Chapter Two: Melia

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Melia Skye had no idea what she was going to do with the half dead, bloodied clone she was trying to get Bee to pick up. "No, you idiot! Be careful with him!"

She'd slapped a healing patch on him in a last ditch effort to save his life. She'd need to be careful with it, though, and get the patch off before it went bad and started souring his flesh. Healing patches were good at healing burns. They'd fall off once they were done and you didn't have to worry about infection. But a soured blaster bolt wound, especially one on the belly, could be deadly. The clone had damn near been disemboweled. Melia had pretty much jerked the melted armor off his body and tossed it aside. The clone had gasped, but he hadn't stirred. And he'd been in a pool of his own blood. That was not a good thing. This clone needed to be functional. Melia had allowed herself a few peeks at his body and liked what she saw.

Who knew that clones were so handsome?

"Designation: Just Kill Me Now has a low heart rate and low blood pressure approaching critical shock," Bee chirped.

"I know that, Bee." Melia cursed softly and grabbed his head. She couldn't carry him. The di'kut weighed too much! He was solid muscle, that was for sure. And, while that was nice, she also needed to be able to move him if he was injured.

"And I highly doubt you got his name right." Melia thought for a few seconds. "Go on and clear his designation banks, will you?"

"Clear designation for Designation: Just Kill Me Now. Yes or no?"

"Yes." Melia touched his pulse point. Amazingly, his heart was still going after all of the trauma he'd endured.  Melia nodded and pealed off the healing patch before wrapping the slightly healed wound in cotton gauze. Bee didn't have the verbal skills most modern droids had. It was both a blessing and a curse. He was also about as curious as a small child and as likely as one to follow orders. But, then again, Bee was a cheap, mass produced model that was supposed to walk forward and shoot things. He had Level I AI. Just basic stuff, like following orders, but even that chip was damaged. It gave him his personality, though, and Melia wasn't about to damage her droid.

"Designation: cleared designation. State designation."

Melia looked at the tattoo on the side of his head. "Call him Five for right now."

"Designation: Five. Is that correct?"

"Yes." Melia finished doctoring him up and sent a silent prayer to the goddess Sulis. She didn't have anything to offer the fickle goddes right now, but she would later. Or Melia would go visit a hot spring or something. She could always ask, though. "We need to get going. Five...he's not in good shape. And be careful, Bee."

The not in good shape was the understatement of the century. Five had been shot in the gut and left. She had no idea how long he'd been left there. It could have been hours for all she knew. There was a very  good chance this clone was going to die in her ship. He was very sick, his blood had stained all of his clothing, and he was barely breathing.

Even though she had reprogrammed Bee to the best of her ability, he was still a battle droid. He still had the basic programing to go looking for things to kill. He just didn't do it anymore. Bee was her vanguard. He went and looked for the bad guys and tried to kill them before they hurt Melia. However, he was currently toting a half dead clone with a gut wound and she really hoped he did what he was supposed to do--help her.

Melia was worried about sepsis. It wouldn't be the wound that killed him, though Sulis knew it had tried. It would be the infection that resulted from ruptured intestines, if that had happened. Thankfully, as far as she could tell, that hadn't happened. He'd need to be on soft foods, though. He had been injured in that area and she didn't want to hurt him even more than he already was.

They got back to the frigate she owned, a simple Corellian Y-210 class called the Firefly. Five was still limp when she got him in a medical bed.  She wrapped him up in the blankets, running a hand through his short, black hair. This clone had every right to be scared when he woke up. Zygerrian slavers tortured clones.They might  use him for labor by day and pleasure by night. Or even feed him to a rathtar.

The clone had probably been mistreated. He had every right to be scared and ready to fight when he woke up. If he'd been tortured before this...Melia didn't want to think of his mental state. This clone was going to be a mess. And Melia hadn't had to take him. She could have just left him to die. Not care about another victim of the Jedi. He was going to be a complete wreck, too.

Melia went up to the Firefly's bridge. Okay, she could deal with this. Technically, she had stolen Jedi property in her medical bay. That meant she needed to go perform a little bit of field surgery. Melia grabbed a clean knife, a hand held scanner, a thing of cotton balls, and a bottle of disinfectant. Melia came to his bed, said a quick prayer, and started scanning for the chip. That one would be behind his ear. Melia wiped down the area and cut the skin open. The chip popped out half a second later.

Followed by Melia wiping the area back down and putting a little medical tape over the cut. The clone moaned before rolling back over. Melia touched his forehead. No burning. It didn't look like he had a fever. It must have been a bad dream. Melia cursed under her breath. She didn't know how to deal with him. Bee was easy to deal with. His AI didn't  give him that much room to argue. And Melia wasn't going to upgrade him for conversations.

And the cat, Miss Viola, couldn't talk.

The clone blinked open his hazel eyes and moaned. "Where...where am I?"

"The Firefly," Melis calmly stated. "You might want to stay down for a little bit more." She held the bloody chip under his nose. The clone cursed. "What's your name?"

He gritted his teeth and looked at the worn blankets. "What does it matter to you?"

"My name is Melia Skye," she said. Melia sat beside him, looking at the injured clone. "You do need to be careful. I pulled that chip out a minute ago."

"Fives," the clone sighed. "My name is Fives." He balled up his fist in the blankets. "What...what are you going to do with me?"

"Get you healed up," Melia shrugged. "They left you to die. I can't imagine you would want to go back." Then again, her good friend Storm had said that her clone boy, Dogma, had wanted to go back even after he'd admitted that a Jedi had been abusing him. The clones were oddly loyal, even to the ones who hurt them.

"I'm not your slave!" Fives snapped. "I'll never be your slave!"

"That's okay. I pay my help, plus food and board," Melia shrugged. "That is, if you want to stay." Fives hissed as she looked at the bandages on his belly. "And I would be careful with that gut wound. It could tear open again."

Fives just rolled over and looked at the wall. "I hate to say this, but I don't believe you. Please. Just cut the crap. Don't bat me around like a ball on a string."

Melia swore under her breath. This...this was going to be harder than she thought, much harder.

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