Disclaimer: I don't own this, okay? I think everybody knows that, but there is always that one idiot...
Alright, I don't really like the Endar Spire, so I have made this chapter as short and painless as possible. My character's name is Ash, just Ash. She doesn't have a last name, for reasons that will be explained later. So, enjoy! And please review. I really like reveiws, even if they're only to criticize. Feel free to point out errors. I don't have a beta reader or anything.
"Good. You're awake." Her eyes were forced open and a light was shone into them. She shrieked, hitting blindly with all her strength. She heard a thump and rolled off the bed, crouching in a defensive position. Her eyes adjusted to the light and she saw a medic in a Republic uniform.
"Where the hell am I?" She snarled, ignoring a tiny bit of fear.
"You are in a Republic medical facility, miss." The medic rubbed his eye, a red ring clear. "You have a visitor."
She stood straight, proudly. "So? Send him in." She snapped, sitting on the bed and yanking the sheet to cover her bare stomach. She was in her skivvies, which were rather modest. But not all-covering. The medic left the room and a robed Jedi entered. She raised a brow. "Didn't know I rated a jetii." Ash sneered. The Jedi flinched.
"You are being asked to join the Fleet. You have an assignment, and we are willing to pay off the bounties on you if you accept." Ash bit her lip and considered for a few moments.
"Yeah, sure. Just don't expect me to be respectful." The Jedi looked a little perturbed.
"You speak a great number of languages, yes?"
Ash rolled her eyes. "You don't do what I do without learning a few." She shot back. "When do I leave and what's my assignment?"
"How many languages do you speak?"
She closed her eyes and concentrated. "I speak and read a hundred fluently. I can read and comprehend maybe another fifty."
The Jedi gaped. Only for a moment. "Well, you're definitely good. You'll be the linguistics advisor. You leave in five hours. There is a group who will be joining you."
She smirked. "Hope they're mercs, like me."
The Jedi's lips were thin with disapproval. "You were a smuggler."
"Me? Smuggle? Never." She said with mock horror, hand on her collarbone, as the Jedi walked out without a backwards glance. She sighed, picking up her pack from where it was in a corner. She rummaged through it.
She walked to a refresher, showering and brushing her hair. She traced the three slashes on each cheekbone, smiling at her reflection. She slung her pack over one shoulder. She spotted the mercenaries almost instantly.
"Hey boys." She said silkily, flashing a charming smile. Her teeth, very white, gleamed.
"I'm Jarell." One extended a hand. Ash returned his bone-crushing grip with equal force.
"Ash. No making any moves, or my blade will be stuffed up your asses."
"I'll call you Spitfire, then." The nickname felt oddly right.
She smirked. "That'll suit me. So, you boys conscripted or paid?"
They grinned. "Paid."
She fished a pazaak deck out of her pack. "I've got a few creds on me. Wanna play some rounds?"
Two hours later, she had cleaned the mercenaries of their credits and then some. She had gotten Jarell's second vibroblade, Rick's stealth belt, and Zarek's forearm plates.
She boarded the shuttle with them, groaning and complaining. She was immediately noticed by the pilot, who as soon as they were safely in hyperspace, made the mistake of a come-on.
"Hey, baby." He slung a friendly arm around her shoulders. A little too friendly.
"Back off, di'kut." She said coldly, her storm-gray eyes glittering dangerously.
"You're too pretty to leave on your own." That was very true. Ash was a little on the short side—one point six-five meters—but she was striking. Her skin was pale, her jet-black hair shaggily cut to frame her face. Her face was fine-boned and elegant with stubborn features. She had the lithe musculature and grace of a dancer.
"I said to leave me alone." Her voice was low and dangerous. The pilot didn't move. She moved like lightning.
She twisted, using his weight to roll him over her shoulder. She was a veteran of the Mandalorian wars, and it showed. Her boot was resting on his neck, threatening to crush it.
"You're lucky I can't pilot a ship, di'kut. Otherwise, you'd be dead."
"Ash, let the idiot up. I think there's a dejarik game. I bet you'd be damn good." She looked at the mercs, smirking.
"Only if we're betting."
"We don't have any creds left!" Zarek whined. "You got all of 'em."
"Gear'll work too." They all looked at her accusingly. "Not my fault you're bad at pazaak and I'm really lucky!"
"Just play a free game, then."
She sighed. "Only because you asked so nicely." She walked over and proceeded to beat every single one of them at dejarik.
Ash slumped at the table. The Jedi were giving her crap work. Almost everyone in the galaxy could translate Huttese! She barely noticed as six trays plopped down next to her. She merely glared at the mercs.
"You usually ask first, y'know." She snapped half-heartedly.
"You don't really mind, Spitfire." She scowled at Jarell. He was unfailingly good-natured.
"Sadly, you're right." She looked around the mess. "Much as I hate to admit it, I kinda missed being part of the fleet."
"You don't mention much about your past." Zarek said invitingly.
She sighed. "I fought in the Mandalorian wars for several years. They devastated my homeworld… so I had a reason to be pissed. I was damn good. Eventually, before Revan joined the war, I joined an advance squad." They whistled.
"Man, that explains why you're such a fighter. Doesn't explain why you didn't stay a soldier."
She sighed again. "A few events led me to… terminate my employment with the Republic. Been smuggling or hunting or dancing ever since. Mostly hunting and smuggling."
Rick grinned. "How about giving us a show of your dancing talents?"
She smacked him hard. "Absofrackinlutely not." She said, watching him rub his head.
"That was uncalled for!" He whined.
She cocked an eyebrow. "The Jedi are giving me busywork, and it frustrates me just a little bit. And then you come in and ask me to dance? Hah, you're lucky I don't have my vibroblades." Jarell choked on his drink.
"Rick, don't tick off Spitfire." Zarek said, giving Ash's shoulder a friendly squeeze. "She don't like it."
"I was just askin'!" He protested. Ash whacked him harder with the tray. He moved to the other side of the table, out of range. Ash giggled.
"Smart move, Ricky." Rick glowered and ate his food sulkily. She leaned forward. "Can't wait to see you in training." He slapped a hand to his forehead as the table laughed.
"You are so in for it, Ricky!" hooted Xirax. "I'll come to your funeral! By the way, can I claim your blaster?" Jarell was wiping tears from his eyes as he laughed.
"Why did I sign up to train against you, again?" He moaned.
Ash smirked. "Pity, ain't it?" She said slowly.
"I'm calling in sick." He muttered. "Go have a pazaak tournament. There's still those kids that think they'll get lucky and beat you."
She chuckled. "As if." She yawned. "I'll be leaving now." She stood, leaving her tray on the table. She walked to her room and took her clothes off, piling them on the floor by her bed.
Ash woke to the sound of an explosion and a shudder of the ship. She rolled off her bed, screeching as she slammed into a wall. Standing, she grabbed her clothes and yanked them on. The door slid open just as she pulled her black vest on, over her white shirt. She whirled to see Trask Ulgo, her bunkmate.
"We have to get to the bridge to save Bastila!" Ash strapped on her weapons.
"Jedi don't need saving." She sneered. "But if we pass her on our way to the escape pods, of course we'll help her." She opened the door and left the room, Trask following like a lonely puppy. Her wrist communicator hummed.
"All troops to the bridge! We're going to be overwhelmed soon!" It was a male voice, a little rough but still soothing.
"That was Carth Onasi!" Trask said, paling. "If he says things are bad, you better believe it."
"Focus on the positive, kid." She said, opening the next door to a firefight. With a ferocity that her size belied, she raced forward. Her blades scythed through the air, killing one of the soldiers just as a blaster bolt took out the other. "Not bad, kid." Ash said, squatting to loot the bodies.
They battled their way to the bridge, which turned out to be overrun by Sith. Once they left the bridge, Trask went to a door.
"There's something behind here." Ash heard him mutter.
"Then leave it." She said, already going to the door that led to the escape pods. Ash whirled as she heard the hum of a lightsaber. Trask ran into the room with the Dark Jedi, closing the door behind him, telling her to get to the escape pods. She let out a scream of rage evan as she activated her stealth belt, shimmering into nothing.
"This is Carth Onasi. I'm tracking you with the life support systems. You're the last living crew member. There's a large group of Sith in the next room. There might be a computer panel or droid."
"Got it." Ash rapped out, her old military drilling taking hold. She looked around. She wasn't so great at hacking, even being a part-time smuggler, but she was much better with droids. And there was a droid, luck to her. She took a repair part from her pack, quickly repairing the droid and programming it.
She activated the droid and opened the door. It began to mow through the Sith troops, eight of them. When it was shot down, there were two left. Ash drew her vibroblades and leapt into action. The Sith were in puddles of their own blood in moments. She looted the bodies before opening the door to the escape pods.
"Good. You're here. Any longer and I'd've had to leave."
Ash lifted her brows. "Who, exactly, are you?"
"Carth Onasi, a Republic soldier just like you. But let's go." He got in the pod, wriggling a little bit. His broad shoulders weren't made for crawling into small escape pods. Ash followed, slipping in. She sealed the hatch behind her. Carth pulled her into his lap as the pod ejected. She shifted uncomfortably as he strapped the crash webbing on. Damn escape pods made for one person. It was cramped and hot.
The last thing Ash remembered was a starburst of pain on the back of her head.