Gray Jedi Ch. 06

byauguy86©

"That is my official designation. But as you well know, my friends call me Rex."

"Yes... Captain Rex of the 501st legion," Malik replied.

"The same, sir."

"Also the legion that slaughtered all our friends in the Jedi Temple," Malik seethed, gripping his lightsaber tightly.

"I had nothing to do with that," Rex said calmly.

"Is that so?! Then which Jedi did you turn on, huh?" Malik shot back, taking a step forward, the tip of his lightsaber precariously close to Rex's face. "These betrayals happened all over the galaxy, Jedi being slaughtered by the clones they regarded as friends."

"I... I know..." Rex hung his head. "I cannot condone the actions of my brothers, sir. All I can say for sure is that I have never and will never betray my Jedi comrades. And I can prove it."

"How?" Serra asked, not relaxing for a moment.

"Look." Rex turned slowly to face away from the pair, keeping his hands up the whole time. "Here, where my neck meets my head."

"What is that?" Malik asked, noticing a scar on the skin.

"That is where my inhibitor chip once was."

"Inhibitor chip?" Serra repeated.

"It's a tiny biochip implanted in every clone from birth," Rex explained. "Its primary purpose is ensuring our absolute loyalty to the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic."

"Palpatine," Malik spat.

"Correct. But beyond that, I made a terrifying discovery a few months ago. One of my men came to me bordering on insanity. He kept talking about a grand conspiracy to force us clones to commit a horrible atrocity, and that the cover-up went as high as the leaders of the Republic. He died before we could verify any of it, and Palpatine closed the matter straight away, but I continued to research his claims. Though I never confirmed the conspiracy itself, this led me to discover the existence of the inhibitor chips. Realizing that these chips could force us to commit the atrocity of which he spoke, I removed my own in secret."

"And those chips contained the program used to nearly wipe out the Jedi Order," Malik finished.

"Yes, sir," Rex sighed. "I am only sorry that I could not gather enough evidence to convince any more of my brothers to follow my lead."

"How do we know we can trust you?"

"You were always our best interrogator, sir. You could tell through the Force if any captives were lying. Am I?"

Malik concentrated for a moment before replying, "No... no you're not." He and Serra put their weapons away.

"Rex," Serra said, "you were stationed on Mandalore with Ahsoka Tano, is that right?"

"Yes, ma'am. When the clones received the call for Order 66, she became an immediate target. Thankfully, she was out on reconnaissance alone at the time, and I volunteered to track her down myself. I caught up to her and warned her of the incoming danger, but by then my battalion had followed and opened fire on her. But thanks to some quick thinking on her part, she made it appear that she had killed me before making her escape. This allowed me to fake my death; hell, there's even a tombstone with my name on it down there! A powerful and resourceful Jedi that one is. Just like her master," Rex said with a smile.

"Um, Rex," Malik began, but he then felt Serra's hand on his shoulder.

"You deserve to know... Anakin didn't survive the attack on the Jedi Temple," Serra said. "I'm so sorry, Rex. I know he was among your closest friends."

With a heavy sigh, Rex replied, "It was bound to happen sometime... as powerful a Jedi as he was, I have no doubt he was made a top target. And the 501st legion knew his tactics and strategies better than anyone..."

Before anything more could be said, the ship was suddenly rocked by an incoming attack.

"Shit! I left the cloaking device off!" Serra realized, rushing to the cockpit.

Malik and Rex ran after her, arriving in the cockpit to find her frantically working the console.

"It's no good; some of the couplings came loose," she said.

"Rex, can you fly this thing?" Malik asked.

"I can fly anything, sir."

"Then get us out of here. Serra, go down below and get to work on the cloaking systems. I'll get the weapon systems up and running."

Serra dashed off to the engine area while Rex took her place in the captain's chair. As Malik powered up the targeting computers, he noticed an immediate difference in Rex's skillful defensive flying.

"What have we got, sir?"

"Looks like two recon fighters," Malik replied. "Their fast, but not heavily armed. But I bet they've already called for reinforcements."

"Why do you say that? They don't know who's on this ship, do they?"

"They caught sight of us as we made our escape from Coruscant in this thing, and nearly cornered us on Ord Mantell. There's no other ship in the galaxy like this one; we're a marked target," Malik explained.

"Then we'd better get the hell out of here."

"Just keep us on course; I can't program the hyperspace coordinates and fire the guns at the same time, but I can hold 'em off until Serra gets the cloaking unit up and running."

As Rex continued his evasive maneuvers, Malik brought the turrets online and returned fire. The fighters chasing them were quite agile, evading with relative ease while continuing to pepper their shields with blaster fire. The chase continued for several minutes, when Rex noticed another ship in the distance also being pursued by Imperial fighters.

"Sir, you see that?"

"Yeah, that's odd... but we're in no position to help them at the moment," Malik replied.

"I've got it!" Serra exclaimed as she burst into the cockpit. "Engage the cloaking device!"

"Done," Malik said, flipping a switch.

As soon as they had disappeared, Rex executed several swerves to throw off their attackers. As they scanned for any sign of the Jedi ship, a group of five reinforcement fighters arrived on the scene to assist, though they were as clueless as the first two. Deciding to give up on them for the time being, the group converged and went after the ship in the distance being pursued by an additional two fighters.

"Whew... that was close," Rex sighed, wiping the sweat from his shaved head.

"Yeah, but that ship over there won't stand a chance, not with nine Imperial fighters on its tail," Serra said.

"Hang on, got an incoming transmission," Malik said.

"...Concordia is in need of immediate assistance! This is Bo-Katan Kryze of the Night Owls Mandalorian Resistance Force! If anyone can hear this message, please render aid!"

"Sounds like our work's not done," Malik said to Serra.

"Yep."

"Wait, you can't be thinking of jumping into this fight!" Rex protested. "Bo-Katan Kryze killed lord-knows-how-many of my men on Mandalore last year!"

"And then allied with the Republic by saving General Kenobi's life," Malik fired back. "She put herself in danger to help the Jedi, so we're going to help her now. It's the right thing to do."

"Besides, we have the element of surprise," Serra said with a grin. "I'll take the controls, you two go man the heavy guns."

Rex and Malik rushed out of the cockpit towards the two heavy laser cannon installations, located on each end of the hammer-like bow of the ship. Though Malik had been able to control them remotely before, having gunners in full control would be a great advantage for them against the numbers they were about to face. Malik strapped in and activated his targeting systems, testing his commlink with Rex and Serra.

"Ok, we're gonna stay cloaked as much as possible," Serra told the pair. "Wait for my signal to fire."

She approached the cluster of fighters converging on the Mandalorian gunship, lining Malik and Rex up to be able to take them out before they knew what was happening.

"Rex, I'll take these three in front of me, you get the three nearest you. That'll thin their numbers out a bit," said Malik.

"Roger that."

"OPEN FIRE!" came Serra's command.

Malik and Rex fired in unison, targeting the cluster of fighters near them. Though each managed to destroy a pair, the remaining five ships recovered enough to scatter and try to regroup. Meanwhile, the two men stopped firing long enough for Serra to move them to another position, as they remained cloaked and undetectable so long as they weren't firing their weapons. By now, the Mandalorian gunship had recovered enough to be able to return fire on its own, assaulting the fighters from a distance. Taking advantage of this distraction, Rex drew on his extensive training and took out another pair of fighters in quick succession. After Malik shot down another by using the Force to anticipate its movements, the remaining two fighters turned to retreat.

"That's right, bugger off!" Rex cheered.

"Nice shooting, Rex!" Malik agreed.

Returning to the cockpit, the pair found Serra opening a line of communication to the Mandalorian gunship.

"Come in Concordia. This is the Middle Way. Are you alright?"

The face of a tall, slender, redheaded woman appeared on the screen. Malik immediately recognized her as the leader of the Night Owls.

"This is the Concordia. We're fine, got a little cooked but no major damage. Thank you for your help. A few minutes longer, and we might've been goners."

"Our pleasure. Will you be able to get out of here on your own, or will you need additional help?" Serra asked.

"We'll be ok. Middle Way, huh? I'll keep my eyes out for you; look us up if you're ever in this part of the galaxy again. We Mandalorians repay our debts."

"Will do. Middle Way out."

As Serra broke the connection, Malik wondered aloud, "Why was the Empire attacking them? Bo-Katan was the one who got the Republic to help Mandalore back when Maul first took it over."

"Not sure. I know Maul managed to escape Mandalore, despite the best efforts of Ahsoka and myself to capture him," Rex replied.

"With the Siege of Mandalore pretty much over, we can only assume that the Empire has taken firm control of the planet. After all, their persistent neutrality was seen as a heavy burden for the Republic during the war, and most in the government wished they hadn't been so stubborn," Sera mused. "If the Empire has taken control of the entire Mandalorian government, I would bet Bo-Katan and her crew are fleeing into hiding. I remember reading a report that they refused to accept Maul's leadership, so why would they submit to the Emperor after that?"

"It's as good a theory as any," Malik agreed. "They might be helpful to us someday."

"Be careful, sir," Rex cautioned. "Bo-Katan is still a merciless warrior. Trusting her crew could be a fatal mistake, believe me."

"Never said I would trust her, Rex," Malik replied with a grin. "But there is that old saying, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Sounds like we share a common foe with her."

"So what's our plan?" Rex asked. "We're all fugitives now, need a good place to hide out."

"Well, before we picked you up, we were on our way to Atollon," Sera said.

"Atollon? Why? I mean I'm all for hiding in remote locations, but there's nothing there! No villages, trading posts, nothing of the sort," Rex protested.

"Let's just say it's... Jedi business," Malik replied. "But I completely understand if you want no part of it, Rex. Just say the word, and we'll take you wherever you need to go. No questions asked."

"Well... I suppose there's no harm in traveling with you two for a while. That is, if you wouldn't mind. I don't want to impose-"

"Done," Serra interrupted. "You have a place on our ship as long as you want it, Rex. You're more than a mere soldier to us; you're our friend."

"Thanks, that's all very sweet, but shouldn't we be in hyperspace by now?" Rex asked with a chuckle.

"Got the coordinates programed. Hang on," Malik replied, activating the Middle Way's hyperdrive unit.

"Malik, why don't you assign Rex a bedroom? Give him a place to rest his head, ya know?" Serra asked.

"Sounds good. Rex?"

"Agreed. Haven't slept in two days..."

The soldier followed Malik from the cockpit and down the main hallway of the ship, first passing by the entrance to the captain's quarters. They soon made their way to the bunk area, containing four rooms with a pair of beds in each. Malik opened the nearest one and entered, beckoning Rex to follow.

"Here we are, all yours."

"So I won't be bunking with you, sir?"

"Nope, you'll have the place to yourself," Malik said with a grin.

"Good... that's good..."

"You ok, Rex?"

"Oh, yes. Sorry, I guess it's... we clones aren't allowed to get used to the idea of having a place to call our own. Goes against our loyal soldier programming. Our lives are not our own."

"I understand," Malik replied. "With the fall of the Jedi Order, Serra and I have had a lot of things to adjust to as well. This is a new world we're living in, and it can be frightening." Sighing, he continued, "Listen... there's something I want to go ahead and fill you in on. You're going to find out at some point regardless, and I don't want it to be awkward for you or anything."

"Sir?" Rex asked in confusion.

"Serra and I got married yesterday."

"That's wonderful, sir! Congratulations!" Rex said, grabbing Malik into an excited handshake. "Why would you think that awkward?"

"It's something that Serra and I are still getting used to, being in love. It goes against everything the Jedi Order ever taught us."

"Hmm... I can relate to that, I suppose."

"What do you mean?" Malik inquired.

"Well, we clones were forbidden from that as well. Not only from falling in love, but also from any sort of physical intimacy. It's part of our programming, to prevent any corrupted genetic material from replicating itself."

"The Kaminoans didn't want to make copies of copies..." Malik mused.

"Exactly."

"But I would have thought they would simply have prevented that by making you and your brothers incapable of having children?"

"I'd have thought so too, but apparently not. I actually encountered a clone deserter once. He had left the army in secret, settled down, married a beautiful Twi'lek girl, and had a couple of kids even. At first I hated him; saw him as a traitor. But..."

"But you saw how much he cared for his family, didn't you?"

"I did," Rex replied. "In spite of his actions against his brothers, the man lived his life with honor. He'd do anything to keep his family safe. The experience was a tough pill to swallow, but I'm still glad I didn't turn him in."

Malik walked up to him and placed a firm hand on his shoulder. "And now, it's your turn to build your own future. I don't care what your original programming says; your life is your own now. You have every right to live it as you wish. That right is what we Jedi have fought our entire existence to preserve. And if you want to fall in love with a beautiful girl," he continued, poking Rex in the chest, "you have every right to do so."

Sighing, Rex said, "Thank you, sir. I... I know it'll take time, getting used to this new freedom that's been thrust upon me. But I'm glad you two found me. Sounds like it's what the Force wanted to happen, if one believes in that sort of thing."

"I happen to think this is the will of the Force," Malik grinned. "We don't just happen upon a clone trooper, we happen upon the best soldier in the army, and find that he refused to betray the Jedi! If that's not the will of the Force, what is?"

"Thank you, sir."

"Oh and one more thing: don't call me sir. It's Malik. That's an order, soldier."

"Yes s... er, Malik."

"Sleep well, Rex," Malik said, closing the door behind him.

"Night."

Now alone with his thoughts, Rex paced around the small bunkroom, contemplating all that had happened in the last several days. Faking his death with Ahsoka, helping her avoid detection during her escape, these things were all within the realm of expectation. But leaving Mandalore in an escape pod and immediately being found by two Jedi? And not being stabbed on sight? Beyond anything he had ever expected after what happened to the Jedi. Rex supposed that he'd find a desolate planet filled with traders somewhere in the Outer Rim to live out the rest of his days in quiet. Never had he imagined that he'd have a bed to sleep in, and crewmates that considered him their friend!

Everything was so topsy-turvy for him, especially the revelation of Malik and Serra's marriage. His time spent with Kenobi and Skywalker had made it quite clear that such behavior was forbidden to Jedi. By his limited understanding, he knew it had something to do with singular attachment, but had never considered it much beyond that. Besides, it was always a point of contention between Skywalker and Kenobi, and the last thing he wanted was throw fuel on the fire. By those limited interactions, he had always pictured a Jedi losing complete control emotionally because of that singular attachment. But here on this ship were two Jedi not only in love, but also in complete control of their situation. Could it be that the spats between Kenobi and Skywalker over this issue were all for naught?

One by one, Rex peeled off the pieces of his armor. He was without helmet, but that suited him after what his brothers had done to the Jedi; he no longer wished to be seen as a member of the Grand Army. His armor now piled in the corner, he stripped off his skin-tight undershirt and pants, leaving his hardened, muscled form completely nude. Climbing the ladder into the top bunk, he lay back on the pillow and pulled the sheets up to cover his body. A small part of him resented Malik for telling him of his relationship with Serra. At this very moment, they were probably ravaging each other, and their bed sheets a tangled mess around their bodies. For the first time in his life, Rex felt... lonely.

Without even realizing it, his hand began to travel down his body, and before he knew it, his fingertips were brushing against the hard length of his cock. He pulled back at first on instinct, but soon resumed, feeling the strange sensations of stimulating himself. Rex had never done this, even in all his years serving in the Army of the Republic; none of the soldiers ever had any privacy, and such behavior was against their programing in any case. But without his inhibitor chip, it seemed as though he couldn't have stopped himself if he had wanted to, which he didn't. As he continued to stroke himself, his thoughts turned for some reason to his life up to this point. He had known nothing but training, combat, and strict obedience to commands. Yet now, he was free in a sense. Free from the orders of Palpatine, at least. But could he ever be free from his clone programing?

As his orgasm began to build, the answers seemed to escape him, and he instead focused on the incredible feelings bubbling up in the pit of his stomach. He thought of no one person individually, simply enjoying the new and forbidden sensations. Harder and harder he pumped his cock, now using a full loose fist. He groaned, his eyes rolled back into his head, and his cock began to twitch with every little movement he made. Soon, he shot several jets of hot, sticky cum into the sheets, the smell of his seed filling the room. With a heavy sigh, Rex curled up on his side, feeling the call of sleep wash over him. As he drifted in and out of consciousness, one final thought went through his mind.

Malik and Serra really are lucky...

*****

The next morning, Rex awoke relaxed and refreshed, even though he probably could have used a few more hours of sleep. Nonetheless, he was up and wide-awake, deciding to go ahead and shower and dress for the day. After raiding the pantry for a ration packet, he slipped his armor back on and made his way to the cockpit. As he approached the door, he grinned at seeing Malik in the pilot's chair with Serra sitting playfully on his lap, kissing her way down his neck. He was about to make himself scarce and give them some privacy, but Serra came through the door as he turned his back.

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