Youth Wars Part 4: The Cave Of Secrets
Moments before the destruction of Kashyyyk...
"Boys, I think it's time to go." Nicolette stated loudly as she looked into the sky.
"What is it?" Erickson asked.
"Let's just say if we avoid more questions, we'll make it out alive." Nicolette replied, speeding out to prepare the Republic shuttle for takeoff.
Erickson looked out the window and saw what she did.
(See chapter on Archive of Our Own to see what Erickson sees)
"What is it?" Nikki asked.
"Yeah she's right. We need to move, now." Erickson said in panic. He, Rye, and Nikki took off towards the shuttle.
The shuttle was already warmed up, and Nicolette was in the pilot's seat. Everyone ran to the ship and boarded. Before Rye entered, he stopped for a second to look up at the sky, and he saw it there; he turned back and boarded the ship. The doors closed, and the shuttle hastily departed from the platform.
Everyone sat down and held on to their chairs. "Everyone hold on! I'm entering hyperspace coordinates."
"Outside a hyperspace la- we're still on the planet!" Rye nearly freaked out.
"It's our only shot at the moment." Nicolette shouted
The Death Star's laser emitted and shot down on Kashyyyk, and the fire blazed all around. The boom rang in their ears, but Nicolette had already pushed the lever, and they entered hyperspace before they were obliterated.
"And now," The master started. "I will put you out of your misery." He drew his dark red lightsaber out and jumped to the team, about to decapitate all of them. But as the blade was only inches away from their necks, the glass of the window shattered as the comets broke through and 'disappeared', smoke filling the room and immediately being sucked out into space.
A hand reached out from the smoke, and the glass seemed to reverse back into place on the window.
As everyone got up, they looked over at the two new visitors. As the smoke settled, the two figures rose and revealed themselves.
(See chapter on Archive of Our Own to see who our two new visitors are)
(Look at it before going on.)
Ezra, Sabine, and Aang's jaws fell to the ground.
"Double the score." The Master said, igniting his red lightsaber.
"I don't have time to waste with the likes of you." Bando said, making the master recoil.
Bando reached his arm out towards the crystal ball, the ball broke, and the crystal flew to him. He grabbed it, and inserted it into his- 'Mechanical arm?' Aang thought. Bando then glowed red for a second, as if he was feeding off the power, then reverted back to normal.
"But if it's a fight you want." Bando started. He turned his head towards Geoff, and he gestured to the team; Geoff went to set them free. "You'll sure as heck get one."
Bando paralleled his forearms, and there was a green aura above his arms; he X'd his arms, then released them. Green lightsaber blades emitted right above his forearms, practically hovering over them.
(See chapter on Archive of our own, because I don't think I described that very well)
"Geoff? Is that you?" Aang asked as Geoff cut everyone free with his yellow blades.
"Alive and well, Aang. It's been a while." Geoff replied as he and Aang shook hands.
"Aang, we need to-" Jo started.
"Not now, Jo." Aang said, facing Jo. He turned back to Geoff, who continued releasing everyone else from their bonds. "You've gotten older." Aang complemented, pulling his lightsabers to him, everyone else doing the same.
"It's been about thirty-five years, and you haven't."
"Wish I could say the same."
"Hey!" Exar interrupted. "No time to chat. We need to destroy this station."
"We're already on it." Geoff said. "The core is going to detonate in a couple minutes."
"How many do we have?"
"Enough for us to get out of here in time."
The master -hearing the conversation- disappeared without a trace. "I got this." Bando said as he did the same.
"What was that?" Aang asked, shocked at the move Bando pulled.
"That's our cue to leave. Everyone run!" Geoff replied as the whole team ran out into the hallway.
When the room was empty, Geoff looked around and into space; he approached the window and stared into the stars. He inhaled deeply, and exhaled heavily.
"Where's Geoff?" Ezra asked.
"I don't know; he was right behind us." Sabine replied.
Then everyone heard a loud cracking noise, and Bando and the Master appeared on the same floor. Bando had the Master on the run as he dented the Master's mask. Bando force-pushed him into a nearby escape pod, and the Master immediately launched. Everyone's eyes widened.
"What a chicken!" Ephraim said, utterly shocked at what he just witnessed. And everyone started panicking as they saw Aang jumping into a pod.
"Aang! No!" Exar and Jo yelled as Aang launched. They followed Aang in one pod.
As everyone was about to try to stop them somehow, Bando said, "Let them go!"
"They're going to die, going up against him." Ephraim said.
"Their destiny is still being shaped out; to die now won't be their legacy." Bando said as he disappeared. 'At least let's hope so.'
Everyone else reached the hangar bay down below them, and Ezra shouted, "Has anyone seen Geoff?"
"They don't know who he is." Sabine hurriedly told him.
Just then, Geoff appeared in the midst of them. "Everyone! Onboard now!" Geoff rushed. "We have less than a minute." Everyone was safely onboard by the time he finished.
"How much less now?" Ezra asked as he piloted his ship out.
"About fiteen seconds." Geoff replied. All the other shuttles were off the ground and starting to move.
"Ten seconds until the blow. Repeat... seven seconds." Ezra commed the others.
Luckily, everyone wasn't in too much panic that the ships were rushing out and falling into each other. They made it out into space to watch the superweapon blow up, then cave in on itself.
"Did anyone else know this was going to happen?" Ezra asked Geoff.
"Well, no Imperial did. I assume you were expecting to see a couple TIEs out here."
"It's not the same without them." Ezra laughed.
"So what are your plans after this?" Geoff asked.
"Oh this was just a job thing for Sabine and me. We're heading back to Lothal afterwards."
"Ah. W-" Geoff cut himself off as he saw three escape pods a short distance away.
The Master saw the escape ships, but continued at his pace in the pod. He grinned, then reached his hand out.
"What does that mean?" A rebel asked, noticing a blinking red panel on one of the computers.
Ezra and Geoff looked, then saw it was a notification that their air supply was failing. They did notice that they were having trouble breathing. Soon, they were all on the ground, gasping for air. Geoff put on his mask, and continued breathing. He pulled up a comlink and communicated with the other ships, saying, "Our air supply is failing; we need to dock, now." He said.
Geoff used the force to create an air bubble around as many people as he could. Ezra quickly breathed in, got up, and helped. One of the ships docked, and the door opened up. Ezra and Geoff helped every fighter onto the other ship.
The Master sensed what was going on, and reached both hands out, then swiped them apart.
Ezra and Geoff started up the metal shaft to the other ship, but it was split in the middle. People were trying their hardest not to get sucked out.
Ezra managed to reach the end and closed the door before anyone could get sucked out. "That was a close call, am I right, Geo-Geoff?" He looked around, but didn't see him. His heart dropped, and the color in his face drained. He ran to the cockpit and looked out the window.
And there was floating, Geoff's body. His air tank was damaged, and his mask was cracked, and he was freezing. Ezra tried searching for some sign of life, but didn't feel any. He started trembling, falling to his knees; tears began streaming down his face.
Aang was in Ezra's condition, only a bit more furious. After screaming out, he contacted the Master's pod. "You are going to die for what you did." Then cut it off before a reply came through. Aang noticed two triggers behind the steering handles. He hastily pulled them, but instead of blasts, a tracking device emitted and tacked the other pod. "WHAT!?" Aang then used up all the energy the pod could muster to speed forward and bump the pod.
The Master jumped into hyperspace at once, after he entered coordinates.
"These things have hyperdrives?" Aang exclaimed as he commed the team.
"Aang, you need to-" Exar tried.
"Don't try to stop me from doing this. I will avenge our masters, or I will die trying."
"We're not planning on stopping you." Jo told him.
"Good." Aang said, working on the hyperspace coordinates that the tracker was leading him to.
"I want him dead now, as much as you do. I was just going to tell you that you need to twist the button in front of the steering handles on the console to switch from tracking device to blaster." Exar continued.
"Oh. These are handy." Aang said, twisting the button to the right. "I'm sending you guys the coordinates." He sent the coordinates, then jumped into lightspeed. Exar and Jo soon followed.
Bando watched from a distance. "May the force be with you three." Then lowered his head, and stared at the lightsaber and mask of Geoff in his hands. He had been able to nab them from space, on his way to help. He put Geoff's body on another ship to be taken care of.
Rye, Erickson, Nicollete, and Nikki arrived at Coruscant shortly, and landed at the Senate building; Bennar and Dex Inigo met them at the entrance. The two headed towards them, but Rye suddenly stumbled and leaned against the front of the ship.
"Rye?" Nicolette asked, siding up to him.
"I have a bad feeling. Like something has just been lost, or... maybe something more like, something will be lost."
"What might it be?" Erickson asked, very concerned.
"We need to contact our team." Rye simply said.
Erickson then became as concerned.
"What happened?" Bennar asked as he and Inigo approached.
"I don't really know." Rye answered. "Last we saw our team, they left to lead the attack on the Death Star. But it's hard to say if they were successful, because... it destroyed Kashyyyk."
"That was one of our biggest resources, what can we do without it?" Dex asked.
"We will avenge it, and every Wookie that went down with it." Bennar told them.
"How?" Erickson asked.
"Believe me, there is much we can do." Bennar replied. Then his personal hologram projector beeped. He picked it up, and answered it, expecting Calista.
Bando appeared instead, startling him. "Where? Is she?" Bennar started, very 'off.'
"No need to be afraid, Governor." Bando replied, putting a hand up as if silencing him. "She's helping other fellow allies recover. I will gladly report that the superweapon has been disposed of."
Everyone was speechless. Bennar looked up at Rye, then back down at Bando. "Any casualties?"
"Other than a few soldiers, just one." Bando replied.
"My friend. Geoff." He replied.
"No other majors suffered."
Relieved, Bennar's spirits lifted like a heavy bag, dropped from one's shoulders. "When should you be expected back here?"
"Hopefully within the hour."
"Good. You'll be expected." The hologram shut off. "What exactly do you think you were sensing, Master Rye?"
"I don't know. It could be a warning of the future."
"Excuse me, could we talk about who that guy was?" Dex asked. "Maybe the supposed warning was about him?"
"That, was Bando Roscoe. Dates back to the Imperial ages. Kind of an anti-hero, he is. Doesn't choose a side; you typically can't trust those kinds of people." Bennar explained.
"Whatever happened, it seemed as though he was on our side." Dex said.
"You can never be too sure. Now, masters, we shall report this to the Senate. They shall be glad to hear the news." Bennar said as they all made their way into the building. "Although," Bennar said, stopping them temporarily, "I'll give you some advice. Don't turn your back on Roscoe; he might mess you up."
Rye and Erickson shared nervous looks before they continued.
"Without doubt, I'd say this turned out well." Bando said, meeting with the Lieutenant Governor.
"Indeed. Uh, who are you?"
"Oh, where are my manners?" Bando said playfully, though hinting sarcasm. He held out his hand, "Bando Roscoe."
Calista shook it a little hesitantly. "Calista Calfan."
"I know." Bando turned her hand over and danced his fingers over her palms. "Well well well, your legacy will leave its proper mark in galactic history."
Calista slowly withdrew her hand, and backed away.
"Don't act so shocked. The future is inevitable. We all have marks yet to be made; futures yet to be decided."
Calista looked back at him, a bit freaked out.
"What do you want your future to be?"