Anakin looked over the remains of the base. It took another thirty minutes for the battle to end, with the Nationalists fighting to the last man, with the last man being a Nimbus Commando captain named Kraym. Kraym attempted to surrender but Nolan, angered by his father's death, executed the cowardly Separatist. Nolan was now grieving over his father's bifurcated remains. Kass, Mak, Aubrie, and Zule were looking over the bodies of Warble and Vaabesh, along with the fifteen clones who were killed. They had also received a distress signal claiming that a meteor had impacted the refugee camp. When they were done loading the wounded onto the transports and processing data on the Nationalists, they would go to help the survivors of Stratus's spite. Anakin looked up when he heard the medical transports arrive. He was surprised when he saw who was onboard, departing after the medics left for the wounded.
"Master?!" he exclaimed.
"Yes, Anakin, I am alright," Obi-Wan said. "I awoke when I felt a massive disturbance in the force."
"That wasn't here," Anakin clarified. "Stratus wanted to spite us by destroying both the Republic military hospital, along with a refugee camp. Unfortunately, Stratus had destroyed one of the keycards with the killcode. So I was only able to stop one of the missiles."
"I am sorry you needed to be put in that position, Anakin," said Obi-Wan. "I won't question your judgement, as I wasn't here. Though I do wonder why you haven't gone to the aid of the refugee camp yet."
"We were waiting for our medical transports to evacuate the wounded," Anakin explained. "I am not going to let anymore clones or Jedi die on this planet."
"I see you have learned the economics of war," said Obi-Wan. "An unpleasant but necessary reality. From what I understand, you led our forces admirably during my absence."
"I did what was needed, Master," Anakin replied.
"I know, which is why I am going to tell you something," Obi-Wan responded. "Because of the massive loss of Jedi at Geonosis, to say nothing of our losses since, the Council has decided to promote several more experienced Padawans to Knighthood. Including you, Anakin."
Anakin was surprised, Obi-Wan had given no indication that he was to undergo the trials anytime soon.
"I am to undergo the trials?" Anakin asked.
"No," answered Obi-Wan. "Everything you faced here substituted for them. You will be Knighted as soon as we are back on Coruscant."
"Thank you, Obi-Wan," said Anakin. "But what of the others?"
"Every Padawan sent here was also being considered," Obi-Wan answered. "It is unfortunate that only half of them will be doing so, and that none of their Masters will be able to attend."
"That is good to know," Anakin replied. "I also recommend that Lieutenant Orar, Corporal Gillmunn, and Captain Rex also receive recognition for their bravery."
"I will see to it," Obi-Wan said, briefly looking over to see the last of the wounded being loaded onto the transports and heading back to base. "Now, let us help the last victims of Stratus's brutality."
Later, at the remains of the refugee camp…
Zule surveyed the wreckage of the camp. While the missile, having no warhead, didn't cause any fallout, the impact was enough to almost completely level everything present. Most of the inhabitants were killed and all of the survivors were wounded. She was tasked to help them.
"Wow, Stratus really didn't like to lose," she heard Marik mutter. "Even in death he is causing us problems, General."
"I haven't been knighted yet," Zule said. To tell the truth, she thought the Council had sent her here on a suicide mission. She never believed they would promote her to Knight, as Oppo Rancisis told her she would die in a bar fight. She knew that Glaive, the Murglak that he was, would never have gone for it. "I guess they must be really desperate if they decided to Knight me."
"Well, I guess they are better at recognizing talent than I originally thought," Marik said.
"It appears so," she agreed. "Don't worry, though. My opinion of the code, and my feelings for you, have not changed."
"Nice to know," Marik smirked under his helmet. "I will tell Mom and Dad they need to make a wedding cake."
"One thing at a time," Zule laughed. "Don't worry, though. I have no objections to it later."
"Good to know," Marik replied to the Falleen he loved.
Later, at the Choal Spaceport…
Aubrie was waiting for the ship that would take her back to Coruscant for Knighting. Sirrus had said to her she would be a fine Jedi Knight, but she didn't think this soon. She only wished that he could have been here for it.
"So, you are becoming a Knight," she heard a familiar voice say. She turned to her side and saw Nolan Gillmunn, who she hadn't seen since his father's death. He was carrying a set of bags with him.
"I suppose so," she said. "Are you going somewhere? I thought you would stay to help rebuild."
"Dad is dead, along with everyone I grew up with, some of whom I killed myself, my hometown is destroyed, and nine out of every ten Militia members are dead," he said. "The Jabiim I knew is gone forever. I will get a new life elsewhere."
"Where will you go?" she asked.
"I have joined the Republic Army," he said. "General Skywalker has gotten me assigned to the unit you are taking command of."
She was very surprised by this. "You are the only friend I have left, Aubrie," he said. "I will do everything I can to make sure you survive."
"You mean much to me as well, Nolan," she said. "I will protect you as well."
"That is good to know," he smiled. "It looks like our transport is here now. You will have to show me around Coruscant when we get there."
"Don't worry," she smiled back. "I'll be sure to take you to all of the sites."
Three weeks later, at the remains of a Nationalist Base…
"Didn't you idiots hear?" Kass asked an injured Nationalist lying at her feet. "You lost."
"As long as one of us breathes, the true Jabiimi will fight for our free-"the Separatist proclaimed before Mak stomped his head into the ground.
"I guess we will have to kill all of you then," he said.
"I see that I'm not the only one who has learned from Anakin," she said.
"It is the only way to deal with these vermin," he said. After they were all Knighted, Kass and Mak volunteered to go back to Jabiim to destroy the leftover Separatist presence. They had just destroyed the last organized Nationalist base. All that was left were a few rabble rousers and bandits that the Militia-now reorganized and better equipped-could easily handle. "At least it's over now and we can move onto better things."
"You got that right," she said. "So, back with those Magnaguards, I thought we were both going to die there, and I was letting off stress, so-"
"Kass, please stop," Mak said. It was the first time they were able to talk to each other freely since she had kissed him. "I have denied my feelings for you for years. But after that, I can't anymore. And I don't think you can either."
Kass paused for a second. "No, I can't," she said. "But are you sure? We would need to do everything we can in order to hide ourselves. Is it worth it?"
"Yes, Kass, it is, and I love you," Mak said. There, he had confessed it. There was no turning back now.
"I have long imagined you saying that," the Zabrak said. "Just so you know, I love you to."
"Then there is nothing stopping me from doing this," her new lover said before kissing her. After kissing for several minutes, they called the friends who they had fought alongside on this planet, inviting them to their private wedding, knowing they would not betray their secret.
There we are, I have finished Rains of Jabiim. For those of you wondering, I always meant for Marik to be a Lieutenant but I sometimes wrote Sergeant instead. For those of you thinking that Mak and Kass went rather fast to marriage, they have clearly known each other a long time and Anakin and Padme got married after roughly a week of romance. If anyone thinks that Obi-Wan would criticize Anakin for his decision to save him instead of the refugees, I think that Obi-Wan would appreciate that Anakin was faced with a terrible choice and hundreds of clones and loyalists would die if Anakin hadn't saved the hospital. I hope that I got the characters of each of the Padawan Pack right. I do think that Mak and Kass would know it is alright to trust their closest friends with their greatest secret. As always, Read and Review.