"Sparks, let's get going." Connor whispered to his R2 droid before he leaned back in his seat and stared out of the cockpit at the clear sky, and double suns that made up of the Tatooine sky. His last job with Jabba was done, just Jabba didn't know that yet and that was fine by him, once he found out though was going to be the problem. Rarely anyone got to walk away from him and say that they were done, if they tried they were usually killed or found at the bottom of the Rancors pit, only evidence was the leftover bones. He was making it now and didn't want his luck to turn up. Not to mention his payout this time was rather handsome and wanted to be alive to spend it. Not to mention with everything he got a tip from a source he was going to have to follow up, it was a now or never type deal to as the assets were going to be moving the next day if it wasn't dealt with. Kicking his feet up as his droid continued to pilot the ship out of the planet's atmosphere and into orbit.
"Once we reach safe distance and don't have to worry about eavesdroppers, patch me into a secured channel with Hera." Connor ordered Sparks before closing his eyes for a second, taking a deep breath he could picture his last job scene by scene as if it all was happening all over again at that very moment. Most of all though was the sheer look of surprise that had crossed his face when he boarded the grounded Baleen that he had disabled earlier and made the crew abandoned ship who in reality were actually undercover Imperial soldiers. Walking inside of the large cargo hold he came face to face with six AT-TE walkers from the clone wars along with three AT-AP walkers and several of the smaller AT-RT and crates on crates of clone wars era weapons and military equipment. After that the job had been simple as he contacted the people he was informed to do so and a hour later, three ships landed next to it. Two Z-95 Headhunter starfighters, and a Auzituck, more commonly known as a Wookiee Gunship. Walking out of the ship was a pale, female Zabrak, female Frenk, female Theelin, followed by a male black furred Wookiee, who had in each arm a sizeable crate, and bringing up the rear a male Kyuzo who had two more crates one on top the other with both arms.
It turned out that Jabba had been the middle man and sent Connor to bring the ship down, while the second half were these six who would take over and protect the ships and goods until their own employer would four crates were all filled to the lid with credits and were to pay for his silence, that he saw nothing inside of the ship and not to tell Jabba either. He wondered who the employer for them was but decided best not to ask, and collected the credits. After putting the last crate inside of his ship, he walked outside again to bid his goodbyes when the female Zabrak had pulled him to the side and warned him of deciding to run his mouth, even after getting paid, along with saying the she would have rather killed him for his silence then having her employers pay him off. After that talk which was rather one sided as he hadn't been allowed to say a word bid them all a pleasant farewell and returned to Jabba's palace upon which he kept his word and didn't speak of his job other than to confirm that he had finished it without a hitch. Jabba had been paid a small fortune and with that had given Connor a decent amount now which led to Connor now leaving with now his own small fortune in his cargo hold, along with all the rest of the money that he had saved and kept back at his hideout.
Snapping out of his trance he was drawn to Sparks who got his attention with several loud warbs and beeps telling him he was about to start trying to reach Hera. Connor nodded and was ready, slightly sitting up in his seat and grabbing his headset, slipping it over his head and waited patiently. Finally he heard a voice on the other end and knew that she had picked up, smiling to himself slightly as it had felt like forever since he last seen her, when he did his first smuggling mission with her, as she had pretty much gotten him into smuggling which later caught Jabba's attention leading to his recruitment. Sparks again let out a low series of long and short beeps informing Connor that the encryption was working and no one would be listening in unless the encryption was broken.
"Connor it's good to hear from you been to long honestly, things are changing. I take it you've heard?" Hera asked him which Connor let out a soft chuckle and nodded even though he knew she wouldn't be able to see him doing so. Connor spun his chair for a second before coming to a stop as he continued to stare out of the cockpit, waiting a couple more seconds before finally speaking into his headset.
"Yeah I've been hearing all sorts of things, sounds like you all are causing all sorts of trouble for the empire in open rebellion. I've honestly got to give you congrats as you've been doing a hell of a job. I called though because I may have a job, it's honestly a simple one should be an in and out I just need bodies and another droid for the operation. If you're willing to meet, I'll give you and your entire crew the brief up front and in person." He explained as he was honestly not wanting to have a long conversation so if she was ready and interested he could start plotting a course for a jump and be ready to meet up. He waited for a couple of minutes and almost thought they were disconnected until finally she came back onto the radio.
"Alright we're willing to listen, where do you want to meet up at?"
"If you can make it how about we meet near Dantooine?"
"We'll be there within the day. Be seeing you soon." With that her radio clicked off along with his. Before he could even get the words out of his mouth Sparks already set the coordinates inside of the ship and with that caused the jump to hyperspace. Connors small smirk formed into a full and goofy grin, turning his head and patting Sparks on top of his dome before leaning back and closing his eyes again. The problem was not even five minutes later had he passed out and was in a deep slumber.
"Connor you there?!" A yell blasted through his ears as he jolted awake, covered in a thin layer of sweat and his hand dropped down to his leg gripping his blaster pistol, his eyes wide and jerking from side to side looking for a target. After a few seconds he realized he was still in the safety of his ship and saw the ever enlarging Ghost appearing in his sight. Connor turned his head and glared at the now sniggering droid and smacked it. Having a rather unnerving dream or vision he wasn't sure which one it was, he waited and tried to have the adrenaline leave his system but realized the the attempts were rather futile and just sighed to himself with this. Grumbling to himself and telling Sparks they were going to have a talk later, he made sure his headset was still active before speaking into it.
"Sorry Hera was knocked out, haven't caught sleep until now it seems, what's the problem?" He asked sensing the worry and alarm in her voice when he finally had woken up to her yelling at him.
"Were picking up several large ships behind the moon and it seems that one of them has dispatched a squadron of fighters. You forget to mention something to us?" She asked him and he swore he could hear a slight hint of accusation, almost as if she were accusing him of selling her out or leading her there for a ambush. His heart racing again as he cursed himself for not having thought ahead, excused himself and opened up a secondary private channel and began speaking into it immediately.
"This is Shadow Leader, someone respond immediately."
"Shadow Leader this is the Hawthorne. You came at a hell of a time sir, we've picked up another ship out there close to your proximity and have deployed Onyx Squadron to provide support over." A grizzled voice responded with a sense of glee as if he had done proud to his father by being proactive and not having to ask someone for permission first.
"Hawthorne call off those fighters immediately the ship is here with my permission, and as such is a guest. Secondly where is Shadow One, I need to make contact with him immediately." Connor responded as he gently guided his ship to the Ghost and connected his hatch with theirs hearing the resounding thud of both connecting.
"My apologies sir I was not informed none of us were in honesty, but recalling fighter squadron immediately. As for Shadow One he is currently leading a strike force on the Tie facility we had discovered over Nar Shaddaa. And said he would not be making contact until the mission was complete." Connor hearing this sighed and cursed the old man for his proactive outlook on sticking it to the Empire.
"Roger just keep an eye on us, and I want every ship to have its ears open and as soon as Shadow One makes contact I want to be the first one knowing." Connor ordered before taking off the headset and slowly stood up stretching his legs and hearing his legs crackle slightly from all the popping in it from the lack of activity during his sleep. Glaring at Sparks who was still snickering and chuckling in its droid language in the corner, received a kick to its chassis while he walked by. Stopping at a locker before he exited, he slightly hesitated leaving it alone, before he opened it and reached inside, feeling his hands wrap around and grip the familiar cylinder before pulling it out and staring at the silver object and then clipped the lightsaber to his belt. Continuing on now with it also hanging on his belt and the weight feeling almost reassuring to him, he smiled reaching the airlock just in time to hear a clanging on it and again realized another mistake of not relaying to Hera that the ships were called off.
"She can figure it out herself once she realizes the ships had turned around and were heading back from where they came from, and those larger ships weren't moving in an attack formation." Reaching the airlock he wondered who was banging, out of the crew he had met it was most likely either Zeb or Chopper being annoying or wanting him to hurry as the rest were probably going to bombard him with even more questions now that the ships hadn't attacked and he had a hand in it. His thoughts drifted to Sabine, the young mandalorian and the moments they had shared in what only a very loose definition of a unspoken relationship between the two. Something over the seven years that had blossomed but both agreed not to hold it against each other if they pursued other romantic relationships, but when together for him anyways as he had never asked her, but for him he always felt full and true with her. Like everything was just perfect when she was around him and he couldn't possibly lose himself. Smiling now like a idiot his head slapped the airlock control and the door opened showing the small bridge that had connected the two ships and was now looking into the eyes of none other than Sabine herself who was grinning her own goofy way.
"Going to stand there with your mouth open the whole time, or you going to invite me in stud?" She asked with a smirk, extending a arm back before pressing forward and slamming a slight forceful yet playful punch to his chest, throwing him off balance as he wasn't even close to expecting that. One of his arms reached out and wrapped around her to try and catch himself for support but ended up throwing her off balance as well, leading her to crash into him and both crashing down to deck, him first and then her ontop of him, both of his hands resting on her hips, while her own on each side of his head. Deep and slow breaths slowly began as each made eye contact almost immediately as his eyes opened and searched for hers. Slowly one of his hands removed itself from her hip and gently raised to her cheek, slowly pushing her bangs and hair out of her eyes and behind one of her ears, before resting on her cheek.
"Really should work on your balance at times." She teased him and smiled widely as his eyes locked onto hers still. He gently leaned forward and hesitantly pressed his lips to hers, she responded happily into the kiss and returned it. Even after everything that has happened between the two he was still nervous in showing any type of affection to her, they were always away from each other and even though he knew they agreed not to commit he still didn't want to press it and she ended up being offended. After a couple of seconds he allowed himself to relax and placed a hand to rest on her hip. After about a minute of a very slow but heated kiss, a slight uncomfortable clearing of the throat could be heard, causing both to separate and turn back to the hatch to see Zeb and someone Connor hadn't seen before standing in it. The one Connor didn't know was slightly glaring it seemed causing himself to raise an eyebrow before Sabine climbed off and helped him up as well.
"Well looked what the Nexu dragged in, Zeb how you been?" He asked as he gained his composure and walked over extending his hand. Zeb of course just chuckled before bringing him into a hug actually, lifting Connor off of the ground and chuckling even more. Connor smiled as he had missed the Losat as well, the Ghost crew in general actually as it had always felt like a family to him, but both had went there separate ways. Hera devoting herself to the slowly forming rebellion, while Connor went more into smuggling and only recently joining the rebellion himself but with his own group. Zeb after a few seconds set him back down and began to lead him into the ship, not even bothering to introduce Connor to the other guy and finally responding.
"Not too bad, just giving the Empire a good black eye every now and then. How about you? Heard you got into a rough crowd is it true? Working for Jabba himself?" Zeb asked causing Connor's smile to droop slightly as it was a sore subject. They didn't necessarily approve of him working with Jabba but at the same time respected he was doing and at least we're thankful for him not going into the assassin or bounty hunting business for blood, Hera had kept begging Connor to join the crew and rebellion, but he had declined not wanting to give into his anger and hate that had stayed inside of him for so many years.
"I had been but I finally left to be honest, I am no longer apart of his group he just doesn't know it yet but I have something else to work for now, which if I'm guessing correctly Hera is going to be questioning me and it's going to come out of the bag sooner rather than later. " He joked with Zeb causing him to look at him confused, before he could clarify and elaborate he had reached the inside of the Ghost and saw the rest of the crew waiting for him at the hatch. Connor smiled and with a chuckle quickly extended his hand and meeting Kanan's shaking it firmly before looking at Hera who had a stern look about her as she walked over to him as well and placed her hands on her hips.
"Want to explain what just happened earlier and how the fighter squadron just happened to turn and run as soon as I told you they were approaching?" She asked immediately causing Kanan to roll his eyes in annoyance and only causing Connor to chuckle at her question.
"Well that's a fine how do you do after having been apart for so long, and as for the question sure I'll explain myself after I tell you about the job and we head to your cockpit to discuss it if you don't mind." He told her in return causing everyone to raise a eyebrow at this before looking at Hera nervously.
"Sure I guess, only reason right now is they weren't Ties I know that much and I know you wouldn't sell us out after everything. I trust you Connor always have and always will after everything we've been through." She replied softly her posture having relaxed but she still was glaring at him as if she was expecting something that was to jeopardize the relationship the two had. Before he could even take a step further the kid he didn't recognize or know started to blurt out, clearly agitated at how Connor had just so easily won Hera over.
"Does anyone want to explain who this guy is? We show up after him telling us that he has a job for us and wants to talk it over. We then show up and a fighter squadron starts heading our way along with several ships hidden, and then soon as we tell him they just turn around? Who is he?" He asked again causing Kanan to give him a stern look of his own before starting to speak as he pointed out the lightsaber on Connor's belt.
"If you had used the Force and waited before just barging over to the ship, you would have at least realized that he's a force user." He turned and gave Connor a apologetic look for just putting his secret out in the open but everyone there knew it except obviously the new kid so Connor just waved him off understanding completely. Turning back to the new kid Kanan continued to speak to him. "His names Connor he first worked with Hera when he was younger and none of us knew her. He continued even after she found me and we were getting the crew together then a couple of years ago he went his own path and we still worked together every now and then. He's a good ally and a great friend to us all. So Ezra this is Connor, Connor this is Ezra my apprentice." Kanan introduced to each other causing Connor to slightly smirk as he walked over and extended his hand seeing Ezra's face obviously embarrassed along with being frustrated with him being called out as he had been.
"Well great to meet you Ezra, you're lucky to have him as a Master, he's a great guy and an even better teacher. He taught me a few things when I was younger and first met him with Hera." Turning to everyone else he started to head towards the Ghost's bridge after shaking his hand. He seemed like a ok kid from what he could tell already but at the same time something about him had rubbed Connor the wrong way just from the outburst and introduction. He use to be like that as well acting out that wasn't the issue it was how he assumed that he was a stranger right off the bat and shouldn't be treated like the crew was treating him currently. Connor was continuing to walk towards the bridge passing Chopper and quickly stepped to the side and avoided Choppers blow to the knee that had become a traditional greeting from the droid. Chopper let out a exclaimed warbled and both of its claw arms came out and flapped up and down flabbergasted that Connor had dodged the blow this time.
Reaching the cockpit Connor walked over to the pilot's console and typed in a few commands and had the ship moving before one of them entered the cockpit. Finally Hera did first and shot him another look but let him do continue before sitting down in the pilot's seat, while he walked over and sat in the co-pilot's seat slightly swiveling it around so he could look at everyone. Slowly everyone else filed into the cockpit while Zeb hung back and leaned against the doorway, all eyes on Connor as he eyed them all before turning back to Hera.
"Well not going to waste anytime so I'll jump right into the mission first. I've found word of a few ships that are scheduled for decommissioning and scrapped. Now I know this sounds weird but I don't want these ships to reach that destination, I can think of several better uses and areas they can be used for. Now the ships are all linked together by a slave system, problem is all three ships need the hyperspace engines activated allowing the main ship to send the message so all ships can jump to the same coordinates established for the jump to hyperspace or else that will be the only ship jumping." Connor explained as the crew looked at each other skeptically.
"What type of ships are we talking about exactly? Some luxury craft, a few old freighters?" Kanan asked confused as this was probably sounding even more bizarre than the usual jobs they took. Connor looked at him almost with a apologetic look and swallowed nervously.
"A Dreadnaught and two Acclamators, all still loaded with vehicles and equipment." He explained and quickly saw Kanan tense as it was explained his face hardening as it most likely was bringing back memories already. Everyone else knew the ships as well except Ezra for some reason and each of the faces had a different but what caught Connors attention the most was Sabine's face of excitement it seemed.
"So let me get this straight, you want to have us all go with you so you can capture and take three old warships? For what exactly planning on starting your own private army or something?" He asked him sarcastically with a growl.
"To be technical not starting a army per say but more as of reinforcing it." He told them and this time it was Hera who perked up before turning out the cockpit as something caught her eye before widening and a small gasp escaped her lips before turning back to Connor and gave his arm a slap.
"Connor Lucas O'Reily what in the universe have you been up to?" She asked with a shout causing everyone to take a step back as she was set off now. While she continued to glare at him fuming, Kanan walked to the front of the cockpit as well to get a closer look at what set her off. In front of them around the planet that Connor had set the slow course for was a relic from the Jedi and Sith war thousands of years ago. Directly in front of them was a Harrower Cruiser surrounded by a variety of ships including two CR90 Corellian Corvettes, one Hammerhead Corvette, one Nebulon-B Frigate, a Grand Republic Venator MK II class, and a captured Gozanti that had been painted a dark green. Turning to Hera fully Connor grimaced at the look she was giving him. "You've got 10 seconds to start explaining all of this."
"Look it was all a accident I honestly wasn't planning on anything like it. I was doing a run when I ran into that Venator. So curiosity got the best of me and I began to drift towards it to investigate. Before I could even react nearly all of its cannons were pointed at me and a squadron of Z-95s had appeared surrounding my ship. Next thing I knew I was ordered to dock with the ship and meet the Commander before I was shot all to oblivion. Kinda also the reason I asked you to meet me here, I wanted Kanan to meet him." Turning to his head to look at him Kanan took a step back confused wondering why he was going to be singled out just to meet someone.
"Why would you want me to meet this person, and why are you still talking with them if they nearly shot you out of the sky just because you stumbled across them." He asked quickly which prompted Connor to continue.
"Well you see that ship was still under Republic control. Commanding the ship was a man named Rahm Kota or you might better know him as Jedi Knight Rahm Kota. He escaped order 66 because he used his own militia, not believing the clones were fit, hence why he was able to avoid being hunted. The reason he had called me aboard was because he had sensed myself as well and my ability to use the force. He wanted to meet me and question me how I had been surviving for so long. I told him about my mom and what had happened, how I barely survived, how her and my father had been hunted and killed by Vader himself. I told him everything I don't know why but I did. Soon as I finished before he could even respond another ship had entered the system. That Harrower had them and me dead to rights and with most of his Z-95s still docked and secured wasn't much we could do. The person in charge was some crime lord who kept sticking to the Outer Rim why the ship and group had never been found. That right there had been when I made my decision. I couldn't keep running I had to stay, I've always known I was meant to help people. He didn't even ask I told him I was going to help and we made a plan on the bridge. Long story short we stormed the ship and took it over, so ever since I've been helping him and grow the rebel cell. Still doing jobs for credits and supplies." He finished explaining and looked around as the cockpit had grown silent.
The tension inside of it was thick with tension that could easily have been cut with a lightsaber. Thankfully though the first one to break out of the silence was Kanan who Connor had been hoping for as he slowly looked at him with contempt and a hint of a smile forming on his lips, almost as if to say he was proud of Connor for the decision he had made.
"Well for one I am proud of you for making that decision. I probably speak for all of us wishing that you had made it sooner. But you making that decision now is better than you ignoring it the whole time. As for Kota I would love to meet him where is he?" He asked and before any further could be said Hera cut in herself.
"Well I'm glad as well Connor but you should have told me we could use this. How many people have you got? What type of ships and fighters?" She was about to just start rattling off questions before he cut her off.
"We barely got enough to run the ships on skeleton crews honestly and even fewer to fly the fighters for support. And I'm splitting up the fleet. Imperial patrols have been constantly increasing in this sector and it keeps getting harder and harder to hide. But when we get to where we're going I'll do what I can. So… will you help me?" He asked her gently giving her his infamous puppy dog eyes.
"Of course we'll help that's what we do. We help friends, and if this works then it's going to help others as well." Here responded smiling gently to him.
"Alright let's get ready then." Connor responded before slowly looking outside the cockpit. The mission was now officially started.
Well do hope you enjoyed the first chapter. As said in description this story is suppose to be a rather huge project combining many different aspects and the rebellion and how it was made. Aspects grabbed just from few are are Force Unleashed, Rebels, Clone Wars, Empire at War mod Awakening of the rebellion. Along with Legends and Extended Universe character and original ideas as well. Also know its the first chapter but reviews as always will be welcomed would love some feedback.