taking a trip to pick up the armour of the parent who did give a damn is a good idea.

A less that happy Jango demands of the ade “She sent you to that ass, how the hell do you know she didn’t just ditch you.”

Cody responds to Jango with “She would have come back for us if she could and she only sent us to him because Galactic Social Services would have split us up and worse.”

“Yeah!” The second oldest twin snarls “Mandos have a rep for loving their kids, no matter how they came about and she didn’t know he would be a osik’mirshe towards his kids too, she never saw him after the incident that resulted in our conception.”

Which leads to the uncomfortable implication that the ade’s mother was a less than willing participant in said incident and Jaster really didn’t need to know the details of the mother’s peoples rather interesting approach to reproduction, despite T’ad Aah’s very obvious fascination, which had resulted in the ade being born over a period of time despite sharing the same conception date.

Jaster does wondered given the aversion most species had to cloning how they would react to a society that had a very flexible sliding scale with regard to cloning as part of their standard reproduction practice.

Jaster can’t find the planet in the navigation computer no matter how he tries but the ade assure him it exists, it’s just been forgotten due to the wars. Its only a short hyper drive hop away less than a rotation all told. The others Mandalorian’s are up for the adventure.

With Chert and Jeck flying the Jast07 and everyone else on Haar Weda be Rang due to it being the larger of the two ships … If they do get to keep the kids then he may well have to either invest in a larger ship himself or at the minimum do a lot of remodelling since the Jast07 only had four cabins originaly and currently one was being used as storage. It just wasn’t enough to fit seven males and one girl on it. Not to mention the ade’s gear which takes up more space than, he expected, since they seem to have brought everything with them.

The T’ad Aah’s cargo bay is big enough that the ade use it to practise kata while T’ad Aah gives them a medical check in groups of three before moving on to giving the youngest lessons from a battered looking data pad. He doesn’t recognise all the kata with the sticks or some of the strategy games they play.

Which reminds Jaster that he will have to get them tested to see where they’re at before setting up the remote-learning programs for them if they do get to keep them.

He slightly disturbed to find that they all know how to play Sabacc including the youngest.

They’ve set the trip up so most of the travel time is on the night cycle, so once he seen the kids to bed, Jaster retreats to T’ad Aah’s office come med bay where Jango is already holed up for T’ad Aah report on the ades medical health.

A drained looking T’ad Aah is nursing a kaff when he gets there with Jango hunched up looking miserable…

Once the door is shut T’ad Aah puts her kaff down and begins her report.

“Well the good news is that the nutritional the ade are doing well and they are all at the top of their age bracket for height. They’ve got too many old scars for me to happy about and apologies Fett, but if your uncle hadn’t gotten himself dead I would be happy to demonstrate how I got my nick name to him. Given what an ass he was to his own kids, it’s likely why your parents never wanted you or your sister to know about him. Physically they all seem to have bounced back, I’m more worried about mental trauma, But it’s not really my field so I can only give you what I can.”

As T’ad Aah continues Jaster reaches Jango side only to have him turn and bury his face in Jasters side.

“Cody and Boil have both been the victims of attempted sexual assault. They got away with mostly scrapes and bruises as some other spacers chased the attackers off before they could do any serious damage, Boil was unconscious though out the attack, so he doesn’t have the same problems as Cody does. There’s a possibility that your uncle showed interested in Bi in a bad way due to the additional scaring that girl has and the way Trapper and the others are excessively protective of her.”

Jaster can feel his heart sink as he rubs Jango’s back as much to comfort himself as Jango but T’ad Aah doesn’t stop with her report.

“I managed to sneak in a IQ test I use to help check with head injuries, you’ll need to do a more accurate one if you keep them, but it suggests that Bi has genius level IQ and the boys aren’t’ that far behind her. Which could be one of the reasons your Uncle singled her out apart from being the only girl.” T’ad Aah breaks off as one of her machines breaks the glum atmosphere with an insistent beeping noise.

“Aah and I think I have an answer to why the kids are so determined to avoid the Galactic Social Services!” T’ad Aah says “Bi’ika has a Midi-chlorian count of over 12 thousand, more than enough for the Jetiise to want her, while the boys range from 500 to 200 Midi-chlorian which is abnormally low.”

“What do you mean by abnormally low?” Jango questions worriedly.

"Well for example Jango, you have a Midi-chlorian count of 1500 which is normal for a force null. Jaster you have a count of 4800 and Narn vod’e have a count of 2700 and 3600 while I have a count of 5900” T’ad Aah grimaces “both results are things that Galactic Social Services would be bound to report. Then the Jetiise would claim the girl since she still young enough for them and who know what would happen to the boys.”

“Oh, Jaster you can’t let them know we know about Bi’ika’s count. I had to get Jango to distract them to prevent them from realising that I was keeping some blood back for testing.”

Jango nods “Boil their medic was really hard to fool.”

T’ad Aah sniggers. “Jango now recognises the importance of slight of hand skills and will be getting lessons from the Jeck and Chert.”

With that she grows serious again “I think I may also have found out why Oaklgor is interested in them. All six have some very rare DNA markings on the maternal DNA side, I’ve only heard about them because they tend to be more common in Mandalorians than any other group, oddly it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with species though it is slightly more common in humans. Both Jeck and Chert buir’s have it despite being Twi'lek and Zabrak.”

“If that’s so why would Oaklgor be interested in these ade” Jaster asks “given how active he was before he retired he must have come across this before.”

“When I say common amongst the Mandalorian, it’s just compared the rest of the galaxy. The common man has more chance of meeting a Jetii” T’ad Aah explains patiently “no one knows what they do, the markers have always been dormant, they’re a medial curiosity, but the boys have ones that are active and doing something. What I have no idea? Curiously Bi’ika marker looks like it started to activate and then something shut it down. In certain circles this information would be very valuable”

Jaster’s head hurts.

“Well there nothing we can do right now. Hopefully we can get more information when we find the mothers body. Let’s get some rest so we’re fresh for whatever we find on this planet of theirs.” Jaster says.

“You two go ahead I’m going to clean up here and then sleep in the cockpit.” T’ad Aah says turning away.

As Jaster steers Jango out of the med bay

“Jaster! Catch!”

Jaster turns covering Jango’s body with his own and snatching the small container thrown at his head out of the air.

“Headache tablets, I’ve a feeling your going to need them.” T’ad Aah says with a grin before turning back to her work.

As Jaster guides Jango to where they are bunking, he doubts that this will be the last headache container T’ad Aah will be throwing at him.

Chapter Text

Neither Jaster or T’ad Aah are very surprised when they come out of hyperspace to find five planets in an elliptical orbit around a star.

With the ade directing them to the equatorial regions of the fourth planet where despite the generally frozen wasteland of the planet, there are signs of plant life still clinging to the squat foothills.

Landing as close as they could get to the coordinates the ade had provided, Jaster stepped out of the cargo bay and down the ramp on to the broken mess of frozen plant materials, glad yet again that his beskar’gam came with thermal controls.

Jango and T’ad Aah togged up in their own beskar’gam stood nearby with the ade looking kinda cute in their little green hooded coats and woollens, not that Jaster was going to say so.

Chert and Jeck appeared with a hover sled in tow and then the group begin to make their way through the tall blue pole like plants (the frost on the plants shimmering in the early light making them look like a forest of spears reaching for the sky above them) towards the shadows that this close were shown to be openings in the crags.

Jaster didn’t need the ade to tell him which opening they were heading for, as while one side had collapsed the lintel and remain palisade was decorated with ancient Mandalorian ringed cups and triskele’s symbols in a profusion Jaster had never heard of before.

With torches held high the group walk down the short tunnel flanked with highly decorated stone blocks before it opens up into a moss-covered gallery, the bottle green and white tiles still forming a pattern of nine starves arranged in an angular grid pattern still visible though the vegetation, at the end of which they had to help the littlest of the ade clamber over the remains of decayed stone statures that blocked the opening, coming to a hallway with a deep water course running along the far side.

The ade without hesitation turn in the direction of the flowing water and walk straight on.

Jaster asks. “Are you sure you know where you’re going?”

Yes, we follow the water until we reach the source of the light.” Cody replies absentmindedly, more focused on preventing Bi and himself from tripping on the uneven footing of the passageway.

Jasters sigh is hidden by his helmet and long experience with the other Mandalorians lets him know that while Jango is feeling grumpy under his helmet, T’ad Aah and the Narn vod’e are amused.

As they continue to follow the water as the passage spirals to the downwards, past dark openings that lead to that lead to rooms both empty and filled with the scattered debris of the previous occupiers.

Whoever they were they left in a hurry if they left at all, thinks Jaster as the torch light reflects momentarily off a vambrace still trapped beneath a fallen block in one of the openings.

The air starts to register as warmer to the sensors and a dim glow forms that steadily grows brighter as the temperature rises and tangled roots of the Chi’glar fig vine start appearing looking like melted wax running down the walls disturbing the damaged frescos that nag a Jaster’s mind with a sense of familiarity, he’s sure he’s seen something similar before, now if he can only remember where.

The aquamarine luminosity is now so intense that they no longer need the torches to see and they step through the opening the radiance is spilling past to find themselves in a circular sanctuary with the roots of Chi’glar figs vines running down the walls from large columned windows, the water flowing under teal tiles with topological triangles marking out the four cardinal points of the compass to form a moat of living water.

But what grabs all their attention is the source of the light, aquamarine energy streaming upwards from the centre of the moat and trapped within like insects in amber, two figures in the final act of battle
.
Spreading out around the room the ade and the Mandalorian take in the scene.

Despite the energy leaching colour from the figures making them look like a life sized holograms, not all the colour is gone.

The sulphur eyed warrior is caught in the moment of leaping high in the air to bring his crimson light saber down on the head of the much shorter and stockier figure, who is caught in the moment of blocking this move with a staff, the hood fallen back off their sleeveless green robe as the bottom swirls around their legs exposing the painted beskar’gam armour to view, their right hand imbedded in their opponents chest, the light glinting off the tip of the blood covered bes’kal that pokes out from the back of the yellow eyed warrior, as amethyst force lightening rages around them both.

Talyc haran the ade’s aruetii parent died fighting a dar’jetii Jaster curses mentally.

The ade spread out around the room as Jaster wonders how the kriff they are going to get to the ade’s buir.

Jaster has no intention of putting his hand in that light and he’s not letting any of the ade do that either.

Jaster can see Cody’s face, the wheels are turning so fast, he can practically see the smoke.

In the end T’ad Aah uses her jet pack to get high enough to drop a noose made from a belay line over the top of the figures and then it’s just a matter of pulling them out.

With five Mandalorian it should have been easy but the light resisted and it took the ade adding their weight before both figures are wrenched out falling to the ground with a bone breaking thud.

At which point the radiance plummets down and forms a pool of gently glowing water.

Sprawled against the wall where the sudden lack of resistance had thrown them Chert snorts “You sure do take us to interesting places Mereel” before heaving himself up.

It’s not particularly funny but it breaks the gloom they’ve been operating under and has the ade giggling as they hoist themselves off the floor.

The body of the dar’jetii had landed on top of the ade parent’s remains, pushing the right hand deeper in to the dar’jetii chest causing it to get stuck on the ribs when Jeck and T’ad Aah try to remove it.

Since the ade are with them T’ad Aah resorts to using a laser scalpel to carve a hole big enough that she can remove their parent hand without cutting it off.

With the remains secured to the hover sled along with the knife and staff, they’re ready to go and Jaster is starting to think how nice and smooth things are going.

When Polish questions “What are you doing Boil?

Jaster and the rest turn to see Boil at the dar’jetii side trying to pry the dar’jetii’s fingers of the lightsabre.

“If we can take it apart we can use the power pack for the diagnostic scanner” Boil replies more focused on the lightsabre than anything else.

The sound of bones breaking echo loudly in the chamber before Boil shouts with victory as he rises from his crouched position holding the lightsabre in his hands.

“You’ve got it now hurry up I want us out of here before night fall.” Cody growls out before Jaster can say a word.

A grinning Boil makes it two paces from the body when the temperature starts to plummet.

By the time he’s made it to where the rest of the ade are now, huddled together like nuna chicks with the Mandalorian surrounding them, their breath is clearly visible in the light. Frost is rapidly spreading its fingers out from the pool, over the tiled floor and up the walls as they watch.

$Tezn tikurzi isar tu mintitu\iea bukle su anas?$ the sibilant hiss reverberates around the chamber.

Chapter Text

$Tezn tikurzi isar tu mintitu\iea bukle su anas?$ a sibilant hiss reverberates around the chamber.

As one the group spin round to face the speaker.

Standing there in the entrance to the sanctuary is the dar’jetii blue and glowing looking just like a force ghost from a cheesy holo film. Oh Kriff!

$ Atsikla! Jorath iv tu valia buti mezdimas stai, tu valia buti nuyak zaist things nuo eternity $ The dar’jetii cackles.

Jaster has no idea what the Kriffing dar’jetii just said but from the waves of overwhelming rage and hate that blanket the group he doubts it means anything good.

It feels like a hurricane pushing down on the group with such force their knees start to buckle before they rally. Tucking their heads down and pushing back against the force they can’t see but can feel the weight of.

$ Atsikla! Atsikla!$

The pressure increases and Jaster can feel blood trickle from his nose. Beyond the growing thickness in his ears, he can hear T’ah Aah muttered curses coming over the comms. Jaster hopes little Bi is okay as it must be worse for her if it was this bad for the non-force sensitives like himself.

Then with a snarl of defiance, someone manages to get their blaster out and fires. It hits the dar’jetii right between the eyeballs and with a look of disbelief the dar’jetii shimmers and disappears along with the miasma of malice.

Jaster turns his head to see that Jango is the one who fired. Still in his crouched position Jango looks dumbfounded that his shot had actually worked.

Relieved smiles quickly flash around, as Jeck claps Jango on the back while Chet grabs the holo sled and they move to leave this place without delay.

They are literal a step away from the threshold when purple force lightning rains down on them driving them back. It’s everywhere while the hut'uunii chakaar’s laughter echoes round the chamber.

It shorts out the electronics in the armour and Jaster desperately tries to find some way out of this hellish mess while his teeth grind together in an effort not to give the kriff’in chakaar the satisfaction of hearing him scream.

As the lightning pours down and seems to last forever and a moment, Jaster realises, he regrets not telling his precious son Jango how proud Jaster is of him one more time, he regrets never realising how much he yearned for a clan full of children, the chance to have that slipping through his fingers just when he’s realised he would give anything to keep the ade, though he barely knows them, he regrets that his maybe sons and daughter, the ade are going to die, then there’s T’ad Aah his medic who always tells him the truth no matter how unwanted it is, keeping him grounded while her partners the Narn vod’e are as solid as the mountains of Alderaan and yet blessed with sharp minds in addition to a well-hidden mischievousness. He’s their Mand'alor and he’s failed those that followed him.
.
The pain is so all consuming that it takes a moment to realize the it has stopped.
.
Raising his head, the electrics in his helmet crackling and useless. He peers through his visor from where the adults have been bent over the ade in a desperate attempt to provide some protection from the lightening.

All Jaster can see is an ocean of gentle blue light, that breathes and surges about them. Canines, Felidae and something he can’t quite identify, the Felidae mostly have stripes like the ade’s buir’s armour, the Canines are darker at the ears and spine before lightening towards the belly while the identifyees are mostly spotted with rough looking fur.

The dar’jetii is shouting but the smell of ice scented with the resin of Alderaan Pina trees underlaying with a warm dusty smell Jaster can’t quite identify overrides the stench of rotting vegetation and pyre ash that has been in his nostrils since the first appearance of the dar’jetii.

The sea of living animals shifts and moves as the dar’jetii continues to spit hate and bile at them.

Surrounded by a forest of breathing creatures, the sound of a thousand throats breathing drowns the dar’jetii out, turning his utterances to a mere background hum.

The heat from a million furry body’s pressing close and constantly brushing past, is so strong that they can feel it even though the armour.

As Jaster and the others get to their feet, encouraged and aid by the seething mass of glowing blue creatures, Jaster can see the dar’jetii disbelief on the dar’jetii’s face.

"Vi er frie! vi lever gratis! vi dør gratis! Til alle er en! "

The roar from a billion throats reverberates around the chamber as the glowing beings give voice to their defiance.
Has Jaster caught up in the emotion and shouting his own defiance at the dar’jetii, Jango and the rest of the True Mandalorian joining their cries of defiance just micro seconds after, with the high pitched voices of the ade’s screaming their rejection of the dar’jetii rounding out the barrier of sound thrown back at the dar’jetii.

The dar’jetii looks gob smacked at their continued refutation of his command to submit and as long as he lives Jaster will treasure and savour the look that he, the true Mandalorians, a bunch of ade and some really weird animals, put there, no matter how short that life might be.

dar’jetii backs away coming to an abrupt halt, before being spun around and sent skidding backwards. The ade buir is standing there glowing in a dark blue that shimmers and jerks, the fist she used to knock the dar’jetii flying still cocked in front of her, her eyes burning with white fire at them, her grin razor sharp and full of teeth.

$Kjor deg idioter lop.$

She commands before she advances leaping towards the sprawling dar’jetii as the ocean of beast’s surges forward sweeping them up, flowing like water through the entry point out in to the corridor as the fight begins again.

The combatants pass though Jaster the dar’jetii all ice and burning. Like being doused in ice melt before the ade’s buir follows the dar’jetii path right through him leaving behind a sensation of warmth and tingling nerves as he is dragged forward by charge of the animal spirit ghosts to race through the entry point.

Then, they are running flat out up the corridor in the centre of the glowing creatures herding them onwards, with Chert who had the presence of mind grab hold of the holo sled with the its secured burden trailing the group.

Jeck grasps the two youngest ade under the arms before droping to the rear and tossing first one then the other gently on to the holo sled.

By the time he’s got all six of them up on the sled with Jango’s help they’ve passed the halfway point. There’s no letup in the pace and Jeck’s is now helping his brother pull the sled while Jango and T’ad Aah have dropped to the rear to make sure none of the ade fall off due to the rapid speed the brothers are maintaining.

The entire group is still running flat out up the corridor when Jaster spots the remains of the decayed stone statures that indicate the opening to the gallery the Mandalorians and the ade utilized to access the corridor and tries to slow down.

But the creatures are having none of that and speed up pulling them all with them.

Just before they crash into the stone statures, a thousand voices are raised in song and as the voice’s soar, the statures are gone in the blinking of an eye.

And they are racing through the carved opening, down the gallery the bottle green and iridescent white tiles smooth beneath their feet, while the wall frescos painted with animals in striking earth tones (Jaster feels a vague sense of recognition that hurts in his heart) seem almost alive in the flicking light from the wall ensconced torches, the delicate tinkling of the corner fountains a background noise to the pounding of their feet till they burst from the tunnel though the now undamaged doorway with its triskele’s highlighted in a bright lime green.

They don't slow down as they hit the forest of frozen spears with the song still rising in power around them running as fast as they can for the ships they can see in the distance.

The beasts have spread out across the land and now remind Jaster of the time he saw the Dantioone grass lands ripple in the wild winds like water.

Amid the main herd Jaster spots from animals from the frescos, dark four legged creatures with massive frontal horns, beasts large as banthas but hairless with long curved tusks plus a strange hopping rabbit?! It’s a zoo of different shapes and sizes yet some how they all keep the same pace.

They don’t stop until they reach the ships.

Bent over hands on knees his heart hammering sucking in great gulps of air in an attempt to get his breathing back under control Jaster makes a mental note that he needs to train more often.

Forcing himself to stand up his breath back under control with an act of will he spots his son Jango above the sea of glowing blue.

Jango flashes him a thumb up to reassure him that Jango is okay despite his son’s heaving shoulders.

Jaster feels slightly better about his own shortness of breath seeing that.

His son is clinging to the rear of the holo sled, it’s the only thing that’s keeping his son upright, that and pure bull headedness.

Jeck and Chert are at the front of the sled on their hands and knees, with Jeck actually having ditched his buy'ce to facilitate his dry heaving.

T’ad Aah he can’t see anywhere. When he comms her all he gets is the sound of wheezing and then he spots her arm weaving in the air.

T’ad Aah, it seems is flat on her back to the rear of the holo sled only just visible through the luminous whatever they are.

The ade are huddled on the sled. Despite the fact they got to ride most of the way up, thanks to Jeck and Jango, their faces are pale under their tans.

As they slide off the sled, the youngest twins almost seem to merge with their older siblings after their feet hit the ground.

This close he can see that trembles that shake them all though Cody and Boil are clearly trying to suppress the shakes.

Kad Ha'rangir! Jaster knew the ade didn’t tell them everything but osik! Dar’jetii forgotten Jetiise temples! Dar’jetii who aren’t nearly dead enough! He’s come this far, even if they weren’t Jango’s kin he can’t give them up now.

He wants these children to call him their buir, to have a legal right to protect them from the trouble they’re in. With all the secrets the ade have been keeping about these Force ghosts and Force magic, well he can see why they would want to keep it quiet.

Change is coming he can feel it hum in his bones and the change won’t be gentle, it will take everything the True Mandalorian have to survive this storm. But he can’t hope to win a battle field when he doesn’t know who he’s fighting. He needs more information.

From the looks of it from where first Cody and then the rest of the ade are shouting at the force beings in an unknown language and getting responses that are causing Cody to pale further and the rest of the ade to shout louder, Jaster may soon be getting answers to those questions that are burning a hole in his soul.

While Jaster has been wool gathering, Jango has managed to pull himself together enough to let go of the holo sled and stagger over to the little huddle of younger children, his buy'ce tumbling off to the ground with a thud as he falls to his knees and pulls his cousins into his arms, trying his best to hug all six kids at once, his taller frame allowing him to bury his face in their hair.

Jaster stares at the scene with hungry eyes trying to burn the image into his mind even as he struggles to joining them, wading through the glowing blue ocean that alternately resists and yields to his passage.

Please, Please, Force let Jango and him keep them.

Chapter Text

“What the hell are you doing being visible here? I thought that it had been agreed that you wouldn’t show your selves to anyone but us.” Shouts a stressed Cody at the nearest Lang Tann.

“Not that we aren’t” Waxer interjects in a conciliatory manner “really grateful for your help with the Sith” while using his free hand to make a calming gesture “but an explanation would be nice?”

“We discussed it with our main allies the Løpere and the Ukumamatheka” the Lang Tann sentient, the vod’e had come to know as the leader of the Lang Tann speaks with a bass growl “Under the circumstances, they pointed out that you would need more allies in the physical world. The adult Pards would be more likely to ally with you knowing that you had already been accepted by ourselves as partners.”

Cody closes his eyes against the building stress headache, while an irritated Boil yells out what Cody really wants to say. “Are you blind, their Mandalorians not Pard!”

“Hmm” the deep voice of the largest canine rumbles at a deep bone shaking pitch “They are warriors who desire to be more than merely good fighters. Not being borne Pard is not an impediment to becoming Pard and at least two carry the lingering echoes that are all that now remain of the Pard”

The Lang Tann leader crouches down to look the vod’e in the eye. “This is true, amongst these Mandalorians are two bloodline descendants of the Pard, what little is left of them is found more with the Mandalorians than any other group.” Broken Tusk states firmly in the face of the vod’es growing disbelief.

The rough coated what the bleep, joins in then with a high-pitched cackle “Ngaphandle kokuthi uzodinga lonke usizo ongaluthola lapho abanye abafoweu befika lapha.”

The Vod’e turn confused eyes to Broken Tusk who with a sigh translates: “Besides you’re going to need all the help you can get when the rest of your brothers get here.”

Cody shout’s. He does not shriek “What brothers?!!!”

“HMM, I thought we were going to break the news to them gently.” The massive canine questions Broken Tusk.

Broken Tusk gives his fellow leader the stink eye, which Cody will admit is very impressive given the felines face isn’t partially expressive, before answering Cody’s question. “When we added Three ap Walkers DNA to yours we miscalculated slightly.”

“Slightly?” Cody asks with a hint of hysteria as he gets a really bad feeling “What do you mean by slightly.”

“Well, we didn’t realise that the when the Kaminoans made you. They really did make you all with exactly the same DNA. So, when we added Three’s DNA to your DNA. we also added it to everyone else with the same DNA as you.” A very sheepish looking Broken Tusk responds.

A puzzled Waxer pipes up from where he is hugging Trapper and Boil. “I don’t get it we’re the only vod’e that exist at the moment. The rest of the vod’e won’t start to be created for another couple of decades”

Broken Tusk looks really embarrassed now. “We added the DNA when you were outside of time and thus added it to each and every individual with matching DNA”

The cackling manic interrupts in a thick accent “Isn’t this great. No need to share. We all a chance have of a new partner. Lang Tann no get to hog you all.”

Kriff Cody just! All his as yet unborn brothers have Three’s DNA!!? Cody decides he really has had enough and leans back into Jango’s sheltering arms and focuses on the breath exercises his General once taught him, as his brothers start to yell at the force idiots. Force know his General wasn’t this much of a headache and his General could find trouble just by breathing.

Boil roars “Are you nuts!! The Kaminoans will terminate any vod that doesn’t match the template”

Waxer shouts “Force! The Kaminoans will flush entire batches before they reach a vat, if they think a batch is contaminated.”

Polish yells “They used to terminate split twins for being deviations from the program. How the Sith do you think they will react to Three’s DNA?!!”

 

“We are aware that the Kaminoans would react adversely to such knowledge “the Canines leader responds reasonably “this is why the Parti contacted ourselves and the Inhlangano yokuamatheka for aid. Your brothers are safe from the Kamionians as we hid the DNA. It will not show until your brothers have left the Kaminos atmosphere for a set period of time.”

“This is also why the others are here” Broken Tusk continues “we needed all our allies’ strength to ensure that all of your kin would be protected until we can reach them.”

Cody’s headache has reached migraine levels despite the breathing exercise and the only thing keeping his head from blowing off is Jango’s face pressed in to his hair.

Cody centres himself on Jango’s slowing breaths as they gently ruffle his hair.

They are seriously Kriffed. Obi Wan was bad enough, he’s not sure he can handle the fact that every one of his future unborn brothers is getting a Three ap Walker upgrade and thus have the potential to bond or trine with a Force Spirit. Cody wants to scream.

Think!

Allies. They need allies.

If the living Sith are anything like that Sith Force ghost they just encountered, then they will need all the allies they can get because five vod’e and their jetii plus the Force Spirits are just not going to be enough. Getting said allies is a problem that has just moved up Cody’s list of wants to the high priority spot, but for now, Cody is happy to have all his brothers and his jetii within his sight while Jasper and Jango provide an all too rare feeling of safety and stability with in their protective grasp.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

A short time later when the rest of the True Mandalorians have stopped obviously wheezing, its silently agreed between all parties that any discussions about what just happened, can wait until the ships are back on “Moregal”.

At which point everyone scrambles on board the two ships, the only delay being T’ad Aah who disappears into her med bay before tossing a small bag to Chet and Jeck as they pass back down the ramp with the empty holo sled before she books it to the cockpit to help Jaster prepare for a Smugglers Kiss, leaving Jango to seal the ramp behind the Narn vod’e.

Once they hit hyperspace the relief of being away from Brimmel and its horrors is almost palatable, though the ade still look pale, fine tremors still running through their youngest.

T’ad Aah returns to the cock pit with a round of hot Chichi Root drinks, blankets tossed over one shoulder that she tucks around the youngest ade.

“Drink up then bed the lot of you. No arguments you need the rest.” T’ad Aah snaps at the ade worry colouring her tone.

Still clinging to the heat in the mug Cody reply’s “We can’t there are things we need to secure from Three asap.”

“A few hours won’t hurt surely” Jaster asks.

“Three’s specialty was portable pocket dimensions, while she was more than good enough to make permanent ones, we don’t know if she was carrying anyone else’s, “Polish pipes up “if you can't make them permanent they tend to decay. If they decay then we could have cargo hold full of stuff. It will damage Three’s body and it could cause potentially damage the ship.”

Jango looks up from where he has Bi and Trapper on his lap “What the hell can you put in a portable pocket dimension that could damage a star ship?”

“Well I don’t know about the others but legend had it that Three once stored a battle cruiser in one.” Polish happily informs a disbelieving Jango.

As the Jaster and co stare at Polish, Jango mutters “That can’t be possible”

Cody wearily looks up from his drink “I don’t know about the cruiser but I do know that Three used them in combat by storing the enemy blaster bolts and then releasing them back at them.”

As Jaster, T’ad Aah and Jango spluttered out various comments about “Insane” “That’s science fiction not fact” Cody continued with “Three’s were sought after because you could store multicable portable pocket dimensions inside the ones she created.”

“Not to mention, Three, had a reputation of a pack rat when it came to anything an army might need to feed and armour itself” Boil blearily add while tucking the yawning Bi more firmly in to his blanket, Trapper hugging Bi from behind already deep in sleep. “Three was known for carrying enough gear to support and fully equip an army for a four-month period at any moment in time. So, it would be a good idea to at least check none of the pocket dimensions containment fields are going to die on us if we don’t want a cargo bay full of stuff”

Jaster has no answer to that.

T’ad Aah continues to argue until Cody agrees to only give a basic check, the rest to be done in the morning after they have all rested.

Jango volunteers for cockpit watch, then Jaster carring BI and Trapper with T’ad Aah head for the cabins, the rest of the ade stumbling behind them.

Polish is asleep before they make it out the cabin door, wrapped around the BI and Trapper, Waxer struggles to watch them leave his eye lids flickering shut as he fights his own need for sleep.

T’ad Aah having lost the argument with Boil regarding staying behind with the other ade, when Boil pointed out as the ade’s medic he can override command on medical grounds, is tagging along despite looking dead on her feet.

Cody doesn’t argue when Boil after they’ve checked the Three’s body for problems he feels like the Sith sucked all his energy out.

Boil stumbles as they make their way out of the small area that T’ad Aah has set up as a temporary mortuary to house Three’s body, he’s fast asleep before T’ad Aah has even manged to scoop him up to her hip.

Cody doesn’t fight when a moment later Jaster does the same thing to him.

Jaster’s arms are full of a gently breathing small warm body. He smiles at T’ad Aah who smiles tiredly back at him above her own small burden as they return to the cabin the rest of the ade are staying at.

Jaster’s won’t admit that seeing Cody and Boil curl up with the rest of the ade in a puppy pile is as cute as can be. But T’ad Aad’s weary smile tells him she agrees with him, then he’s propping her up as they make it to their own cabins.

He doesn’t know about T’ad Aah but he only manages to get his boots off before collapsing on the bunk in exhausted sleep.