Lightning exploded up and down his back, muscles writhing in pure agony as he tried to hold in a scream.
"Where. Are. The rebels," the Inquisitor growled, releasing the control for a moment.
Gasping for breath, Ezra managed to glare up at him, fear and pain pooling, barely concealed by his defiant smirk. "I'll never tell you, gravel face."
The tall, grey-skinned Inquisitor scowled maliciously. Suddenly, his demeanor changed, adopting a cold smirk. Ezra's own confident expression faltered, eyes widening in fear. "Then maybe you'd prefer the torture droid."
On cue, a disk-like droid floated through the door, Ezra straining against his bonds to glimpse any hint of the world outside the chamber. Grinning, the Fifth Brother slammed his thumb onto the trigger, finally wrenching a terrified scream from the rebellious child. Ha! rebellious, rebellion… he casually shook his head. That couldn't even be called a bad pun. Oh yes, the child. Releasing the trigger, the Fifth Brother stepped aside so the droid could have better access. Waving a hand, he said, "See if you get an answer from him. There are other things to do." Fifth Brother grinned coldly as he caught the boy's terrified expression as he briskly walked out. A gut-wrenching scream followed, making the man pause for a moment, straining to hear the classic squelch of the droid doing its job.
"Specter 1 to Specter 4 and 5, I need that distraction." Kanan nervously watched from just inside the hangar as Stormtroopers patrolled the hall, nearing his position.
"Little busy, Specter 1," his com buzzed. "Give me a sec and Specter 4 will be in position."
"We don't have a sec, Specters," Kanan growled, hoping to the Force they were going easy since Ezra was just a kid. Boom!
"Explosion in Bay 3. Units 4 through 8 report for containment and possible infiltration," the stormtroopers' coms crackled. The unit immediately took off to Sabine and Zeb's location.
"Specter 4, 5, looks like you've got company. Move back to Ghost and I'll get Specter 6." Kanan broke into a run, carefully sending out Force tendrils to search for Ezra. Come on, where are you, kid. He searched every corridor, doubly worried since he had stopped sensing the kid two days ago. They managed to track him to a step below Mustafar, thankfully, but the orders were to transfer him to the dreaded planet if he still wasn't cooperating after a week. Suddenly, Kanan felt a ping in the Force. A weak tug directly upwards. "Gotcha," Kanan breathed, pausing a moment before sprinting to the lift. "I'm coming, kid."
Coughing up blood, Ezra barely summoned the energy to glare at the leaving droid. Spitting blood at it, he felt a spark of hope as the Force seemed just out of reach. Desperately grasping at it again, Ezra felt something tug lightly, testingly at his mind, instantly making him recoil, throwing up as much of a mental barrier as he could. It wasn't much, but pain was so great managed to construct a weak barrier from it. Ezra shivered, focusing on anything but what they wanted. That first time… he flinched at the memory, gasping as his ribs and arms exploded in pain at the tiny motion. At least they didn't learn much from the Seventh Sister getting through. Otherwise they wouldn't still be torturing him... Right? Shivering at the thought, Ezra bit his lip, curling his toes and starting to tremble at the pain coursing through him like the waves of lightning. He almost chuckled at the thought of that being painful. That first week was nothing compared to-
Ezra ducked his head as the door opened, panting heavily as he used the pain to reinforce his barriers. They might not stop whoever is next but, but at least…
"Ezra." That voice… Ezra frowned, he knew that soft voice from somewhere. "Ezra, everything's going to be all right, I'm, we're, here now."
"K-Kanan?" Ezra looked up, confused. Then it dawned on him. "Y-you're not r-real. J-just another i-illusion." He glared at the halucination's confused, shocked expression. "Y-you can't tr-trick me. I w-wont tell Y-you anyth-thing!" For extra measure, he spat blood at the not-man.
The illusion's expression softened as it had before, "Ezra, it's me, Kanan. We're getting you out of here."
Ezra stared icily at him, collapsing as the thing undid his bonds. "I-I'm still n-not telling you n-nothing" He trembled in the illusion's arms, might as well play along unil whatever drug they gave him this time wears off. Not like he can do anything to resist at this point, anyways.
Not-Kanan looked at him sadly, "Kid, what do I need to do to prove that I'm the real Kanan?"
Ezra sighed, wincing as not-Kanan lifted him to his feet. "Fine. Tell me something only Kanan and I would know." Ezra glared at the apparition. "And don't even think about trying the name thing again."
As he half-carried, half-walked him out of the room, not-Kanan thought carefully. "When we were looking for Master Luminara, you thought I was going to abandon you. When the mission was over and we were back on Lothal, you left the Ghost and went underneath the ramp for a little while. When I found you, you said, 'Look, don't bother saying it. I'm letting you off the hook.' I asked what you were talking about, so you said, 'I know you wanted to dump me on Luminara. Just 'cause she's gone doesn't mean you're stuck with me.' I said I don't want to dump you-"
"And that you just wanted me to have the best teacher," Ezra whispered, sending him into a coughing fit that was just as painful as it looked. He looked up at Kanan, hope bringing a bit of color back to his pale eyes.
"Welcome back, kid," Kanan said softly.
"Aw, how sweet," a sickening voice brought their attention back to their escape route. Which was now blocked by the Seventh Sister. Ezra froze, terror spiking as he tried to focus on his one constant, pain, to shield his mind. The woman smirked, relishing in his dark force signature. Kanan looked at him, concerned, as he tried to figure out how to fight with his kid on one arm.
"Run," Ezra whispered hoarsely. Kanan jumped, glaring lightly at him. Ezra gazed back up pleadingly. "Nether of us will get out if you stay. I can't…" Tears threatened to spill as he ducked his head, the words coming too soon still. Ezra cursed himself inwardly. This could be the last time- he gasped as he felt the Seventh Sister attack his mind, sending him reeling back into the streets of Lothal, his refuge. Throwing up flimsy barricades, Ezra tried to focus on something, anything that could last as a barrier. Biting his lip, Ezra suddenly felt the debilitating pain return with a vengeance, giving him something to hold on to, to fight back with.
Strengthening his resolve, Ezra through all of his pain at the Mirialan. Surprised, she was thrown back a block by the sheer force. Quickly recovering, she splintered minor probes out to search for more information, only to have them met with the same Force wall. What felt like likes massive earthquake forced them both back to the front of their minds, to the fight taking place. Ezra sat up against a wall, muffin a cry of pain as the movement aggravated his injuries. Kanan deflected laser bolts from stormtroopers on one end of the hall while firing with Ezra's lightsaber-blaster at the Inquisitors on the other end.
"Specter 1, where are you?" Kanan's com crackled to life.
"We're pinned down just outside cell… 438. Inquisitor on one side, bucket heads on the other."
"I'm sending Specters 4 and 5. Don't even think about saying no, Specter 1." Hera sounded pissed.
"Specter. 1. NO BU-" Kanan sighed, hoping they came from the right side as the coms went out. "Looks like we're on our own for now," Kanan muttered. He cries out, left knee almost buckling as he takes a shot to the leg.
Ezra winced and risked a glance to Seventh Sister, who grinned like a madman. At Kanan. Eyes wide, Ezra tries to warn Kanan as timr seems to slow down, the Mirialan raising her blaster as Kanan's distracted trying to keep deflecting the bucketheads' shots while shooting down the hall.
Feeling an immense surge of power rising, Ezra feels his connection to the force expanding exponentially, a weird, crackling energy rising from his core to his finger tips before exploding in both directions as he weakly screams "NOOO!"
Eyes widening, he watches in horror as icy blue lightening erupts from his fingertips at the Inquisitors and bucketheads. It holds for barely a second, knocking out the troopers and dazing the Inquisitors. Drained of all energy, Ezra slumps back against the wall, head hitting with a soft thud.
Kanan freezes in shock at Ezra's outburst. Seventh Sister is the first to speak, her voice cracking from the energy still coursing through her veins, "We did it. We broke him!" She laughs, a dark chuckle at first before it gradually turns into a full, maniacal laugh. Shocked, Kanan stuns both of them with Ezra's blaster before picking the kid up bridal style, wincing at the kid's involuntary moan of pain. "It's okay, everything's going to be okay," he mostly reassures himself. Racing past the Inquisitors, he has to wait for the lift carrying Specters 4 and 5 to come up before he jumps in, smashing a finger into the Ghost's floor twice taking them directly there.
Not a word is said, at least nothing he hears We broke him. The Mirialan's words played over and over in his head. Was she right? This was the second time Ezra used the Dark Side. Maybe it was Kanan. Maybe he was bringing out the darkness in the boy. Shaking his head at the thought, Kanan ran all the way to the Ghost's medbay, a small room with barely enough equipment for them. Zeb or Sabine must have told Hera to take off, because soon he felt the stomach-dropping sensation of entering hyperspace.
Quickly attaching Ezra to the IV and heart monitor they had set up in anticipation of their success, Kanan set to work assessing the kid's wounds. Burns from the electricity, lasserations and bruises and… and broken bones from, from the… Hera rushed to his side, gently pushing him away as she started tending to Ezra's wounds. They were bad, worse than his. Why… how can anyone do this to a kid?
Kanan didn't realize he had said this aloud until Hera glanced up at him sadly, fury raging like a wildfire in those emerald eyes. "I don't know, love. I don't know how they could do this to anyone."
(A/N Man, it's been forever since I've written a fictional piece in distant third person. Feels kinda weird… that's how this started, though, so I couldn't exactly change it halfway through - and yes, that is kind of a big no-no in writing
This is after a prompt by Shell-Shocked-NinjaTurtleGal:
A star wars rebels fic where, during a mission gone wrong (well, this is sorta one), Ezra taps into the Dark Side in front of one/both the Inquisitors and/or Darth Vader. The fic MUST show the reaction(s) of at least one of these. Also, the fic MUST emphasize Ezra's strong connection to the Force.
Concept of what the mind is like to telepathy is inspired by truth. Jk, it's inspired by a combination of the series "Young Justice" and the Inheritance Cycle)