Collab with Fallen x Bea

Xid leaned into the metal wall of the cramp speeder craft. His eyes closed and the vibrations rattled through his body. It gave him a sense of oneness with the machine. The ill aligned gears subtly grinded into his mind, drawing his attention and compassion. No different than a human with a disjointed shoulder to him. Xid bit his lip, ignoring his urge to fix it. It could wait until the mission ended. His hands rested on top of Navi who nestled into his lap. The little droid appeared offline, but he knew better. Rarely did Navi ever take that risk.

Lazily, his right eye opened. The iris drifted from right to left, eyeing up Sela then Master Rothul. Sela hadn’t gotten a decent night’s sleep and decided to doze off. He knew any sudden change in her surroundings, she’d jerk wide awake. Xid sighed before he turned his attention to Rothul. A curious little item settled in his hand as he listened to the holographic human on the other side. A pre-recorded message, Xid realized when Rothul set it onto repeat.

“What’s-” Xid began, until Sela’s voice interrupted him.

“Xid, please don’t bother Master Rothul. You don’t need to know about every single piece of technology that crosses your path.”

Dominik sat in silence as he listened to the recording. Most of it was just talk from the Council about their mission; checkpoints, hotspots, dead zones. Do’s, don’ts, intel, and warnings, all wrapped up into segments in which Dominik studied closely before their mission, and even now as they moved to their next checkpoint. Should anyone make out the features of his face in the dimly lit interior of the speeder craft, he looked concerned, puzzled, and in deep thought. Certain information the Council had given him had matched up, such as the terrain; rocky with blackened and dead forests. Their path was an old road that traced the edge of a clic. But other pieces of the Council’s info had been completely out of line since the mission had started. Had the holo-recording been tampered with? Was their intel incorrect?

Hearing Xid speak up, Dominik’s trance was broken, his mind returned to the here and now as he listened to Sela chastising Xid. The older Jedi glanced to Sela, then to Xid, watching their dimly-lit figures as the speeder craft shifted and creaked.

“He’s fine, Sela. His questions keep me alert during these long hours,” he began, before his gaze moved to Xid again, “it’s a holo-pad communicator, Xid.”

Dominik pressed a small button on the side of the device and shut the recording off as he returned the device to a pocket in his robes. “Usually they’re used to communicate to your allies on the battlefield. Out here though, I’m using it to help refresh my memory with key points of the mission in which the Council briefed me about.”

Xid looked at the small communicator. Something nagged at him, his eyes narrowed and his teeth bit his lower lip again. For a moment he toyed with the reasoning before he made a request.

“May I see it? Something is bothering me about it.” He held out his hand, hoping the master would allow him to take it apart.

Dominik hesitated for a slight moment at the odd request, but he ultimately reached into his pocket and pulled the holo device back out.

Sela opened her right eye, seeing the exchange, then sighed.

“Xid’s going to dismantle that. Either it has a malfunction or he is curious. I hope it wasn’t important.”

“There’s plenty more where this comes from, Sela. Not to worry.” Dominik said, handing the holo-communicator to Xid, playfully dropping it into the boy’s hand. “I’ve got the details memorized. But I’ll admit I’m stumped at the lack of things that match up.”

“It could be a malfunction, like Sela said. However, I need to get inside and determine what’s the matter.” Xid stated as he adjusted Navi.

The little droid buzzed then clicked his displeasure at being a makeshift work table. Despite it, he never moved. He stayed surprisingly still while Xid began to dismantle the holo communicator. His fingers nimbly found the seam and coaxed it apart, gently tearing the sealant. He frowned suddenly. He reached in to pull a small, circular disk from within.

“I don’t know what this is doing here… but it doesn’t belong.”

Dominik moved to stand from his seat, balancing carefully as he took a single step towards Xid to better see what the boy was talking about. There were sounds of a loud explosion before the speeder craft suddenly lurched to its side. As the vehicle caught its own momentum and began to rollover Dom attempted to brace himself, holding onto one of the seats for as long as he could. Meanwhile Sela and Xid had little time to react. Xid flew from his seat while Sela gripped and held on with more success. The craft must have hit a large object because it came to a very abrupt halt, teetering on its side before finally coming to rest. The frame of the craft rocked slowly as its momentum caught up, threatening to push the vehicle over the edge of the cliff that traced along the edge of the road.

Dominik’s eyes opened slowly, finding himself tangled between two seats. The Jedi stood slowly, looking around the cab as troopers moved; the world spinned as the men attempted to crawl out of the craft. Dominik heard shouting of a cliff, and the craft losing its balance. The Master looked around for Xid and Sela, catching a glance of the female Jedi as she followed the Republic troops out to defend what was left of the convoy. Screaming and shouting filled the old Jedi’s ears as he frantically searched for Xid as he tried to make his body move quicker than it wanted to.

Navi buzzed and clicked, shook itself free. Its small legs began to crawl over the few corpses left by the explosion on one side. The red slotted eyes scanned for signs of life. Frantically it roamed up and down, weaving through the carnage near the back. Finally it found Xid. The boy was passed out cold underneath about three dead troopers. Blood trickled down his forehead and stuck to his blond, curly hair. Immediately, the little droid whistled for Dominik’s attention.

Dominik heard the whistle loud and clear, despite the chaos of the ambush just outside the craft.

“Watch yourself, Navi!” Dominik instructed. The Jedi hurried over towards the small droid, his mind and his limbs finally working together. Despite the pain he felt aching through his body, nothing else mattered more than securing Xid and getting out of the speeder craft. He could sense Xid’s essence, the boy was still with them. But neither of them would last much longer if they remained there. Dominik could feel the downed vehicle swaying and assumed they were dangerously close to the cliff’s edge.

He hauled the dead soldiers off of Xid’s body and gently picked the young Padawan up, wrapping his arms around Xid’s chest and pulling him towards the opening just a few feet away.

Navi began to scramble ahead, moving easily over the debris. The weight in the craft suddenly shifted and tilted farther back, the little droid off before it realized what had happened. It slid down into the sheer drop of the cliff face.

Dominik suddenly felt the weight of the craft shift. His heart dropped as gravity suddenly took over, throwing him off-balance within the cab of the vehicle. One arm wrapped tightly underneath Xid's arms and around his chest, the other arm going out, that hand held to Navi. Dominik gave the little droid no time to react before he was suddenly pulled into the Jedi's grip through use of the Force. Navi, caught off guard by the sudden jerk, buzzed and clicked in protest. Dom held on to the little droid tightly, his other arm securely holding Xid as he fought gravity to maintain his balance.

They had been falling for a few seconds now, and Dominik knew they had little time. The Master positioned himself in the opening of the craft before taking a leap of faith, pushing himself hard and trusting the Force as he leapt.

The trio landed hard on a small rock face not far from the bottom of the canyon. Dominik landed with force and rolled, losing his grip on Xid and Navi as they hit the surface. Not two seconds later there was the sound of metal colliding with rock, the vehicle meeting a fiery explosion on the floor of the canyon in which they fell.

Xid rolled a few feet, coming to rest on his face and abruptly stirring to life. A cough rattled his chest as he rose up, his body folded into a small upright ball. His hand cradled his head while he shook off the grogginess. Meanwhile, Navi managed to land mostly unharmed. Unless you count its dignity being important. The little droid tucked its legs in and skidded across the gravel, coming to a halt with a quick spin. It rose upright onto its legs as it wobbled right then left before adjusting its balance. If it wasn’t for the fact it was a droid, one might’ve thought Navi was drunk.

“Fuck, my head… what happened?” Xid asked in a meek voice.

"We- were ambushed." Dominik responded, pausing as he slowly rolled onto his knees from the ground. The older Jedi was breathing hard, a mix of adrenaline and exhaustion lacing his words as he spoke. His face donning multiple scratches and bruises, he looked to Xid before glancing up towards the top of the canyon. The man took a moment as he shifted his body weight from both knees, to one, and then to his legs and feet as he slowly stood. He walked slowly over to Xid, attempting to keep an even gait and a painless look to his face.

Dominik kneeled down next to the boy, his hands moving to gently caress his head as old eyes examined the wound upon it.

He asked for no permission and expected Xid to sit still as he turned the Padawan's head gently, looking at the gash and the blood that ran through dirty blonde hair.

“Owww,” Xid fought not to flinch at the touch. Despite being a male, he had a low tolerance to pain compared to most.

“It’s just a scratch.” He gave the master a weak smile.

"That disk- the one you pulled out of my holo-communicator… what do you think it was?" He asked as he continued to examine Xid's head. At this point, Dominik had his fair share of ideas, but he wanted to test the Padawan to see if what he had woken up to gave any clues as to what may have conspired.

“I didn’t get a chance to examine too well. I know it didn’t help the holo-communicator. It was like attaching a piece of plasteel to a lightsaber. Pointless. So I assume it had another purpose.” Xid admitted, but didn’t confirm Dom’s suspicions.

Gradually Navi strolled over to the others. It clicked twice, beeped and finally clicked again. It appeared worried over its master while it sized up Dominik.

“It’s all right, Navi. It’s just a scratch. Master Rothul is checking to make sure it’s nothing more.” The boy reassured his creation.

“As for what I think it was… I would say it was designed to collect information.”

"Very good observations." Dominik replied as he stood again. He wiped the blood on his fingertips against his robe, satisfied for the moment at how the cut was clotting. "Sometimes you must be able to observe and make decisions in the blink of an eye. You must trust what you saw and trust your instincts."

Although what had happened was not ideal, it was a good moment for Dominik to reflect on what had happened and pass down his knowledge to Xid.

"We won't be able to scale this canyon wall. So we'll follow the canyon in the direction of the rendezvous point. Hopefully, we can meet up with Master Kythor there." He instructed, holding out a hand to Xid as an offer to help the boy up.

No doubt the both of them were in pain. Dominik refused to let his demeanor reflect how he felt, for if he remained hopeful and unbroken for Xid, he hoped his Padawan companion would try his best to do the same.

“I just hope she stays safe.” Xid spoke his thoughts out loud. Gradually he rose onto his feet, letting himself ride out the vertigo before he checked for his lightsaber. He exhaled a breath then turned to the Master Jedi.

“Which do we travel? I can take a guess, but my sense of direction isn’t perfect. It might be incorrect.” Xid’s eyes panned the cavernous inside of the canyon they appeared to have become trapped in.

Dominik gestured in the direction that they should go, before pointing up towards the canyon edge where the road was. "We'll follow this edge, the road skirts along it for quite a distance. If all goes well Master Kythor will know to meet us at the rendezvous point." Dominik explained.

They would eventually have to traverse down to the canyon floor, but for now the rock face they both stood on followed the canyon wall for quite a distance.

“So, why do you think the holo communicator was bugged?” Xid asked, his curiosity sparked by the memory. His hands folded into his sleeves of his outfit. Navi scrambled at his feet, having little issue keeping up with the pair. Its eyes scanned the canyon walls, paranoia filled its beeps and clicks.

“I think we’ll all right Navi. They might suspect we didn’t make it.” Xid assured his droid.

"Even so, never let your guard down. I'm not sure who we're up against, Xid. It's best to keep your head down and vigilant."

Dominik sighed as he walked, working hard to keep his gait even as an old injury pulled at his hip. "As for the communicator, details haven't matched up. The Council briefed me on this mission, every checkpoint, hotspot and dead zone. Some points have matched up perfectly, but areas where we should've seen resistance, we did not. That road up there, that was supposed to be friendly to the Republic forces. That's not the case."

“That information makes me concerned. It sounds fabricated. Who do you think could’ve done it?” Xid knew he should stop, but his questions continued to come. Navi seemed to buzz in annoyance before looking around again.

He continue to follow Dominik through the winding walls.

"I could not tell you. I didn't receive the communicator directly from the Council. So that's our first clue. It was given to me while I was travelling back here. I'd have to sit and meditate on it." The Master Jedi explained, glancing over at Xid for a moment.

Xid smiled then abruptly stopped in his tracks. His smile fell and was replaced by concern, something gnawing at his force sense. It took him a moment to realize the cause. His hand reached for Master Rothul’s sleeve and pulled him toward a shallow impression.
“Stay here. There’s a droid patrol coming, I got an idea. Can you be bait?” A pleading expression appeared on his face as he begged for Dominik to trust him.

The tug at his sleeve caught Dominik off guard, but he followed Xid easily. The Master Jedi was puzzled at first as he listened to the Padawan's words. If they were droids, then that explained why Dom sensed nothing in that moment.

After smirking slightly at the boy, Dominik nodded. "What's this idea?"

Xid exhaled as he explained.

“I’m going to have you draw their fire and keep their attention. While they are focused on you, I’ll take them out quickly. When all of them are down, I can use the parts to transmit a signal for help. The Republic can pick us up rather than us risking encountering enemies. It also takes out some enemy droids. Win-win.”

He paused to see what Master Rothul thought of his plan.

A faint smile found its way to the Master Jedi's lips as he listened to the Padawan pitch his plan. No doubt the boy was confident about this. He pitched it flawlessly and obviously knew what he was capable of when it came to machines.

"Alright. I'll keep them distracted for you." He said with a nod. The Jedi didn't wait for a moment longer before he turned, igniting his saber and rushing out from the crevice that they had in.

"Right here you rust buckets!" Dominik called, his heart beating fast as all six of the Mark I droids looked to him. They weren't fast, but with two blaster cannons on each arm, they still packed a punch. Dominik went immediately on the defense, waiting until Xid was ready and pulling their attention away from the younger Jedi. His saber moved quickly as he deflected the blaster bolts that came at him, easily sidestepping and avoiding the rest.

As Dominik drew their attention, Xid looked at Navi.

“Ready?” The droid buzzed in an eagerness, ready to rumble.

Xid smiled then shot out of cover, his feet moved silently across the gravel. Like a shadow he gained ground on the rear droid and Jumped. His feet touched onto the back. His lightsaber ignited then sliced off the droid’s head in a swift movement, his other hand gripped the back shield. It crumbled as its companion looked into his direction. He wasted little time. Xid’s hand jerked out and disabled the droid with the force causing it to shut down instantly. Meanwhile, Navi rushed for the next one. Its magneted feet latched onto the plasteel surface then climbed up. The little droid sat on the center with its laser pointed down and began to burn through the chassis. The Mark I began backwards, its arms reached for its back. Xid moved to the next one. One by one, the droids began to fall before Xid’s skill until he beheaded the last one.

His hand turned off his lightsaber and strapped it back to his utility belt. “So, how did I do?”

Just when he asked, one of the still standing droids dropped to the ground.

Dominik watched as Xid went to work, quickly disabling the droids as he held their attention. Deflecting the blaster bolts became easier as less and less droids remained standing, which allowed Dominik to observe Xid as the boy moved. A smile found its way upon his face as he finished off the last one, the boy turning and innocently asking how he did. The Master Jedi chuckled as the last droid collapsed, turning off his lightsaber and walking over to the young Padawan.

He laid one of his hands on Xid’s shoulder and smiled down at the boy before looking up at the droids.
“Not bad at all, Xid, not bad at all. Although next time you could help an old man out and disable their turrets first.” the man joked before he took his hand and moved to inspect one of the downed droids.

Xid shuffled and commented, “It’s not easy even when they are moving slowly. I had to take one out at a time.”

“So, how about you show me how you’ll use these piles of junk to send out a signal. I’m sure I could learn a thing or two from you.”

At the encouragement, Xid smiled brightly. He began to float several droids into a central location and get into work. He used Navi to precisely cut into the chassis of each one. Reveal tons of wiring and circuits, his attention lost in the task.

Dominik kneeled down as the younger Jedi went to work, disassembling the droids and looking for what he needed. Master Rothul kept a vigilant eye out, however, as Xid worked. Glancing up and down the canyon, observing the walls, even glancing up at the edge to make sure no one was looking down upon them. If this patrol was noted as missing, no doubt there would be someone to come along and investigate. He just hoped they had time before that happened. Fighting at the bottom of the canyon was not something Dominik wanted to experience.

Several hours passed. Xid was doing the final preparations on the signal before he started up the machine. Confidence oozed from him while he rose upright, dusting himself off and coughing the fumes from his laughs. He turned to Master Rothul as he spoke.

“I’m about ready, but I am not sure how strong it will be. I wish there was some more droids in that group because I could use more power cells.”

The smile that was on Rothul’s face slowly faded and the older Jedi was staring intently down the canyon. One hand moved to the saber on his belt and he took a couple steps forward. “I think you’re about to get them,” he began. His saber ignited and he glanced back at Xid, “stay back,” he instructed, “don’t go for the droids unless you know it’s safe.” A squad of Imperial troopers and Mark 1 droids approached their position.

“Navi!” Xid shouted behind him, the little droid peeking over the discarded gear.

The Master continued walking forward, his saber held at his side. From afar, Dominik could hear as one of the troops called out on a communicator. “Two Jedi, sir- yes, just two. At the bottom of the canyon. South at two, eight. Mark three five.” Suddenly the communicator shook in his hand and was pulled with force. With a hand outstretched, Dominik claimed the communicator in his own, crushing it and letting the pieces crumble to the ground.

“I want you to focus on me, and only me.” Dominik taunted, holding his saber at the ready. Droids and Imperial troops alike rained fire down upon Dominik who stood his ground. Saber moving in a flurry of blocks and parries, Dominik began deflecting the shots back towards the enemy squad, aiming to disable some of the closer droids and hoping to push the Imperials back.

Xid swallowed his desire to help. A useless tactic since his compassion rose up and soured at the back of his throat. His hand summoned his blade to it as he watched the fight. Dominik moved from one side to the other, grace produced by his years of experience. Blaster bolts darted back to their sources or through the dome of the Mark 1 droids. Their bulk crumbled in the middle of the conflict. As the master advanced, Xid darted in to jerk out the power cells and retreat back to his project.

He began to rewire the transmitters into the new set of power cells. Navi scrambled to his side, soldering what he needed into place. Xid glanced up long enough to see about five troopers advance on Dominik, supported by three droids.

Dominik held his ground as the Imperials and droids approached him. Saber held tight in his hands, the man rushed the group as shots flew past him. All he was worried about was keeping them focused on him and not on Xid, not on his transceiver; all eyes on him.

The Jedi moved quickly, his strikes and parries fluid, each with purpose. One hand held out to keep a droid at bay while an Imperial trooper rushed him. Dominik pushed his saber through the man’s chest and blocked an incoming shot. He moved fluidly with each passing movement, his senses heightened as he worked to avoid the enemy fire but also to hold back the troopers just before him. One blaster bolt to another and two Imperials were down. A quick jab and slash and two droids disabled.

Sidestepping quickly, he avoided a well timed shot that flew just past hid head. He ducked and weaved, trying to give Xid time and space for him to work on his device. Adrenaline fueled his movements while the Force guided his hand and kept the sensation of pain and exhaustion pushed far to the back of the Master Jedi’s mind.

Seeing Master Rothul handled himself well, Xid pressed the button and sent out a homing signal. Gears whirled and gears grinded, working in unison. He smiled while the current wave started to thin out. Xid knew he couldn’t help, but it wouldn’t stop him from trying. He seized a few of the leftover droid parts to work on crude turrent. Reinforcements would be here any moment to overwhelm them.

“How’s it going back there, Xid?” Dominik yelled, ducking to avoid a blaster shot before he finished off that last droid. Reaching out with the Force, Dominik grabbed the last trooper remaining and pulled him in, hard. Lightsaber at the ready, Dominik left the trooper with half a saber through the abdomen. The body dropped to the ground, lifeless, and the Master Jedi stood still for a few moments. Breathing in and out, he staggered once before he regained his balance.

“Let’s hope that if the Imperials can call for backup, that our remaining forces will get your signal.” the man said. He glanced back at Xid before looking further down the canyon. He sensed nothing, yet, but he knew they were coming. Dominik withdrew his saber as he slowly lowered himself to the ground. After a few long moments, he positioned himself in a meditative form, his saber rested on the ground next to him.

Xid looked over to spot the Master resume a meditative posture. He paused in his work to explain his current task.

“Well, we don’t know how far away they are. I’m currently working on a few of these blasters from the droids and making cruel turrent. They might help buy us time. However, they are going to be easy to destroy.” He began to mount the adapted weapon on the droid’s three legs hobbled together.

Dominik’s eyes closed as he worked to calm himself, breathing in and out slowly, deeply. He reached out with the Force, reaching as far as his experience would allow; he hoped he’d sense Sela, Commander Mak, any of their allies. They could not run from this fight, for there was nowhere to run. He had to hold their position for as long as possible if they were to live to see help arrive.

Minutes turned into hours among the hazy surface of Balmorra. The dead forest remained silent and showed no life between the darkened shadows in the distance. Xid had finished his last turrent before he took to mediating beside the Jedi Master. However, his mind refused to settle. The restless worry over their situation and Sela’s status bogged down his peace. It sank into his stomach where it disappeared. Unable to remain sitting for much longer, Xid pushed up to his feet and checked the machine.

“You shouldn’t let your worry distract you, Xid.” Dominik muttered as the young Jedi walked over to his machine. “Trust in your machine, trust in yourself, and trust in the Force.” he advised. His body aching, head pounding, Dominik let the Force flow through him freely. He would need to focus and allow the Force to guide him if they were to live to fight another day.

“And if I tell you to leave the machine and run, you run.”

“ I can’t promise that.” Xid said firmly, his attention turned to the Master.

The older man stood slowly, taking his lightsaber hilt in his right hand and ignited by the time he stood fully.

“That is an order.” he stated, glancing back at Xid for a moment before his focus turned back to the approaching Imperials in front of him.

Xid flinched at the older man’s voice and answered with silence. A silence that refused to submit.

From beyond the carnage of the last squad of droids approached more Mark I’s, another squadron of Imperial troops, and a Sith.

“Apprentice Daeden,” Dominik called out, recognizing the aura coming from the opposing Force-user facing him, “I thought you died, during the fighting on Alderaan, along with your Master when we sent hellfire raining down on your position?”

“Only a fool would believe a Sith to perish under that sprinkle you call hellfire. The strongest will survive.” came his muffled voice, his words laced with anger and hatred towards the very Jedi he faced.

“Where might your master be then?” the old Jedi taunted.

There was a moment of silence before the Sith pulled out his saber hilt, igniting it and showing the red, double-bladed saber in front of him as a taunt.

“The same place I’m about to send you.”

Blaster fire erupted towards Dominik as the Jedi Master held his position. He knew better than to charge an enemy that outnumbered him far greater than he could handle. He used the heavy armor pieces of disabled droids to block incoming shots, and sent smaller pieces hurtling towards the blaster fire in an attempt to take out Imperial troops and droids. The Sith warrior charged Dom quickly, his saber staff twirling in his fingertips as he pushed the Jedi aggressively. There was a flurry of red and green as Dominik met the Sith head on, not allowing himself to be pushed back towards Xid and Navi.

Their sabers met each other non-stop as they fought in a sea of blaster fire. From Xid’s side, the mounted blasters 5kept the Imperials from advancing, and drew the droids in closer to them. Enemy fire flew past Dominik in an attempt to catch a weak spot in Xid’s defenses, with no avail.

Dominik worked to disable the Mark I droids as they came close, all while keeping the Sith Apprentice from finding an opening. They danced around the battlefield, their fighting styles all too similar, making it difficult for one to outmatch the other. Dominik sliced through the chassis of one droid as he maneuvered past it, using the droid’s metal body as a projectile and utilizing the Force to throw it at the Sith. Creating distance between them, Dominik took the offensive and rushed the man again. He placed a hard kick square in the Sith’s chest, receiving one to the back himself not a few moments later. The Master stumbled, rolling in order to catch himself and standing quickly. He turned and caught the red blade blade with his own.
A hard kick to his side and Dominik moved sideways, narrowly dodging a blaster bolt to the face before he parried another strike from the Sith. He felt the Force pull at his focus as blaster fire from the troops became focused on him. Some of them moved in closer while others fell to the mounted blasters on Xid’s turrents.

Another kick to his chest and Dominik tumbled backwards.

“Remember what I told you Xid!” Dominik yelled, his voice cracking and laced with exhaustion as he fought hard to block the enemy Sith’s attacks coupled with the blaster fire that came his way.
“I remember,” Xid shouted back over the mounted blasters firing. He ducked when another blaster headed for his head and blasted into a temporarily shield.

“I got other ideas in mind.” He said under his breath.

“You will do as I say Padawan Terrik!” Dominik demanded, ducking to avoid a strike and stabbing backwards, disabling a droid. Dominik went to parry when the Apprentice moved in again but was caught off guard as one of the Sith’s hands grabbed his wrist. His free arm went out, blocking the saber strike and feeling the grip on his wrist tightened.

The Master Jedi suddenly felt a surge of electricity as the Sith unleashed Force lightning into his body. Dominik cried out as the lightning surged through him, Eyes closed tightly as the Sith’s grip tightened. He craned his neck to see Xid, blaster fire still soaring around the battlefield.

“You will do as I say!” he reminded Xid, head turning back as the Sith chuckled.

“What is that saying? Master Jedi? There is no death, there is the Force?” The apprentice taunted.

Weakened and attempting to reign in the pain, Dominik felt himself lifted up, his chest tight as the apprentice held him there momentarily. Suddenly his body was thrown towards the canyon wall. Dominik hit the stone wall hard, his body falling to the ground immediately. With the strength he could gather, he attempted to stand before spotting the metal chassis of multiple Mark Is hurdling for him. The hilt of his saber dropped and both hands went out in an attempt to cushion the blow Dominik knew he would take.

Pushed back into the surface of the canyon, Dominik felt as the heavy metal bodies of the droids weighed down his body. His chest rose and fell, his breathing fast an erratic as he tried to breath despite the weight sitting on chest and torso. His head spun as he saw his vision fading. He could feel multiple spots that the sharp metal had punctured into his body. He fought to stay awake, his thoughts on Xid as his mind threatened to fade away into nothingness.

Xid had finished a small, primitive flashbang grenade out of blaster parts. His defenses began to fall as the Imperial troopers took them out in a strategic fashion. Feeling the pressure build to protect his allies, his mind came up with a rash plan. At seeing the Apprentice toss the chassis of the droids at Master Rothul, Xid rushed over the barrier protecting him. Navi scurried to follow.

The little droid raced against his master as it shot a cable at the Sith’s leg. Sensing it, the apprentice jerked his foot out of the way and sliced at it. A perfect distraction when Xid came into range. He released the small grenade as it rolled to the Sith’s position. His eyes closed to protect them while his hands pressed to his ears. Abruptly a blast of light and sound exploded out. It caught everyone within fifty meters, leaving them blind and deaf.

The distraction would only last a short time.

Xid’s hand extended. He ripped off the chassis one by one off of the Jedi master before shouldering the Jedi Master’s weight. Navi went for the nearest Mark 1 and began to slice into it. In moments, the droid was no longer under its own control. It turned to help Xid haul Dominik away. Navi leapt off to move onto another droid gradually increasing the ‘friendly fire’ among the Imperial troops.

“Come on, we’re not done. Get moving!” Xid hissed, his strength not being his strong suit. His lightsaber floated to his hand and batted away any stray blaster fire coming in. Slowly, the droid and him walked toward the barrier.

The SIth apprentice turned to Xid after he had dealt with Dominik, but what he didn’t expect was to be blinded and deafened in just a few short moments. Before he could move to stop the younger boy, some of the Mark I droids turned and began firing at him, forcing him to take up a defense. The apprentice slowly made his way towards Xid as the boy tried to get Dominik to safety, simultaneously shaking off the disorienting effects of the bomb Xid had set off.

Meanwhile, Dominik felt the weight on his body life, taking in a stifled breath as his chest was allowed to expand fully. He was in and out, but sensed Xid nearby, eyes opened as he felt someone pick him up and attempt to support his body weight. The Master moved his legs slowly, trying to help the young Padawan as Xid lead him back to the makeshift turrents.

“I told you-- to leave.” Dominik mumbled, forcing himself to remain awake as his body wanted to do the opposite.

“I’m getting tired of being helpless and watching my allies die. You and Sela think I should be protected at all costs but I disagree. I feel my life is only worth if I gave it to protect others. Now,” He spotted the apprentice gaining ground.

His head turned to the droid and made the orders. “Keep moving him toward the transmitter. I’ll see what I can do with the Sith.”

He slipped from under Dominik’s arm to face the Sith. A few stray blaster bolts flew at him, his lightsaber batted them away easily. His lungs inhaled before he rushed at the incoming Sith. He stepped onto a fallen Mark 1 using the droid for a boost in his jump. Both hands grip the hilt while Xid shouted a war cry, bring it down into a vertical slash onto the head. The Sith raised the left end of his saberstaff to catch then slap it away. The sabers hissed on contact. Xid, mindful of his footing, took a step from the Apprentice. His blade twisted back to the starting position.

“So now they rely on children to protect their Council? My my how the Jedi have fallen.” The Apprentice mused at Xid’s attempts.

“At least I can make better droids than the Empire. These Mark 1s seem more like toys than war machines.” Xid countered, not expecting his taunt to get a raise from the Sith.

The Apprentice smirked. His lightsaber staff flickered out with a horizontal slash at Xid’s left side forcing the Padawan to block. Back and forth, the two exchanged blows. Xid was clearly out of his expertise with each parry, block and attack he made. His eyes scanned the battle field for debris. Small chunks of scattered about giving him an idea. As the Sith made a swing for his legs, he jumped up. His arm extended and pulled a large chunk, followed by several smaller ones, toward him. At the peak of his jump, he shoved them at them at the Sith.

Holding on to the droid as it hobbled back to the defensive position did had created, Dominik let go and dropped to the ground once they were close enough. His body wanted to give in and his mind wanted to fall into a realm of nothingness.

He watched as Xid pulled debris from the battle towards the Sith apprentice who drew his saber in defense and blocked most of the projectiles. One of them slipped through his range of motion, striking his lightsaber and effectively destroying the inside mechanism. Holding an arm up to shield his head from the rest of the incoming debris, he immediately looked to Xid. One hand reached out, and through the use of the Force he took the boy by his throat. A few of the remaining projectiles stuck him in his side, drawing a sharp breath from the Dark-sider and immediately tightening his hold on Xid's throat.

“You will never escape the inevitable, Jedi!" He screamed, pacing towards Xid as he lifted the young Padawan into the air.

Xid’s eyes widened in surprise. The force tightened about his throat when he was jerked into the air, his feet left dangling above the ground. Air remaining in his lungs burned up. He struggled as he tried to escape, but couldn’t. His lightsaber dropped from his hands while darkness edged into his vision. Gradually his body became limp and still.

The Sith had sensed the life slip from him. A victory swelled in the enemy as blaster shots faded, the battle drawing to a close. A blue light shot through the dust and plowed into the Sith’s shoulder. It knocked him back causing him to drop Xid. The Padawan crumbled into a heap. The Apprentice hissed in pain and glanced up for the source. In the background, behind the barrier, several figures began to file out of a speeder craft. Republic troopers. Among them, a lightsaber lit up and a woman’s voice shouted over the chaos.

“Step away from my Padawan, Sith.”

Seeing the tide had turned, the Apprentice glared then began to make a tactical retreat. All the Imperial troops began to fall back leaving the reinforcements to set up a defense and check on the survivors. Passing Dominik, Sela raced toward Xid’s fallen form. Two field medics followed in her wake to assist. Navi hovered over its master, clicking and beeping with panic over no signs of life. Sela immediately floated the droid to the side to prevent it from hindering them.

The medics checked for vital signs. Confirming them, they revived Xid with a snap of smelling salts. He suddenly sat upright then gasped, inhaling fresh air. His reaction brought her a peace of mind. Even in his condition, his mind inquired about Master Dominik’s condition.

“Is ...Master Rothul ... alive? Did he … make it?” He struggled to properly speak past the coughing fit.

“Take it easy, Xid.” She turned to Dominik’s direction, seeing a few medics check him and one flashed her a thumbs up. A signal the master still lived.

“If I know Dominik, he’s tougher than his age makes him appear.” She chuckled then monitored the surroundings as the medics loaded up both Jedi.