I normally don’t post Afternoon Fic through Advent. But as this story is still being worked on, I also didn’t want to leave it as is. So yes you’ll get a treat now and again through Advent of an Afternoon Fic.
Author’s Note: So when I looked up who was the Admiral for the Negotiator the only thing listed was ‘Admiral Block’ *tries not to eyeroll* so Admiral Jacen Block was born (a throwback to Legacy Star Wars books).
Admiral Jacen Block, the Negotiator’s Commander, stayed out of Coruscant politics. His name wasn’t splashed around in high society, and he doubted anyone could pick him out of a crowd. He was a middle aged human male, dark hair that was more grey than black, average height, size and expression. He was reserved and preferred a good theatre performance over the latest holo, and had only a few friends, most of them scattered throughout the galaxy. His life was boring and non descript, and it was one of the reasons General Kenobi had requested him for the position. He wanted someone who could do the job, not a stooge for the Senate.
The one time the Chancellor had sought him out, to congratulate him on a job well done protecting the Master Jedi, he politely informed him it was a group effort, and that the men on the Negotiator were the best to work with … then promptly ran.
He may not get involved in politics, but it didn’t mean he didn’t understand how it worked.
So, yes, he knew something was going on with the General, but wasn’t quite sure what. The clones were loyal to Master Kenobi to the point, they would have no problem over throwing him, along with his crew, and seize the ship if need be. He also knew the loyalty went both ways, the General would not stand for discrimenation of any kind against his men.
The idea of clones, at first, had disturbed him, but as he watched them find their individuality in a sea of sameness, he began to view them as individuals and accepted them as any other member of the GAR.
So when one of his officers complained to the General that they were getting fresh fish twice a week, Block could only stare at the Captain for five minutes in shock. When he started to rant how the clones were being treated like they … they were human. The Admiral shipped his ass back to Coruscant. He had never wanted the man on board, but his family was friends with Tarkin, which had given him even greater incentive to get him off his ship.
There wasn’t much interaction between the GAR officer and the clones, which was no surprise, but the two groups knew they had to rely on each other to survive. So if he slid a requisition in front of the Commander for some sweets he thought his officers would like, he made sure the order was enough for the clones. And when Cody ordered extra weapons, he always made sure the officers got upgrades.
So when the 212th landed back on the Negotiator with the General wrapped in his cloak, barefoot and naked, something had seriously gone to shit. He took a deep breath, and stepped up to the Jedi. “General, what do you need?”
“Admiral Block, we have a serious problem.” Kenobi motioned towards the bridge, only to have the Commander grab his arm. “Cody?”
“Sir, I would suggest you change.” His hand gestured towards the barefeet.
“Oh yes.” Obi-Wan nodded, then looked around as if somehow a Jedi tunic would appear out of nowhere.
In truth the Admiral wouldn’t have been surprised if it did. “Sir, I’ll walk with you to your quarters. Once changed we can discuss what you would like to do.”
“Yes. Good.” He glanced back at Cody. “Commander, make sure the men are briefed, and I suggest you check in with Snap, along with Ghost Company. I trust you to deal with the logistics.”
“Yes sir.” The Commander hesitated only a second, then turned towards the men, giving out orders, watching as everyone scrambled to do his bidding. He gave one last look towards the General, before being dragged off by the Medic.
Block was pretty damn sure something was going on between the General and Commander. He had worried about it at first, not wanting the Commander to be mistreated, he had … well he had heard things from the early days of the GAR and some of the abuse the clones had been subjected to, but then he had seen the General lose his serene calm on some high ranking GAR Officer, who had no regard for the clones safety or lives. If something was going on between the two, it was mutual, and in truth he was more afraid of what the Commander would do, if someone hurt his Jedi.
Block had been in the General’s quarters many times, to discuss mission and battle plans. He always enjoyed the unique teas the Jedi kept, enough that he started ordering his own and extra for Kenobi. He kept his back turned, studying a few of the books on the shelf, ignoring the pair of blacks he saw when the General pulled out a set of tunics. He also didn’t see the extra weapons, ammo, and datapads that was normal paperwork for a particular Field Marshal. The General wasn’t this stupid, so he figured he was seeing these materials for a reason. “General, is there anything you want to tell me?”
“Admiral, I know you’re not stupid.” Obi-Wan commented as he finished tying and wrapping his tunics, securing them with his belt.
He had seen the Jedi’s Lightsaber hanging from the Commander’s belt. Even Block had heard the infamous ‘This weapon is your life, Anakin’ lectures, so for the Commander to be carrying it, well he guessed that answered his question.
Obi-Wan sat down on the unmade bed, putting on his boots. “I appreciate your discretion, along with getting rid of a certain Captain. I hope Tarkin didn’t give you too much grief.”
Block chuckled, giving the General a small smile. “I have no family that can be used against me, and a career that is so middle road, you can’t even threaten me with it.”
“You’re a good man, Jacen.” He put a hand on the older man’s shoulder. “You’ve done a fine job taking care of the ship and crew. I have to ask you something very important.”
“Anything, sir.” The Admiral focused his full attention on the General.
“Are you loyal to the Republic?”
He stepped back in shocked anger. “Have I done anything to suggest I’m not?”
“Let me rephrase.” His voice softened, hand dropping. “Are you loyal to the Republic or the Chancellor.”
His eyes widened at the implication of what that statement meant. “The Republic sir. The Chancellor is the head of the Republic, but is an elected official … even if he’s been holding on to that seat for a while.”
Block knew by the way the General was watching him, he was reading him with the mysterious Force. Like anyone who worked with the Jedi, he had seen what they are capable of, and always astonished at their power and control. Being with Master Kenobi, he had also seen what Dooku and Ventress is capable of, and understood the difference between light and dark.
“Sir, I have commanded the Negotiator since the beginning of the war. You have kept me here, despite the many times I know the GAR has tried to remove me, you did that for a reason.” He swallowed, putting it all on the line.
“I need you to scramble communications. I want you to send out a message, make it seem as if something has gone completely wrong, and that we’re limping back to Coruscant. Run it through every trick to make the transmissions spotty, but I want you to make sure it sounds that something is wrong with the clones … make this an award winning Coruscant theatre performance.”
“I’ll get Stage to work with Captain Grannet, our chief communications officer. And we both know Stage is a genius when it comes to making holos.” They both chuckled, if they all survived the war, Stage had a career at the theatre. “Will you tell me why?”
He didn’t blame the hesitation, whatever happened on the ground had rattled the General. “The Commander received an order, one specifically to turn the clones against the Jedi.”
“But why!?” Jacen stared at him in horror as realization set in. “Someone…” He turned away from the General, as everything he had said and hadn’t said settled in. “Kriff. The Chancellor ordered it, how did you survive?”
“My men are very loyal.” He answered, though it wasn’t the whole story. “Cody was able to make the order null and void as he was the highest ranking officer. We’ve sent out warnings to other Commanders, and I’ll be having a conversation with the Jedi Council.”
“The Republic has my loyalty, sir. I’ll get work on that communication.” He straightened his shoulders, wanted to salute but hesitated, it was something Kenobi had asked them not to do. Instead he held out his hand, taking the General’s arm like he had seen the clones do, he knew it was from their Mandolorian heritage. “May the Force be with us.”
“Always.” Obi-Wan gave him a nod, and squeezed his arm. “I’ll be on the bridge once I talk to the Council, by that time I expect at least the first ‘panicked’ communication out, then we’ll discuss what happens next.”
Admiral Block nodded, and left the General’s room. He stood in the hallway letting everything sink in, right now they were on their own. He knew half of the GAR would follow Tarkin, who was loyal to the Chancellor. The fact the Chancellor tried to have the Clones kill Kenobi wasn’t surprising, he hated the General. The rumors he had heard, the amount of spies Tarkin tried to place, the supplies that got lost, horrible Intel, and they always got the worst missions.
The fact that, the General always returned, most have annoyed the shit out of all of them. He couldn’t help the wicked smile. Well, just wait until the 212th Attack Battalion landed on their doorstep. So many GAR Admirals disregarded the clones, well they are going to see the blunt of their skills, and he had to admit, now that he knew he wasn’t going to be the target he was looking forward to it.