It was quiet. Too quiet for the rebel pilot who was more use to the bustle and noise of a hangar. She was currently inside the former Imperial military prison on Coruscant. Now, it was being used as the New Republic’s prison now, with former guards and Imperial high-ranking officers are now housed. She was waiting for another officer to accompany her and interrogate an Imperial captain that was captured from the Battle of Jakku. The officer in question was the only officer that was captured during the battle and any intel that she had would prove vital for the New Republic. The Rebel pilot was leaning on a wall and was dozing off and she didn’t hear footsteps coming to her.
“Falling asleep already Shara?” A voice called out to her. Shara looked to her left and saw that the officer who she was waiting for has finally arrived. This officer was different from all the others from the New Republic. For starters, he was originally an admiral with the Empire. Though there have been Imperial admirals that defected before, this one had remained in the Empire to secretly help the Rebellion, saving millions of lives. He also was the only admiral in the Empire that refused to have any Imperial-class star destroyers, retaining the older Venator and only upgrading to a few Victory I and II class star destroyers. There was another thing that made this admiral more interesting.
“Well, I wouldn’t be dozing off if SOMEONE had arrived on time, Admiral Chan.” Shara replied, a smirk on her face. The admiral smirked back.
“Well, try to deal with a corp size full of clones and then we can talk Shara.” Chan commented. Admiral Chan was the only Imperial admiral that kept and received clones as replacements for his corp until he defected to the Republic.
“You will never find me commanding anything larger than a squadron admiral. And call me Quinn sir.” Quinn said.
“Alright Quinn. Now let’s go see our Imperial prisoner.” Both of them walked through the prison to go meet the prisoner. They walked by assorted New Republic soldiers with many of them stopping to salute them, though they were more directed to the admiral than to the young lieutenant. Chan knew this and as they finally approached the blast door leading into the prison section that their prisoner was in, Chan stopped and looked at Quinn.
“Sorry about that. It seems like I am a bit more known then I thought.” Chan said.
“It’s ok sir. I know your reputation and what you did so it’s ok with me. Besides, I really don’t like being a celebrity anyway.” Quinn replied. Chan smiled and then they both entered through the blast doors. Before they could head to the cell, they must check in at the guard station. There were four New Republic soldiers manning the station and when the leader, a sergeant, saw them he went up to the window to greet them.
“State your business.” The sergeant asked, his voice showing no emotion.
“We are here to interrogate an Imperial officer, Captain Ciena Ree.” Quinn said. The sergeant motioned to one of the other guards and he typed into his console. After a brief moment, the other guard nodded.
“Please leave your weapons and comms here.” Quinn unholstered her blaster and put it in a bin that was pulled out for them. She also removed her lightsaber and comms. Chan did the same with his sabers and blasters and comms. Once they were taken, the sergeant came out flanked by two other guards.
“Follow me.” The sergeant said. The two officers followed the guards to the prisoner’s cell. As they made their way to the cell, Quinn asked Chan about the prisoner.
“So, why are we interviewing this captain? I mean I looked at her records and she has a war crime list that would have her shot on site.” Quinn commented.
“I have also seen those reports and yes what she did and participated in are horrible, however she is also a very capable captain and a good pilot. She can have some interesting information on some Imperial officers we don’t have in custody as well as something else.’ Chan said. The group rounded a corner and finally arrived at the cell.
“Something else?” Quinn asked.
“She can help fill in the gap in our small officer corp for capital ships. Basically, I want to recruit her.” Before Quinn could respond, the sergeant pressed a few buttons and opened the cell doors. Chan went in first, followed by a surprised Quinn. Inside the cell, sat Captain Ciena Ree. She was still wearing her old officer uniform and from the looks of it, it seems like she hasn’t changed out of those clothes. Ciena looked up and eyed Quinn and Chan, her stare lingering on Chan.
“Captain Ree, I am Lieutenant Quinn Shara and this is Admiral Towan Chan. We are hear to ask you a few questions.” Quinn stated. Ciena didn’t reply to the Quinn, instead she asked the admiral.
“Did Thane go to you too?” There was a bit of sadness in her voice and Chan understood it to a degree since said Thane came to his office and pleaded for him to talk to Ciena. Chan sighed and looked at the guards.
“We would like some privacy please.” The sergeant nodded and went back outside and closed the door. Chan then took a seat on a bench on the other side of the room and looked Ciena in the eye.
“To start off, yes I was approached by a Lieutenant Kyrell but my visit here is only half of it.” Chan nodded to Quinn and she pulled out a pad and pressed a few keys.
“Captain, you have been charged with multiple crimes against the galaxy as well as the murders of multiple rebel soldiers at battles like Endor and Jakku.” Quinn stated. Ciena just lowered her head and answered back.
“We were at war with the Rebellion. So I had to kill Rebels, just like how you killed millions of people on the Death Star and on the Executor.” Ciena argued back. Quinn sighed and looked at the admiral, who have not taken his eye on Ciena.
“That may be true but the Rebellion also never targeted civilian targets unlike the Empire.” Chan stated.
“We were following orders.” Ciena replied. Chan sighed and rubbed his forehead. He can’t really blame her since they trained officers like her to obey every order given.
“Mr. Kryell warned me about this and I am not going to engage in something like this. I am here to actually offer you a job.” Chan said. Ciena perked up a bit before lowering her head again.
“I am not betraying the Empire admiral.” Chan sighed again.
“Before you go on in deciding already before even hearing the proposal, I am going to tell you something about my loyalties and the reasons why I left the Empire.” Both Ciena and Quinn looked at the admiral with curiosity. On both sides, there have been speculation on why a decorated admiral who fought with distinction in the Clone Wars would defect to the Rebellion and how he avoided capture from the Emperor and Vader. Not only that, it has been rumored that he was the only living admiral to refuse an order from Vader, something that would normally result in death. So, both Ciena and Quinn leaned in to hear what the admiral was going to say.
“To start this off, it goes back about twenty years ago. Around the time that the Clone Wars was concluding….”
Orbit of Anaxes, Abroad the Republic Star Destroyer ‘Spirit of the Republic’
The battle for Anaxes was finally concluding. The battle between the Republic and the CIS on the planet was concluding and it was just wrapping up. On the bridge of the star destroyer, Admiral Chan was looking over holo-maps, observing the mopping up operations. Normally, he would be on the ground with his legion, the 888th Legion, and would be fighting with them but since the captain of the star destroyer was killed in an attack on the star destroyer, Chan had no choice but to stay on the ship to maintain control of the skies. As Chan was observing a push being made by the Republic forces, he heard a beeping sound and noticed he was getting a transmission from the Chancellor.
“What does he want this time?” Chan said to himself as he pressed a few buttons and a hologram of the Chancellor appeared. However, Chan immediately noticed something was wrong. The Chancellor was covering himself in a dark robe instead of his normal attire. Also, when he spoke his voice sounded shrill and different.
“Admiral Chan,” Chan felt goosebumps from that voice and it was then that Chan felt something. It felt as if he was being overwhelmed with so much death that was happening in the force and it was when Palpatine continued is when Chan knew why.
“The fate of the Republic is in your hands. Execute Order 66.” Chan went pale and the pain was explained. For you see, Chan was once a jedi before the war but he left the order, believing that the jedi were too pacifist for him, however he was still connected to the force and now he concluded that he was feeling the death of hundreds of jedi.
“Y-yes sir.” Chan then turned off the transmission and just stood there, trying to control the pain he was feeling. It eventually became too much and he collapsed on his knees. The bridge crew noticed this and some went over to help him to his feet but he rejected it. He stood up and was thinking about what to do next until one of his comm officers called to him.
“Sir, it’s Captain Ghost. He says it is urgent.” Chan nodded.
“Put him up.” After a few moments, Ghost’s hologram appeared. Ghost wore scout trooper armor with a karma as well as a shoulder pauldron on his left shoulder. His armor also had green lines similar to a crescent moon over his visor and had green coloring on certain parts of his armor, mainly his shoulder, elbows, and knees.
“Sir, I assume you received the order as well.” Chan nodded but he can sense that Ghost was uneasy.
“Sir, with all due respect, I can not follow that order.”
“I agree. I don’t want to follow that order as well. I want you to bring her back to the ship now. We will sort it out when you get here.” Ghost nodded.
“Yes, Sir. I will-” Then Ghost turned to his left and then pulled out his blaster pistol.
“You! Stop, what are you-” Then Ghost fired his blaster at something and then the transmission went dead.
“Ghost! Ghost, do you copy?!” When Chan didn’t get an answer, he swore and turned to one of the navigation’s officer.
“Gator, you have the conn. I want a gunship prepared and a squad to meet me in the hangar now!” Chan yelled as he rushed out of the bridge.
‘Ghost, whatever is going on down there, I need you to buy me some time.’
Captain Ghost fired from his blaster pistol at another clone trooper from the 301st Legion, killing the clone with a shot to the head. Along with him were his company, Shadow Company, and right now they were trying to protect their jedi general from being murdered by their own brothers. Said jedi was also helping him and his clones, cutting down three more clones from the 301st.
“Ma’am, we have to keep moving now!” Ghost yelled as he can hear more clones coming their way and from the sounds of it, they are not friendly.
“Lead the way Ghost.” The jedi said as she turned off her saber. They ran from the scene and into a nearby forest. Meanwhile the jedi was thinking in her head on this whole situation.
‘What is going on here?! Why did those clones attack us?’ The jedi thought to herself. This wasn’t part of the plan. Her and shadow company along with another jedi, Master Ghast and his company of clones from the 301st were suppose to attack a Separatist base that was one of the last strongholds and that would mean the end of the battle. However, one of the clones from the 301st received a message and then they turned and killed Master Ghast out of nowhere. They then aimed their blasters at her until Ghost intervened and tried to stop the clones but then a firefight ensued. It forced Shadow company to kill their own brothers and she can feel the pain from all of them through the force.
“Ghost?” The jedi called to Ghost. The captain didn’t stop so she ran ahead of him and the rest of his company and faced him.
“Ghost?” She said, a bit louder this time. All the clones stopped and looked at her.
“Yes general?” The jedi can sense that he was torn between protecting her and something else.
“Ghost, did you too get an order to kill me?” The jedi asked. Ghost looked away for abit as well as the rest of the clones did not want to look her in the eye.
“Ghost, answer my question!” The jedi yelled, wanting to know the answer. Ghost looked back at her and took off his helmet. The jedi looked into his eyes and the clone looked into hers.
“Ma’am, we received Order 66 ma’am from the Chancellor and in my best judgement as well as with the admiral that it must have been a mistake and if it isn’t, I wouldn’t commit the order. You saved my life multiple times, and I don’t find it right that I would have to kill the person that saved my life as well as the life of many clones in this company.” The jedi looked around and saw that many of the clones around her also have taken off their helmets and were looking at her in the eye. She saw and sensed the loyalty to her in them as well as she sensed pain from them. No doubt they were broken that they had to shoot their own brothers.
“Ghost, I-” Before she can finish, their was a beeping sound. Ghost noticed this and learned it was coming from his helmet. He put it back on and and after a few moments, nodded and answered.
“Understood, we will make it to the rendezvous.” Ghost then signaled his men and they put their helmets on.
“Ma’am, the admiral said there is a small landing a few klicks north. We only have 15 minutes to get there for extraction or else we will have to face separatist company that heard our little shootout and are coming this way.” The jedi nodded.
“Lead the way Ghost.” Ghost nodded and was about to take lead until the jedi held him back for a bit.
“And Ghost, call me Lannah.” Lannah said with a smile on her face. Ghost looked at her for a bit then chuckled.
“Roger that ma’am.”
“What is the ETA?” Chan asked the pilot of the transport.
“Sir, we are about five minutes out. It is getting a bit choppy sir, I don’t know if we can stay for long.” The pilot responded.
“Just get us there, Broadside.” Chan replied. He took this moment to think about how to extract them out of the situation that Lannah and Shadow company were in. Caught between the 301st and the remaining separatists, Chan was able to find a small opening in the forest and they need to get them out fast before they are caught in battle on both sides. Chan then turned and looked at the squad accompanying him.
“We will only have a couple of minutes to pick them up. We will do this quick and get out before we get shot at by both sides, be ready.” The clones acknowledged and prepared their weapons in case they would need to use them. The remaining ride was silent with the gunship rocking from the turbulence and Chan was asking the force to keep the clones and especially Lannah safe. Finally, the pilot’s voice rang out.
“Sir, I see them! Landing now!” On the left side of the gunship opened and Chan saw that Shadow company and Lannah was approaching them and that Lannah was helping one of the clones to the gunship. Behind them were about ten droids but they were not the average droids and Chan saw it.
“STANG! ASSAISSIN DROIDS! COVER THEM!” Chan yelled, jumping out of the gunship. Then he pulled from his hip two lightsabers. He ignited them and two blue sabers appeared, then he began deflecting blaster shots aimed at him. The squad that tagged along also leaped off and began firing at the droids covering Lannah and Shadow company. The droids continued shooting and dodging the fire coming from the clones. About five went down but they also took down four clones. Lannah and Shadow company made it to the gunship and began loading on. Chan saw this and order the squad that went with him, “Get on troopers! We are leaving!”
The clones began boarding onto the gunship and Chan turned and was about to do the same until he felt metal arms wrap around his neck. He turned his head to notice that one of the assassin droids had caught up and was trying to choke hi. However, the droid forgot he had lightsabers. He flipped the lightsaber in his left hand and ignited it, stabbing the droid in the abdomen. The droid let go and Chan turned around and force-pushed the droid. He then leaped on the gunship.
“Get us out of here, Broadside!” Chan yelled. The gunship hummed and it began to lift off. The gunship closed it’s doors and Chan took this time to look around the gunship. Shadow company, a company of what use to be 150 clones, now only consisted of 10 and it seemed like it might be reduced to 9 if they can’t get the wounded clones back to the medical droids on the cruiser in time.
“Someone want to tell me what happened?” Chan asked. No one answered for five minutes until Lannah did.
“We were ambushed by the Seps. We were about three klicks away until we were ambushed, so we made a rush here. We didn’t stand a chance.” Lannah then noticed that Chan wasn’t wearing his regular clone trooper armor but instead he was wearing his naval uniform.
“Kriff!” Chan then turned around, “Broadside, get us back to the cruiser.”
“Sir, we are getting a transmission from the commander of the 301st. They are asking if we killed the traitorous jedi yet?” Chan looked at Lannah. She looked at him and was scared about what he would do. Throughout this war, Lannah has fought side by side with Admiral Chan and the clones of the 888th Legion. She already knows the clones were not going to betray her but Lannah knows that Chan has always been loyal to the Republic to the point where he would do anything for the Republic. Now, with Order 66 being issued, she doesn’t know if he will kill her or not.
Chan just looked at her for a long minute and then told Broadside, “Tell him we killed the jedi. Tell him I am sorry about his men.” Lannah began to tear up and then hugged him.
“Later, right now we have to get you to safety.”
“On that day, I was torn between my oath to the Republic and an oath to the person I was in love with. So, I chose her.” Chan said. Ciena was silent on that while Quinn was surprised. For Quinn, she always thought that the admiral was just like the other imperial officers, following orders without question and merciless. However, this revelation changed her view of the admiral.
“What did you do after?” Quinn asked, wanting to know more.
“I dropped her off at Nar Shadaa with an old contact I knew and that was the last time I saw her for a couple of years.” Chan replied. He then noticed that Ciena has not raised her head.
“I know you reported Thane as KIA so I know you made the same choice as I did.” Ciena didn’t reply at all. Chan sighed and stood up.
‘Well, I will come back tomorrow and continue this story when you feel like listening.” No reply. Chan sighed and walked out along with Quinn.
“Do you think she will ever defect?” Quinn asked as they both walked towards the exit.
“I believe so,” Chan looked at Quinn, “Because I got her thinking and that is the first step to get them to defect.”