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Safety above all

Chapter Text

‘Being the one in charge, the leader, can be trying at times, the security and safety of others resting on the bony shoulders, sometimes simply too heavy to carry around.’

 

It was the eve of battle.





The soldiers all ready and willing, prepped to go. But, somehow, still all of them rather restless. None of them really knowing what to except once out there, in the real heat of the battle despite all the cunning planning of their leaders.

Still, nothing like some pre-battle chitters, right!

And being new out there, on the field? Really fighting the war with real weapons and ammo?



Well, not all the training simulations in the galaxy could have really prepared any of them to the reality of it all.

So, guess it was the lack of experience and the needed assurance combined to the eagerness of the troopers which had led them to seek out their Commander for a rather unique, request.

 

“Commander! Can I disturb you for a moment?”

One of the troopers greeted Neyo. One of the Sergeants to be exact. The one for the group of new soldiers.

“Yes, Trooper, what can I do for you?”

Neyo looked up from his datapad.

“Well, me and the boys, in our squad that is.” The man was slightly nervous, being new and all and the hero-worship of their leader still present. “Well, we were thinking, that is, the lads and me were wondering if it was alright if we bunked on the ship tonight. Just to, you know, get the feel of it and all?”


The Sergeant finally looked up and at their Commander having fidgeted there for a moment, looking anywhere else but. The newness of the trooper reeking through.

Neyo was surprised of this request.



Then again, the Sergeant of this squad was new after all as Neyo knew him to be. And most of his team was comprised of new, first time troopers. Shinies as they were called. 



Hell, the whole squadron of soldiers were new! Something which had been unavoidable but bound to happen due to the need of new resources in the field.



“Anxious to get on the way eh?”

Neyo smirked a little, having been reminded of his own first time out there just then.

“Yes, you can say that, Sir!”

Neyo simply nodded, and without even considering much further to the matter, agreed to the soldiers request.

“Permission granted!”

“Thank you, Sir!”



The Sergeant saluted the Commander and then as quickly as they had emerged to the office, he was gone. Leaving Neyo to his datapad and whatever work he had been doing before the interruption.


But suddenly Neyo could not concentrate on the work in front of him.



As this new trooper, his new Sergeant, had taken Neyo back in his thoughts, to his own past. And now, they did not seem to let go no matter how hard he tried to be in the present.

Back to those times when Neyo himself had been out from the fast paced and rigorous training and sent to the field with all new faces around. Well, same but different, naturally. But he had hardly known most of them. And so many of them had never come back from that first mission.

Thinking also, of how different everything was back then. How simple and easy things had seemed and how single minded he himself had been. Before all this, becoming the man, the leader, the Commander of his own men.



Closing his eyes for a moment, Neyo yielded to the moment letting the memories wash over him.

 

Take cover!

Having jumped into a ditch of sorts, Neyo and his fellow troopers were pinned down, the enemy closing in. Fast

“Sir, we need to send a distress call!”

Neyo had urged his commanding officer, as clearly, they had been ambushed. The intel having been inaccurate and the planning having failed due to it. The safety of the soldiers now hanging on the balance because of that simple mistake. Trusting the intel to be safe.

“The enemy is jamming all our channels.”

The comms officer shouted out over distant blaster fire and the blowing winds of the planet, gusting harshly over the huddled troopers, with their shelter poor at best.

They each exchanged glances with the nearest troopers, their chances of survival slim at best.

“What are your orders, Sir?”

Neyo asked his Commander, the silence of him palpable for them all, telling more than any words ever could.

 

Neyo was roused from his reminiscence by a chime at the door to his office.


“Come!”

As the doors slid open, Neyo could see his partner, Bacara standing there. Looking back at the man in his life, a small smile emerging onto his face. Seeing the somewhat sulking expression on Bacara’s face, knowing he was to blame for it.

“You were late.”

Bacara told Neyo as much. The tone far from accusatory though. But clearly, him having to seek out Neyo, to find out what the hold up was had not amused the other man.


Neyo glanced at the time on the console.



He had slipped so totally deep in thought, forgetting they were supposed to have been having dinner together. As this was their final night together for a while at least. And spending some alone time for just the two of them was their tradition.



“I know, and I am really sorry, darling.”

Neyo got up and walked the short distance to the door where Bacara stood in waiting still.

Leaning in for a kiss, he then whispered into Bacara’s ear.

“I will make it up to you later, I promise.”

“You’d better.”

Bacara softly replied to his partner.


But sensing the same off feeling from Neyo he himself had been experiencing most of the day.


It was like that for them both, just on the eve of battle. Always had been, as the two of them were so similar in many ways. The sadness sinking in, before it was time to put all feelings aside and concentrate on the work at hand.