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Haunted

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The 501st is haunted.

Rex knows this. The whole Legion does. There is a ghost among them, and he rarely leaves.

But it’s alright. It is not a scary one.   

On Kamino, they’ve all heard the stories, the scary ones, about the drowned haunting the living, about the ones screaming with lungs full of water, about the wandering ones, lost at sea forever, never at peace, buried in their watery graves, whispering in the wind, looking for their rest.

Their ghost isn’t one of those.   

In fact, for the first time, Rex believes some ghosts can be good ones.   

Theirs is not screaming.
Sometimes, they can hear a faint sound, but most of the time, it’s other senses telling them that he’s near.   

Theirs is not scary, dripping water, with bloated skin and sunken eyes.
The most they ever see of him it’s on the corner of their eyes, a faint, shimmering presence, a touch of blue, a sense of long hair and groomed beard, the possibility of a long cloak.

Theirs is not malevolent, trying to make the living pay for their deaths.
It’s quite the opposite, in fact. A guiding light there, when they would have been lost in the dark, a sense of foreboding here, allowing a brother to duck just in time a blaster shot to the head.   

It’s those recuring circumstances that made Rex aware of their ghost in the first place. Before that, he had believed it was luck, incredible, impossible, luck.

When Jesse’s helmet kept filtering the poisoned air on one hell of a planet, despite the long crack it spotted, allowing him to breathe, Rex passed the shimmering sphere he thought he had seen around Jesse’s head as a trick of light.
When Tup tripped for now apparent reason, but the resulting fall ended up saving his life, the grenade rolling there seconds after, blowing up without killing anyone, Rex decided it was a strong gush of wind he felt rushing past him, toward Tup.
When Rex himself fell from a cliff and landed, of all things, on a gigantic flower, which cushioned his fall, instead of crashing on the sharp rocks not two feet left, he supposed the grip on his shoulder, yanking him to the right, had been vines.   

He began suspecting when they found Echo after the Citadel desaster, his brother burned but alive, half-burried under a large part of the broken boarding ramp. His helmet had been removed by the blast, and he had a nasty gash on the side of his head.
He was rambling about transluscent Jedi shoving him, shielding him.
Kix said it was shock.
Rex decided it was time he stopped being deliberatly blind.   

It was most obvious around General Skywalker. 

He could no longer put the Jedi’s incredible feets and impossible odds on luck alone. Even the luckiest being in the entire galaxy would have been dead ten times over if they pulled even half the shit their General did.

But if you added a ghost into the mix… someone to help just a bit that gigantic leap from building to building, someone to help along just a little those broken thrusters to make that almost-suicide landing, someone to help him hold on just a few minutes more before he can collapse behind friendly lines…
It makes sense.

He’s pretty sure General Skywalker knows it, too. He cannot be that crazy, that suicidal, he HAS to know he can count on some help.
And he always laugh after one of those stunts, his eyes twinkling, grinning like a loon, looking around him or just to the side, where there’s no one to see.

And, when Kix can convince him to rest, they always find their General sound asleep cuddled into a large cloak that wasn’t there before.
They cannot protest the result.
After all, protecting their General is also what they do.

But it was somehow funny that, of all the Legions to be haunted, and of all the ghost to do said haunting, it was the 501st getting saddled with a motherhen for a ghost. 
Sometimes, Rex wondered if the most level-headed being in their entire group was, ironically, the dead one.

But he is grateful.
So very, very grateful.

 


 

The 212th is haunted.

Cody knows this. He doesn’t know if he’s the only one to have noticed, can’t bring himself to talk about it… but there is a ghost among them, and he rarely leaves.

On Kamino, they’ve all heard the stories, the scary ones, about the drowned haunting the living, about the ones screaming with lungs full of water, about the wandering ones, lost at sea forever, never at peace, buried in their watery graves, whispering in the wind, looking for their rest.
Their ghost isn’t one of those.

In fact, for the first time, Cody believes some ghosts can be worse.

Theirs is not screaming.
Instead, Cody can hear him chuckling, a chime of a sound in the wind.   

Theirs is not scary, dripping water, with bloated skin and sunken eyes.
The most he ever sees of him, it’s on the corner of his eye, a quick, bubbling presence, a sprinkle of blue, a impression of a long, thin braid and spiky hair above traditional, clear clothing.

Theirs is not malevolent, trying to make the living pay for their deaths.
It’s quite the opposite, in fact. The exact opposite.

Because their ghost is a prankster.
A joyful spirit delighting in making waves.

He stole Patch’s bacta supply. Only a fool would steal a medic’s backpack, and his brother had been furious at the theft.
He took Boil’s prized vibroblade, and the clone had been in a mood for two whole days.
He even attacked Cody himself, made him trip and fall, face first into the mud.

But…

But, Patch found his bacta strips into their General’s quarters, discovering at the same time that the man ‘forgot’ to tell them he was injured during the last skirmish, leading to a magnificient chewing-out and a subdued but healthier Jedi.

But, Boil tracked down his blade under a console in the control room and, in the same time, found, wedged between two panels, a piece of flimsi thought lost. A picture of himself, with Waxer and little Numa.

But, seconds after Cody fell, a patrol passed through, and he went unseen and safe instead of ending up facing a whole platoon of clankers on his own.

It was that last one that made him aware of the ghostly presence. He had felt the ankle crossing his own, the firm hand against his shoulder, as someone has pushed him.
He began to pay attention, then.

And for all his trickster ways, the ghost seems to… protect them.

He traps a group of shocked shinies in the projection room after a bloody battle, and an old reel, made by one of their brothers, begins to play without anyone controlling the projector, showing brothers during downtime, making fools of themselves, trying (failing) to prank Cody, shenanigans with a Lothcat... A really silly thing.
The shinies leave the room relaxed, laughing, at peace.

He puts… something inside the helmets of a whole squad. When they remove them, their hair went from black to jarring colors. Hot pink, lime green, electric blue.
The bounty hunter, with a liking for killing as much clones as he can, sees only the hair, doesn’t notice the faces, and the squad makes it back to base without a hitch.

He replaces a firing round with a bunch of MREs, ruining the cannon and leaving an atrocious smell of burnt food, plastic and metal.
When the cannon’s undetected, malfunctioning energy source explodes, one hour later, it’s in the empty maintenance bay, not on the field, surrounded by brothers.

The ghost is at his best around General Jinn, during downtime.
He pulls out all the stops then : mixed salt and sugar in the mess, scratching powder in armor parts, missing left shoes, salted coffee.

In truth, it was because of his General that Cody was sure that there was a ghost and he wasn’t just losing his mind to a persistent brother’s pranking.
Because he’s fairly sure that General Jinn knows there is a ghost.
The sober Jedi always smiles when he sees the results of a prank. The lines on his brow and around his mouth fade for a moment, his eyes soften.
There’s a touch of regret, of guilt, of longing too, but there is mostly mirth and warmth.

And so, Cody cannot resent their ghost. Not too much.

Not when he is one of the only things, (with General Skywalker, Commander Tano and some random, pathetic life forms encountered during missions), to make their General truly smile.

And, what if his (mostly) ordered Legion, his tight ship ruled with discipline, ironically has a carefree ghost ?

He brings life and joy to his General and, for that, he is grateful.
So very, very grateful.

 



Obi-Wan did not regret dying on Naboo, protecting his beloved Master and his dear brother-padawan.
He did not regret for a grand total of two seconds, and then, the pain, the hurt, the guilt rolling off Qui-Gon in waves horrified him and made him scream in anguish, trying to reach him, to comfort him.

The horror did not leave him through the next days, the next weeks, the next year, as Qui-Gon almost refused to train Anakin, almost left the Jedi Order, as he secluded himself, provoked a rift between him and his new Padawan, deprived Anakin of the love and care he so desperately needed.

They sunk into sadness, loneliness… Darkness.

So he took matters in his own hands.

He screamed in their ears until they began to hear him. To feel him.

And then, he became what they needeed.
The impish padawan and playful friend Qui-Gon lost. The elder brother and caring father-figure Anakin never had.

It was a rewarding, but tiring work, as they were two of them and only one of him, even ghostly and with the Force on his side.

But then, the clones arrived. And Qui-Gon and Ani suddenly had hundreds of men at their backs.
And since the clones began to take care of his Master and Brother…
Obi-Wan began to take care of THEM.

Because he is grateful.
So very, very grateful.