Synopsis: It has been a year since the dreaded Order 66, a whole year since Operation Knightfall brought the Jedi Order to its knees. Now, Ahsoka Tano lives in peace on her home planet, Shili, a peace that is about to be destroyed by the incoming fires of war. Ahsoka is ready to lay her life on the line to protect her people and save her family but when a shadow from the past emerges from the fire, will she have what it takes to defeat it, or let the darkness take her.
Under Blackened Skies
A Shadow From The Past
The sound of explosions and screams echoed throughout the plains of the planet Shili, sounds of war, of destruction and of death, sounds that Ahsoka had once been used to but had long since forgotten about, until now.
The young Togruta took hold of a nearby spear as another squad of Imperial Storm Troopers charged toward her, dodging shot after shot from the white armoured troops while she tried to distract them long enough for her extended family in Tano Tribe to escape into the large forests that surrounded their now ruined home.
Ahsoka dove forward, lodging her weapon into one troopers gut before grabbing his blaster and downing another two in quick succession as she leaped back to avoid retaliatory shots from the never ending horde of troopers.
"Will somebody kill this little rat!" the shout came from one of the masked men as Ahsoka took down another trooper.
"She's too fast!" another replied before leaping to the ground behind a nearby tree and firing his blaster aimlessly from his new cover.
It came as a surprise to Ahsoka that these men were not clones, but rather a whole new force which the Empire had created to fight their battles and add to the ever growing Imperial Army. In one way, she was glad that she wouldn't have to kill any of her former comrades, though on the other hand, she never wanted to kill at all.
Ahsoka had been settling down for the night when the first wave of troopers attacked her village and began burning down the many wooden huts. She had tried to help as many as she could to escape into the safety of the forests but many had already been killed or captured as the Empire attacked with all it's might.
Now she was alone, holding on as long as she could so that any who could escape would and those who had also stayed behind were able to help the injured to safety before she herself would attempt an escape.
"More troops! We need more troops!" the cry of a storm trooper was quickly silenced as his chest was impaled by Ahsoka's spear and he fell to the ground in a heap.
"Inform command of this immediately!" another shouted as her gestured his squad back towards the burning forest behind him and ordered them to take cover behind the many rocks, trees and rubble that dotted the large open area.
Ahsoka let out a long sigh as she too retreated back towards the remains of her village, coming to stop behind one of few still standing huts as an elderly Togrutan male was helped to safety by two female healers.
"Ahsoka, we must go, the scouts on the northern cliffs have seen an Imperial Star Destroyer coming this way, it's not safe to continue fighting" one of the healers said as she hurried towards the forest entrance.
Ahsoka nodded, "I'll follow you soon, I just need to make sure no one else was left behind" she replied before looking back into what was left of the village centre.
The healer shook her head and shot the younger Togruta a concerned look, "But we've so far heard nothing more from the south side of the village, I fear there may be no survivors, come with us now, before it's too late!"
"I won't leave until I'm sure" Ahsoka replied, "You go on, get yourselves and everyone to safety, I promise I'll follow when I can" she said, waving the two healers on as she took hold of her spear once more and force jumped onto the roof of the hut she had been hiding behind.
It was only then that Ahsoka witnessed the full extent of the damage done to the southern side of her village. Nearly all of the huts had been destroyed and those that still stood were slowly burning from the Blaze Troopers flamethrowers. It seemed as though the healer may have been right in assuming there were no survivors left to save, but that thought was quickly wiped from Ahsoka's mind as she heard a loud cry emanate from one of the closer huts.
"Help!" the voice of what Ahsoka knew was a young girl cried out, "Please, somebody help me!" the girl cried again though her shout was followed by a loud cough caused by the smoke of the ever rising flames.
Ahsoka quickly leaped into action as she landed on the closest roof to her, before using her force enhanced agility to avoid the flames of the burning huts and the odd shot from a storm troopers blaster as she jumped from roof to roof in an effort to reach the youngling before it was too late.
An improvised roll on the soft grass beneath her helped Ahsoka to a sudden halt just before the now fully burning building and she quickly began to search for the distressed youngling.
"Where are you!?" Ahsoka shouted as the blaze began to spread faster with the suddenly frantic wind, wind that was being caused by the rapidly approaching Star Destroyer that now slowly made its way over the southern forest.
"Over here!" the girl replied with panic evident in her voice as the roof of the burning building began to creek, a sure sign that a collapse was imminent.
Ahsoka quickly made her way to the front of the hut only to find that the small Togrutan youngling was trying as hard as she could to pull her injured mother away from the flames.
"Please, my mommy hurt her head and she won't wake up!" the youngling screamed as tears began to stream down her stained orange cheeks.
Ahsoka ran through the door and knelt down next to the injured woman while her eyes locked with the trembling girl, "It's okay little one, I'm here" she said, trying to keep her tone as soft as she could in order to calm the girl down.
"She won't wake up" the girl managed to say as she covered her eyes with both hands and sobbed quietly as Ahsoka examined the unconscious mother.
A feeling of relief washed over her as Ahsoka felt that the older Togruta's pulse was still strong, though she had a rather nasty looking bruise on the side of her head, "Your mommy will be fine, but I need your help" she said, turning her attention back to the sobbing youngling as the sound of cracks emanated from the ever weakening roof.
The girl removed her hands and looked at Ahsoka, a look of both fear and hopelessness evident on her features as she took hold of her mother's hand and nodded, "O…ok…"
Ahsoka smiled in another attempt to raise the youngling's confidence as she quickly came up with a plan, "Alright, little one…"
"Erin…" the girl interrupted as she said her name, "My name is Erin"
Ahsoka smiled again, "Erin, my name's Ahsoka and I'm going to help you save your mommy, but I need your help" she said, earning a nod from the girl, "Good girl, now, I need you to run, as fast as you can, behind all the huts until you reach the forest, once you get there, tell one of the healers what's happened, I'll be right behind you all the way with your mommy, can you do all that?"
Erin nodded, "Y… yeah" she stuttered with another nod as she turned her gaze back to her mother.
"Good girl, now, I'll count to three and you run as fast as you can, ready?" Ahsoka asked before turning her own gaze toward the exit, scanning the world beyond with both her montrals and the force until she was satisfied it was safe and she seen Erin nod, "Okay… one… two… three!"
With Ahsoka's order, Erin ran as fast as she could out of the hut before turning at the exit and beginning her advance toward the northern forest. All the while, Ahsoka used all the strength she could muster to hoist the unconscious mother on to her shoulders, before following Erin's path and running as fast as she could out of the hut just as the roof finally caved in, sending a large plume of smoke and flame into the air as Ahsoka quickly turned mid stride and ran as fast as her legs allowed her toward the awaiting forest.
Ahsoka panted hard as she collapsed behind the cover of an untouched hut, the strain of the earlier fighting catching up with her now weakened legs as she took a moment to regain her senses.
"Ahsoka!" the voice of the healer rang out as Ahsoka spied a group of four Togrutan women coming toward her with Erin not far behind.
Ahsoka blew out a long breath as she made it back to her feet, laying Erin's mother against the wall of the hut as she greeted the group with a nod, "We need to get to safety, that Star Destroyer will be on us any second" she said, regaining her composure as Erin knelt in front of her mother.
"Thank you, Ahsoka" the youngling said with a shaky voice, "Thank you for saving my mommy".
Ahsoka smiled weakly, "No Erin, it was you who saved her, you've been very brave, your mommy will be very proud when she wakes up" she said, continuing to smile as she earned an equally wide grin from the girl.
It was just then that Ahsoka felt a sudden disturbance in the force, a presence, one she had not felt in a long time and one she was struggling to recognise fully as it seemed to be clouded in darkness.
"Ahsoka?" the healer called out, "Are you ok? You look like you've seen a ghost"
Ahsoka let out a long breath, "I… I'm fine, it's just…" she paused, suddenly feeling the urge, no, the need to run, not forward, but back towards the source of the ever growing disturbance.
"Look" one of the other Togruta said as she pointed toward the havens, "The Star Destroyer, it's turning away!"
Ahsoka turned her gaze to the sky as the mammoth cruiser turned slowly to the west, the sound of the ships engines exploding through the night sky as it moved away from the village and a dark silence waved over the world once more.
"Go… all of you, get to the forest and join up with the rest of the survivors, I'll cover your escape" Ahsoka said in a neutral tone as her gaze fixed on the southern side of the village and the presence she was feeling continued to grow.
The healer placed her hand on Ahsoka's shoulder before moving to stand in front of her, "Be safe Ahsoka, we'll be waiting at the gathering place" the woman said with a small smile.
"I'll be right behind you" Ahsoka replied simply, "Now, go"
The healer nodded, releasing Ahsoka's shoulder as she helped the others pick Erin's mother off the soft ground before making their way back toward the forest.
Ahsoka waited until the group was out of sight before she began to walk back down the path she had not long ago ran up, a heavy feeling taking over her heart as she thought she heard a familiar voice call her name, calling her, into the darkness that seemed to slowly engulf the world in front of her, as Ahsoka willingly walked into its shadows.
Disclaimer: Disney and Lucasfilm Limited own all Star Wars characters and concepts. I do not own the rights to any of the characters, locations or anything to do with Star Wars. Any Original Characters and or locations however are my own.
Author's Notes: Thanks as always for reading guys. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of this two-shot. My original plan was to have this as a single chapter story but I found myself writing more than I thought I would so in the end, I decided to split it into two parts.
I'm sure a few of you can guess what's coming next and don't worry, I won't keep you waiting long as I plan on having the next part up within the next two days, I hope that's ok with you all.
Anyways, thank you all once again for reading and I will catch you guys next time, cheers!