A Father's Rage, A Father's Love
When the Jedi sliced his torso in an X pattern, he knew the end was near. He collapsed to one knee, his arms wrapped around himself in a bid to keep his insides where they belonged: inside. He stared up at the Jedi, his face serene. He wondered, briefly, if the Jedi was disturbed by his calm in the face of certain death. He watched the Jedi raise his sabers to finish him off then he closed his eyes.
“For the Empire,” he murmured quietly.
He heard the sabers slice through the air and then he heard something rather unexpected. It was a charging Pierce, gunning straight for the attacking Jedi. The Jedi wasn’t expecting this, no one was, and, for a brief moment, all fighting stopped as Pierce rampaged, his battle cry echoing harshly against the walls.
Pierce took the Jedi down and pummeled him about the head until he finally stopped moving. Four down, two to go. Pierce turned to Quinn in time to see the Captain fall to his side and stay there. He wasn’t medically inclined and the good Captain would probably tell him to go help with the remaining Jedi. He did just that, jumping into the fray, rifle drawn, bolts flying with purpose.
Vette looked over at Quinn from her position on the ground. He had shoved her there and covered her with his own body when that Padawan deflected a grenade toward her face. He took the brunt of the explosion, but got up to fight the Padawan off anyway. He grabbed two knives from somewhere on his person and took up a stance she had seen Ald use as his main saber form. Juyo, if she remembered correctly, which she might not considering she nearly took a grenade to the face.
She crawled to Quinn and moved him onto his back. He was still breathing, but only just. His face was a few shades too pale and she could see his insides. Blech.
“You still conscious?” she asked quietly.
He exhaled roughly, licked his lips, and focused his eyes on her. “Yes.”
“Are you in pain?”
“No,” he rasped. “I am going numb.”
“That’s – that’s probably bad, right?”
He tried to chuckle, but ended up coughing and gasping for breath.
“Don’t – don’t talk. Just… you’ll be alright,” she said anxiously.
“I thought dying would hurt more. It’s nice to be wrong.”
Vette frowned at him then busied herself with searching his person for his medical supplies. When he didn’t reprimand her for the violation upon his person, something inside her sank. She quickly found the supplies and got to work. She wouldn’t look at his face while she worked. Were his eyes closed? Was he actually in pain? She didn’t want to find out. It would distract her. Distract her from helping a man who had single-handedly ruined things between herself and Ald. He only needed to come back and be remorseful and everything was over. She shook her head. Kolto. Kolto, stiches, gauze. Reconnect this here. Focus on helping. Focus on healing. Just focus.
She bought him time. Much needed time. She wasn’t sure how long, but she knew one thing: he would want the mission completed no matter what. When the other two Jedi were defeated, she ran to the group and told them about Quinn. She was rather surprised to hear Pierce grumble a gruff “No man left behind” before he made his way to Quinn and picked the smaller man up. In fact, they were all rather surprised.
“A real soldier carries the wounded with them to keep them protected,” Pierce grunted. He told Jaesa to call for a MedEvac to arrive just as they finished with business here. “Twenty minutes tops.”
The rest of the group nodded in agreement then walked in unison to their objective. They met weak resistance until they came to the end of the hall. There sat a small child, pureblood, scared and shaking. Taken by the Jedi for converting. For the greater good indeed. When she spotted Ald, a fellow pureblood, she ran to him and clutched him around the knees. Ald swept the small girl into his arms then turned and exited the building.
“Thank you, papa,” the small girl said quietly into his shoulder.
“Any father would do the same, Aldra,” Ald said quietly. “Any father would do the same.”