So...new story. Yeah. I know I should be finishing Galaxies Collide, but after seeing the newest Clone Wars episode 'A Necessary Bond', well...this came to me and wouldn't go away.
I've always loved Hondo's character. He's just awesome. And in this new episode...gah, it gave me so many feels, especially his almost father/uncle like relationship with Katooni. I wanted to explore it more.
It's set during and after Order 66, and may include some cameos from other characters depending on where I want this to go. I'm not...exactly sure where I want to go with this; I've got a good number of ideas in my head so far, but I'm open to more if anyone feels like suggesting some.
But anyway, I hope people enjoy this story...and I hope I keep Hondo in character ;)
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Escape Order 66
It only takes one second for a life to change. You don't see it coming, and once the second has passed, there's no turning back to the way things were.
That's how it felt for Katooni on that one day in 19BBY when her entire life – the entire Jedi Order – crumbled around her.
She had been on Saleucami with her new Master, Stass Allie, when it happened. The Jedi Master had gone on a patrol of the planet with her Clone Commander, leaving Katooni to observe the clean-up being led by fellow Jedi Knight, J'oopi Shé. Her friend Petro, who had become the Knight's Padawan, was stood next to her.
"I can't wait to get back to the Temple and tell the others about this," he said. "Can you?"
Katooni nodded, thinking of her friends back in the Temple. All had been chosen as Padawans, but none of them had gone on missions as of yet.
"I wish there was a bit more excitement, though," Petro continued. "This is just clean-up. We can handle more than that."
"Petro, we're barely Padawans," Katooni pointed out.
"But when we were younglings, we took on pirates and General Grievous. Master Kenobi said so himself; not many younglings our age could survive something like that."
Katooni agreed with him on that. Not many younglings their age faced the challenges they did, let alone survived them. She still looked back on their adventures sometimes; from retrieving their lightsaber crystals to fighting for their survival. She still thought of how brave Ahsoka Tano had been fighting Grievous.
She remembered the pirate, Hondo Ohnaka who, even after attacking their ship in an attempt to steal their crystals, had turned out to be not so bad in the end. She still remembered the smile and the nod he had given her before he departed.
The Tholothian girl began to fiddle with the Padawan braid hanging out from underneath her headdress. It was made from the hair from both herself and her Master, complete with a small blue silka bead attached to the end, the same colour as her lightsaber. Petro had a similar style; it was made from only his hair, however, as his Master's species didn't have any. Instead Petro had a grey silka bead on the end, to match his Master's skin tone.
The two remained silent for a few minutes, until Petro began to grown bored and looked around for entertainment.
"You want to climb the cliff?" he asked, pointing to the wall of rock which lay behind them.
Katooni looked up at the wall. It wasn't very high; the ice she had to climb in the caves of Ilum to get her crystal was a lot higher. But it still unsettled her. She looked between the wall and the Clone Troopers a short distance away, uncertain.
"I don't know," she said. "Wouldn't your Master see us?"
She pointed over to the Kadas'saNikto Jedi, who was going through some files on a data pad; a Clone Captain was stood next to him, reporting the success of the clean-up so far. Petro just shrugged when he looked, too.
"He looks busy at the moment," said the boy. "And besides; we'll get a better view from up there. We could spot something they might have missed."
Before Katooni could say anything more Petro hurried over to the cliff and began to climb. Looking over at the busy Jedi Knight and the Clones again, Katooni sighed before following her friend. She struggled at first to get a hold of the rock, but she eventually got the hang of it. The trick was to not look down.
Petro reached the top before she did, and knelt down in order to help her up.
"See?" he told her. "That wasn't so bad."
Katooni looked around. She had to admit that the view was pretty cool from the top of the cliff; she could see for miles around. Using her Jedi senses, she even sensed the location of her Master and saw her cruising along with her two Clone Troopers at her side. She was heading back in, most likely to share her report with J'oopi Shé.
That second passed. And in the next one, her entire world fell away from underneath her.
The Clone Troopers fell back suddenly, and then without warning...they fired at her. Stass Allie didn't see it coming, and didn't stand a chance; her speeder exploded underneath her, and her lifeless body was flung onto the dry grass.
Katooni froze, wide eyed. She couldn't fathom what she had just seen. Her Master – who had only been her Master for a few weeks – had been killed. By Clone Troopers.
Petro saw the incident as well, and looked down to where his own Master was stood. J'oopi looked up suddenly, sensing that something had happened – and he didn't realize that the Captain he had been chatting happily with only minutes before had raised his blaster behind him.
The Jedi Knight turned to Petro too late; he was shot repeatedly with the Captain's blaster, who was joined by other Troopers in the deed.
The two Padawans watched in horror, and Katooni grabbed Petro's sleeve.
"What's happening? Why are they shooting our Masters?" she asked.
That's when, to their further horror, the Captain looked up at them with his blaster raised.
"Get the Padawans!"
His Troopers followed suit, and the Padawans had only a few seconds to get away from the edge before they started firing at them. Petro kept on running, dragging Katooni behind him.
"We've got to get out of here!" he called back to her.
"But where?" she asked. "There's more Clones back on the star ship!"
"But how do you think we got here?"
Katooni remembered. The Jedi starfighters. Both Padawans had squeezed into one each with their Masters on the way in, and had landed them not very far away from their position. It was their only chance.
They ran down the steep hill on the other side of the canyon, both looking over their shoulders every now and again to check whether the Clones were giving chase. As the two grew closer to the fighters the Troopers caught up and started to fire. The Padawans took out their lightsabers and deflected the blasts.
Leaping up onto a rock, Petro pulled off his signature moved – the Whirlwind of Destiny – which took out two Troopers in a row.
"Get behind!" he yelled over the noise.
Katooni hid behind the rock.
"What now?" she asked. "If we both hide behind here, they'll just move in closer and kill us that way!"
Petro leapt down beside her before pointing wordlessly and the other rocks above them. She understood what he was telling her, and nodded. They waited, listening to the footsteps of the Troopers behind them, before concentrating on the Force. They held up their hands...before bringing the rocks down.
The avalanche missed them, thanks to the Force, but it hit the Clones coming after them. When their painful cries grew silent, Katooni and Petro dared to peek; the Troopers were buried.
They kept a hold of their lightsabers just in case – but deactivated them all the same – as they continued on to the fighters. With no Clones to worry about, they could travel faster and made it without any more trouble.
"I think I can remember how these things are piloted," said Petro, leaping onto the wing of one. "I'll take one, you take the other. It's safer."
"How is that safer?" asked Katooni, beginning to climb into hers.
"Because one target is easier to hit than two," said Petro. "If I go down, then you can still escape."
"Don't say that, Petro. We'll make it. We both will."
Petro nodded...but then his eyes widened and he turned, just in time to see a lone Clone Trooper take aim.
They both leapt for cover, Katooni into the cockpit of her fighter and Petro to the ground. Katooni cried out in pain, having fallen on her arm awkwardly. The boy looked up, spotting the Clone Trooper handling a hand-held cannon which had been slung over his shoulder. The Human boy's eyes narrowed.
"R3?" he said, turning to the astro-droid. "Get Katooni out of here."
The droid beeped in response before shutting the cockpit. Katooni sat up, and upon seeing Petro take out his lightsaber, she realized what he was about to do and began banging on the glass with her good hand.
"Petro, no! Don't!"
Petro didn't listen. With one leap, he held his lightsaber above his head and brought it down on the Clone's cannon, just as the Trooper was aiming it at Katooni's ship.
The move cost him his life, for the Trooper pulled out a smaller blaster from his belt and shot the boy in the chest. He fell lifelessly to the ground.
Katooni continued to bang on the glass as the fighter climbed higher and higher into the atmosphere until finally, when she was worn out, she rested her forehead against the glass.
It had only taken one second for her life to change forever.