Chapter 20: Whole Again
With Ahsoka, and Nicole, Ruins of Artika Prison, 18th July 3241, 00:30 am
Ahsoka jumped at the roar of an explosion, quickly rising to her feet as she ran over to the entrance to the prison ruins, watching as in the distance, Artika Base went up like a fireworks display, a mighty conflagration replacing the imposing structure. Looking closely, she watched with a scowl as an Imperial shuttle became visible in the sky, flying away from the area like a silent: Fuck you! Looking out, her eyes desperately searched the landscape for any signs that her friends had also made it out alive, squinting over the frozen area, bathed in a fiery light as the explosion slowly continued. Her heart sank as her eyes spotted no sign of her friends and she finally resorted to using the one thing she had not done since her pregnancy began:
Reaching out with the Force, she closed her eyes as she searched for any Force signatures, or any signs of life coming from the direction of the exploding base. Finally, she could feel something, coming towards the base from the explosion, but very faint, so she could not determine whether the thing she sensed was that of her friends or some other Imperial survivors, those that had not been able to join whoever was on the shuttle due to issues of space.
The sound of her com-link crackling to life drew her attention as a voice she had yearned to hear came through:
"Ahsoka, this is Seth! No need to worry, we're all alright. Just sit tight, we're on our way."
"Thank the Force you're alright!" Ahsoka exclaimed. "I kept sensing you were in danger." Collecting herself, she asked: "Is it just me, or does trouble keep finding you?"
"It's not that trouble keeps finding me, it's that I seem to have a tendency to find trouble wherever the fuck I go." Seth replied. "A rather annoying tendency, if you ask me."
Ahsoka giggled while her hand found her rotund womb as she replied: "Would this tendency have a chance of being inherited by our child?"
"I don't know. I'm no expert on genes." Seth replied.
Ahsoka laughed out loud as she retorted: "For your sake, I'd best hope they don't. Otherwise, I'll know who to blame."
Seth chuckled as he said: "Might not be so bad."
Ahsoka laughed again as she said: "This coming from the biggest troublemaker I know?"
"Uh, second biggest troublemaker you know. The biggest would be myself." Said another voice.
Ahsoka smiled as she said: "Almost forgot you, Roman. I've been dealing with Seth's mischief for two whole years I almost forgot you were the one that made him that way."
"Would you have it any other way?" Roman asked.
"No." Ahsoka said.
"Exactly." Roman said. "Well, we'll leave you for now. Just sit tight, and expect Seth back in your pants by the time we get back to Angel Island."
Ahsoka's cheeks reddened as she realised Roman's meaning, replying: "You are aware I'm pregnant, right? Haven't forgotten?"
"No I haven't. And may I remind you there are sex positions that can be utilised during pregnancy?" Roman asked teasingly.
Ahsoka sighed and said: "See you later, Roman." At this, she cut the comm, Roman's laughter the last thing she heard. Leaning against the side of the wall, she folded her arms, waiting to see whatever her friends were using as transport to appear on the landscape.
On the Imperial Shuttle…
"And why, just why did we have to rescue The Grand Inquisitor and the Colonel?!" The Third Brother complained as he paced the main cargo hold. "When we could have easily just left them to die?"
"Their wounds were not fatal;" Commander Stark replied. "Therefore, what would the point be?"
The Third Brother whirled around and snarled: "I was not addressing you, Commander!" Turning to The Second Sister, the Third Brother raised his arms in a condescendingly questioning manner, demanding: "So? Why did we have to rescue them? Hmm?"
"Like the Commander said, as their wounds were not fatal; there was little point." The Second Sister replied. "And besides, you know as well as I do how high an opinion both Lord Vader and the Emperor have of the Grand Inquisitor. I have little doubt they would be most displeased if we were discovered to have left them to die."
"Hmph." The Third Brother harrumphed. "That is something I have little care for. Were I in command, I would have left them to die. They deserve to pay that price for their failure."
"That's the thing;" The Second Sister said, standing up and facing her pompous colleague. "You're not in command."
The Third Brother scoffed as he said: "Such behaviour would get you whipped like a dog on Shili."
"We're not on Shili either." The Second Sister said. "So unless you wish me to forcibly remove your tongue and lower jaw, I suggest you sit down and keep your mouth shut for the rest of the journey."
The Third Brother folded his arms and remained standing. "Make me." He dared.
The Second Sister shrugged before connecting her fist to the Third Brother's jaw, staggering the Togruta. Pushing him, she forced him into a seat, saying: "There. Done." Letting go, she backed away, just as he shot out of his chair and made to charge.
But before any further hostilities could arise, a telekinetic push sent the Third Brother back into his seat, and strapped him in, and did the same for the Second Sister.
Both turned to see the one single Force wielder they knew in the room, that being the Grand Inquisitor, who was now wide awake, although lying on a stretcher. His right arm still hung uselessly at his side.
"Enough." The Grand Inquisitor said forcefully.
The Second Sister and Third Brother watched as the Grand Inquisitor swung himself into a sitting position, where he eyed the both of them.
"When did you wake?" The Second Sister asked.
Elias faced her before reaching out with his left hand towards the Third Brother, making a pincer of his good hand, which caused the Third Brother to start choking. "I came to around the time the Third Brother said: 'were I in command, I would have left them to die'." Standing up, but stumbling a little, Elias walked towards the Third Brother, and said: "Speak against me or a superior again, and I will make good on what the Second Sister threatened to do." Moving closer, Elias growled: "Is that clear?"
Glaring at the Grand Inquisitor, the Third Brother nodded, hatred festering in his gaze.
"Excellent." Elias said, releasing the arrogant Togruta. "Now, the threat also applies if you open your mouth to speak even once during the remainder of this flight." Walking over, he sat down on the stretcher he had only just been lying on, just as the cockpit door opened and Colonel Aryn entered, noticing Elias quickly.
"Eli-Grand Inquisitor. You've come to." Cersei said, smiling.
"So I have, Colonel Aryn." Elias said, also smiling. "So I have." In doing this, he failed to notice the Third Brother studying him and the colonel as they talked.
Are they? The Third Brother thought as he recognised the signs the Grand Inquisitor and the Colonel were showing. He'd seen those signs plenty of times on Shili among his friends and various female companions of theirs. Rapidly, a plan began forming in his head; One of revenge.
Meanwhile, Ruins of Artika Prison...
Roman stepped out of the troop transport to find Ahsoka having already ran over, kissing Seth passionately as she did.
"Thank the Force you're okay." She was saying. "When I heard the explosion, I feared the worst."
"Well," Roman said, "the worst didn't happen. So what's there to be worried about now?"
"Um, the fact that our enemies are still out there." Seth said. "And now they know you're still alive."
Roman shrugged. "Let them come. Because I know as much as any Freedom Fighter does that we'll be ready for them."
"Damn right." Came a familiar voice as Sally stepped out of the transport.
Roman smiled as he folded his arms. "You okay? Last I checked, you'd taken a lightsaber to the chest."
Sally chuckled as she felt the area Elias' blade had pierced her, saying: "I'm fine, really." Looking up, Sally added with a laugh: "Guess I can finally check getting stabbed with a lightsaber off of my bucket list."
Roman laughed as he said: "Beat you to it." Counting on his fingers, he held up all four fingers and his thumb, indicating the five times he'd been stabbed by a lightsaber and survived. "By five, I might add."
Sally rolled her eyes as she was joined by Sonic, who was followed out by Ashley.
Roman stepped over to her and wrapped his arms around her gently, feeling her snuggle into his shoulder.
"I still can't believe it." Ashley said. "That you're actually alive. It feels like the first time we met again. But… different."
Breaking the embrace, Roman lifted her chin to face him. "I feel that too." Brushing a stray hair behind her ear, Roman added: "But that doesn't matter. What matters is that we're here. Together."
Ashley fought down the urge her legs gave her to stumbled into his arms again at the emphasis Roman put on the word 'together', but her legs grew ever more wobbly when Roman added:
"And no matter what happens, this time, nothing, not even Elias, will ever tear us apart again." As he said this, Roman suddenly felt an all too familiar pull, one he had not felt for two years. Letting go, Roman allowed the pull to drag his face towards Ashley as he closed his eyes.
Ashley felt the same thing, and gave in, closing her eyes as their reunion was sealed, and their lips met for the first time in two years.
Seth was the first to notice, and accordingly began to clap, followed suit by the other members of the Freedom Fighters, who started cheering as the kiss between Roman and Ashley deepened.
Tears had begun to fall from both lovers eyes, as the dreams they had conjured up of some form of reunion were finally realised.
Hours of sleepless nights on Ashley's part were finally washed away with the tears of joy that were fountaining from her eyes, as she knew now that they had been for nothing.
And for Roman, the tears were of joy as well, as the aching, smarting void in his heart left by the absence of Ashley was finally filled to the full.
Breaking the kiss, they stared into one another's eyes, both pairs sending the same message to one another:
I love you.
Their romantic interlude was interrupted as Roman's shoulder was grabbed by Seth, who drew Roman into a hug, saying:
"And here I thought you once said you would never get a girlfriend." Shrugging, he added: "Then again, I never thought you would either."
Roman chuckled and wrapped his arm around Ashley's waist, drawing his lover closer. "Well, guess we were wrong about that." Allowing Ashley to tuck her head into his shoulder, he looked down, and said: "But in this instance, I'm glad we were wrong."
Seth smiled and clapped his longtime friend's shoulder, just as Sally was heard to say:
"Okay, Freedom Fighters: Let's go home!"
Roman smiled at this, and he and Ashley followed along, trailing behind the rest alongside Seth and Ahsoka. The two couples looked at one another, and they smiled. After a dark two years, things were finally beginning to look up for them. And while Elias and the Imperial presence on Mobius knew of Roman's survival, they, along with the Freedom Fighters, were ready for anything their enemies could throw at them.
And thus ends my ninth ever Fanfic. And how fitting it is to have this book be finished on Star Wars Day. Truth be told, I had no idea Star Wars Day was today.
Until about the middle of June I will be taking a hiatus from writing fanfics in order to focus on more important tasks both in life and in school, but rest assured, when that time comes, I will be back with my next fanfic, which will return to my Transformers and Sonic the Hedgehog series. I still haven't thought of a title yet, but I will soon.
Until then, please leave your reviews,(AND FOR THE LAST TIME, NO FLAMES!), and May the Force be with you. Always.
Also, May the Fourth be with you. Always.