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Running From Time

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Thrawn sat on a rock staring deep into the camp fire lost in thought when a noise startled him. Looking up he realized that Ezra Bridger had fallen asleep. Was he really zoned out that long? He decided that Ezra fell asleep quickly. It startled how comfortable Ezra was now. It had taken him years to even sleep soundly with Thrawn around, the kid was constantly paranoid that Thrawn would stab him in the back (or shoot him in the back again). Thrawn knew better than to do that to his only source of company. And as much as Thrawn disliked to admit, he himself was getting older and less capable. He knew that he had at least 70 more years to live, but in these conditions it was hard to tell when death would come.

Thrawn was still disoriented from his thoughts. Usually he was focused, listening for any animals in the bushes, plotting the days journey, or sketching something. But tonight was it was hard for him to stay focused on what was around him. He took the pieces of the com out and placed them on a flat rock. He stared at them trying to figure out how to fix it, hoping this time would reveal something new that he didn’t see the past 20 years he had been staring at it.

It was almost dawn when Ezra woke up. He turned to see leaning on one hand asleep with the shattered pieces of the com scattered around the area. It was always odd to see the chiss sleeping, but the occurrence was becoming increasingly common and it concerned Ezra. True he didn’t know how much chiss typically sleep. But he knew something was wrong. As much as Ezra hated Thrawn for what he did to Lothal, Thrawn had kept him alive for 20 years, that was worth something at least.

Ezra stood up and stretched taking the hair band out of his hair and combing it out with his fingers. He grabbed the pot that they had salvaged from the Chimera and headed to look for the water, kindling, and maybe some berries if he was lucky. The planet was mostly forest terrain and he recognized where they were which meant after another decade they were returning to the Chimera likely to stay for a little longer than a few days. If they would try to go around the massive rock again and look for other life was impossible to tell. 20 years and they hadn’t seen a single sign of other sentient life on the planet.

Ezra returned to camp successfully finding water and kindling, Thrawn was still asleep even though the sun had come up what Ezra guessed at least an hour and a half ago. Strange, Thrawn never slept this long. Ezra had his hesitations about waking up the sleeping chiss. One he didn’t know the last time he had slept. Two he didn’t want to see Thrawn angry, and he hoped he wouldn’t ever have to. After Ezra started the fire and was boiling the water he took another look at the com unit spread around the chiss’s feet. He sat down and closed his eyes. Using the force he took the unit and put it back together piece by piece, when it was together it made a beep like it was receiving something. A garbled voice came through the mangled speaker, “Thr….” Before the being on the other end was able to finish their sentence the com unit made a loud screeching sound, startling both Ezra and Thrawn, before exploding leaving the com unit useless from any use in the future.

Thrawn was still dazed from being awoken, but was still quickly able to figure out what had happened.

“What did you do?!” The noise coming from Thrawn’s mouth was gutteral and animal like. Startled Ezra drew his blaster. Thrawn’s face was filled with pure rage, which was unsettling for Ezra who had never seen him other than the calm demeanor and monotone. “WHAT DID YOU DO?!”

Thrawn launched at Ezra with speed, predicting every self defense mechanism Ezra threw out. Before Ezra realized what was actually happening he was pinned on the ground an arm over his throat and knee on his chest pushing all of the air out of his lungs. Thrawn’s eyes became brighter with his rage. The chiss was stronger than he appeared and was making a low hissing noise. Ezra was trying frantically to say something in his own defense, Thrawn was too strong for him and he couldn’t do anything about it.

“I….I…I…” Ezra stammered, Thrawn lifted his grip a bit. “I … was….trying..to help.”

“I didn’t want help.” Thrawn released Ezra, who started coughing and sputtering for air. Thrawn moved over to where the com pieces fell. Holding them in his hands looking at them solemnly, he sighed. He threw the pieces into the fire watching them burn. He had finally let go… of him. Perhaps it was for the best that Ezra destroyed the com unit, no more obsessing no reason to have his mind off of survival, it had been keeping him from greatness for far too long.

Ezra watched as Thrawn straightened, a new sense of determination on his face. Thrawn started to pack up the camp, with a gleam in his eyes that Ezra hadn’t ever seen. Some how it was more evil and twisted than when they were enemies.

On the walk back to the Chimera Ezra was walking a considerable distance away from Thrawn. Their earlier encounter had made him more on edge than when he was face to face with Vader all those decades ago. Ezra was also still in pain so that slowed his pace. He was starting to feel ill so he sat on a rock next thing he knew the glowing red orbs of his companion were boring directly into his eyes.

Thrawn was so lost in calculations and his plan that he barley noticed Ezra wasn’t with him until he made it to the Chimera. He turned to duck in one of the damaged air locks only to look behind him to see the raven haired jedi was no where in sight. He sighed put down the makeshift satchel of camping materials inside the ship and went off to find Ezra. It took him four hours to find Ezra again. How long had Ezra still been back here right next to the campsite passed out? Thrawn thought about leaving Ezra, let him fend for himself not have to worry about another being to take care of. Leave this enemy, leave this planet, and leave this infernal love behind. To look to the stars and end the rebellion, end conflict, finish what he started and then travel outside of the Galaxy, past his home past the empire and rebellion and past him.

Thrawn checked Ezras pulse with relief he was still alive. Thrawn poured some of the water in Ezras bag on his face. Ezra came to slowly and when he saw Thrawn over him he automatically reached out with the force and sent the chiss into a near by tree. His saphire eyes opened wide and he approached Thrawn carefully.

Extending his hand down Ezra said “We will call it even now.”

“Yes, we shall. As for tonight you should rest, we will finish our journey tomorrow. And perhaps we may get off this planet once and for all.”

“I assume you have a plan?”

“Indeed.”

“Are you going to tell me what it is?” No response came from Thrawn. Ezra shrugged, “ Well good night, get some sleep please.” Ezra half expecting a witty remark looked over his shoulder to see Thrawn already asleep, snoring softly.

On the Chimera’s hull two figures stood looking up at the sky.

“You know they definitely crashed at least 10 lightyears away, and that comunicator isn’t going to ever work to contact them right?” The young chiss woman spoke softly in Sy Bysti.

The human male chuckled “You know you remind me of him so much sometimes.”

“You still didn’t answer my question. Why do we do this every night? Hmmm?”

“And there are other times where your worse than everyone else.” He grumbled.

“I heard that! And Im still waiting for an answer.”

“Because I am hopeful our freinds are still alive and are trying to get those suplies to us. And I’m tired of eating the ferrets you keep catching.”

“Like ration packs are better.”

“Better than driving a species to extinction.”

“I see more than a hundred every single night, and they are hard to catch. Im sure they will be fine.”

“Alright fine we will go. And please stay with me this time, I worry when you wander too far.”

“Maybe you should keep up.” A look from the human made her drop the subject. She jumped off the hull of the ship and then used the force to propel her companion to the ground, before heading off into the jungle.

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