I do not own Star Wars Rebels
Chapter 1 – Unknown Anomalies
Deep Space…4 BBY
The small rebel fleet moved through space avoiding inhabited systems to evade the Empire's ever tightening grip. The fleet was tiny by comparison to the Imperial military that they were sworn to fight; 3 Corellian Corvettes, a single squadron of A-wing interceptors and a light freighter that was moving away from the fleet off on a solo mission. In the cockpit of the light freighter named the Ghost a green skinned Twi'lek pilot sat at the controls, although most of her species flaunted their lithe shapes this one wore a set of loose fitting overalls and mechanics goggles on her head. She handled the controls with an ease that would make many flyers over twice her age glare in jealousy. Her name was Hera Syndulla and she was the captain and pilot of the vessel.
Her crew for this mission were sitting behind her in the cockpit only for this mission she was a man down. Flicking on the transmitter she called the Liberator, the fleet's flagship.
"Are you sure you can't come with us dear?" Hera said with a small grin. The voice that answered back was that of her long-time partner and co-leader of the Ghost's crew Kanan who was staying behind with Ahsoka, Rex and Commander Sato.
"Sorry Hera, it's just on the particular planet you are heading for I might have made a few people angry at me, the sort of people it is best to avoid." Kanan said without telling them what it was he had done. Hera smirked knowing Kanan it was something big she thought to herself but focusing back on the mission ahead she turned her attention back to the controls. Behind her Zeb, Sabine, Chopper and Ezra all crowded into the cockpit as she prepared to make the jump into hyperspace.
"What could Kanan have done to make him avoid going back there?" Ezra wondered aloud, around him Zeb and Sabine only smirked as they tried to imagine for themselves what their friend might have gotten up to in his youth. Chopper made some noises as he expressed his own idea making everyone that could understand binary in the cockpit shudder at the thought.
"What did he say?" Zeb said while looking that the cobbled together droid that annoyed him nearly out of his mind every day. Sabine just told him while trying not to gag at the suggestion put forward by the droid.
"You do not want to know!"
Thankfully they were then distracted by the ship jumping into hyperspace.
The cruise through hyperspace was boring, as Sabine worked on her artwork Zeb and Ezra were chasing Chopper through the ship after the droid had irritated the pair again with some prank it had pulled. Hera watched the unfolding chaos with weary amusement as she returned to the cockpit to check on their instruments. Sometimes this crew reminded her more of a surrogate family in the way they all behaved. She and Kanan were the mother and father, Zeb and Ezra were the two brothers that loved each other and fought with each other at the same time, Chopper was another annoying brother that drove their family nuts but they all loved him anyway and Sabine was the sister that was often off on her own but at the same time was always there if anyone needed help. Considering how they had all started it was something that still amazed her.
When she reached the control centre of the ship it was mercifully quiet and as she sat down in her seat she checked all the displays around her and was glad to see everything was running smoothly. Taking a moment to relax in the silent area she closed her eyes and let out a long breath. She was then disturbed only moments later when an insistent bleeping came from one of the displays in front of her. Opening an single eye slowly Hera looked at the display only to suddenly snap her second eye open and her face was frozen with horror as the hyperspace tunnel ahead of them began to distort from its usual blue tunnel into a sea of green energy. Hera despite her amazing skills as a pilot had no time to react before the green waves of energy crashed into the hull of the Ghost. A terrible high pitched whine screeched through the ship deafening the crew regardless of what they were doing and they clamped their hands against their ears trying to protect themselves from the horrible noise. Then a green haze filled the ship temporarily blinding the crew with its burning green light all the while the screeching continued. A brief feeling of weightlessness came over all of the crew as the artificial gravity failed and then as unconsciousness overcame them all…silence.
Ezra was the first to wake, he got up from the deck where he had fallen slowly his head still pounding from that horrible noise only moments ago. He put his hand gently to his head and braced himself against the wall with the other. He was in a state of complete confusion his mind racing as he tried to process what had just happened.
"What?" He asked out loud not able to finish his thought because his eyes widened when he saw that only the ship's emergency lights were working providing small illumination to the corridors on the ship although thankfully the artificial gravity had come back online. Through the darkness he could see both Zeb and Sabine still unconscious and Chopper was lying in a corner deactivated. He stumbled forward reaching Sabine first and checked her wrist carefully for a pulse and was relieved to find one. Looking over to Zeb the steady rise and fall of his chest brought a sign of relief to see that he was okay too. A groan emerged from Sabine's mouth as she began to regain consciousness joined seconds later by Zeb. Realising he was still holding Sabine's wrist Ezra quickly let go embarrassed at the idea that she might say something. He was almost red in the face as he quickly made his way towards the cockpit now much steadier on his feet. When he got there he found Hera hunched over the pilot's station out cold. Not able to see if she was breathing he rushed over and pulled her back to see a nasty bump on her head but other than that she was breathing normally. He looked over his shoulder and saw Sabine and Zeb making their way unsteadily towards them with a reactivated Chopper trundling slowly after them. The moment Chopper saw Hera his little mechanical arms started flailing wildly and it made alarmed sounds in binary. Now seeing that Hera was injured themselves Sabine and Zeb moved over to join Ezra at the front.
"Is she going to all right?" Zeb asked in a concern voice that was surprisingly soft given his usual gruff tones. Sabine being the smartest of the three of them at least where medicine was concerned quickly checked Hera over as Ezra stepped out of the way. Sabine gave a sigh of relief and told them.
"Just a bruise she will be fine soon." Ezra nodded and turned to Chopper who was still making those noises that told them he was worried about Hera. Ezra took a moment to reassure the small droid the reason he had been mad at him before now forgotten.
"Look Hera is going to be fine, can you try and get the computer running? Maybe then we can figure out what just happened?" Chopper gave a reluctant whine but turned to do as Ezra had told him, looking back over to Hera once before moving over to the back of the cockpit.
"Speaking of which, what the hell was that?" Zeb said his expression now going from worry to anger. In his mind it could have been some kind of attack. Sabine despite her high education could only frown as she came up blank. Ezra meanwhile was distracted from the conversation by what he was feeling through the force, it had been on the edge of his awareness till now but like Kanan had taught him he now reached out to feel the force more consciously. At first his mind had been so muddled that he had not been able to concentrate enough to feel the force but now the fog was lifting and he could sense the galaxy around him just like Kanan had tried to teach him although it had taken him awhile. But what he felt was…odd.
The force felt more chaotic than he remembered, more unstable. Before it had more balanced leaning towards the dark side which Kanan explained was due to the lack of enough Jedi to counter the power of the Sith and their puppets. But although the force was still leaning towards the dark side it was not as severe as before and there was a stronger feeling of light. He really wished Kanan was here, he would have had much more of an idea about this than Ezra did.
But as Sabine and Zeb bickered over what that horrible experience might have been, a long shadow made its way over the ship just as Chopper got the lights back on. Ezra was the first to see the shadow moving smoothly over the cockpit while it took Sabine and Zeb a second longer given how distracted they had been by their conversation. Turning their heads up they saw a long dagger shaped hull moving over head.
"It's a star destroyer." Ezra exclaimed seeing the forward part of the hull of the much larger ship coming over head, but then Sabine noticed something.
"No wait look at the shape of the hull." She pointed up and then Zeb and Ezra saw what she was going on about. The hull was vaguely similar to the Imperial-class Star Destroyer that they were all familiar with but instead of a simple wedge shape they were used too this ship had a flatter nose section and it looked like symmetrical chunks had been cut out the hull on either side further back. But more differences became evident as they noticed that it was also smaller by a few hundred metres or so but with the computers down it was impossible to say how much.
"It looks like a Venator-class star destroyer." Sabine said in amazement recognising the design from her academy days. "Their design was retired by the Empire years ago after the Clone Wars."
"So what is this one doing here?" Ezra asked aloud when they felt the ship jerk and begin to move apparently on its own without power towards the hanger bay of the star destroyer above.
"A tractor beam." Zeb growled already reaching for his weapon when a message from the ship that was drawing them in was picked up by Chopper who switched on his holographic projector and the image that displayed shocked them all into stunned silence as did the message it carried. It was a man that looked like a much younger version of Rex with a long scar over his left eye dressed in white armour that while looked similar to Stormtrooper armour looked more rugged ad of better quality.
"This is Commander Grey to unregistered vessel, you have entered a restricted military zone in war time and will be held until your motives can be ascertained by order of the Galactic Republic."
"What?" All three people that were awake to hear Grey's message asked aloud as did the droid at their side.