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Blow the Whistle

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Fox’s Primeday starts out with a cup of caf as black as the bags under his eyes, and one of the newest Shinies assigned to the Guard - ( CT-9315, Jam, if he’s remembering right. ) - coming over to interrupt his sacred first cup ritual. 

The young vod's eyes are wide and frazzled looking. Plus, they have that damned air about them. The patented ‘ I don’t know what to do, but Commander Fox can fix this ’ kind of thing. Which makes Fox’s first mouthful of blessed caf taste extra bitter as he swallows it down while still scalding hot.

“Commander Fox, sir!” Jam snaps a salute, nearly vibrating inside his armor with nerves.

Fox allows himself a single second to close his eyes and mentally cuss every star in the sky, before he puts on his figurative big-boy kute and prepares to deal with whatever disaster is about to be dropped on him this morning. It just wouldn’t be Primeday without a crisis. “At ease. What’s gone wrong now?”

The Shiny gives him a chagrined look as they step out of their rigid salute and instead move to parade rest. Which makes Fox even more excited to hear about whatever nonsense is about to come spilling from this kid’s mouth. Nothing says ‘ this will be unpleasant ’ like formal posture.

“Commander, at approximately 0300 this morning there were a number of arrests made in the Tizera Ward on Level 3. All of the arrests originated from a Cantina called Rookie Roosts after the Guard was called in when reports of fighting broke out from a number of patrons.” Jam’s report is rapidfire, and sounds like he’s been practicing it since he drew whatever short-straw meant he was chosen to come and get Fox.

Fox takes another sip of caf as Jam rambles on, fighting the urge to shake the kid to make them get to the kriffing point. He is not caffeinated enough for this meandering conversation right now.

“Seven people were arrested. Three of which had warrants out for them related to Spice Trafficking. But...uh...er...One of the people we arrested is really upset, and er...they...want to speak to the commanding officer. Sir.” Jam shuffles nervously as his tangent finally wraps up. Having obviously lost his nerve near the end.

Fox narrows his eyes at the request. It is not unusual for people to scream and demand to see the officer in charge after being brought in. A lot of folks take offense to being arrested by Clones, and the people here on Coruscant seem to think that if they just yell loud enough that someone who is a ‘ real person ’ will come running and save them. 

The issue is that even the newest of Shinies knows this. Since it’s one of the first things that gets drilled into them before they’re even allowed to start patrolling. So Jam wouldn’t be here getting him if the person yelling was someone whose demands could safely be ignored like normal.

“Senator, or Ceo?” Is what Fox finally lands on. Figuring it either has to be a person with political clout or a metric kriff -ton of credits. Someone who can make the Guard’s lives a living hell if they just let them rot in the drunk tank for a while.

The Shiny shakes his head negatively at the question. “Neither, Commander. They’re uh... they’re a Jetii . Sir.”

Fox barely notices as he slams his mug down on the Commissary countertop. The cup still mostly full. “Give me five minutes to get my bucket.”

 


 

Fox bursts into the Guard Station’s main level with early morning smog seeping in through the doors behind him, and his new Shiny shadow right on his heels. 

“Someone explain to me how we arrested a General.” He demands to the room at large before he even fully gets through the doors. “Now!” 

There is a lot of shuffling, and nervous looks thrown around, before finally one member of the guard stands up looking resigned. “It’s my fault, sir.”

“Name.” Fox says immediately. Feeling a tad guilty he doesn’t know who this vod is. Their armor is painted and neat, but completely standard design. They must be stationed on Level Patrols pretty regular if Fox doesn’t know them off the bat.

“CT-2958, sir. Walker.”

“Walker, start explaining. Quickly.”

Walker nods shortly and removes his bucket. Revealing his scarred face to the crowd as he starts talking. “I was onsite during the arrests at Rookie Roosts. While subduing the perps who had been brawling and destroying cantina property I noticed one of them attempting to leave during the chaos. So I grabbed them and informed them they were being arrested. The man didn’t resist, but tried to tell me he was a Jedi on a mission, but I uh….I didn’t believe him sir. It just sounded too far fetched. And even when he offered to show me his lightsaber I ah...I still didn’t believe him.”

Walker hangs his head in shame. “I’m sorry Commander, I legitimately thought the man was just Spiced out of his mind and offering me some sort of sexual favor for not being arrested. So I booked him like the others and brought him back here to cool off in the drunk tank. It wasn’t until Jam patted him down for any weapons and contraband that we found he really did have a lightsaber on him.”

Nearly took my hand off with it when I turned on the stupid thing .” Jam mutters, obviously not expecting his vocoder to pick up on his grumbling. Because the Shiny freezes like a Taun-Taun in speeder lights when his voice echoes around the room. “Oops.”

Fox is patient, and strong, and he is not going to bang his head on the duracrete walls until he bludgeons himself to death. He’s not.

“So, if you know he is a General. Then why is he still in lock up! ?” He stresses the question. Pointedly ignoring Jam’s little gaff.

That has the whole room shuffling again. Leaving Walker to once more be the brave shabuir who has to speak up. “We offered to let him go, Sir. But he said he wanted to speak with whoever was in charge before he left. So he’s still...sitting in the cell…”

Fox is proud that he only lets out one very vehement “Haar’chak! ” before he storms past the intake room and down the hallway that leads to the cells. Slamming his helmet onto his head and already dreading whichever Jetii he’ll find waiting for him down here.

It’s going to be unpleasant no matter who they are, but with his luck it’s going to be one of his vod’ika’s Generals. 

Which means he is going to be begging for forgiveness from whichever kriffing Jedi they unlawfully arrested, and then he’s going to have to turn around and apologize to one of his little brothers for ruining whatever sting operation they were part of. 

If he’s really lucky it’ll be Kote’s general, Obi-Wan Kenobi, stewing down here in the cell. Which means Fox will be stuck apologizing to his little brother until the stars die out for this incident. Because no one holds a grudge like Kote does. No one . Especially not when it has to do with his Jetii .

So, Fox is marginally surprised when he turns the corner and instead of Kote’s Jedi waiting on him, he instead finds a dark-skinned Kiffar man with a headful of messy dreads and a very vibrant splash of gold painted across the bridge of his nose- all sprawled out on the bench of the first cell. Seemingly content to sit with his eyes closed and meditate, or commune with the dead, or whatever it is that Jetii do with their magic while trapped in cells made for drunk and disorderlies.

Fox immediately realizes that he has no idea who this Jedi is. Which is somehow both a relief, and deeply nerve-wracking. Because at least with his little brother’s generals he would have gossip and second-hand rumors to help him navigate the minefield he’s about to wander into. 

Without that? Fox is flying by the seat of his pants here. And he can only pray to whatever stars look down on him that the Jetii in front of him doesn’t decide he makes a better smear on the wall, than a commander for the GAR.

“Sir, I apologize for the wait. You wished to speak with the commanding officer of the Coruscant Guard?” Fox says as he comes to stand in front of the cell, saluting for lack of anything else to do with himself.

( His brothers have mentioned multiple times that their Jetii don’t seem to like being saluted at. But what the kriff else is he supposed to do in this situation? Wave? )

Fox’s voice seems to bring the Kiffar man out of his trance, because his head tilts up and his eyes open. Revealing them to be a brown color a shade or two darker than most of the vode

“Meh, it was a pretty short wait honestly. You guys are pretty efficient around here, I gotta admit.” The Jetii brushes off his apology and stands up. Stretching slightly before moving towards the cell door and making a quick flicking motion with his right hand.

Fox does not flinch when the cell door pops open without needing a code put in. He’s better than that, though it’s a near thing. The Jetii obviously wants it to be very apparent to Fox that he could have left at any point. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The Guard could not feasibly hold a Jedi here unless said Jedi allowed it. And obviously this Jedi is done allowing it.

“Anyways, Name's Quinlan Vos. Nice to meet you.” General Vos steps out of the cell and holds a hand out to Fox. Obviously intent on shaking hands for some strange reason.

Fox doesn’t let himself think too hard about it. Jetii are kriffing weird. As every one of his brothers has mentioned at some point in their messages to him. So he just needs to roll with whatever makes the General happy and gets them out of lockup with the least amount of vod getting in trouble as possible.

“CC-1010, sir.” Is all he offers in return, though he does quickly leave his salute and let the Jedi shake his hand. Not that he can really feel it through the plastoid of his gloves. 

General Vos holds his hand for a strangely long time, looking directly at his eyes even though they are hidden behind the dark transperisteel of his visor. Which makes goosebumps rise on the back of his neck as he feels like he’s being examined under one of the longneck’s microscopes for defects. Still, he doesn’t dare pull away and risk offending the Jedi until they let him go. So he stands and lets the dark-skinned man hold his gauntlet as long as he wants.

Finally - after a small eternity - the Jedi lets out a bark of laughter and lets go of his hand. A coiled tension that Fox had not noticed in the Kiffar’s frame bleeding away to be replaced with something a little more relaxed, while a toothy smirk cuts across the man’s face. “Well, well Commander, aren’t you the goody-goody sort." He say almost like a tease of all things. Before abruptly asking "Now, for real. What’s your name?”

“Sir?” Is all Fox can think to say, more confused than he would like to admit. Weirdly feeling like he just passed some sort of test he didn’t know he was taking.

“Aw come on, you have one don’t you? My Aayla never shuts up about her men. It’s always. ‘ Oh Master Quin, today Commander Bly said the funniest thing to me ’ or she’s all excited by someone getting a name. My communicator blows up at least once a day about it, I swear.” The man’s voice goes high-pitched in the middle and takes on a strange accent that makes Fox think he’s imitating someone female. But Fox barely notices that, instead latching onto the mention of Bly’s name in General Vos’s triade. His brain making the jump between Bly, Bly’s General - Aayla Secura - and the mention of ‘ Master ’ in General Vos’s little speech. 

He just shook hands with General Secura’s Master

Which...actually helps him a little, knowing that there is a connection between this strange Jedi and himself. Bly only has the highest praise for General Secura. ( Sometimes too much praise if the long messages his little brother leaves are anything to go by ) but surely the Master who taught such a kind and thoughtful ( again, Bly’s words ) General must be at least slightly similar.

Finger’s crossed, anyways.

“My name is Fox, sir.” He finally answers. Hoping this isn’t a very elaborate setup to get him to admit he has a name, and then for the Jedi to start filing reports about the Guard using nicknames while on duty. 

General Vos smirks a little wider at his name. “Fox, huh? That's quite a name to live up to.” His tone is not one that Fox has ever heard before. Well not directed at himself anyways. Typically he hears it from people in smokey cantinas and nightworkers down in the lower levels right before he starts making arrests.  

His brow furrows under his helmet, and he decides a tactical retreat is necessary. He doesn’t know how to stumble through the conversation the Jedi seems about to start with him. At least not without seriously offending the man and probably becoming biomass splattered all over the wall. 

“I do my very best to live up to all expectations placed on me, sir. And if you will permit me to say. I am very sorry about the mix up that happened last night, it won’t happen again General Vos.”

General Vos immediately wrinkles his nose in distaste. “Uhg no, please don’t call me General anything , Fox. Technically, as a Shadow, I’m not part of the GAR. So I don’t have a rank. Just call me Quinlan, or Quin. All my friends do.”

Fox listens to the man complain, and then mentally shreds the request and throws it out the proverbial window. He is a Clone Commander, and while some young, dumb Shiny might foolishly agree to the Jedi’s request. Fox is smarter than that. 

“All Jedi are Generals, sir. Regardless of the GAR’s official roster.” Fox is not saying no , he comforts himself irrationally. He's Just stating a fact for the poor idiot Jetii who doesn’t seem to realize his own rank. He’s doing General Vos a service here. “It would be entirely inappropriate for me to refer to you with any other title, General.”

General Vos makes a strange gurgling noise and pulls at one of his dreadlocks for a second. “Alright fine, we will table the General thing for now, but don’t think I’m gonna give up on this. I’ll get you calling me Quin eventually.” On any of his brothers the look Vos gives him would be considered teasing, which makes Fox feel weirdly warm despite being safely tucked inside his climate-controlled helm. “I guess I should get to the whole point of why I called you down here anyways. You strike me as a busy man.”

Fox shapes up immediately. His posture going ram-rod straight from where he’d been unconsciously relaxing in the Jedi’s presence. Which was completely unacceptable of him.

 “Alright, so listen. I’m totally not mad about the whole getting arrested thing, that happens all the time.” General Vos says unexpectedly gently, which is so weird it almost makes Fox cock his head in confusion like some untrained cadet. “The whole reason I called you down here is that your men are too efficient.”

“...What?” Fox says in response. The single word escaping his mouth before he can cut it off.

General Vos just nods his head in understanding instead of snapping at him for speaking out of turn. “Yes, I know. How can I be here complaining about your men being too good at their jobs. That’s crazy.”

It is crazy. Fox mentally agrees. But he doesn’t say that outloud this time.

“See, I’m accustomed to working around the Coruscant Security Forces when I'm doing missions planetside. And - I dunno how much you interact with those guys - but there is nothing speedy or efficient happening at CSF headquarters. Well, not unless credits are involved. So on a normal mission I would probably have had twenty to thirty minutes to start a bar-brawl and get what I needed from the Cantina’s backroom before they bothered showing up.”

Vos shoots him a wry grin as he continues. “So you can imagine my surprise when instead of a nice twenty minute window, I am suddenly being arrested along with my targets in under seven minutes flat. That is just...mind blowingly fast, Fox. I half thought your men were part of the Spice-Ring I was taking out at first, and that they were just posing as troopers to try and bust their bosses out before the real officers showed up. Thankfully, I figured it out pretty quick that I was wrong.”

Vos interrupts himself again with a bark of laughter. “Kriff, I mean - I honestly think whoever the Trooper was that arrested me is the first person who's ever read me my rights and talked me through the process of getting cuffed ever . I was very impressed.”

Fox silently listens as the General talks, feeling an odd mix of pride and trepidation at the Jedi’s words. He is unreasonably proud that a Jedi is complimenting his men on being good at their jobs. On doing what they were born and bred to do so well that it surprised him. It is the kind of praise that cadets and shinies often dream about getting back on Kamino. 

( The kind he used to dream about getting before he found out he would never get a Jetii of his own. )

But on the other hand, he knows about the CSF. And the less he says about them the better. The main Security Forces for this planet are just riddled with corruption and racketeering. Most of them are firmly in the pockets of at least one mob or cartel. ( If not multiple. ) And there is always a couple of Officers being paid to get senators and their friends out of trouble whenever they break the law. 

It boggles his mind honestly. How can the people of Coruscant live like this?

And what exactly does General Vos want from him if he’s comparing the Guard to the CSF?

“Thank you sir, I will make sure CT-2958 is commended for his performance.” Fox dips his helm slightly, before straightening back up. Choosing to focus on the pleasant part of the Jedi’s words instead of the bit that makes him feel slightly sick in his stomach. Dreading where this conversation is going.

General Vos keeps his smirk in place. “Dunno how much my word is worth here, but if it’ll make him feel better about the whole arresting me thing - then yeah. Sure. Let him know it was an impressive show of humility and decency. You’ll make it sound all nice and fancy for me, won’t ya Foxy?”

Fox does not bristle at the name. Nor let himself feel upset that the Jedi has apparently already forgotten what his name is even though he specifically asked for it. Fox should just be happy that it's in the same ballpark. Should be content it isn’t his serial number.

“Of course, General Vos.” He bites back. Purposefully using the General’s title.

It seems his dig is less subtle than he thought though, because the Jedi’s eyes blink in surprise for a second before an osik-eating grin takes over his whole face. “Oh, ho. There is some fire in you.” General Vos laughs, leaning in a little closer. “Not one for cutesy nicknames, huh Foxy? Or maybe you just don’t like Foxy? Mmm, don’t worry, I’ll think of something cuter for you.”

Fox is not able to control the sputtering noise he makes at the man’s words. Though thankfully it's mostly lost to his vocoder. “Sir!” He manages to say at last, his tone slightly scandalized and biting.

General Vos holds up his hands in a classic ‘ I surrender ’ move, and says. “Sorry, sorry. Commander Fox . We’re being totally professional right now. No fun nicknames while on the clock. My bad.”  

He’s still wearing an osik -eating grin though. So, Fox is not feeling very forgiving. Even if it is a Jetii poking and prodding at him. 

“Yes, General Vos, sir.” He accepts the apology, internally reveling in the narrowed eyes the Jedi levels on him for his cheek. 

He might end up as a blood smear on the wall if he keeps this up. But it almost seems worth it. He hasn’t had someone to verbally harass in months since he was posted here.

“Anyways -” The General drags the word out, obviously pulling himself back on track. “Right, too good at your jobs. So we're gonna need to do something about this.”

Fox knew this is what was coming. Dreaded it even as the Kiffar man laid on the compliments thick enough to distract from his obvious goal. 

“I will not tell my men to neglect their jobs for you, sir.” He snaps. Unable to believe that he’s arguing with the first Jetii he’s ever gotten to meet face to face. But he hasn’t bent under the demands of Ceos, mobsters, or even the senators when they make the same demands. He won’t bend for a Jetii either. “We have a duty to help the people of the Republic.”

He bites his lip before he can spit out the words that he clings to sometimes. Before he can explain his irrational unwillingness to compromise. ‘We’re Peacekeepers, like the Jedi are.’ he wants to say. Even though it's not true at all. He and his brother’s don’t get the honor of serving any of the Jedi, let alone deserve to claim they are similar to them just because they stop drunken brawls and terrorist plots. 

But Fox has always been good at lying to himself, and the words are one of the few things that gets him out of his cot in the morning. So he won’t let them go.

General Vos seems taken aback at the vehemence of his words. Though he doesn’t appear mad. “Woah, woah, calm down now Fox. That is not what I meant at all.” He holds his hands out in the surrender motion again, and Fox doesn’t let himself throw up inside his bucket as the Jedi keeps talking. His voice even and soothing like Fox is the one liable to snap and attack him or something. “I’m just worried, man. You guys are fast on the scene, and even quicker to act. It's commendable. But if you show up somewhere that I'm pulling an Operation, we're gonna run across each other again. And I deal with some nasty stuff, Fox. I don’t want you guys getting called to a domestic disturbance, and it turns out it's actually me dealing with some Sith Relic.”

“Right.” Fox says weakly. Trying not to imagine his brothers being cut down by some relic that feeds off whatever evil magics the Darjetii use. “Right, I apologize for snapping, sir. Do you have an idea that can help?”

General Vos is back to grinning, and he doesn’t seem to be offended at having been yelled at by a Clone. But Fox is sure he’ll get a formal recrimination letter for this later on. Which is fine, he deserves it. He’s the one who started getting mad and making assumptions about a General of all people. 

“Well I figured the easiest way would be the best one.” Vos gives him a strange head tilt and an exaggerated wink. “Lets trade com-numbers Foxy. I’ll call you before I do anything that’ll bring the Guard running. And if your boys run across something they think might be Jedi related you can give me a ring.”

Fox blinks dumbly under his helmet. “Is that...legal, sir?” he can’t help but ask. Unable to remember any part of his training, either here or on Kamino, that tells him he can’t have a Jedi’s number. But somehow it feels like it should be against the rules regardless.

“Sure, it’s my personal com. I can give it out to whoever I want. And I’m given leeway to handle my missions as I see fit most of the time.” General Vos grins like he’s sharing a secret. Though if he is sharing a secret then it goes right over Fox’s helm.

Somehow, in some way, Fox knows this is the worst idea he’s ever had in his short life. Yet the knowledge doesn’t stop him from willingly handing over his own personal comm code to a Jedi he’s not only teased, but also yelled at

It also doesn’t stop the impulse of inputting General Vos’s name in his contact list as ‘ Jetii Vos ’ instead of his correct title of General. A small indulgence that he refuses to feel guilt over.

General Vos claps him on the shoulder afterwards, and smirks in that osik -eating way as he says. “I’ll see you around Foxy. I promise to work on finding you a cuter nickname while I’m working.”

And all Fox can do is splutter in outrage as the man saunters out of the cell-block. Leaving him holding his comm and feeling like he just got hit by a hurricane.