WORD COUNT: 9500 WORDS
GENRE: Fan Fiction – Post-Star Wars Rebels
DISCLAIMER: All characters are the property of Lucasfilm and Dave Filoni. SPOILER WARNING for anyone who hasn’t watched Star Wars Rebels.
Part One: Revive
His thoughts immediately went to Kanan, to the last time he saw him, his hands outstretched holding back the explosion at the top of the fuel pod on Lothal.
Ezra froze when Hera flew back into him, but somehow his arms kept her from trying to run back to Kanan. His heart stopped. It was taking everything Kanan had to contain the explosion.
It was muffled, but he heard Hera scream his name. Kanan turned toward them.
Then, his Master’s eyes shone a bright greenish-blue again, seeing the woman and his Padawan he dearly loved so clearly one last time. He Force pushed their getaway ship to safety and in an instant, the flames had engulfed him.
Is this what Kanan felt like? Did he know what was going to happen, what he was going to have to do?
Did he realize what his sacrifice would mean?
Ezra sighed, holding back the sob that wanted to escape his throat. He wasn’t sure what was going to happen, exactly, but he had realized the path he’d chosen would give his family the opportunity to save Lothal, its people… and ensured their protection from Thrawn.
Tears welled in his eyes and fear settled into his chest, tightening his throat. He wasn’t afraid for himself. He was afraid for his family.
Ezra, I’m here.
Ezra closed his eyes, relishing in those words, the voice he easily recalled from memory. How many times did Kanan say those words to him, offering assurance and strength when he needed it?
“Alright, Chop…” Ezra said, breaking the silence. “I’m ready.”
Chopper beeped back, resigned, but willing to act as messenger once again.
Ezra opened his eyes. He looked at the little astromech, nodded and let the words flow freely.
“If you’re watching this recording, then I owe you an explanation. There were several paths in front of me, and while this wasn’t the one I wanted to take, it’s what I had to do. That’s something Kanan taught me.
“I’m going to miss you all.
“Zeb? You can have the top bunk back… for now.
“Hera, I, uh, left a meiloorun in your cabin. I hope it’s still your favorite.
“Sabine? Don’t forget… I’m counting on you.
“I couldn’t have wished for a better family… I can’t wait to come home.”
Ezra awoke, startled, his bright blue eyes red and bloodshot, showing signs of being closed for too long. The room was unnaturally vibrant, the only kind of piercing white you would find in medical facilities or government offices.
He instinctively shut his eyes, finding a short reprieve from the light’s penetrating intensity.
Where am I? What happened? Ezra thought, panic rising in his chest. He couldn’t remember anything about what happened before… before what?
He felt sick. His head pounded. His mouth, dry. He was dizzy, weak, but he wasn’t sure if he was hungry or if he wanted to hurl.
After a few seconds, he managed to slowly open his eyes. Squinting around the room, he tried to focus on anything or anyone he could recognize.
No one was there. He was alone.
And nothing stood out. He started to make mental notes. A bacta tank to his right. Medical instruments on trays on a nearby counter. A medical droid in the opposite corner, not moving.
Everything was clean, white, metallic.
Definitely a medical station… but where?
He grabbed for the breather attached to his mouth, gently removed it from his face and let it drop to the tiled floor. He inhaled, deep, and started to cough, grimacing at the burning sensation in his lungs and the disinfectant smell that lingered in his nose.
The monitors next to the bed responded to his movement with loud, erratic beeps and flashing lights, working to warn someone of the change in his vitals.
Ezra then noticed he was only wearing a pair of white shorts. The cold, clinical air made him shiver.
He immediately found himself forming a plan, finding comfort in his survival instincts. He needed to find out where he was, what had happened and why he had ended up in a medical station. It was then he realized the door to his room was wide open.
“Well, might as well take a look around…” he whispered quietly to himself.
Ezra swung his legs to the side of the bed, started to push himself up and took a step. His legs wobbled beneath him, unable to support his weight as he stumbled forward.
Why am I so weak? Ezra thought. What happened to me?
“Sir, you cannot leave your bed.” The low robotic voice made Ezra jump and he toppled to the floor, his face smacking the cold tile.
“Ughhh…” Ezra groaned. The cold floor felt oddly refreshing on his clammy skin despite the fall. He lifted himself up and leaned against the bed frame. His eyes darted around the room and found the source of the voice, focusing on the now working medical droid gliding in his direction. It had been alerted by the monitors and simultaneously notified nearby medstaff of the situation.
“Where am I?” Ezra sharply asked the droid, still rubbing the cheek that had made contact with the floor.
“You are on the Reclamation, a medical frigate.” The droid responded, his programming cold and courteous.
Ezra raised his eyebrows, but ignored the droid’s attempt to help him up and reached out for his connection to the Force. It was there but weak. Even though it wasn’t incredibly strong at the moment, he relied on it anyway, searching for the strength to stand on his own and trying to jog loose any knowledge of what had happened before waking up on the frigate.
A few seconds stretched into a minute. Ezra swallowed, pensive, uncertainty settling into his stomach.
Nothing. He couldn’t remember where he had been before now. Drops of sweat slid down his temples. His forehead burned with a fever.
He felt so warm. Wasn’t he shivering just a few minutes ago?
It all unnerved him, his current situation, but Ezra took a deep breath to try and center himself. It was as if he was missing something, a crucial part that made him whole.
Okay, start with something small. I’m Ezra… I’m… Ezra… I’m… I’m…
He couldn’t get past his name and he soon realized he could only recall one thing, one image.
Those red eyes, glaring back at him, wrapped up in the arms of… purrgill?… and their skin began to blink, just before… before… whisking the ship they were both on into the unknown.
Red eyes… whose red eyes?
“Where…” he gasped, his anxiety climbing to a fever pitch. “Where am I?”
The droid didn’t answer the question and simply repeated that he couldn’t leave the room.
Those red eyes. Familiar, but threatening. They were the center of something important to him.
Then, he remembered. The name.
“Thrawn?” he spat out as he grasped the bed frame, pulling himself up to face the droid. “Where? Where is he?!”
“I do not know that name.” The droid responded, now guarding Ezra’s only exit. “I must ask you to return to your bed and try to calm yourself. Your heart rate is at a dangerous level.”
“Where am I?” Ezra growled, defensive. His arms remained rigid at his side, one hand still clutching the bed frame while other balled into a tense fist. “Where’s Thrawn?”
Several doctors and other medstaff suddenly rushed in, ready to sedate him.
His fear, his anger, it rushed through him and seeped into everything around him. He lashed out, the Force acting as his weapon. The medical droid began to buckle, crushed under the weight of the invisible energy. Medical tools flew around the room nearly missing the medstaff that were gasping for air.
All Ezra could see was Thrawn, his red eyes glowering at him.
Th-that voice… her voice… he’d heard it before.
Sabine… my name’s Sabine.
“Sa-Sabine?” Ezra asked, his voice small and confused. He was distracted now, enough so that the medstaff were able to breathe again. His Force connection started to diminish and he fell to his knees.
One of the doctors quickly grabbed a syringe and stabbed it into Ezra’s neck. Completely unaware of the needle puncturing his skin, he blinked several times while still staring at Sabine, fighting the urge to fall asleep. His eyes stayed with hers as he collapsed to the floor.
She rushed toward him. He was fighting, still, trying to make his brain remember where he first saw her, that wonderfully wild hair and beautiful, colorful armor.
“I know your face…” he whispered, hand limply outstretched for hers. She kneeled down next to him, wrapping his hand in hers. “Your hair used to be longer…”
Ezra trailed off and embraced the darkness.
“Amnesia?” Hera repeated, arms crossed and legs locked in her usual stance. But she wasn’t debating the doctor’s diagnosis, she just wanted to know more. There was obvious concern in her question.
“Yes, retrograde,” he replied. “We wanted to observe him a little whenever he woke up and it seems to be what’s happened. Oh, and a little bit of reacclimation sickness, too, due to the fever he’s experiencing. We think it’s being caused by the trauma he endured when you found him. Being out in space for as long as he was…. He’s lucky to even be alive.”
“It wasn’t luck,” Sabine remarked, eyes boring a hole into the doctor.
He gave her a quizzical look, as if her comment was a bit rude, but only for a moment before he returned his attention to Hera.
Sabine couldn’t care less.
After her travels with Ahsoka, she had quickly learned there wasn’t luck, only the Force and how it touched and weaved its way through each person, working in ways that even someone with Ashoka’s knowledge couldn’t fully understand. They had found Ezra in the Unknown Regions after several long, arduous months of searching, not entirely sure what had transpired before their scanners and Ahsoka had sensed him.
She had no idea how long he had been floating, seemingly lifeless.
It had been a few weeks of bacta tank treatment and then forced sedation to help him recover. Everyone on the Ghost was hoping Ezra would be able to fill them in when he woke up from the coma, but now it looked like that wasn’t going to be the case… at least until his memory fully returned.
Or if it returned at all… she thought somberly.
“It seems as if Mr. Bridger has an inherent feeling for who he is, but not much beyond that… and you say he said your name?” He asked, looking to Sabine for confirmation.
“Ye-yes,” She stammered, quickly brought out of her reverie. “But he looked confused as he said it like he wasn’t really sure why he was saying it…”
“Well, we have him sedated for now and my team will be monitoring him for the time being…”
The doctor’s voice slipped away again and Sabine was lost in her own thoughts.
When she and Ahsoka had finally found Ezra, she was beyond relieved, beyond happy. She felt whole again. But she had no idea why he was drifting in space and how he had even survived.
She remembered that Kanan experienced something similar how many years back. When she and the rest of the Ghost Crew had been held hostage by Maul to lure Ezra into combining the Jedi and Sith Holocrons, Kanan vaguely explained afterward how Maul had pushed him out of the airlock. Fortunately, the Force was with him that day and he was able to launch himself back into the docking bay before the cold vacuum of space could do major damage. His skin was already crystallizing by the time he reached safety, but he had survived.
She quickly felt her heart clench at his memory.
If only he were here now, he would easily bring Ezra back, reach him when he wasn’t himself.
She felt Hera’s hand gently caress her shoulder. The doctor was gone.
“Tell me what you’re thinking, Sabine,” she said. Her face showed a careful optimism. Sabine met her big green eyes and sighed heavily, giving Hera all she needed.
“I know. I wish Kanan could be here for him, too. But I’m positive Ezra will come back to us,” the Twi’lek assured her with an encouraging smile. “I can feel it.”
Sabine gave her a small smile in return, but it didn’t reach her eyes. Even after everything they had been through, good and bad, her cynicism tended to overpower her desire to be positive in moments like this.
Hera wanted her to be hopeful, be fervent in her belief of others. Her Mandalorian blood told her to be skeptical, cautious and ever at-the-ready. Ahsoka would want her to trust in the Force.
Ahsoka had been a sort of mentor in their time together and in only a short while, Sabine had understood that the Togrutan sought a balance in all things and in the Force. In this situation, she would’ve reminded Sabine to clear her head, breathe and let the light within her calm her uneasiness, help her guide her way.
Find balance, Sabine heard in her head, as if Ahsoka was standing right behind her, filling the role of teacher when she needed one.
But Ahsoka wasn’t really here and balance was out of Sabine’s reach. The tactical Mandalorian in her was winning. Something was off… Ezra wasn’t Ezra right now and she needed to be ready to help him or face him if he lashed out with his Force powers again.
“Yeah…” she finally replied, noticing Hera was waiting for a response.
The Ghost’s Captain motioned to a hallway on the left. It led to the frigate’s docking bay.
“It’s late, and the doctor said Ezra will be out for a while. Why don’t you try and get some sleep, or you can help me run routine diagnostics on the Ghost? I get antsy when we don’t fly her for a few cycles and Chopper could use the company.”
As much as Sabine wanted to find seclusion on their ship and maybe give her room a fresh coat of artistic inspiration, she shook her head. “I’m going back to his room. I want to be there when he wakes up. He remembered my name, Hera… my face. He even said my hair was different.”
Hera crossed her arms and looked at her. Sabine pursed her lips, ready for one of Hera’s mini-lectures. Sometimes Hera was her captain, sometimes a sister, but most of the time, she was a surrogate mom.
“Okay,” Hera replied, hesitant. “But call me, Zeb or Kallus if you need a break. God knows those two could sure use one sometime soon.”
Sabine nodded and turned to walk away.
“And Sabine?” The Mandalorian stopped, seeing that Hera’s expression was softer this time. “He remembers you. And if he remembers you, he’ll remember us, his family, and all we did… together.”
Hera gave her another reassuring look and strolled down the hallway to toward the Ghost, leaving Sabine to do as she wished.
Sabine rubbed her bright pink head with a gloved hand, uncertainty marking her face. She turned the opposite direction and briskly walked to Ezra’s room.