Chapter 7: Opening A Master's Eyes
"The Prime Minister is waiting for you now, Commander."
Ahsoka signaled to Obi-Wan to follow her, while the clones stayed with Anakin. Walking into the room wearing Jedi robes made Ahsoka feel more official than it would have felt, had she time travelled into a time just a couple of years later. Her arriving in her old two-piece uniform might have made the people of Kamino question her authority, yet they did know little of human or Togruta behavior at this point in time. They would learn more later, but currently they were clueless.
The round sliding door to the meeting room opened, and Ahsoka walked inside with Obi-Wan, where the Prime Minister was waiting. Taun We, his assistant, left the room as soon as the Jedi were inside. Usually she would remain inside, but Ahsoka had waved her out. "Lama Su," Ahsoka bowed to the Prime Minister, "It is a pleasure to meet you at last. Our people have not made contact in too long."
Obi-Wan watched this interaction with bewilderment on his face. He could sense that Ahsoka, if that really was her name, wasn't confused at all. In fact, the way she was interacting with this Prime Minister almost suggested that she was familiar with him and his species behavior, despite her obvious lack of communication with him or his species in years. It was more likely that she had never met the people of Kamino before, considering her age, but something was off. He still couldn't sense her force signature, and trying to break through would likely alert her to his intentions of escape. It worked both ways, if one had the skills.
"It is a pleasure to meet you as well, Ahsoka Tano," Lama Su said. "Now, before we get on to business, may I inquire about your rank? Your young age does confuse me." while the people of Kamino were unfamiliar with outsiders, age was something few species could miss.
Three white pod-like chairs slid down from ceiling, which Lama and Ahsoka sat on. Obi-Wan followed their example. "Of course," Ahsoka replied, without a hint of deceit in her voice. "As far as you should be concerned, I am in overall command here. Where I come from I used to be a commander, but now the situation at hand requires this change. Oh, and my apparent age does not matter."
"Of course," Lama replied, not bothering to inquire further about the issue of age. "Now, down to business. you will be pleased to hear that a quarter million units, all of rank, have been completed. All of the remaining units in your first order are still in growth, which is to be expected at this time, as they will all be privates in your clone army. I must say, it is the finest we have ever created, despite the fact that we have not yet had time to try out the entire first batch."
"That is good news," Ahsoka said, not in the least bit surprised at the current stage that the clone army was at. "I would like to see your progress for myself in action. If you don't mind, I would like to have a battle training simulation with all ranking members of the 501st and 212st. They have never been led by a Jedi before, and it is time that they learn how to work around us."
"I will notify the trainers immediately, master Jedi."
Before long, Ahsoka was walking along the familiar walkway towards the training grounds on Kamino. The Prime Minister and his assistant were on the control platform above the training grounds with strict instructions to make it the most difficult simulation they could possibly preform. Ahsoka had been informed that the resulting test would be a droid attack with two entire battalions of regular droids, a few walkers, and destroyers. They would preform various types of attacks, so it would confuse the clones as much as possible.
Behind Ahsoka were Anakin and Obi-Wan, with four clone guards. they still had their lightsabers, but they were being watched closely. She had to smile a little. This simulation would be much more than just a test of how ready the clones were for the secret mission she was planning. It was also a way to to prove to her two future friends that she was capable of something they would not understand yet (really, there would be her one and only future friend, but that did not matter now). She was ready for war, acted like it had already begun, and knew everything about everyone - even though they knew next to nothing about her. If Obi-Wan didn't get an idea about what was up after this simulation, she would tell him everything. He could tell Anakin whatever he wished him to know afterwords.
Just then, they entered the prep room. Ahsoka was still wearing her Jedi cloak, so she shrugged it off, and hung it on one of the hooks above her. She had to stand on her tiptoes and stretch to reach to hook properly, because of her younger self's height. Underneath she was wearing her Jedi youngling's tan robes and brown boots, just like most people her age. Looking at them it reminded her of her uniform that she remembered putting on for the last time only a few days ago for a mission. In reality, it would be a few years until she did that, but nobody knew. It was likely that they would never truly know again, if she had her way.
"Oh, and I won't wear the bikini this time around," she thought laughingly to herself. That was just due to her immaturity, and now, despite that she was in her preadolescence body again, those hormones would not make her crazy enough to wear something extremely skimpy again.
"What's so funny?" Anakin asked, looking at her curiously.
Ahsoka wiped the smile off her face, a frown quickly replacing it. "Nothing you will ever understand Skywalker," she answered snippily. "Even if you are the chosen one, which I doubt, you aren't smart enough to get the things a female goes through. Especially a female like me, for various reasons."
"How did you know about the prophecy?" Obi-Wan asked, suspicion rolling off of him. "Only members of the Jedi council and a few close friends know this."
"Exactly," Ahsoka responded, ignoring his expression. "Guards, lead them to the nearest viewing platform. One of you should stay with me."
"Come with us," one of the troopers said, jerking his head in the general direction the two Jedi should go. "I suggest you don't try to bolt." Obi-Wan kept his calm composure and followed the troopers, but Anakin had a scowl on his face as he left.
As soon as they left, Ahsoka put her right hand on a railing, and putting her left hand over her face, cried briefly and quietly into her palm. "Oh, I hope I'm doing the right thing," she said to nobody in particular. "I can't continue to do this forever."
Ahsoka quickly stopped before the remaining clone guard could notice. "We should go," she said, and she recovered her composure, but could not her the traces of tears off of her face. They walked down a passageway, and soon a blinding light forced her to cover her large blue eyes as she adjusted to the lighting. It did not take long.
Ahsoka was just outside the elevator, where the clone troopers would soon appear. The clone beside her had placed himself next to the wall, and was standing at attention, just like all the pre-war or rookie clones did. They didn't even know a Jedi could joke, let alone cry. At least he had not seen her cry earlier.
Ahsoka heard the elevator begin to move. While she waited, she scanned the viewing platforms, until she spotted Anakin and Obi-Wan. She smiled and waved at them, and Anakin gave a short awkward wave in return. Obi-Wan just rhythmically stroked his beard and attentively watched her. "How typical of him," she muttered under her breath.
Just then the elevator finished coming up, and a group of fourteen clones in simulation gear stood at attention, staring directly ahead of them. "Reporting for duty, sir!"
"At ease," Ahsoka said calmly. Trying to imitate the way Shaak Ti spoke to the clones, she said, "Today I will be showing you how to preform under the command of a Jedi. While we give orders like your typical officer, Jedi use weapons and tactics that are significantly different that anything you have ever seen before. I am the first Jedi you have ever seen, aren't I?"
The clones looked at her, and were surprised by her age, which was expected from humans, even if they were clone troopers. "Yes, of course," one of the clones said. Ahsoka suspected that he might be the future Commander Cody, but she wasn't sure. "You are, uh, younger than we expected, ma'am," he added.
"That's what I thought," Ahsoka said. "And yes, my age does appear to be low, but that is just because of my species," she lied. "My, people, he Togruta is a rare species, so you probably haven't learned anything about us, other than where are home worlds are." She knew that this was true, but she also knew that they would likely discover that she was lying later. For now though, it was necessary, in order to retain their loyalty.
"Of course, ma'm," the same clone replied.
Ahsoka was almost certain he was Commander Cody now. "Are you CC-2224?" she asked.
The clone looked surprised. "Yes ma'm, I am."
"Good," Ahsoka said smiling. "As a future commander, you will report directly to the Jedi. For the purpose of this simulation, which I have asked to be set to the maximum level, you will report directly to me, just as if you were on the battlefield. The weather conditions have been set to simulate the planet Umbara, so make sure to turn on all of your lighting gear. Your goal, as usual, is to reach the end of the battlefield and pickup the glow rod. Any questions?"
All the clones saluted, and said, "No, ma'm!"
Ahsoka grinned. "Great! Computer, begin the simulation."
Immediately the room darkened to a grey color, and the clones turned on their lights. It was dark enough that is worsened the conditions for those fighting, but those who were watching on the viewing platforms could see just fine. Ahsoka herself could see just fine, and she had the force, so she didn't need any lights like her men did. "Find cover," she ordered. Without question, the clones obeyed, and ran to the nearest areas with suitable cover. To their surprise, they realized that the simulation did not a symmetrical layout like all of their simulations in the past had been. However, they correctly assumed that this was due to her orders about the difficulty level.
Soon, the marching sound of the droids could be heard. Yelling, she said to her men, "Here come the droids! Commander, tell your men to break up into teams of two, and go along the sides, flanking the enemy."
"Just follow my instructions, commander! On the battlefield only give solutions to the problems at hand, not complaints about the current set of orders," she said. "Do your task, don't stall it."
"Of course," CC-2224 replied. He immediately relayed Ahsoka's orders, and soon the men were moving as she had instructed. Then, he looked over their small wall that covered them and looked towards the noise of the marching droids. When he saw the droids he paled and said, "Ma'am, there is an entire battalion of droids coming our way, along with two destroyers. I suggest we move out of the way, before it's too late."
Ahsoka smiled mischievously. "Don't worry, commander. Stay behind here and cover me." As soon as she said this, she drew both of her green lightsaber blades in the reverse-grip she would become known for in the Clone Wars. She switched them into training mode, and then she crouched. When she sensed that the droids were close enough, she leapt into the air, spinning her body and blades as she went. She landed right in the middle of the group of droids, surprising them. Others didn't even have time to be surprised.
The droids then switched their primary target to Ahsoka. Shocker. She deflected most of their laser blasts, and the rest she ducked, causing the droids to hit their own. This was a move Master Yoda had taught her and her fellow clan mates before she became a padawan. The droids would form a circle around a Jedi at the start of the war, before they were improved later on, so if you played it right, you could get them to eliminate each other.
"Commander, continue the mission with the men," Ahsoka yelled over the blaster fire. "I'll take care of this group from here!" She saw him nod, and run to join his men, knocking down droids with his feet as he went. If Ahsoka had any doubt about CC-2224's identity earlier, it disappeared then. Only Cody would do something like that.
Ahsoka's blades were cutting down droids like they were nothing at all. They didn't move far from her body, so she could deflect everything that was thrown at her. She hadn't felt so alive in what seemed like months. Soon she had destroyed all of the basic clankers, and the simulation controllers sent in reinforcements for the droids.
Commandos, a whole lot of them, ten to be exact, were sprinting towards Ahsoka. Two of the clones noticed, and ran back to help her, but they were shot before they could even think about defending themselves. She pursed her lips, and deactivated her lightsabers. "Just a few more steps..."
Obi-Wan couldn't hide his shock at Ahsoka's skills. The way she moved against the droids was like that of an experienced warrior. Not just from training, but with a familiarity of the actual arts of the battlefield. Even he didn't know or understand many of the things she was doing. Turning towards Anakin he said jokingly, "Not bad."
Anakin smiled a little, but he never took his eyes off of the battlefield. He too was very impressed, in fact, he had never seen anyone so gifted before. Something else was bothering him too. Ahsoka's style was oddly like his own style of fighting. Except of her unorthodox grip, her style was almost just like his own! His style was supposed to be unique, developed just by him. At least that is what he had been told. He couldn't help but wonder if he had been wrong all along. In a galaxy so large, someone was bound to have a similar fighting style... right?
The commando droids were almost upon her, and Ahsoka leaped behind one of the commandos, and ignited a single lightsaber blade, piercing the droid's processor in its metal skull, destroying it. She extinguished her blade again, and used the force to send the decapitated droid towards the others. They all fell and turned off, except for two. Ahsoka only noticed one of the remaining droids, and she discovered the second only after it wrapped its arms around her throat, lifting her into the air.
Ahsoka gasped, but kept her head. Painfully, she reached for one of her lightsabers, ignoring her body's instinct to grasp at her neck and attempt to get air breathe. She drew it and destroyed the other commando in front of her, and then she stabbed it into the remaining commando's midsection. It let go, and she gasped for air. It wouldn't have killed her, but it still would have continued to choke her until she passed out.
The simulation ended as the glow rod was reached, bringing the lights back, and the clones who hadn't been knocked out cheered. Ahsoka beamed, and congratulated them after they had all woken up. "Great work! You followed orders well. That wasn't bad for a bunch of shiny clones," she laughed. Clearly they didn't get it, as their blank faces showed. Apparently the term hadn't been created yet. "You know," she elaborated, "shiny and new. Just like you." The clones laughed with her this time. They liked the joke. Just like she knew they would. After all, they had invented it.
"I'll speak to you later with the rest of the finished clones," Ahsoka informed her men. "I'll stay here. Dismissed!" Immediately they left, and the cleanup crew came out, along with a slightly younger-looking 99. She looked at him sheepishly. "Sorry about the mess," she said. "I kinda made a big one."
"No problem kid," 99 said smiling. "The boys had fun, and that's enough for me."
Ahsoka continued walking, and reached the door where she was supposed to exit the training grounds. However, before she even had the chance to open the door, a perplexed-looking Obi-Wan stepped out, with the two of the clone guards behind him.
"What in the name of the force was that, young one?" Obi-Wan asked. "I was confused at first, especially after I found out that you are in command at this place, but now... I don't know what to think. You are what, eleven years of age, and you took out a battalion of droids like it was nothing! It is time you explain yourself." He crossed his arms, and stared at her, expecting an answer.
Ahsoka sighed, and walked past Obi-Wan, into the prep room. "Please leave," she told the guards. They were hesitant at first, but they soon left, and she was alone with former and future master's friend. They sat down on a relaxing couch next to each other, and Ahsoka began her story. "Nobody but Master Yoda knows what I am about to tell you," she began, "but nobody knows the whole story. If you wish, I will tell you everything."
Obi-Wan had resumed his calm domineer, an appearance that had made even his greatest opponents feel like they could trust the man when at the negotiating table. It was no wonder he was called the great negotiator in the future. "Yes," he said, "I'll listen."
Ahsoka took a deep breath, and stopped hiding her force signature so Obi-Wan could have a way to verify what she was saying. "Okay. Well, I time traveled. I'm not the eleven year-old Ahsoka Tano, I am the sixteen year-old Ahsoka Tano in my younger self's body."
Obi-Wan had an expression of surprise on his face, but it was mixed with so many other emotions that his reaction could not be described using a single word. In reality, it could not be described at all. The initiate, or whatever she was, was not lying at all. "Oh," was all he could say. "I see."
There was a long pause. Ahsoka knew she had to continue, but when she did, her younger self's body made her think a little bit more like her physical age when she spoke. "I'm sixteen. I come from a future where a galactic war has been fought for three years, and it began two years from now. I joined the war as a padawan commander under Anakin when I turned fourteen. It's terrible millions die, and... and..."
Ahsoka threw herself into Obi-Wan's lap and cried like the child she was. "Oh, I don't know what to do or even what to say," she sobbed. "I- you- the council accused me of murder after a bombing of the Jedi Temple, and tries to execute me! Even after I served them faithfully for my entire life!"
It was odd, crying and fuming at the same time, but when one is young it can certainly be done. "I ran from the clone army, my own men, and I tried so hard to prove my innocence! I tried and I tried! But I was captured,and brought back to be executed. To die by my friends," Ahsoka said, tears streaming down her face and landing in Obi-Wan's lap. "Padmé tried to save me, but no, you nor congress would listen to me. You, yes you too Obi-Wan, stripped me of my rank as a padawan and expelled me from the order. I was going to die, and then Anakin came with the true murderer. It was Ba-Bar-Barriss."
Ahsoka sobbed some more, and then closed her story. "Barriss was my friend. My best friend even. And she had tried to kill me. She, and everyone else I knew and would have trusted with my life before. The council, which you were on, invited me back, but they didn't say they were sorry. You just invited me back, said that the force works in mysterious ways, and offered to allow me back and make me a knight and a general in the army. I just couldn't... not after all that. Oh, so I left, and then I was hunted down and I bled to death on the ground of the Coruscant slums. And then... and then I woke up. Here I am."
Ahsoka continued to sniffle and cry after her story, and Obi-Wan held her gently. Everything she had done made sense now. Fainting in the hallway, attacking young Barriss in the healers, and begging the two Jedi to come to Kamino, a place where, even now, an army was being prepared for a war that would soon begin. this girl wanted to change the future, but how and what remained uncertain.
Obi-Wan had never held a crying child before, not even Anakin, but it came naturally to him. His heart went out to Ahsoka, and yet he felt terrible too. "Everything she said was true," he thought. "So how much of a comfort can I be? If I really do all that to this girl in the future, I imagine I am not much of a man to her." As a Jedi, he was supposed to be a guardian of peace. Someone those in distress can go to for help or comfort. Yet, despite all that he was supposed to be, it seemed like in the future the abandon their very purpose for one of their own.
Guilt and shame filled Obi-Wan, even though he knew that his current self, himself, was not responsible for something that hadn't even happened yet. He hadn't done anything at all. It had not happened. "But to this girl, it had."
Thank you for reading this chapter! I would really appreciate if your reviewed it; it might help me update it sooner this time. I apologize for the delay, but as always, real life takes priority. That being said, I should have updated this story sooner.
So, there are quite a few changes for your beloved characters going on. As it is being hinted at, Ahsoka is in a way merging with her younger self. She still has all her memories from the future, or what is really an alternative future now. Yet, her emotions are being compromised by her younger body. I did throw in that part about the lack of a bikini in the future for a reason though: I don't want her wearing it in my timeline. Basically she will be wearing Jedi robes, or her "new clothes" from seasons 3-5 of The Clone Wars.
Quite a few things in this chapter swayed away from canon, but I had to do it to make the story go the way I envisioned it. I hope you'll let it slide this time.
Ahsoka is, if you haven't caught onto it already, planning to use the clones soon (even if she mistrusts them). Will she try to start and end the war early by attacking Geonosis? Or should she have a revenge of some sort by taking what currently exists of the clone army to the Senate or the Jedi Temple? Let me know what you think!
May the force be with you. Always. Even if Disney got rid of The Clone Wars and will likely kid-ify Star Wars Rebels. LONG LIVE AHSOKA TANO!