He ran to the Engine room and ran through the door before shielding his eyes from the leaping and roiling flames. He could sense her presence with the force. However the flames made it difficult to figure out how to reach her. And the threat of Malak being on the hunt kept him form calling out. Come on Salori, give me a sign Jokoren pleaded in his mind as he made his way through the flaming room, dodging falling flaming debris and evading explosions. Suddenly He saw her trough a wall of flame. She was sitting against the side of a piece of machinery coughing. He force pushed through the flame and jumped into the area with her. Explosions rattled the room and threw
She coughed again as he picked her up in his arms and took her out of the room, force pushing through debris and flames until he reached the door. He burst out and sprinted to one of the escape pods, clambering inside and jettisoning the craft almost immediately after shutting the hatch. The escape pod rocketed out of the side of the warship taking them out of harm's reach as the ship began to explode. Jokoren shook his head as he placed Salori in one of the bacta stasis chambers. She sure knew how to cause trouble, intentionally or not he thought to himself smiling. Outside the view port a small fleet of around five republic corvettes hyperspaced in and Jokoren hailed them with a Republic signal. They responded and one of the corvettes tractor beamed in the escape pod immediately while the other four mobilized to finish off the Separatist warship as it destroyed itself. However Jokoren couldn't help but notice a small craft flying away and hyperspacing out of the system. And Jokoren couldn't help but feel that Malak was on it. Whoever Malak was.
After a pleasant jaunt through the core world systems and no incidents involving armed encounters, they arrived on Courascant without incident. Salori had been recovering in the medical bay from smoke inhalation and burn wounds on her arms. All in all however she was perfectly fine. Aside from the fact she still didn't trust Jokoren in the slightest. She knew he had saved her from engine room but was far from willing to admit it. Jokoren never mentioned the matter however he sensed resentment about the incident all the same. That and it proved her wrong about all of her suspicions. It seemed she was arguing with herself about how to prove he was a fake or not a Jedi or master any number of other suspicions she had concocted about him. His acts of kindness and loyalty just confused her more.
Along the way, Jokoren heard that those in the Jedi Order were being put in command of Clone soldiers. Jokoren didn't like it one bit. Military power to the order was a bad idea. Jokoren had created his military on the principal of letting the people fight for the people under the direction of his wisdom. This was the Republic giving tools of war to the Jedi. Tools that he had no idea where they came from. All he knew was that this republic army was created on the little known planet of Kamino and was funded by an unknown party. That and something seemed wrong about how they were ready for war this quickly. Yes they grew at an alarming rate and were fully grown by age ten. But that would mean that their creation began a mere ten years ago. Wherever this army came from, Jokoren would command it to the best of his ability, regardless of who they were. They were pawns in a war of galactic super powers. The closer he could be to those soldiers, the less of a chance something could go wrong.
It didn't take long for them to arrive at the Jedi Temple and make their way through the halls to the council chamber at the top of the main tower.
They stepped into the council chamber and stood in the center of the room, the Jedi council seated around them in the bright windowed room. Salori stepped forward quickly and bowed while Jokoren sighed and held his hands out in apology to which Ki-Adi Mundi nodded in acceptance. Before Yoda even began to thank Jokoren for his successful escort Salori began her protesting.
"Master Yoda, I demand a different Jedi Master. This...this... this monster has claimed to be a Jedi and I am lucky to be alive!" Salori blurted not even thinking through what she was saying. Yoda sighed wearily as she began to rant about her harrowing little jaunt through the Separatist warship and all of the evidence that supported that whatever Jokoren was, it was most definitely not a Jedi let alone a Master. Yoda looked to Jokoren completely ignoring Salori as she began to fail at finding words to condemn him with without sounding completely crazy, which Jokoren believed she possibly was. At least not rationally thinking around him anyway.
"Master Amidale, thanks you the council does. Something to say have you?" Yoda inquired causing Salori to sink to her knees mouth gaping like a dying fish. Jokoren did his best to ignore her and tried to reply.
"Master, with all due respect, I apologize for returning her in such poor condition. And, if the council sees it appropriate, I would like a different padawan considering that Salori and I are not on the most agreeable of terms." Jokoren asked politely. Master Windu smiled slightly and looked to Yoda. Yoda sighed rubbing his brow with his small green hand, a smile spreading across his broad little face.
"I am afraid that request cannot be met." Master Windu replied pressing the tips of his fingers together in front of himself contemplatively his smile still on his face. Salori nearly screamed in horror and rage but held her tongue instead putting forth a rather hasty objection.
"Master Yoda, I must protest-" Salori began panicking.
"Salori, Jokoren was my padawan." Mace interrupted."He is one of the best Jedi I know that isn't on the council. He is patient, kind, sometimes rash in appearance. But he has the noblest heart among those his age. We've never seen him do anything to question our judgment in granting him the title of Master aside from establishing his militia."
"Master Windu, I am already aware you are being given forces of your own for command from the Republic. Don't condemn my actions when the entire council is doing the same. And neither will you withhold those who are going to be assigned to my command. We are all in a war and the sooner we can end it the better." Jokoren objected. Master Windu sighed and nodded. Everyone in the council glanced to one another uneasily. They couldn't condemn his army since it's intentions were better than the Republic's. The Republic wanted to fight this war. Jokoren was taking measures to end it.
"Understood. We may be falling for the same fault you did, but that doesn't mean you will receive a different padawan." Master Ki-Adi Mundi replied solemnly. Jokoren bowed graciously and stepped back while Salori looked pleadingly to Master Yoda. Yoda smiled politely.
"Strong in the force, Master Amidale is. Clear to him, the force is. Young he may be, but Master he is. Much to learn from him you must. And much from you he will learn in turn." Yoda replied calmly and Salori moaned inwardly before nodding and bowing obediently and turning to follow Jokoren who was waiting for her at the door.
When they had finally left Yoda sighed.
"Much to learn, each of them must from one another. And learn they will"
Jokoren stood and looked out over the railing of the walkway down at the Republic gunship. The warship loomed over the surrounding gunship hangar bay. Clone soldiers were marching into the vessel in neat blocks of ten by ten. One of the Clone soldiers in his white armor stood behind him wearing the command Kama and sash. Jokoren turned to him.
"Yes sir?" Jokoren asked politely. The clone took off his helmet revealing his smiling face.
"The name's Fletch sir. Commander Fletch. I take it you are Master Jokoren Amidale?" The clone asked in his rough raspy voice. Jokoren smiled and nodded.
"Don't let the name fool you. I'm not a pacifist like my cousin Senator Padme. I have every intention of fighting back against the Separatists until they yield completely." Jokoren replied smirking.
"Don't try to fight the war for us sir. The boys are itching to take out plenty of clankers."
" I'll see to it our men get a handful of the action." Jokoren replied with a laugh.
"Our men sir?" The clone commander asked.
"Well I wasn't planning on hoarding all of the commanding authority. When you get to know how I do things, I hope you'll know what my orders are without them being given. It will make victory on the field of war yield better results in our favor." Jokoren replied.
"What shall our armor color be then."
"So people will know which Jedi we are fighting under. It helps the neutral systems feel valued when specialized clones come to their aid." Fletch replied. Jokoren nodded and turned back to the gunship looking out over the loading procedure.
"Turquoise. The Turquoise Falcons." Jokoren replied smiling and turning back to Fletch. Fletch nodded and they turned to see captain Amadus walk up.
"Who's this? He looks fresh out of the academy." Fletch asked. Jokoren smiled.
"I believe introductions are in order. Fletch this is Captain Amadus, a friend of mine I met on Corellia. He was the son of a blockade runner Captain who funneled refugees out of my home planet of Naboo during the occupation by the Trade Federation. We met on board his father's corvette." Jokoren said smiling.
"I thought no ships made it in or out during the occupation save the Senator's?" Fletch asked.
"You can see why I made him one of my officers then." Jokoren grinned implying how good of a smuggler and blockade runner Amadus was."And Amadus, this is Fletch. Clone commander of the Turquoise Falcon." Jokoren added and the two officers shook hands.
"It will be a pleasure winning the war with you, commander Fletch." Amadus smiled.
"Likewise captain." Fletch replied with a small wink and they all turned to look out over the landing area, the march of plastoid boots crunching out their steady pace aboard the gunship below.
So ends the opening to a series I will be writing chronicling the events and life of Jokoren Amidale. There will be recurring meetings with well loved characters like Rex and Cody as well as Obi-Wan and Anakin with Ahsoka. Others will show up and add to the story such as Duchess Satine and Senator Organa and Padme. This war is only getting started.