[Story] A Story a Week 1

[[ Prompt: A new beginning

This is one I’d actually been meaning to write for a couple months now, about my Star Wars character, Kazta. This story follows the plot of the class story and expansion, since she’s not really involved in any storylines with other people right now. Most of my other stories probably won’t get this long though 😉 ]]

On some planets, dawn came abruptly. One moment it was dark, and the next the sky was bright and hot. Not so on Odessen. The morning took its time, lingering in the forests and dark places in an eerie sort of twilight until it decided it was ready. Though Kazta’s quarters only had a small window, she found it fascinating to watch the sky every morning as she prepared, and soon learned to time her morning routine to the sun’s crawl across the sky. How long had they been here? A few weeks, perhaps a month. About the same amount of time before the message had been sent.

It wouldn’t do any good to read it now. She’d already read it a thousand times since she’d found it among the old files. Strengthening the Alliance would give them the contacts and resources to find the rest of her crew — at least that’s what Kazta kept telling herself. She kicked her blanket off and set her feet on the floor, a shock of pain surging up and lingering there in her joints, a sort of fuzzy sharp tingling. That was the carbonite poisoning. Some days it was better, but today wasn’t one of them. Maybe it would go away on its own. Carefully, she pulled open the storage bin beside her bed and grabbed an undersuit. She did her best not to look at the other drawer. She knew exactly what was inside it, because other days she had to look. It didn’t look like much; some of the exact same black undersuits (though a larger size), a few old holos that barely worked, one lonely matchless sock, and a small stack of printed images, secured with a band. Most were souvenirs from places they’d been, bought in the spaceports while they waited to leave. There were some images of them together. One day she’d take them out, put them somewhere safer, but right now it felt like they still belonged in his storage bin.

Kazta stepped out into the dining area, still dark, and flicked on the caf machine. The droid was probably still occupied with repairs, still it was unlike him to neglect something so basic. Or maybe he was tending to Snacky. The only other member of the squad who still lived on-board, the orokeet was starved for attention lately and made his displeasure known – loudly. Part of that was her own fault, she’d been so busy with reports and meetings and conferences that she’d barely spent any time aboard except to sleep. Being busy was only one reason. All of the memories were the other. She glanced across to the medbay, still standing dark and empty. Only the dim emergency lighting allowed her to see inside. Everything was mostly still in order, all of the little drawers neatly labelled and organized. Where was Dorne now? The message hadn’t mentioned her, and Forex’s memory had been wiped when he’d been powered down. He knew nothing, or at least he could tell her nothing. Was she safe? She had enemies, no doubt, but politics had shifted since she’d been away, as Kazta understood it. Maybe a former Imperial would be in less danger now, but maybes weren’t very reassuring. It wasn’t that the Alliance medics were bad, they weren’t. They listened and did what they could, and most of the time it worked. But they didn’t know her like Dorne had, they hadn’t spent thousands of hours in the field together, and almost as many just talking on their off hours. Kazta didn’t have many people she could truly call her friend, but Dorne was one of them. It wasn’t just that she was the only other woman on the squad, though that was certainly part of it. She could tell Dorne anything — and had, many times. There was no one here like that.

At least, not yet. Maybe it could still happen. Everyone just seemed so different, not least of all the Imperials. It was so strange to be working alongside them on a daily basis, though there wasn’t really an Empire anymore, from what the Sith told her. Nor a Republic, for that matter. Still, she could admit it was difficult to trust them. She could imagine how he’d grumble under his breath about it if he were here, how they’d scoff and laugh about it later while they ate. Kazta took her canister of caf with her into the armory wing, where her gear hung ready to go. She’d inspected, cleaned and polished it the previous night as she always did, checking for cracks or weak points, oiling or scrubbing any blaster marks or bloodstains. Every time she rounded the corner, she expected to see him there, working on the munitions. But he wasn’t, though his armor still hung on the rack beside hers. She cleaned and checked his, too, though not as often. It had to be ready, she assured herself, for when he came back. Whenever that might be. Kazta sat on the bench and began strapping herself in; she began with her feet and worked up. It always went easier with someone to help, but she didn’t feel like finding the droid, she could manage by herself. She fit her hand into a glove, wiggling to ensure the fingers were fully in, when she heard a familiar chirp. Snacky clicked into the armory wing on his strange little feet, fluttering in his little hops. The orokeet cocked his head and surveyed the room, chirping again. He was searching too, and Kazta couldn’t help it anymore. She fought to blink back the tears but they came anyway. She wasn’t supposed to cry, but it wasn’t fair. After everything they’d been through, to lose each other like this? She hadn’t given up, still searched the signals and the news broadcasts every night for some hint, still pestered the slicers to search Forex’s memory cores. Someone had to know something. She’d heard that Jedi could feel if someone close to them had passed on, some sort of special bond they formed. Surely she would have felt it too?

Kazta reached down to scratch the bird’s head gently. We won’t give up, she assured him. Not ever. Snacky chirped again as she walked past, more plaintively it seemed. She liked to think that he understood her, but that bird had always liked him more. She inspected her rifle and removed it from its hook, slinging it over her shoulder. The ramp outside hissed quietly as she opened the door, stepping out into the already bright morning. She’d taken longer than she expected to get ready, though it was likely that no one would comment. Things were a great deal less formal here than she was accustomed to. She walked past a group of pilots and mechanics, repairing the ship docked next to hers. She didn’t know any of them, not even their names, but they raised friendly hands in greeting. The scientists around a table paused to say hello to her, the Imperial officers and the Jedi in training. Leading a squad was one thing, but they all looked to her for guidance here. She was more than just a soldier to them, more than their Commander, she was hope. She stood for finally taking a stand and defending their homes, no matter where they came from before. And whatever pain she felt from the loss of her squad, of her partner and mate, they felt just as keenly too — their own families or homes gone, their cities destroyed. She had always done her best to help those who needed it most, and here was her biggest chance. They would return in time, she was sure of that, but today there was work to be done.

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