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Tarrian Skywalker

The Eternal Vigilance (The Maw)

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Aidan might have sat in the seat, but it was Kel's R5 astromech next to him that was doing most of the work. As soon as the route was calculated, Aidan activated the engines of the autopilot, carrying them away from the Vigilance. The massive craft already had a lilt towards the nearest black hole, indicating its orbital positional stabilizers had finally given out over the strain of the fight.

 

"At least the Sith don't have it. I can't imagine what they could have done with the secrets it kept."

 

He half muttered to himself, sitting near Sandy. The mission was technically a failure, but they'd survived. And right then, that was all Aidan cared about. 

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The numbers ticked down as she accelerated the starship past its limits to pull them out of the tidal pull of the massive black holes. As the Eternal Vigilance collapsed into nothingness at the event horizon, the R5 unit blurted out a string of additional numbers and she jerked her tired arms to even out their course. When the turbulence settled into the long dark of a steady course through the minefield of  micro black holes, she finally let her grip on the steering yoke relax and she slumped into her crash webbing. Her eyes drifting from the instrument panel to look down at her blood soaked form. Not all of it hers, though there was still a steady drip from her lips that fell onto the armour on her chest. Crushed capillaries and ruptured salivary glands had made a good mass of her cheek, and the steady drip of blood was unsettling. 

 

It was several moments before she could really feel the pain in her jaw, and she released the flight controls to place both of her hands on her jaw. She squeezed her eyes shut, then pushed, snapping the jaw back into its joints with a burst of pain that caused her to hiss an exhale. She blinked several times then tested a grin. Still very painful but at least her mouth wasn't hanging open like a fool. She wiped off her bloody hands on a scrap of her tunic that was only slightly sweat soaked, then programmed the autopilot to follow the R5’s and Aidan’s indicated flight plan. But every movement was exhausting and a glance over at Aidan told her he was likely worse for wear. She smiled at him again and nodded. 

 

“It would be much worse if they had gotten the location of all our secrets, but the knowledge died with Fynn luckily.” She looked back at her hands and suddenly found herself wishing they were very far away from the Maw. Back in the barracks of the Misericordia, polishing armour with a stupid crushing grin on her face. But all the good times seemed to slip away so easily. She wiped again at her hands to get her mind off of that uncomfortable feeling. “Do you want to use the refresher first?” He looked exhausted, and the encounter had nearly taken his life, she could pull on a little longer.

 

She considered sending a comm to Kel telling him to meet them on Nar Shaddaa, but figured he would know to do so already. She was proud of him in a way, he had come so very far.


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"No...you go ahead. I could use a bit."

Aidan wasn't exactly piloting the ship, but he certainly was monitoring the R5's piloting, which given the circumstances wasn't bad. Twice he needed to override the astromech, having sensed something the droid couldn't possibly calculate for, but these were small adjustments, perfections on an already smooth course.

Aidan himself was very much worse for wear. He wasn't torn up or bruised like Sandy, but he still felt like he'd been run over with a steamroller. His entire body ached, he was lethargic and just drained, and he wasn't incredibly happy about losing the Vigilance, though that wouldn't matter much until they were back standing in front of the Queen to give their report. Still, he was proud of himself, all that he'd managed to accomplish. He wasn't necessarily following in the footsteps of his father, rather he forged his own path through the stars. And that was something for him to be satisfied about for the time being.

Eventually, they hit the far side of the gravity wells, and stars turned to starlines as they made the jump to hyperspace. Aidan's eyes closed. He needed a long nap.


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