Hi All-this is a definite AU story though thanks to the wonderful and brilliant Karen Travis I have borrowed her characters from the Republic Commando stories and also a blurb from Order 66 to help start out my story.
I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please let me know what you think! Thank you =)
I own nothing
"This is the best I can do right now. Do you want to marry me?" Besany Wennen could swear she heard her lover's voice slightly tremble. She loved this man; yes that's what he was. Not a clone, not a machine of war, but a man and one whose life was unfairly shorten and wanted nothing but love and safety for his family.
"Well…yes." She answered him awkwardly.
He gave her a crooked smile that made her already racing heart beat even faster.
"Oh, good," he said for a lack of better words. Only knowing the customs he was brought up with he put his arm on the table and gestured for her to do the same. "Take my hand, then." She did and with surprising gentleness for a man who could kill without a blink of an eye, squeezed her fingers gently.
"Mhi slus tome, mhi solus dar'tome, mhi me'dinui an, mhi bar'juri verde," he eyes bored into hers. "Now you say it."
She looked at him puzzled. "What's that?"
Again he gave her the crooked grin. It was her special grin. "A Mando marriage contact. If you agree, repeat it."
Not what she had in mind for a wedding but she never really imagined herself getting married at all. "Okay." She whispered. "Mhi slus tome, mhi solus dar'tome, mhi me'dinui an, mhi bar'juri verde." Besany blew out a sigh of relief and looked at her new husband.
Husband, wife. Besany Skirata. Has a good ring to it, she smiled. "Are you okay?" Ordo asked. "Do you need some caf?"
She just looked at Ordo. "No Ordo, I just need you…"
3 months after Order 66
Kal Skirata inwardly sighed. He was home with his clan. Home…such a foreign word to him but one that was finally brought into reality as his adopted sons, daughters, grandchild and friends came to Kyrimorut.
After that dreaded Order 66 came into play purging all Jedi from existence and turning all clones against the Republic, Kal and his family and whoever wanted to desert with them fled from the Core to never return. Kal tightly closed his eyes and buried his fists into them. The horrific night plagued him day after day and no matter what anyone said he would always blame himself.
He would see his young Jedi daughter Etain Tur Mukan turning to help a fellow clone who even though was out to hunt her, she still dared to help him. In the midst of chaos, a scared padawan turned to defend himself and struck Etain instead. He remembered the blood curdling scream Darman roared out. It was the most inhuman sound Kal had ever heard.
Panicked and beyond reason, the padawan tried to defend himself again against the other clone troopers and ended up knocking Niner off the bridge they were crossing on to get to their transports. Darman rushed over to his comrade's side to find that Niner had broken his spine. He couldn't be moved and Darman would not leave his side. Not even for his son, Kad. Skirata had no choice but to leave Niner and Darman, but he promised to return for them.
"Buir?" Skirata opened his eyes to see Ordo looking at him with anxious eyes.
"Ord'ika," Skirata managed a small smile.
"You're thinking about that night again aren't you?" Ordo knew how to read his father. He out of all his brothers was probably the closest even though none of them would admit it.
Skirata shifted in his seat to sit upright. "It could have gone over so much better than it did."
"No Buir, we did everything right. Everything else just went wrong and Etain died with honor doing what she believed in no matter what anyone says," Ordo said with conviction. He may not have gotten completely along with the Jedi and despised all but Etain and Bardan Jusik, but he respected Etain.
Kal Skirata nodded very slowly. "It doesn't make anything easier son, but you are right. And we have to start thinking of a plan to get Niner and Darman out. His little boy needs him and he needs his boy, no matter what he thinks. Speaking of little boy, where is my Kad'ika?"
Ordo always was fascinated by the way his father could change the topics and mood so quickly. "He's being doled on by the ladies. Bard'ika thinks the boy could feel his mother's death and hasn't been the same since. So they are trying to cheer him up."
Skirata cursed the Force one more time that day. His grandson was suffering from the rippling affects of that stupid jetii power and he hoped that Kad would be okay from all of it.
Ordo and Kal found Besany, Ordo's wife, Laseema, Atin's wife and Jilka Zan Zentis, a friend of Besany who got caught up in their mess and had to be rescued and taken to Mandalore or have the alternative of being interrogated and probably killed sitting with baby Kad.
Kad was just about two years old and looked very much like his father and uncles with jet black hair and onyx colored eyes. He sat on the floor in Besany's lap holding the scorched nerf that was rescued from being burned with his mother's body. His eyes were a bit puffy and cheeks red.
"He's exhausted," Jilka said softly. She had hated Kyrimorut at first. She hated the fact that she was forced to stay here like a prisoner, but as the situation was explained to her and as she got to know everyone, her attitude changed. She still snapped here and there, but had become friends with Laseema and continued a strained friendship with Besany. She helped out with Kad and even started helping Parja, Fi's wife at her shop. She really took an interest in Corr, the clone who worked with Besany in the Treasury Department and had lost both his hands in combat.
"He should be tired after all that crying," Besany lightly stroked Kad's dark hair out of his face.
"Crying?" Skirata asked concerned.
"He misses them, Kal'buir," Laseema said softly. "We're trying, but we're not his parents. Not even Fi's silly shenanigans are cheering the little cherub up these days."
"I know ad'ika I'll talk with Bardan and see if he can do anything to help block the Force coming to him."
Ordo took a moment to study Besany holding the little boy. Children were so foreign to him, but it seemed natural to her. He didn't think he was against having children, he just didn't think it was the right time to bring one into the chaotic world. And what did he know about raising a child? Then again, until we get that anti-aging agent, when is it the right time? Time is not on our side and I have Kal'buir to go to…
He glanced at the corner of his eye to see Kal looking at him. He looked away immediately and walked away to clear his thoughts.
"I'll put him down for a nap," Laseema offered. Besany gave Kad a gentle kiss and then handed the baby to the Twi'lek woman. She watched them as they walked out of the room and turned her attention to Kal.
"Do you think it'll work? I mean Bardan blocking the Force for Kad'ika?" Besany asked.
"That boy has done some amazing things that even I don't understand." Fi's recovery was one of them. "I have hope."
"When are we going back for Darman and Niner and possibly Delta Squad?" The question caught Skirata by surprise-not that he was thinking the same thing, but the fact that she was asking it.
"You're joking right?" Jilka gasped. "Going back to Coruscant? Anyone who goes back there after having their heads on the Most Wanted list will surely be killed."
"Jilka, they're family," Besany delicately scolded. Besany had immense patience but when it came to her now adopted family, fuses were blown short. She had to constantly remind herself that this was not Jilka's choice and she was adapting.
"Kad's father is still over there. We have to do something."
Skirata couldn't be prouder of his adopted daughter, she genuinely loved and cared for each clone that came to their new home whether it be a Null or a "shinny" that deserted.
"We're coming up with a plan Bes'ika," Skirata soothed. "When we have something, we'll let you know."
Jilka gave out a little snarl. "I don't get you Mandos, you're here safe and you want to go back to ground zero. Just for two men? What about the family here? What happens to them if one you die? Doesn't that matter to you?"
Besany admired Kal's patience, but also admired the way he could set someone straight with just a look of his eye. Jilka instantly quieted down.
"Jilka, I know you don't understand now, but we are an Aliit, a clan, a family. No one gets left behind. Not on my watch. You all matter to me. You included. Understand?" Jilka just nodded. "Good. Now, I think Corr has been looking for you."
Jilka had the decency to blush and rush off to find Corr. Besany turned to the older man. "Bes'ika, is something on your mind?"
"Well, actually Jilka does have a point Kal'buir. What happens if you don't come back?"
"We don't think that way. We'll always come back. This is the Mando way, Bes'ika. Keep your support for your riduur and Ordo will always come back for you."
Ordo found himself in the makeshift laboratory his brother Mereel had made for the Kaminoan scientist, Ko Sai. With the only way she knew how, Ko Sai exacted her last bit of revenge on the Nulls and Skirata by hanging herself and leaving them with unfinished data.
The last few days on Coruscant Bardan, Fi and Skirata had "liberated" Dr. Ovolot Qail Uthan from a high security mental hospital on the thought that she might be the link to helping them find the gene that sped up their aging process. She hadn't put up much of a fight; in fact, she quite enjoyed the challenge and being back in a lab.
Ordo entered the lab and saw his brother Mereel and Dr. Uthan working together which looked very odd to him, but at least it kept them both busy.
"How's the gene cracking Mer'ika?" Ordo walked up to his brother's side and looked over his shoulder.
Mereel was in his element. Each Null had his thing and Mereel's was genetics.
"I believe we're getting closer to finding the gene that speeds up your metabolic rate," Uthan said, not looking up from her microscope.
Ordo raised an eyebrow. "That quick? It's only been a few months!"
Mereel looked up at his brother. "She's not kidding. I've tested it on some tissue and it proved positive."
"Your own tissue?" Ordo asked slightly bewildered.
"I had to, we don't have very many options out here," he said as if it was the most obvious thing.
The sound of someone clearing their throat made them turn their heads and look at the doctor. "You are distracting me. If you want to talk, go outside," Uthan said sharply.
Mereel held up a hand. "Okay doc, okay. I'll be back in a few." Ordo and Mereel stepped outside of the lab and Mereel closed his eyes and basked in the warm Mandalore sun.
"Gilamar and Uthan have a thing between them," Mereel randomly put out.
"Seriously?" Ordo raised his eyebrows.
"She is smart and not that bad looking but we didn't come to talk about this. You didn't just come over here to talk genetics and Gilamar's romance, Vod did you," Mereel said. It wasn't a question.
"No, but Kal'buir will be ecstatic to hear that you are close to finding the anti-aging agent. We all are. And I want to hear more about Gilamar and Uthan later."
Mereel opened his eyes and looked out into the open field to see some of the fellow troopers who deserted to Kyrimorut working. Commander Levet along with Yayax Squad was determined to become good farmers and adapted well to their new role as free men.
"What's on your mind, Vod?" Mereel stretched and turned to look at Ordo.
Ordo was confident about many things in life, but being married and having a family was new to him and he found himself often turning to Kal'buir and even Mereel who had a lot of let's say lady experience.
"Mer'ika, I saw Besany with Kad today," Ordo started.
"You've seen them together a lot," Mereel tilted his head curiously.
"Well yes, but something was different this time when I watched her hold him," Ordo chewed on his cheek, a nervous habit he had picked up somewhere. Mereel gestured for him to continue. "I'm getting there," Ordo let out a frustrated breath. He didn't know how to talk about this. Maybe he should have this conversation with his father.
"I've been thinking about how Darman is missing out on seeing Kad and how I would feel if I lost my wife and child if I had a child. Besany, she's so good with Kad even when the little ad'ika is having a bad day. It would kill me too if I saw Besany die, but I don't think I would leave my child. It's hard for me to say if I were in Darman's shoes. He wasn't raised like we were, Mereel. Yes, I know that we didn't have one happy family, but it was closer than what Omega or any other squad had. No, I can say I wouldn't leave my child behind-I would want him or her to know its father. That is, if I ever have any."
Mereel put a hand on his brother's shoulder to stop him from talking. "Ordo, are you saying you want to have a child?"
Ordo looked down for a moment then met Mereel's gaze with a heated one of his own. "Yes."
"Have you talked with Besany about this?"
"No not yet. I don't know if she even wants children or likes them enough to have them. Maybe she just likes Kad and that's all. I don't think I want to bring a child into this world only for his time to be cut short with his father." Ordo ran his fingers through his unruly hair. He had been meaning to get it cut.
"Ord'ika, I think the first step is to talk to your wife and see how she feels about it. And if it's a go, you'll have some fun nights ahead!" Mereel gave him a devilish grin.
"Mir'sheb!" Ordo yelled and playfully hit Mereel on the shoulder.
"Seriously though, I think it would be great to be an uncle and have another little Mando running around here. If the aging is the only thing keeping you from completing your family don't worry. Have faith we'll have that fixed in no time. Jate'kara."
"Thanks, Mer'ika." He parted with Mereel with a firm brotherly grip on the arm and they parted their separate ways.
Strangely enough Besany and Laseema were having a very similar conversation while preparing lunch for everyone. Everyone did their part for the family and Laseema and Besany helped out with the meals which were no small means. With the men accelerated metabolism came with accelerated appetites. With that came meals to fill their bellies throughout the day. Not only that clean up was a big deal and took teamwork.
"What if Ordo doesn't want children?" Besany asked softly to her companion.
"Have you talked to him about it?" Laseema questioned back at her friend.
"No, but…" Laseema cut her off.
"Besany," The Twi'lek's silky accent punctuated as she got more animated, "you are very lucky to even have the opportunity to think about having a child with the man you love. These men, they don't have a lot of time, that is unless that anti-aging serum can be found. What are you waiting for? Are you afraid?"
Besany looked away for a moment. She hadn't really thought about Laseema and Atin not being able to have a child and it was unfair to them. They loved each other deeply and should be able to have children, but it was the choice they made. She bit her lip and looked at Laseema.
"I need to talk to him, you're right," Besany finally said.
"Dang straight!" Laseema and Besany both laughed.
Ordo entered the main house to hear the two women gossiping away. He walked toward the kitchen and leaned against the door way, watching his wife prepare lunch. He loved watching her, especially when the sun hit her just right. She looked like an angel to him, his angel.
Besany turned around with a full dish of some sort of greens and when she looked up she let out a high pitch scream, scaring Laseema and tossed the greens all over the floor.
"Sith spit!" Besany cried out and covered her pounding heart with her hand. "Ordo, you scared me to death!"
Ordo tried to look remorseful but a smile cracked his lips. "I'm sorry Bes'ika."
"Don't you sorry me, just help me clean up," Besany tried not to grin but her lips started to twist upwards. "Sometimes I forget how quiet you can sneak in."
"Yes, next time for the sake of my heart, please announce yourself," Laseema reprimanded.
"Sorry Laseema," Ordo mumbled and then turned to Besany, "do you have a minute. I need to talk to you."
"I got everything handled here, go on shoo," Laseema gestured them away as if knowing where this conversation was going.
"Okay," Ordo took Besany's hand and led her to their private room.
Besany shut the door to their room and turned to see Ordo's staring intently at her. It sent shivers down her spine right into her very core. She approached him and they wrapped each other in a tight embrace, as if this might be the last they would ever see one another. She breathed in his musky sent and ran her fingers up and down his back. She could feel the light tremors underneath her hand and it inwardly smiled at how fast she could melt the harden Null into butter.
"Bes'ika," Ordo growled into her neck. She loved his rich deep voice, especially when it got that huskiness to it. "Before things get out of hand I need to talk to you about something."
"I need to say something to you as well, Ordo," Besany took a step back from her husband, but kept a hold of his hands. She gestured for them to sit on the bed and then nervously tucked a stray golden blond hair behind her ear.
"Spending all this time with Kad has really put things in perspective for me," she began. "Stang, I…I didn't think this conversation would be so hard," her voice slightly quivered.
Was she trying to say the same thing he came to tell her? He gently squeezed her hands encouraging to go on. "Ordo, I don't know what kind of mother I'll make, I don't know what kind of father you'll be but we love each other and we'll be together standing side by side through thick and thin. You give me strength when I want to slow down and sometime stop all together." Besany paused a moment and lightly stroked her husband's calloused hands.
"I want to have a baby Ordo. I know time is not on our side and I do fear that the Empire will show its ugly face on our door step some day, but I do now understand why Etain did what she did for Darman and I want to do it for us." Besany felt that what she was saying was coming out all wrong by the shocked look on her lover's face. "Ordo, say something!"
Instead, he wrapped his arms around her and Besany gave out a surprised yelp when his lips met with hers for a passionate kiss. She instantly melted against him. Ordo always surprised her by how warm and loving he could be one minute and hard as steel the next.
When they broke, both were breathless. "Are you sure you're not telepathic or something?" Ordo asked, breathing in deeply. "I was having this exact conversation with Mereel."
"And what conclusion did you come up with?" Besany smiled at the thought of Ordo and Mereel talking about this.
"Well Mereel's words were, "If it's a go, we'll have some fun nights ahead," Ordo burst out laughing at Besany's jaw dropping expression. "But he had some other words of wisdom as well."
"Well, that's good. So, you're not against having children?" she asked hesitantly.
"No Cyar'ika, that's exactly what I wanted to come and talk to you about. We both share the same fears but together we will raise a strong ik'aad. Empire or no Empire, and whether we find the gene that cures the aging process, I want to complete our family. Besides, I know Kal'buir will be ecstatic to have another grandchild not to mention all of the uncles."
"It'll be wonderful, my love," she said tenderly. Besany felt much better now that she talked to him, still some fear resided deep within her, but she pushed it away for another day.
"So," Ordo smiled mischievously at her, "do we get to start right away?"
Two months later…
The reports from the Core were not good. The plan to extract Darman and Niner had to be put into motion soon or they would never see them again. Kal Skirata called in a clan meeting, meaning everyone was to attend since everyone was going to be involved.
"Have you talked with Dar or Niner at all Kal'buir?" Atin asked, anxious to hear any report on his lost brothers.
Jaing and Mereel had finally in the last month cracked the Imperial codes and got through a secure link to Darman.
"I briefly talked with Darman last week and told him we are coming for them. He doesn't sound great but I told him to hang on. We just have to give him the final version of the plan and he'll be waiting. I also told him if he can get in contact with Delta to ask if they want to come too." Kal looked over his family with weary eyes. He was growing ever increasingly tired but didn't dare to rest. They all could see the wear and tear on him.
"Since local shipping and trade channels are closed to all commercial traffic, we're going to have to look official." Kal turned to the men standing next to him. "Walon and I liberated some nice Imperials and their troopers of their uniforms while out and about."
There was a group mummer but Mereel and Ordo voiced their protests. "You didn't bother to tell us!"
"What if you got into trouble?" Mereel grumbled.
"We didn't and sorry to keep this from you boys and girls, but the less that anyone knows about this, the easier and faster we to get to Coruscant." Skirata paused for a moment when he noticed someone missing from their group. "Where's Besany?"
Ordo looked around and didn't see her distinct golden blond hair. He furrowed his eyebrows in concern. "I'll go see if she's in our room. I'll be right back. Fill me in when I get back."
"Bes'ika?" Ordo called out as he entered their bedroom. All he heard in return was the sound of someone very sick in the refresher. "Bes'ika?" he walked quickly into the room and found her huddled against the toilet. The first thing he noticed was how pale she looked and her hair stuck out in all different directions.
Her eyes were closed, trying to concentrate on keeping her stomach calm. She had her face plaster against the cool porcelain of their tub and she took in a couple deep breaths.
"Besany?" Ordo squatted down next to her and tried to brush down some of her unruly hair. She wearily opened her dark brown eyes and gave out a pitiful groan.
"Morning Ordo," she tried to sound pleasant then nausea took over and she hurdled herself over the toilet again. Ordo held back her hair and rubbed her back trying his best to soothe the ache as she empty any remaining contents from her stomach.
"Have you been like this all morning?" He asked. She flopped herself back down and flushed the remnants down, Besany gave a small nod. "Do you think that you are done for now? I think you need to lie down and I'll have Mij look at you."
"Okay," her voice hoarse. He carried her to their bed and got her comfortable. Ordo had never seen Besany this weak before, not even in their worse crisis and it worried him. I'm going to go gray from worry not from battle, he snorted.
He went back down stairs to find Mij Gilamar, the Mando doctor that resided with them. He was listening intently to what Skirata and Vau were planning out and hated to interrupt.
"Son," Skirata called to Ordo, "is everything alright with Bes'ika?"
"I don't know. Mij, I think you need to look at her," the room instantly quieted.
"Okay people, let's break and meet up in two hours." The group disbanded and Skirata, Atin, Vau, Laseema, Fi, Jilka and Mij all followed Ordo to his room.
"Besany, you look awful!" Fi gasped. Anyone else Ordo would have punched him in the face, but Fi was one of his best friends, a blood brother. It didn't stop him from giving Fi a nasty look which Fi instantly shut his mouth before saying anything else.
Mij was at Besany's side examining her. "She's not running a fever but it still could be a flu or food poisoning. Besany, when did you start to feel this way?" Mij asked her.
She opened her eyes and turned to look at the doctor. "This morning. I think my stomach is trying to run away from me, doc."
"We'll have you fixed in no time. I want to run a few scans on you and then you can rest everyone else, out." He ushered the group including Ordo out of the room and he went back down stairs to grab his tools.
An hour or so later Gilamar quietly closed the door to the bedroom and found Ordo blocking his way.
"Well?" He pressed.
"Son, come outside with me for a moment," Gilamar laid a hand on his shoulder and guided him to the outside deck.
"Is it bad? Is she going to be okay?" Ordo could feel his heart pounding this was probably the first time he could ever recall from his perfect memory that he was this nervous.
The doctor took a short breath and gave Ordo a good hard friendly slap on the arm. Ordo was very confused. "Congratulations, Son. In seven months you'll get to earn the tile of becoming Buir."
Ordo just stared at the doctor wide eyed. He couldn't formulate any words.
"A loss for words I see," Gilamar laughed. "Go see your wife and give her a kiss my lad. I'll continue to monitor her to make sure she and the baby stay healthy and strong."
Finally his senses came to him and he blinked a few times. "A baby? For real?"
Again, the good doctor laughed. "For real Ord'ika. Besany may experience this sickness for a while longer, but I have a small remedy to help out. It should go away with a month or two. Go to her now."
"Does she know?" Ordo, stumbling over his feet, was already heading back inside. Mij laughed again and nodded.
Besany was sitting up in the bed hoping that Ordo was taking the news well. Even though they had talked about having children two months ago and he said he was all for it, becoming a reality was another matter.
The door opened and a dark head peaked through. "Ordo," Besany smiled hesitantly.
He entered slowly and closed the door behind him. "How are you feeling?"
"Better. Mij gave me some herbal supplement and it chased the nausea away. Did he tell you the news?" Ordo sat down on the edge of the bed and Besany ran her hand down his arm, playing with the edge of this sleeve and then dropped to his hand.
"He did," Ordo looked down at her hand, his eyes traveling up the bed covers, to her chest then to her now bright red lips then to her eyes. Eyes filled with fear and hope. Ordo wanted to memorize everything about her and this moment.
"Bes'ika, this is wonderful news!" Ordo's eye's shinned brightly and a smile split his rugged face. "I can hardly believe this is real. I'm going to be a father." He leaned his forehead against hers and gently placed his hand on her flat belly. "That's our creation in there. Thank you Cyar'ika."
Besany could no longer hold back the happy tears and they flowed freely down her delicate cheeks. "I love you so much Ordo," she sobbed. "How are you ever going to deal with an emotional woman for eight months?" She joked.
"It'll be worth it." There was a thump at their door and a soft curse. Ordo turned to Besany who gave out a small laugh and wiped her tears away.
Ordo got up off the bed and went to the door. He opened it quickly and Fi, Mereel, and Atin all tumbled in with Laseema and Jilka standing behind them laughing at the dog pile of troopers.
"Can I help you?" Ordo asked with a raised brow.
"Um…congratulation!" Fi grinned.
Ordo found Skirata standing out on the deck staring out at only he could guess at. He knew that his buir had a lot on his mind, but he wanted to tell him the good news.
"Buir?" called for him and the older warrior turned around to face him. Ordo worried like all his brothers about his father and how the eventual stress would catch up to him. But Kal Skirata was a fighter and always would be. Until the day he dropped Ordo would always be at his side fighting with him.
"I got a very interesting and surprising call just a few minutes ago."
"Oh," Ordo leaned against the railing next to Kal. Skirata, Ordo observed looked to be contemplating something and wanted him to continue but didn't push him.
A few moments later, Kal sighed and turned to look at Ordo thoughtfully. "I got a message from Maze."
"Maze!" Ordo repeated surprised. The ARC trooper, who worked with the Jedi general Arligan Zey and always looked out of place in the general's office, was sharp and by the book but he and Ordo had come to an understanding toward the end of the Clone Wars. They may not have been best friends, but they respected one another.
Kal nodded. "He's defected from Coruscant and wants amnesty." Skirata studied Ordo's face and waited for a response.
"Do you think it's a set up?"
"It came from a very secure channel. He's in mid-flight and in good faith has given us some very important command codes to get into Triple Zero. I'm having Jaing and Mereel go over them right now to check their validation. This may be our ticket in."
Ordo let Skirata's word set for a moment. They could use this as their way into the Core and retrieve their brothers, but in the back of his mind alarms went off, that what if it's a trap alarm.
"I'm with you Kal'buir, on whatever decision you make. We have to help out as many brothers as we can. When will Maze arrive?"
"Good lad," Kal lightly tapped on Ordo's cheek. "I'll gather everyone back up and we'll finalize the extraction plan once the codes check out. Maze said he should be here in a day. He sounded exhausted over the comm too. I could only imagine.
"How is Besany feeling? Mij chased us all away and I never got to find out what was wrong with her."
Ordo shifted awkwardly on his feet. "Ordo, something you want to tell me son?" Skirata prodded. He didn't think he ever saw his son ever look so uncomfortable and nervous. Ordo and the Null boys were the spitting image of confidence.
Ordo summarized it in one word, "Ba'buir."
Skirata's response was immediate. He grabbed the taller, burlier man and engulfed him in a bear hug. "Oya!" he bellowed. "Fantastic Ord'ika! That brings some good news to this old man's ears. When is Besany due?"
"In seven months. That's why she was so sick, though I don't quite get why she was crying so much, but…" he shrugged.
Skirata laughed. "Don't worry my boy. It's going to be a normal thing for her to be a bit emotional for the next few months. She's a true mandokaral and you'll have a healthy son or daughter with plenty of people to spoil him or her."
"Buir, I want to make sure this child is raised right and what if I don't make a good father?" Ordo said hesitantly.
"Ord'ika, my son, you'll do just fine. You are a brave, brilliant, strong Mando'ade. I know the years haven't been the best to you boys, but you'll do your child right. It has been an injustice to you and your brothers not being able to have the right kind of family but I swear to you until I take my last breath I'll continue to give you all the love and knowledge I can." Kal vowed.
A couple hours later Jaing confirmed with Skirata that the codes transmitted by Maze were indeed legitimate and he assembled everyone back into the dining room this time Besany joined them. Before the meeting even started the large group congratulated the new to-be parents with slaps on the back and generous hugs.
Besany approached Kal last. "Congratulations Bes'ika," Skirata took a hold of her hands and had her look at him. He always forgot how tall she was, but how fragile she could be as well. "I'm so proud and can't wait for my grandchild to arrive."
"Thank you… ba'buir," she whispered into his ear. "We'll talk more after the meeting," she promised. He nodded.
Skirata turned his attention back to his family and started to tell them of his plan to get Niner and Darman out.
"The codes Maze transmitted have been confirmed by Jaing and Mereel. These codes should get us in and out of Coruscant without having the Imperials breathing down our backs as long as we don't put on a big show."
"What is our cover going to be?" Atin asked arms folded in front of him. He was dressed in civilian clothing at the moment, but looked the ever intimidating soldier, his gaze locked onto Skirata and Vau. He was anxious as everyone to get his brothers out.
"Bounty hunters returning with their catch," Vau stepped in. Both Skirata and Vau turned their heads to look at Jilka who shifted nervously on her feet.
"What?" she asked defensively. Besany had a very bad feeling about this.
"Jilka, we're going to need your help as our back up plan," Skirata inwardly grimaced. He hated to use the girl as bate, but it was a valid story to get what they wanted.
"Oh no, no no no! I'm not going to Coruscant. They're going to kill me if I go back there!" She screeched.
Corr who was standing beside her, placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "I'll be there right next to you cyar'ika. I won't let anything happen to you."
"So I'm just going to be handcuffed and thrown to the rancor?" Jilka huffed, but seemed to calm after Corr soothed her.
"Since we don't know what we're exactly walking into, Vau and myself are going to be the first plan. We have the Imperial uniforms and we're going to act as commanding officers. We also snagged some of the new snazzy stormtrooper outfits so a couple of you can act as our command. Plan B will be Jilka will be the catch and we're cashing in on the bounty and since you boys will be wearing your beskar'gam no one will recognized you. We'll contact Dar and Niner and let them know when we're on our way and the rendezvous point."
"So who's going as whom with whom?" Fi asked. "I for one want to try out and strut my stuff in that stormie attire." A few snickers could be heard around the room.
"Well that's good son, cause you're our first volunteer," Vau declared.
"I'm in, I want to be there when we pick up Dar and Niner," Atin said. Laseema curled her arms around his in support.
"I'll be the shabuir who takes Jilka," Corr said, but looked into Jilka's angry eyes and they instantly softened. "Nothing will happen to you."
"Thank you Corr, I trust you," Jilka mumbled and then shoved her away from the group.
"She'll be okay Corr. She'll understand one day," Skirata assured.
Once everyone knew their positions and an approximate leaving date the next step was to try and get a hold of Darman and Niner.
Besany found Skirata, Vau with his ever loyal strill Mird, Ordo, his brothers excluding Mereel, Fi, Atin and Corr huddled finalizing the last of the mission. Besany wondered about Levet and Yayax squad but shrugged it off for the moment.
Skirata looked up and lightly smiled at her as she waited for them to be done.
"Alright boys, we have two days to get ready for this, in and out. I don't have to tell you to keep your guard up," he waited for them to respond. "Good. Coruscant isn't ever going to be the same so don't think the brothers will think you're friendly. They aren't you're brothers anymore drill that into your minds. Whatever you see, just keep your eyes forward and minds sharp. Two days, get your gear together, food in your stomach and rest."
They were all dismissed letting everything sink in. Atin, Fi, Corr and Ordo hung around and Besany sat down. "We want to be here when you call Dar and Niner, Buir," Fi said. Laseema also joined in with baby Kad gurgling in her arms.
"I thought that Kad would like to hear his daddy if possible and maybe might help persuade Dar a little more."
"Good thinking, let's do it now," Skirata tapped in the personal comm codes to Darmam's HUD. They all held their breath as static filled the air.
"Come on Dar, pick up," Atin growled under his breath.
Kad became very still in Laseema's lap and then a blue image of a heavily armored commando came into view. "IC-1136 here," Darman's monotone voice answered.
It was hard for Kal to swallow hearing Darman. Vau even closed his eyes to compose himself and then stole a glance at the remaining Omega Squad members.
Kad was the one who broke the silence with a loud squeal. "DA-DA!"
The blue figure didn't move or respond. "Darman?" Skirara for a moment heart got stuck in his throat. Had his son truly turned his back on his family?
"Kal?" His voice was hoarse; they could all hear him trying to keep his emotions in check.
"Dar'ika!" Fi and Atin yelled at the same time. "We're coming to get you and Niner out.." Fi continued.
Kad was becoming very difficult for Laseema to hold, trying to reach out to the transparent figure of his father. Darman would not turn and look at his son no matter how much he was trying to get his attention.
"Don't, it's too dangerous. I can't explain it all right now but we've been reassigned by Vader himself. Jedi man hunters."
Besany took in a sharp breath. Ordo turned a concern eye on her but she waved him off.
"We're coming son, no matter what. We'll be there in two days. I'm going to have Jaing transmit the coordinates and time. You be there or we'll find you and drag your shebs onto the ship. Make sure Niner is with you. If you can get in communication with Delta have them ready as well. That's an order Darman," Skirata's voice was in that no nonsense-you better follow my orders voice.
"DAAA!" Kad squealed again and tried to reach out.
"You're boy needs you," Ordo put in, which punched a hole in Besany's gut. With their child on the way it really touched home how much Darman was missing.
Darman finally slightly turned to look at his little boy. "He's grown."
"And you need to see that he keeps getting bigger," Skirata demanded.
"Send me the coordinates and we'll see in two days," with that the link terminated and everyone sat in stunned silenced until Kad figured out that his dad wasn't really in the room and started to cry again.
"Kad'ika," Fi took the little boy and bounced him. Kad looked around the room as if looking for his father.
"That was hard," Atin finally said, "and we didn't ask about Niner."
"I'm sure that he's okay, lad." Vau said his voice grave. "Do you think he'll show?"
"Yes," Kal watched his grandson, his heart breaking a little more. Skirata had a bad feeling about all this, but had to keep his hopes up for his family.
That night as Besany tried to fall asleep but the image of Darman and how distant he was toward his son plagued her. As if sensing this, Ordo who was curled around her, propped himself against her shoulder and looked over to her.
"Bes'ika?" he asked.
"It's nothing love, go back to sleep," she tried to soothe, but he knew her better than that and had her turn to face him.
"You're thinking about Darman aren't you?"
She nodded. "What if he doesn't come back?" There was more depth to that question and Ordo knew it.
"Besany, listen to me. It's his choice one way or another. But Kad will always know his father. As will our child. I will always come back for you. And remember, if something we're to happen…" he placed a gentle finger on her soft lips before she could interrupt him. "Remember, if something were to happen to me, I know you'll raise our child right the Mando way and with memories of me."
"It wouldn't be the same," she softly protested, but understood that this is what he was trained to do and couldn't ever take it away from him. If she was going to be a Mando wife she was going to have to be strong.
"I know, but I also know that you are a survivor."
"I want to go with you, on this trip," she looked deeply into his eyes and held his stare.
"No Besany, I can't have you there." If she came, he knew he would be distracted and he couldn't have his train of thought on her and on the job. His fear would become a reality-he didn't want to have to have that worry of what happened to Etain happing to her.
She looked at him stubbornly for a moment and he thought she was going to argue with him but her face relaxed and she relented. "Okay, but you better comm me and update me."
"I'm sure I'll never hear the end if I don't."
"You bet you won't." And she kissed him.