Star Wars: Knight = a prequel

scikaiju

science experiment gone wrong
In deep space somewhere in the Outer Rim a Republic shuttle silently glided through the void as it came out of hyperspace. The craft’s destination was clever as it headed as it headed toward a research station. A seemingly dead research station in an otherwise empty section of space. Aboard the shuttle were two people at the controls, one was a person in armor with a face similar to literally thousands of others defending the Republic. In the other was a dark haired human, who outside of the violet hue of the iris of his eyes the robes of the Jedi he wore is what identified him as one order that also served and defended the Republic which was now at war with some of its former members, The Jedi frowned slightly at the state of the station. There were no exterior lights that he could see from here, never a good sign. In fact the place looked devoid of all power, an even worse sign. Turning his head to the trooper next to him he asked, “You picking up anything Scope?”

A nickname the trooper, most of the clones had nickname rather than actual names, Scope getting his due to his profinvest with long range weapons, particularly the sniper rifle with specialized sighting device he usually favored. He quickly checkered the readings the shuttle’s sensors were receiving. “I’m getting power readings Rox. Looks like life support is still functional. I’m even picking up signals leading to various hangers on the docking ring. But somehow the exterior lights don’t seem to be working.”

Checking something on his own, Rox informed him, “I’m not getting any comm chatter. Not even docking instructions.” He tried reaching out with the Force and wasn’t sensing anything. Something he shared with Scope when he asked, “I’m not liking this.”

“Maybe we’re not close enough for you to sense anything,” Scope offered. Rox considered that as well, still he was glad his friend made the attempt. Then the clone said, “But yeah it doesn’t look good.” Getting close enough to the station They began a slow circle around it trying to find any hint of what happened on the inside or any sign of life. Scope paid close attention to the exterior as he commented, “Seems like a strange place for a bunch of scientists to study the Force. I would have figured a lab on Coruscant would be an ideal place.”

Rox grunted, “Probably didn’t want the Senate or the Council constantly looking over their shoulders.”

“Figured they would want the council’s help,” Scope mused. “I mean you Jedi know more about the Force than anyone in the galaxy. If I was researching the Force I’d be knocking on your door first thing.”

“Scientists look for more physical evidence,” Rox said as they continued their slow circle. “I mean we’ve researched it as well but some things can’t be explained so easily. As old as he is, even Master Yoda says he’s still discovering new aspects of the Force he didn’t know of previously.”

“And if he doesn’t know everything, what chance does the rest of us have?” Scope said. “Don’t you think it’s strange that there’s a place out here dedicated to studying the Force and we didn't know about it until we received this assignment?” Rox looked at him with some confusion. “I mean this sounds important, there should be a garrison of guards to protect the place in case the worst happens. And it looks like it did.”

“The Council seemed to know about it beforehand,” Rox answered. “I’m sure they had their reasons to keep quiet about it.” Well at least a couple of the Masters seemed to know about it, the rest looked as shocked as he felt when they gave him this assignment. Maser Windu seemed particularly disturbed by this bit of news. “I mean, would you tell people there’s a station studying the very thing that gives the Jefi their abilities? More than a garrison of troopers would be needed.”

“No kidding,” Scope said following his line of thinking. “We both know there would be groups out there who tried to find a way to use whatever information they gathered against the Jedi or against the Republic. That hanger there looks open,” he suddenly said pointing at something . Roc spotted it soon enough. “I’m not seeing or detecting any type of debris, The magnetic fie;d appears to still be in place,”

“Let’s find out,” Rox to;d him as they took the shuttle toward it. Neither of them said nothing as they approached the opening. It wasn’t long before they crossed the opening. Scope visibly relaxed as they saw the static effect that indicated the field was still operating. “Looks like we have atmosphere,” Rox announced as he turned the shuttle around to face the opening before landing the craft fully.

Getting out of his seat Scoped headed over to a supply rack on the wall and retrieved his helmet. Putting it on he said, “We're still not getting any signs of life. That doesn’t mean we won't see a welcoming party of some sort.”

“Too true my friend,” eox told him as Scope grabbed his rifle. “I’ll male a report saying we’ve arrived and the status of what we’ve seen so far. I’ll meet you at the ramp in a moment.”

“You got it Rox,” the clone said and walked over to the ramp controls and waited patiently.

At the communication controls he activated it and waited a moment to make sure he had a clear signal before speaking. The signal was crystal clear, thank the Force. “This is Shuttle ANH=1977, Jedi Knight Rov Cael reporting. We have arrived at Station Epsilon. We’re not detecting or sensing any life sign despite the Station being fully functional. We’re starting our investigation. Cael out.” Deactivating the call he unhooked his lightsaber from his belt and held it in his hand as he walked toward the ramp.”

“Ready Rox? Scope said, his voice now slightly distorted because of the helmet, and held his rifle in ready position.

“Scope,” he said as eyed the ramp controls, “remind me the next time we agree to a relatively simple assignment to take a few more members of the squad with us just in case.”

“Right,” he said, “the next time you agree to send us on a simple assignment to bring a couple of the others with us.” Rox shot him a look. Even with the helmet he could just see the smirk on the clone’s face. Nodding toward the ramp with his head he added, “Shall we go.?”

“Please after you,” Rox told him. As he touched the control that lowered the ramp. As the ramp began lowering Scope got down to one knee and prepared to fire as Rox hefted his sabers. But he didn't activate it just yet. Both waited until the ramp fully lowered before hitting the floor of the hanger. While Scope’s helmet protected him from any unusual or foriegn elements that might be in the air Rox was fully exposed and he wasn’t smelling anything out of the ordinary, not that it meant anything if there was something odorless in the air.

“Clear,” Scope announced, more out of training than anything else since Rox could clearly see that for himself. Both of them gave the hanger a quick visual inspection from where they were, still seeing nothing out of the ordinary. Well nothing that looked immediately seemed out of place at least. Locating what could be hanger control Rox tapped the clone on the arm and pointed it out.

“Try and see if you can find any sort of log,” he told him. “We can’t be the only unscheduled visitors. And see if you can get a status on the escape pods.”

“And if they launched, see what caused the crew to abandon ship so to speak, on it.” While Scope quickly went to the booth Rox wandered over toward the only door he could see. Obviously it led further into the station. But instead of opening it he turned on the communication device built in and just listened, nothing not even static. Honestly he would have preferred static because that would have at least indicated something was wrong, a jamming field, equipment malfunction, something other than what he was starting to feel really happened. Seeing there were settings for a couple of different channels he tried them as well with the same result. “The logs for the past day have been wiped,” Scope announced as he came closer. “Recently too. Like in the past couple of hours.”

“That pretty much confirms something happened doesn’t it,” Rox told him. “Why do something to the station and the ones working here and leave proof you were around. We should check the rest of the station. Try and find a clue to who did this, hopefully some survivors.” Still not sensing anything in the Force on the matter, Rox refused to give up hope on that.

“We should find the control deck,” Scope said. “Even if those logs were wiped as well I’d bet my rifle this place has some sort of back up system.”

“That’s a good bet,” Rox agreed with him. “Any idea how far that might be?”

“”I got more than an idea,” he pulled out his communicator and adjusted some settings on the holo emitter. I was able to download a map of the station while I was looking at the logs.” Holding out his hand an image of the station hovered above it. Obviously sectioned off to individual floors. He pointed out the blinking dot in what was obviously the hanger they were currently in. “Obviously that’s the two of us. The control deck a few levels above us at the top here. Barring any surprises it should be a simple shot there. Of course this is a war, surprises are the norm in this situation.”

“Good man,” Rox told him. “Given those logs were erased in the last couple of hours the other party, if there is one”

Scope quickly cut in, “And more than likely there is.”

“May still be here,” he finished. “Set the scope on your rifle to thermal, maybe we can locate them or any survivors.” Nodding Scope already adjusted the settings on his rifle. Taking a moment to let him finish Rox hit the door control and it slid open revealing a dimly lit hallway. Raking a glance at the map Scope pointed to their left before both of them started that way.

***
With the hallway deathly, and Rox was fully aware how on the mark that word was, quiet the two made fairly good time in getting to the next level. This was also the first level where they got any hint on what may have happened. Scope lowered his rifle as he got a closer look at the black markings on the walls. “Blaster marks,” he called out as Rox inspected similar ones on the other wall. “Looks like there was a firefight here.” Giving those marks a closer look he went further down the hall, waiting for Rox to catch up before saying, “Looks like the fire fight continued in this hall, I’m seeing blaster fire going in both directions.” Turning to face him he added, “Look like somebody put up a fight at least. Maybe there was a garrison stationed here.”

“But who were they defending against,” Rox went, “and how many.” Scope didn’t have an answer for him, truthfully he didn’t expect one. As they continued toward their destination both of the blaster marks, noticing that they seemed to increase. So whoever was fighting who this was a major conflict point. Then Rox noticed a particular rut apparently cut into the plating. Scope stopped as he started to knell down to get a closer look.

“What are you seeing Rox?”, Scope asked as he stepped a bit closer. Then he saw what caught his attention. “Is that a…?”, he trailed off.

“A lightsaber cut,” he finished for him.

“”Were there Jedi stationed here as well?”

“Hopefully,” Rox said as he spotted another a bit further down the hall, then another, “Because there are at least three other alternatives. And none of them are on our side.” While he only knew those three by reputation only he could only assume one of them wouldn’t be wielding a saber this wildly, even then those other two weren’t exactly pushovers by any stretch of the imagination.

Suddenly a door behind Scope opened up. He quickly spun around and came face to metallic face with a metallic beige battle droid. “Hey,” it exclaimed, “what are you doing …” Before it could finish that sentence a flash of green shot forward and stabbed the droid in the chest. Rox stood there looking down at the droid while his saber blade retracted.

“I saw him,” Scope insisted.

“I know you did,” Rox told him. Then he gave his friend a slight smirk, “But I saw him first.” motioning at the droid with a hand it slid back into the room it came from. Scope checked the hall one more time before they jumped into the room as well and closed the door. Once inside Rox saw Scope look at something behind him and turned his head to see. A Rodain, a dead one just based on the burn mark on the front of its uniform, sat slumped in a chair behind a desk. “One of the base scientists if I had to guess.”

“I’d say that’s a good guess,” Scope commented as he started examining the body. “Looks like he;s been dead for a couple of hours at least. Glancing back to the droid he added, “I think we know what happened here now.”

“I’m afraid you’re right,” Rox said as he started checking the desk. “There had to be something here,” he muttered while checking the desktop terminal. “I got something. Looks like they didn’t think to check for any written logs. They arrived without warning under the disguise of a supply drop. There was nothing on the schedule but that wouldn’t be the first time so we let them in. The attack was almost immediate. I hid in this office the first…. He didn’t even have the chance to finish that thought.”

“Rox he’s been dead for a few hours,” Scope informed him. “And more than likely that clanker,” he jerked his thumb toward the droid on the floor, “was doing a sweep for any survivors, which at this point I highly doubt that there are any left.”

“So why are they still here?”. Rox asked him.

“More than likely they haven’t found what they’re looking for yet,” was the answer. “Which means we have to find out what that is and make sure they don’t get it.”

“We know this place was studying the Force,” Rox reminded him as he looked through some of the other logs to find any indication on what that might be and found nothing helpful. “What’s closer to our position, the command deck or the labs?”

Putting the communicator on the desk and pulling up the map Scope pointed them out, “We’re here and the command deck is here. The labs should be here, a deck above us. So the labs it is then.”

“Looks like ir Scope,” he said as the clone retrieved the communicator and followed him to the door. “I’d suggest changing settings to detect any sort of electronic signature but I’m assuming you already did that.”

“You do know me so well,” the clone said as he aimed the rifle at the door. “I have point, you watch our backs.”

“Yes sir,” Rox said giving him a salute. Scope shook his head slightly as he leveled his weapon as Rox triggered the door opening. Scope made sure the way was clear before heading toward their new destination. Rox carefully looked to the force for any clue on who the saber wielder was without announcing his presence in the force at the same time.

***
Knowing there were battle droids involved now they were way more cautious heading down to the lab level then they were heading toward the top of the station. But knowing there were droids didn’t mean they knew everything. Like how many droids there were still here and what kind of armaments they would have. And because they ran into a standard battle droid didn’t necessarily mean there weren’t other types here as well. Both the Jedi and the clone were fully aware that they could get overwhelmed fairly quickly if they just sudden;y ran into a group without any warning. No, they were going to need an element of surprise.

“Hold on,” Scope sudden;y said as he started waving the rifle at a certain door. “I’m getting a massive reading past this door.” Said door was about as unremarkable as any other door they came across. It didn’t help that none of the ones they’ve seen so far wasn’t labeled. For the people stationed here that probably wasn’t a problem. But for the two of them it was starting to become an issue.

“Any idea what’s on the other side?”, Rox asked as he did a quick check of the hallway. This would be the worst time to be caught off guard by a droid patrol. They were lucky to just have run into just the one. And that type of luck, if you believed in that type of thing, wasn’t going to last forever.

Pulling up the map Scope studied it for a moment. “Looks like some sort of auditorium. For speaking to the group I suppose. Looks like there’s an upper and lower level. It might be a command post for the clankers while they took over the station.”

“Sounds like a good guess to me,” Rox said.

“No offense Rox but this is really where I wish you had that danger sense thing General Kallen has,” Scope commented as he kept his weapon trained on the door.

That danger sense as Scope called it was his former master's unique ability to just sense that something was wrong through the force. Something he tried to teach him on several occasions but Rox just wasn't as attuned to the Force in that way as Kallen was. “You and me both Scope. Because I’m pretty sure just walking in the front door isn’t the brightest of ideas. You said there was an upper level. Does it look like there are any droids up there?”

Changing his aim to look up a bit he waved the rifle around. “Nothing that I can see. Just the usual background you get using this type of scan on a space station. It should be clear.”

“Why would you say it was clear?”, ”Rox asked him.

“Because knowing you that’s where you’re going to try and sneak into that room.” Without being asked he checked the map again. Changing some of the settings a bit he found what he was looking for. It looks like there’s a vent system that leads to the upper level. Still better than going in the front door.”

“I see it,” Rox told him. Scope looked at him and saw him staring straight up. He followed his gaze straight to the ceiling and at a vent cover right above them. “It’s a little inconvenient though.”

“That’s a bit of an understatement,” Scope commented. “Any idea how we're going to get up there or do you think we have time to find another opening into the system? Because I’m not sure how long the clankers are going to stay in there.”

He had a point, those droids could walk out of that room at any moment. And that was if they were standing there or npy. At the moment Rox saw only one option at the moment. “Hang on to your rifle,” he said suddenly while clipping his saber back to his belt.

“Why?” Scope got out before he noticed Rox held both of his hands at him with his eyes slightly closed. Then he started lifting up into the air and panicked slightly before he realized what was happening. Before long he was at the cover and quickly got to work at unsecuring it. To both of them it felt like it was taking way too long to do but then he slid the cover out of the way and climbed into the vent. Rox lowered his arms and checked the door one more time. Gathering the force to him he knelt down a bit and jumped up to the vent and climbed in quickly. After he put the cover back he looked at Rox, “Warn me when you’re going to do that.”

“I told you to hang on to your rifle,” Rox told him as they started crawling through the vent. The route to that particular room was pretty much a straight shot. In no time they reached the room and Scope quickly made his way to the first cover he located. Listening for a moment he started loosening the fasteners and pushed it away just enough to slide it to the side. Sticking his head out for a moment he crawled out.

“It’s clear,” he whispered as Rox made his way out of the vent and got to a knee. A quick look showed that they were on some sort of observation deck looking down. The room was designed with a barricade of some sort so staying in a kneeling position the two made their way over and peeked over to the floor below, down below the area was big but obviously not an auditorium. At least not obe Rox had ever seen. Right now the least of his concerns was what the room was, the mess of Battle droids covering the floor, one the other hand, had his full attention. At least until something that sounded like a muffled explosion grabbed their immediate attention. “I think they found the shuttle,” Scope commented.

“Looks like,” he agreed, “hopefully the escape pods are still intact.”

“How close are we to being done?”, they heard one of the droids ask.

“We still,” replied another, “ determining which animals are Force nullifying.” Scope looked at Rox. He knew what his friend wanted to ask, the question was so strong it was practically resonating in the Force, Force nullifying animal? Rox just shrugged his shoulders. He heard stories when he was a youngling but never really believed it. Apparently he should have, at least enough to look into it a little more. The droid continued, “Dooku was very clear on this order. He doesn’t want anything left alive that could be used against him.”

“But we could use them against the Jedi,” said another.

“Orders are orders,” the second one said.

“I think we’ve heard enough,” Scope said. “I saw we take the clankers down and find a way off this station. I’m counting at least sixty battle droids down there.”

“And more than likely more,” Rox reminded him. “And there are two of us.

“They’re going to need more help,” Scope said, a smile evident in his voice. You never wanted to go into battle droids this badly outnumbered. But for the moment they had the element of surprise. Theoretically they could take out a chunk of the droids before one of them called for help. And take out a few more before that help arrived. Theoretically.In real life the odds were not that great. On the other hand a group of them could already be looking for the occupants of that shuttle. And clankers weren’t generally smart enough to expect those occupants to get this far.

This was exactly why he always told Kallen was a bad influence on him growing up and the clones in general. “Standard protocol,” he told Scope, “I’ll jump into the middle of them, you take down the ones on the edge and whittle them down.”

“You got it,” the clone told him. Rox started to rise up to jump over the barricade. Then stopped and got back down as the door on the far side opened up. It’s body was covered in a heavy cloak but there was no mistaking that metallic head. As it stormed deeper into the room.

“They just got that help,” Rox muttered.

“Idiots!” the newcomer shouted as it pushed a droid out of his way.The electronic sound of his voice sent an involuntary shiver down his spine. He tapped into the Force to calm himself down. Of the three possibilities this was the worst option. “Why are you still here when we have intruders and the vermin to get rid of?”

“We’re still ident…” the droid was cut off mid sentence by a blue lightsaber blade from the person’s cloak which revealed more of the robotic body underneath it.

'Destroy them all!”, he told another droid as the first one dropped to the ground. Claw like fingers pointed at the rest of them. “Whomever was on that republic Shuttle is on this station. Find and eliminate them before they call for reinforcements!”

“Rodger, Rodger General Grievous,” the droids answered and started out of the room. Rox motioned for Scope to get back into the vent. He didn’t argue and quickly followed him in, only taking a moment to make sure the cover wouldn’t fall over.

“This is bad,” Scope said as they made their way through the vent.

“That goes without saying.” Rox said as he continued crawling reaching their original entrance way but kept going. Somehow dropping down in front of the door that led to that room felt like an extremely bad idea. “I see another opening up ahead, any idea where it goes?”

“Give a moment.” Rox decided not to make the obvious comment about not having that particular, at least verbally. “Looks like a lab of some sort. You think they’ll search it again?”

“Hopefully not anytime soon,” Rox told him, “come on.” Leading the way they hit the cover fairly quickly. Rox did a quick visible scan, getting a good look at the door before removing the cover and going into the room keeping his attention on the door while Scope crawled in as well. Getting further away was probably the better option, but they needed a moment to think and regroup and not be overheard. Rox wouldn't speak for Scope but every movement they made in that vent sounded louder than normal.

Scope started looking around the room and made his way to a terminal. When he started pressing some buttons Rox asked, “What are you doing?”

“Checking on the status of the escape pods, safety protocols dictate that you should be able to check them from anywhere on the station” was his answer. After a quick moment he started shaking his head. “Either already launched or damaged. I dount the clankers are going to give us time to fix one so we’re pretty much stranded.”

“Sounds about right,” Rox agreed. “But we don’t have a lot of options either. We need to call for help from the republic. Give me that communicator we’ve been using.”

“You sure that’s wise,” Scope asked him, while still handing the device over as requested. “They know we’re here and are looking for us. The clankers may not be all that smart; it can still occur to them to check for any type of transmission.”

“Normally I would agree with you,” Roc told him. “Bur we need help and the only other way to get a call out is to get to the command deck.”

“Yeah they’ll just give us the time to send a distress signal,” Scope said with a lot of sarcasm. In his voice. Rox just gave him a quick look as he continued to mess with the settings.

“So this is the only option, You did memorize the map?”

“Of course,” he said matter of factly.

“Good, because I’m leaving the communicator here just in case they get a lock on it. We’re going to need to stay one step ahead of the droids for as long as we can, And you’re the only one who knows the layout of this station.” He looked satisfied as the communicator beeped as he finished his adjustments. “And hopefully using a different channel will buy us some time. Make sure that door is locked, we're going out the way we came in.”

“I just love vents,” the clone quipped as he went to lock the door.

Rox held out his hand and activated the communicator, making sure it was set on send only, they did not have the time to have a conversation with anybody who might be listening. If somebody was listening on this channel. “To anyone listening this is Jedi Knight Rox Cael. I’m on assignment on station Epsilon. My clone companion and myse;f have run into Seperatist Battle Droids and General Grievous. We’re doing our best to stay out of sight but our shuttle was destroyed and we have no way off this station. “I’m not sure how much longer we can avoid contact with the droids. Please get here as fast as you can. Cael out.`` Rox put the communicator on the floor then quickly drove his lightsaber blade through it. The last thing he needed was to give the separatists an opening to one of the secure comm channels the experts had set up after the war started. Without any further thought the two of them crawled back into the vent waiting only long enough to secure the cover before moving on.

***
 

scikaiju

science experiment gone wrong
In another room a pair of Battle droids broke off from a group to enter a room and did a search. “How many do you think we’re looking for?”, one asked the other as they looked around the room searching the room for those very people.

“That shottle could carry at least six,” said the other.

“How are we not finding six people?”

“They probably split up, they need to do that. Like why this station excise ro study the force the Jefi can access.”

“I’ve noticed,” said the first. “Organics alway seem to try and understand everything. Seems like a waste of energy to me.”

“Me roo,” the second responded. “Come on, there's no one here, let's check another room.” They started to leave although one did turn around and walked backwards out of the room just to keep it’s sensors on the room as the door closed. The room was quiet for a moment before a couple of cabinet doors opened in different parts of the room and Rox and Scope exited from their hiding spot.

“Wow,” Scope said as he stretched his back after getting out of that small space, “were those two clankers discussing organic curiosity? Never thought I’d see the day. Like ever.”

“Let’s worry about the immediate problem first,” Rox told him. “That was too close a call we barely got out of sight.” Rox walked away, Scope was under his command yes, but he was also his friend. And he was also fairly aware that that statement came out a bit harsher than he wanted it to. Standing there he took a deep breath and let the Force wash over him, trying to center himself. Both of them need him to be calm right now if either of them had any chance to survive this. Finally finding that center he turned around, “I’m sorry Scope the situation is starting to get to me.”

“Only naturally that it would,” Scope told him. “Why do you think I’m making so many comments, I’m trying to get my mind off it long enough to stay sane.”

Rox offered him a half hearted smile, “I’ll try to remember that.” The two of them looked over at the vent they came through, “And we pretty much reached the end of the line as far as that particular route goes. So our options are rather limited at the moment.”

“Either we stay here and wait and see if anyone received your message, Or we find another set of ducts to travel through,” Scope said just to get them out there. “I gotta be honest Rox, neither is looking appealing. Especially the latter since that means we have to go out and find it and the clankers are actively looking for us now.”

“I know my friend, but we don’t know when another set of droids is going to walk through that door. And something tells me that staying in one spot is going to be a bad idea.”

Scope’s training obviously went into effect as he thought that over, “The chance of us being discovered gets just as likely as if we’re out there.”

“One of them, more than likely Grievous, is going to get the idea to recheck the station eventually.” Rox walked over to the door, “Maybe if we stay mobile we can stay ahead of them just a bit longer.”

“I’ll follow you Rox,” Scope told him, “but it’s still one hell of a risk in my book.”

“Your caution is noted,” Rox responded. Then added, “and appreciated. Keep your ears and eyes open.”

“And be ready to jump into another room at a moment’s notice,” Scope put in as he joined him at the door.

“Exactly,” he joked as he pulled his saber and opened the door and peeked his head out. He strained to hear for any indication on the direction those droids went. Nothing that he could tell. Closing his eyes he opened himself to the Force once again. An urge to go to the left quickly came to him. Waving Scope on they headed in that direction. Quietly as they could they walked the hall looking for any sign the droids were close. They reached an intersection and Rox peeked around the corner then quickly pulled his head back, another two droids were guarding the hall. Fortunately for him they were facing the other direction.

Diving into the force once again Rox felt past the droids and further down the hall, looking for anything. Then there was something, something that felt loose, he tested it, not knowing exactly what it was. Desperation getting to him at this juncture he made a slight motion with his hand and hoped he wasn’t pushing either of their luck. Suddenly both droids perked up. Rox readied his saber, Scope getting prepared as well just on his reaction. Then one of the droids went, “Did you hear something?” Rox blinked a few times, there was no way that actually worked.

“Yeah, that was weird,” replied the other.

“I’ll go check it out,” and the first one headed off to investigate leaving the other exactly where it was. And still looking in that direction. Rox waved Scope on as they both rushed across. They kept going for a bit before Rox finally turned his head to look back. There was no droid in sight.

“No one is going to believe that,” he said in hushed tones.

“You have a witness,” Scope told him as they kept on. Both of them knew that sort of luck wasn’t going to work again.

***
Stalking the hall Grievous pushed various droids out of the way before they could move. A couple saw this and quickly got out of his way before he reached them. He entered the room and demanded, “Why did you call me here?”

One droid stepped forward with something in it’s hand. Something broken. “A couple of scouts found this on the floor. The remains looked like a republic communicator. They found it right over there.” He looked where the droid pointed. He stepped closer and knelt down to examine a suspicious hole in the floor. The droid continued, “Thathole looks like it was made by a…”

“By a lightsaber,” the cyborg said. “One of the people of the people we’re looking for is a Jedi! Tell all forces to stop whatever they’re doing and hunt the Jedi down and to call me the moment they do. I will deal with him personally.”

“Rodger, rodger,” the droid said and went to execute his oeders.

Rising slowly he kept his gaze on the whole. “So the Jedi knew about this place,” Grievous mused. “And I thought this was going to be boring.” He started chuckling to himself as he exited the room and walked down the halls himself.

***
Elsewhere in the station Rox and Scope kept their backs to the wall as they approached another intersection. There was another set of droids guarding the hall, this time looking in their direction. Then one of them seemed to get some sort of transmission. “One of the intruders is a Jedi,” it told the other.

“Well that’s just great,” said the other. “Why did it have to be a Jedi?”

“Stop complaining, all units have been ordered to make finding the Jedi their prime concern. Come on.” They started walking in Rox and Scope’s direction. He looked at the clone who just nodded. Pressing themselves against the wall even more they waited until they passed. Then they started following them. Without a word Scope jammed a vibroknife into the droid in front of him at the same time Rox activated his lightsaber and cut down the other one

“Well theory know you’re here now,” Scope commented as they started running down the hall, “took them long enough.”

“Not long enough for my liking,” Rox countered. “Sounds like all hands are on deck now. This might be it.”

“”I wasn’t planning to live forever anyway,” Scope told him. “But I do plan to go down taking more than a few of those clankers with me. Although I wouldn’t complain if help arrived.”

“No argument there,” Rox told him as he activated the saber one more time and cut down another droid as Scope shot at one coming from another direction. “Come on, before they cut us off.” And before Grievous showed up he silently added to himself.

***

“General,” one of the droids spoke up.When he whipped around to face it the droid took a step back. Other droids around the kept doing their assigned tasks but kept a sensor on what was happening. “Ah… we have a sighting of the targets, it’s a clone and a Jedi., no sign of anybody else.”

Grievous took that in, “A lone Jedi and a Clone soldier, Such a small task force no wonder you couldn’t locate them. If I suspected that the republic knew I was here I’d almost be insulted. Show me where they were spotted!,” hje ordered as he walked over to another station.

“Rodger, rodger,” the droid pulled up the information and a map of the station quickly appeared, hovering in the air. A few more commands and a pair of flashing dots popped up,” tey were spotted here.”

Grievous leaned in and studied the image, “Where are our forces in comparison?”

Pulling up the requested information more dots sprinkled the map, almost covering a good chunk of a particular floor, one below the original two markers. At that particular moment the droid began to realize that the Jedi and trooper had somehow gotten behind their lines. “Uh-oh,” the droid muttered. If it was an organic creature it’s knees would have begun shaking in anticipation of the potential outrage from the General.

Instead Grievous studied the map and all the dots' location, using a cybernetic finger ro apparently trace various routes to the location where they were spotted, and hallways they could take to get out of the area. “Get all battle droids on that floor! They can do what they want with the clone but the Jedi is mine.” His cloak flowed behind him as he hurried out the door.

Alone the droid let out a “Whew”, before joining in on the chase,

***
A group of battle droids down the hall in perfect lockstep, weapons primed and ready to fire upon their target. They turned a corner and saw some of the lights were off darkening the way considerably. And saw a person wearing a long coat standing in the middle of the hallway. “Fire!”, one yelled and the other complied. Energy blasts peppered the being in the coat.. Eventually they stopped their barrage when the coar dropped to the floor.. The one in the lead stepped forward and expected the fallen coat, even going as far as stepping on it.

“Um,” one started as it looked at the others, “shouldn't there be a body?

“Usually,” replied another. “So where is it.

“It must be some sort of trick,” said another. They all went quiet as their processor started calculating the possible outcomes. Then one looked up at the others, “The Jedi can make things levitate…Uh-oh.”

A snap hiss like sound was heard right before that Jedi rushed in and started swinging his lightsaber while further down the hall Scope started to pick off those he wasn’t. Just like they've been doing ever since their presence was announced. One droid who was undecided as to where to concentrate on which danger was quickly cut in half but it's indecision.

Rox looked for any more droids coming their way as Scope hurried to catch up, checking a passage himself in the process. “All right,” he said as Rox finally felt comfortable enough to deactivate the saber, “I know you said to keep the comments to a minimum, but I swear these clankers are getting dumber.”

“I’m not disagreeing,” he told him as they hurried down the hall, passing the jacket Scope had found moments earlier, “we’ve been lucky so far but we’re going to run into a larger group sooner or later.” Both of them turned a corner then quickly came to a stop. In front of them was at least two full squads of battle droids right in front of them. Several of which had spotted them at the same time and started aiming the muzzle of their rifles right at them. “Case in point,” Rox said as he activated his lightsaber, the green blade illuminating a small area in front of him. That blade quickly started swinging in front of him as those blaster rifles opened up. As he was able to deflect some of those energized bolts Rox was able to get out, “Any time Scope!”

“Get me a clear shot!”. The clone called back. Trusting his instincts and the Force he moved just enough to give him an opening. Both of them had been in enough battles at this point that they were able to get in a rhythm and not disrupt the other or get in their way. Droids started to go down from Scope’s return fire and any bolt Rox was able to knock back in the droid's direction. Without a word Scope increased his rate of fire the same moment Rox started running forward, still swinging his saber and deflecting all shots at him.

“Watch out!”, a droid called out as the Jedi adjusted his path just enough to jump off a wall and over the battle droids and landed in the middle of the group. “Get him!,” but Rox was already slicing through the droids right in front of him at that moment of distraction as his companion started picking off the ones now at his rear.

Not even thinking, just letting the force flow through and guide him Rox did what he could to whittle down the numbers that surrounded him, knowing full well those ranks could get replenished at any moment. Suddenly pushing his free hand out a large section of droids in front of him flew back giving him a brief moment to turn his attention to the ones behind him to help Scope with that group.

“Rox!” the clone called out. He immediately turned back around, saber at the ready. All things considered he would have rather seen another group of battle droids coming at him. Instead, cloak covering his body, but the malibu in his organic eyes burrowing through him.

“Ah,” Grievous said, “The Jedi who has been giving my troops fits. Your saber will fit in nicely in my collection.” Suddenly he was poppered with blaster fire as Scope opened up trying to give his Jedi friend a chance. Covering up he ordered the Droids, “Ignore the Jedi, take care of the clone. Rox quickly turned his attention to those droids and started slashing away to get in front of those getting between them and Scope.

“Move,” was all he had to say to get the clone to start backing up while still firing, this time at the droids. Just long enough for both of them to turn and run back down the hall.

“General?”, one of them asked.

“Follow them,” Grievous ordered, “They’re going to run out of places to run eventually.

“Rodger, rodger.” The droids started down the hall

Grievous joined them as he spoke into a communicator, “All units converge on my location, we are chasing the target.
 

scikaiju

science experiment gone wrong
A group of droids just hit the hallway on their way to cut off the Jedi and trooper. While being machines with theoretically faster reflexes than most organicos, at least the ones not channeling the Force, a few cried out in surprise as they and others in their group was quickly cut down by a green flash. Others still were caught off guard by blaster bolts that came from behind him. After several moments one lone droid stood there looking around seeing nothing but it;s comrades on the ground and the Jedi stood there for a brief moment before running down the hall. Then the clone came by to blast it in the face as he ran past.

“You do realize,” Scope said as he caught up with Rox, “That we’re going to burn out before they do at this rate.”

“I know,” the Jedi said without looking at him, “like I know we’re out of options here other than running or standing our ground and fight. Of the two I’d rather go with the one that gives us a little more time.”

“That one would be a better option if we actually had a plan.”

“I know,” he snapped. “If we had a moment to stop and think then maybe we could come up with one.”

Scope continued after him but only stopped when a door caught his attention. “Rox,” he called out and pointed at the door that caught his eye. “In here.” Rox followed only because they didn’t have the time to argue. Then he saw what caught Scope’s attention. This scientific station had an armory. Surprisingly a still fully stocked one Scope immediately started going through the various weapon lockers and bins while Rox guarded the door, he looked over his shoulder and asked, “Are they still in working condition?”

“Looks like,” he said after quickly examining randomly picked blasters and other items of battle. “Slag, they even have grenades. What kind of experiments were they doing here?”

“Remind me to ask if we survive this,” Rox told him. “We have that moment, you come up with a plan yet?”

Still looking things over he replied, “I think I’m getting one.” When Rox looked back he noticed the clone was holding a thermal detonator while comparing it to some similar sized sensor orbs. Scope looked back at him and asked, “Think you can levitate these things and shoot them at Grievous?”

Thinking he had an idea where Scope was planning he smiled slightly and told him, “I believe I can.”

***
It was just two people. Yes one of them was a Jedi but it was just two people! How were they able to survive this long on their own? Grievous stormed down the hallway, there was no help for them here, he made sure of that as soon as they arrived at this station, he had led the hunt personally for the scientists and the guards that were here. The only other option was that there were more than the two on that shuttle, that was the only way that made sense, the clones always traveled in groups of at least four or five. But why haven’t they seen any of the others? No, the clone and the Jedi were constantly on the move, never in one place longer than to take out a group of his droid troopers.

They were smart, they knew they couldn’t make any mistakes. Because a mistake would lead right to him. And Grievous knew that was the one thing the Jedi didn’t want. He saw it in the Jedi’s face the brief moment they saw each other. They say the Jedi don’t know fear, Dooku explained that they did know fear but they could control it better than others. Grievous had witnessed that fear personally, right before he killed the former wielders of the lightsabers in his collection. He saw the fear in that Jedi, and he would use it against him, the very next time they came face to face..

Turning the corner he was suddenly face to face with that Jedi as he stood on the other end of the hall. He stood there as several orbs littered the ground around him. Grievous quickly glanced around for any sign of the clone, because this had to be a trap of some sort, and it had to deal with those balls on the ground but what was it? He got ready when the Jedi raised his arms and the orbs lifted off the floor. Motioning forward with those hands those orbs shot directly at him. Grievous covered up but kept his eyes on the Jedi as he knelt down. Behind him was the clone who was taking aim. Then Grievous noticed that one of those orbs was blinking, his eyes widened as he realized that it was a thermal detonator right before the clone fired at it and it went off in a massive explosion that shook the hallway.

Rox tried to use the Force to protect him and Scope from the blast, yet he still found himself being thrown back hard. “Ugh,” he grunted while he struggled to get back on his feet. Looking up he glimpsed Scope holding his head while shaking it a bit. Ears ringing a bit he called out to the clone but wasn’t sure if Scope heard him or responded. Then Scope pointed behind him and Rox looked, actually hoping some droids were coming their way. Through the dust and haze from the explosion he saw what looked like a green saber blade in the middle of it. Then a blue one came to life. Getting to unsteady feet Rox was prepared to activate his saber. Then Scope grabbed his tunic and pulled him back. “Come on!”, Scope shouted over the ringing. “We can’t face him here!”

“Jedi!” Grievous called out as his cybernetic form became clearer as he strode out of the smoke, sabers in both hands and that cloak tattered behind him. “I will enjoy adding your lightsaber in my collection after I deal with the two of you.

His approach was momentarily halted by Scope opening up with his rifle. “We gotta go now Rox!”, he demanded. That explosion rocked him in several ways but he recognized that his friend was right. He was in no shape to confront Grievous at that particular moment. Not if he wanted to last more than a couple of minutes at any rate. Partially leaning on the clone Rox ran away from Grievous, knowing running forever was not an option. “Run Jedi!,” he heard behind him, “It will only make my victory that much sweeter”

***
Several droids marched through the Halls on high alert, but still as oblivious as ever. That was Scope’s observation as he watched from a slight gap he kept in the door of a supply closest he had to push Rox into.turning his head a bit he looked upon the Jedi who sat cross legged on the floor, deep in, well whatever Jedi did in this situation.Obviously this wasn’t what you would call a prime securable spot, especially if they were discovered, but he had to buy Rox a couple of moments. Scope knew Rox had pretty much decided to face Grievous. As much as Scope knew that was a horrible idea, but he also knew he wouldn’t be able to change his mind. Actually he often wondered if that trait was something he picked up from his master Kallen, or if it was something that was just ingrained into his being. He sighed, those sort of questions were beyond him.

While he kept watch he found himself starting to lightly finger one of the grenades he took from that armory. If he really wanted to buy Rox some more time it would be so easy to slip out of this closet once the hall was clear. Just run as far away as he could and throw one of these grenades in the first room or hallway that was full of clankers and get all of that attention on him and hopefully they would forget about Rox just long enough for him to heal fully.

Suddenly Rox spoke up startling him a bit, “For someone who hangs around a couple of Jedis, I would have thought you’d be better at hiding your thoughts by now.”

“You reading my mind?”

“No,” he stated as he started to get up. To Scope he still looked a bit unsteady but he knew the Jedi well enough to know that he would probably reject any attempt to help on his part. “Rox went on, “But you’re intent is broadcasting loud and clear. I can’t let you do that.”

“Are you going to order me not to do it?”, the clone challenged him.An act that surprised the clone, who knew that was in him.

“You know I wouldn’t do that,” Rox told him as he stepped closer. “But I’m also not going to just let you throw your life away on my account. I’m just one lone Jedi Scope, there’s plenty of others like me out there.”

“No,” the clone said a bit forcibly, “there are plenty of others like me out there. There’s only one of you, of General Kallen, there is only one of every Jedi in the universe. If either of us is expendable…”

“No one is expendable,” Rox cut him off just as forcibly. “We have been through too many battles for you to start thinking that way.” He seemed to wobble a bit as he stood there. This time Scope did reach out and steady him a bit. Although he looked grateful for the assist Rox still waved the helping hand off. “We don’t live forever Scope,” said after getting balance in better order, “it’s up to us on how we face that end.” Obviously something he learned from his Jedi training but Scope didn’t make a comment. “If this is my time, then I’m facing that end with my head held high and my lightsaber in hand.Just like how I know you’d want your rifle in your hands when it’s your time.”

“Doesn’t mean we can’t try and delay that end by a bit,” he countered.

Before Rox could make any type of retort both of them heard Droids rush by the door. Both immediately assumed the worst and faced the door. Scope looked out the gap to see Droid after droid run by but not stop. They just kept on going. So they weren’t discovered so what had their attention?

Almost as he thought it they heard one of the droids say, “Hurry up. Sensors picked up a Republic cruiser jumping into the system and heading toward the station. Get ready to fight the clones off.”

“A republic cruiser?”, Scope whispered, almost not believing what he was hearing. Turning toward Rox he could see the relief in the Jedi’s face. “Looks like somebody got your message. We’ve made it.”

“Now let’s stay alive long enough to find out who made the attempt,” Rox told him. “And I don’t think following the crowd is going to accomplish that.”

“I don’t think it will either,” Scope agreed and lifted up his rifle to get a reading through the scope on it. “I’m not seeing any concentration of clankers in either direction. You think they split their forces?”

“Probably on Grievous' orders, '' Rox said. “That cyborg is a lot of things, a fool isn’t one of them.”

“Kinda hoping that he would be when this moment came,” Scope joked, getting a slight smile out of the Jedi. “Come on, while their attention is diverted by our back up.”

“After you,” Rox said as he gestured toward the door. Scope nodded then hopped out after he opened the door all the way.He took the lead, going in the other direction then he saw the droids go with Rox watching their rear flank.

Suddenly a voice came out of nowhere. It took a moment for both of them to realize that one of the droids was using the base system wide communication. “Attention, a new ship has entered the system.” Both of them looked at each other as the droid continued, “This is weird.Can you identify what kind of ship that is?”

A bit later another droid answered, “It looks like an old freighter of some sort.” Again the two looked at each other, this time in disbelief. It couldn’t be, he was nowhere near this system. “Checking records,” the droid went on. “It looks like it’s an old Corellian ship, a YT 1000. And it’s coming this way.”

“I’ll be damned,” Rox muttered.

“Looks like our luck changed,” Scope said. Then he hit an intersection without checking first and lead them into full view of a couple of squadrons of Battle droids. “Or maybe not,” he said as he started firing before they could.

The green blade of his saber came to life as Rox started deflecting the bolts from those who started to return fire. “It’s not over yet!”

Movement out of the corner of his rye made Scope turn his head slightly, more squadrons of droids started coming down another hallway towards that particular intersection. No, they were so close. Scope quickly turned and started firing at the new group trying to surround them. Seeing what he did caused Rox to increase his blocking, even trying to deflect some of the bolts back at the first group of droids. And he remembered the grenades he still had with him and a new plan quickly came to mind and his jedi friend would not like it. But in the end he was still a soldier and Rox was his commander and he had to survive this.So he grabbed one of the grenades, pulled the pin and immediately dropped it. “Run!”, he shouted as he started down a hall that was clear.

Rox looked down briefly, saw the grenade then jumped toward an empty hall, in the opposite direction of Scope’s, like he hoped he would. The clone hit the ground and covered his head as the grenade went off. After the explosion he quickly looked up and saw the grenade took out the intersection and the lights as well as emergency lights, most of which barely seemed to be working, tried to come to life. “Okay that was a bigger blast than I was expecting,” he said as he got to his feet.

“Scope!”, he heard Rox call out. He didn’t kill his friend, that was a plus, but he was going to be mad as hell for a while. He was alive, Scope would take it..

“I’m still here!,”he answered. “Get running before more clankers come in. We’ll meet up later!” Not waiting for a response Scope took his own advice and ran out of there. He didn’t know if the force would even listen to a clone like him but he was telling it as hard as he could to let him see his friend alive again.

***
If they survived this, Rox wasn’t sure what he was going to do or say to Scope if he ever saw him again. Worry about that later, he told himself, concentrate on getting to a safe point and meeting up with back up that arrived if possible. Of course if he could see where he was going that would be a huge improvement. That explosion must have caught part of this floor’s power grid in the blast or something. Not only were the main lights out the emergency back ups were barely glowing, giving him only the barest sense of what was ahead of him.So every few steps he stopped and made sure he wasn’t about to walk into a wall, or a droid,... or Grievous. Ideally a wall wouldn't be that bad all things considered.

While still in hand, Rox didn’t activate his saber as a precaution, yes the light would help him see but any enemies in the darkness would spot him before he even noticed them. Could the battle droids see in the dark?That was something he should have paid more attention to during those early briefings when the war started.

He stopped where he was, seeing some sort of movement in the shadows in front of him right before he sensed the malice. His mind interpreted what that meant at the same time a blue saber blade came to life revealing General Grievous standing in his path. “Nowhere to run to now Jedi,” he snarled.

“The thought never crossed my mind, the green blade of his lightsaber illuminating him in the darkness. Now if he just felt as confident as that line made him sound. Trust the Force, he repeated to himself. If this was his time, fine, but he was going to do everything he could to make this vile cyborg earn it.

“And yet,” the cyborg taunted, “you haven’t gotten any closer Jedi.” Rox tightened his grip on the saber hilt. Grievous obviously wanted him to charge in. He could hear Kallen in the back of his mind telling him to don’t overthink the situation. So he took a breath, calmed his nerves then charged the cyborg. With his saber at the ready he started angling his approach and leaped off the wall, arching his body to avoid the cyborg’s swing. Twisting at the same time he was able to land on his feet, just blocking a return swing that would have taken his head off if it wasn’t. Then he found himself on the back foot defensively as Grievous quickly went on the attack. And it was just as he feared, while reportedly trained by Dooku, himself an extremely presis saber duelist, the cyborg was a little wilder in his attacks. Wilder was not a good thing, particularly when you were the one trying to defend against it.

Rox risked a quick look behind him when he blocked a downward swing that he blocked and struggled as Grievous started pushing the blade further down through sheer force. Just to remind himself exactly where the nearest wall was behind him. He doubted even one of the masters would want to be backed into a corner from this onslaught. He needed some breathing room and fast. But at the moment he wasn’t exactly seeing anything that even resembled a useful opening to create that space. Don’t worry about that now, he told himself, worry about the here and now. Using the Force he pushed the cyborg back. In that moment Rox thought he saw something on the inside of Grievous’ cloak. It was just briefly with the lowlighting he couldn’t really be sure but he swore he saw a glint of something metal. Grievous even mentioned it before, his collection, the lightsabers of the Jedi he had killed. In any other situation that would have angered him a bit, that he just carried his trophies around like that, lives of Jedis he knew, ended at this murderous cyborg’s hand. But in that situation Rox thought he found an opening for that breather.

Almost like he sensed what he was planning Grievous started slashing at him with the saber in his hand. Rox blocktg, jumped back, over anything he could do to stay alive long enough to pull this off. Intercepting one swing Rox, swinging at another attempt of a stab, used the cyborg’s saber as a pivot point to swing around the blade, sliding on a knee as he reached out with his left hand. Grievous looked down as one of his collections flew into his hand. He quickly scrambled back as the blade came to life in Rox’s hand.. If Grievous was expecting him to attack right away he was caught off guard again as Rox just stood there. Right then he was trying to ignore how foreign this saber felt in his hand and trying not to think if it belonged to any one he knew. Either of those thoughts could get him killed, together… it was better not to dwell on it too much.

Then Grievous charged, Force added reflexes keeping him from being cleaved in two. Organic eyes stared at him through the metal covering his head. There was no facial expression but Rox could see the urge to kill radiating in those orbs.Pulling the saber away and started swinging again, with two lightsabers in hand Rox had a slightly easier time deflecting the cyborg;s attack. If he was trained to use two blades then maybe he felt like he was doing better than how he felt he was.Suddenly during one particularly intense flurry Grievous suddenly stepped back after faking a swing. Rox fell for the trap as his blade went to intercept the blow but stumbled a bit as he tried to keep his balance as his momentum carried through with the swing. A stumble that nearly cost him as he rolled forward to avoid another killing blow.

“How much longer do you think can last Jedi?”, Grievous taunted as he stalked his prey.

Twirling the saber in his hand Rox told him, “Long enough.” Which ideally meant that whomever just showed up would find the two of them and join in. As much as he didn’t want to admit it, being that close to two explosions wasn’t doing him any favors as he was still feeling some effects. Well hopefully Scope could get out of here alive if anything. But he did realize one thing, staying on defense was not helping him Launching an attack of his own he tried to use the confines of the ha;;way to his advantage, using the walls to jump over the cyborg where he could. Try to disorinate him long enough to strike something viral on that cyborg body. He kept an eye on Grievous’ movement trying to see if there was anything the organic brain was subconsciously trying to defend more than anything else.

It wasn’t easy as Grievous kept in constant motion as well, defending and attacking where he had too. At one point Rox was able to trap Grievous’s blade in between his two. This was when Rox realized the cyborg’s other hand was under his cloak a brief second before another saber blade erupted out of it. To his dying day Rox would swear that the Force flowing through him was the only thing that saved him. But as he moved out of the way the green blade scraped his left side, almost down to the rib cage. Crying out in pain he dropped the stolen saber as he fell away from Grievous’ blade. “Now you die Jedi,” Grievous told him. In desperation Rox yelled as he reached out with his left hand and force pushed Grievous away. As the cyborg tumbled backwards Rox got to his feet and started running, grunting all the way as he turned off his blade in an attempt to hide where he was. Hearing Grievous get to his feet and give chase he tried to move faster when he heard, “You can’t run forever Jedi!”

***
 

scikaiju

science experiment gone wrong
He wasn't sure when exactly but it looked like he lost Grievous at some point. Rox tried to remind himself “Looked like'' didn't mean he actually did. Positioning himself at a corner of an intersection so he could see in different directions he had to inspect the wound. Tentative fingers went to explore and he sucked in air through his teeth as a new wave of pain went through him.The charred skin was bad enough but the wound was placed in such a way it sent pulses of pain through him everytime he used the arm, walked or took a breath. If he was confronting Dooku or maybe even Ventress he would have sworn the blow was deliberate. But everything he’s ever seen on Grievous said he didn’t have that type of precision. Rox started moving again, hoping whoever answered his call had made it to this section of the base, not that he knew where he was exactly. He tried to keep his path away from Grievous as random as possible, maybe he did the job a little too well.

Wherever he was the power seemed to be working better here as the lights were fully on so he could easily see what was coming at him. That also meant they could see him, but no situation was perfect. He looked down at his wound, if there was one good thing about lightsaber wounds was that it cauterized itself, so he wasn’t bleeding out nor leaving a trail. Still hurt like hell though. Turning a few more corners he stopped when he thought he heard something, battle droids, and it sounded like they were coming his way. In normal situations he wouldn’t consider that a problem. His hand hovering by the fresh gash in his side reminded him that this wasn’t a normal situation. He took stock, he was wounded,and he couldn’t go forward, and he sure as hell couldn’t go back. Back to the original plan of action as he started looking around for a place to hide and quickly found a door. Not worrying on what was one the other side, only hoping there were no enemy forces on the other side, he pushed the door control and entered the room.

It was a huge open room, it took a moment for him to realize that he was in this room before, this what Scope originally called an auditorium, that seemed like a lifetime ago at this point. But now that he was on the ground floor Rox knew what it really was, a testing ground. And used recently too from the look at how newer a couple of the wall panels looked from this angle, like they’ve been replaced. Even that armoty Scope had them ducked into earlier was starting to make a little more sense. They weren’t just looking into the Force, they were testing Force users. With the war going on it wasn’t all that surprising, the idea was still more than a bit unsettling. A thought for later, Rox was still aware that there was only one way in or out of the room, not taking that vent he and Scope used before into account, it was better to not get caught in what was essentially a dead end.

Then he looked up and realized he got caught as Grievous stood there glaring down at him. Alright, obviously there was another way in and out on that upper level. Which meant being down here was an even worse idea than before. He thought about making a go for the door on this level but didn’t move, not even when Grievous circled the upper level, just glaring down at him the entire time. Once he reached a position just above the lower level door and jumped down, essentially blocking the way out. “Now you have nowhere to go Jedi,” he growled and ignited a blue and green saber in either hand. Everytime he had even seen the cyborg Rox felt a cold chill go down his spine, now he felt nothing but resignation. Igniting his saber he took on a defensive stance, still trying to ignore the pain in his side. Grievous came at him and Rox blocked and parried as best as he could with his current condition.Grievous noticed his impaired movements and chuckled a bit before saying, “You should have just let me finish you earlier instead of running. Your pain would be over by now.”

Gritting his teeth as he blocked another blow he answered, ”If you were still more man than machine you’d know why I wouldn’t think of it.” Rox pushed him back using the Force to add a little more power to the move and backed up, trying anything to get some room to move. It was funny, earlier he was cursing the fact he was just in a situation where he couldn’t really move, now he had all the room in the world and now this gash in his side kept him from utilizing that room. As it was Rox was trying to convince himself that he was occupying Grievous just long enough for those who responded to his call to get in a better position to stop the cyborg.

“And that is why the Republic will lose this war,” Grievous told him as he pressed an attack.

Rox partially took the bait and he knew it, “It’s why we’ll be victorious in the end.” :losing himself in the moment and using the Force Rox blocked or dodged as best he could, hoping Grievous didn’t notice how hampered his movements were.Although he would have to be blind not to notice how much he was favoring his left side and obviously toying with him with the occasional feint on that very side. Then the cyborg surprised him by grabbing by the front of his robes and threw him hard into a nearby wall. Hard enough that there was an audible thud as he made contact and a new wave of pain rushed through his body, that his saber deactivated itself as it dropped from his hand. If Grievous had a mouth there was no doubt that he would be grinning as he sensed that the end was near.

Waiting for the Jedi to get to his feet, although he was using the wall to help him stay balanced, Grievous ran at him, hands raised over his head. Rox dove out of the way as the Sereratist’s leader smashed those hands into the wall . The panel buckled and Grievous tore it off the wall and hurled it at him. Too tired to do any thing other than roll out of the way he heard it crash on the floor somewhere behind him. Breathing hard Rox could just watch as Grievous glanced down and spotted his saber. He started snickering as he looked up as those yellow eyes focused on him. “I’ll add it to my collection in a moment. “

Not even waiting for Grievous to come at him Rox reached his right hand behind him and with the Force grabbed the panel and hurled it back at Grievous. Easily batting it away he failed to notice as the saber flew through the air into his waiting hand, the green blade igniting almost as soon as he wrapped his fingers around it.Forcing his body to move Rox met Grievous in the middle just going on instinct trying to do something to Grievous that would hamper the cyborg, even if it was just a little. Rox realized he was in worse shape than he originally thought as Grievous dropped one of his sabers and grabbed him again, this time digging those mechanical fingers into his shoulder. He screamed out in pain right before he was sent flying again, impossibly even harder this time. Slumping down to the floor Rox dropped his saber once again, knowing there wasn;t going to be another second chance this time around.

“ROX!”, a new voice cried out right before blaster bolts started peppering Grievous causing him to cover up. Through the darkness that was quickly claiming him he vaguely realized that it was Scope. Through the blurriness that was his vision he thought he saw two figures drop down, each weilding a blue saber blade. That blurriness quickly went to black right after that.

***
When consciousness came back to him Rox was quickly aware of one thing, every centimeter of his being just plain hurt. His hair even felt like it hurt and in that groggy state he wasn’t sure how that worked. Honestly he didn’t really care but pain meant one thing, he was still alive. He almost laughed at the thought but kept himself from doing it because it would mean another wave of pain, not that trying not to laugh was exactly doing him any favors. Slowly he opened his eyes, assaulted by the brightness in the room. Although a familiar face quickly came into view.. “Rox you got to stop scaring us like that,” he said.

“Scope?”, he asked, still a little foggy and tried to sit up. And immediately regretted it as he took in a sharp breath through his teeth. Before Scope could get him back down another person in the room he didn't notice before put a hand on his shoulder and gently pushed him back down. Finally focusing on the person it still took a moment to see past the beard to see who it was, “Master Kenobi?”

“Easy my young friend,” he told him gently, “You’re safe now.” Rox finally looked around the room. He was on a republic cruiser. Now he finally let himself fully relax a bit. They survived, the two of them actually survived.

“Grievous?”, he asked.

“Unfortunately he was able to get away from your former master and myse;f when we confronted him on that station,” he answered. “If anything else he’s very good at escaping.”

“Wait,” he said looking around, speaking of his former master. “Where’s Kallen?”

Scope coughed a bit, glancing a look toward Kenobi, almost looking for permission to answer before saying. “Last I heard he was still discussing why you weren’t informed that Grievous was possibly in the area.”

“Still?”, he asked as the fog started to lift from his mind. “Wait, how long was I…?”

“You were in surgery for a couple of hours to repair that wound on your side.” Ros hand went to that very spot as Kenobi continued. “And that was before they put you in a bacta tank. From my understanding the doctors had to cut away the damaged tissue in order for it to fully heal. You’ll have a very stark reminder of these events for the rest of your life but it’ll heal with a few more bacta treatments.”

“And Kallen still….?” he trailed off, sitting up with a start before the other two could stop him. Immediately his hand went to where Grievous’ saber made it’s mark. Still he looked at his friend and went, “Scope.”

“Make sure he hasn’t gone and gotten him thrown into the brig.” he said right before heading for the door. Then he stopped and looked at Kenobi,” General.” Then he seemed to remember something and quickly amended what he just said, “Generals,” before exiting the room.

Trying to decide if the look on Kenobi’s face was one of amusement or not, Rox listened as he said, “I have heard that your unit is a bit lacking in proper decorum.”

“Ypu don’t approve,” he said a bit more defensively thn what was properly necessary in this particular situation. But this was his unit they were talking about. Yes they weren’t what you say up to proper military discipline, something Rox had pointed out to Kallen on several occasions since they first formed it after Geonosis. But he would not let anyone else disparage it in front of him.

“Honestly no,” Kenobi told him. Well at least he was honest about it. “But if Anakin was here I’m sure he’d make some comment about every unit being and acting the same would make us predictable.” This time that was definitely an amused grin on his face, “Or something to that effect. Although he has been known to surprise me on occasion.”

Before he could respond the door opened back up with Scope coming back in jerking his thumb at something behind him, “Look who’s not in the brig.” Behind him a red haired homan hurried into the room but stopped as soon as he saw the other visitor in the room.

“Master Kenobi,” he quickly said.

“Hello there,” he said in response. “As you can see our friend here is awake and will make a full recovery. Although I didn’t think I’d be waiting so long when I agreed to watch over him while you talked about the mission details.”

“My apologies master Kenobi, but things got a little heated.” Stepping a bit closer to the bed. “I also learned that the station is being retired. Apparently the former head, who was removed because he was approving certain experiments that were banned since before the station was commissioned. Some of those experiments were kept going. If anything Grievous did us a favor by bringing this station to our attention.”

“I wonder how he would feel about that.”, Kenobi mused. To Rox he said, “You get some rest, and listen to the medics. Hopefully somebody will finally listen to me when I say that.” Looking at the two of them he said, “If the two of you will excuse me.” Nodding to both of them he gave Rox a pat on the shoulder he made his way toward the door, giving a quick shoulder pat to Kallen on the way out.

Once they were alone Kalen stepped closer to the bed, like he was trying to make sure Rox was actually alright for himself. “Do you have any idea how lucky you are?”, he said after a moment. “You barely survived against Grievous. “ Then he took a moment to collect himself then broke out into a grin of his own, “You survived Grievous. Not a whole lot of Jedi can say they did that. In fact one of them just left the room So you are in some good company.”

“Right now I’m still surprised you’re not in the brig,” Rox told him.

Kalen chaffed a bit at the comment, “I’ll have you know I realized that our intelligence isn’t fool proof and some things can slip through.” Rox just gave his former master a look, “Okay it took about an hour or so but it did happen.Kenobi is right about one thing you need your rest. Scope let the others know we're still going to be stuck with Rox for the immediate future.”

“With pleasure, see you Rox,” Scope said as he left the two of them.

“Any idea where Grievous went?”, he asked after a moment.

“What?”, Kalen went, “You think you could get that lucky twice? We got Grievous on the run, we can catch him. You just rest up and heal. Or I’ll get Scope and a couple of the others to make sure you don’t move an inch. You get me.” Letting out a sigh Rox just nodded. “I’ll see how long it’ll be before you can get out of here. Then we’ll get you on the Lane Runner, Sticks was worried about you.

Stick, the droid co-pilot that came with that YT - 1000 light freighter Kallen had acquired years earlier. “Of course he was,” Rox said as he started feeling groggy again.

Sensing it Kallen started heading for the door, “Now you rest up, because I will follow up on that threat, you hear me?”

Leaning back into the pillow Tox said, “Kallen, thanks for showing up.”

“Anytime buddy,” he said as he left the room. Once in the hallway he let out a breath, feeling that anxiousness had had been feeling finally fall away. Then he noticed was close by, talking to someone on a communivator.

“Lead on Ventress,” the person said. “You better hurry up Obi-EWan, you’ll miss all the fun.”

“Anakin, wait a moment,” Kenobi said. “Anakin. Anakin!” He let out a breath of his own, this one obviously born of frustration, he put the communicator away. Noticing Kallen was standing there he let a bit of it out, “I swear he’s going to be the death of me one of these days.”

“I thought the same about Rox more than once,” Kalen admitted. “Particularly when he was younger. Every so often he just seemed to find himself in some impossible situation.”

“Trust me I know exactly what you’re talking about,” Kenobi told him. “I’m surprised most teachers don’t have gray hair once their padawan makes it to Jedi.” They shared a small laugh. “I did notice that Clone, Scope, he seems rather friendly with Rox.”

“Well they are friends,” Kalen told him. “There are times I swear if you stopped them out of the armor and lined them up he could still pick Scope out.”

“I get the same feeling Ashoka could do that with Rex,” Kenobi told him. “But that’s a good thing, It’s easier to trust thr ones you’re in combat with if you know them. If anything Master Shak-ti knows the clones better than all of us seeing how she was responsible for their early training.”

“Are you that close with any of your clones?”

Kenobi seemed to think about it for a moment, eventually he said, “While I doubt anyone would ever confuse me and Cody as friends, Outside of Anakin there’s no one I’d rather have watching my back.” Kednobi looked at him, almost looking through him. “He’ll be fine.”

Kallen looked back at the door, knowing full well who he was talking about. “I know. They used to say the final lesson in the teacher-student relationship was learned by the teacher. On how to let go. They never said how hard that would be at times.”

“They never do. I took on Anakin because I thought I had to,” Kenobi told him. “But he is my brother through and through, and I still worry about him, gesturing toward the communicator on his belt he added with a smirk, “Obviously.”

Kallen smirked as well before looking back at the door, “Is it wrong that I want him to be a better Jedi than I ever was?”

Putting an arm around his shoulders Kenobi guided away from the door, “that’s what we all want my friend. But we can only show them the path. It’s up to them if they take it and how far they go.”

“Hmm,” Kallen grunted as they walked. “Master Yaddle told me something similar when Rox hit his rebellious phase.”

Smiling Kenobi said, “Who do you think I heard it from? Although I think Anakin was born in that rebellious phase. There are times I swore he was arguing just to argue at times.”

“I’m sure he questioned you like Rox did me growing up. It would be nice if they warned us about that after we take a student on.” A thought seemed to occur to him, “You don’t suppose we were that much trouble to our Masters do you?”

The question seemed to catch Kenobi off guard, like the thought never occurred to him before now. Thinking it over he started grinning again as he said, “Of course not, I’m sure we were the perfect students.”

I for one am not going to argue with a master,” Kalen told him. This war was far from over and both of them knew that there would be moments like this for everyone in the Republic.
 
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