Nothing is True. Everything is Connected.
Afternoon Fic: The Dragon General (Part Twenty-Four)

Afternoon Fic: The Dragon General (Part Twenty-Four)

I’m pretty sure y’all forgot about this fic 🙂

There’s one more chapter after this, so enjoy!

Part One

Part Twenty-Three

They had missed the initial backlash of the fight, which somehow did actually get labeled ‘Lizard Death Match’, by being stuck in the Healer’s Ward recovering.   There had been calls for their heads for killing the Chancellor, who was obviously innocent of all crimes … well he was, until all the evidence began to pile up.

The nail on that particular coffin was Count Dooku giving testimony of Sidious involvement in the war and his quest to create his own Empire.

He kinda wished he had been there to watch the Senate try to handle the former Jedi Master Yan Dooku, Count of Serenno, Leader of the Seperatist, explaining in simple terms for the hard of understanding, that Sheev Palpatine was a Sith Lord, and had orchestrated all of it.

ALL OF IT.

And most importantly the Senate fell for it.

Sadly, so had the Jedi.

He handed over accounts that showed the Chancellor funding the Seperatist, which was backed by evidence Commander Fox’s had discovered before and after the Sith’s death.  Dooku also gave information on how GAR Intel had been given to the Seperatist to make sure they would lose battles, making the war desperate … also backed by Quinlan and the Jedi Shadows.

Why had Dooku helped?  What was his motivation, and should they be worried about a longer con?  Quinlan had given him a half smirk, then pointed directly at Obi-Wan.  “He did it for you.”

“Wait? What?”  He shook his head, pretty sure Bant was still pumping him full of drugs.  “How am I to blame for this?”

“You sent me to Stewjon.”  He settled in the chair Kote had vacated, who was now sitting on the bed to make sure Obi-Wan didn’t do anything rash, like get up and try to find Dooku.

“Yes, to make sure my clan was protected or at least warned that it was possible the Sith was sending a droid army to the planet to destroy it and the Dragons.  I don’t recall anything about Dooku?”  He sat up in the bed, with the help from his Mate.

He had stopped being shocked when a random trooper materialized with more pillows, blankets or anything else he may have needed, this time it was Wooley.  A part of him wanted to shoo them all away, that he could take care of himself.  But he knew they needed to help, and his Mate was not putting up with his bullshit, and making him rest.  His worst nightmare had come true when Snap and Kix were taken in by the Healer Che and Bant, last he saw they were comparing notes.

“It was Dooku who showed up, along with Ventress.”

Obi-Wan waved his hand at him.  “Do keep us all in suspense.”

“He landed on the planet, and stalked right up to us … ”

Quinlan wasn’t sure how he got to Stewjon before the Separatists, the desperate plea from his friend was a major motivator.   

They had been friends since their time in the crèche.  The moment he had laid eyes on the adorable sneaky bastard he decided that Obi-Wan was his to protect.  When he had found a baby Tooka Dragon playing with Master Windu, and learned that even as small as he was he would be hunted … his protection streak went off the charts.  

He had defended him against bullies, and had been seconds from a transport to get to Bandomeer before Master Tholme grabbed him, assuring him Obi-Wan was on the right path.  He hadn’t believed him, and when his friend came back with new scars, it was Master Koon who had physically picked him up, before he attacked Master Jinn, though he swore the Kel Dor had debated it for at least a few moments. 

He knew there was nothing he could do, but be Obi’s friend.  So that is what he did, always staying close to be the shoulder to cry on, a comfort they both sought, and at times he seethed from the sidelines, knowing there was nothing he could do.

He once had admitted to Master Windu that he could easily go dark to protect the Dragon.  Windu nodded, then taught him how to siphon off that energy and protectiveness.   When he actually touched darkness, it was Obi-Wan’s light that helped him find his path, he knew then that no he wouldn’t go dark for Obi-Wan, because his friend’s light held tightly onto him.

It made him contemplate who was protecting who, all those years.

But he sure as hell was going to kill Dooku, and take the witch out while he was at it.

So when he had arrived on Stewjon, he was prepared to take on the whole Seperatist Army, then discovered that Obi-Wan got his tenacity, stubbornness, and self-sacrificing tendencies from dear old dad.  His deviousness and adorable cheeky snark from mom. 

Quinlan may have adopted them instantly, though it could’ve been the other way around.

“Vos.”  Ventress gave him a bored look.  “The Jedi must be desperate if they sent you.”

“What can I say.”  He gave her a smirk.  ” I missed your witty snark, and inability to kill me.”

“I’m surprised the precious Jedi took you back, considering you’re tainted.”  She sneered, taking a step closer, hand resting on her lightsaber.

“It’s amazing how love overpowers hate.”  He shrugged knowing full well it was Obi-Wan’s and Master Tholme’s influence that had him still at the Temple.  But then, he wasn’t the only Jedi who had touched darkness in this war.

“You are not welcome here.”  Obi-Wan’s father stated simply, as if banishing a child.

“It doesn’t work that way old man…”

“Did I not speak clearly.”  He took a stepforward, with a snarl on his lips and a growl in his throat.  “You are not welcome here, and if you think those tiny tin cans will put the fear into us, you have a lot to learn, lass.”

“And who do you think you are?” Ventress wasn’t sure what to do with the audacity of the pathetic human in front of her.  “You have no power here.”

“Aye, let me introduce myself.”  Within a breath, the human male disappeared and the Dragon stood in its stead.  He was bigger and bulkier than Obi-Wan, the feet fully webbed, the red scales gleaned in the sun, just before they clicked into place, effectively putting on armoured skin.  “I’m Bernard of Clan Kenobi, and you are not welcome.”

Ventress jumped back, lightsabers ready but not yet ignited, she stared at the creature before her.  “No one said anything about Dragons … ” she paused, blinked a few times.  “Kenobi is a Dragon?!”

“Be nice or I’ll tell dear old dad here how many times you tried to kill his son.”  Quinlan had his own lightsaber out, but his was lit.  “Or maybe I should mention the time you tortured him for three weeks … “

The snarl came from behind Bernard, as a flash of aubron fur flew past the bigger Dragon and headed straight for Venturess.  

“Shit.”  Quinlan wasn’t sure if he should help, or let the Tooka play with her meal.

“Lilia!”  Bernard called out, stopping his wife in her tracks.  

“Okay, so it’s mom he takes after.” 

She may have obeyed the Head of the Clan, but the twitching tail was any indication of how pissed off she was, there would be words later.

“Ventress, back off.”  Dooku stepped up to his apprentice and pulled her back.  “You are no match for one, let alone a Clan full.  I’m actually quite surprised you know of these mythological creatures.”

“Well Dragon has been an essential part of Dathomir rituals.”   She sneered over to the large furry Tooka Dragon.  “I hear their blood is excellent for a long life.”

She startled when Dooku’s lightsaber was suddenly under her chin.  “Child, I suggest you leave, and forget this planet and creatures exist.”   

But of course Ventress never backed down from a challenge.  “And if I don’t.”

“Don’t test me.”  His tone indicated there would be no argument. 

She wasn’t going to die for some pathetic Dragons, so she took a few steps back, gave Vos a half salute, turned and headed for the ship.   She was done with all of it.  This was her opportunity to get away from Dooku, leave it all behind, start a new life.

“Dooku…”

He gave the Jedi a bored look.  “You can stop your grandstanding Vos, for once we’re on the same side.  I had no idea the planet was filled with Dragons.”

Quinlan stared at him in disbelief.

“I do not understand why, my idiot Padawan never told me about Kenobi.  He knew about Seranno’s support of Dragons, and I was the one who gave him a few books to study that weren’t hunt related to help him understand Windu.”

Bernard shifted his head down until he looked the Sith in the face.  “You started a war, killed thousands, hunted my son, and now you stand before us, an alley?”

“Yeah, what he said.”  There was no way this was going to be that easy.  “If that’s the case, will you surrender the Seperatist … “

Vos felt it about the same time as Dooku.  Something powerful and very dark, had ripped through the universe then was suddenly gone.  He stumbled back, reaching out through his bonds, touching to make sure those he loved were safe.  

Ayla’s warm presence wrapped around their bond.  It was mixed with a mild frustration, then a sudden shift of anger, followed by calm.  She really was his anchor, despite being the Padawan.

Kenobi’s brightness was dull, but still hard to look at.  His friend felt exhausted, yet there was a great sense of relief.  The amount of pain he was hiding was tremendous, the fact his friend reached back across the bond to tap him to say he was okay, stopped him from feeding Dooku to Lilia and running back to Croscuant.

 Dooku on the other hand was on his knees, holding his head groaning in agony.  Vos hesitated, not wanting to touch the Sith, but knew something had fundamentally happened.   He took the advantage to disarm Dooku, and yanked the lightsaber away, and tossed it towards Bernard, who snagged the item with his paw, and tossed it far behind him.  

Lilia transformed back into her human form, then grabbed the robe Shmi handed to her.  It was then that Vos realized how many of the village was ready to defend their protectors.  Shmi, gave Vos a nod, gripping her weapon.

“Woman…”

She gave her husband a side-eye that he had seen Obi-Wan use to send people to their knees.  Without any hesitation, she knelt in front of Dooku, took his hands in hers and forced him to look at her.  “The darkness is gone.”

Tears were running down his face.  “I’m not that innocent.”

“No.”  She gave him a smirk.  “But any man from Serenno would never hurt a Dragon, if you had known about my son?”

“I would’ve smacked my Padawan for being an idiot, adopted him and let him play in the largest of fields, no one deserves to be locked up into something so small.”  Dooku sat back on his thighs, he looked up to the beautiful sky, noticing the large Dragon on the mountain, it had blended perfectly, likely would’ve taken out the army in seconds.  “Sidious is dead.”

“You mean the Chancellor.”  Vos disengaged his lightsaber, settling it on his belt.  “Kenobi figured it out, and also discovered the chips.”

“He’s the one pride from our lineage.  Skywalker is an idiot, though I could see Kenobi’s influence.  He also tempered Qui-Gon, though I’m surprised Windu didn’t take my Padawan out for being a moron.”

“Oh he tried.”  Vos settled next to Lilia, making sure she was protected, but something told him it wouldn’t matter.  “Now what?”

“I honestly do not know.”  Dooku still held an air of dignity, but Vos had to admit he looked like he aged a few decades.

“You stated Serenno protects Dragons?”  Vos asked, his head tilted slightly.  “I’m going to guess that to defeat Sidious our two Dragons exposed themselves, and we all know how the Senate is going to handle that.”

Dooku frowned, then gave the Jedi a bored look.  “I’ve met his Commander.  The man would’ve killed me if he could’ve figured out how.  The Senate is no match for him.”

“Yeah, well you know how Mate’s protect their own.”

Lilia blinked at Vos.  “My son has his Mate?  Why didn’t he tell us!”

“I think it was more timing than anything.”  Vos was pretty sure Obi-Wan was going to get yelled at, and he would deny any involvement.  “Count Dooku, do you surrender?”

“Yes, and I have a few things the Senate should hear.”

“I had no idea that Serenno protected Dragons, why didn’t Master Jinn tell me.”  He ignored Vos’ look, it was the same one he had every time he brought up Qui-Gon.  “Of course he would know about Dragons, he was raised by Yoda.”

“And seriously why didn’t anyone tell me that particular tidbit of information.”  When Quinlan had heard that gossip, he had only stared at the visual in shock.  “And how the hell does something that big, fit into something that small?”

Obi-Wan gave his Mate a side-eye, who was working hard not to smile.  “The past ten years have been rough on Master Yoda.  As you know Dragons have Mates … ” He held up his hand to stop the dozen questions.  “He doesn’t have one, but as his species is very rare, as is the Dragon, he had Mated with another of his kind.”  Obi-Wan pinched the bridge of his nose, at the snickering and flashes of images he was getting from curious minds.  “He lost them about ten years ago.  Hunters attacked where they had been hiding, as it would take a century before the little one would be old enough to defend himself.”

Vos sobered.  “Are you telling me that some kriffing Dragon Hunter found … oh dear God it was Master Yaddle!  This makes perfect sense in a weird way that I never want to think about again – they found their baby Dragon and killed it?”

“Yaddle died protecting him, along with all those at the small Temple.”  Obi-Wan took a deep breath, he remembered sitting for hours with his great grandmaster, just trying to be a supportive presence, which didn’t help as they had also lost Qui-Gon a few months earlier.

“Tell me who these Hunter’s were and I’ll send Gree.”  Kote spoke up for the first time, listening to the stories.

At one point, while his cyare had been resting, he had a long chat with his fellow Commander.  They were in agreement about setting up a team of vode to be constant protectors of the Dragons at the Temple, then set up another group whose job it would be to end the Dragon Hunting business.

Obi-Wan gave him a small wicked smirk.  “Just about that time Master Windu and I had a mission in the Outer Rim.  Let’s just say those demagolka didn’t survive an adult pair of Dragons.”

“Ner Dragon.”  He leaned over and kissed him.

“Damn, that had to be hard on Master Yoda.”  Quinlan shook his head.  “It also explains his do not get attached rules he became admit about.”  Kenobi nodded, but didn’t reply. “But then he was distracted for the past years and we ended up with a Sith Dragon.”

“As much as I don’t want to give him credit, Papaltine manipulated everything for years.   The Senate’s control over the Jedi, the missions we were sent to, destruction of lives – it was Dooku’s mission on Galidraan that destroyed the True Mandelorians, leading Jango down the path to create the Clones.”  He reached out and squeezed Kote’s hand.  “There wasn’t one moment that he hadn’t planned.”

“Oh I’m sure he wasn’t expecting you, Ner Jetii.”  Kote held his hand tightly.  “Your presence, as a Dragon, changed everything.  It calmed Anakin, kept him closer to you instead of Palpatine.  The 212th stayed loyal despite the chips being activated.”

“Well if there was one thing, well one of many things, Qui-Gon got wrong.  Anakin was never the Chosen One, he didn’t bring balance to the Force.”   Vos stood up, his hand resting on his friend’s shoulder, enjoying the love and brightness he felt every time he touched him.  “You were always the Chosen One.  You brought us true balance.  Showed us how to love, how to give oneself to the Force, and yet fight fiercely for those who can’t.”  He kissed him on the forehead, then stepped back. “And if the Council throws you and Master Windu out for being Dragons or because you have a Mate – half the Jedi will follow.”

“And we know the clones will.”  There was no doubt who the 212th would, their loyalty was always with their General.  Besides, Kote already had plans in case the Senate decided to be di’kut and go after his Mate.  

Which turned out to be a self fulfilling prophecy.

The Senate, in a fit of embarrassment being duped into a war, blamed the fact Paplatine was a Dragon not a Sith Lord, and cried that all Dragons should be punished, since obviously the legends of their destructive nature was true.

Kote had stationed the 212th between the front doors of the Temple and the Healer’s Ward, to make sure no one would dare steal their Dragon General.  It wasn’t much of an overkill, considering the few holos of the debates on the Senate Floor Obi-Wan had the pleasure of viewing before Kote stole the datapad.

Overkill was the fact the 501st, the 91st, 41st, and 104th, were also stationed in and around the Temple, and that didn’t include the regiments still in orbit.  The Healers and Medics were taking the opportunity to remove the men’s chips, even with the Sith gone, no one wanted the clones vulnerable to someone looking to seize power during the disarray.

Tarkin had made a move for the GAR.  Kote informed him that Block had been officially adopted by the 212th, from his willingness to defend their General, but watching him take on Tarkin was a sight to behold.  Obi-Wan was still trying to get that particular holo.

While the debate raged on outside of the Temple, the one inside their home was much worse.

When he realized how many of his fellow Jedi looked at him differently, feeling their fear, and anger, to the point a few even turned their backs.  He wondered if his life as a Jedi was going to come to end sooner than anticipated, no matter what Quinlan had stated.

He had told Cody that he didn’t have to be a Jedi to help people, and he didn’t.  But it hurt knowing that there were members of his own family ready to toss him out, because of old myths and legends. 

History had been made, when Anakin teamed up with Quinlan on teaching a few Knights, not to disrespect Council Members.  And at one point Rex had to physically grab Ahsoka and carry her away from a fight, letting Fives and Echo finish it.

It hadn’t taken long before they ended up in front of the Jedi Council.  It was a rare moment for two Council Members to be the ones questioned.   Obi-Wan was having a difficult time not flashing back to his Padawan days, and trying hard not to hide behind Mace.  He was a Master Jedi, High General, and damn Sith Killer … twice over (He really wasn’t counting the fact Maul survived the first time, he’ll make it stick sooner or later).

Depa looked around the room, noticing for the first time that the full Council was actually in person and not half of them on a battlefront.  She had known since her Padawan years, about the Dragon and never once felt threatened, and after her own research understood why her Master hid such an important side of himself.   She had no problem leaving Caleb with his Grandmaster, and once she had told her Padawan, he only thought it was cool and wondered if he could get a ride.  Mace had muttered about snarky Padawan’s who only wanted rides.  “Why are we even having this conversation?  Who cares that our fellow Jedi are Dragons.  We take in all species who are Force Sensitive despite their reputation or limitations.”

Mundi stared at her in shock.  “Of course you would say that, Master Windu was your Master.  I’m sure you were in on the deceit.  But we have to deal with this breach of trust…”

“Considering how you’re treating them, your fellow Council Members, men you have fought with, meditated with.  It’s no wonder they didn’t tell you.”  She gave him a filthy glare, then looked around the room.  “You realize for the first time in years, we’re all sitting here, and not on holo from some blood soaked battlefield, because they took out the Sith Lord, who tried to destroy not just the Republic, but also the Jedi and by default the clones.  They exposed a very personal side of themselves, one they’ve kept quiet because of this very reaction, to save us from the Sith.”

“Master Depa is right.”  Shaak Ti words were soft but firm.  “It is no wonder they hid this from the Jedi, just look at our own reactions.  I have watched those of us, who are supposed to love and accept all creatures, turn against our own members.  Mace and Obi-Wan have shown both courage, by showing us who they are.”

“I forgot what this felt like.”  Mace whispered to Obi-Wan who was inching closer to him, trying to hide.

“Stand in front of us, two Council Members.” Yoda smacked his gimmer stick on his seat.  “Sit here, I am.”

“That’s diff…” Mundi paused when he realized what he was going to say.  “The fact remains this deception will change the Jedi Order.”

“It already has changed.”  Obi-Wan stepped away from Mace, focusing on the Council.  “We have lost half our members in this war.  We were manipulated by a Sith, because we were tethered to the Senate.  We stopped being Protectors and became Generals.  When was the last time anyone of us went on a Mission to help someone?  And I don’t mean taking a legion of soldiers to stop the Sepreatist.  I mean to help, heal, and bring peace.  We haven’t been the bringers of Peace in years.”  He sighed, glanced at Mace then back at the Council.  “Us being Dragons isn’t the problem.  It’s the fact the Senate thinks they have the right to dictate to the Jedi how to live our lives.”

“Why didn’t you inform the Council you were a Dragon?”  Mundi asked, still not happy with the fact they lied for years.

“I don’t know maybe because even now we’re hunted down and killed for soup!”  Mace snarked as he moved across the chambers to sit in his chair.  He was still tired from the fight, and unless they tossed the two … three of them out of the Temple he was still Head of the Order.  “I was brought to the Temple as a child, after seeing my parents killed by Dragon Hunters, my whole Clan wiped out, I learned at that moment telling anyone I was a Dragon was a bad idea.”

“Found him I did.”  Yoda glanced over to Mace, nodding slightly.  “Found Obi-Wan, I did.  Both strong in the Force.  Jedi they are.  Dragon they are.  Dragon I am.  My loyalty do you question?”

“No Jedi is compelled to tell the Council or anyone everything about themselves.”  Riasis stated though still had a frown.  “As long as they follow the Code, and you have to admit Master Kenobi, you have broken it.”

“Have I?”  He challenged moving to his own seat, sighing when he sat down.  The only reason he escaped the Healers Ward was mainly because Kote had disappeared and he was pretty sure the Senate was going to learn a very valuable lesson.  Not that he didn’t leave guards behind, Wooley and Longshot were just outside.

“You have Mated to your Commander?”  He pointed out.

“We make exceptions for marriage when it comes to species and needs for reproduction.  As a Dragon, it’s in our blood to have a Mate.  It’s a gift to have one.  My Mating with Kote, makes the Force sing, and you want to make it into a tawdry affair?”  He argued back.  “What is the problem, the fact I have a Mate or that he’s a Clone?”

“Well if anything this does prove is that each Clone is unique in personality and spirit.  They each have individual souls, and should be treated as such.”  Koon pointed out, something that should’ve been obvious to any Jedi.  “If they were just ‘meat droids’ as I’ve heard throughout the Senate and sadly in these very halls, a Dragon would not Mate with one.”

“Judge me, did not, when left Yaddle did, to raise and protect our child.”  Yoda frowned, still hurting from the loss of both.  “My species it was for.”

“That was diff…” Mundi sighed, then focused on Obi-Wan.  “He was your Commander.”

“Yes, which is why I didn’t say anything for two years.  He also needed to find who he was, not the number they made him to be.   I won’t be reproducing baby dragons with him, but he completes me.”  He made sure to respond directly back.  “Ki-adi talk to me.”

“I feel as if you lied to us.”  He answered honestly.  “Did you not trust us with this secret? You told the insane Padawan.”

“Honestly.”  He glanced at Mace who only gave a nod, indicating he would back him.  “I didn’t tell my Master until it was necessary, and in truth it wasn’t me who told him.  There were few I trusted, mostly those I grew up with.  It was a long debate with Master Windu to even tell my Padawan.  This isn’t just about me.  This is about my whole species.  We have been hunted for thousands of years, and the way the Senate is screeching will continue to be.  My men and Mate discovered it, because I couldn’t let them die from bad Intel … Intel we now know was purposely wrong as the Chancellor was trying to extend the war to destroy us.”

“As a Council Member…”

“I’m sorry you feel I’ve lied or do not trust you.  It was not my intent to hurt those around me, but being a Dragon comes with other responsibilities.”

“And how do we know those won’t over take your vows as a Jedi?”  Eeth Koth questioned, not harshly, but with an open mind.

“Have you seen any evidence of that?”  Mace answered with ease.  “At one point have we put being a Dragon first?  We have literally exposed ourselves to protect the Jedi.  They sent Dooku to Stewjon to destroy Obi-Wan’s family, because they were Dragons.  He sent Knight Vos to help, not divert a whole army, though he would’ve had good reason to.”

“It was the fact Obi-Wan was a Dragon that got Dooku to turn back to the light, or at least face his own darkness.  And how can we say a creature is dark, when the very essence of it, brought a Sith back to the light.”  Kit Fitso looked around the room.  “I have, like the rest of you here, fought, meditated, laughed, mourned and enjoyed the company of my fellow Jedi.  Not once have I felt darkness, deception, or an evil creature that is going to eat our children.”  That had got a few snorts from his fellow Council Members.  “The Code is a breathing thing, it needs room to grow as we grow.  And if anything this war has done, is change us all.  For those of us who fought with the clones, if you’re not attached – if you have not fought to save your men … well then maybe it’s not Master Kenobi and Master Windu we need to talk to.”

“Not all of us were on the front.” Rancisis bristled at the comment.

“And some of us have been on the front for years.”  Depa pointed out, without malice.  “What Master Fitso is trying to say, it’s changed us.  This wasn’t a long mission, that kept us away from home for a while, it was war and it was hell.  My padawan has seen things that most Knights never did in their lifetime.  We’re arguing if two of our members had the right to protect themselves, when we, as the Council, sent Masters, Knights and Padawans to their death for a war that wasn’t ours.”

Agen Kolar had been quiet through most of the debate, he took a deep breath.  “We were deceived by a Sith Lord.  That is on all of us, and not just the Council, but as The Jedi.  We sent our people to die, and we bled next to the clones – it is a Bond that cannot be broken.  Yet we sit here arguing over two of our members being a rare species.  I hold no grudge for them not telling us, I’m upset that we as a body of people didn’t show enough loyalty that they felt they should hide.  I’m ashamed of young Knights walking these halls who have made rude comments, though they at least have learned not to do it in front of any clones.”

A few chuckled.

“Also I would like to point out, it was Obi-Wan being a Dragon that kept Skywalker firmly on the light.”  Koon glanced at his fellow Council Member.  “The trust he did show to his Padawan, created a Bond, that Paplatine was not able to break.”

“Besides, it isn’t just Obi-Wan who found his Mate.”  Mace sighed, it was something he had finally admitted to himself, and now he was already exposing the future Mate to the Council.

“Ponds is going to yell … a lot.”  Obi-Wan gave him a pointed look, they would have a private conservation later.  “Then demand answers to a thousand questions.”

“Well at least he has Kote to talk to.”  Mace frowned, then looked around as if noticing that the Commander wasn’t in the room.  It did explain the lack of growling.  “Speaking of where is he? I was half expecting him to be standing behind your chair.”

Master Mundi snorted softly, feeling at ease as the Council settled into something more than hurried conversations filled with trepidation and darkness.  “Actually that is a good question.”  Maybe having some outside perspective would be good for the Jedi.  It would be something he could bring up later.  “As he will be part of Jedi business being your Mate, where is the Commander.”

“At the Senate.”  Obi-Wan grinned wickedly.

“And we’re missing it?”  Mace stood up, heading for the door.  He wasn’t really surprised that the rest of the Council followed him out.  They still had many things to discuss, but even those who had reservations felt the light soaking back into the Temple.  “I’ll grab snacks.”

And, if there was anything they all could actually agree on, the Senate was a pain in their shebs.

***

“We were deceived by these evil creatures!”

A Senator from a planet that Kote recalled saving from the Separatists.  The Senator stood in his pod, arms waving in a manic form, spouting off inaccuracy after inaccuracy about Dragons.  Next time he was going to leave the damn droids to terrorize the citizens, see how quickly the bastard changed his tune.

“Dragons are virgin stealing … ”

He could feel Rex’s comment coming, and cut it off with a death glare.   His vod tried to act innocent, but he had known him far too long to buy it.  Rex was on his right, with Fox on the left, and they stood in the back of the Senatorial Pod for Naboo.   Senator Amidela was gracious to sponsor them in front of the Senate.  Kote was sure, she was looking forward to the chaos they would likely inflect with their announcement.

“They attack innocent civilians and steal their riches.”

Of course the Banking Clan would care about that particular myth.  His Mate hoarded tea, and Windu from what he’s heard purple things, it wasn’t like they were sitting on a cache of gold and jewels.  If they were, he had no doubt the Banking Clan would be trying to steal it for reparation of some sort.

“My family has hunted these vile creatures for centuries, and let me tell you, they are evil and need to be eradicated.”

The growl was low key, but enough that those around him glanced worriedly at him.  Kote made note to find every member of the Senator’s family and let Ghost after them, maybe even let Torrent have some fun.  Gree could be in charge of the mission.  Fox set a hand on his arm, tapping on his comm link, he glanced down to see a list of names and locations.  It was a good thing he was wearing his bucket or the preaditorial grin would’ve scared a few Senators.

“It was obvious these Dragons were working together to take over the Republic!”

Fox’s hand gripped his arm, while Rex grabbed his shoulder, as he made a move to launch himself out of the pod, straight for the di’kut demagolka, who dared compare his Mate with the Sith.  

“Maybe you missed the video, though I’m not sure how as it hasn’t stopped playing on every news channel, that the Jedi actually killed the Sith, also known as Chancellor Papalatine.  You know the one you guys voted to give absolute powers to.”  Jacen Block stood at attention, wearing his best uniform, looking every inch of a respected Admiral of the GAR.

From the rumor mill, Tarkin was still trying to seize power, getting pissed at how much influence Block actually had.   Tarkin’s own ties to Paplatine were hurting his bid, as many of the top GAR officials were distancing themselves from those who gained favor from the Chancellor.  Especially as some were being investigated, when their names were located in files dealing with Intel being given to the Separatists.

At the moment Block had somehow wrangled top position in the GAR, and was holding steady against the Senate, refusing to arrest the Dragons or anyone they deemed necessary.   The man hated politics but was good at it, and Senators were having a hard time bribing, blackmailing or coracessed him into doing what they wanted.  “The same one who had a clone army made purposely to conduct war, so he can gain said powers and make an Empire.   I do recall this very Senate having this conversation just last week.”

“You have no say…”

“I have every right to speak in front of the Senate!”  He snapped, so done with pettiness.  No one wanted to admit they got complacent and that was how they ended up in this mess.  “I fought in this war, next to High General Kenobi and never once was any of the men sacrificed to a fire breathing, virgin stealing, gold hoarding monster.”

“These creatures are dangerous, and deceitful.  We don’t even know how many of them there are.  They could be in this very room!!  Our very lives are threatened.”

Kote’s eyes narrowed.

They had no idea who the real threat was.

“Besides killing The Chancellor, who was a Sith, who else have they harmed?”  Bail Organa asked the Senate, hand gesturing for anyone to answer the question.  There were a lot of murmurs and under breath snide comments.  “No one.  Dragons have been welcome and protected on Alderaan for generations.  There are high ranking members in our government, that are part of the Dragon Clans, who give sage advice due to their years.  They have protected the Royal Family, for as long as there has been one.  I owe my very life, not just to General Kenobi, but also the Head Guard back at home.”  There was a collective gasp, and then hush around the Senate.  “And Senator Drago, if you or your family go near Alderaan or any of the Dragons that are under our protection you will be arrested.”

“Are you threatening me.”  He pulled himself to his full height, sending a glare to the Alderaan Senator.

“Stating a fact.”  Bail gave him a politician smile, one filled with promise.  “The Dragons are sentient creatures who have gotten a bad wrap, perpetrated by shockingly the Sith and Politicians from thousands of years ago.  And yet here we are, reliving history.  These beautiful creatures have to hide themselves, so they don’t get hunted down for sport or rare delicacy sold on the black markets!”

Padme moved her pod out to support Bail.  “I am sure no one in this Senate would allow Wookies, Bontha’s or other species to be hunted for food. Yet, here we have a Senator bragging that his family has killed Dragons.  If the Senate truly feels that Dragons should be hunted and destroyed because we were duped by a madman, then was the Republic even worth saving.”

“Order!”  Interim Chancellor Mon Mothma held up her hands to silent the arguing and barely controlled chaos.  “This Republic will not condone the hunting of Dragons, so they can be the scapegoat for our mistakes.   The Jedi showed a truly personal side of themselves to save us, and deserve our respect and thanks, not our condemnation.   I have already set up a committee to discuss making the Dragons part of the Republic, allowing them to have a representative.”  She flinched slightly at the uproar that went through the Senate building.  “Silence!”

“You cannot be serious.”  Senator Drago snarled at the Chancellor.  “These are vile creatures and should be put down…”

“The Dragons are under the protection of the clones, my vode.”  Kote pulled off his bucket and stepped in front of Senator Amidela, who easily moved back to give him the spotlight.  “We will use our skills to protect every single one of them, and believe me when I say you do not want to cross us.”

“The clones have no rights or say in this matter.”  Another Senator spoke up, barely even acknowledging Kote.  “They are property of the Republic.”

“Actually, we’re property of the Jedi.”  Kote gave him a small smirk.  “Though technically, we’re Mandalorians, our genetics came from a Mandalorian, which means we have rights as any other citizen.”

“Mandalore isn’t part of the Republic!”  He had heard that tone countless times, while watching The Negotiator, so filled with self-righteousness and the assurance that they were right.

“Actually, they are a neutral system, which means you have no control over what we say or do.”  Kote bit back the smirk at the shocked gasp, and worried expressions on a few of the Senators.  “The point I’m making Senators, is that the Dragons and The Jedi are under our protection.”

“The clones are nothing, and belong to the GAR!”  The same Senator moved his pod to get closer to Kote.  “You will do your duty to protect the good citizens of the Republic, or else.”

“Or else what?”  He demanded.

The Senator became flustered at the idea of a clone challenging him.  “You’re our property, and we can make you.”

Kote leaned forward, and looked him in the eyes.  “Yeah, with what army?”

‘Damn.’  Rex blinked a few times under his bucket.  ‘Kote has been taking lessons from the General.’

‘It’s like watching little Kote take on Jango, but with the years of wisdom and experience he built as Cody.  Seriously, these idiots don’t know what they’re up against.’  Fox was impressed, and that was saying a lot.  ‘Ah my favorite Senator, Riyo Chuchi, she has always been kind to the Guard.  Brought Thorn these little sweets, and always left fresh caf on my desk.’

“As we’re having this conversation.”  Riyo may speak softly but always made sure her voice was heard.  “I’ve submitted a bill to the Senate to give the Clones their Rights and Citizenship to the Republic.  These men fought and died in a war orchestrated by a power hungry man.  Palpatine is dead, Dooku has surrendered the Seperatist army, and negotiations have been going on to settle this dispute.  The men who took the blunt of the war, deserve their citizenship.”

“They are clones and deserve nothing … ”

“They are sentient beings.”  Padme growled at the idiot Senator.  “And in the Republic Constitution, it clearly states that no Sentient being shall be enslaved by the Republic.  Which pretty much brings us full circle, as it also states the Republic shouldn’t hunt them down and make them into soup!”

‘Do you think the bill will pass?’  Rex asked, head tilting slightly towards Fox.

‘Yes.’

‘You sound pretty confident.’  This time he did turn towards Fox, tone indicating his shock.

‘We have watched these idiots for three years.  The Guard may have not been on the front lines, but we saw war.  The infighting, pathetic whining, self-righteous, over privilege, lying osik these Senators got up to on a daily basis, gave me enough black mail to not just pass this bill, but a few other important ones.’

‘Oh Fox.  I’m so proud.’

“That is enough!”  Mon Mothma took a few calming breaths.  “This session is over.  At this moment, the Dragons are to remain at the Jedi Temple.  There will be consequences if anything happens to them.”  She pointedly looked at Senator Drago.   “Senator I would suggest you avoid the Temple at all costs, unless of course you feel your skill set can match a few thousand trained soldiers.”

He glanced over at Kote, who kept his expression neutral and gaze forward.  If the idiot decided to send in his famous hunting family, well … he wasn’t exactly sure who would have more fun: Skywalker, Vos, Ghost, Torrent or Gree.

Or maybe this time Ponds and him could have some fun.

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