"Damari! Get here girl! I need your help here!"
Ahsoka rolled out of bed, her eyes burning from the Shili sun that slanted through her window. She stretched her arms over her hood, grabbed her two lightsabers from underneath her sheets and stuffed them in the leather pouch she only took with her to work on laundry day, since she didn't want Demetrious to find them; the young Tagruta was mischievous and he would take the lightsabers without knowing what they were.
She sighed and stared at her hands for a while, missing the freeness of force using. Using said element, she took her cloak and fastened it round her neck. On her way out of the loft apartment, she splashed water over her face and arms, preparing for the heat of her home planet Shili.
She bounded down the stairs, taking them three at a time, and burst into the kitchen. She grabbed a piece of fruit and waved goodbye to her tenants before running through to find her employer waiting for her, standing behind the bar and looking overwhelmed from the drunks that demanded their next drink.
"Shanin." Ahsoka gasped, running over. "I'm here, I'm sorry I took so long."
"Ah Damari." Shanin turned, her eyes glowing with relief. "Help me here please, you know the night shift is the hardest part for us!"
Ahsoka smiled, but, even though she'd been living here for almost a year, she had not yet gotten used to her false name, she did not like lying to people who trusted her, but it was dangerous for both Ahsoka and them if they knew who she really was. She dumped her pouch on a chair behind the bar, freezing as the lightsabers inside made a noise, but Shanin didn't seem to notice and the drunks around her were too plastered to care.
She approached a Tagruta she had seen in the bar numerous times. "Hello, what can I get you?" She smiled, dreading the answer.
The male just pointed to a bottle of mysterious looking blue liquid above her head. Ahsoka nodded and poured him a glass, then she turned to the next couple along the bar. This went on until the early hours of the morning, and Ahsoka was craving the uncomfortable warmth of her bed by the time Shanin turned to her and said something she wasn't expecting,
"Your name, there is another Tagruta around here with the same, do you know her?"
Ahsoka blinked and turned to the heavy glass she was cleaning. "No, I haven't been here for years." She answered carefully.
"They lost their daughter years ago, she'd be about your age now." Ahsoka did not need to look up to guess how Shanin was looking at her.
Ahsoka nodded. "Is that so, what was her name?"
Ahsoka nearly collapsed, but she knew from her Jedi training, she would be giving herself away, it may not even be her, but she couldn't help wondering since she had used her mother's name as her false one.
"What did they lose her to?" Ahsoka asked instead.
Shanin shrugged. "Most of us around here think she died, but there were rumours at the time that the Jedi took her, she was such a
Ahsoka braced her shoulders, then rolled them. "Why are you telling me this?" She asked slowly.
"Because I don't believe your story that you ran away from your parents to escape a marriage, no Tagruta I know would do that, and most Tagruta live here, on Shili!" Shanin rebuked her quietly. "What's your real story? And I know Damari is not your real name, I have to call it at least three times to get your attention, and you're always doing things too fast when my back is turned, like you have the-"She stopped, then carried swiftly on. "Like you have the force!"
Ahsoka turned to her, her golden eyes were like smouldering embers, and she knew her own amber irises were sad. "I can't tell you." She murmured. "It's not safe, Shanin, I'm sorry."
"Don't you want to know who your parents are?" She whispered back. "What's happened to the Senate."
Ahsoka glanced swiftly around the bar, no customers seeking another drink, and those that were still conscious were leaving or drinking what they had. She turned and grabbed her bag, then opened it and showed the contents to Shanin. Shanin gasped, her hands covering her mouth, but her ember eyes glowed with a new kind of respect.
"My name is Ahsoka Tano, I have only just received my full Jedi status, but my Master Anakin Skywalker, what have you heard about the Jedi?" Ahsoka whispered.
Shanin shrugged. "Only the occasional foreign customer coming in and banging on about how the Jedi have fallen and the clones are searching for any of them, that the Senate has fallen also and the Empire," She spat the word. "Is run by Darth Sidious and Darth Vader, that's your master, the rumour is Anakin Skywalker was turned into Darth Vader."
It was Ahsoka's turn to look surprised. "I knew he had turned, but I did not know he- he was a Sith!"
Shanin lay her hand on Ahsoka's shoulder. "I'm sorry, I know how attached you become to your master, but you can help us!" Her tone turned exciting. "With you, we can turn everything back to the way it was! We could hire a bounty hunter to help you get to the empire, perhaps you could use that ship you arrived on, and you can fight Vader and end this!"
Ahsoka shook her head and turned away, back to cleaning the glass. "Do you know which Jedi are dead?" She asked sadly.
Shanin took out a notepad. "I write them down when they are announced, or when we get clones in here and they tell us who they've knocked out."
Ahsoka took the pad from her and skimmed down the list, her gaze stopping at the occasional Jedi she knew. Aaylar, Plo Koon, Mace Windu, Kit Fisto, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin, Stass Alie, Barriss Offee.
Barriss. Ahsoka silently mourned her old friend, and wondered whether her Master was dead, or had simply left her Padewan bleeding to death from Clones bullets. When she had finished the list, she tried to give it back to Shanin, but her employers face was grave when she murmured,
Ahsoka's eyes widened with horror, and she flipped through page after page of dead Jedi, one on each row of the pad. Her head felt dizzy with loss, and she noticed a name that was so out of place, amongst a host of other names she couldn't believe were dead.
"Yoda! Master Obie Wan!" She exclaimed silently. "They can't be dead!"
"We had a whole platoon of clones coming in and bragging about killing him, riding some lizard thing and they blew him up." Shanin told her.
"No, this is impossible, Obi wan would try to turn Anakin back to the Light Side." Ahsoka shot back. "He wouldn't just give up on him, he was his Padewan!"
"I know, they came here once I think, when I was a young girl, but they seemed ok. We've had plenty of Jedi in here since, and I always respected them. I was convinced you were one from the moment you got here, Ahsoka, I really was." Shanin babbled on, but Ahsoka was wondering how Obie Wan, the Jedi Master who had so often helped her with both her training and her Master, was dead, he can't be dead!
Ahsoka turned to Shanin. "I have to go and round up whatever Jedi I can before the clones do! If Rex and the 501st come here, I'll be dead!"
Just at that moment, the familiar tone came from the entrance, and her heart plummeted when she recognized Rex in the lead, his blaster slung over his shoulder, the blue marks on his dirty armour shining in the dimmed lights. Ahsoka ducked underneath the counter, her heart doubling its speed. Shanin glanced down at her, but Ahsoka turned beseeching eyes on her.
"Please don't tell them I'm here!" She pleaded softly.
Her heart skipped a beat when Shanin nodded and faced the clones with a bright smile. "Can I help you, Sir's?" She asked.
Rex laid his arm on the counter. "We're here on business, ma'am." He told her, the rest of the clones ranging out through the bar behind him, though one stayed with him. "We're here to ask if you've seen any Jedi, or had any through here recently."
Shanin pondered for a moment. "How recently?" She asked.
"From the past year ma'am." He informed her. He removed his helmet and placed it in front of him on the bar, his blonde hair was still cropped short and his sharp blue eyes seemed to bore straight into Shanin. Ahsoka held her breath, forcing away the urge to use the force.
"None this year, sir." Shanin replied, Ahsoka reminded herself to thank her later. "But I'll be sure to inform you if any should come this way."
Rex nodded. "If you're sure, and we'll be stationed out here until they are all dead, so tell other people who to tell if they see any." Shanin started, Ahsoka hoped Rex hadn't noticed, but, of course, he had. "Problem, ma'am?"
"I just didn't expect clones to be posted out in Shili." She floundered, then smiled nervously. "For how long?"
Rex sighed and rubbed his eyes. "Who knows, until they're all gone I suppose."
"Why are you killing them?" Shanin asked, slightly accusing.
Rex eyed her suspiciously, Ahsoka could just see his face from where she was crouched just inside the bar. "Following orders, ma'am, we have been ordered to hunt them down, and hunt them down we will."
Shanin nodded. "Can't come between a clone and his orders, can we?"
"Troopers ma'am." Rex corrected, Ahsoka giggled, then clamped her hands over her mouth and froze. Above her, Shanin stiffened. Recognition flared in Rex's eyes. "Are you sure there are no Jedi here, ma'am?" He asked.
Ahsoka reached for her bag and grabbed her lightsabers, readying herself for battle. Shanin nodded, her smile wavering. "Of course." She mumbled.
Suddenly, the Nautolan at the end of the bar coughed and pointed at the spot where Ahsoka had been standing in recently. "Where's that other server gone, I wants some more drink." He demanded, his voice slurred.
Rex, eyeing Shanin, turned to the Nautolan. "What server?" He asked.
"The young Tagruta's been servin' me all nights." The Nautolan slurred.
Ahsoka weighed the lightsabers in her hands, wishing she'd taken the time to train with them over the past year, she just hoped it'd come back to her once the fight began, though she didn't want to kill Rex.
Rex turned back Shanin; she was still stiff, and frighteningly still. "Sure you don't know someone called Ahsoka Tano, she's the only Tagruta Jedi left alive."
Shaak Ti. The name echoed around Ahsoka's skull, but she was in control of the Clone's base and probably the first one killed. Ahsoka took a deep breath and stood up, placing her hand on Shanin's shoulder, the older Tagruta looked at her in surprise, but Ahsoka only smiled sadly. "I don't want you to be killed for me; I have to talk to my Master."
"Ahsoka!" Rex exclaimed. The other clones were suddenly behind him, unsure of what to do, their weapons raised but not exactly aiming. "I knew it was you!"
Ahsoka flipped open her lightsabers, and sent Shanin flying into the back wall using the force. Then she whipped round to deflect the bullets firing at her, though one skimmed her calf, making the flesh scream as the burning sensation made her feint. She carried on deflecting them though her timing continued being off and she was forced to dodge most of the fire, making her flesh tear and the burning intensify. She cursed over and over, her teeth clenched, until she could not help lifting the whole platoon with the force and fling them against the wall, leaving them stunned but not injured. Then she flung their weapons away from them behind the bar. Her cover blown and leg failing, anger coursed through her veins and she narrowed her eyes with hate, ready to send a blast of force into the clones. A restraining hand on her arm stopped her, she turned into the appalled gaze of Shanin and realized what she had done. The pain in her leg became so much, she felt herself slipping away and clutched at Shanin's arms to steady herself, though Ahsoka felt so appalled with what she'd done to the clones she had formally trusted so dearly, she wished they would shoot her, to follow the other Jedi and not be alone any more.
But she managed to gasp the words, "Don't let them get me!" Before slumping onto the ground, the blood pooling around her calf.
Ahsoka groaned the ache in her lower leg unbearable even if it wasn't the same stabbing pain as before. She opened her eyes and starts when she sees where she is. She jumps up, though instantly regrets it when she slumps to the bottom of the containment cell, her eyes wide with the ripping sensation of her flesh.
Suddenly, a voice breaks out above her head, though the sound is filled with static so she guesses it's over intercom. "Ahsoka, stop, you're in the Shilian outpost, keep still and you're not going to open your wound again." Ahsoka grimaces and clutches her calf, begging whoever is watching over her to make the pain go away. She'd like to think it was Rex's voice, but being the commander of the outpost, he's probably got more important things to be worrying about than her.
"Shanin." She gasps.
Movement behind her, and delicate hands on her shoulders. The voice comes soothing and gentle, and she doesn't need to use the force to know who it is. "I'm here Ahsoka, I patched up your leg, but I'm no medic. You know how useless I am. The clones helped as well, they say Lord Vader wants to talk to you, nothing more."
Ahsoka laughed harshly. "You don't believe that, do you Shanin, he'll try to turn me, and when I refuse, he'll kill me!"
"Why do you have to refuse?" Shanin asked desperately.
Ahsoka smiled and gripped her hand, she could safely say the girl was her friend now, not just her employer and tenant. "Do you doubt my abilities as a Jedi so much? And I thought I told you not to let them get me?"
"There wasn't much I could do, and they didn't exactly treat you roughly, they left food and water for both of us, and they keep checking on us." She pauses, her eyes wild, desperate, pleading for Ahsoka to say everything was alright. "They were your clones weren't they, Ahsoka?"
Ahsoka shook her head, but when she spoke, her voice was hoarse, grieving. "They were Anakin's." Her eyes clouded over, memories washing over, rejuvenating her bruised frame, and she was suddenly so sure she couldn't kill her master, she was afraid of the upcoming meeting.