Nothing is True. Everything is Connected.
Afternoon Fic: The Dragon General (Part Sixteen)

Afternoon Fic: The Dragon General (Part Sixteen)

Do apologize for missing last week.   Advent is overtaking my life!

Part One

Part Fifteen

Mace knew the day was going to be bad, when he woke up with a headache the size of a small moon.  He was tempted to stay in bed, ignore the universe, and let Ponds act like a guard gundark.  He sighed, remembering the million reports and inventories that had to be done, at least two meetings with Senators that he would need to call onto the will of the Force not to go full Dragon and eat them … not that they would be tasty, who knew where they had been.

So with great effort he forced himself out of bed, worked his way towards the kitchen to fix a cup of caf, when it was handed to him, along with some pills.

“Take this sir, you look like osik.”

He may have given a vow of love to his Commander, or promised his first born child, he wasn’t actually sure which.  He downed the pills, swallowed half the cup of caf, sighing when he tasted his favorite creamer that only a few people in this universe knew he enjoyed, then settled onto the couch with a soft groan.

There were too many shatterpoints, and he felt that if he reached out even a tiny bit, the universe was going to splinter.

The lights were dimmed, he was covered with his favorite purple blanket, a gift from Obi-Wan.  The datapads that were scattered on a variety of tables disappeared, neatly stacked on the side table next to the oversize arm chair, that Ponds had set up shop.   His quiet presence soothed his frayed nerves, as he answered messages and filled out reports.  The man was beyond competent, and worked perfectly with him.  Maybe Kenobi was right, and he should tell him about the Dragon.

He already viewed him as a protectee, well him and most of 91st Recon Corps, but he would be lying to himself if he didn’t admit that Ponds was special.  After almost losing him to the Bounty Hunters, and Fett’s revenge, he had kept him closer to home.  He had envied Obi-Wan finding his Mate, but reminded himself that he had found comfort in Ponds, who deserved to know the full truth.

“Feeling better sir?”  Ponds set a glass of water next to him, along with some of his favorite sweets.  This wasn’t the first headache he had been privy for, and likely not the last.  He knew exactly how to fix the General’s caf, what sweets worked best, and when to order a light meal from the kitchens.

“My head feels like it won’t fall off.”  Mace should go down to the lower garden, transforming will help take the pressure away, and maybe give him some perspective of what he was seeing.   “I … ” His Commander was watching him intently.

His head fell back against the couch when he heard the knock at the door – that better not be kriffing Skywalker!  He moved to get it, only to have Ponds push him back onto the couch, and stalked over to the door.

“Rex, what the hell are you doing here?”  Ponds voice was low and deadly.  “If this is about your General…”

“Kenobi sent me.”  His tone was serious, he glanced down the corridor, then back at Ponds.  “Something is going on, and I’m not sure what, and I don’t like it vod.”

“Let him in.”  Mace shifted until he was more comfortable, the blanket getting tucked into the corner, he didn’t miss the clones’ smirk at seeing it, damn it Skywalker.  He was pleasantly surprised to see Padawan Tano, though the two Clones from Torrent, Fives and Echo, and the 501st Captain were more worrying.  “What brings you by, Captain?”

“The General wanted us to keep an eye on our Commander, and check in with you.  Which worked well for us, as General Kenobi sent a message.”  He pulled out a flimsi and handed it to the Council Member.  “I have no idea what it says, as I don’t recognize the language.”

“Many wouldn’t.”  Dragon was technically a dead language.  Very few people knew how to read it, let alone speak it, actually it could only be spoken when in Dragon form.  He had been taught it by his parents, and when they brought young Obi-Wan to the Temple, he made sure he learned it, his parents had demanded that he learn his own language, Mace had completely agreed.  It had become an excellent source of communication, that no one had been able to break.  What he read, made the shatterpoints sharpen.  “Kriff.”

“What is it Master Windu?”  Ahsoka asked with concern, not having heard the Council Member curse.  “Is it something to do with why I got three bodyguards despite the fact I can take care of myself?”

“Let them guard you little one.”  He stood, hand resting on her shoulder.  “It will keep your Master calm, and your GrandMaster from going full…”  He paused glancing over at Ponds, who just tilted his head in a questioning matter.  “Commander there is something I’ve neglected to tell you.”

“Oh this is going to get interesting.”  Fives whispered conspiratory to Echo, loud enough for everyone to hear, who all gave him a pointed look, one he ignored.  “Something you should’ve already mentioned, sir.”

“Sir, what is he rambling about?”  Ponds refused to acknowledge his vod.  The 501st and Torrent, usually gave everyone they met headaches, and he had no problem tossing them all out if they irritated his General much further.

Mace was interrupted by another knock on the door, but this time it opened with Quinlan, Commander Fox, Skywalker, and Senator Amidala spilling into the room.  He knew without a doubt that this all had to do with Obi-Wan’s note.

“Skywalker!”  He glared at the Chosen One, who ignored him, and pulled poor Padmé into the room, sitting her down into the oversized chair, he reached for his Padawan, sitting her on the couch, then yanked Fives and Echo to stand guard next to them.  Mace’s eyes narrowed at his actions, he was acting like a protective father … “Tell me she’s not pregnant.”

“I’m not Pregnant!”  Padmé blushed at how loud she yelled it.  “Though it would seem there’s some vast conspiracy to get me pregnant.”

Rex facepalmed.  He wasn’t getting paid enough to deal with this drama.  Actually he wasn’t getting paid.  He could be with Cody right now, killing seppies, but no he was stuck in Days of Our Jedi Lives holo program.

Mace glanced at Ponds, who looked back at him with a sympathetic expression.  The Council Member decided to ignore Skywalker, instead focused on Vos, only to give up that endeavor and turned towards Commander Fox, the only one likely to give him the information he needed without the drama.

Who completely understood Mace’s pain and suffering.  “Sir, one of the Senator’s handmaid’s came to me about a mix up of medications.  I, to be honest, did not have time to check into the subject, asked Vos if he could use his skill and find out if there was a plot against the Senator or more underhanded scheme against a group of Senators.”

“I discovered that the Chancellor is a bit too involved in Anakin and Padme’s sex life.”  Vos finished the story.

“Why?”  Rex had to ask, though he really didn’t want to. “No, really why?  Why is this even a conversation we are having?”

“Told you he was creepy.”  Fives was not helping.

“Actually, we’re not going to finish this discussion.”  Padmé shooed Anakin away, as she shifted in her seat.  “I’m more concerned about the fact it’s possible he influenced me, back when I was Queen.”

Everything descended into chaos, conversations moved around the room, comments flew back and forth, nothing made any sense.  Ponds whistled, frowning when he saw Mace cringe.  “Sorry sir.”  He waved a hand at him to continue. “Can we start from the beginning?”

Anakin looked directly at Mace.  “I think the Chancellor is the Sith Lord.”

The room went deadly silent, even Five’s was shocked.  “How is that possible?”

“Your Master said the same thing.”  Mace held up the flimsi.  “Right now, we have to keep this between us, we have to figure out all the threads, and start finding the one that will point us right at him.  We have nothing but conspiracies and hearsay.”

Commander Fox took off his bucket, tucked it under his arm, body stiff and formal.  He put all his focus on Master Windu. “I may have proof.”

“Vod?”  Ponds moved next to him, hand reaching out, he could see a deep conflict in his expression.  He knew Fox was all about the regulations, making sure the paperwork was done properly, and protected the Senators.  This had to be hitting him hard, that the very person who they were supposed to be fighting against was ordering him to file his paperwork.

He shook his head, looking at Ponds, then over to Vos, who made his way to the Commander’s side, laying a hand on his arm.  “Hey, you’ve done nothing…”

“It’s not …”  He gave the annoying Jedi a rare smile, appreciating the care that was being given to him.  The real reason he had asked Vos to check into Senator Amidala’s medical mix-up was because half of his men were at the medics, and he was contemplating treason.  “Commander Cody sent me information…”

A chirp echoed across the room.  Rex, Ponds, and Fox all pulled out their comms.  Rex hitting his first, recognizing it was from Cody.

Every Jedi in the room felt each clone blip out, well at least that was their best description of what happened.  They disappeared from the Force, their unique signatures just gone, leaving behind only white noise.

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