The first time CC-2224 saw Kenobi was in space, and he was on the deck of one of the new Venator-class star destroyers. Over a kilometre in length, the Venator-class ships aren't exactly small, having good hundred meters over the Separatists' Dreadnoughts in length and even more in width. It's an experience to be on board one of the things, never mind being on deck and seeing the full, arrow shaped length ahead of them. There's a confidence boost, and then there is that.
Kenobi, when he appeared right next to them without as much as a hyperspace blur, dwarfed the capital ship entirely.
There is no way to put the sheer size of him into words – other than incomprehensibly vast maybe. No one has the precise measurements of a fully grown Jedi, of course – no one has any idea where the Jedi stop growing, if they ever do – but Kenobi is on the larger side of the Jedi; what the Jedi themselves refer to as Councillor.
Whether it's a size classification or an actual title, no one is entirely sure, but all the Councillor Jedi are beyond impressive – and Kenobi, even then, seemed to CC-2224 like the most awestriking thing he'd ever seen. He wasn't the only one on the deck struck speechless that day – wasn't the only one whose heart skipped a beat.
And that was before Kenobi spread out his wings and lit his otherwise rather dark, reddish shape in a glow of that strange bioluminescence, that's characteristic to the Jedi – streaks of light that run along the outer edges of their wings, between the armoured plates, all over the tail. The glow culminated into the brightness of a Jedi's bright blue horn at what CC-2224 eventually came to know as the front of the Jedi.
The Lightsaber. Nearly six hundred meters of glowing pure Kyper. It was…
And then they heard him.
Hello, there, the Jedi spoke with a warm male voice right into their heads – into all their heads. Everyone across the entire Star Destroyer heard him. I am Kenobi, member of the Jedi High Council. I am here to assist you with the liberation of Ryloth. I am very pleased to meet you all.
It was the very mind-blowing start of what would be a very short recapture of a Separatist occupied planet. Later on the whole thing feels a little like a fantasy, one of those ridiculous books that sometimes circulate in the barracks, what civvies call exciting fiction. Or maybe like a dream.
Tactically CC-2224 can appreciate all the advantages of having a Jedi around, what they are capable of doing. With a Jedi present, all the willing sentients in the area – and the Jedi chooses – are connected mentally. It renders all need for comms usage unnecessary and makes troop coordination near superhuman – how they all just know where everyone else is, what they are doing, where they would be, when. There's barely even a need to plan actions with a Jedi hovering over their heads – they all just know the moment one of them has a good plan. They all share in that plan.
And while that is the most useful aspect of having a Jedi working with them, it's not the only one. A Jedi is a powerhouse on a physical level alone, too – a living warship, with a range of movement and reaction capacity beyond any of those ships that were actually constructed in shipyards. Jedi doesn't move like a ship, neither as slow nor as fast, but some kind of fluid thing in between. Vacuum of space is the water in which the Jedi swim – of course they are naturally masters of it. The only thing they lack is variety of firepower – no anti-space craft artillery, no squadrons of fighters, none of that. Just the one and the only Lightsaber – which according to legends can sear a planet's surface as though it was made of nothing but butter.
And then there is the Jedi's ability to lift enormous sums of incredibly heavy objects. CC-2224 had never seen it before, but he had heard of Councillor Windu – the Jedi had torn an entire droid factory apart, and then lifted all the hundreds of tons of it into air, as though the components of the factory and all the things built within it were nothing but dust carried by an invisible wind, and not indeed blocks of duracrete and metal tons and tons in weight.
A Jedi, they say, could not only level a mountain – but carry it off in it's back afterwards.
In Ryloth, it's the telepathy that wins them the day – though having the Jedi hovering over the battle fields certainly proves more than ample tactical advantage, just for the shock value. Built, artificial, normal ships can't do that, not without being inevitably damaged by the planet's gravity – but a Jedi can just sit there, a few hundred meters off the ground, casting them all in his shadow. But the telepathy…
Droids might share something similar, in their networks and near light speed connections – but they have nothing on five hundred and seventy four trained clone brains working in perfect unison and coherency. It feels frankly almost unfair, how easy it makes everything. A day, and the planet is theirs with minimal casualties.
Kenobi remains for another day, hovering over city of Nabat and it's a sight for the holovideos – the Jedi is lifting the rubble of destroyed buildings, the wreckage of busted war machines, and everything else in their way up and into the air, clearing the way for rescue operations in a way that can't be called anything other than utterly glorious.
CC-2224 swears he can feel the Jedi's amusement over their awe, as he finally withdraws from their mind, and the harmony of the Jedi Battle Meditation passes – leaving the troops on the ground suddenly alone in their heads.
"Kriff me," CC-6211 murmurs beside him, lifting a hand to his bucket, the very same way CC-2224 wants to do. "Sorry, sir, but that was – that was – wow."
"It was," CC-2224 agrees, and together they watch as the rubble over their head moves to the side, falling somewhere outside the city. Somehow, without being told, without seeing it, CC-2224 knows that materials would be sorting themselves in air, for ease of later recovery. Kenobi, he thinks, would not simply dump it all in a big pile, not when it might be useful for the Twi-Leks.
It is time I move on, Kenobi then sends to them, making every trooper stand up in attention. You will be able to handle things from here. I wish you all the very best in your campaigns here on. May the Force be with you all, always.
With that said, the Jedi begins to tilt upwards, the colossal wings spreading, the blue stripes of bioluminescence lighting up along them as the Jedi powers whatever organic systems they have, that give them propulsion. Soon he dives upwards, through the clouds, and eventually to the orbit.
"Wow," CC-6211 murmurs again.
CC-2224 swallows, and looks down. It feels like part of him is going to the orbit with the Jedi, and he has a feeling, a sense, he's not the only one feeling it. "He's done his part – now let's see to the clean up," he says, firmly setting the peculiar, wordless, fathomless longing for that connection away. "Let's get to work."
Next time CC-2224 sees the Kenobi is also in space, in the heat of a space battle, on the bridge of another ship.
A three republic cruisers had been ambushed by five Separatist dreadnoughts. They'd sent out all the distress signals they could, with little hope of reaching anyone in time – the best they could do was hold out for long enough for someone to come to mop up the mess afterwards.
CC-2224 is so busy scrambling to keep track of the fighter squadrons, trying to coordinate their efforts of pushing back the separatist attack, that he misses Kenobi's arrival entirely. There's not much he can do from the bridge of the star destroyer, the fighters know their work and they're already doing all they can, and their individual squad leaders know their situation better than CC-2224 does from the bridge. Best he can do is watch and hope and fear –
And then one of the Separatist cruisers is torn in half by an enormous swipe of blinding blue light that swings through it, and leaves nothing but destruction and explosions in its wake.
"What in the name of – " the Admiral on the bridge begins to say – and then there it is.
Glorious, CC-2224 thinks, and something inside him gladly gives away as he feels it – a mind, completely enveloping his own.
Hello there, the Jedi greets them, his voice warm and pleased despite the grim situation. I am Kenobi – I'm here to rescue you.
And then the Jedi swims into view, wings spread out, a colossal body tilts sideways to their view as he brushes through the remains of the destroyed dreadnought – a magnificent, breathtaking sight… up until the moment all the Separatist firepower concentrates onto him, and all enemy guns begin lighting the red hued hide in explosions.
There's a sensation of insect bites on CC-2224's stomach before Kenobi's mind turns to his. Oh, I know you – hello, Glorious. Can you please prepare your men for Battle Meditation? They will have to break away, lest they be distracted in mid action.
Oh, CC-2224 thinks, his mouth working silently in shock. Then he thinks, Yes, Sir, with and activates wide comms. "All units attention, this is CC-2224. All squadrons break away from your engagements if you can – all hands prepare for Battle Meditation."
The last time they'd barely known what to expect – and there are some shinies in the battalion who don't know what it feels like. The rest, like CC-2224 – Glorious, Kote, Cody? – ease into it with a sensation of coming back, the Jedi's mind welcoming them with gentle ease – and then they are all working as one.
The battle isn't as easy as the one in Ryloth. In Ryloth, the Separatists had no guns to turn on Kenobi, even the anti-aircraft artillery they brought could do little on the Jedi hovering overhead. Here, Kenobi is against four Separatist Dreadnoughts, and they don't waste time trying to kill him – already as fighters manoeuvre all around him, vying for a weakness, putting thousands and thousands of pock marks on natural armour.
Under the Battle Meditation, the fighters work in perfect unison to weed away some of the droid fighters, but it's still hundreds of thousands against their one, immense target. Through the meditation they're all aware of every bit of fire that breaks through, every mark Kenobi suffers in their defence – and they're all painfully aware that the republic cruisers, already battle scarred and limping, are more hindrance than aid.
Cody considers their options, shifting through all the information, trying to come up with a plan – and then sees through a brother's eyes. A fighter – Oddball Kenobi named him, off hand, for a sweet stray thought – is chasing down a wildly spinning droid fighter, trying to stop it on it's track, but it's no longer flying, it's crashing. Together they watch as it crashes right into Kenobi's back– leaving a terrible gaping wound behind.
The pain that lances through them all is blessedly brief – Kenobi immediately shields them from it – but they all become intimately aware of it. A hole has been made in Kenobi's hide – a hole, with an opening.
There have been stories – whispers, really, rumours. They say Jedi have space inside them, empty space, with cavernous hollows connected by open corridors like veins – and people might go there, and live inside their bodies like inside ships. And that – that is what the opening in Kenobi's hide looks like. Like a breached hull, with an open corridor, ready for boarding.
It takes Seppies hardly any longer than for them to realise it – and adjust their strategy for it. Their attempts to kill Kenobi change – and they begin trying to pen him up, trying to limit his movements – already, droids are launching from their ships and to the wide open space that is Kenobi's back.
Bother, the Jedi thinks and Cody knows his frustration – in such close quarters he can't use the Lightsaber without risking the star destroyers and all the clone fighters. Levitation takes too much concentration and there are already dozens of droids scrambling over the Jedi's back, and with others still painting his sides with gunfire, distracting him from the attempt…
And the clones can't try to shoot off the offending droids without risking hitting the Jedi. He is so big, it would be impossible to miss him. There's already dozens of them scrambling inside, wasting no time in investing the vulnerable spaces within like an infection.
Sir, Cody thinks and Kenobi's mind brushes over his. The connection hangs suspended – every clone is watching, breathless, as the Jedi turns Cody's thought over in his vast mind.
Yes, the Jedi thinks then, with wonder, with rueful embarrassment, with resignation – with curiosity. If you please.
Cody nods briskly and pushes away from the holo table and turns to the bridge doors. Mentally he calls for volunteers – and gets hundreds, all of them turning from their tasks on board the star destroyer. The launch ships are primed and ready as Cody makes it to the ship – and almost every clone there now has a Name and a Place.
None of them say anything, as their ship fills, the pilot takes off, and the fighter squadron outside moves into a defensive position around them. Cody looks at them, and knows all their names.
Not two minutes later, they're launching off the ship, and onto the Jedi – to board him.
Long after the battle ends and the Jedi withdraws his mind, Cody can still feel him – can feel his brothers still connected, their minds a comforting background hum to Cody's own thoughts. Most of the boarding party had stayed on board Kenobi, doing what they could do clear away the droids still cluttering the Jedi's insides, while others are doing what they can to tend to the wound made onto the Jedi's hide – Cody on other hand, as a Battalion Commander, has the dubious pleasure of dealing with the aftermath.
The higher ups have no idea what to do with them, that much is obvious – if they even have anything they can do. Of the five hundred and seventy four men of the 212th attack battalion Cody commands, a majority took part in the defensive boarding action on Kenobi – and they'd all gotten mentally mired with the Jedi.
"The way a Jedi's Battle Meditation works, as far as we can understand it, is that they draw the sentient minds around them into themselves," the specialist called to testify on the case explains. "The information load involved with a Jedi Battle Meditation is too great for most sentient minds – so the, shall we say, the processing of the connection happens within the Jedi. Which is understandable, they are serving as the server of the network they create with their Battle Meditation."
It's not a trial, or so they're saying. The action Cody and his brothers took was entirely justified – they were even commended for it, and were things different Cody thinks the higher ups would be delighted about having a Jedi in the GAR's debt like that. But as it is…
"So it makes sense that a connection is forged – and we know, from experience," the specialist continues, "that once a mind experiences a Jedi Battle Meditation, subsequent cases of it get easier and easier – especially if it is with the same Jedi, as is the case here. Something about the Battle Meditation alters the subject's mind – and perhaps, the Jedi's as well."
"So, what you're saying is that it's not reversible," the general asks, considering Cody.
"Not by our methods," the specialist agrees. "We hardly know how it works in the first place. No, I suspect the 212th are going to be intrinsically linked with Jedi Councillor Kenobi for the rest of their lives, now."
"Could this be taken as a, uh…" the speaker, a nat-born officer who Cody suspects has never seen action in his life, searches for words. "It is obvious that the 212th is compromised. Could the Jedi Kenobi have done this on purpose, to – to influence our men, to – it could be called, ah…"
The words he's looking for is the theft of military hardware, Cody thinks ruefully, and says nothing.
Do let them know I can actually hear what they're saying through your ears, Glorious, Kenobi sends to him, gently amused. We wouldn't want to cause any undue embarrassment should they get too free with their words. Honestly, if they want to know what this means, they could just ask.
Cody lifts his chin. "Kenobi would like you to know he can hear you through me," he says plainly, smothering the amusement at the way it makes everyone in the room sit up a bit straighter. "Also if you want to know how the connection works, you could just ask."
It makes the rest of the meeting awkward and stilted but the result is the same it was always going to be. The 212th is assigned to Kenobi, until further notice - which actually means... permanently.
There are very few among the 212th who mind – and those that do, Kenobi promises will be detached from the connection, just as soon as they can come into contact with a Jedi Mind Healer – because apparently those are a thing.
We don't all just float around in space getting into trouble, Kenobi explains to them, a little amused and a little sad about how little they know about his species, how much knowledge has been lost. We do also have our own duties and specialisations, in our own society.
Already, so much new information about the Jedi is flooding the minds of the 212, teaching them of all the things they'd never imagined, letting them see the universe through the mind of the incredible creature they've become intrinsically bonded with. The number of Jedi out there, the frozen world they call their home, the culture and society that is part of them… including the things they'd lost long ago.
Once upon time, Jedi were more common – once upon time, they all had companions and it was normal. That was a long time ago, before Kenobi had been spawned, and he's overjoyed to have them. No one's been overjoyed over clones before, but Kenobi is. It's a calm, settled, ancient joy, but all the more powerful for it.
I will need some adjustment, the Jedi thinks with somewhat embarrassed wonder. I have plenty of space for you all, but I'm afraid I haven't been sculpted for hosting – it will not be very comfortable until I am.
Cody can see it in his mind – the sculpting, the willing reshaping of Jedi's flesh with the Force to make it more welcoming for smaller, fragile beings that need air and food and comfortable places to live. It's a strange idea, to know that soon he'd not only be living within the Jedi, but from him as well. That would take some time to adjust to, probably – the idea that Kenobi would be producing their air, their water, their food, everything. They'd be like cells part of his body, and he'd provide for them.
Of course you can bring things from outside, the Jedi assures him. Including food. I know you have senses I do not, and needs as well – I will do my best to make sure you will be provided for.
Quietly gratified by the thinly veiled pleasure in Kenobi feels at the thought, Cody smiles, hidden behind his helmet. I'm sure you will, sir, he agrees, marching away from his old post, from his old life, into something new, and strange... and glorious.