Return of The Judge
Leon stood in the center of a dark room, around him gathered in a circle the members of the Jedi Council their lightsabers illuminating small bits of the darkness just enough for him to see the faces hidden under the hoods of their robes. He kept his eyes closed a confident smirk hiding behind his neutral expression and ahead of him he heard the aged voice of Master Yoda telling him to step forward. His eyes remaining closed he could sense the presence of the Jedi Master around him as he moved, to his right and front Master Windu to the right of him Master Fisto to the left of Master Yoda was Master Plo Koon with Ki-Adi-Mundi to his left.
He could sense each of them clearly maybe because he was so confident or happy over what was about to happen that he attained a sense of clarity, he had never been able to sense anything this clearly and even through the tense, professional and stern atmosphere in the room he could sense something else. His previous two masters, Luminara and Fisto were smiling he could feel their sense of joy for his achievement for his success. He stopped in front of Master Yoda and kneeled his eyes remaining closed as he felt the warmth of the Grand Master's weapon hover over his shoulder.
"Leon Solstice" Yoda began moving his weapon to his other shoulder, "By the right of the Council" the blade returned to the other shoulder, "By the will of the Force I dub thee I do Jedi" the weapon snapped up and Leon felt something fall from the back of his head, "Knight of the Republic".
Leon stood up and finally his eyes opened the smile he kept hidden revealing itself as he looked down at Yoda his gaze expressing his thanks and gratitude as he turned them around to each member of the Council silently thanking all of them for their approval.
He left the still dark room with a new sense of himself and the world around him his strength, his dedication, his own presence all much stronger than most his age and because of that he had was now one of the youngest Jedi Knights in history.
"The perfect gift from myself to me" the small narcissistic voice in his mind said.
Returning to his room he stood in front of the tank containing the gizka he had kept has a pet. The small reptile looked up to him its head bouncing up as the reverberating croak echoed from its small mouth. Reaching his hand inside the tank he scratched the little nubs that posed as the creature's ears a half smile darting across his lips as the gizka's body curled from its massage enjoying the attention.
"Well I'm a knight now" he said to the gizka which croaked at him again and he felt his smile fade, "That means I'm going to have a lot more work to do in a few more years I may even be expected to take on a padawan on my own not now of course I'm only seventeen most padawan would only be a few years younger than me" he smirked, "Maybe I could convince Anakin to let me train Ahsoka then I could spend all the time with her I wanted".
The gizka croaked again and the voice of the person he just mentioned called to him.
"Speak of the devil" Leon kept his smile as he turned around, "Well its official".
Ahsoka nodded, "I heard. Anakin told me she walked over to the gizka tank and greeted the tiny reptile with a scratch just as Leon had".
"He really loves attention" Leon said sitting at the edge of his bed.
"Another thing the two of you have in common" Ahsoka joked following him, "I can't say I'm surprised you passed the trials you're a lot like Anakin he was knighted only a few years ago".
Leon looked up to the ceiling of his room, "So that would make him nineteen when he was knighted then huh only two years older than me…I beat him again".
Ahsoka chuckled, "What do you think he's your rival now or something? Wait" she looked at him, "Only two years I thought you were sixteen".
"Was" Leon said blankly, "I turned seventeen about a week ago…conveniently the day we were rescued from Korriban".
Leon shrugged, "Its not that important while most humans and other species have some way of celebrating their date of births I grew up on a small farm on Dantooine so the only celebration I got was a day off of work" he chuckled lightly and then fell silent.
"You miss your parents don't you?" she asked him.
Leon nodded, "A little, they're probably thinking about me right now to…I wonder how they're doing".
"I'm sure they're fine" she inched closer to him and leaned her head on his shoulder, "So you don't have anything special planned for your birthday or now that you're a knight".
"That was my plan" Leon said, "Being knighted was my gift to me".
She scoffed another laugh and shook her head against his shoulder her heart racing the same way it always had since that day, but now it didn't hurt or worry her. She leaned against him even more with a smile and his arm wrapped around her shoulders. Leon had a smirk of his own and suddenly leaned away from her dropping onto his back and catching her as she fell on top of him.
A surprised gasp escaped her lips as she fell, but as his hands grabbed her arms just beneath her shoulders and their eyes locked she fell silent. Quiet enough she could hear her heart thundering in her ears. Even the gizka behind them was quiet despite the sudden rush of movement catching it by surprise. Leon gave her an apologetic smile as one of his hands moved from her shoulder to her cheek and then behind her head gently pulling her forward as his other arm snaked around her back.
Ahsoka's arms folded against her shoulders as he pulled her into the embrace smiling as he held her against him. Since she admitted how she felt about him she found it even harder to stop thinking about them together it no longer hurt, but the thoughts invaded a great deal of her concentration. She knew he felt the same he made no effort to hide or deny how he felt the only time he would restrain his emotions was in the presence of others more for her sake than his own.
She did often worry of what they would say if they were found out in a similar position embracing each other the way they were and the obvious look of affection between them.
"We survived being stranded on Korriban together" Leon told her, "If anyone asks we'll just say surviving brought us closer together as friends".
It wasn't a bad idea, but it wouldn't work more than once meaning they would have to be careful even if they were alone in one of their rooms.
She felt his arms tighten around her and then he whispered, "If I could have any one thing for today…I would want for us to stay together just like this for one day just you and me".
Her heart must have skipped a beat or two she felt like she blacked out for a few seconds and missed something important.
"I wouldn't mind that" she whispered back her hands gently clenching against his shoulders.
As much as either of them would wish or hope, something like that would be next to impossible with their lives as Jedi and Leon's promotion to knighthood such a day would probably never happen. Of course that just meant they would have to enjoy what time they had together even more and that thought brought another smile to her face.
She grew up being taught and firmly believing in the Jedi Code, but even since she met him her views on that code slowly began changing. At first it was his jokes about minor loopholes and then it was his borderline open denial of the code, but slowly she began to question the teachings of the Jedi. Even now she still fully believed in them including the rule about loving another, but she had come to adopt Leon's view on that particular rule. As long as they kept control of their emotions they would have nothing to worry about, there's no way love could lead to the dark side nothing that made someone this happy could be a bad thing.
A faint, sharp beep echoed from behind them and a device in the gizka tank released a few pellets of food for the reptile inside. The noise snapped both of them from their thoughts and Leon gave an embarrassed smile.
"I think I may have zoned out there".
"What do you mean?" Ahsoka wondered as his arms unwrapped from around her and she sat up.
Joining her at the edge of the bed again Leon smiled at Grun as he ate the pellets in his tank, "That device goes off on a four hour basis…which means we've been lying here for at least three".
Ahsoka's eyes shot open wide and she blushed; they had been here for that long?
"I'm sorry" she said nervously, but Leon chuckled and dismissed her apology.
He stood up and took her hand pulling her with him, "This was nice".
Ahsoka tilted her head hiding her smile and blush, "Yeah it was. Maybe one day it will last longer".
It was late in the afternoon though it seemed too short to them their time together for today had come to a close, now that he was a knight Leon's new life and responsibilities would begin the next day leaving them both wishing for more time. He was tempted to ask her to stay with him the night his mind screamed that desire at him. He had to restrain that desire, in the event someone came looking for either of them and if someone found them together…
He shook the thought from his head today their time was over, but there was always tomorrow and the days after. The best part of having to wait the moments would be that much better when they finally came around. Thinking about those moments were enough to make him happy even as Ahsoka left his room.
She stopped and turned around before the door closed behind her, "I'll see you tomorrow, hopefully".
Leon nodded, "Yeah no matter what happens I'll make time".
Ahsoka turned around leaving him behind the door to his room sliding shut blocking them off from one another. Underneath the joy she felt from spending time with him and the joy of his ascension to Jedi Knight underneath it all there was a small spot of mixed sadness. A Jedi Knight was often sent on missions on their own and those missions tended to be more dangerous and longer than most and the part that bothered her the most, she envied him. Not in a bad way she loved him, but the thought of him becoming a Jedi Knight made her feel a bit discouraged, she'd been in the Order for most of her life and he's only been here for nine years and he's already a Knight.
"I just need to work harder" she said to herself, "I need to show Anakin that I'm ready to" she stopped at a window and looked out to the massive city, "I'll show him and the Council that I'm ready as well".
Her transparent reflection smiled back at her, "I can't deny Leon's more skilled than I am, but I have more experience on my side" she nodded inwardly, "Yeah I can do it to".
She awoke the next day to her master's voice calling her name from outside her room. Frantic and panicked something was very wrong. Quickly jumping to her feet and running to open her door her eyes met with her master's.
"We've got an emergency mission grab your gear".
"Wait" she called after him as he ran off, "What happened?"
"Naboo is under attack" he yelled back to her, "It's the goliath".
Ahsoka's blood froze Anakin's words echoing in her ears looping over and over trying to convince her of what she heard. First Ruusan, then Onderon and now Naboo three worlds in the past month all attacked by the monsters called goliaths. From what Republic Intelligence has been able to gather or more specifically what her friend Liliana had gathered for them suggested there were only three goliath weapons one of which was destroyed on Onderon. As their name would suggest the goliath's were massive in size the first they encountered was thirty meters tall the second measuring at twenty-eight and they have still yet to encounter the third.
Even though the second goliath the one the Separatists called Black Dragon was destroyed it still managed to completely raze half of the city of Iziz in less than half an hour. The weapons of both of the goliaths they had seen were terrifying one capable of destroying half a city in a few shots and the other capable of bringing down star destroyers from orbit. The goliaths were easily among the deadliest weapons in galactic history and even though one was destroyed there were still two more one of which has yet to be seen.
Could this be the final one? She wondered as she entered the hangar after a trip to the temple quarter master. Had Liliana discovered information about the third or was it the one they encountered on Ruusan…She stopped in her tracks at the thought of the first goliath labeled as Der Richter.
"The Judge" she grumbled remembering the terrifying sight of the first goliath shooting down a Republic Cruiser that was still in orbit above the planet. She looked around wondering if Leon would be on this mission as well, the goliath was not something to be underestimated even though they were unprepared to properly face it the first time three Jedi were unable to stop The Judge, but now that they knew it was there they could properly prepare their troops and artillery.
"But what about Leon?" he mind asked, "He was just knighted would they send him on this mission as well?" she shook her head, "What kind of question is that of course they would he has experience fighting these things and he played a big part in the destruction of one of them…but if it's the one from Ruusan…"
Memories of Leon's depression and anger after their defeat on Ruusan flashed before her he lost Coins one of the clones he had grown so close to. Along with Edge, Baron, Boulder and Chip Coins was a member of a squad of clones Leon jokingly and somewhat arrogantly referred to as Titan Squad. At first it seemed like a fitting name considering their accomplishments and exploits, but they were just normal clones no special training or breeding or implants just normal everyday soldiers, but they always succeeded in a big way. Leon had grown close to them and after Coins was killed during an emergency medical evac Leon although briefly allowed his rage to control him almost costing him his own life.
She knew the chances were good that he would be sent on this mission as well along with several other Jedi, but she was concerned for him as a Jedi and his friend and his…Her thoughts came to an abrupt stop what was about to form in her mind made her blush even if there was no one around to see it it still embarrassed her. She still fought with herself over her feelings for him one side scared of what would happen if their relationship was discovered and one side wanting nothing more than to stay at his side, one side fearful and worried and the other joyful and longing.
Again she shook her head no everything would be fine. This time they knew what would be waiting for them meaning they could prepare and plan so they wouldn't lose as many troops as the last two times.
Leon's hands snapped to the side the laces of his boots tightly pulled with them. Standing up tapped his heel on the ground and rolled his shoulders back. His first mission as a Jedi Knight and he was going to face another goliath this time it was Naboo that was in danger. He wondered if it was the same one from Ruusan or the third which they have yet to see his thoughts split half focusing on the goliath and the other half drifting to think about Liliana, the young, beautiful smuggler who first acquired the information about the goliath's for the Republic.
He smirked subconsciously at the thought of a smuggler helping the Republic, but after Liliana told him the reason why she was helping them his amused smirk changed into a grateful smile. Liliana decided to gather information for the Republic because they had saved her life once; her ship's hyper drive had malfunctioned and dropped her in the middle of a space battle between the Separatists and the Republic. The Resolute allowed her to safely dock and in return for helping her she assisted them in repelling the droids that boarded their ship.
Leon couldn't say he was surprised after he heard that story after meeting Liliana himself he could tell she was the type that would always return a favor. As for her being a spy for the Republic in addition to a smuggler well that was just a unique combination to an already unique person as far as he cared. The Jedi and the Republic owed a lot to Liliana actually if she never gave them the data about the goliaths then they never would have been able to combat them even in their first encounter which was a terrible loss for the Republic, but now they were able to come up with strategies for them and with one destroyed that left only two.
He was hoping that the one on Naboo would be the same one from Ruusan he wanted it to be his fists clenched and his fingernails slit his palms at the thought of the monster that killed one of his friends. If it was the same one then he would finally be able to avenge Coins' death and it if turned out to be the third goliath the only difference would be how much he would enjoy its destruction.
"But what if the third one is too powerful?" the voice in his head asked him, "What if it's stronger than the other two combined? Unless Liliana was able to recently uncover something about it they would be going into the fight completely blind".
He walked over to the tank staring down at the gizka inside that looked back up to him. Reaching his hand down toward it he scratched the nubs on its head bidding his pet farewell before he left his room, the door closing behind him. As he stepped out of his room he began taking note of how quickly everything seemed to be changing, since his first mission his life had gotten more exciting, but he also saw for the first time just how out of control the galaxy was thanks to the war. Everything everywhere seemed to be spiraling out of control on both sides especially recently.
The creation of the goliaths proved the desperation of the Separatists and the increasingly frantic deployment of clones proved the desperation of the Republic. Eventually one side would have to give out and at this point it was obvious the Republic was the weaker side even with the Jedi fighting with them. He wanted to believe the war wouldn't last much longer, that the Republic and the Jedi would win, but the logical part of his brain was telling him it was an unlikely outcome. If the Republic was going to win they had to take the offensive instead of waiting for the Separatist to attack them first you can't win if you play defensively from a weakened position that's just not how things worked they need to become aggressive and so did the Jedi.
He found himself staring out one of the windows his eyes moving from skyscraper to skyscraper how long would it be before Coruscant was attacked? The Separatists had already attacked Corellia when he was in a coma then they attacked Ruusan, Onderon and now Naboo he couldn't see a pattern to their attacks not even from a statement point of view. He pried his eyes away from the outside scenery he was wasting time they didn't have.
Entering the temple hangar he set his eyes on the other Jedi that would be deployed with him to defend Naboo.
Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan, no surprise considering their history on Naboo, Master Luminara which made him happy he always enjoyed the company of his first teacher and finally Master Windu. It had been a while since Leon had gone on a mission with his master not since the investigation of Ord Mantell with him on the mission their chances of succeeding multiplied and then he felt his confidence freeze as it met with concern. Standing behind them talking to the clone pilot ready to take them to the Resolute was Ahsoka.
"No it's ok she'll be fine she can handle herself" his mind's voice told him.
He nodded to himself Ahsoka was skilled more so than most other padawans she could hold her own. His true feelings for her his love for her was the obvious center of his worry, but he had to trust her he had to trust that she could handle herself.
"She believes in me I need to believe in her".
He nodded again and walked over to them greeting them with a confident smirk, "So when do we leave?"
"Right away" Obi-Wan told him, "We've received a report from Naboo describing the goliath attacking them it's the same one from Ruusan".
Leon's hands balled, but he kept his anger restrained at least for now, "Well no sense waiting let's get going".
Filing into the shuttle they were on board the Resolute within a couple of minutes and entering the cruiser's bridge another few later. Admiral Yularen was there to greet them turning control of the ship over to Anakin.
"I hope I get my own ship one day" Leon whispered to Ahsoka who had to restrain the urge to chuckle at his pathetic joke.
The Resolute jumped to hyperspace its shields and weapons fully charged and armed ready to counter attack the second they arrived at Naboo. The Separatist fleet attacking the world wasn't going to outnumber them thankfully it would be a fleet of four ships against four ships an even match at least for now it was. The Separatists would be sure to call for reinforcements once the scales tipped against them especially considering one of their precious goliaths was destroyed already and that meant the Republic would have to end this battle quickly.
"Alright we've already proven we can destroy the goliaths" Anakin said beginning the briefing for their upcoming emergency mission, "Which means we can do it again".
Leon added, "That also means once we start winning the Separatists will call for help even if they already have a goliath on the ground".
"Which means if we want to truly win this we'll have to do so as quickly as possible" Obi-Wan summed up.
"I suggest focusing on the goliath first" Luminara said, "Since we know what we're up against this time we can come up with an effective plan for dealing with it".
"We'll have to be careful" Leon sighed shaking his head, "Let's not forget this goliath can bring down entire cruisers in just a few shots from its cannon".
Master Windu hummed disturbed by the thought of the monstrous weapon, "I remember the reports from Ruusan this thing was responsible for the loss of several cruisers and thousands of troops".
"And let's not forget the defenses on its back" Leon reminded them, "Automatic anti-air turrets so it will be next to impossible to fly in after it. If we can bypass its defenses somehow we may have a…"
"You've thought of something?" Luminara asked her former student.
Leon slowly nodded his mouth hanging half open as the thought stirred around in his mind, "Its auto defenses will target anything that gets in range of it and they only target heat signatures that only aircraft give off. So all we have to do is have a shuttle fly high enough overhead that it can't be targeted and then send in an airborne squad to land on its back".
Obi-Wan sighed and shook his head, "Once again another plan that sounds like something Anakin would come up with. You two really are cut from the same cloth".
Anakin chuckled at his former master, "You know the old saying. Great minds think alike".
"Or in this case insane minds" Leon mumbled to Ahsoka.
"You do realize you're insulting yourself by saying that" she whispered back to him.
"And?" he asked her, "I'm crazy and I know it" he leaned a bit closer, "Crazy about you".
Ahsoka's eyes immediately darted over to the others thankfully they were all focused on their meeting and didn't hear or notice their private conversation. She turned back to Leon an angry whisper telling him to be more careful about what he said around others, but he only smiled and shook his head.
"I don't like it" Windu said, "It's far too risky even with jetpacks our troops would be vulnerable while their in the air".
"Then let's go in with them" Anakin suggested, "If one or two of us go in with them we can handle the automatic defenses much faster".
"Then let's crash a cruiser into it" Leon said waiting for their curious gazes to turn to him, "There's not a lot of options we can really go with against this thing and we'll be there within an hour so we need to decide on something" he shrugged and turned around, "I'm going to check on the troops and make sure everyone knows what we're up against. I'll make sure everything is ready before we arrive".
His back to them he waved and said, "See you in a bit".
Luminara smiled faintly and shook her head, "Our former padawan seems to be adjusting to his new role rather quickly" her eyes stopped on Master Windu.
The dark skinned Jedi had to agree, "It would seem that way. Although his disposition toward our upcoming situation seems rather sarcastic".
Leon stepped off the elevator and into the hangar his eyes quickly moving over all the clones and fighters and bombers there was no real need to check on the troops as he put it, but he didn't want to stay and listen to debates on what kind of plan to use. The Judge was too powerful of a weapon for them to debate over there were really only two options and one of which wouldn't even be guaranteed to work. Either a high altitude air drop onto the goliath or crash a cruiser into the thing the latter would definitely destroy the monster assuming it managed to hit the thing, The Judge's cannon would easily blast the cruiser to pieces in mere moments.
Leon's real reason for leaving the bridge was to find Edge and his men, the clones he considered his closest friends. If anyone would be wanting payback as much as he was it was them. His legs moved quicker than he wanted them to and Edge waved to him when he heard the heavy steps of the Jedi's boots.
"Doing alright Leon?" the clone captain asked.
Leon shrugged, "I'm not sure yet. Have you guys heard?"
The four clones nodded, "Yeah" Baron answered, "Its The Judge isn't it the one that got Coins".
Leon sat on top of a crate, "Yeah it is" he tried to smile, but couldn't find it in himself, "We're going to win this time, for Coins".
"You got that right" Boulder snapped, "I got a rocket with that thing's name on it".
"Do we have a plan?" Chip asked.
"A plan" Leon's inner voice scoffed, "Yeah we've got a lot of plans the real question is do we have one that's worth anything. A few" he answered, "I suggested crashing a cruiser into the damn thing".
Chip immediately let out a hearty laugh, "Now that's something I wouldn't mind seeing".
Leon's lips curved into a smile and immediately turned back into a frown he couldn't find a way to smile right now the thought of the monster that killed his friend weighing down everything else.
"Suicidal plans aside" Edge began with a sigh, "There has to be something we can do. Nothing is invincible".
"I've got a plan" Leon told them, "I'm not sure Master Windu is going to go for it, but the six of us could pull it off".
"Leon there's only five of us" Boulder said correcting him.
Leon's eyes shifted to the clone polishing his favorite heavy rotary cannon, "You are so unbelievably useless I counted you twice".
The rubbing rag stopping in motion and Boulder's eyes rose to meet Leon's. He opened his mouth to speak, but his lips closed again and he shook his head with a smirk.
"I got nothing for that one".
"That's what I thought" Leon nodded.
"So what's the plan?" Baron asked as Boulder went back to polishing his weapon.
"We're going to take a shuttle in, the goliath's automatic anti-air defenses have a set range and they only target certain heat signatures. Luckily for us jet packs don't fall into its circle so we're going to have the shuttle fly far over head and we're going to air drop in landing on its back. From there we do what we do best and annihilate everything in our path".
"I like where this is going" Chip said giving Boulder a light slap on the shoulder.
Boulder's hand slipped after Chip slapped him and he sighed, "Thanks I just missed a spot".
"I'm pretty sure its clean now" Chip told him, "This is the third time you're polishing that girl since we took off".
Leon leaned forward and rested his chin against his fist, "You know Boulder you should really buy that thing dinner at this point".
"Very funny" the clone growled continuing to polish the weapon.
Edge slapped Leon on the shoulder and smiled at him, "Everything alright? You've been acting unusual lately" normally the young Jedi would have smiled back, but the smile never came and even if it did he suspected it wouldn't be sincere.
Leon lowered his eyes for a moment before he spoke. He took a slow breath and rubbed his hands together.
"It's Ahsoka" he said at last his sounded anxious.
Baron turned to him, "What about her?"
Leon fell silent again and the four clones started to piece everything together. Since they first met the two Jedi it was clear they were friends and since they had only grown closer. Leon's tendency to flirt with women something the team of clones had noticed always annoyed Ahsoka ironically strengthening their friendship. The two Jedi never seemed to be that far away from each other often seeking each other out, it was Boulder who first made the joke about them having special feelings for each other and while Leon would just smile and either shrug off or encourage the notion Ahsoka would always become frantic and nervous.
The clones had begun to wonder if the two really did have any feelings for each other always questioning the rule about Jedi being allowed to love or form attachments to others, to them or anyone else outside the Order it would seem stupid to put it bluntly. Chip and Boulder had both at one point had asked Ahsoka if Jedi while not allowed to love if they were allowed to have special time with someone, they both laughed at the vivid coloration of the young Togruta her blush telling them she knew what they were referring to. They had done the same to Leon and while his face did turn red he coolly passed off their childish inquiries.
They all liked Leon and they liked Ahsoka as well, every Jedi said they view all lives as sacred and important even the clones that make up the Grand Army, but Leon was the only one that treated them as individual people and not just soldiers and even put his own life in danger to protect them, they were friends. Ahsoka was the same she had a strong friendship with Captain Rex and so did her master General Skywalker the two Jedi had a deep bond with the clone captain and Ahsoka's bond with the captain carried over to her friendship with them. She respected them and even enjoyed their distinct personalities even in compliment to Leon's. Leon and Ahsoka these two Jedi as far as they were concerned were just as much brother and sister to them as they were to each other.
Leon finally looked up and Edge repeated his and Baron's question, "What about her is bothering you?"
Leon looked down again another breath inhaled and he forced a smile, but not a happy one, "I love her".
"Called it!" Boulder half yelled falling silent as Edge punched his arm.
"You don't seem very happy about it" Baron noted seeing the unhappy smile turning the Jedi's mouth.
"I am" Leon answered, "I'm happy because she feels the same about me…I just don't like having to hide it for now".
Edge noticed what he said, "For now? What do you mean?"
Leon shrugged, "I'm just hoping that one day we won't have to hide how we feel about each other. That one day we could stand together holding hands…I know it sounds silly, but I love her and I want nothing more than to be next to her as much as possible, she makes me happy".
Edge slapped his shoulder again, "Then you make sure to hold on to her. Considering what we're about to go up against we could all use something to keep us smiling".
Leon nodded, "Yeah" he stood up, "We're going to win this time before the day is over The Judge will fall".
He meant it to. Like Ruusan, Naboo was a beautiful world that should be exempt from the scars of war the past wouldn't repeat itself. If he had to do it alone if he had to die doing it he would see the so called Judge destroyed before night fell on the world, for Coins, for all the clones that died on Ruusan for anyone who had already perished on Naboo, for the Republic and the Jedi and most of all for himself and Ahsoka. He would prove he can still get better that he would not falter like he did on Korriban not even in the slightest, he would prove that he's worthy of his new rank and more.
A fire burned inside him a familiar one he had never noticed before. Hotter than anything he had ever felt it burned harmlessly from within. Provoked by the thought of facing another goliath he knew what it was, spirit. His spirit. He never consciously noticed it before, but he knew he had felt it before the burning determination to protect everything around him, once on Ord Mantell when he faced Dooku and Grievous and again on Korriban when he faced The Son twice before he had felt this way and now he felt it again.
Voices roared in his head a mixture of his own past words and those of his previous masters so many all flowing at once in a sea of overlapping noise and suddenly through all that noise he felt centered. Lightweight and clear minded he was more focused than he had ever been before. He closed his eyes and could feel the life around him the life force of each clone next to him and those of the crew and clones throughout the hangar and beyond the walls through the durasteel walls. He felt everything their movements, their breaths, their anticipation for the upcoming battle he could feel them even his fellow Jedi still on the bridge.
His name echoed the distant sound of Ahsoka's voice reaching him yes he could feel her she had just entered the hangar as was quickly walking over to them. As she stopped next to him and was greeted by the remaining members of Titan squad she looked up to him seeing the pleased smirk on his face as he opened his eyes his brows curved inward in a fierce gaze at the shielded and closed hangar doors. A fierce gaze and a determined grin his body relaxed and still and his mind roaring and centered he looked at her from the corner of his eye.