Inside the strangers house, a few days ago.
Cal was getting restless. It was a day after Kanan left. He hasn't come back yet. The stranger barely interacted with him, only giving him food or drink. As he was sitting in "his" room, a woman appeared at the door, she was wearing mandalorian armor. He remembered her, but only from sight. What was her name? Something starting with S. . .
"Come on kid, I'm supposed to pick you up."
"I'm not a kid anymore."
"Whatever you say. By the way, the name's Sabine."
"Alright Cal, we're gonna need to get back to the ship, the ghost. Just follow my lead." Cal shrugged and followed her. It was the same routine, get on a speeder bike and ride a few hours in one direction. They reached the ghost. It was in the same state that Cal and Kanan left it in. Sabine sat in the pilot's seat. She struggled a bit, clearly not used to flying the ship. But she did manage to take off. She then turned to Cal and said:
"Have you ever used a turbo laser cannon before?"
"N-no." Cal answered feebly.
"Well you're gonna get a quick crash course on it. The sights are built into the gun, can't miss 'em, you press the big red buttons to fire. Fire a bit before a ship if it's flying to compensate for the movement, you'll get the hang of it."
"Why are you telling me this?!"
"We're gonna have to do a blockade run, don't worry, we've done it before."
"Were you piloting then?"
"Well. . . not precisely. . . but I did see Hera do it, that should be enough, right?"
"It sounds, we're gonna die."
"Hey! We're not gonna die! I hope. Now go get on that cannon!" And so, they flew out of the atmosphere. They saw a blockade of a few Imperial class cruisers. They were almost immediately spotted, and a TIE fighter squadron was launched. "Get those new skills to good use, kid!"
'What have I gotten myself into. . .' Cal thought. He missed the first fighter, but the pilot also missed them. Then he scratched the second one. They were doing some weird maneuvers, or maybe it was just Sabine's inability to fly a ship like this. He had one right on his sights and fired. . . just as they went into hyperspace.
"You alright down there?" Sabine yelled. "You can come up here if you want to." Cal saw Sabine sitting in the pilot seat. Only now did he notice that the droid, chopper was also with them. "Woo hoo! We made it!" She said in a dull and sarcastic voice with a faint smirk on her face. Cal didn't look joyful like her. "What's the matter?" She asked.
"Why are you doing this?" Cal asked.
"Doing what?" Sabine answered in confusion.
"Helping me, I'm just some random kid. You, Kanan, Hera, Zeb. I mean I even don't know half of you! I know I have the force and all of that, but there must be something more than that! You could've just leaft me on the side of the street. . . but you didn't, why?"
"It's. . . complicated." Cal waved it off and walked away.
Meanwhile at Darro's cave.
Darro wasn't exactly sure what his next move should be. . . Well, he did now that he probably should start building a new Sith academy of sorts, to bring back the glory of the sith of old. . . but how? Even though he already knew a lot about the force, (Or at least he thought so.) he still knew very little about lightsaber combat, having problems with grasping the basics as the holocron was mostly about the force, not combat. Maybe he should search for more holocrons? An information dealer would probably be a good start. He only hoped that the one he had in mind survived the battle of the Capital. . .
He was at the Capital. It didn't take him much effort as in the chaos of the aftermath of the battle, a lot of people didn't know that he was technically MIA and he still had his uniform and rank insignia which allowed him to easily go past the outposts. He stopped as he stood right outside the house of the informant.
'damn it' He thought as he saw a body of a bothan lying by the wall. He came closer. It was him, dead. Firing squad it looked like, no wonder. He dealt with everybody no matter the affiliation.
'Didn't he adopt some kid recently? Maybe he knows something?' He walked towards the door. It slowly creeked open. He didn't see anyone at first but then. . . He saw somebody rummaging through different things.
Darro stood there for about a second and then quietly made his way behind the man. He then ignited his lightsaber and with one swift move had it by the man's neck, who he now could see was a rodian.
"Who are you, and what are you doing here?"
"I- I- Just- I a-"
"Spit it out already."
"I am a friend! I collect. . . work material of friend!"
"Yeah? The one rotting outside?"
"Uhhh, I wouldn't use such term, but yes!"
"Do you also trade with information?"
"I am collector of information! Listen to rumors, borrow. . . get material from dead friends, then I sell to good traders."
"Can you lead me to such. . . trader?"
"Of course! As long as you will not kill me!"
"deal." Darro then turned off his lightsaber and let the man go.
"Yes, yes thank you! I will repay!" Darro gestured at him to lead. He followed him through the destroyed city for a few minutes until finally coming to a house.
"In there! Go right ahead!" Darro looked at him and went into the house. It was dark, with the only light coming in through cracks in the walls. Something was wrong. He felt someone to his right he ignited his lightsaber and took a defensive stance towards the person. In the crimson light he saw a terrified Weequay who was holding a blaster in his hand. The weequay had no time to react as Darro swiftly cut him down and doged a blaster bolt coming from the other side of the room. He threw his lightsaber at where the bolt came from and heard a scream, he got him. He felt nobody else's presence other than the Rodian still standing scared in the doorway. Darro summoned his lightsaber with the force and then started to force choke the Rodian.
"You little, lying, fucking rat!" He said as the Rodian choked. "Where is he!?" He felt it, a cold barrel of a blaster on his temple. The person behind started to say something but Darro quickly turned on his lightsaber and in a second had the man's throat at the edge of it. But in his quick movements he didn't even notice as he accidentaly cut the Rodian's throat who now slumped onto the floor with a terrified expression on his face. "Enough of these fucking games, where is the information dealer?!"
"Hey, hey, calm down a bit, will ya! We weren't trying to kill you! No, no, no! The blasters were set to stun, you must understand!" Said a Bothan who now dropped his pistol.
"Right, right! You're. . . holding him at a lightsaber's point!
"I need information, about rare things."
"Yes, yes, of course, why would you be looking for an information dealer otherwise? But all information has it's price!"
"Very well! You are very generous! Just maybe don't strangle me as much? Easier to talk that way!" Darro turned off his lightsaber.
"Yes, good! Let sit down by table? It's right next to. . . dead colleague. . . no matter! Can always move body! Table is nailed to the floor." The Bothan kicked the body aside and sat down on the table. Darro preferred to stand. "So! What is you looking for?" Darro placed a holocron on the table.
"Another one of those."
"Hmmm, very interesting, yes, very. Is holocron, yes? I hear. . . but this one look different. Older. . . I heard of it. . . Sath?
"Sith." Darro corrected him.
"Yes! Sith holocron, very rare. . . don't know where to definetly find, but know location of. . . temple, Sith temple, old, very old. If not find holocron, might find something that will lead to another holocron."
"Malachor in Chorlian sector."
"Well then thank you for your time." Darro said as he ignited his lightsaber.
"What about the deal!?"
"Consider the deal off."
Meanwhile at Gaiden's office.
Gaiden was going about his usual buisness, the planet still was in disarray and a lot of paperwork needed to be done, people appointed, things like that. Jack's droid was standing in the corner of the room, it was standing like a normal droid, seemingly lifeless. Jack often was in this state. Doing whatever he did, it creeped Gaiden out.
Suddenly as Gaiden looked up from his paper work, his heart skipped a beat as he saw Jack standing right in front of him.
"GAH! Don't- Don't ever do that again."
"Ahahah! I just like looking at your face when you shit your pants."
"Ah f- whatever. What is it?"
"I have our next target, the Atollon. system." Jack said as he pulled up a map of their region in the galaxy.
'He can just do that?' Gaiden thought to himself, Maybe he didn't entirely grasp Jack's hold on. . . everything, it seemed like.
"Yeah. . . what about it? There's nothing in it, it's not inhabited."
"You know, I don't forbid you from thinking, right? Nevermind, It's a strategic location. The Empire, if they have any grasp on what strategy is, will most likely attack us from two sides, the obvious hyperlane route and the Atollon system. They also will have most of their transport ships there, meaning that they can simply invade the planet right under our noses and force our fleet to surrender. So if we attack there, we'll cripple their ability to invade us for at least a few months."
"You're talking about it like you know it for sure. . ."
"Well. . . it's all hypothetically speaking, ya know?"
"Rrright. . . "
On the Ghost
Cal was sitting in a room on the "Ghost" which he claimed for himself. He didn't really have much to do during the travel, so he was thinking, thinking about the force, what happened in the last few days and what was going to happen next. Then, suddenly, he snapped out of his thinking state as the ship's intercom came to life and Sabine said:
"Hey, uhhhh. . . we're being pulled out of hyperspace, probably an Imperial checkpoint, or something. . . just act normal and leave the talking to me."
After a few minutes they were being boarded and Cal stepped out of his room to see two stormtroopers and an officer standing in their hallway and Sabine staring them down, with her helmet on.
"Well hello there" Said the officer. "I hope we won't have to get our hands dirty, the less dead the better."
"Of course not, I'm just a free lancer, and I don't plan on dying, at least not today." Sabine said. The officer turned towards Cal.
"And who are you?"
"He's just my passe-" The officer raised his hand, still looking at Cal.
"I want to hear it from him." Cal looked at Sabine and then at the officer.
"She's a rebel, she kidnapped me!" Cal quickly blurted out. The officer turned, nearly snapping his neck just as Sabine was reaching for her blasters, but she wasn't fast enough, as the two stormtroopers simultaneously hit her with stuns.
"Good job, disarm her and take her to a holding cell. And you, do you have any idea why she kidnapped you?"
"My father is in the navy. . . he's an officer, maybe they wanted to ransom me?"
"Hmpf, a likely story. . . Well, either way you'll stay here, until we can confirm or deny it." He snapped his fingers at a civilian contract worker. "Find some place for the boy to be for the time being, will you?" The worker nodded and took Cal away.
On the way to the Atollon system
"How much longer?" Gaiden asked one of the crewmen on the bridge.
"Around 5 minutes, sir." replied the man. Gaiden nodded and turned on the comms to the other ships. The holograms of a few officers appeared.
"Remember, we need to hit them hard and fast. Aim for the shield generators, they'll most likely have their shields mostly off as they're not expecting us. At the most they'll have one Cruiser protecting the rest on the planet surface, shoot down any that try to get out of the atmosphere."
The officers nodded in agreement and the holograms flickered for a second and then dissapeared. they were probably fed up with Gaiden telling him the same thing for the 5th time. . . But no matter, he wanted, no, needed to do this perfectly. If they succeeded they would have around 22 thousand stormtroopers and 28 thousand captured Imperial army troops. The Empire's reputation would fall drastically in the eyes of the populace, they would try to cover it of course, but Handsome Jack had his ways. And Hyperion would have tokens to negotiate with. They came out of hyperspace. They saw an Imperial ship in the planets orbit, it wasn't even facing them.
"We can't give them any time to react, I want every gun to fire on them as we come closer!" The Imperial ship was caught completely off guard. It was ripped apart explosion after explosion by the Hyperion ship's turbolasers as it turned towards them. The shield generators were the first to go, just as expected. The ship quickly fell apart and was no threat. Gaiden smiled. "Now all we need to do is get any that try to take off from the surface and give them an offer of surrender."
They flew closer, destroying a few smaller transport ships that were trying to get away. The enemy was dug in, had a whole planet, they could probably hold out for years if they needed. . .
"I want our ships to fire at the ground forces, thin them out. Send someone over to my office when you're finished."
Gaiden sat in his office, looking at a relay of the planet being bombarded. A hologram of Jack appeared behind him.
"Amazing, isn't it? Each of the red flashes takes away hundreds, if not thousands of lives. . . 50 thousand men down there. . . 22 thousands of those are stormtroopers, the crack troops of the Empire. . . and they have some tens of billions of those. twenty thousand on Lothal before this started, we have eleven thousand on our side. . . And the normal troops? We got less than thirty thousands of those, while the empire. . . well, I doubt they themselves know the number, but a trillion at the least. . . It's a long way ahead, and these guys are just like bandits. . . common scum of the earth. Go ahead, kill them all."
The red dots stopped. Gaiden pressed the comlink button.
"Don't stop, continue the bombardment until I say to stop."
Well then, I retured from my. . . eight and a half month break, see ya in a year! (Hopefully not(As in sooner not later.(Sorry)))