Fives's Awakening: Part 2

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    Echo helped Fives to his feet. "I have a contact. We'll get off the planet." He tossed Fives a black shirt.

    Fives pulled his shirt on. "The Jedi?"

    A look of distain crossed Echo's face. "The left us to die. We'll return the favor."

    "Echo?" Fives froze, shocked. This isn't the Echo I knew.

    "Come one." Echo led Fives through the winding streets of the lower levels. They moved upward. 

    After walking for only a few minutes, Fives stepped off a walkway and leaned against a slimy wall. "I need a breather." Disgust washed over him. Before, this walk wouldn't have tired him at all.

    Echo gazed upward.

    Smoke drifted into Five's nostrils. Above them in a narrow patch of sky, smoke billowed from the Jedi temple.

    A body plunged from the upper levels. It crashed onto a walkway and lay still.

    Fives hurried to the body. Even in his state, he couldn't stand by and do nothing.

    The body lay facing away from Fives. A lightsaber lay next to it. A Jedi.

    The Jedi moaned.

    Echo grabbed Five's arm. "We're leaving, now."

    Fives pulled loose and knelt by the Jedi. She rolled onto her back, exposing a bundle in her arms. "Wrath, he's your son. Take him." She shoved the bundle toward Fives.

    Without thinking, Fives grabbed the bundle. A baby.

    "His name's Ezra." The Jedi coughed blood. More blood stained her robes. She doesn't have long.

    Clone footsteps echoed from the walkways above. 

    Echo jerked Fives to his feet. "We have to get out of here."

    Fives glanced once more at the Jedi. They couldn't help her. He followed after Echo, the baby in his arms.

    Blaster fire rent the air behind them.

    Echo led Fives through the maze of the lower levels until they came to a landing pad.

    Five Weequay stood around some sort of modified Firespray ship. When they spotted the clones, they aimed their rifle and pistols at them.

    Echo held up his hands. "Hey, guys, it's me, Echo. Remember, I paid for a ride on this thing."

    A few of the pirates relaxed.

    Echo stepped toward them. "I want on the ship now. There's a real wreck in the upper levels."

    "Hondo's not back yet," one of the pirates said.

    "There he is." Another pirate pointed.

    Hondo limped around the corner of a building. He carried the body of a girl slung over his shoulder.

    Hondo's eyes narrowed at the two clones, his face showing nothing but hatred.

    Fives instinctively reached for his blaster with his free hand but he had no blaster. The baby chose that moment to scream.

    The pirates spun to face Fives.

    "Leave those two here." Hondo stumbled past them with the body of a teenage Tholothian.

    Echo stepped toward Hondo. "I paid for passage."

    Hondo glared.

    Ezra screamed.

    "Put them in the brig," Hondo ordered. He limped up the ramp and vanished into the ship.

    The pirates shoved Fives and Echo to the brig. Fives stumbled. A jolt of pain tore through his chest. He barely kept his hold on Ezra.

    Echo helped Fives into the cell. Fives sank to the floor as the ship took off.

    "Make that thing shut up," one of the pirates snapped.

    Fives stared at the screaming baby. How could he make him be quiet?

    A female pirate shoved her way past the other pirate. She held out her arms. "Give it here."

    Fives clutched the baby to his aching chest.

    The pirate's grizzled face softened. "Is it yours?"

    Fives stared at the baby. The Jedi had mistaken him for another clone. "I think he belongs to one of my brothers." The boy's bright blue eyes and black hair showed he wasn't a clone, but it wasn't hard to imagine his father was. A bad smell drifted off him.

    "I've raised four of my own," the pirate said. "I can change him and get him fed."

    "Let her take him," Echo whispered.

    Fives handed Ezra to the pirate. 

    She held him to her chest. "I doubt you two could even figure out which end the diaper goes on."

    She left the cell and the door clanged shut.

    Echo knelt by Fives. "How are you doing?"

    Fives touched his aching chest. "Tired and sore."

    Echo glanced at the male pirate, who stood guard outside the cell. "You got any idea what your captain's plan is?"

    "Ask him." The pirate nodded to the doorway.

    Hondo limped through the doorway. A bandage encircled his leg.

    Echo stood but Fives stayed on the floor. He couldn't afford to push himself any farther.

    "You two crazies have anything to say for yourselves?" Hondo demanded.

    Echo quickly explained what they knew about the chips, and how he and Fives were not being controlled by the things.

    Hondo nodded. "So that's why they attacked the little Jedi."

    "And what about us?" Echo asked.

    "I'm dumping you three on Lothal. You can make your way from there."


    "You've got to leave him. It's not safe," Echo said quietly.

    Ezra looked up at Fives, his blue eyes shining in the moonlight.

    "We could keep him."

    Echo shook his head. "You can barely change a diaper. If we get caught with that kid, they might figure out what he is." 

    Fives sighed. With the Jedi being hunted down, a clone deserter with a child who had no mother would be suspicious, especially if they realized the clone was supposed to be dead.

    "I can do it if it's too hard for you," Echo said. 

    "I'll do it." Fives crept toward the door with Ezra in his arms. Pockmarks covered the house, but the windows and yard were clean. Fives had seen the couple living there. They were a nice pair of humans, but had no children of their own. Hopefully, they'd be happy when they found one.

    Fives lay Ezra on the doorstep and scrawled a hasty note. His name is Ezra. Please take care of him. He folded the note around a few credits. He rapped the door twice then ran to the cover of another building.

    A shaft of light illuminated Ezra. The woman stepped into the doorway and scooped up Ezra. She read the letter then walked into the house with the Ezra.

    Echo put his hand on Five's shoulder. "You did the right thing."

    Fives nodded.

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