There are always hope
Star Destroyer Oblivion, Thermodia system, behind 1st moon
Mace put his dark brown robes on. He looked down to the desk and grabbed his mechanical hand. He slowly attached it to his limbless right hand. He had gotten used to the touch on the mechanical cold hand. He quietly cleared his throat and looked over to the bed. Talon was still lying there, buried under the blue covers. Mace heard a gurgling noise from the crib and sneaked over. He smiled as he looked at the little Twi’lek girl. The baby girl’s lekku twitched slightly as she wailed her arms playfully.
She raised her tiny right red skinned hand and wagged her fingers in the air. Her red eyes looked up at her daddy. Mace thought about her red eyes for a moment. She had neither gotten his brown ones, or Talon’s beautiful violet ones. But red. Oh well, they were beautiful.
He leaned down and patted the little baby girls forehead before kissing the same spot. She mumbled something incomprehensibly and burped. He smiled and straightened his back.
“Sleep tight,” he whispered. “Times just 0500 yet.”
He left their quarters and closed the door behind him. It was quiet. Extremely quiet. Just two years ago these same corridors were filled with clone troopers carrying out different tasks. Oblivion had been a Star Destroyer that had been build and handed to the 81st Legion. It partook in the carnage of the Baurough campaign. It also partook in the Battle of Coruscant, plus everything in between. Talon had decorated the ship’s crew and spoke very highly of their action.
Mace walked into an elevator and made his way onto the command center of the starship. Seven people were present. The ship had a skeleton crew operating it, compared to the original crew. Two of them were Zabrak, one was a Geonosian, and two human with one being Nemoidian.
“Master Windu,” they greeted him.
The doors from the bridge opened and a woman in a red Mandalorian armor walked into the CC. She spotted Mace quickly and nodded.
“Master Jedi, good to see you awake,” she said. “Slept tight? Comfy and warm?” She asked smirking.
Mace ignored her latter comment.
“How’s Warlord Danaria’s supplies coming along?”
The red armored woman leaned against the strategic holographic table.
“Everything should be on board in about an hour. Munitions, food, weapons and Starfighters. She gave us one squadron of twelve Vulture droids. Maybe Vlad could reprogram them, huh.”
“I’m sure he could.”
The woman titled her head.
“Still look kinda tired. Sae-ty kept you up?”
Mace shook his head.
“She slept like a rock all night. Thankfully.”
The woman removed her helmet.
“So…anything else kept you from sleeping? Some nightly activities, huh?” She arched her eyebrows playfully. “Huh, Mace? Come on, you can tell me.”
Mace rolled his eyes.
“You think of nothing else?” He questioned.
The woman shrugged. Under the helmet was a blue skinned Chiss. Her right red eye were covered by strains of her black hair. The majority of her black hair were fixed into a braided thick ponytail in her back. She leaned backwards on the holo table.
“Gotta think of something fun here. Haven’t had much action for the last few months. Moving from system to system gathering supplies, talking to people and establishing four bases.” She paused and raised her red gantlet hands. “Not saying it’s not good work, just slow.”
“We can’t fight the empire without support or supplies,” Mace told her flatly.
She waved him off. “Yeah, yeah I know. You’ve said in a thousand times.”
“And I’ll keep doing it until you listen.”
She groaned. “I’ll go check on Vlad. Tell him about the Vulture squadron.”
She walked past Mace.
“You do that, Seph.”
With helmet under arm she walked out. In a corridor moments later she met Talon. She gave a mock two finger salute while walking. The red skinned Twi’lek yawned and nodded back. She saw she was carrying Sae-ty. The little red skinned Twi’lek’s head rested on her mom’s arm. She was tugged into a white cloth.
“She’s quiet adorable ma’am,” she said. “Good job.”
Talon giggled slightly. She lowered her head and raised Sae-ty. She cuddled her head with hers. The baby girl giggled and wagged her hands, touching her mom’s face playfully. Talon gently removed the cloth and kissed her stomach. Sae-ty giggled and wiggled in her mom’s arms. Talon looked up at Seph.
“Wanna hold her?”
The mercenary blinked.
“Wh-what?” She finally managed to say.
“You…wanna…hold…her?” Talon asked as slowly as possible.
Seph didn’t seem to notice the jab at her hearing comprehension and stared at Sae-ty. She had never held a baby before. Least a jedi’s baby. What if she dropped the little thing? It looked like it she was trying to wiggle out of Talon and Mace’s grip every time she saw them carrying her.
“I-I-I-” she started stuttering. She felt way more nervous than she should be. She was a mercenary, and a fraggin’ baby freaked her out!
Talon decided for her and handed Sae-ty over. Before Seph knew it, she was holding the little marvel of cuteness. She looked down at the baby, its red eyes looking up at her widely with curiosity. Seph looked at Talon hesitantly. Talon simply smiled encouragingly.
“She’s curious. She’s trying to figure out who this new person looking down at her is.”
Seph looked down on the wide eyes. She gently lowered her hand, letting the girl grabbed her index finger with her entire hand. A smile spread across Seph’s features. Sae-ty was so adorably cute. Every movement and every sound she made was adorable.
Talon smiled as she looked at Seph. Her friend was as caught in a spell. Unable to look away from the baby girl. She remembered how she had met the mercenary years ago. It had been one year into the Clone Wars and they didn’t exactly click immediately. She did kinda, kinda threaten to kill Seph on the spot.
Seph looked up.
“I, uh…should get g-going, eh…” she said, glancing between Sae-ty and Talon. “Gotta talk to Vlad. Um-uh-yeah, yeah.” She slowly handed Sae-ty back to Talon. She cried in protest when Seph pulled her finger away. Talon gently lowered her hand and let the baby girl grabbed her finger and put it in her mouth. She calmed down as she sucked on her mom’s finger. Talon made her way to the command center and was happy to find Mace there.
He turned around when he heard Sae-ty’s giggling mixed with gurgling. He came to meet them and patted Sae-ty’s head with a finger.
“I woke you up?”
“No,” Talon replied honestly. She looked down at Sae-ty and smirked. “She did. She decided she wanted attention. Wasn’t hungry, didn’t need to go, just attention.”
“Least she slept all night. First time in, what? Three months?”
Talon yawned. “Something like that. Anyway, wanted to check if you were hungry. We could get breakfast.”
Mace arched an eyebrow and pointed at his commlink.
“Ever heard of one of these. Great things. You can-” he put on a surprised expression and whispered: “-talk to people who aren’t there.”
Talon put on a mock frown.
Mace chuckled and spun her around and put a hand on her back.
“Let’s go have breakfast.”
Tatooine, unnamed village thirty-eight kilometers from Anchorhead
The Lahgan-Waleghi female leaned against the tan rock wall of the farming village’s main house. She was dressed in a beige cloak with a hood she had lowered behind her and she had the same white armored boots she wore during the Clone Wars. She also had her brown kama. She had allowed her black hair to grow three times as long as before. It reached down just to within two decimeters of her butt. She looked at the group of men walking into the village with her pretty silver eyes. Her skin was pale, just like any other Lahgan-Waleghi.
She headed out to meet them when they entered the village.
“How did it go?” She asked the white bearded human up front. He had simple and cheap blaster rifle hanging over his back. Although she asked him, her eyes wandered to her beloved who also was in the group.
“I think we showed them something,” the bearded man answered positively. He stopped as others came to greet them. Wives, fiancés, children or just friends. While six of them were humans, one was Weequay, a Toydarian, two Rodian brothers and a clone-or human as far as the others knew. They had never seen a clone before and didn’t know that the brown eyes, black shoulder long hair and fitting bearded belonged to one. To be fair, most clones could probably not recognize him either. But Sakiko certainly did.
The bearded man put a firm and friendly hand on-former-Captain Val’s shoulder and said, “Val without a doubt has a lot of skill with that rifle,” he told everyone and pointed to the long dark brown musket-like blaster rifle. “Those damn Tusken Raiders will think twice before attacking us again.”
The people drew a sigh of relief that the Tusken group wasn’t going to attack them again. They had tried two days ago but failed. A few farmers was injured so they decided to go after them before they could attack again. They had been gone for almost two days, tracking them down.
“I don’t know what we would have done if you two hadn’t been here,” the man told Val and Sakiko.
“We just want to do our piece, pull our weight and help,” Val said simply.
The man chuckled. “Well lad, you did that and more. Now go spend time with your fiancé.” He slapped him in the back encouragingly.
Val had abandoned his clone armor just after they escaped the Acclamator and gotten away from Sakiko’s troops-his brothers. He had been so lucky that he trusted Rex to take the damn inhibitor chip out of his head when he did. Otherwise…he didn’t even want to think about it. It was too painful to even think about how close he was too losing her. He walked over to her and she embraced him.
“I missed you,” she said lovingly and pressed her pale lips against his. He pressed back and put his arms around her back, pulling her a little closer.
“I missed you too Sakiko,” he said with a warm and gentle voice.
Val was dressed in dark brown trousers, his black kama and a dark brown robe. Including his beard and long hair, he didn’t look like any clone Sakiko had ever seen. Which was the point. Hiding in Hutt Cartel space had seemed a great idea. It was outside the Empire’s reach and the Imperial senate would never think to anger the Hutt’s and provoke another galactic war. The scars from the Clone Wars wasn’t close to healing.
No. for the moment this miserable existence was enough. They were safe to plan and consider their future. At least they both knew they wanted to share it with each other.