|Where my spare time goes...|
It was almost impossible to hear over the surrounding deafening cacophony of shouts, explosions and blaster fire, but after a frantic moments calling and hoping, he had received confirmation of their signal, he’d done it, they were listening, now it was all up to Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO to get the transmission through. Sitting back on his heals in relief Bohdi allowed his guard to drop for a moment, something he almost immediately regretted, as he turned just in time to see a grenade rattle to the floor of the small vessel’s hold.
The Empire may view it’s people as an expendable commodity, but pilots take time and resources to train, plus the collateral damage of ships falling out of the sky made it worth their while to put /some/ safety measures in place, all pilot’s cabins were reinforced, the idea being /if/ a rebel managed to sneak an explosive on board it may well take out the hold, but the ship would at least be pilotable enough to land somewhere to minimise damage, and if fortunate enough to be valuable, await recovery.
Faster than thought Bohdi lunged for the cockpit, kicking out at the blast door, toe catching the trim enough to swing it so it hung between him and the hold, just seconds before the detonation, sending the door slamming into him with the full force of the explosion behind it, throwing him across the console, and smashing into the glass of the cockpit window.
The world faded back in a haze of dull pain and disorientation, the opulstry of the copilot’s seat was burnt away, blackened marks and dents scarring one side of the cabin, the door hung precariously from one shard of twisted metal formerly a hinge, it’s reverse studded with deadly looking shards of shell and ship fragments, covered in black scorching, the hold was… well the area was still there, but that was about the only thing it had left in common with the room he had so recently been hunkered down in, metal walls buckled and scorched, chunks of debris embedded in places that was probably not conducive to optimal functionality.
Wincing he began to inch and haul his way away from the glass, and off of the consol, looking out the window, the battle seemed to be turning, could they have gotten the re-enforcements he had convinced the others they were radioing for? Troopers seemed to be falling back in disarray, then he saw it, the dark shape of the moon like starship, the weapon charging up and leveled directly at the facility, at them, at him.
Falling into the pilot’s seat he began the ignition sequence, there was a large chunk of shrapnel embedded in something fairly important, the engines remained dormant.
“come on, come on, come on...” he pleaded, praying to… hell he would take anything that was listening right now, he had never thought much about the force, the Empire didn't exactly encourage its observance, but… he’d seen things, Chirrut despite his blindness had an uncanny way of /knowing/, and most importantly to him Galen had believed.
“I am with the force, the force is with me, I am with the force, the force is with me…”
It may have been equal parts an act of faith, and of desperation, but eyes closed his hands ran over the controls from memory, from instinct, from something... and over the sounds of battle, he heard the impossible, the sound of his engines roaring into life.
There was no time to check, to call out, to wait, he just had to trust that if there were any still left alive they would have climbed aboard as the ship as it began to lift off. He’d told himself that a thousand times over, it still felt like a lie, despite the fact he just narrowly outpaced the wave of destruction, as the facility and the surrounding thousands of hectares were vaporised from orbit.
He’d ditched the crippled craft in a valley some way off from another imperial base, blended in with a wave of survivors and refugees that began flowing in form the outskirts, those who saw the warnings and got out in time, or those away at the time now without a place to return to. He’d stolen the id and papers off a corpse of a less fortunate pilot brought in, assumed his identity, upside of the main administration hub getting atomised, it was difficult to verify papers, and besides people weren't looking too under the circumstances. He got himself transported off world as soon as he could, chances were once the data systems were back up his new identity wouldn't pass scrutiny for long, he knew the system, and he was in no rush to find out how Imperial interrogation techniques matched up to that of, Gerrera and his… never again. As soon as the transport made landfall he disappeared, ideally he would have liked to take a ship but he knew enough that that would draw too much attention, so he bartered passage, from one disreputable transport to another, to another, to another, until he was well out of the Empire’s searches, and then he kept running.
After all he had fulfilled his promise, paid his debt hadn’t he? The plans to the plant destroying Imperial weapon delivered directly into Rebel hands, just like Galen had told him, in fact all he had been required to do was deliver the message, self sacrificing raids on Imperial bases, that had been his decision to go along with that, to make amends to pay back, and they had succeeded, surely that was enough he told himself, but the faces of his team watch him when he closes his eyes, thoughts that he could have saved them too if only he had tried harder, thoughts that he should have, was supposed to have died with them, it was a suicide mission after all, you would have been naive to have thought otherwise.
He wasn’t sure how long it had been, too many fraught encounters, too many sleepless nights, too many waking nightmares; visions of his crew stood in silent judgement around him. When he began to hear rumors, then reports, then cover up reports, of the destruction of a large Imperial starship, with a large experimental weapon, stories of a young man who lead the attack, mentions of old stories, the long forgotten returning, that this youth was a Jedi, the first in generations, that he was one with the force. Then on the underground rumor mill, calls for more fighter pilots to join the Rebels, that there was finally a united effort forming, a concerted push to fight back against the forces of the Empire.
He tells himself he doesn't know why he decides to go, tells himself he had no other choice, tells himself anything to avoid the truth; he goes because of the dream he has of Chirrut “The force has plans for you yet.”
He signs up with the mass of recruits, just one in a sea of souls, doesn’t want to be known as the Rogue One pilot, doesn’t want the glory, doesn’t want the distrust, would rather just forget about it, but even months of cheap moonshine can’t erase it. At first he is afraid he will be recognised, keeps his head down, he’s used to it by now, good even, from living in the Empire, then surviving on the run, he gets a few looks for familiar looking pilots, but if they recognise him nothing is ever said, and after a few months he allows himself to relax a little, just enough to start putting himself forward for missions, exclusively choosing the most dangerous, most likely to end in death, he realises now that’s what he has been longing for, to be with his crew, his family of misfits, to share in the death he should have had on Scarif.
But he doesn't die, again and again, he returns from certain doom, sometimes those who went out with him do not return, but he does, every single time, the Rebels praise him as a star pilot, skilled at sneaking past Imperial forces, thanks in part to his old profession, and the rest is up to… luck? The force? They send him into battle, in truth they would have had a hard time stopping him going, and he proves himself equally as proficient at dogfighting, never quite managing to take a serious hit, though more than once returning on a limping ship that autent really have the right to still be in the sky, but somehow it held on long enough to get him back.
Eventually, and despite his protestation, he is given command of a squadron, and suddenly he changes, on the ground he is still the withdrawn man the Rebles have come to know, but at the head of a squad, he is more than fearless, for to them he has always been so, no he becomes fearsome, organising his pilots with uncanny skill, always knowing just where to send them. To his squad he always seems to be backing them up at just the time they needed it, on occasion putting his own craft between them and a surely fatal shot, he is fiercely protective of them, but equally a hard task master, to their knowledge his squad has never retreated before the mission was complete, even if they take losses in the effort.
When he hears that there is a second deathstar, he is of the first to volunteer, a perverse joult of almost joy in his chest, could this be this his second chance? In all this time he still sees them when he closes his eyes, sometimes when they are open too, like visual distortion on a scanner, ghost imprints of what once was there, but he keeps himself busy, keeps his mind focussed on tasks, works to the point of collapse sleeps the dreamless sleep of exhaustion. In all the time he never notices how their faces change, no longer are they painted by his own guilt, but instead seem pained, concerned even, grouped around him not on the offensive as he once thought, but standing guard around him.
Lord Vader is defeated, the Empire begins to fall, but there is yet still much work to do.
As time passes, he rises through the ranks, and is given more and more men to take under his wing, behind his back these men are refer to themselves as the Rook’s flock, he would probably approve.
One day on the way out of the operations room after a meeting, he pauses but the chart hung in a corner, a familiar circulatory system of cooling vents with one central flaw, he has done this many times before, today would be no different if not for the fact that, today Leia Organa was in attendance.
Even at this young age Leia has been around the Rebels long enough to recognise that look, the face of guilt, Luke had it, even if it was only in his unguarded moments, she had seen it on a thousand Rebel pilot’s faces, it was the face of one who was haunted by the continued thought that it should have been them, that they don’t deserve to still be here, shouldn’t be here, not when everyone else they fought beside, cared for, had died. She knew the story of how the plans had come to her, how the Rebel force that recovered them had all died in the course of the operation. She also knows of Bohdi Rook the pilot; who answered the call in the days after the destruction of the first Deathstar, from his records since joining the Rebellion, and sees now the true driving force of the man...
‘All souls lost in the recovery of the Deathstar plans, that was not entirely accurate now was it?’ she thinks to herself.
“It’s ok, you can stop now. I think you honoured their sacrifice enough.” she says addressing the man,
“It’s not about honour.” he says quietly, he half thinks it is one his visions again.
The princess who fought an Empire, nods sagely,
“The Force must have plans for one rogue yet.”
He turns, too fast, a reflex action of a caught man, discovered at last, a rush of relief intertwined with worry, expecting the full force of disdain, finally someone has seen he is not to be trusted, a sick feeling of sorrow pushes through, and he just barely manages to catch a sob in his throat. But meeting her eyes he sees only compassion and understanding, how can she who has saved millions, stood toe to toe with the darkest forces in the universe and never flinched, knowing what, who, he is, look at him with anything other than disgust?
He breaks, it isn’t pretty, it is months and years of repressed feeling, and there is no way of holding it back anymore, he expects to be left alone, or asked to leave, what he doesn't expect is what happens.
She has seen this before, although seldom have they broken in front of her, there are still appearances to be upheld, she isn’t a fool, and has grow expert in the powers of observation, heard the sobs from closed rooms, seen the shaking hands concealed in fists, this is a war, and the casualties aren’t just the ones who need sewing back up.
Gently she leads him out via a seldom used passage to a private corner, puts a consoling arm around him and lets him ride the worst of his emotions, till the tears have stopped rolling, till the shakes subside, then gently she asks him, only if he wants to, only if he feels able to tell her everything, from the beginning, up until this moment if needs be. And he does, it’s like confessing his sins, finally someone else will know what it was they did, and what it cost.
When he is finished she thanks him for trusting her with his story, and excuses herself, leaving him to gather himself, and continue with his work. That night he sleeps restfully, and when he dreams of them, he sees them smiling.
As the days of the princesses visit go on, she does yet another thing he did not expect; continues as if nothing has happened, it is never mentioned again, he almost thinks that he may have imagined it, but for the fact that the files for the Scarif operation are quietly updated to include some more accurate detail and note his survival.
A long time later in conversation with her on some matter or other, she remarkes,
“See the force had a plan for you all along.”
And in his mind he hears the familiar and comforting voices,
“We are with the force, the force is with us.”
Years pass, Leia becomes a General, and so too in time does he. Through the years he worked often with Leia, he discovered later that she would often request him by name when organising an operation, which in light of his record did not strike any as out of the ordinary, even if he suspected it had more to do with a certain conversation, and the implicit trust that came from it.He became the one that all defecting from the Empire’s forces were sent to for debriefing, this at the behest of General Organa, and even if people didn’t understand her reasons, they knew better than to question them.
|Favorite piece of writing of the moment...|
|Things I get distracted by...|
Gender fluid, Non-Binary, Trans-Masc.
**I would like to thank upfront everyone who visits, favorites, gives Llama's or comments on my work, I visit sporadically enough that I can't promptly respond (and it feels a bit redundant to reply after a significant amount of time) but know I am thankful for all. ^_^**
I have: -
Twitter (that I rarely use): twitter.com/_PhoenixShaman_
I also have dedicated art blogs: -
Stuff about me:
I graduated BSc Hons Archaeology in '09, spent a few years looking for work and a few months working in a theater and helping out with some film shoots, this made me re-evaluate my career options, and as a result I returned to Uni to study BA Hons Film & TV Production graduating '15.
I have many weird and wonderful claims on my free time from LARP, Tabletop RP, furry, medieval re enactment, etc. and firmly believe in doing something strange at least once a month
Current Residence: York
Favorite genre of music: ROCK/METAL/GOTH/CYBER/INDUSTRIAL/PUNK
Favorite style of art: Any
Operating System: Sleep, eat, create, rock and sleep
MP3 player of choice:Spotify
Shell of choice: Sea shell
Wallpaper of choice: Posters and my Art
Skin of choice: Wings please *hopeful*
Favorite cartoon character: Eric Draven, Nemi, Daria, Spider Jerusalem, John Constantine
Personal Quote: Seek the Light, Chase the Dawn, Live the Night