Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars the clone wars or anything else George Lucas related.
It was a fine day on Shili. The sun shined brightly on the open grasslands, avaric animals could be heard shirping. Everything was at peace, all carnivorous beasts remaining in their dens for the moment and only a few tiny critters running over the ground in search for their next meal.
Truly, a fine day, perfect for natives and tourist alike to simply enjoy nature and have a quiet time, free of all troubles.
And among other things, the perfect time to kill a Jedi. Granted, almost every day was a good day to kill Jedi, at least when one was Aurra Sing, ex-Jedi Padawan and bounty hunter. Ex-Jedi Padawan with an intense feeling of loathing for those self righteous, long robed zealots with more lightsabers than brains.
This day in particular however, seemed just marvelous. While keeping an eye on her targets starfighter from her position on a hill, Aurra once again smiled in devious anticipation. She was always happy about a chance to slay Jedi, but this particular contract filled her with glee ever since she had been told about the story behind the job.
When she had meet her client a month ago, his constant ranting about the Jedi had annoyed even her, actually making her think about telling him to shove it and leave. Until he told her the reason he wanted to see this specific Jedi dead. Apparently, his newborn brat had had enough midi-chlorians in its body to attract Jedi attention. Unfortunately the practice of child abduction was quite common with the so called guardians of peace. And naturally, most of the affected parents tended to be quite upset about it. Never the less, a parent being so angry about it to scramble together all his families savings (no doubt dooming them to live in poverty for the rest of their life's, but what did she care about how stupid people managed their money) to hire a bounty hunter to off the Jedi who had taken the child, now that was rare.
Whatever, after locating her target, the Jedi master named Plo Koon, Aurra had followed him for a few days, waiting for an opportunity to eliminate him without any witnesses. Or other circumstances that could lead to a bunch of Jedi bent on revenge (even though the hypocritical bastards would without a doubt find a term for it that sounded nobler than revenge) on her heels. And now that Plo Koon had traveled to Shili, a rather deserted part of the planet with the next big metropolis thousands of miles away, only a few farming houses standing up for civilization, that moment had finally come.
After landing her own ship a safe distance away, she had quickly located the Jedi's ship and prepared her ambush, waiting for Plo Koon to finish whatever business he had and return.
And wouldn't you know it, already she saw the Jedi approaching his ship on a swoop bike (1). Observing him through her adjustable-focus binoculars she noticed that he was clutching something to his side, only one hand on the handlebars. She couldn't quite make out what it was. Perhaps some sort of Force related artifact he had come here to recover. If she was lucky, it would sell for a decent prize after she'd eliminated the Jedi. In that case it would be better not to shoot him while he was riding his swoop bike. The angle was less than perfect for that anyway.
When Plo Koon arrived at his ship and put whatever he had brought into the cockpit, Aurra tucked the binoculars away and grabbed her Czerka Adventurer slughthrower rifle (2), taking aim at the Jedi. Now came the tricky part. Aiming on a Jedi for too long usually led to said Jedi feeling the threat through the force. The shot had to be fired in a second.
Fortunately, Aurra knew her trade. Right after she had the backside of Plo Koons head appearing in the rifles visor, she pulled the trigger. Flying faster than the sound created by the shoot, the bullet impacted in the Jedi's brain…
…. Or at least would have, had the Jedi's reflexes been a bit slower. As it was, he managed to whip out his lightsaber. A pish was heard as the bullet was melted by the laser.
Muttering a silent curse, Aurra continued firing. After this first force fueled reflex he might have a harder time parrying more shoots, seeing how she had the sun at her back and slugh thrower shots were far harder to spot than those of a blaster. Unfortunately, looking right into the sun didn't seem to bother the Jedi bastard very much, causing four more bullets being melted out of existence.
Granted, the bounty hunter had expected that, since her target was a Kel-Dor. With his species originating from a planet where oxygen was comparably rare, he was naturally wearing a breath mask, which also covered his sensitive eyes. Apparently he had been smart enough to include a sun glasses function.
Then, taking his would be assassin by surprise, Plo Koon lowered his saber and raised his hand towards her position. Cursing him, Aurra threw her rifle aside and raised her own hand in retaliation. She really hated it when Jedi proofed smart enough to know that, while one could not deflect the bullet coming from a slug thrower like blaster fire, one could easily use the force to snatch it out of the air. Or, like in this case, send it right back at the shooter.
What happened next would have looked rather silly for anyone happen to come by. A guy with a lightsaber standing next to his ship and on a nearby hill a pale female hiding behind some rocks, both holding their open hands towards each other. While in the air between them a tiny lump of iron was bouncing back and forth, not being able to decide which one it wanted to visit first.
Both participants of this rather morbid game of "catch" were completely aware how serious the situation was, though. And the bounty hunter was soon feeling that her target was packing more raw force power than she did. Her arm beginning to ache, she gave one last hard shove, then flung herself to the side while releasing the hold. Almost immediately her own bullet flew past her head.
Alright, if he wanted it the hard way, the hard way it shall be. After making sure that the bullet was not about to return, Aurra took her own lightsaber as well as one of her blaster pistols from her belt. Determined and with gleeful anticipation she charged down the hill.
As soon as the Jedi, who for some reason hadn't moved in the slightest, came into view, she unleashed a rapid fire of blaster shoots, far too many to care about sending them back at the shootist while parrying. Take that, old Jedi scum!
Though as Aurra soon learned, her targets mastery in the force wasn't restricted to mere power. Without even moving his hands, he force ripped the blaster out of her hand, drew it towards him and with a swift slash cut it in two.
NO! Not one of her dual-triggered blaster pistols that allowed rapid fire as well as single-shots. Those gems were as expensive as they were rare, and she only had one pair. That cursed Jedi had to pay!
"Fear me, Jedi!" she yelled. "I am Aurra Sing, Nashtah, scourge of your kind! My wrath will strike the likes of you until the last of you rotten, self righteous tyrants is culled from the galaxy!"
Having made her proclamation, she lunged at her enemy and attacked with a stab aimed at the Jedi's hands.
"Bold words for a Sith impersonator such as yourself, assassin." Plo Koon said in that smug tone which annoyed Aurra so much, while avoiding the attack through simply taking a step to the side. "Your blade may bear their color, but I can sense the confusion deep within you. You are not yet lost, but don't assume that will stay my hand." As if to prove his point, his next action was a viper fast slash as Aurras head, which she blocked.
Then the two of them had no more time to talk, as they engaged in a rapid exchange of blows, thrusts, slashes and stabs. Aurra soon found the Jedi to be an excellent swordsman. Despite herself using about every dirty trick in the book, she couldn't get through his defense. Which was made even more remarkable, she thought while ducking under yet another swing, considering that he insisted on holding his position in front of the ship, not moving an inch while Aurra practically danced around him, always attacking from a different angel. Though he did stop her from getting past him and to the ship. Must be a pretty important artifact he had gotten there.
Seeing that she was getting nowhere (and being honest with herself, she seemed to be losing), the bounty hunter swung her blade in a wide arc to get some breathing room, then did a backflip to get away from the Jedi. As expected, he remained on the spot, adamant on guarding whatever there was in the ship.
Deactivating her lightsaber, Aurra raised her hands and used the force to lift a barrage of melon sized rocks from the ground. Pushing her hands forwards, she hurled them at her enemy.
Plo Koon merely loosened his left hand from his blade, made a fist and instantly all rocks were reduced to dust. Then he pointed his fingers at Aurra and yellow lightning shoot out of them, completely catching the bounty hunter off guard.
"The hell!" she thought. "Since when did Jedi use such a Sith exclusive technique as Force lightning?"
Through the surprise activating her lightsaber a millisecond to late, the bolt hit her right in the chest.
Aurra screamed. In her long life, she had on one occasion gone up against a Sith wannabe, and gotten a taste of what real force lighting felt like. To sum it up quickly, it hurt. A lot. Like every single nerve in your body conveying pain at once. But whatever this Jedi (?) bastard was doing now felt even worse in some way. Aside from a little sting it didn't even hurt all that much. Much worse, she could feel her energy being rapidly sucked away, making her weaker by the second. She could not let that happen! She could not be weak in front of anyone, and especially not in front of a blasted Jedi!
When Plo Koon stopped his attack after what felt like a little eternity to her, even if it had in reality only been ten seconds, she was so drained and shocked that she fell to her knees, dropping her lightsaber. What had that bastard done?
As if to answer her unspoken question, the Jedi-master explained:
"It is called electric judgment. A force technique I developed myself, using not hate or anger like the Sith, but calmness. While its usage is controversial among my fellow Jedi, I thought it may be a valuable experience for you to see that you don't need the dark side if you ache for flashy displays of power." (3)
Assuming banta, Aurra cursed him mentally. Like she cared about cheap magic visuals as long as a good old blaster had the same effect.
"What did you do to me, spawn of a Hutt." she snarled. How she would have preferred to feed him his own lightsaber right now, but after this freaky attack her arms felt like lead.
"No need to be concerned. The judgment only takes your strength and willpower for a while. You could say it makes the force judge you, both physical and mentally. Seeing how you are on your knees, you failed. I do not strike at enemies who are already on their knees, but I would appreciate it if you'd tell me the reason for this attack. As well as your hate against the Jedi."
The bounty hunter almost snorted in contempt. Typically Jedi, always believing to know it all and have all the answers. If he knew how deep her resentment for the Jedi was rooted, how hot her hate burned, the fool might have realized that her willpower was still very much present. And while her body ached, she had already fought in worse conditions. The only reason he had got her down was how traumatic the experience of having her strength drained by a Jedi of all people had been for her.
But there was no reason he needed to know that.
Deciding to play the beaten, but undiscerning captive, she snapped, while trying to sound like she was as tired as she was angry:
"Don't presume I'll give you anything just because you have beaten me. In difference to your precious order, I still have my pride. Go one, arrest me, take me to your temple, interrogate me and then give me over to your friends in the Senate like the good Republican dog that you are. But you will never make me talk."
Defiantly, she raised her arms, as if daring him to shackle/bind them. Of course while behaving like the mere action brought her pain, while in reality it only felt like she had weights bound to her wrists. Just like in every morning exercise.
Plo Koon nudged his head in a skeptical manner, scanning his attacker for a sign of deceit.
"Your very being reeks of betrayal and trickery. Be warned, one should never mistake the compassion of a Jedi for a cause of foolish hesitation. While I do wish to save you, I'll strike you down should you betray my trust."
Casually holding up his hand, it took a mere moment until a pair of shackles flew out of his starfighters cockpit and into his waiting hands.
Damn, thought Aurra, that bastard was good. Using the force to move things without even looking at them was a rare talent. Truly, in a fair fight, her chances against him would be little. Then again, she thought while suppressing a devious grin, she never played fair.
Cautiously Plo Koon moved nearer to Aurra, his whole body tense and ready to defend himself in case of treachery. When he stood right in front of her, he ordered her to stand up, so he wouldn't have to bend down and lower his defenses
In the progress of standing up Aurra mentally said "Sucker" and with a swift movement flicked her right wrist. Firing the miniature blaster she had hidden under her sleeve. The small, but none the less effective blast hit Plo Koon near his left eye, damaging that part of his breathing mask beyond repair. Aurra relished his painful scream.
Despite the pain, the Jedi master immediately reached for his ligthsaber. Flicking her left wrist, firing her second hidden miniature blaster, the bounty hunter hit his right forearm. While using her right hand to telekinetically draw his lightsaber into her own hand. Activating it, she positioned her left palm on the sabers opposite end. Gleefully she pushed it forward, thrusting the laser blade right through Plo Koons breathing mask.
What followed was a silence so complete, you could have heard the sneaking of a Nightsister.
Then, with a wicked smile, Aurra pulled the saber upwards, slicing the Jedi's head open and decapitated him with a swift swing. The body fell down like a puppet whose strings had been cut.
"And that's the problem with you Jedi," Aurra mocked to her victim "when your head isn't stuffed into the republics ass, it is buried too deep in ancient data pads studying stupid codes and rules to learn the fine arts of improvising."
Happy about the new addition to her collection, she threw Plo Koon's lightsaber in the air and caught it again like it was a jugglers toy, almost childlike repeating the process while casually strolling over to the starfighter of her deceased target. Slaying Jedi always got her in a cheerful mood. Not to forget that there most likely was some sort of priceless Jedi artifact waiting for her in her targets starfighter. This day only kept on getting better.
Happy anticipating filling her, the bounty hunter took a look into the cockpit…
… and immediately jumped back with surprise. Had she really just seen…
She took a second look. Yep, that was definitely a baby wrapped in some cloth sleeping peacefully in the pilot's seat. And judging by the orange skin tone as well as the bone like head gear it was a one of Shilis natives, a Togruta.
Aurras expression darkened. While it was regrettable that she didn't get an artifact, finding out that the headless corpse rotting a few feet away had been in the process abducting yet another kid into his damned order made her regret that she didn't make his death more painful.
Yanking her fist trough the air, Aurra used the force to hurl the Jedi's corpse next to her. Going through his pockets, she let the headless body drop to the ground again after finding a datapad. Scanning through the files, she found, aside from a diary, some law books for specific solar systems and a few Jedi wisdoms, a File named "Adoption". Frowning, she opened it to find journals of a few dozen babies the bastard had brought to the order, including the one from her client. The last entry was about the one slumbering next to her. Aside from a map to the parents location, some farm house, she also found the (as it turned out female) babies name.
"Ahsoka Tano." She read aloud.
And apparently, even though it had slept through a fight to the death between two force possessing individuals wielding lightsabers, it was its name that woke the baby up. Big blue eyes curiously looking up at the bounty hunter, with the complete lack of fear only a child could posses, the little creature raised its arm in Aurras direction.
The bounty hunter was unsure what to do. Making deals with Hutts without getting screwed. Yeah, easy enough. Assassinating some important politician while running from the local law. Sure. Surviving on an untamed planets with carnivores and lethal plants out to kill you. Acceptable. Crossing blades with Jedi, taking on three of them at once. Hey, no problem. But what the frick was she supposed to do with some tiny brat that still shit itself and whose abductor she had just killed?
And if the baby thought it was helping with that gurgling sound it made, it was WRONG!
Not wanting the brat to start crying, Aurra hesitantly reached into the cockpit and picked the tiny Togruta up. It was so small, she didn't even have to lay it on her arms. Its tiny form fitted into her incredibly long fingers like they were made for holding it.
While the baby seemed to be happy, snuggling herself into the bounty hunters hands and staring at her while making strange baby speak sounds, Aurra was at a loss. Now what? The easiest way of course would be to let the brat in the fighter, leave, get her payment and forget about the whole ordeal. However, even she had standards, and killing brats was just not acceptable. Of course it wouldn't take too long to take it back to its parents, but in that case, the damned Jedi order would simply send another one to get her. Frack, here she had the golden opportunity to save, eh, prevent someone from becoming a smug, hypocritical asshole, and she didn't know how. Perhaps take the brat off world and have someone adopt her. Otherwise, she didn't really know of any places who would ju…
Her eyes widened as she felt a sudden, light pain. Slowly turning her eyes to the baby in her left hand, she realized that she must have unconsciously pointed her right hands index finger at the babies face as if t play with it. And the baby had responded by biting. Seeing how it had no teeth yet, that wasn't that big of a problem, still, the little bugger's jaw had a lot of strength for such a small one.
She couldn't help it, she had to chuckle. She was Aurra Sing. Crime bosses desired her services, other bounty hunters fleet when she neared, her victims despaired when she came hunting and Jedies had trembled at the mere mentioning of her name. Yet this little girl had the audacity to treat her finger like a chew toy.
Choosing to ignore the sudden warmth and protectiveness she was feeling, Aurra inspected the baby, which had now stopped chewing on her nails and instead started to try to grab the finger. Smirking, she used the same to tickle the babies stomach, making her giggle.
"My, aren't you a feisty one?" She asked the infant with a smile. "You obvious lack any sort of healthy caution and respect for your elders, don't you?"
"GUH!" was the happy answer.
"Well, seeing how your first abductor is indisposed at the moment, would you mind me taking over the part to take you with me, away from your biological parents, into corners of the galaxy where your chances of meeting a violent death will increase thousand fold?"
This time Aurra didn't get a vocal response, but she choose to interpret the shaking arms as a nod.
With a Cheshire smile the bounty hunter turned away from the starfighter and started walking toward her own ship, taking care to step on the Jedi's corpse instead of avoiding it.
Internally she was debating about her decision to keep the little bugger for now. One part of her mind, the rational one argued that a baby was definitely NOT fit for living with a bounty hunter like herself, and getting attached in any way would probably get both of them killed. Another part, the one holding her resentment of Jedi, found this to be a great way to harm the Jedi further by decreasing the number of the next generation of hypocrites, as well as getting the opportunity to influence her to see the Jedi for the bastards they were. She wouldn't even have to keep the baby around that long to accomplish that.
And she didn't even think about the small part of her that wanted to keep the infant because holding her felt so right.
For the moment deciding to simply see how things would turn out, hence having the option to push her out of an airlock at any moment baby squeals would grant on her nerves too much, she couldn't help but muse:
"Ahsoka Tano was her given name, was it not? Hm, doesn't sound that different from Aurra Sing. Ahsoka Tano. Aurra Sing. Ahsoka Sing. Sing Ahsoka. Sing Soka. Soka Sing. Doesn't sound half bad."
(1) The jetbikes/antigrav motorcycles in Star wars.
(2) Slugthrower is the Star wars term for firearms that use bullets instead of lasers.
(3) I'd just like to note that I did not make that up. First thing I ever heard about it was while researching Plo Koons abilities on wookieepedia, so I can assure you it is 100% canon. Aside from my interpretation of the reason for it to be called judgment.
Okay, that would be that. Funny thing is, three weeks ago I didn't care about Aurra Sing at all. I liked her character design and that was it. Until I somehow found out that she used to be a Jedi in training (I know that didn't really become apparent in the show, but it is completely legit canon). Because my biggest problem with the Star Wars franchise is the black and white workings with Sith and Jedi. The general concept that one will automatically become an evil sith overlord should he/she get angry or (GASP) date someone. While not a hero by any stretch of the meaning, Aurra Sing as it turned out is one of the few Star Wars characters who just said: "Screw you and your rules, me deciding that I hate Jedi and being a force user at the same time does not mean that I have to start wearing all black, become able to shoot lighting and hold long evil monologues about conquering the galaxy." And boy do I love her for that.
Now, about the story. What I want to stress, while it is true that Aurra has a rather long lifespan, meaning she'll still look hot when Ahsoka reaches adulthood, this will NEVER be a Aurra/Ahsoka love story. And that is one of the few things I am actually completely certain on doing or not doing. While I have a bunch of scenes and situations in mind I want to use in this fic, I don't have the entire story planned, only the rough red line. As of now, Ahsoka could end up becoming a bounty hunter, a mercenary, a space pirate, a sith, a separatist soldier/agent and so on. I'll just see how things develop and what would feel the most right. For now I'll start with a few chapters about Aurra dealing with being a Bounty hunter and caring for a baby at the same time, and how Aurra's few pals react to Ahsoka. Later, when I skip to Ahsoka becoming old enough for the clone wars to begin, I'll have the two of them messing up the outcome of the canon episodes, sometimes only lightly, sometimes gravely.
And never in my time as a fanfic author did I have to do so much research, in this case mostly on wookieepedia. Like what Shili looks like, the names of Aurra's weapons, Plo Koons abilities, …. Oh well, totally worth it. XD